Typically if a book has one passage, one idea with the power to change a person’s life, that alone justifies reading it, rereading it and finding room for it on one’s shelf. A book costs 20 bucks and the ideas in it may change the way you approach or start a business. I don’t know if there is a better investment than spending the time reading a book, usually someone’s entire life’s work packed into a few hundred pages of reading. You might already be aware of these ideas below. If not, even better. These books have ideas that can change the way you look at business.
- Work on your business, not in it – Emyth Revisited by Michael E Gerber
What is your primary aim for your business? What kind of life do you want? Think of a business as an extension of yourself. To leverage the most out of your limited time, you must engineer your machine so it can run without you.
In your pursuit of growing a killer business, you do not want people with highly valuable skills, you cannot afford them. Instead, have a highly valuable system.
One way this killer book suggests to build this system is to hire yourself out of a job. Do the accounting by yourself before you hire an accountant. Do the marketing yourself before you hire a marketing manager. If you learn a little bit about everything inside your business you will be better off in the short run and long run.
2. Growth vs Fixed – Mindset by Carol Dweck
When Enron was supposedly at its peak, it clearly put a focus on talent. They hired the smartest people and rewarded intelligence. When you are hired for intelligence, you are going to do all you can to not show your weaknesses. This led Enron towards the fixed mindset. How can you learn if on the surface you act like you already know everything?
People with the growth mindset are not afraid to show what they don’t know. Showing you are ignorant can be scary, but in the end, these guys are the real winners. Real self-confidence is reflected in your mindset, your willingness to grow.
As the leader in your business, having the growth mindset is a necessity if to let your company grow, learn and develop.
3. Mobility – The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
There are many things to take away from the book. The biggest paradigm shift for most people was the idea that you no longer need to trade time for money.
Tim Ferris managed to popularize the concept of earning dollars and spending pesos whilst you travel the world. The book that shows us how your business can be an automated money making machine allowing you to spend your time on the things that are important to you. Thousands of people around the world have become ‘Lifestyle Designers’, consciously choosing what goes in and out of your life.
4. Beware of the Robots – The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
Things are going to be different, real different. If you haven’t noticed yet, things are changing exponentially around the world. And not only that, the rate of change is increasing.
Nothing is more likely to debunk your business idea than a disruptive idea or technology. This book doesn’t show us what exact technologies are coming, that is impossible. When Nokia ruled the mobile phone market in 2007, not even the best minds in the world could have picked what would happen in the mobile phone industry in the years to follow. Cognifying is one of the 8 trends that Kevin Kelly predicts is coming. “The next 10000 startups are easy to forecast. Take X and add AI”.
With things changing at this rate, there have never been more opportunities to start.
5. Dips Create Scarcity – Scarcity Creates Value – The Dip by Seth Godin
- Quit the wrong stuff
- Stick with the right stuff
- Have guts to do one or the other
When you start a business or new project, there are usually little wins that motivate you to keep going. This is great to get you going at the start. But usually, anything worth doing has a period where it gets difficult. A lot of people drop off in this phase. On the surface, this rough patch might seem like a real nuisance, but in reality, it is your best friend.
The difficult part of anything that is valuable, writing a book, starting a business or learning the violin is what makes success so valuable. If there wasn’t a dip, there wouldn’t be scarcity. The dip is this long slog between starting and mastery.
The essential thing to know about the dip is that it’s there. Know before you start, whether you have the will or the resources to take it to the end.