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25 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. Self-made billionaires effectively operate in a world of dualities–they seamlessly hold on to multiple ideas, multiple perspectives, and multiple scales. (The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value)
  2. Negative thoughts are the nails that build a prison of failure. Positive thoughts will build you a masterpiece. We are ready for great things. Your mind is preparing for success and the room is prepared for us to begin building our masterpiece tomorrow. (The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All)
  3. Producers successfully marry patience and urgency, creating a dual perspective on time. (The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value)
  4. Building a business–just like raising children–takes work and determination. That’s not news. Over the course of the first 17 years of building the UGG brand and observing other businesses, I noticed a common theme: great expectations on pitiful budgets, unshakeable optimism, and grinding endurance in the face of unforeseen setbacks. I have no doubt that these have been the defining characteristics of entrepreneurs since time began. (The Birth of a Brand)
  5. Creating a vision statement may be the most important function as a leader. A vision holds everyone together, offering a kind of picture of what success looks like. (Everybody Paddles (3rd Edition): A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team)
  6. Every entrepreneur needs to step back and recognize where the team gaps are and find great team members to fill those gaps. I think we have done a great job of that as a startup. This is important because we are a premium priced product going after enterprises. That is not an easy lift. (Bootstrapping With A Paycheck: Entrepreneur Journeys)
  7. A good salesman doesn’t wing it…. You’ve got to be impeccably hones and do those things which make you reliable. You’v got to be able to say no and you’ve got to be able to say why you’ve said no. You’ve got to take care of the customer. Your business is on he line every time you take an order. (Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue)
  8. The way begins with love and love is the antidote to the fear, busyness, and stress you feel…. Do not fear failing. Do not fear losing clients. Do not fear that you won’t be successful. Do not fear that things won’t go your way. Instead do everything with love and you will cast out fear, you will flow instead of stress, and you will create more success than you could ever image. (The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All)
  9. That is what I tell every entrepreneur I meet. The number one reason your idea will fail is that you will give up. You will run out of money, and you will have pressure from family or other financial obligations. You need to do yourself a favor and work on your idea as much as you can during your off hours. When you hit the point that it becomes impossible to work both jobs at the same time, then it is probably the right time to leave and dedicate yourself fulltime to your company. (Bootstrapping With A Paycheck: Entrepreneur Journeys)
  10. Producers are not necessarily born salesmen. But we do see many of them seeking to gain virtuoso salesmanship before they launch their billion-dollar businesses. 79% of the billionaires in our sample had direct sales experience, and the majority of them had their first sales experience before their 13th birthday. (The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value)
  11. Make sure an employee knows his future possibilities within a company. (Everybody Paddles (3rd Edition): A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team)
  12. Always remember that your greatness as a leader will not be determined by how much power you accumulate. It will be determined by how much you serve and sacrifice for others to help them become great. Great leaders don’t succeed because they are great. The succeed because they bring out the greatness in others…. To be a great leader, you must be a servant leader. (The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All)
  13. Not all bets pan out–even for Producers. Throughout the population of self-made billionaires we saw repeated experience with significant setbacks that would have moved many to abandon any dreams of entrepreneurial independence. (The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value)
  14. Every entrepreneur starting out is concerned that their idea will be copied and imitated in the marketplace. If you provide a good product or service, and it does well in the marketplace, then it is almost guaranteed that there will be knockoffs. The secret to sustaining your leadership is to always strive for innovation that keeps you one step ahead of the imitators. The greatest asset that you have is vision. You see what is possible, but the imitators just see what you have done. (The Birth of a Brand)
  15. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most aspiring entrepreneurs ought to start their entrepreneurial journey while sitting inside a corporate umbrella. Especially for technical people, it allows for the enhancing of their technical skills, while also developing the bricks needed to build a venture. (Bootstrapping With A Paycheck: Entrepreneur Journeys)
  16. Mankind’s sources of energy will continue to evolve. But for the next few decades, fossil fuel will be critical just for maintaining civilization as it is today, and the expected escape from poverty by billions of people will require even more of it. The Second Law is always there, grinding away. And over the coming generation, the companies and countries that control fossil fuels are going to have more influence on the rest of the world then they ever had before. It’s going to be, at the nicest, the Colder War that Marin posits. (The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp)
  17. I could not be afraid to fail. At other points in my life I had failed, but I knew that the secret in such circumstances is to get back up, brush off the “dust” of a sense of failure or humiliation, and keep trying, just as the great tune Pick Yourself Up put it so well. (Everybody Paddles (3rd Edition): A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team)
  18. To survive and thrive, be ready to change and adapt. Many companies fail to make the transition from a medium size company to a very large one. (Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue)
  19. If you want to be successful, you must show you care about the work that you do. (The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All)
  20. The reality is that Producers don’t always fit. They think differently from others around them. The ideas they propose move agains the standard approach you are following, and that friction is what you need to achieve breakthrough value. If you don’t see some people leaving–frustrated because you still aren’t moving fast enough–then you aren’t pursuing enough Producer-friendly recruitment. (The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value)
  21. If you believe in your product, work to convince the people who are resisting. (Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue)
  22. You can’t give birth to adults. (The Birth of a Brand)
  23. The solution is to commit to being a better leader. Think of it as a New Year’s Resolution you really keep. (Everybody Paddles (3rd Edition): A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team)
  24. Anything worthwhile takes time to build. We all want success now, but that’s not how success works. After all, if we had immediate success, we wouldn’t build the character we need to sustain true success. The struggle, adversity, triumphs, and victories are all par of the building process, and we must embrace all of it. (The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All)
  25. One of today’s biggest opportunities is bringing modern technology to past-producing oil and gas fields and mining deposits. (The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp)

The Bookshelf

The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value – John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen decided to look more closely at self-made billionaires because creating $1 billion or more in value is an incredible feat. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, the authors concluded that many of the myths perpetuated about billionaires are simply not true. These billionaires aren’t necessarily smarter, harder working, or luckier than their peers. They aren’t all prodigies, crossing the billionaire finish line in their twenties. Nor, most of the time, do they create something brand-new: More than 80 percent of the billionaires in the research sample earned their billions in highly competitive industries…. This book breaks down the five critical habits of mind of massive value-creators, so you can learn how to identify, encourage, and retain such individuals—and maybe even become one yourself. The Self-made Billionaire Effect will forever change the way you think about talent and business value.

The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All – Drawing upon his work with countless leaders, sales people, professional and college sports teams, non-profit organizations and schools, Jon Gordon shares an entertaining and enlightening story that will inspire you to build a better life, career, and team with the greatest success strategies of all. If you are ready to create your masterpiece, read The Carpenter and begin the building process today.

The Birth of a Brand – Brian’s guiding principle: You can’t give birth to adults. Every company is conceived as an idea and birthed into reality, and the baby business grows through its infancy, toddler years, early youth, and tumultuous teens, to eventually arrive at maturity. For those who have yet to set their dreams into action or those who are already on the rocky road to success, this book is a candid, colorful, outrageous, enlightening adventure in product development, world-wide brand recognition, and star-struck fame and fortune.

Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue – After years of hard work and ensuing success, Mitzi Perdue offers unique and poignant insights to leaders and readers around the world through her biography of Frank Perdue, who revolutionized the chicken industry. Frank Perdue did chores as a child so young he needed two hands to hold a single egg. But from these humblest of beginnings, he built an empire that today spans the globe. Due to his intuitive sense of the market, there is hardly a person over the age of twenty-five who doesn’t know the tagline, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” Frank Perdue was an extremely thoughtful and thorough businessman. He studied every possible angle of business strategy, getting advice from every possible source, before making an important decision. This is his story, and also a personal story regarding the bond between Frank and Mitzi Perdue.

Everybody Paddles (3rd Edition): A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team – The Everybody Paddles principles provide an outline for successfully building company consensus and developing effective behavioral dynamics within an organization. Additionally, the principles are important problem-solving tools that provide techniques for solving interpersonal issues within an organization and how to remedy nonproductive dysfunctional patterns. You’ll learn how to put the right metrics in place, enabling teams to translate operational outcome into business solutions. Each foundation builder outlined in the book–partnerships, associations, collaborations, and teamwork–teaches facilitation skills aimed at helping you increase values, services, experience, engagement, and feedback. Whether the CEO of as global company or the head of a nonprofit, Everybody Paddles provides the insight and guidelines leaders need to unify their team.

The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp – There is a new cold war underway, driven by a massive geopolitical power shift to Russia that went almost unnoticed across the globe. In The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp, energy expert Marin Katusa takes a look at the ways the western world is losing control of the energy market, and what can be done about it. Russia is in the midst of a rapid economic and geopolitical renaissance under the rule of Vladimir Putin, a tenacious KGB officer turned modern-day tsar. Understanding his rise to power provides the keys to understanding the shift in the energy trade from Saudi Arabia to Russia. This powerful new position threatens to unravel the political dominance of the United States once and for all.

Bootstrapping With A Paycheck: Entrepreneur Journeys – In this eleventh volume of her acclaimed Entrepreneur Journeys series, Sramana Mitra takes on the subject of starting a company while holding onto a full-time job. She talks to entrepreneurs who have built sizable businesses while navigating the messy, cash-strapped startup phases using their own paychecks, or their spouses’ income. The experience simulates sitting down with each of them, discussing over a cup of coffee, the gory details of their decisions.

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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