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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. The true game-changer in business is to be sure that you and your team are taking enough chances, new routes if you will, and breaking fresh ground. This is not a loosey-goosey process or just a thoughtless periodic roll of the dice. Risk-taking requires discipline and confidence. (Tips from the Top)
  2. It is more damaging to have an outdated or blank account than to not participate online at all. (Brand Aid)
  3. In business, as in life, what you project will either generate trust, connection, and support or repel others and create difficult, stressful situations. The more your energy extends, supported by a strong center/ground, the larger and more powerful your presence. (Stress Less. Achieve More.)
  4. The next time someone asks for your opinion, and you know it’s contrary to that person’s viewpoint, take the risk of putting your perspective on the table rather than taking the path of least resistance by agreeing or saying you have no opinion. (Leading Women)
  5. The nice thing about using a simple thinking process is that you can quickly determine if you have enough information to comfortably proceed with your decision. If not, you feel more comfortable asking for more time to run through the process. That’s when having well-developed critical thinking skills such as situation assessment, problem solving, decision making, and action planning can be very useful. (Engage the Fox)
  6. A brand is what people think of you (Brand Aid)
  7. The success of a small company is determined by how well it satisfies its owners’ needs. Successful entrepreneurial businesses are not built by imitating the process used to manage thousands of people, or by learning how to effectively utilize millions of dollars in resources. Hunters build them…. Hunters don’t farm; they hunt. (Hunting in a Farmer’s World)
  8. My experience is that the best executives always have something to prove to themselves or somebody close to them. This proves the encore performer a strong incentive to jump back into the fray. (Tips from the Top)
  9. There is nothing special in what I do. It is my trade. It is one trade among scores that people do. Planting and selling is what I do best. It is how I support myself and contribute; nothing more….. Learn to still your desires. Learn to quiet that part of yourself that is tied to the world. You learn to do this by working, loving and serving. (The Appleseed Journal)
  10. The more you understand how your personality informs every decision you make and action you take as if you were on automatic pilot, the more you recognize the extent to which you have been boxed in by preconceived limitations and reactions. (Stress Less. Achieve More.)
  11. If you want to carry yourself with poise, you must understand who you are–who you really are. Take a look at your accomplishments when you were a child. (Leading Women)
  12. People will spend about four minutes learning about you via your internet footprint prior to meeting you. (Brand Aid)
  13. Intuitive types often come up with crazy ideas…. Remember they are not interested in grounding them in reality the way sensers are. Of the ten ideas they might generate, nine may be crazy. But that’s okay, because you only need one good idea. Besides what seems crazy now might not be crazy in the future. (Engage the Fox)
  14. Creators are not only disinterested in doing the work of the business; they may carefully avoid even learning how the work is done. They have an idea, and assemble capital and resources with the specific objective of creating wealth. It is the purist’s definition of entrepreneurship. (Hunting in a Farmer’s World)
  15. If we choose to listen, the body provides plenty of clues. Under continuous demands and pressure, the thinking mind works overtime. After a while, it become less efficient and harder to turn off. Sleep patterns may become disturbed; worry, doubts, and fears may arise; and depression or violent behavior may emerge. In its debilitated state, the body breaks down and disease occurs. (Stress Less. Achieve More.)
  16. You must also create an environment that fosters team members to venture further out on the proverbial limb in order to keep a discussion moving forward. Most times when people are reluctant to give it their best shot, it’s your fault because you’ve not communicated the value of, and your appreciation for, the practicality of providing relevant information that serves the purpose at hand. (Tips from the Top)
  17. Pick something you are good at doing. If you like to sew, sew beautiful clothes that others can wear as children of God. Love the work you do and love the creation about you. (The Appleseed Journal)
  18. The courageous leader asks for the tough project that no one wants and stays focused daily on the results. (Leading Women)
  19. Bottom line: be proactive in brand identification and management. It will make a difference. (Brand Aid)
  20. Hunters have to make quick decisions. For entrepreneurs, the freedom to make those decisions is a driving force in their desire to own a business. They equate the ability to make decisions with control, and they are self-employed because they want control. If control is good, then making decisions must be good. (Hunting in a Farmer’s World)
  21. To live more consistently in this ideal state, and lead a “stress less” life, we need to identify and sense/feel the clues and the changes we need to make. (Stress Less. Achieve More.)
  22. For the first time in history, girls are being brought up to believe they can, and should be something special. (Leading Women)
  23. Simply put, if you never do anything, nothing will ever happen. (Tips from the Top)
  24. We live in a world where people make decisions on doing business with you before they ever meet you. (Brand Aid)
  25. A person’s life is much like an apple tree. It starts from a seed and needs the correct elements to grow big and strong. There must be sunlight, rain and snow in the right proportion. As the branches reach up toward the sun so our roots burrow deep into the ground; from a season of work, fruit and other seeds to fill the tomorrows. The thousands of leaves represent our experiences which change with each season. (The Appleseed Journal)
  26. One of the toughest decisions of managers is to be able to determine what things they can decide right away and what decisions require discussion…. Generally speaking, the greater the impact of a decision, the more time and more involvement required. (Engage the Fox)
  27. Welcome to the new ‘normal.’ If you’re leading an organization today, you must devote the majority of your time and efforts to looking ahead and trying to find the answers before your competitors even know the questions. (Tips from the Top)
  28. Hunters choose to do what they do because they want control. (Hunting in a Farmer’s World)
  29. Remember loss aversion is a very powerful thinking trap. We hate the thought of losing. Research tells us that we hate to lose at least twice as much as we like to win. If you are focused on the fact that you could lose the paper, you might not be as creative as you need to be. (Engage the Fox)

The Bookshelf

(Descriptions from Amazon.com)

Stress Less. Achieve More.: Simple Ways to Turn Pressure into a Positive Force in Your Life – With greater workplace demands comes greater stress – and it’s taking a toll on our productivity and well-being. The standard recommendations are to exercise, meditate, eat better. But who has time for yoga poses amid nonstop meetings and pressing deadlines? Stress reduction becomes one more thing to do! Executive coach and psychotherapist Aimee Bernstein offers a more effective and realistic approach: embrace the pressure. See it as an energy source. Tap into its flow to accomplish more while feeling calm and centered. It’s a counter intuitive message that frenzied professionals can actually use. Stress Less. Achieve More delivers relief for the overwhelmed.

Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life – Now is the time… Stop waiting around for the career–and life–that you deserve and start taking the reins! Leading Women shows you how to claim power and respect, conquer your internal barriers, and change the world by helping other women do the same. Featuring stories from twenty nationally acclaimed female leaders, this empowering guide offers real-life advice for breaking free of the predetermined roles in the business world and life. Powerful women such as New York Times bestselling author Marci Shimoff, advocacy leader Gloria Feldt, and Emmy-winning television host Aurea McGarry describe what it’s like to go beyond their comfort zones, hold their own in a male-dominated environment, and take control of the situations that keep many women from achieving their goals.

Brand Aid: Taking Control of Your Reputation–Before Everyone Else Does – Think branding is just for large corporations, marketing directors, and cows? Think again. Each one of us has a brand – a personal brand, how others see us – which is shaped by what we do, say, write, and otherwise present ourselves to others. We can’t fully control how others see us (smart, capable, compassionate, creative, fair). But many of us don’t even try. That is, we don’t take a moment to think about how we WANT to be perceived, and then take a few simple steps to bolster that impression with purposeful action. BRAND AID isn’t a book about manipulating others, putting on airs, or saying things you don’t really mean. It IS about using our words and actions mindfully, whether they take place in a conference room, PTA meeting, dinner party, Facebook comment thread, or anywhere else.

The Appleseed Journal – Johnny Appleseed is an authentic American hero celebrated in film, literature and art. While famous for growing the apple industry, relatively little is known about his accomplishments in the world of spirit. Based on actual events, this Journal chronicles Johnny¹s travels during a period of time in 1843 when he mysteriously went missing. While on his way to a convention at the Church of New Jerusalem in Philadelphia, something transpired and he never arrived. Historically there is no information about why he did not attend. As a minister Johnny had a spiritual calling and provided apple seedling, a life staple along the frontier, as part of his work. It is rumored that Hudson Valley, New York is the place where Johnny planted a message so that it could be harvested by spiritual travelers in our time. This is his story.

Tips from the Top: 100+ Award-Winning Columns Proven to Solve Complex Business Puzzles Tips from the Top lays out key lessons through award-winning columnist and former Fortune 500 CEO Michael Feuer’s columns in 10 distinct sections: Managing People, Communication, Overcoming Challenges, Building Value, Innovation, Competition, Leadership, Customer Service, Evaluating Opportunities, and Negotiating. At their core, Feuer’s columns explain that results are more important than concepts. Initial business plans aren’t perfect and require constant tinkering. Victory means having a Plan A, B, C, and sometimes D. In the end, remember that you must always think on your feet in order to remain one step ahead of your competition. Tips from the Top will serve as your go-to business handbook for years to come.

Hunting in a Farmer’s World: Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur – Hunting in a Farmer’s World was the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards’ National Silver Medalist – Business Books and was also named “Best Business Book” in the 2014 New York Book Festival. All men (and women) are created equal, but that doesn’t mean that they are all the same. Entrepreneurs are different. Small business owners make up 3% of America s population, but they create two-thirds of the new jobs in our economy. They are hunters, and hunters have provided for others for thousands of years.

Engage the Fox: A Business Fable about Thinking Critically and Motivating Your Team – A more-than-memorable allegory that will teach you to embrace change, develop superior critical-thinking skills, and solve any problem that comes your way by using teamwork. Engage the Fox is a charismatic business fable set at a newspaper run by publisher Hedgehog, and his executive team of woodland creatures. When met with a difficult decision regarding where the newspaper industry is headed, as well as pressure to give discounts to their top advertisers, Hedgehog engages consultant Thaddeus P. Fox to teach the team at The Toad Hollow Gazettehow to make important decisions. By thinking critically and utilizing the different personality types present in the office, the team learns to see the big picture and tap the energy and imagination of everyone.

 

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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