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I love wine tasting in Napa Valley. It’s one of the benefits of living in Northern California. I know you might be thinking it’s the wine I drink that makes it so fun. Wrong. It’s the wineries!

It’s their stories, their winemakers, their micro-climates, their science of discovering new ways to make great wine, and how, above all else each winery makes the experience of tasting their wine an experience different than any other winery.

It’s science, art, inspiration and knowing what’s great. Many wineries share grapes, blend varieties, or have a patch of vines on another wineries’ vineyard to take advantage of the soil they don’t have. And in the end, the Napa Valley has a reputation for a slower, simpler, beautiful community of people who appreciate agriculture, art, and people. There are no signs to tell me to LIKE their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, sign their guestbook, enter my email on some card, or subscribe to their website. In short, there is not much noise. But what they do is impactful, because of that very thing. They build it and we come — in droves — and buy wine. Lots of it. Napa Valley serves up the good life I want.  We can learn from this. 

Gather your ideas, get inspired, tell your story

There is a shift that is occurring in business, which is a backlash of social media hype. Less noise, more impact. This is a good thing. But it means being ready for change, especially in online marketing, and how it relates to your brand, personal and business. It’s time to start clearing your path for new ways of reaching your audience. There are NO shortcuts, but there is plenty of inspiration. 

  • Do you want to be smarter about decisions that actually build your business?
  • Do you want to execute on some new ideas?
  • How do you want your clients to experience your brand? Do you know what your brand is?
  • How do you position your message to resonate with the right audience?

Great books, great inspiration

(not social media sound bites.)

The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

This is not just another Social Media book. From understanding your goals, your ideas, the platforms, and how you are communicating , OR NOT, this will help you define, and polish the most impactful ways to get your brand and message out there to the right people. From HTML emails, blog content, writing and Instagramming, this book untangles the hype and shows you how to focus on what matters; creating trust.

Brand Delusions by Bill Leider

“Your Brand is a widely held set of beliefs and expectations about what you deliver and how you deliver it, validated by customers’ experiences.” Bill Leider. Whether you are a real estate agent, a broker, an entrepreneur, work in collaborative company environment, or are personally trying to understand what building, having and maintaining a brand really means, then you MUST get this book. It’s not business book, or self-help book, but a philosophy woven into a fictional story with characters that any one of us could relate to. The inner dynamics of relationships, office politics, and personalities all play a role in building the brand experience to your consumer or buyer. You will take away a firm understanding of what BRAND really is, in actions, words and behaviors, and be empowered to explore all aspects of your business that touch your clients.

Change by Design by Tim Brown

How do true innovations happen? How do ideas go from ideas to execution, to something amazing? Is there a formula that we can use that takes inspiration, to an idea, to a prototype, to a real live innovation? By using Design Thinking the goal is to create demand from a need, by using the techniques in this book.

In the queue

The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Copy is on the way, and I’m ready. I’ve read the Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Shift, and can’t wait to get into this one.

What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences by Brian Solis

From Amazon: Rethink your business model to incorporate the power of “user” experiences 

What’s the Future of Business? will galvanize a new movement that aligns the tenets of user experience with the vision of innovative leadership to improve business performance, engagement, and relationships for a new generation of consumerism. It provides an overview of real-world experiences versus “user” experiences in relation to products, services, mobile, social media, and commerce, among others. This book explains why experience is everything and how the future of business will come down to shared experiences.

What inspires you to act on new ideas? Books? Conversations? Drop them in a comment and let us know!