What is common to some of the most successful entrepreneurs…you guessed it, they are the ones who refuse to stop learning, who constantly are expanding their minds, and who are habitual readers. Take Bill Gates—an avid reader. He even took a week twice yearly when helming Microsoft to just think and read. Some of his best ideas came that way.
As an entrepreneur looks at your habits. Do you read regularly? If not, then maybe it’s time to hit the books. Below are a few suggestions for some great reading throughout the summer.
American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company was and still is one of the most iconic in the nation’s history. Hoffman in his book looks at how early on the company nearly went bankrupt, and yet they somehow persevered, thus becoming among the most successful car companies on a global scale. As a business owner, you can probably relate to financial struggles that companies often face in the early phases. In light of that, this book is most definitely inspirational.
Confessions of an Advertising Man
This book is highly readable for entrepreneurs regardless of what stage of growth they may be in. The author, Ogilvy, details innovative techniques and methods as far as advertising goes. Many entrepreneurs are focused on the ideas, the concepts, and the operation of the business. Marketing and advertising can get left by the wayside, which is why this makes for such an important read. You might even gain a few ideas for implementing new strategies to this effect.
The current climate in which we find ourselves certainly has shifted how many entrepreneurs have to think about their business model. Traction offers a look at some fairly new ideas regarding where to spend your time and energy in adapting your business given any situation. The best part is that it gives you insights using a series of experiments in terms of where your money might be best spent when it comes to marketing and sales.
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Fifth Edition
Again, regardless of where you are in your business, this one is a must-read. Essentially the author, Lawrence A. Cunningham takes excerpts from Buffet’s letters and divides them into chapters. Chapters range from that which discusses investing and valuation, to one on mergers and acquisitions. An in-depth look at the state of economics as seen through Buffet’s eyes, this book will shift how you view business in general as you are guided through it by Buffet’s bits of incredible wisdom.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times
Acclaimed author Doris Kearns Goodwin looks at key leadership strategies of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Each dealt with significant hurdles and crises. Especially now, given the time we live in, this book makes for a fascinating depiction of how exactly their leadership styles helped guide the nation through turmoil. Inspiring and thoughtful, this book is a definite must-have for any entrepreneur.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Everyone seems to think they have an image of what Musk is like. The news articles, the press he gets, and yet few truly understand the determination it took to get him to where he is today. For any entrepreneur, this book does show how grit and a willingness to keep moving forward despite obstacles can lead to great success.
Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor
Part humor, part business insight, and part social responsibility reminder, this tale of how Ben & Jerry’s got started do have it all in some ways. While much of it takes place in the 80s as that’s when the company got its start, the lessons and insights included within really do hold up in many ways. Invaluable in terms of how the company built its brand, the story told here also includes a fairly detailed look at the missteps that the business’s founders experienced as well. Overall an enjoyable and informative read.
High Growth Handbook
Generally, when a company first gets started it tends to be in survival mode—just get through the first three, four, or five years and then there is the potential for taking off. Here though, the author presents an alternative perspective: startups can be in thriving mode even in the beginning. Largely, it is all about the people you bring into the organization, those that have the skills which can allow you that next level mentality. A truly inspiring and helpful read for anyone looking to start a company or even build upon their existing ventures.
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