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15 Must Read Ebooks No Entrepreneur Should Miss Reading

15 Must Read Ebooks No Entrepreneur Should Miss Reading

Every successful entrepreneur knows that knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have, the greater the advantage you’ll enjoy over your competitors. Today’s business climate is rapidly changing every day due to emerging technologies. You need to stay on top of the game to succeed. Don’t let yourself get eaten by the sharks. The 15 eBooks below will inspire and educate you on how to become a shark in the competitive ocean and reach your business goals.

Below is a list of 15 eBooks no entrepreneur should miss reading.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss – $15.20 Kindle edition

This classic helps you find motivation if you’re unsure if you can take the leap and start your own business. It teaches you how to build a business from scratch using minimal resources and make it look like a fortune 500 company even though it’s only you behind the wheel. If you want to be more productive and find ways to automate as many tasks as possible, while focusing on the core business, this is a must read. It’s filled with tons of real world advice and templates on how to move your business forward in all areas.

Influence by Robert D.Cialdini – $10.99 Kindle edition

Persuasion is a key skill to master in business. It’s valuable in sales, negotiations, and partnerships. This book cover everything you need to know to understand and master persuasion, it explains the hidden tricks so you can stay alert and be aware of the situation while communicating with internal and external stakeholders. Understanding human psychology is vital in every business, and this book will not only teach you how to use it, but also make you realize the importance of it.

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Contagious by Jonah Berger – $13.99 Kindle edition

If you’re on tight marketing budget or not, going viral with your product or service is beneficial. It’s cost efficient and word of mouth is a strong marketing tactic. Jonah Berger explains the mechanism of why things catch on, what goes viral and how. The book teaches you to spot the key ingredients that make people share and care. Triggering the right emotions at the right time with the right message is a skill every successful entrepreneur should master.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters – $18.10 Kindle edition

Paypal co-founder and early investor in Facebook, Peter Thiel knows how to build businesses. Yes, those are massive success stories, but you should always aim for the skies. This book will make you feel like a hero, and help you understand the underlying aspects of creating a business from nothing. Entrepreneurs are often told to listen to what customers want and not create anything more than a test product to later adapt it for success. Thiel talks about the importance to instead tell customers what they want, just like Apple did. We didn’t know that we wanted an iPhone since it didn’t exist. Steve Jobs told us that we wanted one. Influence by Robert D.Cialdini listed above is also extremely relevant in that aspect. Zero to One helps you learn to think for yourself,  and to apply the ultimate strategy suited for your business.

The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki – $19.97 Kindle Edition

As technology develops, new methods of creating businesses arise. Social Media, crowdfunding, and digital marketing are all cost effective methods to create a business today compared to 20 years ago. This book will help you deploy all these new tools in an efficient way, as well as help you manage fundamental challenges that have not changed as much, such as building a strong team. The Art of The Start will help you make your crazy ideas to stick in the constantly changing marketplace.

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The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – $6.24 Kindle Edition

A great framework can help any entrepreneur systematically create innovation and maximize the chances to succeed. You can use it as a checklist on how to develop your business into a successful machine. This is a step by step guide covering the start, learning, experimenting, testing, measuring, pivoting, adapting and growing– all aspects from start to finish. A must read for the ones who like to work systematically and have full control.

The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz – $16.99 Kindle Edition

Starting a business is great, but also challenging. You need to be aware that everything won’t go as planned all the time; to be prepared will help you stand up and rise in case you are on your way to fall. This book analyzes problems that entrepreneurs face each day. It talks about hard things from poaching competitors to firing employees and will help you predict the less pleasant situations and minimize the surprises when they happen.

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck – $11.99 Kindle Edition

This is a valuable read on how the Internet has given consumers their voice and a power to make it heard. You now have to compete on a different level. Marketing dollars are not as effective anymore, and it’s hard to buy your way into success and customer awareness.
This book helps you scale personal one to one attention to your clients using social media platforms that carry word of mouth. It will show you how and why to care and interact with your customers, to harness the word-of-mouth power of social media platforms. Contagious by Jonah Berger works well with this book.

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The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing by Quicksprout – Free eBook

You can’t afford to be missing out on content marketing. It’s a cost-efficient way to create buzz around your business and to drive traffic. Content marketing is also not as intrusive as traditional advertising and delivers value to the reader. The guide offers a number of ways to help you increase traffic, leads, and conversions.

The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing by Oli Gardner and Carlos del Rio – Free eBook

Testing and measuring in order to know what works and what doesn’t is crucial. As you know more knowledge equals more power; the more data you have the better decisions you can take to create a positive impact on your business. You don’t want to drive without headlights in the dark right? This book will help you understand what to measure, why and how. It will help you create workflows and transform data into valuable information that can help your business decisions.

The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing by Neil Patel and Ritika Puri – Free eBook

This guide touches on all important aspects of online marketing strategies and makes sure you don’t miss out on any crucial steps when starting out with your online marketing efforts. It will help you be aware of your entire funnel, from the laser focus on customers to actual sales and everything needed in between in order to succeed online.

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Unleashing The Ideavirus by Seth Godin – Free eBook

Is the customer always right? According to this book, the customer should spread the marketing message of your company, not you. The book helps you understand the value of the customer-to-customer dialogue, contrary to the traditional business-to-customer model. Godin calls the powerful customer-to-customer marketing method the Ideavirus. The book shows you how to create your own virus and how any business can use it to succeed in the world that is moving away from traditional marketing.

Measure What Matters by Kissmetrics – Free eBook

Another book about measuring what matters and staying informed to make the right decisions. You can’t afford to lack competence in this field. This book will show you how the lack of the proper analytics tools holds your business back, and will help you see the advantages of having correct data. Being aware of where the analytics industry is heading is highly important in order not to be surprised in the future.

How To Build Your First E-mail List In Only 3 Days by Mike Mercadante – Free eBook

This is a great book that helps you build an e-mail list from scratch. E-mail marketing might not sound so sexy, but it’s actually a powerful tool for today’s entrepreneurs. Effective e-mail marketing campaigns deliver a high return on investment and you have full control and ownership. This book offers a step by step formula to build your list and make it grow in only 3 days. What are you waiting for? Start building!

The Bootstrappers Bible by Seth Godin – Free Manifesto

Starting a business is hard, starting one with limited resources is even harder. Effective bootstrapping not only makes it possible to make progress with limited resources, it forces you to make smart decisions and avoid waste and mistakes. This manifesto by the marketing guru Seth Godin will show you how to start a business with no money and help you see the light even in dark times.

What other books would you like to add to this list? Please share your knowledge to help entrepreneurs find content to learn from.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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