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30 Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Make an Impact

30 Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Make an Impact
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Entrepreneurship is a constant learning process that’s going to be full of both peaks and valleys. Gaining knowledge from the people who have come before you and learning from both their successes and failures is something that every entrepreneur should strive for.

One of the best ways to soak up all that knowledge is by reading, and there’s no shortage of fantastic books out there to learn from. If you’re looking for some fuel to feed your entrepreneurial spirit, here are 25 of the best business books you can pick up.

1. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

    First off, the founder of TOMS shoes isn’t a guy named Tom, but Blake Mycoskie. In his book, Mycoskie details not just how he created a successful company, but one that made a real difference for millions of lives across the world. It’s an inspiring read that’s sure to push entrepreneurs to build something that matters.

    Get the book here! 

    2. Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn

      Taking a business idea and bringing it to market is a risky endeavor no matter what the business may be. Here, Flynn doesn’t merely caution readers against moving forward with half-baked ideas but shows them how to separate the good ideas from the bad and offers a roadmap for actually launching a business that has solid wings to fly with.

      Get the book here!

      3. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

        A true rags-to-riches story that embraces the hustle of the entrepreneurial spirit, Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s business memoir is guaranteed to inspire female entrepreneurs for years to come. Amoruso details how her small eBay business grew into a clothing retailer powerhouse that she never could have imagined. From trusting your instincts to knowing when to break the rules, Amoruso provides both witty and useful business insights.

        Get the book here!

        4. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

          A little motivation can go a long way in helping a business idea get off the ground — even if there’s not a lot of money in the bank. Author Chris Guillebeau lays out a convincing argument that it’s not money that determines a business’s chances of success, but something intangible. Guillebeau presents 50 success stories of entrepreneurs who made an impact, even without huge piles of cash.

          Get the book here! 

          5. Good to Great by Jim Collins

            Jim Collins takes a look at 28 companies over the last 20 years and what practices they’ve put into place that helped them rise to the top. The book sheds valuable light on management strategy and how to create a business culture that rises above mediocrity and, instead, yields the sort of results that other businesses want to mimic for themselves.

            In short, if you want your business to go from just being good to being something truly great, this read is a great tool to help.

            Get the book here! 

            6. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

              One of the most popular novels with business leaders and CEOs, this one is sure to add fuel to the fire for any entrepreneur. First published in 1943, it continues to inspire entrepreneurs who want to forge their own path. Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban said that it should be “required reading” for every entrepreneur.[1]

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              Get the book here! 

              7. Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

                In order for entrepreneurs to find long-standing success, charging full speed ahead with the power of a rhinoceros is essential. Written in 1980, but still incredibly relevant and inspiring today, this book looks at how to go about throwing oneself completely into a goal and the reality of what it ultimately takes to build and create a successful business and career.

                Get the book here! 

                8. Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and

                Raj Sisodia

                  John Macky founded Whole Foods and helped redefine what a grocery store could be. Here, with co-author Raj Sisodia, Mackey looks at how to build a business that aims for a higher purpose than just making a profit. Creating a business where capitalism and values are on the same team isn’t always easy, but as Mackey and Sisodia show, it’s certainly a doable goal worth striving for.

                  Get the book here! 

                  9. The Glitter Plan by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor

                    Today, Juicy Couture is a million-dollar fashion brand, but it was all started with just $200. Part business memoir and part how-to guide, company founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor deliver a highly-entertaining and informative read that reveals the story behind their success and lessons learned along the way.

                    Get the book here! 

                    10. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

                      Nobody gets through life without running into obstacles and hardships. While some might falter, others persevere to even greater heights. So what separates these two groups of people? Author Ryan Holiday writes in great detail why the principals of a Roman emperor were so powerful when employed by everyone from John D. Rockefeller and Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant and Steve Jobs when they were faced with adversity.

                      Get the book here! 

                      11. That Will Never Work by Marc Randolph

                        The Wall Street Journal called this book, which details how the idea of Netflix came to change entertainment as we know it, “an engaging read that will engross any would-be entrepreneur.”[2]

                        The Netflix co-founder’s read functions as both a highly-entertaining history of Netflix’s creation and a source of advice on how to start what ultimately became a billion-dollar company. From how to move past disappointment to defining success, it’s one of the best business books of the last several years.

                        Get the book here! 

                        12. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

                          While there’s plenty of business knowledge to be pulled from Gladwell’s book, it’s by no means your standard business how-to book. Gladwell takes a highly fascinating look at everything from the rock stardom of The Beatles to tech giant Bill Gates and how not just the 10,000-hour rule plays a part in success, but how one makes the most of all those hours. No matter what your profession, there are nuggets of insight that all entrepreneurs will find useful within the book’s pages.

                          Get the book here! 

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                          13. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

                            You’d be hard-pressed not to find this book on a “best of” list for entrepreneurs. It’s a book that every entrepreneur should at least read, if not own. Author Stephen R. Covey lays out a clear pathway for developing the habits that lead to not just success in work, but in creating a life of integrity that makes a lasting impact.

                            Get the book here! 

                            14. Self Made by Nely Galán

                            See the source image

                               

                              In regards to the entertainment industry, Nely Galán has certainly reached the top as the former president of Telemundo. In her memoir, Galán recounts the challenges she faced as a hispanic woman in the television business and how her pull-no-punches attitude helped her create and climb her own career ladder. Galán doesn’t just write about what she’s accomplished, but offers motivation and advice for every person who wants to create their own self-made path of success.

                              Get the book here! 

                              15. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

                                Money guru Davey Rasey has built his radio show into a financial advice empire and has put the principles he’s used for doing so into this book. Ramsey lays out not just tips for finding and leading the right people, but how to turn obstacles into advantages as your business grows. In their review, The Simple Dollar called it the “best single book on entrepreneurship” yet.[3]

                                Get the book here! 

                                16. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

                                  With accolades from everyone from Bill Gates to Tony Robbins, Principles examines the code that guides Ray Dalio’s life and how he founded and grew the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. From goal setting to the importance of transparency and honesty, Dalio not only provides a blueprint for his success in business, but evidence of how it’s touched nearly every aspect of his life.

                                  Get the book here! 

                                  17. Rise and Grind by Daymond John

                                    Daymond John is, of course, no stranger to fans of the hit entrepreneur pitch TV show Shark Tank. Long before John was investing and mentoring young companies, he was carving out his own path with the clothing brand FUBU. The lessons and advice that John doles out are just as applicable to today’s entrepreneurs as they were in the 1990s when he launched his brand with a $40 budget.

                                    Get the book here! 

                                    18. To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

                                      Even if you’re not technically in sales, having sales skills will always add value to your profession. Author Daniel Pink delivers clear and easy-to-follow advice on how entrepreneurs can use proven sales techniques in both their businesses and lives. Knowing how to utilize the art of persuasion is an invaluable skill for motivation, and Pink’s book offers sound knowledge on the subject.

                                      Get the book here! 

                                      19. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

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                                        An inspiring read for anybody with an entrepreneurial spirit, this book makes Thiel’s case for why now is the best time to be an entrepreneur and how to think like an innovator. The book has been praised for offering both fresh and inspiring ideas by a who’s who of the tech world, including Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

                                        Get the book here! 

                                        20. Atomic Habits by James Clear

                                          Good habits will help you in business and life, while bad habits can unravel everything you’ve worked for. Good habit formation isn’t easy, but author James Clear makes his case for why it’s so essential and provides a proven formula for putting good habits in place while identifying and dropping the bad ones.

                                          Get the book here! 

                                          21. The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett

                                            Creativity is key for entrepreneurs, but not everyone is creative, or more accurately, not everyone thinks they’re creative.

                                            Allen Gannett believes that everyone can learn to harness the creative spark inside them; it’s all about applying the laws of the creative curve. Gannett combines both real-life stories and how-to advice for entrepreneurs to harness their creative spirit.

                                            Get the book here! 

                                            22. Success Never Smelled So Sweet by Lisa Pierce and Hilary Beard

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              Failure is something that every successful entrepreneur is familiar with, and it’s how they learn from it that ultimately leads to fruitful endeavors. Lisa Pierce and Hilary Beard lay out a personal story that details not just the setbacks and obstacles she once faced as a black woman who was saddled with debt, but how she learned to tackle each problem and build the L.E. Beauty company.

                                              For those who may be wondering if it’s possible to leave behind the 9-to-5 grind, Pierce and Beard proves that it’s doable and worthwhile.

                                              Get the book here! 

                                              23. Start by Jon Acuff

                                                According to author Jon Acuff, there are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path, of course, is the one of least resistance, but less rewarding. Staying on the awesome path is easier said than done, but Acuff provides a map for how to start down this path, push past the problems that arise, and ultimately create work that matters.

                                                Get the book here! 

                                                24. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

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                                                  Technology has provided a natural opportunity for legal industry entrepreneurs, and a huge part of that is recognizing how to build good products and services. The Lean Startup does just that, and author Eric Ries provides sound advice on vetting new ideas and products when starting a new company. Entrepreneurs will find Ries’s methods and examples both insightful and, most importantly, practical.

                                                  Get the book here! 

                                                  25. Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

                                                    Bringing about real change is a difficult thing to make happen, and according to the book’s authors, three things must occur: direction, motivation, and shape. Obviously, there’s more to it than that and the Heaths provide plenty of real examples from the business world such as the successful 1 percent milk campaign. There’s a certain psychology to creating change, and Switch helps uncover some of that mystery.

                                                    Get the book here! 

                                                    26. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

                                                      Generosity and business domination aren’t two things that often go hand-in-hand, but The Go-Giver highlights why the old proverb “give and you shall receive” is so meaningful for entrepreneurs. Written as a novel, the book functions as a blueprint for how to create a meaningful business that adds real value to all the lives it impacts.

                                                      Get the book here!

                                                      27. Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

                                                        It goes without saying that social media plays a huge role in the brand identity of today’s businesses. Gary Vaynerchuk offers entrepreneurs evidence-based examples of how-to and how-not-to use social media platforms to build a framework that creates industry influence. While the world of social media is constantly changing, Vaynerchuk manages to create an effective guide that applies to social media platforms both big and small.

                                                        Get the book here! 

                                                        28. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

                                                          With a four-star rating and over 48,000 reviews on Good Reads, a lot of people are finding real value in Ben Horowitz’s helpful, but brutally honest advice. A must-read for anyone who’s just earned their MBA, Horowitz offers no-nonsense advice for the challenges that you’ll face when starting a business and how to push past them.

                                                          Get the book here!

                                                          29. The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman

                                                            One of the best business books out there for new entrepreneurs, this one provides readers with a guide of mistakes that could threaten their business. The most impactful leaders learn to avoid mistakes by watching others, and this read aims to help readers see those hazards and pitfalls coming from a mile away and how to best avoid them.

                                                            Get the book here! 

                                                            30. Mistakes I Made at Work by Jessica Bacal

                                                              Occasionally screwing up on the job is a part of life, and nobody’s immune to it, whether they’re a CEO, professional athlete, or world-famous rock star. Mistakes I Made at Work isn’t an entrepreneur’s personal memoir, but a collection of the tough lessons learned from a variety of very successful women.

                                                              Spanning the tech sector to professional sports, author Jessica Bacal’s interviews provide real insight and valuable lessons that the next generation of successful women can surely find real value in.

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                                                              Get the book here! 

                                                              More Great Business Books

                                                              Featured photo credit: Sam Williams via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

                                                              [1] Business Insider: Mark Cuban Reveals The Best And Worst ‘Shark Tank’ Pitches And More
                                                              [2] The Wall Street Journal: ‘That Will Never Work’ Review: Streaming Ahead
                                                              [3] The Simple Dollar: Review: EntreLeadership

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                                                              Chris Porteous

                                                              The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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                                                              Published on July 27, 2021

                                                              15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

                                                              15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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                                                              During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

                                                              But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

                                                              Put the Pro in Professional

                                                              After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

                                                              1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

                                                              The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

                                                              Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

                                                              2. Dress the Part

                                                              While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

                                                              Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

                                                              For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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                                                              Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

                                                              3. Stage Your Workspace

                                                              Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

                                                              Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

                                                              4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

                                                              Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

                                                              Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

                                                              Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

                                                              Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

                                                              5. Arrive on Time

                                                              In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

                                                              Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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                                                              6. Turn on Your Video

                                                              Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

                                                              If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

                                                              Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

                                                              7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

                                                              Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

                                                              Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

                                                              Attend to the Pesky Details

                                                              8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

                                                              With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

                                                              Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

                                                              9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

                                                              Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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                                                              Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

                                                              10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

                                                              As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

                                                              Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

                                                              Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

                                                              Talking Has a Time and a Place

                                                              11. Chat Appropriately

                                                              Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

                                                              At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

                                                              12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

                                                              The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

                                                              Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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                                                              13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

                                                              In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

                                                              Manage Yourself

                                                              14. Minimize Distractions

                                                              While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

                                                              Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

                                                              15. Save Snacking for Later

                                                              Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

                                                              However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

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