25 CEO Nuggets Including Podcasting, Customer Experience, Funding, Media & More [CEO 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 gems or nuggets from our library and provide them for CEO’s, startups, entrepreneurs and business owners.

Investing in Startups

  1. For me, when it comes to products I invest in, my “sweet spot” is straightforward: Show me a problem, convince me that nobody else is solving it the way you are. – Kevin Harrington (Crack the Funding Code)
  2. As someone who has spent more than 30 years helping entrepreneurs find and connect with sources of capital, and then guiding them through the process of pitching and closing the deal to get them the money they need, I believe only three things separates entrepreneurs whose ideas and businesses get funded from those who don't: information, access, expertise. (Crack the Funding Code)
  3. Investors identify high potential entrepreneurs by looking for two characteristics: 1) the entrepreneur's understand the investors' objectives, and 2)the entrepreneur builds their startup with the exit strategy in mind. When entrepreneurs understand how investors think, they can position themselves and their business to attract these investors. Making it easy for investors to say yes is an essential skill for every entrepreneur. I call it “cracking the funding code.” It's like having the combination to a safe with all the funding you need inside of it: To open the safe, hit all the numbers the common exactly. One digit off and you won't get the cash. (Crack the Funding Code)
  4. … The people you know will determine your ability to access them for and resources you and your company need. You must actively seek to build a network of high-quality connections of people who can help you, you can help as well. (Crack the Funding Code)
  5. Communicating a clear, compelling vision with energy and enthusiasm is often the founder's most important job. It starts with recruiting potential team members, who must be inspired enough by the startup's potential to leave their current jobs for an uncertain future. “Vision is the most important trait of a start-up leader…”(Crack the Funding Code)
  6. Even if you have the best picture in the world, you are still going to be rejected–repeatedly. Don't take it personally: Investors have reasons for turning you down that may have nothing to do with your startup. When you are turned down, do three things. First, if you haven't already done so, ask if they know other investors you should speak to and if they'd be willing to provide you with an introduction. If possible get names and contact details before you leave. Second, ask for their reasons for turning you down and/or how you can improve your presentation. See if you can get specifics. Was it your financials? Your business model? Your target market? Use the information to make your next presentation better. Third, recognize that every no is another step towards a yes. (Crack the Funding Code)
  7. The best funding is always going to be revenues from a strong business that you love making successful. Yes, raising is an important skill, a,d finding investors to believe in you and provide you with the capital are great validation for any startup founder. OPM (other people's money) is the fuel that will help you go further and grow faster, but you've still got to build the “car” of your business and keep it driving, and true, along on the road to a successful exit. (Crack the Funding Code)

Podcasting Information

  1. The podcast is information that is “pod” (“portable on demand”) and “cast” (broadcast) to the world. If you choose to use this medium, get ready for the ride of your life. Rather than waiting for some radio host to invite you on his or her program, which will be aired at a certain time and then evaporate, now you are in control. You create the content. Push it out, you can promote it whenever you like. (Podcasting Made Simple)
  2. The same principles I wrote for the solo host hold true for co-host. You need to entertain, be knowledgeable, and know when to shut up. (Podcasting Made Simple)
  3. What I'm getting at is that you are going to need to build a team to help you along the way. You will want to learn from those who have greater expertise than you do. You will want to find people who are passionate about your topics show invite them to team up with you. (Podcasting Made Simple)

Customer Experience

  1. Women are one of the world's biggest growth markets, and meeting their needs as customers is key to succeeding in the modern economy. (Winning Her Business)
  2. Chances are, whatever you sell, there's a cheaper and or more convenient option available somewhere else. This is why it's more important than ever to provide memorable person-to-person engagement. Research shows that 77% of customers will choose a human over a digital capability when seeking an advice. And yet it seems that many companies have invested in technology while letting the human side of selling wither. This is one of the great IRL customer experiences are still the exception and not the rule despite our state-of-the-art communication tools. (Winning Her Business)
  3. …women fans feel connected, inspired, confident, and appreciate because the organization connects through the visible way the team reaches out to women in the stadium, the community and internally within its organization, inspires by creating an inclusive fan experience, and instills confidence that attending a game will be worth the ticket price and effort to get there, and shows appreciation by offering amenities and accommodation for every type of fan… Even newborns!(Winning Her Business)
  4. Personalization drives emotional engagement. The ability to deliver it can disrupt industries, as Everest has done in the funeral business. (Winning Her Business)

Digital Business – Media

  1. People are media because communication is ensured by the people themselves, who reach out to other people, who in turn share their contents. It is important for a business to be aware that it's very easy for users to interact with companies today: all they need to do is send a Facebook message. This is an opportunity for improving consumer loyalty but it also exposes a company to errors and mistakes. That's why businesses really need a strategy that helps them understand their customers and communicate with them. (People are media)
  2. In the future, brands will have to become educators or we will all do it ourselves. (People are media)
  3. Today we're about to get to the next stage. We're on the verge of a Matrix-like scenario, with machines taking the place of humans and crushing them all. Who knows, it may you really be like that. For now, Machines are still under human control, but humans have a multitude of tiny helpers: sensors. Industry 4.0 it's filled with sensors that log everything. The whole manufacturing process is controlled, items are scanned, stages are supervised by sensors. This results in significant time savings. (People are media)
  4. There's another process that companies, especially those in the media industry, have not yet fully embraced: attribution models. Attribution models allow a company to learn where a reader, a customer, a user exactly comes from. (People are media)
  5. We may be wrong about many things, but we're damn sure about one: The digital age has only begun. (People are media)

Work & Career

  1. I found that purpose and making an impact where the primary reasons people stayed in their organizations. (Now It’s Clear)
  2. The only person able to define a meaningful career for you is you. (Now It’s Clear)
  3. Values provide Direction which in turn support our beliefs, priorities or proclivities. Aligning your values to your job is the first step in moving towards Maslow's 5th level. (Now It’s Clear)
  4. Rather than sizing doubt, benefits and get comfortable. (Now It’s Clear)
  5. Doubt rises during and after pivotal events. (Now It’s Clear)
  6. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. (Now It’s Clear)

CEO Bookshelf

Descriptions are from

  • Crack the Funding Code demystifies the world of angel investing, venture capital, and corporate funding and lays out a strategic pathway for any entrepreneur to secure funding fast. Lack of funding is one of the biggest reasons small businesses fail. In 2016 in the United States alone, more than 31 percent of small business owners reported that they could not access adequate capital, and the lack of capital prevented them from growing the business/expanding operations, increasing inventory, or financing increased sales. Most business owners believe that their only feasible funding options are (1) savings or personal credit, (2) friends and family or (3) bank loans. They may have heard about venture capitalists or angel investors, but they don’t have enough information about what these investors do, what they can provide for a business, and on what terms. What’s worse, entrepreneurs often don’t know how to access the people who are looking to put their money into young companies with potential. Finally, business owners don’t have enough expertise to navigate the treacherous waters of outside funding. Many small companies don’t believe they are the type of company that gets funded. Even when business owners are brave enough to look for the right outside investors, they don’t know how to create the compelling pitches or how to structure the deals that will get them the funding to expand and grow. Crack the Funding Code will show readers how to find the money, create pitches that attract investors, and then structure fair, ethical deals that will bring them new sources of outside capital and invaluable professional advice. It will give readers the broader perspective—how funding works, how investors think, and what they need to hear to put their money where your mouth is. Every entrepreneur who reads this book will get easy-to-follow deal checklists, a roadmap of where and how to locate the best funding resources and top business mentors for their particular industry and/or geographical location, and a step-by-step process to create pitches that make their idea or business irresistible.
  • Podcasting Made Simple has answers. Hilda Labrada Gore is a podcast producer, consultant, and the host of a popular podcast. Charlie Birney is the founder of Podcast Village, a group committed to helping podcasters produce, launch, and promote their shows. Together, they demystify the podcasting process so that by the time you've finished this book, you'll be able to get your own show up and running.
  • Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor, shows listeners how to beat competitors and grow overall market share by applying the fundamentals of creating a customer experience that appeals to the most powerful consumer decision makers: womenWhen people think about the world's growth markets, they often envision countries like China and India. Yet they miss the largest one right here at home: womenWith women driving 70 to 80 percent of consumer purchasing, it would seem an obvious strategy to learn how best to appeal to this continually expanding market. Common sense? Yes. Common practice? No. In Winning Her Business, Bridget Brennan, advisor to some of the world's biggest brands and businesses, provides a road map for selling in a world dominated by the rise of women's economic power. She points out how classic sales practices that focused on simply offering product knowledge are no longer enough in today's Google-informed world. Instead, savvy business people must adapt by learning how to deliver transformational customer experiences that speak to women and by developing stronger interpersonal skills, value-added knowledge, and emotional-engagement techniques that inspire sales, referrals, and repeat business. Bolstered by a dozen years of research, Brennan offers invaluable insight into women as consumers and shows listeners how, at the end of the day, mastering an inclusive customer experience is something everyone appreciates.
  • People are media: Digital business in the selfie era – Communication is among human beings’ primary needs. In addition to eating, sleeping, and having children, man has always looked for a way to pass on to his peers his thoughts, feelings, and fears. Digital technology has been disruptive even in this field. Nowadays, everybody can communicate with whomever they want, wherever they wish, for free and instantly. Thanks to social networks we can reach potentially unlimited audiences. E-commerce, chats, selfies, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube: the contemporary world is made of digital communications and virtual, uninterrupted connections. People surf it from their PCs for 6 hours a day and from their smartphones for 2 hours a day. We are talking about a huge human capital which needs to be regulated, but also a potentially limitless market where to make business by interpreting big data and using the most refined and efficient storytelling techniques. That is because we live in a time when our needs and requirements are stored in the cache memory of our PCs, the only place where we can never lie.

  • Do you find yourself thinking that there must be much more to life, but not certain what it is you really want? Or do you know what you want, but not sure how to get there? The desire to find meaning and purpose has been pondered since time immemorial. Now It’s Clear answers these questions by taking you on your own journey through the past to become acquainted with the present, in order to make decisions about your future. This book will set you on a path of discovery to find purpose, uncover strengths, be comfortable with doubt, navigate resistance, build a network of support and share your story at any stage in your career. Using a mix of insights from business, psychology, philosophy, poetry, and leadership research, Now It’s Clear with show you, step-by-step, how to better understand yourself and your purpose. It’s an insightful and uplifting guide, filled with creative exercises, reflective questions and practical tips to reveal the what, why and how of meaningful work and how to share your career story. Based on her work and research of over twenty-five years, Jane Horan has had the opportunity to listen to stories across cultures, industries and levels, from those transitioning into leadership to returning to work or in-between jobs. By connecting the dots from such stories, Horan shows us the visible patterns and themes in order to find purpose at work, every day.


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