25 Tips for Entrepreneurs, Startups & Business Owners from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

You’ve heard you are what you eat, well we believe that you are what you read. We receive hundreds of books to read to help out entrepreneurs and business owners but more than just offering a chance to hear about a book we believe we want you to walk away with some wisdom just like we did from reading these books.

Teach a CEO presents lessons from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your business venture. We have taken some nuggets from our library and provide them for entrepreneurs and business owners and to help your ventures.

Business Tips from the Bookshelf

  1. You cannot base your plans on the competition being slow and ignorant. You cannot devise a plan just from the standpoint of what you and your group will do. Plans must also take into account the possible actions for the competition, no matter how unlikely they may seem. (Business in the Trenches)
  2. The unexpected edge for entrepreneurial success starts with identifying a worthy risk and then having the courage to take it. (Risk Advantage)
  3. The growth mindset involves a belief that a person's true potential is unknown ((and unknowable) and that it is impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training. That means people can develop their abilities at most tasks with coaching and practice; that change is possible throughout life. Growth mindsets are possess by owners who understand that business life is a fascinating process of learning. (Insight)
  4. If you earnestly uncover and follow your innate purpose and passion and build you life around them, you are much more capable of creating both a successful and a balanced life and the enriched relationships that flow from success based on this vital sense of balance. (Balance)
  5. Leaders who do not have a clear picture of what is happening out on the front lines are in serious trouble. Have ongoing dialog with customers and with people at each level of your organization. (Business in the Trenches)
  6. Yes, you will have moments of doubts and uncertainty, but don't all ow negativity to creep into your psyche. To be successful in any life situation you must sustain enough positive energy to move through difficult experiences. Stay focused on your goal: Address what you want and what you are creating. See yourself being successful, and picture yourself accepting the rewards. Keep a singular focus on your objective and filter out all advice, warning, and commentary from anyone who isn't already an entrepreneur and a success. Only those ahead of you on the path you wish to walk are qualified to give you that level of feedback (Risk Advantage)
  7. Change is very challenging and requires even the best of us to re-think and reinvent. It take effort. The fact is that the organizations that most quickly and effectively adapt to change and leverage the opportunities that change creates, end up thriving. Companies that refuse to adapt to changes, die. (Insight)
  8. Very few people can accomplish a major life change by themselves. (Fit at Last)
  9. Risk taking is not just going out on a limb. It's often going out on a limb without approval. Leaders too often crush such risk-taking spirit, even when it produces spectacular results. They do this because lauding the risk taker means having to admit they were wrong. Great leaders put the organization and its success ahead of such egotism. (Business in the Trenches)
  10. The Paradox of Comfort means standing in there with the emotional pain and allowing it to transform at its pace. It means the ability to sit with the circumstances, getting pas the discomfort of emotional pain and confusion, to gain insight. (Insight)
  11. To a true entrepreneur, any risk you take is worth it if you assure yourself that at the end of your life you have no regrets. The cost of living with the regret of never having tried to reach for a dream far outweighs all other risks combined. (Risk Advantage)
  12. You create your goals first in your mind, then on paper, and then you are able to perceive and manifest them as your reality. (Balance)
  13. Just about everyone thinks their situation is unique. Most think that bad things that happened to others are not going to happen to them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The best way to learn is not from your own experience, but from the experience of others. Remember, you are no better than they are. Remembering this will open your eyes to all kinds of potential problems. (Business in the Trenches)
  14. One of the most powerful tools someone can use to be successful is visualization. Visualization helps you create a mental image of what you want to happen or what you want to feel. (Risk Advantage)
  15. Purpose leads to passion which ignites high levels of physical and emotional energy and unfolds creativity. This enables you to solve challenging problems, which generates innovation. The result is a return which may be financial, emotional, psychological, spiritual, or some combination of these. The final outcome is deep personal gratitude, the source of lasting happiness. The path described by this “Fulfillment Formula” is one of the most effective means to a lasting happiness. (Balance)
  16. If you are playing it safe with your marketing, then be prepared to struggle. While it may seem prudent, it actually points the wrong way on the road to success. Playing it safe could mean not marketing at all or doing something conventional, such as placing an advertisement in the local newspaper or putting up an obligatory website. The problem with playing it safe is that it creates a disadvantage. Avoiding or doing the minimum amount of marketing deprives your business of sales opportunities. (The Risk Advantage)
  17. One of the holy grails of military planning is surprise. Surprise in battle cuts overwhelming odds down to size. Surprise in warfare makes the otherwise impossible achievable. Surprise stuns the enemy, and they don't know how to react. Phenomenal victories are possible through surprising your foes. (Business in the Trenches)
  18. There is no “one size fits all.” We all have different things to change. You say you don't have time? Make time. We all do for what is important. You say yo can't afford to do it? Be honest! Can you afford not to do it? You say you feel as if getting healthy would be selfish? Get real! Being unhealthy is being selfish because we are depriving ourselves and those around us of what could be. (Fit at Last)
  19. Being known for one thing means you are unique, not a jack-of-all trades; you are a specialist. As a specialist, you command more respect because you are perceived as the expert. You can then charge more for your product or service than a general practitioner can. (The Risk Advantage)
  20. Most people are quite hesitant to take initiative or to take risks. This is because most have the basic belief they will be quickly and severely punished for failure. You have to go out of your way to prove to people that this not the case. You need to show people that it's not necessarily bad to make mistakes while trying to do the right thing. (Business in the Trenches)
  21. Discipline is an important attribute of successful and inspired leaders, especially in generating excellent returns for all stakeholders–not just the shareholders. (Balance)
  22. Leaders must create a vision and a mission–a “Dream”–that begs for innovation, and they must continuously show their personal commitment to this “Dream,” and to the innovation process. (Balance)
  23. Success is achieving, in a timely manner, worthwhile goals that you set for yourself. (Balance)
  24. I think too often n life we're caught in an activity rat race. What we all have to do is find a way to enter our day slowly, so we can awaken our thoughtful, reflective self first in the morning. (Fit at Last)
  25. Indecision destroys the confidence in leadership. People look to their leaders to give them a sense of purpose and direction. They want someone to set a clear course. They expect the leader to actually do something when there is a problem. People expect their leaders to make decisions when decisions are called for. This does not mean shooting from the hip with rash decisions. Serious problems are apparent to all. People get scared when nothing gets done other than setting up committees to discuss the problem. (Business in the Trenches)

The Summary of the Books on the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

Excerpts from

INSIGHT:The Role of Business Advice in an Age of Complexity prepares business owners to navigate transitions that have significant personal, emotional, and financial impact on their lives. These periodic phases of a growing business include establishment of a vision, taking on major financial debt, crisis planning, succession, the sale of a business, acquisition, and post-purchase integration. Wimer also dives into the realities of owning a business, exploring why owners seek advice, when the advice matters most, and common advice killers. And after exhibiting whom to listen to and when, he outlines how to make the advice work by leading with heart and putting people first.

The Risk Advantage: Embracing the Entrepreneur's Unexpected Edge: As an entrepreneur and racecar driver, Tom Panaggio has learned that you cannot avoid risk if you want to be a winner. In The Risk Advantage, Panaggio tells the story of how he and his business partners built two thriving companies: Direct Mail Express (which now employs more than 400 people and is a leading direct marketing company) and Response Mail Express (which was eventually sold to equity fund Huron Capital Partners). The book is designed as a guide for those who are contemplating an entrepreneurial pursuit, are already engaged in building a business, or are currently working for someone else and want to inject their entrepreneurial ideas and attitude. With The Risk Advantage, Panaggio aims to help entrepreneurs face the many situations, predicaments, and crises they’ll encounter during their lives as well as to help them formulate their leadership style and business strategy.

Fit at Last: Look and Feel Better Once and for All: If you’re like a lot of us, for years you’ve been making resolutions and promises about becoming physically fit. Despite all your good intentions, though, somehow it never quite goes according to plan. But you can break that cycle. In Fit at Last, bestselling business author Ken Blanchard and fitness authority Tim Kearin show how Ken, at age seventy-three, finally was able to make lasting improvements in his health and fitness, including dropping over thirty pounds in a year. In each chapter, Ken shares the very personal story of his ups and downs—involving, among other things, a puppy, a Hawaiian tour bus full of widows, and a fifty-year college reunion—while Tim offers expert advice and wisdom gained from over forty years in the fitness industry.

Balance The Business-Life Connection is a unique business book. It provides a proven template for creating a successful business, and simultaneously, long-term balance and fulfillment in your personal life. The book is based on three decades of the author's diverse experience in technology and entertainment, which include Rock Star, Corporate Executive, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker, and Holistic Hotelier. He shows how to identify and unleash the power of life purpose and passion.

Business in the Trenches shows how you can exploit the lessons of the Great War to win on the business battlefield. Business in the Trenches by David Schroeder combines compelling military history with insightful business analogies. It demonstrates clearly how companies grapple with the same problems as armies at war. Business in the Trenches describes how you can leverage the experiences war to solve vexing problems and defeat the competition. Business in the Trenches takes readers through a number of fascinating stories from World War One, a time of dramatic change in warfare. It draws parallels between the problems faced by armies on the battlefield, and the problems facing businesses today. Business in the Trenches unravels the mystery of why World War One turned into the quagmire it did, and how most organizations today follow similar paths for the same reasons. Most importantly, it provides detailed and practical advice on how to deal with specific challenges and achieve breakthrough success.


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