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34 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. Marketing is not just about advertising anymore. Heads up–it never was. It’s about creating platforms of influence for your brand. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  2. People often say that to succeed, you have to work smarter, not harder. That’s bullshit. You have to do both. In fact, you have to work harder at being smarter to succeed. The hot topic of finding work-life balance is a myth. If you want to succeed at anything, you have to put in the work, you have to put in the time. Yes, this requires a sacrifice. (I Got There: How I Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream)
  3. A true ingaged leader does not create phony engagement as a way to manipulate people into being involved. A true ingaged leader genuinely believes that better ideas and processes will develop through active involvement. Ingaged leaders are great leaders because not only do they get the people that work with them to believe and support the initiatives they create, but to create better initiatives through the involvement process.  (Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business)
  4. The reality is that merely wanting to achieve a goal isn’t enough. You have to proceed as if the achievement off the at goal is non-negotiable. In other words, failure is not an option. (Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today)
  5. If you’re going to hold your own people to a certain high-level standard, you must have their baks and protect them when need be. That’s one way to build trust in a relationship. And it’s important to remember, as Abdolulah put it, “Not all customers are worth serving.” (Fusion Leadership: Unleashing the Movement of Monday Morning Enthusiasts)
  6. A hallmark of an effective leader is whether she can convince others–her audiences–to follow her as related to vision, strategy, tactics, or any other area. That means leaders have to understand their audiences’ needs and constraints, to decide how to communicate with them most effectively. (Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success)
  7. Ability teach us how we do, motivation determines why we do, and attitude decides how well we do. (You Can Win: A step by step  tool for top achievers)
  8. Every small improvement that you make in the effectiveness of your communication will quickly repay you with remarkable and rewarding improvements. (Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business)
  9. Facebook and Instagram might seem like safe platforms upon which to build your brand, but these platforms are more unstable than they appear. You don’t won the platform. You don’t even own your fan database. Facebook does. So, the rules can change. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  10. In order to et the winning edge, we need to strive for excellence, not perfection. Striving for perfection is neurotic; striving for excellence is progress. Excellence is continuous improvement. There is nothing that cannot be done better or improved the next time. (You Can Win: A step by step  tool for top achievers)
  11. I worked long hours and obsessively read and studied business books and leaders. It goes back to watching my mom raise me as a single mother. She couldn’t afford to take vacations; she had to keep going. She never stopped working hard, so I kept going and making sacrifices, too. I’ve had no regrets. All those long days, weekends, and late nights have been worth it to me. (I Got There: How I Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream)
  12. Fusion Leadership is all about relationships and how our interactions with other people can yield results that benefit the entire organization. Through nurturing the collective ego or the greater good in the long term, we also reward our own individual egos. (Fusion Leadership: Unleashing the Movement of Monday Morning Enthusiasts)
  13. Abundant thinkers look for the lesson in any situation where they didn’t get the outcome they wanted. They fail, but they also move forward with great clarity and better answers on how to maximize the next great idea. (Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today)
  14. You brand won’t be able to buy space on these new consumer networks because your competition invented them. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  15. The key to success can be summed up in 4 words: “and then some more.” Winners do what they are supposed to–and then some more. (You Can Win: A step by step  tool for top achievers)
  16. In the net Golden Age of advertising, advertisers won’t just be the interruption. They will be the featured event–if they want any attention at all. We need to get the permission of our viewers to engage them, because they don’t have to listen to our stories anymore. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  17. The most powerful motivation comes from within our belief system. (You Can Win: A step by step  tool for top achievers)
  18. Telling stories is like riding a bike. You will not learn how just by reading about it or watching others do it: you have to saddle up and do it yourself. (Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success)
  19. Today’s media environment presents a new canvas for the marketing artist, so we need to understand the new palette of tools available to us. These tools bring the power to connect with the consumer at a deeper level than ever before. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  20. In fact, abundant thinkers know they can easily find people who are not only better at certain tasks, but who will also joy-fully compete those tasks in record time–producing a better outcome, too–because its their passion. (Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today)
  21. The subconscious mind is like a garden; it doesn’t care what we plant. It is neutral; it has no preferences. If we plant good seeds, we will have a good garden; otherwise, we will have a wild growth of weeds. The human mind is no different. Positive and negative thoughts can’t occupy the mind simultaneously. (You Can Win: A step by step  tool for top achievers)
  22. As the old platforms of media fail us, we must overcome our fear of being a first-mover onto new platforms. Our teams need to learn to act as leaders and inventors rather than wait to follow other market forces. Be resourceful. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  23. I credit my rise through the ranks and the growth of the company to my humility, my willingness to learn new things, and my hustle. No one outworked me. From day one, when I was making sales calls from a storage closet, I put in the effort. I was driven. I refused to settle. (I Got There: How I Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream)
  24. Every day we need to ask ourselves: “Am I getting any closer to my purpose in life? Am I making this world a better place to live in?” If the answer is no, then we have just wasted a day of our life. Life will reward us in the proportion to our contribution. (You Can Win: A step by step  tool for top achievers)
  25. Leadership is powered by purpose: Move your brand to higher ground. Similar to how people self-actualize, we’ve found that a fully developed brand will not end its quest for differentiation until if finds its greater calling, with its own movement to lead. (Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age)
  26. Your quality of life is determined by the quality of your relationships. (Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today)
  27. I’m still fascinated by the fact that anyone can learn anything he or she wants about publicly traded companies. All the information is available for anyone with the interest, desire and willingness to look closer. (I Got There: How I Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream)
  28.  “I often talk about the Big Four,” he said. “One: The leader has to create a vision. You have to know where you’re going. Two You have to influence others to go with you…. Three: You have to serve. Four: You have to develop people. (Fusion Leadership: Unleashing the Movement of Monday Morning Enthusiasts)
  29. Mastering storytelling is a process similar to master writing. While its inherently true that writers write, writers also have to read–a lot! (Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success)
  30. What got you here. Won’t get you there. (Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today)
  31. Ingagement is not something that happens only at the top of your organization, or with individual managers at different levels. For ingagement to reach its fullest potential it should become part of your organization’s DNA. (Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business)
  32. “In many ways the drug dealer is smarter than the businessman,” he would say to me, “because he has more hurdles to jump. He has to avoid the police. He has to avoid the IRS. He has to find ways to launder and stash his money. He has to find ways to continue to get his product into the country without getting caught and without going to prison. When a drug dealer gets caught, they go to prison. But the CEO of Budweiser, they’re celebrated every time they make more money,” he would say. (I Got There: How I Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream)
  33. Be aware that owning a business is not the only route to wealth–or even the best rout. Multiple streams of income are. And you don’t have to own a business to have numerous, stable sources of income. (Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today)
  34. All the best C-suite leaders, vice presidents, middle managers, supervisors, and frontline employees I’ve worked with–those who really got things done and found satisfaction from their careers–have been passionate about their jobs. Consequently, as managers and leaders, we should task ourselves with promoting such passion. Your relationships with people stand front and center at the intersection of stellar leadership, members of the team, and productive results. I’ve come to realize that building trust and showing people you care about why they are as individuals serve as key components in creating, nurturing, and maintaining a passion-driven organization. (Fusion Leadership: Unleashing the Movement of Monday Morning Enthusiasts)

What is your favorite quote from above or do you have another awesome quote from one of the books above? Let us know in the comments below.

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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