I have been intending to write this review for a few weeks now. Let me tell you why it has taken so long. I have been reading Guy Kawasaki’s newest book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Normally I get the audio of a book and then, if I am inspired to do so, I will get the physical book so I can make notes, highlight, and simply hold it in my hands. This time was different; I had the hard copy and I began reading.
I can’t tell you how many times I laid the book aside to think about something I had just read. For example, at the end of chapter one, Eric Dawson shared how he chose to go to work for Apple (I won’t tell his story here—read the book). His story inspired me, and it set me off on a search through my own personal history for those stories that changed the direction of my own life. This pick-it-up/lay-it-down process happened so many times that I purchased the audio to listen on my iPhone, thinking I would get to finish it. That really didn’t work either because my mind would go off evaluating something in my business while I was listening and I would have to back up and listen again. Finally, I did get to the end, but now I am going back and crafting my plan for improvement.
This book has enchanted me and I am re-evaluating everything in my business to make certain I am doing all I can do to enchant others.
These are the five biggest takeaways for me:
1. To be enchanting in my business I must be likeable, trustworthy, and know my stuff. I believe this is who I am and I encourage you to point it out to me if I get off track.
2. Crap is not enchanting. Okay, so that is an obvious observation, but what Guy shared about how to prepare to bring something to the market that is enchanting is very simple, yet I have proven over and over that it is not easy. He confirmed for me my gut feeling that all of the, as my friend Toni would say, “Carnival Barking” that I hear in my marketplace is crap. And I do not have to follow that model to be profitable, in integrity, and having a blast while doing it.
3. Good stories are an effective teaching tool. In chapter 5 Guy speaks to the value of good storytelling and then demonstrates the use of good storytelling throughout the book. I absolutely believe we learn best through stories and yet, as I evaluated my own business, I realized that I am not effectively using stories—one more opportunity to get better.
4. Systems are key. I speak about systems all the time. They are important to any business. I had just finished reading Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson before I read Enchantment. Branson spoke about carrying a notebook and making notes of his experience with his own brand and watching others do the same. This allowed him to make improvements. Guy speaks about simple checklists: look for solutions to potential problems before someone else does, identify irritants, and eliminate them before you lose business as a result. As an example, every time I would go to edit my own Web site I was annoyed with an auto play video I had on the front page. The other day it dawned on me that if I am annoyed, I should think about my poor visitors. I removed it immediately. Sometimes I am slow in catching my own stuff. J
5. Reciprocity—it is in giving that we receive. We have all heard this, but Guy takes it a little further; it is in giving that you can ask for a favor in return. I believe most people want to be helpful if they like you and believe in what you are doing. Richard Branson demonstrated reciprocity on page 101 when he made a request for support from Guy and got it.
One final thought about Enchantment: Guy provides pages and pages of information for how to use technology to further your cause. Those pages alone are worth reading the book. Just in case I was not clear, I would highly recommend that every business owner read Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
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