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10 Powerful Books Every Entrepreneur Needs To Read

10 Powerful Books Every Entrepreneur Needs To Read

1. The Knowledge to Succeed by Wendy Day
Wendy Day - The Knowledge to Succeed
    Put the business in music business…

    You may not have heard of Wendy Day, but you hear the fruits of her labor everywhere. Tired of seeing her favorite musicians being screwed, Day quit her day job and went to work in the music industry. She’s credited for discovering Master P and his No Limit Records label, Eminem, Cash Money Records (Lil Wayne, BG, Juvenile, Hot Boyz, Big Tymers, etc), Twista, Do Or Die, David Banner, and many others. The Knowledge to Succeed is where Wendy Day teaches anyone how to replicate their success or hers.

    2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey

      Seven Habits is a timeless lesson in leadership and success. By changing your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective, Covey walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift. The process is broken down into Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement, resulting in meaningful and consistent growth.

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      3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

      The 4-Hour Workweek

        Prepare to have your mind blown. Americans have the least amount of vacation hours in the industrial world. We also work much more than 40 hours per week. Timothy Ferriss challenges conventional wisdom by providing case after case to prove normal “banking hours” aren’t as productive as we think. As an entrepreneur, you’ll find it easy to relate to the ideas presented in Workweek

        4. Shark Tank: Jump Start Your Business by Michael Parrish DuDell and the Shark Tank cast

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        Shark Tank - Jump Start Your Business

          On the hit ABC show Shark Tank, hopeful entrepreneurs present their business ideas to savvy investors, such as FUBU founder Damon Johns and Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban. The show is filled with useful business advice from these savvy investors that every entrepreneur could use. From always knowing your customer acquisition cost to the real-world value of your business, don’t start a business without the fundamentals from the sharks.

          5. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

          Rhonda Byrne - The Secret
            It’s no secret – you’re the problem…

            A company’s brand is an extension of the person running it. If you want to create a successful business, you’ll need to create a successful self. Self-help books are an oxymoron, but The Secret manages to avoid the pitfalls of the genre by focusing on actionable exercises over generic advice. It’s no secret that Byrne’s tips lead you down a better path, so add it to your entrepreneurial reading list.

            6. Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson

            Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
              Cheesy, but invaluable…

              The business world is a rat race, and Dr. Spencer Johnson uses this imagery to illustrate our different reactions to change. Cheese is a business fable featuring two mice and two littlepeople. When their treasured cheese supply dwindles, the characters have different reactions to the change. Traversing through the maze, some learn to adapt to their new cheese situation, while attempting to assist the others in finding their own way. Change is inevitable, and as an entrepreneur it becomes part of your daily routine. Dr. Johnson can help you find comfort when you’re constantly forced out of your zone.

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              7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnagie

              How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

                Although Simon Pegg’s spoof How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is a great tip of the hat to the disruptive side of relationships, Dale Carnagie’s classic book is every bit as relevant today as it was the day it was written. Negotiations are a cornerstone of entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn how to successfully steer people toward your line of thinking, whether it’s clients, customers, or employees.

                8. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

                Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
                  No man is an island, but some own one…

                  If you’re going to emulate someone in business, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone better than Richard Branson. He started his first business at 17, and opened the Virgin Records stores at 22. Branson expanded his iconic Virgin brand from a record store to an empire, including a music label, airline, mobile carrier, and even a space shuttle. Branson even has his own island where celebrities such as Mariah Carey take a vacation. He explains how he did it in his own words in Virginity

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                  ,his autobiography.

                  9. Il Principe (The Prince) by Nicolo Machiavelli

                  The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
                    Ever wonder what made Tupac 2Pac?

                    In 1532, Nicolo Machiavelli published one of the most important works of political philosophy in human history. Although written in Italian, and quite short, he summarizes all the lures and trappings of the quest for power. It may seem like an oddball choice for an entrepreneur, but it’s important to understand that when you stand on your own and attempt to build an empire, you’re joining reality’s Game of Thrones, and those in power will notice your success because it takes away from theirs. Know your enemy – you may one day become him.

                    10. The Signal And The Noise by Nate Silver

                    The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

                      Big data is a new concept to many people, but it’s been studied by large organizations for years. After gaining public recognition for developing a performance forecasting system for Major League Baseball, Nate moved into politics, where he analyzed the data and near-flawlessly predicted the results of both the 2008 and 2012 elections. As big data becomes more prominent, every entrepreneur needs to understand what it is and how it can be leveraged. The Signal And The Noise is your first lesson.

                      Featured photo credit: Rene Skaflestad via reneskaflestad.com

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                      Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                      2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

                      2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

                      Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

                      Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

                      Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

                      Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

                      Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

                      By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

                      The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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                      1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

                      Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

                      Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

                      Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

                      When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

                      The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

                      Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

                      To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

                      Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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                      We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

                      It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

                      After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

                      Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

                      Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

                      To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

                      Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

                      Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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                      When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

                      Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

                      We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

                      When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

                      Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

                      2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

                      If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

                      The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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                      To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

                      With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

                      So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

                      • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
                      • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
                      • Say no to all else.
                      • Say no again.
                      • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
                      • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
                      • Meditate.
                      • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
                      • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
                      • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
                      • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
                      • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
                      • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

                      Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

                      More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

                      Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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