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27 Business Tips & Lessons from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

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. One of the overlooked parts of business is marketing, advertising and even sales. While it is very important to have a great product and service and provide exceptional customer service, it is also very important to drive traffic to your website or storefront and let people know that you are in business. (Lil Bessie Starts a Business)
  2. The most difficult thing in life is to “know thyself,” that is to know yourself. It takes time and effort–to really question, reflect, and know authentically who we are, not what other people want us to be. It takes and effort to know our strengths and talents, and then to use them in service to others. It takes time and effort to know our weaknesses and shortcomings, and then to compensate for them so that they don’t become excuses for not living a meaningful life. Knowing yourself, to be sure, poses life’s most formidable existential challenge…. However the human quest for meaning requires that we do accept this challenge… (The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work)
  3. I’ve learned that being vulnerable and grateful increases my humility, which in turn, surprisingly increases my joy. (Jumping into the Parade: The Leap of Faith That Made My Broken Life Worth Living)
  4. As we become better learners and more open to testing our views of the world and of ourselves, our stories and mental models become more complex and nuanced and we are able to sense and recognize more complex patterns. (Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization)
  5. The real plus about reading the air is that you can add value. You understand the organization, you know where the needs are, and you can act. (What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work)
  6. So that funds are separate, it is important to have a separate account away from your personal checking and savings account. (Lil Bessie Starts a Business)
  7. Uplifting service is not just a business mantra; it’s a transformational mindset. It’s a powerful diver of engagement, loyalty and trust. It’s an accelerant, a connector, and a movement. And it’s the only aspect of business that fuels and feeds the spirit of every person to create a sustainable advantage, a continuous improvement, and a constant uplifting of people’s performance, passion, and potential. (Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet)
  8. However, Plato believed that, in many situations, we do not need to ask anyone for guidance because we already “know” what the right answer is for us. (The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work)
  9. Tough is about ultimately believing more in growth than in fear and having the confidence to weather serious new challenges. It is about stretching to adapt to new situations and working in a way that was previously unfamiliar. When the going gets tough, you develop the strength to tune out your own anxieties and fears about change.(What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work)
  10. While a traditional 30-40 page business plan may not be necessary for success, unless you are trying to obtain financing from a bank, it is important to have a plan in place for how you are going to run your business. (Lil Bessie Starts a Business)
  11. Sometimes before you can move forward, you have to look back. You have to deal with that baggage you’re carrying, because you can’t take it all with you on the new journey. It’s weighing you down and you’re stuck until you lighten your load. Often we don’t even know what that baggage is until we stop and examine it. (Jumping into the Parade: The Leap of Faith That Made My Broken Life Worth Living)
  12. But if you’re not working on purpose–and really making an impact in the world for the greater good–then why are you doing it? (The Curious One: From Food Stamps to CEO – One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success and Love)
  13. A Service Improvement Process creates focus. It keeps the spotlight on service improvement and builds passion for elevating service. (Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet)
  14. To be an expert thinker or an expert leader takes 10,000 hours of deliberate, focused practice. (Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization)
  15. The more we wear these masks and play someone else’s role, the further away we are from our authentic selves. We lose ourselves when we let others determine who we should be…. We are so busy fulfilling the dreams and meeting the expectations of others; and then one day we wake up and ask ourselves the existential question, “Who am I?” (The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work)
  16. Courage also means ignoring the “noise” you hear from others. People may tell you you’re crazy. They will criticize you, tell you to be cautious, or fill your head with fear. (What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work)
  17. Service is not about what you do, the process you use, or how well you follow procedures. Service is about the experience and the value you create for someone else. (Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet)
  18. Learning requires three good “meta self-management skills: metacognition, metacommunicating and metaemotions. We have to be aware (mindful) of when we need to take our thinking and communicating to a higher, more intentional and deliberate level–and communicating to a higher, more intentional and deliberate level–and by our role modeling this behavior, leaders can encourage it in those they manage. (Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization)
  19. My struggle made me want to see what was possible. To push the boundaries. To not let people define me. To never conform. EVER. (The Curious One: From Food Stamps to CEO – One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success and Love)
  20. Each of us defies our sense of victimization in the world—or our sense of victory. A very slight turn of feeling and perception can shift the entire way we see ourselves operating in the world. That reframed perspective is the difference between being a passive victim or an active participation in life. (Jumping into the Parade: The Leap of Faith That Made My Broken Life Worth Living)
  21. Amazon knows that service means creating value. And it understand that different people value different things. Amazon is not just about selling useful products; it is providing a powerful service experience loaded with customer-pleasing value. (Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet)
  22. Discovering our true nature, or core essence is part of our natural progression in life and is part of what gives our lives purpose and, ultimately, meaning. Our core essence reveals itself through all of life’s experiences, both our joys and our difficulties. Once we understand this basic fact of life, all things become clearer, we come to know and feel more confident about our direction, and we notice that meaning-focused energy begins to flow freely to and through us. In other words, we’re no longer working against the flow of who we really are. (The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work)
  23. It will take effort to make your new behaviors and actions a permanent part of the way you work and life. There will be days when you feel fear coming over you and you just can’t seem to make anything fun…. It will take some monitoring to make sure your old habits do not return and take over. (What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work)
  24. Life is about embracing both the joys and challenges of life, not simply going through the motions. It is not the wholeness of life that we should be pursing and embracing, not wishing for balance where the ups and downs are in equal amounts. (The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work)
  25. I needed to stop appeasing others and to start building my own identity from the ground up. I needed to equip myself with the tools that would allow me to integrate all the pieces of my life into one whole and consistent person…. I needed to move from victim to victor, and that’s exactly what I planned to do. (Jumping into the Parade: The Leap of Faith That Made My Broken Life Worth Living)
  26. So my advice to you, wherever you are in life, is to take what you have and run with it. When you don’t have any other choice other than moving forward, that’s just what you do. If you just keep going, you’ll figure it out along the way. (The Curious One: From Food Stamps to CEO – One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success and Love)
  27. If you’re a leader, manager, or a teammate and you want to change your organization, the best advice I can give you is to change yourself first. (Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization)

The Bookshelf

Lilbessie_cover (1)Lil Bessie Starts a Business: How One Girl Started a Business & You Can Too! (eBook) – After Lil’ Bessie finds out her mother and father can’t pay for her to go to the County Fair, she has to come up with a way to make enough money so that she can still go. Join Lil’ Bessie as she figures out how to start a business so that she can enjoy the County Fair with all of her friends. Lil’ Bessie Starts a Business: How One Girl Started a Business & You Can Too! is a short story for all ages that teaches aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners step-by-step actions to take when starting a business. The appendix features detailed advice to take when starting a business that new and seasoned entrepreneurs can appreciate. If you have a business or if you are thinking about starting one, this is a great resource for you!

The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work – In chasing “the good life,” many of us sacrifice our relationships, our health, and our sanity, but at the end of the day, we still find ourselves with lives and work that bring us little fulfillment. Life isn’t about the pursuit of happiness, which is superficial and fleeting. It’s about meaning, which helps us realize our full potential, and knowing that our lives and work matter—regardless of circumstances.

What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work – What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work shows you how to develop your career in a way that uniquely suits you. Tobin has spent 25 years using the strategies outlined in this book to inspire hundreds of executives and thousands of students to create the kind of lives they want at work. Offering a mix of inspiring advice, practical suggestions, questions for reflection, and uplifting stories, What Do You Want to Create Today? is an essential guide in finding happiness and fulfillment via your work.

Jumping into the Parade: The Leap of Faith That Made My Broken Life Worth Living – Jumping into the Parade is a memoir that illuminates why embracing the edges, owning the traumatic events that shape us, and facing the stress that life can throw our way allow us to transcend our circumstances and live authentic lives in alignment with our own values—not the values others believe we should hold. Tim’s raw and humbling story provides inspiration, thought-provoking insight, and, most important, hope. Hope for those who, like Tim, want to overcome their personal struggles and flaws to reframe and embrace life on their own terms.

Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization – To compete with today’s increasing globalization and rapidly evolving technologies, individuals and organizations must take their ability to learn–the foundation for continuous improvement, operational excellence, and innovation–to a much higher level. In Learn or Die, Edward D. Hess combines recent advances in neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics, and education with key research on high-performance businesses to create an actionable blueprint for becoming a leading-edge learning organization.

The Curious One: From Food Stamps to CEO – One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success and Love – The Curious One is the story of how Chelsea left behind the heartache of her past and found peace in her present. It’s about the triumph that comes from living your life on purpose, not only when it’s easy, but when it feels like your life is crumbling to pieces at your feet. With each turn of the page you’ll discover the resiliency of boundless love, the power of commitment, the magic of acting curious, and what it takes to live with arms wide open.

Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet – New York Times bestselling author Ron Kaufman knows the answer to this question, and not only believes we can do it better, but shows us how. In Uplifting Service he takes you on a journey into a new world of service that is guided by fundamental principles and actionable models. After more than two decades helping leaders transform their service cultures, Kaufman has discovered that while each successful team is different, the architecture they apply to build an uplifting service culture is the same.

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of 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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