Six Entrepreneurial Reads that will Transform your Business

Monday 7th December, 2015

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It doesn’t matter whether you read a lot as an entrepreneur or not, you know, I think what matters is that when you read, you understand what you’re likely to get out.

Books fall into lots of categories, and in the entrepreneurial, start-up & small business area, many are light on detail or just repeating time-old concepts. A few create a sense of hope and inspiration in the reader, which in the main is commendable, and is normally rewarded with best-selling status. After all, most people like to be inspired and given hope. On the down side, most lack the detail required to execute entirely, or are just repackaging existing knowledge and information as a new concept, supported with slick branding and marketing.

Most entrepreneurs, business owners and executives, have read most of the obvious books:

  • The 7 Habits of Successful People
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • The 4-Hour Work Week, and so on…

Several of the titles within the extended “well-known” list fall under the category of a repackaged concept. A precious few, such as 7 Habits and Rich Dad Poor Dad, genuinely present either a new concept and approach, or translate previously less well-known and complex information, and do it in a  manner which is simple enough for the mainstream reader to understand. It goes without saying that the first 4 books in the list are the first four I recommended to those new to the world of business and entrepreneurship.

As an entrepreneur or executive, having yourself equipped with the right knowledge and mindset is important for you to just survive, let alone soar to success.  Many blog articles are good and informative, but due to their nature they do not impart the detailed knowledge that a well chosen book list will endow you with.

So beyond the obvious titles above, I have listed the following books to help you evolve your mindset, relationships and business knowledge to the next step.  All of which are essential ingredients to reaching your goals and dreams.

I highly recommend you put them at the very top of your reading list, as each of these has a message which will help take you to the deeper level of understanding critical to maximising your chances of success…

stone soupStone Soup by Bill Liao. The Secret Recipe for Making Something from Nothing – this book revolves around how a guy who visited a famine-stricken village, changed the perception and the lives of the villagers.  One day, when he can’t find a fireplace by which to tell a fable, he instead boils a stone in a big pot where everyone can see it.  One by one the curious villagers join the feast of the “Stone Soup” where they listen to stories and become enthralled within the limitless power of words.  It is said that in tough times, a stone and a story are wonderful ways to bring people together.  This book is a modern fable about business, community, entrepreneurship, and sharing.  It is a mix of traditional folktale and morsels of wisdom on work, team-building, leadership, and courage. This will definitely nourish your soul by giving you the determination to lead fearlessly.

cover-johnsonWhere Good Ideas Come from by Steven Johnson.  At the present time in history, we are experiencing a great deal of innovation.  This book answers the question, “Where do all of these come from? Where did the inventors get their ideas?”  Questions that most of us are intrinsically asking are how can we be more creative and more innovative?  This book comes from a historical perspective, and attempts to answer further questions like, “What are the eras and events that have historically led to unusual rates of creativity and innovation?”. Steven Johnson, through his research, answers all of them and reveals the recurring patterns that are crucial in changing the world around us. One such concept is the “slow hunch”.  This book explains how most important ideas take a relatively long time to evolve, and also that great ideas come from the combination of multiple “slow hunches”. He elaborate that ideas need time to incubate, and invariably they are best left to do so in hunch form.  Aside from this, Johnson exposes six key patterns that are behind genuine innovation and traces them through time and disciplines.  This book is ideally suited if you are looking for inspiration, or if you are a new, inexperienced or young entrepreneur looking for ways to come up with innovate business ideas.

enneagramThe Enneagram by Helen Palmer. A system for humanity whose time has come because it integrates both spiritual practice and psychological patterns to resolve pain.  By introducing you to the nine basic personality types inherent in human nature, the Enneagram will help you to enjoy more substantial and rewarding relationships in all the areas of your life.  The book also enables the reader to understand and have control of one’s emotions and that of others.  As business leaders, it is an essential tool that you understand how other people think and behave for you to have a better relationship with them, either in work or in your personal lives.

applied imaginationApplied Imagination by Dr. Alex F Osborn.  Used in over a thousand courses in creative problem solving, this book originated the term “brainstorming”.  Osborn was a believer in creative thinking, and his logical understanding of the precepts of organized creativity made his work influential to many other programs, schools, and universities.  This book comes in handy to any entrepreneur since the principles taught go back to your mindset and your ability to think. No machine will likely ever be capable of the generation of truly original ideas. Your knowledge is more powerful when creatively applied.

The Procrastination EquationThe Procrastination Equation by Dr. Piers Steel. Do you find yourself having lots of excuses before doing anything productive? No worries. Most of us have those times; but if this happens to you a lot, then this book is definitely a must-read.  The book is a mix of psychology, evolutionary biology, self-help, and more than a decade of research to help readers get past those excuses that delay them in doing their best in life.  Based on hundreds of research and studies, Steel offers a tried and tested system in identifying, understanding, and breaking free of those self-destructive habits, and therefore create a more positive and more productive life. As entrepreneurs, this book can serve as a guide on how you can manage and avoid procrastination,0 and start making good decisions that will help you achieve your goals.

secrets of being happyThe Secrets of Being Happy by Richard Bandler. What makes being happy worthwhile. You live longer, you heal from injury faster, your relationships are better.  We all know what we want to be happy but this book shows the extensive procedures that we need to follow in order to reach that state. It all boils down to one thing: you need to have a purpose that is achievable.  Bandler shows the difference between people who get worked up and those people who are happy.  Those who get tired and lose their energy are usually the ones who don’t have a well-planned thought process for achieving their goals, while happy people get a sense of satisfaction the closer they get to their goals.  Undoubtedly, this book will help you in realizing your true happiness by getting your goals and realising your full potential one step at a time.

I always believe that learning should never stop and that starting or running a business isn’t a one man job.  We can always learn something from the experiences, research and studies of others.  Remember that knowledge and understanding how to manage your mindset is one of the best investments you can make, and books are the best value means to learn.

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