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Published on May 28, 2020

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

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

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.

                                                              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 January 7, 2021

                                                              How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

                                                              How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

                                                              Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

                                                              If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

                                                              Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

                                                              You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

                                                              When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

                                                              Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

                                                              In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

                                                              Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

                                                              3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

                                                              Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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                                                              1. Respect deadlines
                                                              2. Understand the work-flow plan
                                                              3. Build in time to mess up

                                                              1. Respect Deadlines

                                                              Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

                                                              One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

                                                              2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

                                                              Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

                                                              3. Build in Time to Mess Up

                                                              You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

                                                              Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

                                                              For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

                                                              Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

                                                              This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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                                                              Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

                                                              Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

                                                              Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

                                                              When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

                                                              12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

                                                              Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

                                                              1. Learn to Listen Well

                                                              You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

                                                              Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

                                                              2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

                                                              Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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                                                              3. Follow Rules

                                                              Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

                                                              4. Take Notes

                                                              Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

                                                              5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

                                                              When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

                                                              As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

                                                              6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

                                                              If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

                                                              7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

                                                              English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

                                                              8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

                                                              Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

                                                              9. Minimize Distractions

                                                              It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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                                                              If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

                                                              10. Take Breaks

                                                              It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

                                                              11. Make Time for Reflection

                                                              At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

                                                              12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

                                                              This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

                                                              Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

                                                              When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

                                                              More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

                                                              Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

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