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29 Business Tips & 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. Architects start by looking for what is not there. Instead of focusing on existing solutions, they hun for what is missing. They listen for silence and pay attention to what others ignore… Many of us pick up on anomalies or gaps but tend to find discrepancies into existing frames of reference. Architects don’t dismiss inconsistencies. They seize upon what they detect. (The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)
  2. Consequently, great idea, extraordinary teams, powerful organizations and some exceptionally gifted and talented individuals often fail. This is principally because they haven’t even considered the possibility of failure, let alone designed an environment or precess that help them thrive in spite of it. (Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence)
  3. Too many ideas detract focus from the primary goals. Mixed messages bewilder people. Irrelevant details bury key ideas. Complex, disorganized documents discourage people from reading. Convoluted sentences require rereading and waste time. (What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It)
  4. Great selling manifests itself in tactical skills that, with time, become ingrained behaviors. But it starts with a mindset, a heart-set. It’s all about love. The more you give, the more you get. Love more. Sell more. (A Sale Is A Love Affair: Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts)
  5. We are at the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way businesses offer employee health benefits and the way Americans get health insurance–a shift from an employer driven defined benefit model to an individual-driven defined contribution model. This parallels a similar shift in employer-provided retirement benefits that took place two to three decades ago from defined benefits to defined contribution retirement plans. Over the next 10 years, 100 million Americans will move from employer-provided health insurance to individually-purchased health insurance. (The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance)
  6. One thing we’ve seen again and again is that the road to success for a mom entrepreneur is not always straight. In fact, more often than not it’s quite crooked. It evolves with twists and turns along the way. (Moms Mean Business)
  7. No prospect is out of your league unless you believe it. This is one of the biggest self-limiting beliefs of startups and under-performing salespeople alike. (A Sale Is A Love Affair: Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts)
  8. That’s how creators work. They seize the wheel, their eyes focused ahead, weaving around the potholes of naysayers and distractions. They have one objective: success. Nothing will get in their way. (The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)
  9. Failing to fit your oxygen mask first will most likely render you unconsciously pretty quickly, leaving you unable to play the hero you so often image you could be. (Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence)
  10. The principle that people value what they create applies to ideas as well as to items. (What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It)
  11. …we see four basic components to all of our connections: (1) Needs (2) Feelings (3) Meanings (4) Observations (Conscious Choosing for Flow: Transforming Conflict Into Creativity)
  12. A great conversation is give-and-take. Talk a little. Listen a little. Then when you talk again, it should have purpose, direction. It should go one layer deeper into the onion. (A Sale Is A Love Affair: Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts)
  13. Unless your company is large enough to have dedicated, full-time employees managing employer-provided health insurance program, the money and time you and your managers spend getting your employees covered is one of the greatest threats to your business. That’s because every hour you spend managing your employer-provided health insurance is another hour you are not spending managing and improving your product or service. (The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance)
  14. Creators test ideas in low-risk experiments and quickly, creatively, and inexpensively gather insights to determine whether a product or a idea will take off. By taking small risks, they avoid catastrophic mistakes. (The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)
  15. Simple ideas sell. But making the complex simple–that’s hard. (What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It)
  16. Before we can use fear as fuel for performance we must first understand how we are reacting to it and what its scope of influence is. Initially, we need to have a good understanding of whether the fear is realistic or not. (Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence)
  17. The thing to keep in mind is that your sense of satisfaction and fulfillment will always be a direct reflection of how clearly you determine what you want and how closely you are following a plan to achieve it. (Moms Mean Business)
  18. The main economic reason why individual health insurance is better for employers is that it keeps management focused on improving their products and services versus improving their employer-provided health insurance. (The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance)
  19. If there is one thing that any salesperson should do when a buyer raises a concern, it’s to agree with the buyer’s reason for stating the objection. This does not mean that you agree with the content of the objection. It does not mean that you roll over and play dead to keep the buyer happy. It means that you build a bond, an alliance, with the buyer by first affirming that they are acting responsibly by voicing their objection. (A Sale Is A Love Affair: Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts)
  20. Curiosity is the beginning means or strategy by which we solve problems and meet our collective human needs. (Conscious Choosing for Flow: Transforming Conflict Into Creativity)
  21. Networking minds disrupts cohesion. By interacting with more diverse minds, creators move beyond routine thinking to come up with greater insights. (The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)
  22. …sticking with the boundaries having to do with your time lets you more easily accomplish all that you are setting out to do. And guess what? Sometimes when it comes to boundaries, you will be protecting yourself rom you! (Moms Mean Business)
  23. The first reaction any employee will have when you tell them your company is canceling employer-provided health insurance is panic. Therefore, it is vital for your company to be prepared to address all concerns quickly and transparently. (The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance)
  24. A rut can be an indication that something needs to change. It can be trying to show you that you need to think about moving in a different direction. It can help you see that you have unrealistic expectations. Look for the lesson, if there is one, and then you can begin to find your way out. (Moms Mean Business)
  25. Feelings are the internal nudge we experience within our body and our minds that tell us that something important is happening…. Feelings are like the GPS, as in our cars, that tell us when we’re off course or on the right path. (Conscious Choosing for Flow: Transforming Conflict Into Creativity)
  26. Creation is at bottom an act of faith, a commitment to a dream of the future. All of us hold within ourselves the potential to become creators, and the expanding universe of entrepreneurship provides infinite pathways for us to explore–if we dare. (The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)
  27. People rarely change their thinking or behavior based solely on logic. And remember that negative emotions can block the inclination and ability to reason altogether. Consider emotional appeals and the power of stories to drive your message deep into the brain. (What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It)
  28. As salespeople, we must lose sight of the fact that our competitor is sometimes not just another company offering services similar to ours. Very often, our biggest competitor is no decision at all. (A Sale Is A Love Affair: Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts)
  29. The sale is virtually never in the product, it is always in the prospect. (Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence)

The Bookshelf

The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Why It’s Good for You and Your Company – The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance is a comprehensive guide to utilizing new individual health plans to save 20 to 60 percent on health insurance. This book is written to ensure that you, your family, and your company get your fair share of the trillions of dollars the U.S. government will spend subsidizing individual health insurance plans between now and 2025. You will learn how to navigate the Affordable Care Act to save money without sacrificing coverage, and how to choose the plan that offers exactly what you, your family and your company need. Over the next 10 years, 100 million Americans will move from employer-provided to individually purchased health insurance. The purpose of The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance is to show you how to profit from this paradigm shift while helping you, your family, and your employees get better and safer health insurance at lower cost. It will help you save thousands of dollars per person each year and protect you from the greatest threat to your financial future—our nation’s broken employer-provided health insurance system.

Moms Mean Business: A Guide to Creating a Successful Company and Happy Life as a Mom Entrepreneur – There are 9 million women-owned businesses in the United States; they account for $1.3 trillion in revenue. American women are starting businesses at a rate twice that of men. Most of these women are also moms. What does it take to be successful as both a mom and as an entrepreneur? Moms Mean Business gives existing and potential mom business owners the encouragement, advice, and healthy dose of “how-to” they need.

Conscious Choosing for Flow: Transforming Conflict Into Creativity – Whether it’s a minor argument or a long-lasting dispute, conflict is an unavoidable reality of working and interacting with others. But while you’ll find countless books on how to manage or negotiate conflict in the workplace, the real key is learning how to transform it—consciously taking the destructive tension of disconnection and, in the moment, choosing to turn it into something dynamic and creative. This is the process of creating flow: a positive, forward-moving energy that bolsters human connections and enhances your results. And it starts with recognizing the real reasons that conflicts and disconnections occur—the needs and feelings that remain unacknowledged or unsatisfied.

The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs – Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products, and build businesses—even $100 million businesses. How do some people turn ideas into enterprises that endure? Why do some people succeed when so many others fail? The Creator’s Code unlocks the six essential skills that turn small notions into big companies. This landmark book is based on 200 interviews with today’s leading entrepreneurs including the founders of LinkedIn, Chipotle, eBay, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Spanx, Airbnb, PayPal, Jetblue, Gilt Groupe, Theranos, and Dropbox.

What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It – An essential guidebook for honing business communication skills. Communications expert Dianna Booher provides an essential nine-point checklist for success in the art of communication and persuasion—for building solid relationships, and for increasing credibility in the workplace. With lessons from politics, pop culture, business, family life, and current events, the book identifies common reasons that communicators fail to accomplish their goals, along with examples and analyses of messages that succeed and those that fail.

 

A Sale Is A Love Affair: Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts – The top salespeople in any industry are loved by their customers. They build a deep, human connection with their customers that parallels finding love, falling in love and growing a trusting, romantic relationship. While researching A Sale Is A Love Affair, Jack discovered that the advice given by today’s dating coaches and marriage counselors correlates directly with the best practices used by the leading marketing consultants and sales trainers. The mindset is actually a heart-set. It focuses on pulling customers through their purchasing cycle, not pushing them through your sales cycle. Jack uses stories and anecdotes that make eye-opening links between romantic relationships and complex sales. It’s all about attracting early on and building trust at every step. Keep it simple in marketing. Go deeper in sales. Love more. Sell more.

Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence – Appealing to humans’ basic instincts to increase influence, buy-in and results Survival of the species comes down to three basic instincts, say behavioural research strategists Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan—fear, self-interest and simplicity. These basic human behaviours come into play in all types of relationships,including those between businesses and customers. Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop fighting human nature and increase your performance, engagement and influence, demystifies these behaviours and examines the psychology behind why even the best ideas sometimes fail. This book helps businesses design their organisations for reality rather than perfection, and also offers strategies to head off unprecedented levels of disengagement within, and outside, the business. It answers baffling questions around why the public sometimes fails to engage despite overwhelming data suggesting otherwise, why so many new products end up on clearance shelves and why so many great salespeople often fall short of their monthly targets.

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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