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25 Business Tips for Entrepreneurs, Startups and Business Owners [Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf]

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You’ve heard you are what you eat, well we believe that you are what you read. We receive hundreds of books to read to help out entrepreneurs and business owners but more than just offering a chance to hear about a book we believe we want you to walk away with some wisdom just like we did from reading these books.

Teach a CEO presents lessons from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your business venture. We have taken some nuggets from our library and provide them for entrepreneurs and business owners and to help your ventures.

Business Tips from The Bookshelf

  1. adversaries_into_alliesOne reason the five principles discussed in this book are so important is because the real difference between most people and Ultimate Influencers is their ability to solve problems. The world rewards greatly those who can solve problems. In order to do that, you must face them head-on. (Adversaries Into Allies)
  2. Decision making is driven by both conscious rational logic and subconscious emotional needs. Often, when faced with too many choices, people will gravitate toward the products or services that “feel” right. In a crowded marketplace, emotional drivers trump rational reflection. (Empathetic Marketing)
  3. If you want to grow, there are a few things you should consider. First, you simply can’t do everything…. Second, some business owners…actually give their schedule to someone else to manage so that their time is strictly controlled…Finally, while you may not compromise when it comes to the quality of the product, you might need to make other compromises. (Small Business for Big Thinkers)
  4. Mindset matters because your mindset–where your head is—guides everything else. Your mindset guides how well you can “think big,” how much you believe in your ability to succeed, how well you can think creatively and outside the box, and whether you can really stick with this and stay motivate. Mindset, in short, is everything. (Business in Blue Jeans)
  5. But when large companies give some degree of ownership to the consumers in the process, that is, when they cede control and empower, it can easily become another support beam on the bridge connecting the consumer and the company. A company’s giving control, simply put, is amount the best ways to foster consumers intrinsic motivation to support its product or service. (Empathetic Marketing)
  6. edison_and_the_rise_of_innovationEdison’s experience as an innovator is as relevant today as it was one hundred years ago. Edison devoted considerable attention to the questions all innovators face in modern times: Which products should I develop? How should those products be designed, manufactured, and marketed? How do I raise money to support research and development? How do I respond to competition and changing markets? Knowing Edison’s response to these questions brings us closer to understanding the nature of technological innovation and creativity. Edison stands as an innovator, not because he always succeeded, but because of the scope and range of his interests. (Edison and the Rise of Innovation)
  7. My one piece of advice for you on competitive strategy is to differentiate yourself form your primary competitors as much as possible. Differentiating your business model relative to your competitors enables your business, by definition to stand out from the crowd. (The One-Hour Business Plan)
  8. Truly successful individuals create both immediate and long-lasting influence attracting others to them. After all, there’s a reason we say that someone with influence has a lot of “pull.” Great influencers attract people, both to themselves and to their ideas. (Adversaries Into Allies)
  9. business_in_blue_jeansSacred Service occurs when we got our selves out of the way….. When employees have their attention on the details, breakdowns, or circumstances of their lives, it is difficult for them to be here, now, fully in service to our customers. We’re not advising you to ignore the circumstances of your employees; we are counseling you to empower them by training them to be present, which is the only place anyone has any power to create. (Sacred Commerce)
  10. If you take what you love doing and merge it with what you do well, that’s what your business should be about. That business will have the highest likelihood of success, because the fire in your belly will keep you motivated, and your expertise will ensure that you do what you do really well, which is a large part of why people will come back to you again and again. (Business in Blue Jeans)
  11. Being able to admit you are wrong is not only one of the first signs of maturity but perhaps the foundation of any type of growth and effectiveness. (Adversaries Into Allies)
  12. Ultimate Influence is based on five principles that occur on an ongoing basis….(1) Control your own emotions (2) Understand the clash of belief systems (3) Acknowledge their ego (4) Set the proper frame (5) Communicate with tact and empathy. (Adversaries Into Allies)
  13. Most of our lives we attempt to avoid failure. Somewhere we learned that failure is bad. Can you see that failure only shows up as bad if the context for life is trying to get somewhere or prove something? Shift the context to one of awakening, and it isn’t much of a stretch to compresacred_commercehend that failure is a vital part of the process. Most of us grow the most when faced with failure; it is a fertile ground for transformation. (Sacred Commerce)
  14. Your business is a gift. But it’s not a gift that everyone in the world needs or that everyone wants (even if you think you should). Instead of giving people what you think they’d want or, worse, what you’d like to give them,you need to choose who you’re going to give your gift to and get to know that group of people so that you can make your gift into the format they want most…. not choosing a target market is like having a bunch of darts, but no dartboard. (Business in Blue Jeans)
  15. small_business_for_big_thinkersChoosing to compete is not just about stretching to reach new goals (that’s always important for a business), it’s also about carefully considering the kind of business you want and don’t want. And here is one final thought. While I have spent a lot of time talking about connecting with and winning big business, you need to carefully balance your mix of big and small customers. (Small Business for Big Thinkers)
  16. Influencers write handwritten notes, and lots of them. They find reasons to write them and they send them to all sorts of people. In addition to prospects, customers, and clients, send a note to your waiter, mechanic, or any service person who takes good care of you. (Adversaries Into Allies)
  17. We American entrepreneurs have a tendency to spend a disproportionate amount of time working
    on the solution before we fully understand the problem or explain it clearly as a need. The need must be clearly and consciously identified before you start working on the solution; otherwise, you start to solve the wrong problem. (The One-Hour Business Plan)
  18. Marketing is successful when you choose the smartest methods that reach your audience in the most effective, efficient manner and then deliver your message in a creative, interesting way that attracts your target market and engages them with your brand. (Business in Blue Jeans)
  19. Mission statements are an opportunity to align yourself, your employees, and your customer base with your commitments. It is most important that these statements are written in the present tense so as to always be current and happening now. The mission statement is a promise of what you will deliver as well as what you aspire to. (Sacred Commerce)
  20. People are always looking for ways to express themselves–their personalities, their values, even their uniqueness. Self-expression gives people a sense of self-worth and identity. The need for self-expression offers a variety of opportunities for business. Positioned and marketed correctly, a brand can be either a symbol of or a means of expression. (Empathetic Marketing)
  21. Edison was not opposed to mass-circulation advertising, even for the phonograph, but he did not spend as much money on ads as his competitors because he believed they could not convey the technical superiority of his products. The goal of his marketing strategy, therefore, was to allow as many consumers as possible to hear his phonographs and records. (Edison and the Rise of Innovation)
  22. one_hour_business_planIt may seem odd to talk about selling your business and timing your exit…, but you need to have a vision. (Small Business for Big Thinkers)
  23. True leaders and influencers not only accept having smarter and more knowledgeable people on their team, they seek them out. They purposely surround themselves with people who are more capable than they are in one or more specific areas. (Adversaries Into Allies)
  24. If your business model is tested properly before launch, your business or a new business initiative just might be similar to my favorite horeback ride: premature, out of control at times, wondering what is happening and how you got there. At other times you will be so in sync with your customers that time flies by, the value exchanges exhilarate you, and you will wonder how you ever lived happily without these exchanges taking place. However, all of that is premature at this time, in this context, with this customer target market (you). Yes, the management team (jockey) is critical. My point is that you can select the best jockeys for the horse later–after you learn more about your horse the business model. (The One-Hour Business Plan)
  25. In recent years, some firms have scaled back their support for research and ddevelopment or closed their laboratoriesin an effort to reduce costs, raising questions about how these companies can remain innovative in a highly competitive, rapidly changing economy. Edison’s experience is relevant today because he grappled with the same problems, and we can look to his example for ways to overcome the many challenges of operating a profitable, self-sustaining enterprise. (Edison and the Rise of Innovation)

The Summary of the Books on the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

Excerpts from Amazon.com

  • Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion by Bob Burg – In the bestselling book The Go-Giver, Bob Burg and John David Mann revolutionized the way we think about success via one very simple lesson: “Shifting one’s focus from getting to giving (constantly and consistently providing value to others) is both very fulfilling and the most profitable way to do business. Now Burg is back with a new book, offering deeper insight into what it means to be truly influential and providing powerful strategies for mastering the art of winning people over. Faced with the task of persuading someone to do what we want, most of us expect, and often encounter, resistance. We see the other person as an adversary and often resort to coercion or manipulation in order to get our way. But while this approach might at times bring us short-term results, it leaves people with a bad feeling about themselves and about us. At that point, our relationship with the person is weakened and our influence dramatically decreased. There is a better way. Drawing on his own experiences and the stories of other influential people, Burg offers five simple principles of what he calls Ultimate Influence—the ability to win people to your side in a way that leaves everyone feeling great about the outcome . . . and about themselves!
  • Business in Blue Jeans: How to Have a Successful Business on Your Own Terms, in Your Own Style by Susan Baroncini-Moe – The world no longer defines successful businesspeople by their suit and ties. Today we live in a world where any entrepreneur can create a successful, profitable, enjoyable business in whatever style suits him or her the best. And hey, if putting on a suit and heading for your corporate office is what works best for you, that’s great. But if throwing on your favorite pair of blue jeans and heading for the beach works better, that’s cool too. In Business in Blue Jeans: How to Have a Successful Business on Your Own Terms, in Your Own Style,you’ll learn how to create and grow a business that works for you.
  • Small Business for Big Thinkers: Unconventional Strategies to Connect With and Win Big Business by Cynthia Kay – Small Business for Big Thinkers offers unconventional but proven strategies to run a better small business. It also provides a roadmap for owners looking to expand their small businesses by doing more business with Big Business. Cynthia’s down-in-the-trenches stories, along with those from other small-business CEOs and Big Business experts, show you how to connect with highly sought-after customers and win them over!
  • Sacred Commerce: Business As A Path of Awakening by Matthew & Terces Engelhart – In this timely book, authors Matthew and Terces Engelhart present the idea that love before appearances is the antidote to our spiritual, environmental, and social degradation. Exploring topics such as mission statements, manager as coach, human resources as a sacred culture, and inspirational meetings, they offer a manual for building a spiritual community at the workplace—a vital concept in an age when work consumes the bulk of most adults’ time. Business, the authors explain, is all about providing a service, product, or experience the market wants, and no business can succeed by failing to understand this point. However, integrating the concept of “Sacred Commerce” into business can provide both financial success and spiritual satisfaction. Stressing that every business is an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of both clients and employees, the Engelharts share the tools they’ve learned in their own enterprises to fulfill this vision. Sacred Commerce is the ideal mix of the personal and the practical—a guidebook written by people who have felt success, not just spent it. Dissatisfaction with work is at record levels, and the Engelharts show that you don’t have to suffer personally—or give up your humanity—to pay the mortgage.
  • The One-Hour Business Plan by John McAdam – A strong business plan greatly increases a business chance of success, especially in an economic environment in which more than 50 percent of businesses fail within three years. Your business plan can serve as a foundation for your successful business. The One-Hour Business Plan, written by seasoned entrepreneur and business instructor John McAdam, helps you lay that foundation. With the help of this book, aspiring entrepreneurs can write a viable business plan in just one hour. Offers step-by-step guidance on the process of writing a business plan, with field-tested instructional techniques that are simple, strong, and easy to implement. Written by John McAdam, a “been there, done that” hired CEO and serial entrepreneur with decades of real-world experience, who helps ordinary people become entrepreneurs and helps entrepreneurs become successful. The One-Hour Business Plan outlines a process and a framework for creating a business plan that sets you up for success. Give your business the best odds for success, in just one hour of your time.
  • Empathetic Marketing: How to Satisfy the 6 Core Emotional Needs of Your Customers by Mark Ingwer – In today’s competitive and global marketplace, it is becoming increasingly essential for companies and brands to understand why customers buy—or don’t buy—their products and services. Only by understanding the “whys” can companies grow their business and develop loyal customers. In Empathetic Marketing, Dr. Mark Ingwer presents a groundbreaking approach to understanding consumers’ core emotional needs. This innovative book provides both the psychological theory underlying consumers’ emotional needs, as well as concrete business examples that demonstrate the incredible effectiveness of unleashing the power of deeper needs and emotions for success in the marketplace. Empathetic Marketing shows how brands like NPR, Universal Studios, Nivea, and Google perform in-depth analyses of their customers’ emotional reactions and harness the power of deep psychological insights to optimize their marketing and brand strategy. As the founding partner at Insight Consulting Group, a global marketing and strategy consultancy, Mark Ingwer has conducted and analyzed countless in-depth studies of customers, from neurological data to in-field observational studies. Through his extensive experience he has identified six basic emotional needs that every company must consider to fully impact and motivate the customer. Empathetic Marketing provides readers with a deeper understanding of customers’ core emotional needs, and a framework for incorporating these concepts into their business to optimize customer engagement and achieve a significant return on this investment. The strategies provided will not only lead to a better immediate connection between the customer and the company, but also to deeper and longer-term satisfaction for both customers and business leaders.
  • Edison and the Rise of Innovation by Leonard DeGraf – Edison presents, in intimate detail, the man who helped engineer the modern world. One of history’s most prolific inventors, and perhaps America’s first celebrity, Thomas Alva Edison did more than bring incandescent light into every household and industry; he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, and pursued patents for his 1,000+ inventions. Leonard DeGraaf, archivist for the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, chronicles Edison’s life and work, making lively and lavish use of never-before-published primary sources, including Edison’s personal and business correspondence, lab notebooks, drawings, and advertising material, along with both historic and modern photographs.

“Image courtesy of Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

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Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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