Three great reads to really help you run a business

In this article, Johnny Paterson, the Co-Founder of Dr.PAWPAW, reveals how certain books have had a great impact on how he approaches and thrives in his professional and personal life

Three great reads to really help you run a business

Over the past 20 years in business, I’ve read countless books and listened to numerous podcasts. While I enjoy audiobooks and podcasts, there’s something irreplaceable about picking up a book and really absorbing its content—it feels like it’s seared into my brain. Today, I wanted to share three books that have really changed how I behave in and around my business.

Book 1: The Secret

The Secret was given to me when I was about 28 years old by my father-in-law. I had never seen it, and initially, it seemed quite alien to me, I thought it was a little weird. It was about a year later that I actually picked it up and read it, and wow, was I blown away. First, I realised I had been living most of my life following the law of attraction without even knowing it. Second, the book gave me the tools to use the law of attraction consciously every day. The Secret teaches that by believing and clearly stating to the universe what you want to achieve,  the universe will bring it to you. This book continues to guide my life, and I highly recommend it. If there’s one book you read, make it The Secret.

Book 2: The Chimp Paradox

A friend who runs a beauty business recommended The Chimp Paradox to me. She explained how it helps understand our own and others’ behaviours, particularly when we act out in ways we can’t quite understand. The book presents the theory that inside our minds, we have ourselves, the person you know yourself to be – and that would be Johnny to me – but also our inner chimp, the person that is badly behaved and can’t control their emotions or their reactions. Once we understand the premise that we do have this inner chimp who gets angry over things that we perhaps could remain calm about, who gets sad about things we don’t necessarily need to be sad about, then we can change our behaviour. 

I think that it is cognitive behaviour that the book really talks about. Once you have this understanding that sometimes we can correct our behaviour, or simply pause before we react to a bad email we receive or a sharp word from somebody’s tongue, you can control how you speak to people. This has helped me win a lot of business; there were times in which I’ve had people speak to me in a curt email, but I’ve used the theory of the Chimp Paradox to ensure that I behave appropriately to the best of my ability. By recognising when my “chimp” is at play, I can pause and respond more appropriately, improving my interactions and outcomes.

Book 3: Clifton StrengthsFinder

I was given the Clifton StrengthsFinder by a former client many years ago and wow, what a book it is. Ultimately it starts with an online test, with a code that you are given inside the book. You go online to do this test and it asks you various questions around certain subjects at a pace that ensures that you answer intuitively. Once you have answered the questions over a period of time, you are then shown your five key strengths, these are all listed inside the book. 

Strangely enough, your five strengths you will recognise, even if at first you don’t understand why it’s picked them out for you. You read these five key strengths’ descriptions and you will find that they perfectly match you. The book then tells you that you should work on these key strengths and understand them, use them to the best of your ability, and understand that if this is your key strength you must use it as often as possible. To this date I still do this, some of my key strengths being context, empathy, and being futuristic. I’m really grateful to the person that handed me this book, it has been a great help since. 

In a nutshell I’ve found that these key books have truly made a huge difference for me, and I think they could for you too. If you want to follow my daily updates I’m very active on LinkedIn, and also feel free to reach out with any questions, I’ll always try my best to get back to you and help. 

Johnny Paterson
Johnny Paterson

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