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Books every entrepreneur should read
I have decided to write an introduction because too many people just ignore the value of knowledge, they are the fundamentals of all successes. Experienced individuals spend a lot of time trying to spread their understandings on a matter that they have thoroughly investigated. Books are always symbolising wisdom, knowledge and logic, they are so important when it comes to dealing with a complicated matter. Yet just by reading, you get so much useful information diffusing into your brain, and they will all come in handy when you need them. There are something to be learned in every single book, the trick is to effectively single out the useful parts and spend some time thinking over it. Books will show you new opportunities; it could be that a book gave you a new inspiration or it encouraged you to work harder. A lot of people loath reading and they simply don't have the patience, unfortunately, it's rather difficult to achieve a specific goal when you lack the desire for knowledge and the energy for learning. But the more you read, the better you understand the world. So many great businessman are all avid readers, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc. So why should we be the exceptions?
What is your opinion on books?
1. Rich dad, poor dad
This book was written by Robert T Kiyosaki, and it's perhaps the most famous book on earth about financial education. This book allows people to see the world from a completely different angle. The book mainly focuse on the importance of knowing how to manage your money effectively and just by excelling academically is not enough. Kiyosaki compared his two dads, a poor one (his biological dad) and a rich one (his best friend's dad) and how the one with a PHD couldn't keep up with his bills, while the other, who is an 8th grade dropout and went on making millions, and eventually becoming one of the richest person in Hawaii. Inside the book, there's a guide on how to get started in a real estate business, and this is really useful because for many entrepreneurs, it's quite hard to determine where to start. Kiyosaki also emphasised on the importance of financial freedom and he explains how to achieve it. He talked a lot about passive income and why it's a bad idea to spend money unnecessary luxuries. This book has inspired so many people, both adults and children. This is an area of knowledge that school doesn't teach and Kiyosaki mentioned this fact many, many times throughout the book. This book tells a story that goes against the traditional values, many people believes that having a nine-to-five is the perfect life and people should study hard and find a high paying job. However, this book encourages people to become an entrepreneur and take charge of your own financial freedom.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
This is a book by Dale Carnegie, who is one of the most influential lecturer of the early 20th century. The title of the book is rather self-explanatory, but the core element is to master the art of persuasion. This is a very essential aspect of business, not only you have to sell your products, you have to sell yourself first. Persuasion is everywhere in business, you have to persuade your bankers when you need a loan; you need to persuade the press that your product is the best and the list just goes on. This book also emphasis on the importance of good and effective communication and how you get your point across effectively and eventually convince your listeners that you are right. This kind of process happens everyday, and especially when you have recently started to operate your corporation, you will often find yourself talking to the press in order to gain publicity and it's crucial to learn how to achieve and get the outcome you want with great efficiency. Dale Carnegie started out as an extremely successful salesman, there are many essential ingredients in the book that will help you to achieve your dream. The book is divided into the following section: 1) Twelve Things This Book Will Do For You, 2) Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, 3) Six Ways to Make People Like You, 4) Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking, 5) Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment, 6) Letters That Produced Miraculous Results, 7) Seven Rules For Making Your Home Life Happier. Carnegie then went into detail within the chapters to make sure that readers thoroughly understand the key principles.
3. The $100 Startup
This is a book by Chris Guillebeau, who is famous blogger, author and speaker. The title is quite self-explanatory, like 'How to win friends and influence people', this book is about a start-up that cost less than $100. The story begin with a successful salesman who works for a large corporation, but due to the economy, he got redundant. He started his owner business after his friend gave him the inspiration of start selling mattresses in order to support his family. This book is vital for entrepreneurs because it shows you what a successful business can bring you and all the rewarding experiences that comes with it. This book can be very beneficial because it has showed us how to start a business with almost no start up cost. In this book, there are more than one example of successful business which stared with less than $100. This has fully convinced the readers (at least I am convinced) that you don't need a whole mountain of money to start a successful business, $100 seems to be plenty which is hard to believe, but this is encouraging because nearly everyone could afford to use $100 to start a business.
4. Zero to One
Zero to One is one of the most famous business book co-written by one of the most famous businessman, Peter Thiel. Thiel is famous for his investments such as PayPal and Facebook. From the early part of the book, Thiel emphasised the importance of Start-ups and how they are really the people who has been pushing the economy forward. The book also talked about the problems surrounding competitions and how they could have a negative affect on your business. The book also showed us perspectives from different parties, one is up and running business and another from start-ups. This book contains many real life examples which could really benefit any businessman, because it's so much easier to understand when you have heard about these stories on the news. There are also a lot on the start-up basics, which include details like how to setup a business, types of ownerships, how the organisation different departments in the business, and how to recruit talented employees.
5. The Lean Startup
This is an extremely successful business book on starting a business written by Eric Ries. Eric Ries was a businessman who founded many companies while at University, despite the fact that he later closed his businesses, the book still offers a deep insight into the world of Start-ups. The title 'The Lean Startup' mirrors Ries' own start-up experience. This book offers a whole different perspective of starting a business, this allows the readers to mentally get ready for any failure and they will have a plan B in case things don't go as smoothly as one wants. This book gives three different types of business associates' viewpoints, which includes founder, advisor and employee. All three are important stakeholders of a business, and Ries also shared the reason on why his earliest start-up has ultimately failed to stay in operation. His determined that one of the most important reason is his lack of experience in business and not putting enough time on researching the demographic. This could be a really important lesson for many, because way too many people believes that by having a perfect product will guarantee sale, but what they don't realise is that advertising is equally important. Like in one of my previous article, I have mentioned about learning from other people mistakes and it will benefit your business career immensely.
Which book from the above do you think is the most helpful one?
Linking back to what I have said in the introduction, books are so important when you are about to enter into something that is as risky as starting a business, because after all, if a business fails, it will cost real money. But it's about quality and not quantity, there's really no point reading 10 books, but not grasping the important lessons in the book. Oscar Wilde once said that "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." And this is exactly the problem, too many people just skim through the pages of the book and as soon as they finish reading it, they will probably forget about everything that has happened in the book. But if you have a thorough knowledge on business and you are willing to work hard, there's a very small chance that you will fail!