Interview with Kris Reid, the Coolest Guy in SEO: Books & Reading Habits

Some people start their businesses because of passion. Some start businesses because it seems like the next path. And others, they seem to fall into business ownership and develop a passion for the material as they go.  That’s what happened to Kris Reid, the coolest guy in SEO (search engine optimization) and the founder of Ardor SEO, a company that helps businesses improve their search engine rankings through backlinks, keyword-optimized content, and more. But Kris didn’t get to be a leader in the SEO industry by luck.  In fact, business books and resources played a large part in Kris’s success story. I sat down to talk with him about what books have helped him along his journey to international business success. Keep reading to discover the best business books to start your own successful business today!

About Kris Reid of Ardor SEO

Kris is an Australian entrepreneur, with a degree in software engineering. After obtaining his degree, he moved to Europe for a few years, where he worked with multiple companies in the financial sector. When the global financial crisis hit, he was working for a large financial firm in London and his lost job. Although it was a tough time for everyone, he dubs this the beginning of his journey to success. Kris headed back to Australia, where he created an online game called Mob Warrior. As the completion and launch day approached, he realized he didn`t know anything about getting people to discover the game’s website and sign up to play. That’s when he started studying SEO techniques and how Google Works, learning everything about metadata, title tags, keywords, how to build authority, and high-quality backlinks, among many other strategies.  Later on, Kris started offering SEO services and built Ardor Media Factory as a search marketing agency that builds custom links for companies, gains local citations, and publishes brilliant reviews. Nowadays, they have offices in Australia, Cambodia, and the Philippines and offer professional services in SEO and website success. Now that you have a bit of backstory about Kris, let’s dive into the interview portion!

What’s Your Favorite Non-Business Book?

I’m a hopeless romantic, Gone With the Wind is an epic love story based around a tale of an empowered woman struggling to succeed in a time of extreme adversity. There is a reason that it’s a classic!

What’s Your Favorite Business Book?

Regarding business books, I also recommend the classics. Anything that can stand the test of time is proven to be great knowledge that is effective. How To Win Friends And Influence People, constantly on the Amazon best-seller list. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This revolutionised my workday! To learn more about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, check out the FAQ section below.

Was there a moment, specifically, when something that you read in a book helped you?

You can read all the knowledge you want but if you don’t take action, it won’t do a thing.  From the above book, 7 Habits, I try to categorize my tasks and stay focused on the Important but Not Urgent, as those are the tasks that provide the most growth.

What books had the biggest impact on you?

The first business book that I ever read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad. My father gave it to me when I was about 14 or 15. Just the other week an old friend of mine reminded me of when I read it. She said I wouldn’t shut up about it for months. It influenced me greatly at a time of growth and helped put me on the entrepreneurial journey. Enjoying this interview? If you want more interesting guides related to books & business, subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Find out more here.

What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why?

The most important thing that a young person can do, is try as many things as they can to see what they really enjoy. To be successful to me doesn’t mean how much money you have, but how much time you can dedicate to doing what you love. Experiment, find what you love and do that! Read about that and become a master of that! For those interested in learning about digital marketing and SEO, we’ve recommended a reading list below! It’s all about innovation for small businesses to maximize customer satisfaction. You won’t want to miss these lessons and pieces of advance.

How often do you read? In what format?

I like books. Hardcover big books! I spend all my working days pounding on my laptop or reading giant long email chains. When I finish work the last thing I want to do is be reading on an electronic device. I want to experience a park bench, a shady tree and a big hardcover book! I try to find 1 hour a day to learn. Whether that means watching a TED talk, going for a walk and listening to an audiobook or sitting in the park. It depends on what I have energy or time for.

How do you make time for reading?

Use the 7 habits of highly effective people! Block out time on the calendar. Write in your journal when you’re going to read. Plan for it and make the time, otherwise the little “busy” tasks will eat up your day and you’ll get nothing important done.

Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

Yes! When I read a business book I use a highlighter. I highlight every line that I find interesting. Then when I finish the book I compile the highlighted notes into one document and then I write a summary of the notes. This really helps all that super valuable knowledge stick in your mind.

How do you choose what books to read next?

I try to get recommendations from friends and business leaders that I know and respect. People that relate to me and know my goals. They can help me find the best books for me. My reading list tends to grow faster than I can read, but it keeps me motivated to keep reading. It also helps to think about what products are going to be launched next, and find books that match the strategies that you want to take with those.

Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

I usually have 3 books on the go at any one time. I really read what I’m in the mood for that day. Sales, management, productivity, whatever the topics, you do need to enjoy the process.

What book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

I just started Simon Sinek – Find Your Why. I feel that I pretty much know my Why, but I do hope that I can better conceptualise it so that I can help my team better understand the Why of Ardor. Kris can show you the proven system that has ensured Ardor’s clients to grow their businesses, and is offering a special offer to listeners of The CEO Library podcast! Click the button below to find out how to grow your business. Where to Find Kris Reid Check out these links to follow Kris or to learn more about Ardor SEO and their projects: Ardor SEO Kris Reid @ LinkedIn Kris Reid @ Twitter Ardor Media Factory Books mentioned by Kris Reid in this article:

Quick Guide to Business Books with Kris Reid

For a more in-depth overview of the books mentioned in this article, keep reading! If you’re ready to add them to your shopping cart, click the links below. 

What books should I read to start a business? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Find Your Why

Kris recommends two must-read books on starting a business that all men and women entrepreneurs should read, and especially those who are creating their own startup: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Find Your Why. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The first book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by Stephen Covey, one of many great business strategy books. This book is one of the most well known in the business world and for good reason! The habits detailed in the book are as follows:
  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw
We’ll give you a taste of what this book is all about but to truly make the most of the teachers, it’s worth investing in the full book and pulling out your highlighter!

Be Proactive

The first habit is to remember that you control your own responses to situations. Rather than feeling like the victim of a situation, be conscious of how you respond. This ability to audit ourselves and step back from a situation to think critically is what separates humans from the rest of the animals after all.

Begin With the End in Mind

The second habit is begin with the end in mind. This means that you should always know what goal you’re trying to reach, and how the activity that you’re doing can help you reach this. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, doing lots of little tasks that we think will help us achieve a higher status or more income. However, when you know exactly what goal you’re striving for you’ll be able to actually determine if the way that you’re spending your time is helping you to reach it.

Put First Things First

The third habit is debatable the most important and provides something that everyone could learn from. This business book suggests dividing up your tasks into for categories:
  • Important and urgent (Q1)
  • Important but not urgent (Q2)
  • Not important but urgent (Q3)
  • Not important and not urgent (Q4)
We spend so much time focusing our energies on quadrants one and three that we neglect quadrant two which is the most important. In quadrant two lies the work that will help you to achieve your long term goals, but because the work doesn’t have a hard deadline, we don’t see it as important. Try and spend at least an hour each day working on tasks from this quadrant to help you achieve your goals.

Think Win-Win

In all relationships, particularly business ones, you should strive to create win-win scenarios. This means that you should try and find a solution that pleases both parties. With win-lose situations, although one person is happy with the results, the relationship faces stress and may fade or break eventually due to the lack of a good outcome for one party. To have a win-win situation you need both high consideration and high courage. Additionally, you need to switch your mindset to an abundance mentality. Most people operate with a scarcity mentality, which makes creating a win-win situation incredibly difficult. Change your mindset to the view that there’s plenty to go around, and you’ll be more successful in creating these situations. People love it when credit is given where credit is due and this mentality helps facilitate these win-win situations.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

As a business owner or leader, you’re often faced with the task of fixing problems. Often, it’s easy to give a solution that you think is effective, but that might not work for the other person. Practice empathetic listening and really understand the problem before providing a solution. Additionally, make sure that you’re listening with every part of your body and mind. That means using nonverbal communication like eye contact and body positioning to indicate to the other person that you’re listening to them completely. 

Synergize

You’ll find the most success in the business world when you pool your desires with someone else’s. Then, instead of competing to have your desires meant, you’ll both be on the same side and will be able to pool resources and work together to make these desires a reality.  Embrace differences and different perspectives to find the most successful solution.

Sharpen the Saw

You cannot find success without first taking care of yourself. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey emphasizes four dimensions that need to be balanced and nurtured: the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional/social. You should frequently take time to care for these dimensions and grow them how you see fit. 

Find Your Why

The second of many amazing business books that Kris recommends reading when starting your own business is Find Your Why.  Money is motivating, but what’s even more driving is passion. Find Your Why is a book that helps business owners understand why they’re doing what they’re doing in order to create an environment where everyone involved in the business is working towards a goal.  In the book, you’ll find detailed step by step instructions to help you develop and share your why for maximum business success. Additionally, Simon Sinek answers questions such as: What if my why sounds like my competitor`s? Can you have more than one why? And, if my work doesn`t match my why, what do I do? For anyone hoping to grow their organization or business by adding a bit of passion to the pot, Find Your Why is a must read book!

What are the best books on how to start a business in digital marketing and SEO?

Which are the best books to read when starting a business - How to Win Friends and Influence People?

When starting a business, another fantastic book to read is How to Win Friends and Influence People. Although written in 1936, this book has withstood the test of time and has sold over 30 million copies, and for good reason! Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can skip your reading list. These books can make or break your business success! The book details ways to begin to understand and “handle” other people before providing insights into making people like you and to win people over to your way of thinking.  Some key points include:
  • Remember people’s names
  • Make people feel important
  • Avoid arguments because someone will always feel humiliated and the relationship won’t be as strong
  • Let the other person feel that the ideas are theirs
  • Start by asking questions that the other person will answer yes to 
  • Provide a challenge if you want someone to do something
Although the tips are simple and straightforward, they truly are life-changing and can help you succeed in business and in life.

What are the best business books? - Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Finally, Kris shares one of the best books for starting a business that he read when he was younger and couldn’t stop raving about. It gave him some of the best business advice that he’s ever had. The book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad which reigns as one of the top-ranking personal finance books of all time.  In Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert T. Kiyosaki recalls the stories of growing up with two fathers, his own poor father, and the father of his best friend who was rich. Throughout the book, Kiyosaki details how both men thought about and used money for success, how assets and liability work, and whether real estate is really worth the investment or not. The ultimate goal of the book is to understand not how to work for money, but how to make money work for you. All in all, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is something that business owners and anyone who wants to work less but earn more need to read.