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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 July 17, 2019

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                      The Neurology of Ownership

                      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                      More About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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