The books that helped me survive

Back in 2008 when I started my agency at the beginning of the economic collapse, when I wasn’t working to survive, I was reading.

I thought I would share a few books that I’d recommend that helped me get through that period.


I can say this – most people clammed up. This is NOT the best strategy for you, your company or the economy.


We survived and I watched other companies survive because they took massive action. They sold and marketing and worked to innovate on social media platforms. Those companies came out ahead.


I also saw companies and people who didn’t make it through.


The polarizing difference between the two was that the ones who did make it essentially put the blinders on and sold, marketed, captured market share and innovated with social media through the storm.


The ones who didn’t, were caught up and distracted in the noise of it all and ultimately that lead to them shrinking, having to fire their employees and ultimately closing their doors.

As a startup in the middle of this – I essentially ignored all the noise and put my head down and focused on one thing every single day, sell and deliver what we sell and do that over and over again while we built momentum and grew the foundation of our agency.


It was a rocky and rough ride. But looking back, I can’t really think of any other way it could have been.


Now that we’ve built the agency, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing people buy homes, have children, buy cars, make investments and so forth all because we pushed through and built a company that other people could depend on and flourish themselves.


Companies can be a real force for good and they’re worth protecting and growing. The economy needs that right now.


Going back to the books, there are a few that I read during that time that had an impact on me and I thought I’d share:


Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson  -- this is a great simple read about common sense and practical business models and tactics that are highly applicable and that helped build 37Signals (now BaseCamp). Great read.




Sell or Be Sold (originally Sell to Survive) by Grant Cardone – I’ve read many many sales books. If I’m completely honest, most are bad. I don’t honestly think the authors are great salespeople rather I believe they are writers trying to convince the reader that they are. With Grant, he knows sales and work ethic. He has the stats to prove it. This book is highly applicable and in a tough economic patch, may be your life raft.



Good to Great by Jim Collins – Jim has done more research on businesses than anyone I’ve read. No question. This book dissects how good companies have becoming longstanding greats and what it takes to accomplish that. He breaks it down to compare similar company A to similar company B. A very interesting read.



The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – this book is amazing. It will help you push through any procrastination or resistance you’re hitting up against. Listen to it or read it. This will help you immensely.



What Works by Robert Cornish – this is my own book. I wrote this just as we really started to break out and gain traction. This is a compilation of the notes I took while bu8lding my agency. I recently listened to the audiobook version and it reminded me of a few very important lessons. NOTE: If you’d like to read this, comment or message me your address and I will send you a copy no charge.



I genuinely hope this list helps you as it helped me.

I wish you, your family and your company the very best.


I believe wholeheartedly that the economy needs all of us to do well and be as productive as we can be through this challenging period.


People don’t grow in comfort; they grow in unfamiliar and uncomfortable circumstances.


Lastly – if you are struggling or need help or advice to navigate your business through this period, I am open for a call or email to help in any way I can. Please feel welcome to reach out to me.


— Robert

About Robert Cornish: Robert Cornish founded Richter in early 2008 to build an agency focused on communication strategies that support sales growth for business to business technology-related companies. Bootstrapped with zero capital in the middle of the financial meltdown, Richter went on to make the Inc 5000 list comprised of the fastest-growing companies in America five times. Richter made the Silicon Valley Fast 50 four times and the Entrepreneur360 award two times. Robert has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Selling Power Magazine, Inc Magazine and IDEA magazine. He's been a guest speaker for ACG Los Angeles, IASA Summit, West Point and been interviewed for 33Voices, EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast and IDEA Magazine by Northwood University. In 2012 Wiley & Sons published his book, What Works, about the lessons he's learned while growing his agency from start-up navigating his way to a multi-million dollar agency. Robert currently owns four companies.

Get What Works on Audible here >>> https://adbl.co/2BvqS4I

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