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24 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. When your eyes are open to the best in others, you just might be amazed at what you see. And what you see will be people and sustainable results achieved through the artistry of achieving those results, while simultaneously building relationships. (People Artists)
  2. The key to success is beginning with your ideal goals in mind, and then mapping the specific steps toward achieving those goals. (Elegant Entrepreneur)
  3. Entrepreneurs are not interchangeable like batteries or light bulbs; the best opportunity for you is unique to you. (Unleash Your Inner Company)
  4. If young people today, or everyone else for that matter, understood that [sheer perseverance] then this ‘I tried my best’ epidemic would instantly end, people would find jobs, and businesses would notice a huge uptick in their profitability. (Breaking Conformity)
  5. Focus on the high priority behaviors in your organization, your team, in each role, or those that are particular focal points for particular individuals. (Bridging the Soft Skills Gap)
  6. Whether you are interviewing, auditioning or making a speech, there is one thing performances have in common: you are being judged. It might be by an audience, by a panel or–in some ways more scarily–by your own friends and colleagues. (It’s Not What You Say)
  7. The more you upsize the customer need you satisfy, the greater your venture’s potential, but the more resources you will generally require. (Unleash Your Inner Company)
  8. Soft skills can also make the difference between mediocre and good; between good and great; between great and “one of a kind.” (Bridging the Soft Skills Gap)
  9. Putting your big idea through the innovation gauntlet is tough. (Elegant Entrepreneur)
  10. People listen to you if you listen to them. (It’s Not What You Say)
  11. Show me an organization with a strong, positive corporate culture and I will show you an organization that is very clear about exactly which soft skill behaviors are high priority and sings about those high priority behaviors from the rooftops often. (Bridging the Soft Skills Gap)
  12. You cannot be a People Artist without fully engaging with others. Conversation is a pathway that requires caring, listening, seeing, talking and giving. (People Artists)
  13. Intelligent entrepreneurs appreciate someone who can ask for help instead of hiding behind ego, and typically will go out of their way to aid them. (Elegant Entrepreneur)
  14. People are drawn to those who build them up. Practicing this attracts good people to you and elevates you to a position of leadership. (Unleash Your Inner Company)
  15. Basic work habits are matter of “self-management,”which has been a recurring theme in our work nearly since our research began. That’s because 99 percent of managers I’ve ever met would rather not have to do all the hard work of managing their direct reports, but instead deal with employees who pretty much manage themselves: “Do everything they are supposed to do when and how they are supposed to do it, on their own, without guidance, direction, or support.” (Bridging the Soft Skills Gap)
  16. Sometimes a goal needs to be put on pause: whether because you choose to do something else for a season, because it has taken another direction, or because you realize it’s no longer a goal you want to pursue. It’s okay, because you rule your goals, your goals don’t rule you. (Breaking Conformity)
  17. Many first-time entrepreneurs limit their thinking about opportunities to consumer retail, such as clothing, home furnishing, and restaurants. But consumer retail is so visible to so many entrepreneurs that the opportunities tend to be highly competitive. (Unleash Your Inner Company)
  18. Rehearsal is all about what the audience takes in, not what you put in. (It’s Not What You Say)
  19. Hard skills are easier to define and measure, yes. Hard skills are critical and they deserve lots of attention, but don’t let anybody fool you: Soft skills are every bit as important. For the vast majority of your workforce, soft skills are the key to your success in the workplace and competitive difference int he marketplace. (Bridging the Soft Skills Gap)
  20. Owning your entrepreneur status is incredibly empowering. It validates you and your efforts to create something new. (Elegant Entrepreneur)
  21. A good heart goes a long way when it comes to forging relationships. We create safety in relationships and teams when others know we care about them and care about what they are trying to achieve. This also give us a strong foundation to confront them on gaps in performance or resolving conflicts. (People Artists)
  22. Setbacks are opportunities in disguise. (Elegant Entrepreneur)
  23. Winning need sot be no matter what. Winning happens in the effort put forth, so trying your best should always be a forgone conclusion.That doesn’t always mean the goal will be reached, but when pursued with a mindset that never even considers coming up short, success will be more likely. (Breaking Conformity)
  24. Recurring revenue streams are generally less volatile and more predictable than single-order revenue and thus reduce the riskiness of your company. (Unleash Your Inner Company)

Books from the Bookshelf

Summaries from Amazon.com

  • Bridging the Soft Skills Gap – Solve the number one problem with today’s young workforce—the soft skills gap. The number one challenge with today’s young talent is a problem hiding in plain sight: the ever-widening soft skills gap. Today’s new, young workforce has so much to offer—new technical skills, new ideas, new perspective, new energy. Yet too many of them are held back because of their weak soft skills.
  • It’s Not What You Say: How to Sell Your Message When It Matters Most – No matter what the speaking challenge is, this inspirational, cleverly illustrated book will help readers perform with passion, power and persuasion—at the top of their game. Whether chasing a job, planning a pitch, giving a speech at a wedding, presenting to one or one thousand people, readers of It’s Not What You Say will discover how to: (1) Use the rule of three to win any audience over (2) Prepare so you can be yourself – but better (3) Embrace the unknown and conquer any fear. Capturing a life time’s work in the art of persuasive communication, this powerful book reveals the principles, tools and tricks to help you become a courageous, memorable, stand-out speaker.
  • People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work – Rideau Recognition Solutions Chief Executive Officer Peter W. Hart and author David Zinger, a globally recognized expert on the subject of worker engagement, have teamed up to write “People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work” The authors of “Ennoblement Imperative: People Artistry at Work.” Hart and Zinger offer readers a second look into People Artistry and how one can inspire others at work (and home). People Artists engage workers fully, granting them the attention they deserve yet which has become rare in a world governed by checklists and multi-tasking. (Reports say anywhere from 30% to 70% of the global workforce is disengaged on the job.) For example, Hart and Zinger suggest that managers stop and take time to talk with colleagues during the daily flow of work. A simple ten-second pause to notice mood and body language can make every conversation more productive, and in turn, increase the odds of rooting out problems before they become systemic.
  • Elegant Entrepreneur – This is a female founder s guide to grow a company from idea to exit, regardless of whether you have a business background or entrepreneurial ties. It is not a textbook containing exhaustive abstract business tenants; it is the book I wish was available when I started my first company. I wrote this book to fill a void there are very few how-to-build your business/become an entrepreneur books written by women for women. I will not only explain the steps to building a successful company, I will illustrate elegant insights to smooth what can be a very awkward and precarious navigation between those business steps. My goal is to not only help a new generation of women find their place in the entrepreneurial world, but to enable them to flourish! This book is a left brain/right brain map.
  • Breaking Conformity – The best way to communicate and to educate as well as help people see the truth is storytelling. Walt Disney one of the best storytellers ever knew this simple concept from the very beginning when he first dreamed up his first animated character, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit which he lost the rights to because of some unexpected legal problems he had not anticipated. Even after losing the rights to Oswald, Walt went on to create Mickey Mouse because he knew the secret of success is to never, never, never give up. The rest is history. Breaking Conformity is a fantastic story that will educate you to understand why you should not believe or accept many common myths at face value and will also teach you how to make simple myths come true if you also do the hard work that follows many simple statements that makes up some of the most popular myths in business today. Breaking Conformity will teach you the recipe for success through very effective storytelling. To be successful and to achieve your goals you need to know the whole story about how successful people get more done that other people and how they focus on the details and never quit learning.
  • Unleash Your Inner Company: Use Passion and Perseverance to Build Your Ideal Business – Discover Your Unique Advantages–Shape and Grow Them into a Successful Business. Unleash Your Inner Company provides an innovative, proven, step-by-step process for anyone who aspires to start and grow their own business. Author John Chisholm–president of the worldwide MIT Alumni Association–brings an insider’s view that distills three decades of successful, serial entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. His book combines practical principles, entertaining anecdotes, deep insights, challenging exercises, and illuminating graphics to guide the reader in conceiving, designing, building, testing, and scaling up the ideal business for them.

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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