Hug Your Customers

“We shower our customers with attention. There’s no doubt in my mind that our philosophy can be applied to selling just about anything- from aircraft engines to beanbags.” ~Jack Mitchell

Flo Hajek from Northern Michigan Hallmark (aka The Book Queen) gifted me with this book at least a year ago, and I have flipped back through it looking for a particular piece of advice several times since my original read many months ago. Flo and her husband Steve are outstanding retailers in Northern Michigan who truly believe in training their staff to give STELLAR customer service.  Their daughter, Jaime has joined their leadership team and you can see the evidence they have instilled in her to strive for excellence in caring for their customers.

The author of “Hug Your Customers,” Jack Mitchell runs Mitchells/Richards, a profitable high-end clothing business in Connecticut that was founded in 1958. Today they do over $65 million in sales. They know how to take care (HUG) of their customers. This book talks about going way above and beyond the normal expectation for customer service in any business, however, you do not need to be a high level multi-million dollar enterprise to learn from the examples in his book. He gives down to earth, daily practices that you can instill in your team that will make a difference in the business you do today!

Overcoming an Imperfect Boss

“He’s just an imperfect human being doing the best he can. Just like you.” ~Karin Hurt

I ordered a copy of this little book after coming across it on a google search for books that lead to being a better boss.  Its name caught my attention because like most every boss, I am imperfect in many ways, and thought I could get some pointers in how I can relate to my staff better.  I don’t think anyone sets out to be an imperfect, demanding, cold-hearted or unprofessional boss (Remember the movie 9 to 5?), but there are times when we could all use a little (or a lot) of coaching in this area.

Karen presents her book in a small workbook form with a paragraph or two about a “situation” between a boss and a staff member. She then follows it up with “Advice” for each situation.  Remember, this book is written to someone trying to deal with an imperfect boss; however, I believe that as leaders of our group, it helps to see ourselves through the eyes of our staff members. I found it to be very practical and enlightening.  Some stories are funny and some are very serious.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.~Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth: Revisited…A Life Changing Book for Business Owners
I soaked up every word of this incredible business book, The E-Myth, Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, and believe that everyone who owns their own business, or is thinking about starting one, needs to read this book.  Although the original book was published in 1986, and has been revised many times over the years, the principles that Michael wrote about almost 30 years ago, are still right on track in our world today.

My Introduction to The E-Myth Book
I first heard about this book on Michael Hyatt’s Podcast, This Is Your Life, and downloaded the unabridged version (about 8 hours of content) to my Audible account to listen to while making a solo road trip to a meeting in Kansas City.  It was a little bit hard to get into at first, so hang in there and know that some life changing material is inside this book! After listening to just an hour or so, I got online at my next pitstop and ordered the paper version of the book because I realized that this was one book that would be highlighted, dog-eared and referenced back to many times.