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10 Great Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

10 Great Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

What is one thing the world’s wealthiest people all have in common? 88 percent of them read for at least 30 minutes a day (compared to just two percent of the general population).

If you aspire to join the ranks of wealthy entrepreneurs, reading is an invaluable skill. Books lead us into new ways of thinking, help us push through the tough times, and teach us how to become successful business men and women.

If you’re an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur, here are 10 must-read books.

1. Choose Yourself by James Altucher

choose yourself

    This is an amazing book. Altucher’s writes like an old friend and his self-depreciating style is raw, honest, and the kick in the pants every entrepreneur needs. Here’s my favorite quote from the book:

    The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.

    2. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

    Rework

      Rework is not your average business book. It shows you a smarter, faster approach to succeed in business. This is the best book I’ve ever read about entrepreneurship. It defies “traditional” rules and offers simple, no-nonsense advice for starting your own company. Like this:

      The best way to get there is through iterations. Stop imagining what’s going to work. Find out for real.

      3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

      purple cow

        Godin is one of the greatest entrepreneurial minds in the world. In Purple Cow, he advocates building something so amazing that people can’t ignore you. There are a lot of great lessons in this book—it’s definitely one you’ll be making notes on throughout.

        You must design a product that is remarkable enough to attract the early adopters – but is flexible enough and attractive enough that those adopters will have an easy time spreading the idea.

        4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

         

        stephen-covey-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people-book
          Seven Habits

          is a classic book about leadership and success. There’s a reason it has sold millions of copies: the lessons are timeless and they work. My personal favorite is the “Win-Win” habit, which says that one of your first priorities should be to create a product or service that benefits your customer, and then worry about the rest.

          5. Tribes by Seth Godin

          tribes

            Godin makes this list twice because “Tribes” should be required reading for every entrepreneur. Here’s the most important takeaway:

            Almost all growth that’s available to you exists when you aren’t like most people and when you work hard to appeal to folks who aren’t most people.

            Choose your audience first, then find a product that fulfills an unmet need.

            6. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

            Meditations

              If there’s one book that changed the way I think more than any other, it’s this. Being an entrepreneur is about finding balance in your life. It’s a constant juggling act and Meditations, the classic book of wisdom from Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Aurelius, will help keep you grounded.

              You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

              7. Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelly

              CCBook_Front_Comp_560px

                This book will help you unlock your inner creativity, even if you think it’s an area where you’re lacking. A must-read for entrepreneurs.

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                Take time to ask yourself each day “When was I at my best?” or “When was work most rewarding?” It can help point you toward roles or activities that will enrich your work and reveal what gives you the greatest pleasure or fulfillment.

                8. To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

                Dan-Pink-To-Sell-Is-Human

                  Even if you don’t consider yourself a “sales person,” all entrepreneurs need to understand how to sell. This book breaks down the stigmas about salesmanship and shows you a simple strategy for “moving others.” It’s a fantastic read.

                  9. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

                  EP_slight_edge

                    The Slight Edge philosophy is based on doing little things, which, done consistently over time, add up to the big accomplishments. This is a great read for entrepreneurs because it shows you how doing the “little stuff” and continuously improving are the keys to success.

                    10. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

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                    4hour

                      Ferris lays out a brilliantly simple plan for taking your new “big idea” to market: pick a specific topic you know and have experienced more about than your audience; test different types of positioning and find out what your audience needs help with; then develop a product that meets their needs. This is one of my favorite books of all-time that will show you plenty of shortcuts for taking your entrepreneurial dream to reality.

                      Featured photo credit: gcouros via flickr.com

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                      Scott Christ

                      Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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                      1 12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job 2 10 Key Elements of Effective Meetings to Avoid Wasting Time 3 Pick Your Job Based On What You Love To Do, Not How Much You Have Invested In. 4 What Is a Mentor And Why You Should Find One For Yourself? 5 10 Signs You Have Created a Good Work-Life Balance

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                      Published on September 16, 2020

                      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

                      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

                      Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

                      Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

                      Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

                      Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

                      Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

                      Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

                      1. Organization

                      When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

                      When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

                      Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

                      To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

                      To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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                      2. Flexibility

                      You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

                      Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

                      For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

                      To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

                      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

                      3. Collaboration

                      As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

                      Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

                      To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

                      To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

                      4. Poise

                      Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

                      When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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                      What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

                      To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

                      To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

                      5. Communication

                      Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

                      When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

                      To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

                      To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

                      6. Good Computer Hygiene

                      Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

                      Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

                      To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

                      To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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                      7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

                      Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

                      Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

                      To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

                      To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

                      8. Respecting Feedback

                      In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

                      Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

                      To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

                      To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

                      9. Project Management

                      Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

                      To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

                      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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                      10. Staying up to Speed

                      Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

                      To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

                      To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

                      11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

                      “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

                      To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

                      To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

                      12. Teamwork

                      Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

                      Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

                      To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

                      To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

                      More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

                      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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