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36 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.

Innovation is literally the lifeblood of any company’s continued growth and future survival. (Mantra Design)

Customers, however, see the current wave of creative destruction as something to be celebrated. That’s because it bring an endless stream of new products and services, each better than the last. (Trend-Driven Innovation)

Wandering through life without a clear destination or plan to get there is just like drifting in a sailboat and letting the winds and currents carry you wherever they may be going. All of this is due to lack of clarity. More specifically, not having a clearly defined vision of where you want to go. (Clarity)

There are certain support people every business and business owner needs to help make their business successful. You have so many decisions to make on a day-t0-day basis in running your business that it’s important you are able to sleep at night regarding items outside of your business. (Building A Stellar Business)

The process of checking and aligning individual goals with team goals thus does as much to support team performance as it benefits individuals. (Committed Teams)

While sales are the foundation of a network marketing business, few people achieve financial freedom by going it alone. The way to earn highest incomes is to attract good people and mentor them to their highest potential. True leaders know that the key to success is to build a winning team around you, and that is the crux of a network marketing business. You lead to success. (Be a Network Marketing Leader)

So, before you dive into a transformation effort, you want to be sure transformation is what your sales organization actually needs, rather than small, incremental changes (tweaks). (7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation)

There are generally 3 paths you can take with the Boss of a Few Model. You can buy a franchise, purchase an existing business, or start your own business. (Be Your Best Boss)

Similar to finding the best way to reach a destination or arranging your living room, seamless, customer-friendly, and integrated design does not happen quickly and sometimes takes weeks, months, or even years; but it does converge over time, design tweak after design tweak. (Mantra Design)

But for customers, the Expectation Economy is about increasing excitement, opportunity, diversity, and value. Expectations of rising quality, positive impact, and personal expression mean that people are justifiably enthusiastic participants in an ever-accelerating cycle of expectation, consumption, and meaningful impact, and yet more consumption. (Trend-Driven Innovation)

75% of our health comes from nutrition, 20% comes from exercise and 5% comes from supplements.(Clarity)

Attention scarcity is a major issue today–and it’s only going to get worse. There’s so much information and so many applications vying for our attention. (7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation)

Simply put, a business plan is a road map outlining the route your business intends to take in order to succeed. (Be Your Best Boss)

Great businesses are the result of a good idea that materialized and ultimately yielded favorable revenues and a dominating market share. Therefore, it goes without saying that you can have the best idea in the world, but if you don’t have a plan to bring that concept to commercial market in a timely manner, then your idea is nothing more than an dream. (Mantra Design)

When you focus your business on people, they will feel stronger, stay longer, and perform better. Build your business as a community that will attract good people and encourage them to stay. (Be a Network Marketing Leader

The secret to spotting trends and being ready to act on the opportunities they present you lies in identifying point of tension between what people want and what is currently available. (Trend-Driven Innovation)

Your people are your most important asset. Set up the structure of your company based on what duties need to be performed and then fill each job with a qualified strong candidate. (Building A Stellar Business)

Isn’t it true that a certain level of success breeds complacency, while hardship ignites a fighting spirit? Most of us are not fighting a live opponent in the ring, but our battles are still very real. Instead of fighting another man with boxing gloves, we fight agains t our fears, our doubts and the temptation to give up when it gets too hard. But if we have a compelling reason why we must succeed, then we will continue to fight, because giving up is simply not an option. (Clarity)

A champion knows the way and shows the way. Let your personal performance set the bar for your most ambitious team members! (Be a Network Marketing Leader)

Opportunities are all around you and it behooves every product developer to get out of their office as well as their place of business to view the perspective of all the customers beyond the immediate end user. (Mantra Design)

When setting your focus, remember: consumers are embracing new behaviors. So should you. (Trend-Driven Innovation)

Here’s the truth: If you haven’t failed, then you really haven’t lived up to your potential, because you haven’t attempted anything significant enough that pushes you outside your comfort level. (Clarity)

Although 3D printers have been with us for about 30 years, they are still in their infancy and are just starting to cross into the mainstream. Both companies and consumers are wondering how to use them. The people who will figure it out are the innovators of tomorrow–most of whom are kids today–and they will figure it out fast. (3D Printing Will Rock the World)

The term “mindfulness” is closely related to “life focus,” the term that I am using in this book to designate the process of people paying attention to the lives they are living. While there is considerable overlap between the idea of mindfulness and life focus, mindfulness conjures up interiority while life focus points to life in both its interior and exterior dimensions. That means for example, that mindfulness conjures up interiority while life focus points to life in both its interior and exterior dimensions. (Beyond Therapy)

Lastly, run a proactive company, not a reactive one. Your bottom line will be healthier and your headaches reduced. (Building A Stellar Business)

One advantage of involving your customers is that they can help you sell to them and cocreate the very products and services they want to buy. The cocereation approach has value because customers know better than you what it’s like and what it should be like to be your customer. (7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation)

The #1 reason we suffer from junk and the clutter in our lives? I believe it’s lack of clarity. When you’re not clear, you tend to be indecisive; you tend to vacillate between the course of action you should take to accomplish goals in all areas of life, and courses of action (or inaction) that won’t yield those results. (Clarity)

The mistakes made by McChrystal’s team in becoming an HPT [High Performing Team] were the same ones we see all the time in organizations around the world. Misaligned priorities, poor information-sharing, unseen situational factors, confused roles–these are common failings taht hinder teams from achieving their full potential…(Committed Teams)

Become the conductor of your community. Whatever motivates your team members to join, or whatever ambitions or talents they bring to the team, learn to draw the maximum performance from each of them. Leaders who know how to harvest the potential that exists within every team member are always the most successful. (Be a Network Marketing Leader)

The biggest misconception of all is that we constantly feel that there is no other choice. It is what it is. We simply accomodate ourselves with the idea that, if we follow certain guidelines and rules, no one will be pointing their finger at us to judge; rather we will be expecting a reward of some sort for abiding with the terms imposed on us. (The Orchestra and Its Maestro)

Accept the fact that you have been custom-made to serve an exclusive function in this world, even if that role and plan to fulfill it are not yet clear to you. This is your genius, and it’s up to you to find it. (Clarity)

There are two basic ways to build an entrepreneurial empire: multiply your existing units of business or diversify your portfolio with various unrelated businesses. A third way is to do both. (Be Your Best Boss)

3D printing rocks manufacturing by replacing all of these steps with fundamentally different machines and materials that substantially simply the manufacturing process, reducing its costs and carbon footprint and eliminating the need for economies of scale.  (3D Printing Will Rock the World)

Financial statements can tell so much about a company. More importantly, they can be used to monitor or measure anything you want them to, and many industries have ratios that you can measure yourself against, provided you have the correct information to do so. (Building A Stellar Business)

While planning and talking is part of the transformation process, implementation is where you make your mark. (7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation)

Innovation is a deliberate, painstaking activity, and your team can study and practice it. (Committed Teams)

Books from the Bookshelf

Summaries from Amazon.com

  • Mantra Design – Innovate, Buy or Die!: Discover the Secrets for Profitable and Lasting Innovation – Mantra Design – Innovate, Buy or Die! reveals the secrets for the identification of your customer’s unmet needs including how best to introduce profitable and lasting innovation solutions. Dana’s first book describes the effective application of leadership mantras combined with his 30 years of experience and an impressive track record of revenue generation provides the foundation for an easy to understand methodology that highlights the power of true innovation leadership. The resultant second creation is the definitive innovation leadership guide book for every new product development professional aspiring to introduce premium priced, patent protected, market share leading products.
  • Beyond Therapy: Igniting Life Focus Community Movements – In Beyond Therapy, Erving Polster examines the role of “life focus”in three of society’s most familiar activities: ordinary conversation, the arts, and religion. He shows the life focus movement to be an indivisible complement to just simply living. In proposing a paradigm shift from psychotherapy’s priority for changing people’s troubled lives into the complementary purpose of illuminating their lives, the author invites the participation of many people who do not seek remedial treatment for emotional or psychological problems.
  • The Orchestra and Its Maestro: Healing from Within – In this inspiring memoir, Octavio E. Malgueiro relates about his perception of both social and spiritual growth. The dynamics of using his own vision and luxurious taste for art and culture have allowed him to conceive a brand-new spectrum on life. He strives to be as resourceful as possible with whatever his surroundings offer him; sustainable in every sense. Not only has his passion for design, but also his love in orchestrating from a concept of vision, allowed him to develop human emotions toward the end result of every dream. What you now imagine, feel, and believe will be the reality you create for yourself today. Hope and believe. Have faith, and miracles happen!
  • Trend-Driven Innovation: Beat Accelerating Customer Expectations – Every business leader, entrepreneur, innovator, and marketer wants to know where customers are headed. The problem? The received wisdom on how to find out is wrong. In this startling new book, the team at TrendWatching share a powerful, counter-intuitive truth: to discover what people want next, stop looking at customers and start looking at businesses. That means learning how to draw powerful insights from the way leading brands and disruptive startups—from Apple to Uber, Chipotle to Patagonia—redefine customer expectations.
  • Clarity: HowTo Get It, How To Keep It & How To Use It to Balance Your Life – People in all stages of life can be adrift, overcommitted, distracted, or just plain stuck which can keep them from reaching their full potential. Steve Cesari understands that developing CLARITY, then making proper adjustments is the first step towards leading a happier and healthier life. In his new book Cesari draws on his own personal and professional experiences to help others realize their full potential by empowering, encouraging, and developing a clear vision to achieve desired results. Each chapter is like illuminating a light bulb within the reader allowing them to see and think clearly, in turn igniting their motivation, to take action. Take control and improve your life. In this inspiring and motivating page-turner, Steve Cesari will encourage you to evaluate your life through action items and exercises, enabling you to gain a better understanding of things in your life that might not be working, and develop the CLARITY you need to make appropriate personal and professional changes.
  • 3D Printing Will Rock the World – The digital manufacturing revolution is upon us, and at its current center is the 3D printer. Arguably the most powerful machine ever invented, its possibilities are endless. In 3D Printing Will Rock the World, author John Hornick presents an insightful look at how 3D printing could potentially change the planet. 3DPrintingIndustry.com said “John Hornick’s ‘3D Printing Will Rock the World’ Rocks.” 3DPrintingStocks.com called it a “must read.” To see what industry experts say, see the back cover. With chapters titled “Morphing Manufacturing,” “Merging Science and Nature,” “Shrinking the World and Bringing Jobs Home,” “3D Printing New Kinds of Crime,” and “Rocking Kids’ Futures,” Hornick discusses a wide range of topics, including the impact of 3D printing on business and personal life, how mass production could be replaced with production by the masses, 3D printing’s legal (and illegal) side effects, and how today’s kids will 3D print our future. For fans of Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman and Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson, this visionary book is an essential addition to the library of CEOs, investors, makers, and anyone interested in the future of manufacturing.
  • Building A Stellar Business: A Structured Guide to Financial Success – Four out of five small businesses fail. Let us help you improve your odds by helping you to get a strong understanding of your financials. Michele Johnson and Lorraine Kennedy have over 40 years’ experience in accounting and financial analysis and have put together a uniquely structured guide to helping you get organized in, and improve your understanding of, every financial aspect of your business. Start with a business check-up, add financial services support, build a strong business team and safeguard your assets. Use this guide to start you down the path of financial knowledge and to get the “best and highest” use out of all those who work for you, in and out of your business.
  • Be Your Best Boss: Reinvent Yourself from Employee to Entrepreneur – A guide to help make the most of your mid-career entrepreneurial pursuits…whether they were originally planned for or not. Employee to Entrepreneur is the book to help entrepreneurially minded professionals seize the opportunity offered by the current economic environment to begin a “second act” in their careers. This complete guide explores the full range of questions and concerns voiced by mid-career entrepreneurs, including: how to get started after a lifetime of having other bosses, risks and rewards of making the entrepreneurial leap, and the drawbacks to starting a business under the constraints of traditional start-up costs. 
  • Be a Network Marketing Leader: Build a Community to Build Your Empire – Want to build a six-figure income business? Only a truly engaged and motivated team can get you there. In “Be a Network Marketing Leader,” industry superstar Mary Christensen reveals how anyone can cultivate a community that brings out the best in everyone who joins. A community that individuals will be impatient to enter, energized to participate in, and reluctant to leave. When you focus on people ahead of products, they will contribute more and bring others into the fold–and your business will skyrocket. You’ll discover how to: – Create a vibrant can-do culture – Build team spirit – Become an influential communicator – Make everyone feel they belong, regardless of the contribution they make – Coach instead of train – Challenge your team members to aim higher – Celebrate their achievements – Embrace change to stay ahead of the game – And much more Ambitious goals require teamwork. Set your sights high and inspire others to follow–and you’ll all succeed.
  • 7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation: Driving Sustainable Change in Your Organization – Helps leaders transform their sales team with a step by step plan that includes diagnostics; actionable roadmap for transforming change and follow up analytics.
  • Committed Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance – Build high-performing teams with an evidence-based framework that delivers results. Committed Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance is based on a deceptively simple philosophy: set a direction, try to stay on track, and make adjustments when necessary.  Easy to do?  Hardly–especially when the typical workday is time-crunched, stressful, and deadline-driven.  Drawing on research done at the Wharton School of Business, the authors reveal how to deliver results under these tough conditions. Tested and refined in Wharton’s Executive Development Program, Committed Teams will help you gain buy-in for shared objectives, assign roles to the right people, and establish norms for effective collaboration.  Whether your team aims to execute a strategy, produce breakthrough innovations, collaborate across global boundaries, or launch a new venture, this how-to guide offers the pragmatic advice you need.  Engaging stories and illustrative examples from business, entertainment, sports, and the arts bring the three-step process to life.

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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