Last night Debbie Sardone and I sat down to talk books in her home office in Flower Mound, TX. This is the office Debbie runs 3 businesses and 1 non-profit from and she shoots quite a few videos many of us have seen. I know I’m not the only one who wondered what books she had behind her:

We had a fantastic Facebook Live where we took 16 books off her shelf and broke down the lessons that we’ve learned and why you should read them too. Over 60 people joined us live across 3 channels and got to comment in real time 🙂

You can watch that replay below, or browse the list full list we’ve created under the video. If you’re like me and don’t enjoy reading much, remember most of these books are available on audio book to be listened to (which is how I do my “reading”)

DISCLAIMER: We make no commission for recommending the books below. In fact when you buy through our links you’ll have the option to donate a portion of Amazon’s cut to charity, including Debbie’s non-profit Cleaning For a Reason



#1 - Strategic thinking by Bill Birnbaum - Discussed at 2:45

This book essentially teaches you how to think strategically. He breaks Strategic thinking down into 4 puzzle pieces:  

  1. Rather than try to accomplish “everything,” they diligently maintain focus.
  2. They develop and maintain an intimate understanding of their markets – and of their customers within those markets.
  3. They truly care about – thus they nurture – their people.
  4. And they carefully manage their processes.

Click here to check out the book: http://a.co/7SBK1dx

#2 - The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen - Discussed at 4:25

The Slight Edge is one of Debbie and my favorite books because it helped us with both business, but also across our everyday lives. This book basically explains how little incremental steps lead to massive results in one’s life. This has both business and life examples. One business example is how if you even make 1 call per day, in 1 year you’ll have contacted 365 potential customers.

If you’re in a rut, or looking to improve with little effort, I strongly suggest that you get this book.

Check it out at: http://a.co/bR4EXrj 

#3- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy - Discussed at 7:00

If you’re looking for a more in-depth, business-oriented version of the Slight Edge (see #2) then check out this book the Compound Effect. Although this book is close to the Slight Edge it’s definitely worth reading both (which are quite short).

Check it out at: http://a.co/j9yrq7p 

#4- Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port - Discussed at 8:10

This is one of Debbie’s favorite book. If you’re looking for more clients than you can handle then this is something that you have to read.

Check it out at: http://a.co/g5gaV7h

#5- The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber - Discussed at 10:15

The E-Myth is the book that you absolutely must read according to Debbie (I have only heard amazing things about it, but haven’t read it … yet).

It’s about Entrepreneurs that get themselves stuck in the field and how to get out of it. So if you’re still cleaning and also run a maid service company, this is something that you NEED to read. Learn how to stop being a grunt and start being a business owner.  

Check it out at: http://a.co/3OBnjby

#6- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout - Discussed at 13:30

This book is recommended by Tim Ferriss, the author of the Four Hour Work Week (reviewed below). Although that these 22 laws are basic, they’re very applicable to any service or product. There have been individual books written about every law because of how powerful they are.

If you’re looking for high level marketing tactics to apply to your Maid Service, then this is the book for you.

Check it out at: http://a.co/j2RZSyd

#7- The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon - Discussed at 16:45

If you have employee retention problems or are just looking to further improve your employees lives this is the book for you.

The Energy bus talks about how to build a positive work culture with your employees. Work culture doesn’t just affect their work lives, it also permeates over to their personal life. One tactic that Debbie uses from this book is, every quarter she has a meeting with her employees that is high energy, highly motivational to help boost morale and improve culture.

Check it out at: http://a.co/e9lYJIj

#8- Eat that frog! by Brian Tracy - Discussed at 20:00

Brian Tracy’s books are very impacting despite the weird names. If you had to eat a frog for dinner would you do it first or last? Brian Tracy explains to you why you’d want to eat it at the beginning.

He transitions this odd example smoothly into the methods he shows you how to get over procrastination by doing the “frog” action at the beginning of your day so you won’t be worrying about it doing it. If you’re looking to get things done, overcome procrastination, and take action on your business, you should definitely get this book.

Both myself and Debbie live by this philosophy each morning (today for example I’m writing this article first thing because I find it draining compared to video)

Check it out at: http://a.co/aWWdeSn

#9- Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan - Discussed at 22:00

As you may know the real customers of the maid service industry are the women of the household. In fact they make 85% of the buying decisions in America.

If your demographic is women, which if you’re a maid service owner, then it is… This book is a must have. (Especially if you’re a guy) It will teach you how to strategically market to women and connect to the female culture in order to sell your service or product.
Check it out at: http://a.co/bg4LBwR

#10- The life changing Magic of cleaning up by Marie Kondo - Discussed at 24:45

This is not so much a business book, but a lifestyle and cleaning philosophy book. This book teaches you the mentality and a perspective on keeping a clean home and work space. Marie Kondo sees cleaning as an art form and she talks about her strategy on keeping things clean. This strategy of hers emphasizes gratitude for the things that you use everyday life, as if they’re actual things with homes in your drawers, cabinets, or closets.

Fun fact, Debbie rode the media wave when this book came out by getting onto her local news to show some of this book’s cleaning methods. This is an example of how you can use media waves to market yourself.

If there’s one section of our hour long talk that will get you thinking differently, it’s this one. Check it out.

Check it out at: http://a.co/0NLsprg

#11- The Big Moo by Seth Godin - Discussed at 31:00

So this book is a collaborative book with 33 authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki, Alan Webber, and 30 others. In here they talk about many aspects of business such as marketing, business, customer service, employee management and much more.

This is great for an audio book because the chapters are short yet insightful. If you want a book that can give you ideas on how to improve your business on every level, then I would give this one a read (or listen to).

Check it out: http://a.co/1ZOR39n

#12- 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss - Discussed at 33:45

This book is a REMARKABLE book that changed my perception and way of life. Despite the really cheesy name this book has impactful and actionable information for people at all stages in their business and career.

This book teaches you how to make systems and processes to get closer to what your true goals are. This helps you find out what those true goals are and breaks them down financially so you can have the numbers to reach them.

One of the nuggets in this book is the difference between being efficient versus effective. A door to door salesman maybe effective and perfected his sales pitch and such but if I can close just as much with less energy and time through a different method, who comes out on top? (It’s me)

If you want to reduce how much time you work, build a business without you working in it, or anyone that has an entrepreneurial heart, then you have to buy this.

Seriously, buy this: http://a.co/eOeD7BR

#13- Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne - Discussed at 45:30

Are you constantly undercutting competition, or doing the same thing as John at My Competitor Cleaners? Get a massive foot up on him by checking out this book and using your strategic thinking brain.

This book will help you gain a perspective to find ways to create marketing opportunities to stand out from your competitors. An example of this is Cirque Du Soleil wanted to be a circus but there were so many competitors trying to sell views by Lions, Tigers, and Bears that they made their own type of circus. Now, the Ringling Brothers are cashing in their chips.

Say bye to John’s My Competitor Cleaners by getting this book and being the Cirque of your service area.

Check it out at: http://a.co/gIpBdrV

#14- The Automatic Customer by John Warrillos - Discussed at 49:15

With the cleaning business being a perfect example of a subscription business, this book will show you how to upsell and get more recurring customers.

In this book they give the advantages of having a business based on TRUE recurring Revenue.

There are a variety of methods to building a recurring revenue business and this book has A LOT of them which you can actually provide to your current customer base too.

If you’re looking to get more out of your customers or trying to find a new way to provide a service then this book is perfect for you. In my opinions, recurring revenue is the best revenue.

Check it out at: http://a.co/5QRk9Hs

#15- Speed Cleaning for the Pro’s by Jeff Campbell & Debbie Sardone - Discussed at 56:00

So this is the training Bible to Debbie’s company. She had made this book with the author Jeff Campbell who wrote “Speed Cleaning”. This book is a step by step system on how to clean a house in under an hour.

If you’re looking to improve the cleaning times of your maids, then this is a must have book.

Check it out at: http://www.zenmaid.com/courses/book-speed-cleaning-for-the-pros/

#16- The Fish That Ate The Whale by Rich Cohen - Discussed at 59:00

Not so much a business book, but a book about a business owner.

He started out as a Russian immigrant who started a banana stand in New Orleans. From there he goes onto taking over a banana conglomerate, owning 70% of Guatemalan land, and overthrow the Honduran government.

If you’re looking for inspiration, or just a great read you should give this book a read, or in my case listen.

Check it out: http://a.co/7o9KhNw



These are just some of the books that have changed Debbie’s life and mine. Below is the abbreviated list of the books covered above.


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Strategic Thinking: http://a.co/7SBK1dx

The Slight Edge: http://a.co/bR4EXrj

The Compound Effect: http://a.co/j9yrq7p

Book Yourself Solid: http://a.co/g5gaV7h

E-Myth Revisited: http://a.co/3OBnjby

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: http://a.co/j2RZSyd

The Energy Bus: http://a.co/e9lYJIj

Eat That Frog!: http://a.co/aWWdeSn

Why She Buys: http://a.co/bg4LBwR

The Life Changing Magic of Cleaning Up: http://a.co/0NLsprg

The Big Moo http://a.co/1ZOR39n

4 Hour Workweek http://a.co/eOeD7BR

Blue Ocean Strategy: http://a.co/gIpBdrV

The Automatic Customer: http://a.co/5QRk9Hs

Speed Cleaning for the Pro’s: http://www.zenmaid.com/courses/book-speed-cleaning-for-the-pros/

The Fish That Ate the Whale: http://a.co/7o9KhNw


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