Good Reads: Three Business Books I Love

In business, like in life- we are constantly learning. I work with a business coach, attend networking and speaking events, and devour as many books on the biz as I can. If you’re hungry for knowledge like I am, you delight in always learning new things. Below you’ll find my recs for three business books that I just loved, and really learned from:

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Blue Ocean Strategy. I loved this book for finally declaring what I always hoped was possible. Before reading this book, I believed business was only a dog-eat-dog world. I’ve always felt inspired and drawn to running a business and becoming an entreprenuer, but was turned off by the possibility of literally getting my throat cut! Traditionally being in business meant competing for advantage, battling over who will gain the market share, and struggling to be “better” than your rival. All this scrapping to get the top creates a bloody, or “red ocean” of conflict.  Blue Ocean Strategy envisions an uncontested market space where a business rises above the competition and develops new ideas keeping and thus creating a “blue ocean” of innovation. A little bit of a technical read, you’ll be glad you plowed through it. Finally get the inspiration to make your Pilates business rise above your competition instead of getting slaughtered.

Refuse to Choose. Ever feel overwhelmed by your many interests or ideas? Frustrated by the nay sayers who say, “You have to choose something and stick with it”? Don’t think you’ll ever be able to make money doing what you love? If you answered yes to any of those questions, this book is for you. Barbara Sher believes that you don’t have to choose just one thing, but instead to do EVERYTHING! This career counselor and motivational speaker, calls these extraordinary types “Scanners”. Even if you don’t think you’re a scanner, you might have one working in your business so it will give you much needed insight. If it’s YOU that needs direction and you’re feeling lost…Refuse to Choose will give you hope and set you on track.

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Steve Jobs. Ok, this book is a long one, but SO worth the time it takes to read. Whatever you think you’ve heard about Steve Jobs, you haven’t heard it all. He is hands down one of the most inspirational and creative genius’ of our time. Yes, he has a temper. Yes, he was a jerk from time to time. Yes, some of his business practices were questionable, BUT he made Apple what it is today. While many a programmer could of come up with the goods (and some did…ahem Microsoft), only Jobs had the talent to see the art in creating a brand. It was his genius alone that took his companies to their height. The book is juicy and interesting and will inspire you to stick to your gut and not stop until you get it right- no matter what anyone says.

Now it’s your turn! I want to hear what books you’re reading. Which ones have inspired you? What have you learned that has changed the way you do business? I challenge you to list (at least) one book you read and one lesson you learned. Oh, and make sure to share this with other entrepreneurs that might need some good reads too!

Need more help than a book can provide? Get a complimentary 30 min biz-nass strategy session via phone or Skype with me. Schedule it with just a click here.

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Is Your Apartment A Postage Stamp? My Plan To Make The Most Of Your Space

Felice Cohen, 39, in her micro apartment

Oh how we love NYC let us count the ways….that is except the tiny apartment space! Does your closet consist of an armoire and shoe tree? Can you sit on the couch to watch TV, make dinner, and brush your teeth all without getting up? We’re not going to give up living in one of the most amazing cities in the world just because of this tiny (pun intended) inconvenience. Want to know how to make the most of your space? Read on…

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  • Make like an editor. Editors have to make tough decisions and cut words, articles, and even whole campaigns. Constantly purge paperwork, clothing, electronics, and stuff often. Do you really need a printer when you have one at the office? One rule of thumb on bringing new stuff in is one in and (gasp!) TWO out! What was once clutter can quickly become an episode of hoarders in a peanut sized apartment. The less you have, the more sane you will feel.
  • Pick furniture that does double duty. An ottoman that doubles has storage inside. Create storage space under your bed, then cover it with a bed skirt. Place extra shelving high up above door jams and in the “attic” of your closets. Storage space is king when you have none.
  • Ditch your doors. Doors that open into your tiny space can be problematic. Replace closet doors with curtains, the bathroom door with a pocket sliding door. The less room for the door the more room for you

Copy, Cat, Chic and >Apartment Therapy are a couple of my fav design resources. Check them out to get the most out of your shoe box sized domicile. You can thank me later…

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Do you live in a small space? We’d love to hear about it! Leave your comments, pics, and even videos of your space and how you make it work…

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Proactive vs Reactive

Believe me, I know how it feels. A new year rolls around and while you’re supposed to be full of hope and promise, instead you’re full of dread. Your to-do list is swallowing you whole, you have no idea how to make your dreams and goals a reality, and you can’t remember not feeling overwhelmed running your business. In the past weeks, I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned from one of the most productive and successful business women I know. This system has changed my business and my life. Being in control of your efficiency is THE key to having the life and business of your dreams. It’s time to step up your game. Check out this video where I break down my process:


As promised below are is the step by step process I use to make my magic, including links to my templates and PDF worksheets:

Step One. Create a Painted Picture.

Step Two. Define your goals and plug them into your year

Step Three. Create Task Lists. (Here’s mine to help you get an idea of what I do;)

Step Four. Schedule them immediately!

Finally, I challenge you to do at least ONE of these steps in the next week. Leave your insights, comments, and questions below. I want to hear from you!

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It’s Just Pilates- Signs You’re Taking Your Workout Too Seriously

Killer Workout- The Movie

We’ve all heard that Pilates is “good” for us. Experts spout a myriad of benefits to getting your sweat on. They range from disease prevention to weight management, with the added bonus that it will make you look good in skinny jeans. So, while we know that we “should” get our weekly workouts in- when does something good for you go bad? Here are my signs that you are working too hard:

  1. You are so sore you can’t _______(bend, sit, pee, or tie your shoes) the next day. Soreness happens, butbalance and consistency take work. The pain you feel after killing yourself at the gym, comes from your body trying to repair tiny tears in the muscles fibers. While some soreness will be normal especially after vigorous exercise, too much can indicate injury. Plus- being incapacitated will make it almost impossible to make your workout the next day, and then maybe the next, and the next. You get the idea.
  2. You aren’t having a good time. I don’t know about you, but getting to the Pilates studio or the yoga mat is challenging enough as it is. If I’m forcing myself towards an activity that I absolutely loathe, then I’m more likely to skip it. I believe fitness should be fun. Walk the dog because you get so much joy from Fido. Put on some tunes and dance until you can barely speak. Do it because it makes you happy and feel magnificent.
  3. You’re should-ing on yourself. Most of my life I’ve battled a case of the should-s. I  should have my leg higher on that battement (dancer speak for a big ole’ kick.) I should be 5-10lbs thinner. I should be more muscular, flexible, proficient, etc. When you feel like working out and being fit becomes a measure of how loved and accepted you are by yourself, it’s time to change that record. Like food, exercise can get obsessive and destructive if you let it. Consider it a practice in self acceptance and just cool it.

 One of my mentors, a life-long Pilates instructor and master teacher Bob Leikens, told me one day in a particular grueling workout, while I was gritting and scrunching my face, “ Lindsay relax- it’s only Pilates”. When you find yourself making faces and gritting your teeth stop and ask yourself, “Am I  making this a big deal?” Remember- it’s just Pilates.

If working out, feeling great, and being healthy without killing yourself is just your style come and visit us in NYC! FORM Pilates is a gorgeous boutique studio in the heart of Manhattan. First-time guests can try us out in style for a steal. Click here for more info. We hope to see you on the mat soon!

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