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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 October 23, 2018

How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

Workplace stress is a modern epidemic. More than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress. This is estimated to cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year in lost work hours and medical bills.[1]

Clearly, if you’re suffering from work stress – you’re far from alone. But, work stress isn’t inevitable.

In this article, I’m going to help you identify the root cause of your stress and suggest the most suitable ways to cope with job stress so you can become a happy and productive worker again.

Where Work Stress Comes From

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. The causes of stress include:

  • Too much work – you feel overwhelmed by your work and find yourself saying: “There are not enough hours in the day!”
  • The job is too easy, not challenging or inspiring – this is where boredom (which is stressful) sets in.
  • Pressure from co-workers or lack of social support – colleagues are not helpful or only care about their own tasks.
  • Little praise and lots of criticism – this is where a lousy manager uses constant criticism to ‘try’ to motivate you.
  • Very demanding or competitive working culture – sales departments often fit this category.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions – this is when people try to micro-manage you.
  • High expectations on yourself or seeking perfection – while it’s good to do your best, being a perfectionist can be a powerful stress generator.
  • Low salary – if you work hard but receive slim financial rewards, you may start to feel downhearted, frustrated and stressed.

The Negative Effects of Stress on Your Mind and Body

Chronic stress is bad news for your mental health and physical health. These are some health symptoms of stress:[2]

    If stress hormones are triggered in your body for extended periods, they can lead to increased physical aging. This is because stress makes your cells look and act older – and this is reflected in your physical appearance.[3]

    In addition to the negative effects on your body, stress also has a significant influence on your brain – negatively impacting your daily performance.

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    I recommend you watch the 4-minute video below to see just how stress can wreak havoc on your brain and your performance:

    How to Cope with Work Stress (A Step-By-Step Guide)

    You don’t need to be a victim of work stress. Here’s how to manage stress in the workplace:

    1. Set aside some time for planning

    If work has become too much for you, and you’re constantly falling behind… stop! Instead of trying and failing to catch up, you’d be much better off spending some time thinking about your goals and how your prioritize your tasks.

    Learn how to set clear goals with this step-by-step guide.

    For instance, if your initial goal is just to get on top of your work (probably for the first time in months), then take 10 minutes to think clearly and deeply about how you can achieve this. Most likely, you’ll be able to come up with tasks that you need to complete to reach your goal. And once your goal and tasks are clear in your mind, you’ll be ready for the second step.

    2. Align your tasks with your goal

    Just knowing your goal and associated tasks is not enough. Many people reach this stage but still fall behind with their work and fail to achieve their goals.

    The secret is to understand which of your tasks should be high priority and which ones can be done when you have spare time.

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    For example, checking your inbox every 20 minutes may seem to be a productive task for you, but in reality it acts as a constant distraction and productivity killer. Instead, you’d be better off setting aside 30 minutes in the morning to check your emails and 30 minutes in the afternoon to do the same.

    By doing this, you’ll free up the bulk of your day for tasks that can help you reach your goal. These tasks are likely to be things like: writing a business proposal, creating a PowerPoint presentation, and finishing an important project.

    These tips on how to prioritize will help you align your tasks with your goals and work 10X more efficiently.

    3. Remove, change or accept the stressors

    How to tackle specific work stressors? I recommend the following method that WellCast introduced:[4]

    Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. At the top, write remove in the first column, change in the second and accept in the third.

      Next, think of the stressors that are getting to you the most. Perhaps it’s your paycheck; it might be way smaller than you’d like or feel that you deserve. Don’t worry, this is your chance to break free from the stress surrounding your low pay.

      Think for a few moments, which would you prefer:

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      • To remove yourself from the company
      • To try to change your salary by asking for a pay rise
      • To accept that your salary is okay for you

      You may be surprised at what thoughts come into your mind. Don’t reject them, but allow yourself time to be clear on how you’d like to proceed.

      If the status quo feels good to you, then write “paycheck” in the accept column. If you decide you want to increase your salary but stay in the same company, write “paycheck” in the change column. And finally, if you decide the time is right to seek a new opportunity at a different organization, then write “paycheck” in the remove column.

      By being decisive in this way, you’ll immediately feel freer and in control of your destiny. And your stress levels will begin to trend downwards. All that remains is to set yourself a clear goal of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do this.(Luckily, steps #1 and #2 above will help you out!)

      Of course, if you have multiple work stressors, then use your remove, change or accept sheet to work through all of them. It will be time VERY well spent.

      4. Create positive relationships at work

      One key to improving your ability to manage stress is being able to accept help from others. Not only does it alleviate negative circumstances by simply distracting you and creating a buffer between daily tasks and their negative connection, it will provide a sense of support and relief.

      Make an effort to create friendships with your colleagues. Go to the after-work happy hour or just ask a colleague out for coffee at lunchtime. Not only will you have someone to confide in, but you will start to associate positive feelings to work.

      Forming a healthy relationship with your manager or supervisor is also a good way to alleviate stress. Positive, two-way conversations about where you stand in your job, being honest about how you feel, and working together to make a plan of action in terms of improved work conditions and expectations are paramount. This will lead to opening up and receiving the necessary resources you need to support or help you.

      5. Take time out for yourself

      Anyone can get overwhelmed when stress occurs at work, and this can spill into other areas of your life. This is why it’s important to clock out mentally from your job from time to time.

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      Take time off to relax and unwind in order to regain your energy and come back to work invigorated. Make sure you actually do something you enjoy like spending time with your kids or partner, or visit that country you’ve always wanted to explore.

      If taking time off work isn’t possible in the midst of your stress, take scheduled breaks throughout your day. Sit quietly somewhere or do some stretches to get your blood flowing like in the example below:

      6. Take mindful action towards your health

      The irony of stress is that your healthy habits can take a backseat. Maintaining and even improving your health will keep your stress under control. Here are some ways to keep you physically fit:

      • Eat healthy foods. Make sure your diet is full of foods that provide your body with sufficient nutrients. Eat more fruits and green vegetables, whole foods, omega-3 rich fish, and seeds such as flax, chia and hemp. These types of food ensure your body is working optimally to cope with its stress mechanisms.
      • Avoid unhealthy foods. This is obvious, but it’s these kinds of food you reach for in times of stress and negativity. High fat foods such as cheese and red meat cause sluggishness and tiredness. Foods high in refined sugars like biscuits, chocolate bars, and bread can be convenient snacks, but they cause you to crash and burn. Same with caffeinated drinks such as coffee and sodas – these are just ‘band aid’ habits that interfere with your ability to sleep.
      • Exercise regularly. Endorphins are the best for counteracting stress, and what better way to release them than doing physical exercise. Exercise creates a distraction and helps you get your thoughts back together in an orderly way. Start a new exercise regime – whether it’s running, swimming, cycling or walking to work. Getting your blood and endorphins flowing will make you feel happier.
      • Get enough sleep. Make getting 8 hours sleep a priority. When we’re stressed it can sometimes feel hard to get to sleep but sleep deprivation only exaggerates our current stress. A well-rested mind is able to find solutions to problems more easily and reacts better to daily stressors.

      Final Thoughts

      Everyone encounters stress at work. It’s a natural and normal human reaction. The difference between letting the stress overcome you and coping with it is getting a head start by creating a positive environment and lifestyle.

      Counteracting stress is both an inside and outside job. Focusing on improving your health will create a positive mind able to react better. Forming positive relationships with certain people around you will give you emotional support.

      Beat stress with the right mindset!

      Featured photo credit: whoislimos via unsplash.com

      Reference

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