Advertising
Advertising

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.

          Advertising

          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

                  Advertising

                  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

                          Advertising

                          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

                                          More by this author

                                          Jessica Millis

                                          An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

                                          10 Effective Ways To Make You A Faster Learner universities in europe 25 Best Universities in Europe You’ll Be Interested in Studying In How to Prepare For College Final Exams Using the Internet 20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier An Incredibly Helpful List of 71 Free Online Courses and Tutorials

                                          Trending in Lifestyle

                                          1 How to Get the Best Deep Sleep (And Why It’s Important) 2 How to Practice Meditation for Anxiety and Stress Relief 3 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 4 12 Sad Things That You Should Learn to Be Grateful For Instead 5 7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

                                          Advertising

                                          • (1) Research
                                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                                          • (3) Creating the outline
                                          • (4) Drafting the content
                                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                          • (6) Revision
                                          • (7) etc.

                                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                          2. Change Your Environment

                                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

                                          Advertising

                                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

                                          Advertising

                                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                          6. Get a Buddy

                                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

                                          Advertising

                                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                          Reality check:

                                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                          More About Procrastination

                                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

                                          Read Next