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29 Business Lessons from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

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You’ve heard you are what you eat, well we believe that you are what you read. Teach a CEO presents lessons from our bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your venture. We have taken nuggets from our library and provide them for entrepreneurs and business owners.

  1. Just outside of the comfort zone sits the learning zone. You’ll want to recognize the learning zone. This is where you want to live. It’s not just learning in the educational sense, but it encompasses learning with regard sot everything we do — from shooting baskets to communication with others to meditation. Beyond the learning zone is the anxiety zone. It’s just as important to know when we’re stuck in the comfort zone and not challenging ourselves as it is to know when we’re in the anxiety zone and pushing ourselves a little too hard. (Connected to Goodness)
  2. Great things are in store for you. Realize and live the fact that you have unconditional, unquestioned worth. (Embrace Your Magnificence)
  3. The primary reason I’m stressing selecting a niche has to do with the fact that there are two basic steps to acquiring a new client: attracting their initial attention and then moving them to do business with you. It may come as a bit of surprise, but of these two, getting a prospect’s initial attention is often the most challenging part of the whole process. The world is so noisy, with so many marketing messages, it’s tough to break through the clutter. (The One Week Marketing Plan)
  4. Bet on “A” people with “B” ideas, rather than “B” people with “A” ideas. (Dust Tea, Dingoes & Dragons)
  5. All businesses start at Level One (start-ups), feeling their way forward to launch their new venture. Those that survive reach Level Two (owner reliant). It’s here that most companies get stuck. (Scale)
  6. Be thorough. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Go searching for your passions wherever you think they might be, and be willing to make a few wrong turns along the way. There are many Cinderella CEOs who thought they wanted to do one thing and wound up discovering that they were meant for something else entirely. (Fairy Tale Success)
  7. The end of the year is usually a good time to announce a price increase for the new year. (Accounting for the Numberphobic)
  8. Please don’t lose sleep or waste your energy in regards to money. Don’t let it drive you. Let your driving force be clarity, balance, focus and confidence based on your personal experience and humanitarian values because the money will come based on what you want to manifest as long as your remain ready to receive it. (Connected to Goodness)
  9. The more authentic you are, the more clean energy you put forth. People feel that on an intuitive level. You attract others who are clean in their own energy. The more authentic you allow yourself to be, and the more cautiously vulnerable you are (in a good way), the more attractive you become to others. (Embrace Your Magnificence)
  10. Your blog should read like you’re having a one-to-one conversation with a prospect or a customer you already like. (The One Week Marketing Plan)
  11. This isn’t something that “hard work” alone is going to solve. Blindly working hard is part of the problem. The more your growth is based on your personal production, the more dependent your business becomes on you for that production. You’ve got to make sure that even in the midst of meeting the daily demands of your business, you take some of your energy and invest in the systems, team, and internal controls that will allow you to scale your business beyond just you. (Scale)
  12. The break even point is the first major triumph on the road to profitability. Reaching this point of self-sufficiency is a major feat for most small businesses. (Accounting for the Numberphobic)
  13. Despite your best efforts, 7 out of 10 of your investments will fail completely. (Dust Tea, Dingoes & Dragons)
  14. Whenever you are networking with others in and out of your field, remember that this is an opportunity to broaden your thinking, to discover new target markets and new clients, and to think about your business in ways that hadn’t occurred to you before. (Fairy-Tale Success) 
  15. You create your life with every action you take and with every action you don’t take…. So if you aren’t living the life that you want, it isn’t a product of your circumstances, but a product of your actions. (Embrace Your Magnificence)
  16. The ideal Joint Venture partners are people selling complementary (as opposed to directly competitive) products or services to the same customer base as you. (The One Week Marketing Plan)
  17. Perspective is Everything! Appreciation is the DNA for your perspective. (Connected to Goodness)
  18. Perhaps the most obvious way to protect your cash flow is avoid doing business, whenever possible, with clients who are unlikely to pay their bills. (Accounting for the Numberphobic)
  19. Be clear about your company’s environment. It’s very important to make sure that whoever you hire has the right chemistry for you, the other people associated with the business, and the brand you are launching. (Fairy-Tale Success) 
  20. The place to start is with your customer. Let your customer’s needs, desires, fears, and aspirations deeply impact how you run your business. (Scale)
  21. Usually, when someone works hard, but does not accomplish their goal, accuracy is a major problem. (Connected to Goodness)
  22. Your business’s biggest Limiting Factor is the single biggest constraint currently limiting your growth. It’s the one ingredient that, if only you had more of it, would all ow your business to grow instantly. The more precisely you can identify your Limiting Factor, the easier it is to effectively push it back. (Scale)
  23. Those who are truly successful in their lives take responsibility for everything, and I mean everything. (Embrace Your Magnificence)
  24. Once a crisis has happened, you can’t dive under the covers and hide until conditions improve. The key to successful crisis management is to respond, and quickly. (Fairy-Tale Success) 
  25. Many entrepreneurs I’ve met feel about business as I initially did about driving. They see only the promise ad none of the risks. Or if they do see the risks, they minimize them through faulty assumptions. But if you can read your financial dashboard, you are in a position to make better business decisions beforehand, no mater what the economic conditions. (Accounting for the Numberphobic)
  26. No leads, no sales. No sales, no business. It’s that simple. The Sales/Marketing pillar finds clients, makes sales, and generates revenue. (Scale)
  27. In order to access the kind of clarity and energy that is required to build a successful business, you have to remember to take care of your body as well as your brand. Get enough sleep, eat right, take time to exercise, meditate–and above all, discover ways to relax and release stress that you will inevitably encounter as a growing new brand. (Fairy-Tale Success)
  28. All business plans lie. The entrepreneurs don’t try to lie, it’s just that everybody knows the rules, and besides they’re making statements about the future, a devilishly difficult area in which to exercise the science of prediction.  (Dust Tea, Dingoes & Dragons)
  29. Keeping your focus on what’s new and good, as well as on what you have accomplished, is important because it gives you a feeling of confidence. (Embrace Your Magnificence)

 

The Bookshelf

Book descriptions via Amazon.com

  • What started as a love letter to her young daughter has become Fabienne Fredrickson’s message to women everywhere: “You are a magnificent being, truly deserving of a full and abundant life.” In Embrace Your Magnificence, Fabienne lays out a course in self-esteem. She shows that when you realize how great you truly are, you free yourself to confidently shift your life. When you see how glorious and brave you are, you gather the courage to break out of your shell, stop playing small, and step into your potential. When you honor, love, and value yourself, you accept all the abundance the universe has in store for you. By living the principles within these 72 inspiring lessons, Fabienne has created an extraordinary life for herself and her family. Her advice—which comes from real-world experiences in both her personal life and her work with clients—is universally beneficial and can be applied in anyone’s life. With love, appreciation, and compassion, Fabienne encourages you to move forward in your own journey, so you too can have a richer, fuller, more abundant life.
  • Have you ever wanted to grow your business but held back because of fear that it would take over your life? As an owner, it’s all too common to feel you have to choose between your personal life and the success of your business. But the surprising truth is that the only way to truly scale and grow your company is to reduce its reliance on you. This means that, done right, scaling ensures that you can grow your business without sacrificing your life. Jeff Hoffman, a serial entrepreneur and former CEO in the Priceline.com (Priceline Yardsale) family of companies, and David Finkel, CEO of Maui Mastermind, a business coaching company with thousands of clients worldwide, offer a concrete road map for rapidly growing your business while also gaining more personal freedom. Scale offers a game plan to work less and get your business to produce more. Written by two world class entrepreneurs who have started, scaled, and successfully exited from multiple businesses, which collectively have generated tens of billions of dollars in sales, it gives you their bottom-line best ideas to effectively grow your company.
  • We’re told marketing is hard. That it requires months of analysis, weeks of brainstorming, and years of consistent implementation. To succeed in marketing, you need the fortitude of General Patton, the genius of Don Draper, and the cash reserves of Warren Buffet. WRONG. One week. That’s all it takes for most small and medium-sized businesses to dramatically improve their marketing. And let’s face it, most business owners do very little marketing, and what they do is not particularly effective. Business owners often don’t know how to best market their company, or are too busy working to make time to promote it. What they don’t realize is that effective marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Mark Satterfield’s The One-Week Marketing Plan lays out a step-by-step system entrepreneurs can put in place in just five business days. This “set it and forget it” strategy works all day, every day to bring in new business. Tailored to each company’s niche market, this innovative plan can generate a consistent stream of customers for an out-of-pocket expense of as little as $300. Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing, Inc., has more than two decades of experience helping clients in more than 75 niche industries grow their businesses without cold calling or hard selling. Now, in The One-Week Marketing Plan, his strategies and wisdom are accessible and realistic for entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals, and business owners looking to move in a new direction.
  • Advice for achieving your business goals! Meet Skyler Bouchard, founder and editor-in-chief of NYU’s first culinary website, NYU Spoon; Kit Hickey, cofounder of the menswear company Ministry of Supply; and Daisy Jenks, founder of the video and film production company Jenks & Co. These amazing women and countless others have turned their passions into a thriving venture–and now, you can, too! Written by business experts Adrienne Arieff and Beverly West, Fairy-Tale Success not only shares the success stories of innovative female entrepreneurs like Skyler, Kit, and Daisy, but also offers real-life strategies for launching your own business. Arieff and West guide you through the entire process, with important entrepreneurial lessons that show you how to turn your ideas into a reality and teach you the skills needed to ensure your business’s sustainability. You’ll find thought-provoking exercises and quizzes, sample budgets, and examples of successful marketing strategies that will help you design a business plan that works for you. Complete with advice from a talented and inspiring advisory board, Fairy-Tale Success proves that you don’t need a fairy godmother to make your dreams come true–all the entrepreneurial magic you need is already inside of you.
  • Dust Tea, Dingoes & DragonsJet lag, boardrooms, and high-pressure deals. That’s what international business brings to mind. But R.F. Hemphill makes us think again. Sharing a series of letters sent to his father during his decade of traveling the world building a billion-dollar company, Hemphill illuminates the always practical, sometimes poignant, and often funny ways we must connect if business is to be done.
  • Why do so many business owners dread looking at the numbers? They make excuses…They don’t have time…That’s what the accountant is for….But the simple truth is that no one else will ever be as invested in their company as they are–and they need to take control. As a small-business owner, financial statements are your most important tools–and if you don’t know how to read them and understand their implications, you cannot possibly steer your business successfully. “Accounting for the Numberphobic” demystifies your company’s financial dashboard: the Net Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet. The book explains in plain English how each measurement reflects the overall health of your business–and impacts your decisions. You will discover: How your Net Income Statement is the key to growing your profits – How to identify the break-even point that means your business is self-sustaining – Real-world advice on measuring and increasing cash flow – What the Balance Sheet reveals about your company’s worth – And more Illustrated with case studies and packed with practical action steps, this indispensable guide will put your business on the path to profitability in no time.
  • Connected to Goodness: Manifest Everything You Desire in Business and Life – David Meltzer is the chief executive officer (CEO) at Sports 1 Marketing. At Sports 1 Marketing, David’s sports and entertainment industry contacts are instrumental in exploiting his client’s marketing and endorsement potential, enabling him to secure lucrative and diverse business opportunities for all his clients, including endorsement deals, sponsorships, corporate equity ownership positions, and more. Prior to this, as CEO of Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment, David, along with Leigh and Warren Moon, negotiated over $2 billion in sports and entertainment contracts. In addition to athlete representation, LSSE served as creative and technical consultants on movie and television projects such as Jerry Maguire, Any Given Sunday, For the Love of the Game, and HBO’s Arli$$. David is considered one of the pioneers of the ever-changing online and interactive business channel development. David attended Occidental College and Tulane University Law School. He and his wife, Julie, and their four children live in California.

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

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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