27 Tips from the Entrepreneurs Bookshelf for Entrepreneurs, Startups & Business Owners

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.

  1. Constant change is the new normal. As sellers, we're challenged to figure out how to thrive in this ever-evolving ecosystem. You don't have to be at the mercy of all this change. By focusing on new mind-sets, rapid learning strategies, and fresh ways to acquire new sales skills, you can thrive in this environment. (Agile Selling)
  2. It's all very much the same in business, especially if you're up against a stronger adversary. You can'tstand toe-to-toe, launch an attack, and expect it to land. You have to create opportunities…. The idea is to create the opening and then quickly seize the opportunity. (The Art of War for Small Business)
  3. For most of us, the process of isn't a line but rather a circle made up of a series of steps. (How to Write Anything)
  4. Many people think that innovation is masked in complexity. In reality, successful innovation harnesses the obvious. (Cause a Disturbance)
  5. The application for small businesses is to avoid a strong competitor's well-guarded, highly satisfied, difficult-to-tap customers when the passage is narrow. Competitive markets equate to narrow passes. It's the unprepared adversary, particularly one without a firm hold on customers, that you want to purue. (The Art of War for Small Business)
  6. Whether you set up your business as a sole proprieorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), S-Corporation, or C-Corporation, it is vital to understand not only the filing and paperwork requirements, but also the different tax implications and liability impacts that each choice entails. (Business Law Basics)
  7. To get on someone's calendar, keep their attention, win deals and ensure loyalty, you need to understand and deliver what today's buyers want. Your success depends on: (1) Knowing more. Buyers expect you to understand their business, direction, challenges, process, and relationship history (2) Providing value. Every single interaction is evaluated to determine if it is worth the time or effort. Buyers want ideas, insights, leadership, and guidance to assess whetehr changing makes sense and how to do it best. (3) Meeting them where they're at. You're expected to provided what buyers need, when they want it, and how they want it, quickly. (Agile Selling)
  8. Small business, in particular, should extend Sun Tzu's call for deep knowledge of ourselves and our adversaries to deep knowledge and commitment to the customer. The mandate for providing exceptional customer care is the sea change differentiator for small businesses competing against large “faceless brands.” (The Art of War for Small Business)
  9. The laser-focused small-business leader has fewer vulnerabilities to defend. The beter your focus, the fewere your battlefields. And the greater the depth of your focus, the better and more accurately you'll be able to plan even long-range strategies. (The Art of War for Small Businesses)
  10. Find a purpose for your blog. You'll attract a more consistent readership if you find a topic or theme and stick to it. (How to Write Anything)
  11. Customers are central to every business and every business model. Keeping them engaged with “new, better and exciting” is paramount; therefore, bringing “new, better and exciting to market is imperative. This is the essence of innovation. If you are marketing and selling the “same old, same old” you cannot sustain growth. (Cause a Disturbance)
  12. You know what buyers pick as the differentiator in their decisions? The sales experience itself–what it's like workign with you during the course of all your interactions. They think this experience as a whole is more important than all the other factors combined. (Agile Selling)
  13. Don't get caught up in drinking your own Kool-Aid. Focus on what will make you money and enable you to achieve your objectives, not on the cool new technology or window dressing. (The Art of War for Small Businesses)
  14. Don't bore your readers. Make sure all your posts offer something valuable and interesting to other people, not just yourself. (How to Write Anything)
  15. Do youarself a favor before you start marketing your new idea and check wih the appropriate government offices in order to ensure that you're not accidentlly taking credit for something someone else has already registered or copyrighted. (Business Law Basics)
  16. Distractions are not just a hassle. They significantly hinder our ability to get up to speed quickly. (Agile Selling)
  17. Let your personality shin through. Even in a personal Twitter account, you are representing yourself as a kind of brand. Develop your own style–funny, quirky, serious, whatever you like–and be consistent. Your followers should be able to recognize you through the style of your tweets. (How to Write Anything)
  18. If you don't understand what your customers value, and how your roots connect to their needs, then it will be difficult for you to know which assets and ideas will get your organization where you want to go. (Cause a Disturbance)
  19. Whatever new devices and forums for e-writing come along, the same parameters for determining appropriateness will still be important to consider–length, complexity, formality, number of readers, and permanency(How to Write Anything)
  20. Turning problems into challenges make you grittier. So does reframing failure as a valuable learning experience. Setting “getting better” goals helps too. What's really important is to make a grit a personal success habit–one you leverage whenever you face adversity. (Agile Selling)
  21. An attorney ia a vital piece of the small business puzzle. Whether it's sketching out a company on a piece of paper or buying an existing one from someone else, your attorney should be a key player, ensuring that the business is in proper leagal working order from the onset. (Business Law Basics)
  22. Customers can't always imagine what doesn't exist but they can always articulate their ‘pain-points' quite clearly. (Cause a Disturbance)
  23. Rapid like the wind. Wind is formless. It feels like it comes from nowhere…. The application for your small business isthat your maneuvers should be unable ot be predicted. (The Art of War for Small Business)
  24. Remember, you readers are in a hurry, too. In this busy e-world, people aren't likely to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you want. In fact, readers often ignore messages that contain vague or unclear requests…. Spending a minute to clarify your purpose can save you and your reader a lot of time and effort in the long run, and it improves your chances of getting what you want.  (How to Write Anything)
  25. Just because you get a hefty business loan doesn't mean you can start throwing money around. As we have seen, you really need to read the fine print to ensure that you don't have to start paying that loan back right away. (Business Law Basics)
  26. You don't define your business by the commidity you make, but by the impact that you can make on your customers' lives. (Cause a Disturbance)
  27. Small businesses can leverage deception to confuse and disrupt their competitors. You can even allow the misperceptions of competitors to work against them and in your favor. (The Art of War for Small Business)

Books from the Library

Excerpts from

How to Write Anything – A Complete Guide by Laura Brown – A practical guide to everything you’ll ever need to write—at work, at school, and in your personal life. With more than two hundred how-to entries and easy-to-use models organized into three comprehensive sections on work, school, and personal life, How to Write Anything covers a wide range of topics that make it an essential guide for the whole family. You want your boss to fund a special project. How can you write a persuasive email that will win his approval? It's time to apply to college. How can you write an essay that will stand out? The mother of one of your co-workers has died. What's the best way to express your condolences? Grounded in a common-sense approach, friendly and supportive, How to Write Anything is Internet-savvy, with advice throughout about choosing the most appropriate medium for your message: e-mail or pen and paper. At once a how-to, a reference book, and a pioneering guide for writing in a changing world, this is the only writing resource you'll ever need.

Business Law Basics: Learn What You Need in 2 Hours (A Crash Course for Entrepreneurs) – When you start a business, legal issues can seem complex, even scary. Business Law Basics will help you ask smart questions and get the right advice. This simple guide will show you everything you need to know about: How to choose an attorney, contract essentials, including patents and copyrights, what you need to protect (such as processes or intellectual property), and how to reorganize or restructure your business. You'll also learn the basics of partnership and corporate structures, license and regulation essentials, employment issues, legal aspects of buying and selling, common pitfalls, international business issues–and more.

Cause a Disturbance: If You Can Slice a Melon or Make a Right-Hand Turn, You Can Be a Breakthrough Innovator –  Everyone knows—and everyone talks about—how important innovation is in the competitive battle to find, delight, and keep customers, yet far too few achieve it. As Tencer and Cardoso explain, “There’s a big difference between an occasional spark of innovation and an eternal flame.” But the reality is different; most firms struggle to consistently innovate. All that can change. Kick-start your business with attitude. Cause a disturbance! Whether your business is in transition or simply looking for an innovative spark, give it a lift withCause a Disturbance. Within these pages you will learn how innovation can change your business in simple steps through The 90% Rule®: a straightforward philosophy that drives you to constantly ask “What’s the next 10%? What’s the next product, service, or process improvement that will create a continuously engaged customer base and strengthen my brand?” Cause a disturbance in the way you think about innovation as you open your mind to the possibilities—and simplicity—of being innovative every day!

Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever-Changing Sales World – When salespeople are promoted, switch jobs, or face new business conditions, they need to learn lots of new information and skills quickly. It’s a daunting task, compounded by the fact that they’re under intense pressure to deliver immediate results. What sales guru Jill Konrath calls agile selling is the ability to quickly learn all this new info and then leverage it for maximum impact. Having an agile mind-set, one that keeps you going through challenging times, is the crucial starting point. You also need a rapid-learning plan that helps you establish situational credibility with your targeted or existing customers in just thirty days.

The Art of War for Small Business: Defeat the Competition and Dominate the Market with the Masterful Strategies of Sun Tzu – Sun Tzu's ancient The Art of War has inspired military, political, and business leaders across the world with its brilliant strategies for prevailing against opponents. At the core of this classic treatise is the message that sledgehammer approaches can backfire, and size alone does not guarantee wins. Strategy, positioning, planning, leadership–all play equally significant roles, making Sun Tzu's teachings perfect for small business owners and entrepreneurs entrenched in fierce competition for customers, market share, talent . . . for their very survival. The Art of War for Small Business is the first book to apply Sun Tzu's wisdom to the small business arena. Featuring inspiring examples of entrepreneurial success, the book's 12 timeless lessons.


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