Book Reviews for 2020 Business Building with Cheryl Knowlton and Kristy Hairston

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As we approach the end of another year, it’s time to start thinking about business strategies and what we can do to boost our business in the new year. In today’s episode, Monica speaks with Cheryl Knowlton and Kristy Hairston about some book suggestions for building your brand, personal development, and business strategies. Both guests stress the importance of reading, and with a curated list like this, you’ll know right where to start!

Cheryl Knowlton

Cheryl loves to read! Not only physical books, but Audible is a great hack to get more books in. Both Cheryl and Monica have their book lists on their websites, and you can also check out Goodreads, a social media platform for book sharing.

The first book they discuss is Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss. Chris was the chief hostage negotiator for the FBI, and the book focuses on different types of negotiations. In some cases, you literally can’t negotiate for half of whatever is at stake, and this book teaches you the skills to never settle for half of what you want. You can also access Chris’ material on YouTube.

Cheryl and Monica discuss the idea of a win-win situation if you never split the difference. The book provides scripts and scenarios that can help you navigate different situations. They also talk about the “black swan” as a key to negotiation, and how knowing what the black swan is can change the course of the deal.

The next book is Unfu*k Yourself, by Gary Bishop. Though the title is a bit colorful, it is a great personal development book. It helps you be intentional about the things that are hijacking your life. The companion workbook is an aid to help you work through these things and make real changes. The way to make fundamental changes is to make promises with ourselves, and hold ourselves accountable to those promises no matter what.

Think and Grow Rich for Women, by Sharon Lechter, is a great book about not only how to make money, but also talks about other motivations beyond just making money. Money means different things for different people. It uses the same language and terminology as the original, and has a lot of great quotes and affirmations, especially for women.

The last two books they discuss are both from author Sally Hogshead. Fascinate is geared toward understanding branding in corporations. She took this same information and put it into How the World Sees You, which focuses more on branding for individuals. There is also a code in the back of the book for a quiz to determine your primary and secondary advantage, and how to use them.

Books allow you to connect with very powerful people without having to be physically with them. Reading can make you a better real estate professional, husband or wife, son or daughter, and all-around human being.

Kristy Hairston

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got, by Jay Abraham, has 21 ways you can outperform your competition. It focuses on mindset and looking at other industries for principles you can apply to real estate. These steps can help you form your brand around the customer experience. The book also provides tips on how you can get clear on who you are and what you’re setting up for yourself.

Kristy and Monica go in-depth about the customer experience, and how we can draw on different industries and apply those ideas to real estate, especially getting consistency in your customer experience from open houses to closing gifts.

Ninja Selling, by Larry Kendall, focuses on the flow Kristy referenced. Sometimes we don’t have a referral-based business because we aren’t “in flow” with them. It focuses on two types of flow, auto-flow and live-flow, and how you can continue to deliver to your current customer base. It will help you identify your “Ninja 9,” nine successful habits that are done each week.

Kristy talks about how she combines the ideas and principles of the two books mentioned to better suit her business.

The book To Sell Is Human, by Daniel Pink, is a research-heavy book that breaks down the different layers of information about our careers and industries. There are case studies across several different industries that can help shift the mindset for REALTORS® in how they present themselves and their product. This book is great for people who are looking for thoughtful insight and data.

In this business, don’t forget to be uniquely you! Do that with a system and a brand for yourself.

About Cheryl Knowlton

Cheryl Knowlton is the CEO and Chief Energy Officer of Dynamite Productions, Inc. A 20-year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industries, Cheryl works with real estate professionals who want to increase confidence through compliance and elevate their expertise through education. Cheryl is a proud member of the National Speakers Association and holds the highly coveted Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) Designations as well as the Distinguished Real Estate Instructor (DREI) designation, given by the Real Estate Educators Association. She also holds fifteen designations and certifications bestowed by the National Association of REALTORS®.

A record-breaking recruiter, licensed broker, real estate sales and mortgage expert, Cheryl specializes in enthusiastically empowering excellence by consistently delivering highly engaging, timely and relevant content. Cheryl’s programming ensures that today’s real estate licensees and brokers the tools they need to hit the ground running to raise the bar of professionalism in the real estate industry.

Cheryl is the author of “Burn the Hamster Wheel: Stress Management Strategies for Today’s Real Estate Professional.” She is consistently working to fight overwhelm and burnout and to “burn her own hamster wheel” in her personal and professional life through long runs, loud concerts in the car, weekly massages, and playing with her grandbabies and her dog, Buzz Lightyear.

About Kristy Hairston

Kristy Hairston is an energetic, driven and compassionate leader. For the past 11 years, Kristy has chosen real estate as the vehicle to use those qualities to add value to family, clients and fellow REALTORS®. She is the Principal Broker at Parks Realty in Nashville. She is a national instructor and was awarded the Educator of the Year award in 2018 by Tennessee REALTORS®. “The most rewarding part of being an instructor is the satisfaction that comes from helping others grow their businesses.” Kristy is the 2020 President of the Greater Nashville REALTORS®. At the core, Kristy is a life-long learner and goal-setter. She has served on the Tennessee REALTORS® Forms committee for four years. She had a really interesting experience that helped all of us by being the Co-Chair for the NAR Conference and Expo for 2018–2019. You might have seen her on the big stage!