The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
A concise and clear, down to earth and inspiring account of how to start a business – or any enterprise. Among my favorite business books of all time.
The E-Myth Revisited & E-Myth Mastery by Michael E. Gerber
Another of my favorite writers…if you read E-Myth Mastery, be sure and go to the web-site to download the questionnaires. Extremely useful!
The Wizard of Ads, Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads, and Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads -- All by Roy Williams
Roy Williams has a refreshing style, inquisitive mind, and a deep knowledge of advertising. His approach is fascinating, because he really seeks to understand the human mind, what attracts us, repels us…and how the world works. Essays are most only one page, and filled with fascinating tidbits. I go back to these books again and again, and always finds something new and intriguing. Also highly recommended is his weekly “Monday Morning Memo,” delivered for free by e-mail. Go to www.mondaymorningmemo.com to sign up.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad & Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing, by Robert Kiyosaki
There’s a reason these are best sellers. Kiyosaki will provide you with a new way of looking at money and finance. His guide to investing lays out principles for evaluating a business – whether it’s your own or one you’re considering investing in. You’ll recognize our business pyramid as being strongly influenced by his “B/I Triangle.”
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Allen is the guru of managing yourself while running a business. His system is simple, elegant…and the key behind some of the success of many of the corporate world’s top performers. Your time is your greatest resource. This book will teach you to make the most of it. Like this course, you won’t really learn what he has to teach until you start putting his systems to work for yourself.
Highway to Success by Smith & Quick
This is a great overview of nearly every aspect of the magic business. It makes an idea follow up to this course.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
All about building a successful startup in the tech industry. This book is a “must read” for startup founders in Silicon Valley.
The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
A great, quick survey of the various social networks out there and how to use them efficiently to promote your business, without letting social media swallow your whole life.
G-mail – Free e-mail accessible from any computer linked to the Internet. (mail.google.com)
Google Alerts – Enter your name, or anything else you want to stay fully “up to date” on, and you’ll automatically receive an e-mailed alert when your name appears anywhere on the Internet. (www.google.com/alerts)
Google Calendar – Also free & accessible from any web browser. You can share it with selected others, and can always check it (even from most smart phones) to refresh your memory about upcoming gigs, check whether you’re available when someone requests a show, etc. (calendar.google.com/calendar)
Remember the Milk – a terrific, free, on-line way of keeping track of all your different projects and to do lists. (www.rememberthemilk.com) Apps are available for both Apple and Android.
Google Drive – Another fantastic freebie from Google. You can store and share contracts, airline tickets, proposals and almost any kind of document, and decide who you’d like to share them with. They are accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. Part of Google Drive is access to free programs to create documents, spreadsheets, slides and more…all free.
Google Sites – Need a free web site? Once again, Google provides not only the free hosting (you have to use a Google address, though), but the tools to make it easy for you to put your own site together relatively easily. (sites.google.com)
Managersal.com — This is subscription management site designed just for independent performers. Keeps a database that includes your calendar, copies of contracts, basic marketing letters and materials and much more.
Quicken Online at www.quicken.com. Intuit has recently made a fully working version of their popular.
Wave Accounting – www.waveapps.com (available as a plug-in for Chrome)
Zoho Office – An office suite that is free and completely on line at www.zoho.com.
If you feel you can’t afford a full version of Microsoft Office, also try Open Office, a free office suite from Sun that allows you to work with and save documents in MS Office format. IT is available at www.openoffice.org. There’s even presentation software that is compatible with Powerpoint.
Blogger --- www.blogger.com
Also, social networking sites:
(Note: LinkedIn newsgroups are a great way to find and interact with events planners, other magicians in business, and much more.)
These are just a small fraction of what is out there and available for your use. When choosing any one of these tools, take some time to do research into what the best packages are at that given time. A good place to do that is www.capterra.com, a site set up specifically to collect and rate currently available software and tools.
NOTE: See also, the end of the worksheet for Chapter 8 on Sales & Marketing