So, you have a business or you're looking to start one. This can be an exciting, confusing, stressful time. No matter what stage your business is in, you can improve and grow from where you're at.
Sometimes it is specific business principles that you need help with and other times it is important for you, the owner of the business, to work on your own personal approach to be able to improve things for your business as a whole.
Here are some great books that we recommend for improving your business:
Brief Description: Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
Why We Recommend It: While this book definitely has some flaws, the overall approach Ferriss shares can help anyone in business to spend less time on the mundane, the clutter, and the busywork. This allows you to then do 2 things: 1) Focus on the things you REALLY need to do for your business, and only those things while outsourcing the other things to people who can do it cheaper and 2) You can take mini-retirements each year where you can go on an extended vacation, while you are still earning your income.
Brief Description: Robert's story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
Why We Recommend It: Money management is extremely important in both business and your personal life. While we would all love to hit that next million-dollar idea, the reality is that most of us won't. Kiyosaki contrasts how his own dad managed money, and how his friend's dad managed money, making the case that you don't need to make more and more money to be rich, but he provides solid financial management principles for anyone to be able to start growing their own wealth.
Brief Description: Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you: six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, nine ways to change people without arousing resentment, and much more!
Why We Recommend It: Most businesses require you to interact with people: employees, coworkers, clients, potential clients, etc. Therefore, it is important to work on your own social skills to be able to better influence those around you. Whether you need to address an issue with an employee or whether you are trying to convince a lead to become a client, knowing these main principles shared in the book can help you to move that conversation toward the end goal much easier.
Brief Description: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has guided generations of readers for the last 25 years. Presidents and CEOs have kept it by their bedsides, students have underlined and studied passages from it, educators and parents have drawn from it, and individuals of all ages and occupations have used its step-by-step pathway to adapt to change and to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
Why We Recommend It: Why are successful people so successful? Stephen Covey has identified what successful leaders across many industries and roles do and he has boiled these things down into several principles or habit. These are NOT just quick fixes or just positive thinking, but instead create a mind-set and a way of operating that will help you to also be successful.
Brief Description: Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise.
Why We Recommend It: We've all probably heard the mantra "Work ON your business, not IN your business." That is the core of this book. We get too bogged down working in our business, that we never spend time working on our business, specifically working on those things that will ultimately help us grow: planning for growth, improving, understanding the competition, and working on your own Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Brief Description: The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
Why We Recommend It: By focusing on creating a viable product and then expanding it after, you can gain core insights with much less work done and much less money spent. The Lean Startup explains this approach by not only sharing the principles but also sharing anecdotes about how this actually looks with real companies and real examples.
Brief Description: Whether you're a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you had more influence with the people in your life. "Influencer" a thought-provoking book that combines the remarkable insights of behavioral scientists and business leaders with the astonishing stories of high-powered influencers from all walks of life.
Why We Recommend It: This book is full of great examples about to influence people in your life and business. Not only do they focus on the successes, but they also focus on some mistakes as well to better identify how those mistakes could have been turned around and improved by the tips laid out in this book.
Brief Description: No gimmicks. No Hyperbole. No Magic Bullet. The Compound Effect is a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. This easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire.
Why We Recommend It: How many personal development books have you read? How many times do you finish reading and feel like you are able to become better? If you're like most, that doesn't happen often. The Compound Effect shares why this is the case, and then shows you how to work on smaller, incremental improvements in what you do, that will begin to, you guessed it, compound over time.
Brief Description: Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
Why We Recommend It: The problem with many business books, is they are showing you what works for them. While you can usually apply some principles, those businesses are in a different stage than your business, so the great insights aren’t always practical. If you have a brand-new business, then this is the book for you. It shows you how to go from nothing to something, instead of trying to run your business like an existing business.
Many of these awesome books are available as audiobooks too!
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