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10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur needs to read

It is the season of book reviews. First is the list of “best books Bill Gates read in 2016” (source qz.com)


String Theory, by David Foster Wallace

Writes Gates:

As much as I loved the book for its insights on the game, I loved it just as much for the writing itself. I now understand why people talk about David Foster Wallace with the same kind of awe that tennis fans use to talk about a Roger Federer or Serena Williams. Wallace’s ability to use language is mind-blowing. He’s an artist who approaches a canvas with the exact same oil paints everyone before him has used and then applies them in breathtaking new and creative ways.

Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

Gates says:

…Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. He’s incredibly tough on himself and his failings. He doesn’t fit the mold of the bold, dashing entrepreneur. He’s shy, introverted, and often insecure. He’s given to nervous ticks –snapping rubber bands on his wrist and hugging himself when stressed in business negotiations.

The Myth of the Strong Leader, by Archie Brown

He says:

Whereas most books about political leadership are chronologies, mapping the rise and fall of leaders over time, this one is more of a taxonomy. Brown takes a deep look at the traits and tendencies leaders exhibit, and the categories they fall into, as a way of understanding the egos, motivations, and behaviors responsible for so much progress, and so much suffering, in the world. Throughout, he presents a new way to think about today’s challenges – and the people we entrust with solving them.

The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Gates writes of his favorite section, “Post-Genome: The Genetics of Fate and Future”:

Within 10 years, it will be possible for clinicians to use genome editing to help people with diseases caused by a single faulty gene, such as cystic fibrosis—an unquestionably ethical use of this new technology. But what about making the repair in egg or sperm cells to save people from developing these diseases later in life? This form of therapy could be highly effective, but it would mean that children born from these sperm or eggs would pass along their genetically modified genomes to their own children—altering the human germ line and crossing an ethical Rubicon.

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke

Gates:

Even if you have never given a moment’s thought to how electricity reaches your outlets, I think this book would convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world. I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.

Source : These are the best books Bill Gates read in 2016


 

A great list of books compiled by Brandon Vigliarolo on TechRepublic. Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He’s an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – by Angela Duckworth

Lots of people dream of starting their own business, but very few make the leap. Even fewer turn their entrepreneurial attempts into true success–what separates the winners from the rest of the pack?

If your dream is to helm your own business–whether in the tech industry or elsewhere–there are some rules you need to live by. Here’s a collection of 10 books that are some of the most popular guides to SMB success.  Sure, “grit” is one of those buzzwords that quickly get annoying, but that doesn’t mean author Angela Duckworth doesn’t have something important to say.

Grit sets out to answer the question of why some people, given the same skills and intellectual capability, succeed where others fail. The answer she comes up with is, obviously, grit, which she defines as a combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

Entrepreneurs, author Michael E. Gerber argues, aren’t the best at running businesses. They are creative and are great at coming up with world-changing ideas, but the minutiae of running a business often escape them.

In The E-Myth Revisited Gerber presents the franchise format as the ideal structure for a small business. Clearly outlined rules, regulations, and a plan for success in a short period of time are all necessary for a franchise, and he says they’re necessary for any entrepreneurial endeavor.

If you’re the kind of person who has an idea, but not the supporting skills to manage the day-to-day that success will take, then The E-Myth Revisited is a book you should take a look at.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey’s classic is celebrated around the world for its practical and sound advice. From being proactive to “sharpening the saw,” The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a standard in entrepreneurial success.

If you’re considering starting your own business a few titles are universally recommended. Check it out no matter your industry–it hasn’t been a bestseller for more than 25 years without reason.

Speak and Get Results

Sometimes the best products–and services–in the world won’t sell themselves. In those instances you need to be able to pull the weight and make the sale yourself. For a lot of people the idea of speaking, even one on one, can be stressful. Speak and Get Results wants to help change that.

Author Sandy Linver has been motivating and helping people learn to speak since 1973, and Speak and Get Results is a tour through the methods she’s been using for decades. With any luck a reading of this book will have you comfortable and in control in no time.

Whether selling a product, a service, or pitching a presentation for a loan, speaking well is essential. Don’t let this skill be forgotten in the hustle of owning a business.

 

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Some of our most critical decisions are made without a conscious thought, at least according to Malcolm Gladwell. In Blink Gladwell examines the power of those initial intuitions and the power they have to guide us to make successful choices.

The best decision makers, Gladwell argues, aren’t those who can process more information, but are those who cut through the clutter of our senses and minds to arrive at a quick, appropriate conclusion in the blink of an eye.

Knowing how people make judgements is an important part of being in business. You need to know how to appeal to people, how to see potential, and how to lead. All three are elements to be found in Blink, so check it out.

 

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t

There are some key factors in transforming a company from one that keeps on chugging to one that goes through the roof. Jim Collins spent a considerable amount of time researching Good to Great to find out what those factors are, and he delivers them all right in this book.

Collins found that it’s not any of the typical things we think of that lead to true corporate success. Rather, it’s a top down discipline and a commitment to promoting people who are the best possible at their jobs. That might sound obvious to hear it, but putting it into practice is a whole other challenge–one that you may find the answer to in Good to Great.

 

The Big Red Fez: How to Make Any Website Better

Modern business revolves around the internet. That means the website is the new storefront, and in many cases it’s what your customer sees long before they set foot inside your physical location, if they ever do at all.

The Big Red Fez is about the simple mistakes that people make designing websites and how those mistakes are costing you money, conversions, and customers. Author Seth Godin goes through all the little things that prevent a site from truly shining and details what needs to be done to fix them. If you’re considering getting into the e-commerce world this is a book you should check out.

 

​Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

Everyone is blogging, and there are a lot of reasons why. First, it’s great for SEO. Second, it brings your site to life. Third, and most importantly, it’s a way to humanize a company and create a sense of familiarity that can bridge the gap between corporation and customer.

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel go through countless case studies and examples of how and why entrepreneurs and companies need to be blogging. Anyone planning to strike out on their own needs to have an online presence, and this is a good place to start.

 

​The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

You can’t get very far, whether in business or in personal life, without being able to build trust. The moment in which it happens is fleeting, and it is what The SPEED of Trust is trying to capture.

Stephen Covey’s goal in The SPEED of Trust is to show how you and your company can build trust with consumers, and even build trust internally. It is an essential force, and one that’s not to be taken for granted. If you’re worried about developing trust check out Covey’s work.

 

​Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done is a popular method for organizing, prioritizing, and accomplishing tasks that really matter. It’s a popular method, and this book outlines the entire thing from start to finish.

While GTD is primarily designed to be a personal workflow system, it’s still applicable to the business world. Author David Allen created a system to help anyone accomplish the things that really matter, so if organizing and accomplishing tasks isn’t your strong suit there’s something to be gained from this book.

 

List originally published on TechRepublic.com