Advertising
Advertising

10 Books You Need To Read Before Starting Your Business

10 Books You Need To Read Before Starting Your Business

There are essentially two main paths to success in business: either do it all on your own and make a lot of mistakes in the process, or learn from others’ mistakes and cut your learning curve considerably. If you’re like me, then you’ll prefer the latter route.

As an aspiring entrepreneur with a goal of building a profitable business, it might be worth taking the time to read a few books before you get started. You will still need to learn through your own failures, but why not get started on the right foot with a few tips from some experienced and successful entrepreneurs?

Since starting my first online business over 7 years ago, I have read over 250 business books, but these are the ones that have especially stuck with me.

1. Ask by Ryan Levesque

ryanask

    Ryan Levesque is a successful entrepreneur who left a corporate job in Shanghai, China to pursue his passion of starting an online business. Within a short period of time he was able to build over 20 successful companies online and hasn’t looked back since.

    He used to be known as the “secret weapon” for many entrepreneurs, but after a health scare, he realized it was time to share his knowledge with the world. He created his “ask” formula to promote success – which are a series of questions and surveys that help you gain deep insights about your target audience.

    Advertising

    Ryan Levesque’s book Ask made me look at internet marketing and online business in a new way. Instead of trying to “guess” what my prospective customers need or want, I now use his formula to glean new insights so that I can build solutions that my customers actually want. If you too want to succeed online and don’t want to waste time and money, then grab a copy of Ask.

    2. DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson

    dotcomsecrets

      DotCom Secrets is my favorite book from this list. I keep returning to it over and over again when I need to setup or optimize my sales funnels. And what better person to learn from than the master of sales funnels himself: Russell Brunson? Russell has been successfully building sales funnels for himself and his clients for as long as I can remember, but I never really took interest in his work until recently. He offered this book for free + shipping on his website, so I thought I’d see what he’d come up with.  I wasn’t disappointed; it’s become my goto book for sales funnels ever since.

      3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

      100dollarstartup

        Could you really start up a business on $100 budget? Chris Guillebeau says you can and makes the case by interviewing over 1500 entrepreneurs on their journey to building successful startup companies – many who started with a modest budget of less than $100. Chris Guillebeau himself is an entrepreneur that has a knack for turning ideas into income online and travels the world while living running successful businesses online. This is a great book to pick up if you need some motivation and want to learn some hard-earned lessons from entrepreneurs that have made it online without large budgets.

        4. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins

        Advertising

        artofwork

          If you’re not starting a business with the single intention of making more money, and would like to do something meaningful – something around your true calling or life’s work — then look no further than the Art of Work by Jeff Goins. Jeff has decided to take a different approach than his colleagues stating that your life’s work isn’t something you follow, but rather something that happens out of tragedy. His book answers the question: what was I born to do? By the end of it, you should gain some clarity on what your vocation may be.

          5. 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More by Perry Marshall and Richard Koch

          80-20perry

            You may have already heard of the 80/20 rule which states that 80 percent of your results come from 80 percent of your efforts. This powerful concept – called the Pareto principle – is elucidated beautifully in Perry Marshall’s book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More. Perry Marshall is known by many as the authority on Facebook and Google Adwords.

            His goal in this book is to help business owners save time and money by using the 80/20 rule in their businesses and to boost productivity. When I first read this book, it cleared up a lot of areas for me including how to best use my time, money and effort to focus on the things that mattered in my personal life and business. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to get the most out of their time and money.

            6. Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation by Nathan R. Furr and Paul Ahlstrom

            nailitthenscaleit

              I have read all of the lean startup books, but Nail It Then Scale It by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom – innovation and entrepreneurship experts – takes the cake. It essentially distills the lean startup methodologies and breaks it down step by step for aspiring entrepreneurs so that they have the best possible chance of building a profitable business. Their no-nonsense approach to building a business is a breath of fresh air, as they show you how build a business from the ground up. They say that the “reason most businesses fail is because they do the right things, but out of order”. So by learning the correct sequence to start a business, you have a much higher chance of success. If you want to start your business on the right foot, then check out this book.

              Advertising

              7. Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal

              hooked

                Hooked by Nir Eyal — a behavioral design specialist that helps companies create habits that more effectively engage their users — is a book about building habit forming products. One of the questions he answers in the book is why some people create companies that keep users coming back for more, and why others fall flat?  He gives many examples on how successful companies such as Facebook, Twitter and others have used the power of creating habit forming technologies to hook their customers. He outlines a simple 4-step process that believes is the underlying pattern of successful companies. Whenever I create products, I refer to this book because it’s an extremely intuitive, useful and effective way to create solutions that will keep people hooked.

                8. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G Lafley and Roger L. Martin

                playingtowin

                  Without a solid business strategy, you can’t win according to A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin. Together, they doubled Proctor and Gamble’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in ten years.

                  Their main goal in this book is to show you how to think strategically by asking 5 poignant questions: what’s your winning aspiration, where will you play, how will you win, what capabilities must you have in place to win, and what management systems are required to support your choices? By knowing the answer to these questions, you’ll position yourself to win in business.

                  In the book they give many examples and walk you step-by-step through each of these questions. I strongly believe that all aspiring entrepreneurs should have a strategy in place before they launch their business so that they have a solid roadmap. So whether you plan to start an online business, or build an offline empire, this is a book I’d recommend reading before launching it.

                  Advertising

                  9. Launch by Jeff Walker

                  launch

                    Jeff Walker is the father of product launches. He went from being a stay-at-home Dad to an internet marketing millionaire in a relatively short period of time using his product launch formula. His formula is relatively simple, and will work for anyone that plans to launch their product or service online. Anytime I do a product launch I refer to this book often since it shows you how to do it successfully step by step.  This book is a culmination of all of Jeff’s hard work and successes with his clients who have created over half a billion dollars in sales. If you’re looking to launch online, then definitely consider this book.

                    10. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris

                    4hhourworkweek

                      The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris was a game changer for me. When I first got started with online business, I was under the impression that I’d be stuck working 60 hours a week if I wanted to maintain my lifestyle and income. But I soon realized how wrong I was. Tim Ferris says that you can create a lifestyle in which you earn more money, and work less, if you automate your business. By setting up systems you can grow your business faster and work less hours. If you’ve been working at a 9-5, then this may seem like an esoteric concept, but it’s certainly attainable as many entrepreneurs have done this, including myself. If you’re looking to escape your desk job, then read the 4-Hour Work Week.

                      More by this author

                      10 Books You Need To Read Before Starting Your Business

                      Trending in Career Advice

                      1 Clueless On Your Career? Sabbatical vs. Career Break 2 9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 10 Job Search Tools Every Jobseekers Need To Know About 5 If You Have This Key Behavior, You’ll Be More Successful Than 90% Of People

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on March 31, 2020

                      How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                      How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                      Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

                      But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

                      The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

                      Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

                      But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

                      As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

                      Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

                      There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

                      The four most popular types of learning styles are:

                      Advertising

                      • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
                      • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
                      • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
                      • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

                      But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

                      How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

                      When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

                      I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

                      Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

                      However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

                      Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

                      While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

                      Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

                      Advertising

                      By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

                      How to Use Visual Learning for Success

                      Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

                      1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

                      We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

                      While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

                      I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

                      2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

                      Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

                      Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

                      As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

                      Advertising

                      And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

                      3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

                      Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

                      With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

                      Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

                      It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

                      Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

                      Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

                      4. Add video streaming to meetings.

                      What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

                      Advertising

                      When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

                      For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

                      Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

                      No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

                      You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

                      The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

                      More About Learning Styles

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next