If you run a lawn and landscape company, it's important that you're always learning and feeding your mind with new skills, new information. And one of the ways to do that is through reading. And in today's podcast, I'm going to share the top three business books lawn and landscape contractors should read. My name's Jack Jostes and welcome to The Landscapers Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. This show is all about helping you increase your profit and enjoy a better lifestyle as a result of sales and marketing. And in today's podcast episode, I'm going to share three books that I've read that have become a big part of my life and that I recommend that you read. Let's hear what they are.
Right now, it's December, and this is the time of year where one of my podcast guests, John Rafianni, an irrigation contractor from New Jersey said that this is when he catches up on reading because the spring and summer are just so intense. If you're looking for some good winter reads, these will be great books. And if you're listening or watching this some other time, honestly, these are great books to read whenever.
Book Recommendation #1: The E-Myth Landscape Contractor
The first book I wanted to share with you is the E-Myth Landscape Contractor by Tony Bass, Why Most Landscape Companies Don't Work and What to do About It. It's co-authored with the creator of the E-Myth series, Michael Gerber. And the E-Myth was one of the books that I read in the first couple of years of running Ramblin Jackson. When I was really in a state of chaos and I had a business coach recommend the E-Myth and I learned about the idea of three separate roles in a company of entrepreneurs, managers and technicians.
And at that time I was definitely a technician. I was doing a lot of the SEO that we were doing. I was doing the writing, and then I started hiring people, but I wasn't really thinking of myself as a manager. And I lost sight of the vision of the company, which is my ultimate job as the entrepreneur. It was an amazing book. It helped me create some systems that I still use today. And this version with Tony Bass, if you don't know Tony Bass, he's a really successful landscape contractor. He built a landscape company and sold it for seven figures, and now does coaching and consulting. And Tony has a really great profit builder camp workshop that you can go to where he helps you really dial in your financials.
Definitely recommend checking this out, because, not only does it have the great concepts of the E-Myth that I believe are relevant to any small business, but it has the authority of Tony Bass who has been in the trenches as a landscape contractor. Check out this book. I recommend it to people all the time. We read it as a book club here at Ramblin Jackson, and it's just an enjoyable read. And it's also available as an audio book.
Book Recommendation #2: They Ask You Answer
When I presented at Tony Bass's Wealthy Landscaper Summit at the GIE Expo last year in 2019, I met the author of this next book, They Ask You Answer. His name is Marcus Sheridan, and Marcus and I presented at Tony's event. And I learned so much from Marcus's presentation. And I went out and bought the book. You can see it's just full of notes. We also read this as a book club here at Ramblin Jackson. This book is all about sales. It's called They Ask You Answer - A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing and Today's Digital Consumer.
And it talks about some of the content that you need to put on your website. And it talks about how people ask questions and you need to answer them in your marketing and things that you think you shouldn't put on there, like pricing. And when you put pricing on your website, magical things happen because you are the source of the information instead of somebody going to, would you rather they go to House or Home Advisor or the garden center section of Lowe's website to find out how much landscaping costs or would you rather they find out from you? There's so much in here. It talks about how to make video content. It shares case studies.
And just the way that today's consumers have been influenced by the access to information from the internet and what you need to do. And a lot of this book made me uncomfortable in a great way. It challenged my thinking, and I've implemented some of the things from this book personally, for Ramblin Jackson, and for our clients. And I've had amazing results. The other interesting thing about Marcus is that he is a, I think he's still an owner in a pool installation company, and he shares some of their case studies about how for that pool company, they put information on their website about pricing and competitors and mistakes they've made, things that have happened and the amazing result and how they were able to build a multi-million dollar company as a result of that.
Book Recommendation #3: Traction
Now, the last book I'm going to share with you, I've read maybe five or six, seven times. You've probably heard me mention it in another book recommendation podcast that I've done, just because it's had probably the biggest impact of ... It's really up there in the top three to five books overall for me. I know these ones I'm recommending for landscapers. Of course, there are others. There are a lot of good ones. It is the book Traction by Gino Wickman, Get a Grip on Your Business. And right now, if you're watching this video, I'm actually recording this in a historic house in Longmont that I rented for my annual planning, which was part of something that's part of Traction. And I'm working with my wife today and our coach, Wayne Herring, who might make a random guest appearance. Here he is. Yeah, Wayne Herring. Good to see you man.
What do you think of the book Traction?
I love the book Traction or others that are strategic planning systems like Scaling Up. Scaling up, Traction... I heard you talking about E-Myth, any of those books that give business owners a system, a framework that they can start to plug their business into, I think are great. And help them be more intentional.
And check out Wayne Herring's businessbuildercamp.com
That's right. Cool. Thank you.
I'm going to go back to the popcorn.
All right, what I love about this book that is a little different from, I think the E-Myth and They Ask You Answer definitely give you a lot of ideas that you can go and implement. What I love about the book Traction is that it has a framework. It's called the entrepreneur operating system, EOS. And this is a framework for actually implementing a lot of the big ideas in here, like setting your company vision, creating your company core values, clarifying your company process, how to run what they call level 10 meetings, how to have a scorecard.
And I've implemented these things. I've honestly read this book several times over many years. It has a worksheet that you can print out and fill out while you read it. That was something I really liked about it. And this book focuses on the things that you think are not important, like the company vision and mission and your process, things like that. I know that I always resisted those ideas thinking, oh, I've got real work to do. I've got to call clients and I've got to do stuff, right?
And you do need to call clients and do stuff. And this helps with one of the biggest issues I believe is recruiting. A lot of people come to me and they talk about how recruiting is a challenge. And for sure, there's a shortage of laborers in the green industry. There's more demand than there is supply of people. And the people who have decided to work in the green industry are going to work for ... they're going to pick and choose where they're going to work. And Traction gives you the roadmap to creating your vision and help people understand where we are going and why we are here? Some of those big things that actually impact your culture, which is what is going to attract people to your company, and ultimately keep them and grow a company with you.
In the mastermind section of our Landscaper Summit the other week, somebody was asking me about, "How do we create our company, vision and mission and all of these things?" And I love talking with people about those things. And I think one of the best ways to figure it out is to read this book with your people. I would absolutely recommend that you read this book with, if you have an operations person, if you work with your spouse, read this book together, read it with some of your people. And it's amazing the ideas that can come from this. Those are three books that I'd recommend that you read: Traction by Gino Wickman, They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan and The E-Myth Landscape Contractor by Michael Gerber and Tony Bass. Those are three great books.
Of course there are others, and I've reviewed other books. If you check that out at landscapersguide.com/podcast. I love reading books. If you think of other books that landscapers should read, send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what you're reading. And thanks so much for checking out today's episode. If you enjoyed this video or podcast, like it. If you're on YouTube or social media, subscribe, leave us some reviews. My name's Jack Jostes and thanks for checking out The Landscaper's Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. Look forward to talking to you next week.