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20 Biographies Of Influential Business Leaders You Should Not Miss

20 Biographies Of Influential Business Leaders You Should Not Miss

There are a lot of influential business leaders out there, too many to mention in one article, so some of the best and most popular ones have been chosen. They range from people that that started with nothing, to people that had everything and turn it into billions. This is my Top 20 biographies of business leaders that inspire and motivate to move on and try something new. The list is in no particular order.

1. King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist

By Mark Stevens

King Carl Icahn

    “In life and business, there are two cardinal sins. The first is to act precipitously without thought and the second is to not act at all.”

    Here is an investment and renegade capitalist that became one of the richest men in America.

    2. Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic

    By Mel and Patricia Ziegler

    Wild Company by Mel and Patricia Ziegler

      “The only asset we had was our own oblivion.”

      This is a book about two people who created the Banana Republic. It explains how they had no business training and how they used military surplus clothing to produce their designs that founded the Banana Republic stores.

      3. Start Something That Matters

      By Blake Mycoskie

      Start Something That Matters

        “You don’t have to have a lot of money, a complicated business plan, or a great deal of experience to start something.”

        This is the story of how TOMs was created, which is a process by which people buy shoes and eventually give them away to needy children. It is a lesson in resourcefulness.

        4. The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and The Gospel of Wealth

        By Andrew Carnegie

        Andrew Carnegie

          “There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.”

          This is a man that was laughed out of the boardroom when he said he can drive down the price of steel from $170 per ton to $20 per ton, and he is the reason America is the superpower it is today.

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          5. Be my Guest

          By Conrad Hilton

          Be-My-Guest-CONRAD-HILTON

            “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

            This is the story of a guy and his friends and how they made an empire out of hotels.

            6. The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Grow, or Manage a Business

            by Martha Stewart

            Martha-Rules-Essentials-Achieving-Business

              “Build your business success around something that you love.”

              This is the same lady that did some insider trading, so there are some dirty deals that are missing from her book, but otherwise it lays out how a person turns what they love into their personal fortune.

              7. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

              By Robert T. Kiyosaki

              Rich dad poor dad

                “Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners.”

                This is a book that tries to teach people the things that rich people teach their kids. He claims that middle and lower class people do not teach their kids these lessons, which makes them have it harder in life.

                8. Steve Jobs

                By Walter Isaacson

                Steve Jobs

                  “There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

                  This is a book based on 40 interviews with Steve Jobs and helps to expose the life of a man that was fired by a failing giant only to come back and give it new legs. Learn how he survived and had fun and how he helped change the face of mobile technology forever.

                  9. Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All

                  By Russell Simmons

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                  Super-Rich-Guide-Having-All

                    “I want to fight poverty and ignorance and give opportunity to those people who are locked out.”

                    A book about a man that built his fortune and become a bestselling author of “Do you.”

                    10. Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

                    By John Mackey

                    Conscious-Capitalism

                      “Whole Foods is dedicated to helping people be healthier and live lives with more vitality and greater sense of well being.”

                      This is the Whole Foods CEO that basically founded the whole foods market in America in a big way.

                      11. Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life

                      By Kathy Ireland

                      Powerful Inspirations

                        “I have to say I’ve made many mistakes, and been humbled many, many times. But you know what? It’s never too late to learn.”

                        She proved a woman can be sexy and successful in business, too. She struck a blow for feminism and now has several books you may enjoy.

                        12. Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

                        By Paul Allen

                        Idea Man Paul Allen

                          Any crusade requires optimism and the ambition to aim high.” 

                          This is a book about a 21-year-old that became a co-founder of Microsoft. This is a great story about the beginning of Microsoft, which is already a great story, so it is good to hear it from another angle.

                          13. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

                          by Tony Hseih

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                          Delivering Happiness Hsieh

                            “We wanted to run our own business, and be in control of our own destiny.”

                            This is about a guy that made $265 million at the age of 24 by selling an advertising platform to Microsoft. Even if you read the bunk of a man such as this you are still going to learn something.

                            14. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business

                            By Barbara Corcoran

                            Shark Tales

                              “I borrowed $1,000 from a friend.”

                              This is a story about turning one thousand dollars into a billion. It is about a woman that couldn’t find a job she liked and did create the Corcoran Group that is worth $6 billion.

                              15. Alwaleed: Businessman, Billionaire, Prince

                              By Riz Khan

                              Alwaleed Businessman, Billionaire, Prince

                                “If I’m going to do something, I do it spectacularly or I don’t do it at all.”

                                This is the story of one of the richest men in the world who has an amazing investing style that keeps him rich. He is part of the Saudi Royal family and has amassed a fortune larger than many countries tax budgets (and debts).

                                16. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

                                By Richard Branson

                                Losing My Virginity

                                  “Most ‘necessary evils’ are far more evil than necessary.”

                                  This is one of Richard Branson’s books and it is amazing to see how your childhood affects the person you are. He also gives clues to getting rich that are very similar to the clues in the book, “The millionaire next door.” He is a very clever man that has a way of seeming like a big-headed nobody you shouldn’t fear. Maybe that is the way he has managed to build up such a big empire.

                                  17. Walt Disney: An American Original

                                  By Bob Thomas

                                  Walt Disney

                                    Give the public everything you can give them, keep the place as clean as you can keep it, keep it friendly.”

                                    Here is a man that built a massive empire that has affected every country in the world at some point in the past. Here is a man that took a cartoon mouse and built an empire with it that still stands today.

                                    18. Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion

                                    By Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus

                                    Built from Scratch

                                      Take two Jews who have just been fired, add an Irishman that walked away from a bankruptcy and an Italian with a no-name investment banking firm and you have the recipe for success.” 

                                      This is a book about the man that turned Home Depot into a $30 Billion business. This is a nice book for showing you that even if you are fired you can still have a future if you are willing to build one.

                                      19. Business leaders Michael Dell

                                      By Lauri S. Friedman

                                      Lauri S. Friedman

                                        Twenty years and $40 billion. They seem like good round numbers.” 

                                        This is the guy that helped to found the Dell computer organization and made millions as a result.

                                        20. By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop

                                        By Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

                                        By Invitation Only

                                          “On that first day we sensed something revolutionary was happening.”

                                          This is about a pair of rich friends that became richer when they turned their fashion business into a $1 billion enterprise. It is not only inspirational, but it is interesting to see how they did it.

                                          Image Source: edans via photopin cc

                                          Featured photo credit: edans via farm7.staticflickr.com

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                                          Jessica Millis

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                                          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                            Why You Need a Vision

                                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                            What Do You Want?

                                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                            Some tips to guide you:

                                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                            A few prompts to get you started:

                                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                            • What would you be doing?
                                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                            • How are you dressed?
                                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                            Plan Backwards

                                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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