‘Entrepreneurs are born, not made’, they say. Although, there is a lot of truth to that statement, there is also a lot that you can do to reach your full potential as an entrepreneur and improve your chances of success. In addition to giving you many strategies, tools other practical information, these books will also help you develop the mindset needed to succeed in business.
Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future
ByLeonard A. Schlesinger (Author), Charles F. Kiefer (Author), Paul B. Brown (Contributor)
The only constant in business today, is change. For starting entrepreneurs this might seem like a daunting environment to launch a venture, yet it has to be embraced. This is the first key lesson of this book. The forecasting tools of yesterday are of no use in the volatile world we live in. So how can how can anyone start a business without the ability to plan and predict? “Just start”, say the authors of this book. This is the second and most important lesson: in an ever-changing business environment, action is more important than planning. Just start combines innovative research and proven practices, into a simple guide to success in business and life.
Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business
By Tony Tjan, Dick Harrington and Tsun-yan Hseih
This fascinating book is based on interviews with hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over the world, including some of the most accomplished business builders of our time such as Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Virgin’s Richard Branson and Tony Hsieh of Zappos. The authors were able to isolate the 4 common qualities possessed by all of these highly successful individuals: heart, smarts, guts, and luck. Although these four traits are all shared by entrepreneurs in different proportions, it turns out that each of us has a dominant trait that influences our decisions more than the others. This book will help you figure out your entrepreneurial profile – whether you are:
- heart-dominant, like Starbucks’s Howard Schultz,
- smarts-dominant, like Warren Buffett,
- guts-dominant, like Richard Branso,
- or it is your intuition for luck that guides you, like venture capitalist Tony Hsieh,
understanding which trait dominates your decision-making process will not only help you achieve greater self-awareness, it will vastly improve the quality of your decisions. As a result you will be able to build a better business, faster.
The $100 Startup
By Chris Guillebeau
In this exciting book, entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau does away with the presumption that you need a lot of money to start a business. He shares the inspiring stories of normal people who managed to turn their passions and even hobbies into profitable ventures, all with minimal investment. The $100 Startup contains tons of models, checklists and practical information all drawn from these real-world examples. It all amounts into a useful guide that shows that anyone can become a successful entrepreneur by acting in innovative ways and challenging the status quo.
With that being said, not all business fall into the micro-business category covered in this book. Many businesses do require a considerable investment to start. When venture capital is not an option, starting entrepreneurs may have no choice but to seek financing from the bank. In doing so, they must keep in mind that state of their personal finances will be critical to obtaining a loan. Many are met with disappointment when they arrive at their bank, prepared with a well developed business plan, only to find out that their loan officer won’t even give it a second look. When you apply for with a bank for your first business loan, the only factor taken under consideration is your personal credit history. Therefore, it is essential for any aspiring entrepreneur to get the personal finances in order before seeking financing.
These books certainly offer a lot of inspiration and excellent tools to aspiring entrepreneurs or anyone already running a small business. It is clear that launching a startup and succeeding requires a lot of hard work and determination. Many common traits mark the successful entrepreneur, however having real passion for what you do has to be the single most important factor.