Whether you have been in business for decades or are just starting to germinate the seed of a business idea, all entrepreneurs need good advice sometime. The best entrepreneurs have a bookshelf full of words of wisdom to refer to their their businesses develop, and are constantly adding new ideas and concepts to the mix. Here are some of the best books for entrepreneurs below!
What am I doing?
Finding Your Purpose
Stumbling Towards Enlightenment - by Geri Larkin
Instead of promising a straight and clear path to enlightenment, author and teacher Geri Larkin shows us that even stumbling along that path can lead to self-discovery and awakening, especially if we prize the journey and not the destination. With candor, affection, and earthy wisdom, Larkin shares her experiences as a beginning and continuing Buddhist. This spirituality classic shows any seeker that it's possible to stumble, smile, and stay Zen through it all.
True Purpose: 12 Strategies for Discovering the Difference You Are Meant to Make - by Tim Kelley
Do you feel that there is something significant you're meant to do? Do you long to have more impact? In True Purpose, you will discover 12 proven methods to find the unique, individual purpose that is authentically you. Your purpose isn't a single, vague purpose statement; it is a precise and detailed map for living a deeply fulfilling, powerful and passionate life. Through practical exercises and inspiring examples, Tim guides you to uncover the deepest truth of who you are. Let your path unfold and lead you to a life of fulfillment, success and meaning!
Who came before?
Background on new ventures
The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, An Englishman's World - by Robert Lacey and Danny Danzinger
The Year 1000 is a vivid and surprising portrait of life in England a thousand years ago. A world that already knew brain surgeons and property developers and, yes, even the occasional gossip columnist. Uncovering such wonderfully unexpected details, authors Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger bring this distant world closer than it has ever been before. How did people survive without sugar? How did monks communicate if they were not allowed to speak? Why was July called "the hungry month"? The Year 1000 answers these questions and reveals such secrets as the recipe for a medieval form of Viagra and a hallucinogenic treat called "crazy bread." In the spirit of modern investigative journalism, Lacey and Danziger interviewed the top historians and archaeologists in the field. Their research led them to an ancient and little-known document of the period, the Julius Work Calendar, a sharply observed guide that takes us back in time to a charming and very human world of kings and revelers, saints and slave laborers, lingering paganism and profound Christian faith. This exuberant and informative book concludes as the shadow of the millennium descends across England and Christendom. While prophets of doom predict the end of the world, A.D. 1000 sees the arrival of such bewildering concepts as infinity and zero, along with the abacus-the medieval calculating machine. These are portents of the future, and The Year 1000 finishes by examining the human and social ingredients that were to make for success and achievement in the next thousand years.
The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers - by Tom Standage
The Victorian Internet tells the story of the telegraph, the world's first 'internet,' which revolutionized the nineteenth century even more than the internet has the twentieth and twenty-first. The electric telegraph nullified distance and shrank the world quicker and further than any technology before or since, and its story mirrors and predicts that of the internet in numerous intriguing ways.
Tom Standage covers the creation of the telegraph and remarkable impact it had on communication and society. He writes about the visionaries, oddballs, and eccentrics who pioneered it, from the eighteenth-century French scientist Jean-Antoine Nollet to Samuel F. B. Morse and Thomas Edison. By 1865, telegraph cables spanned continents and oceans, revolutionizing the ways countries dealt with one another. The new technology gave rise to creative business practices and new forms of crime. Romances blossomed over the wires. Secret codes were devised by some and cracked by others. The benefits of the network were relentlessly hyped by advocates and vehemently dismissed by skeptics. Government regulators tried and failed to control the new medium. Attitudes toward everything from news gathering to war had to be reconsidered. Meanwhile, on the wires, a technological subculture with its own customs and vocabulary was establishing itself.
As globalization continues to makes the world seem smaller, The Victorian Internet reflects on what was the greatest revolution in communication since the invention of the printing press. The telegraph took that initial step toward connectedness across geographical, economical and social distances.
Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior - by Phil Jackson
With a new introduction, Phil Jackson’s modern classic of motivation, teamwork, and Zen insight is updated for a whole new readership
"Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball." --Phil Jackson
Eleven years ago, when Phil Jackson first wrote these words in Sacred Hoops, he was the triumphant head coach of the Chicago Bulls, known for his Zen approach to the game. He hadn’t yet moved to the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he would bring his total to an astounding nine NBA titles. In his thought-provoking memoir, he revealed how he directs his players to act with a clear mind -- not thinking, just doing; to respect the enemy and be aggressive without anger or violence; to live in the moment and stay calmly focused in the midst of chaos; to put the "me" in service of the "we" -- all lessons applicable to any person’s life, not just a professional basketball player’s. This inspiring book went on to sell more than 400,000 copies.
In his new introduction, Jackson explains how the concepts in Sacred Hoops are relevant to the issues facing his current team -- and today’s reader.
Leading with Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit - by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal
Since its original publication in 1995, Leading with Soul has inspired thousands of readers. Far ahead of its time, the book bravely revealed the path to leadership to be a very personal journey requiring a knowledge of self and a servant-leader mentality. Now, in this new and revised edition, authors Bolman and Deal address such currrent issues as the changing nature of work, the new face of today's workforce, and the greater need for an infusion of soul in the workplace. They also include real-life stories from readers of the first edition, and answer key questions that those readers raise. As vital as ever, this revisted narrative of an executive and his quest for deeper meaning continues to point the way to a more fulfilling work experience.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times - by Pema Chodron
There is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it—ironically while we are caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Drawn from traditional Buddhist wisdom, Pema ChÃ¶drÃ¶n's radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives goes against the grain of our usual habits and expectations. There is only one approach to suffering that is of lasting benefit, Pema teaches, and that approach involves moving toward painful situations with friendliness and curiosity, relaxing into the essential groundlessness of our entire situation. It is there, in the midst of chaos, that we can discover the truth and love that are indestructible.
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America - by Barbara Ehrenreich
The bestselling, landmark work of undercover reportage, now updated
Acclaimed as an instant classic upon publication, Nickel and Dimed has sold more than 1.5 million copies and become a staple of classroom reading. Chosen for “one book” initiatives across the country, it has fueled nationwide campaigns for a living wage. Funny, poignant, and passionate, this revelatory firsthand account of life in low-wage America—the story of Barbara Ehrenreich’s attempts to eke out a living while working as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart associate—has become an essential part of the nation’s political discourse.
Now, in a new afterword, Ehrenreich shows that the plight of the underpaid has in no way eased: with fewer jobs available, deteriorating work conditions, and no pay increase in sight, Nickel and Dimed is more relevant than ever.
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of fourteen books, including Dancing in the Streets and The New York Times bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. A frequent contributor to Harper’s and The Nation, she has also been a columnist at The New York Times and Time magazine. In 2010, Nickel and Dimed was named one of the decade's top ten works of journalism by the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. Inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job—any job—can be the ticket to a better life, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour?
To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.
Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity—a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategems for survival. Read it for the clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom.
A Working Stiff's Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember - by Iain Levison
All Iain Levison really wants is a steady paycheck, cable television, and the possibility of a date on Saturday night. But after blowing $40,000 on an English degree, he can’t find the first, can’t afford the second, and can’t even imagine what woman would consent to the third. So he embarks on a time-honored American tradition: scoring a few dead-end jobs until something better comes along. The problem is, it never does.
A Working Stiff's Manifesto is a laugh-out-loud memoir of one man’s quest to stay afloat. From the North Carolina piedmont to the Alaskan waters, Levison’s odyssey takes him on a cross-country tour of wage labor: gofer, oil deliveryman, mover, fish cutter, restaurant manager, cable thief, each job more mind-numbing than the last. A Working Stiff's Manifesto will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered a demeaning job, worn a name badge, or felt the tyranny of the time clock.
The Monk and the Riddle - by Randy Komisar and Kent L. Lineback
How one Silicon Valley insider has blazed a path of professional-and personal-success playing the game by his own rules.
Silicon Valley is filled with garage-to-riches stories and hot young entrepreneurs with big ideas. Yet even in this place where the exceptional is common, Randy Komisar is a breed apart. Currently a "Virtual CEO" who provides "leadership on demand" for several renowned companies, Komisar was recently described by the Washington Post as a "combined professional mentor, minister without portfolio, in-your-face investor, trouble-shooter and door opener." But even more interesting than what he does is how-and why-he does it. Komisar has found a way to turn an ambitious and challenging work life into his life's work.
The Monk and the Riddle is unlike any other business book you've read. Transcending the typical "leadership book" model of lists and frameworks on how to succeed in business, The Monk and the Riddle is instead a lively and humorous narrative about the education of a unique Valley insider. It unfolds over the course of an ongoing dialogue between Komisar and would-be entrepreneurs, "Lenny and Allison," and is at once a portal into the inner workings of Silicon Valley-from how startups get launched to how venture capitalists do their deals to how plans get prepared and pitched-and a deeply personal account of how one mover and shaker found fulfillment, not in work's rewards but in work itself.
As the narrative follows Komisar through meetings with venture capitalists and eager entrepreneurs, and as his conversations with Lenny evolve toward a resolution, The Monk and the Riddle imparts invaluable lessons about the differences between leadership and management and passion and drive, and about the meaning of professional and personal success. "When all is said and done," writes Komisar, "the journey is the reward."
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