In honor of World Entrepreneur Day, I’m sharing simple, but powerful, takeaways from seven of my favorite books for entrepreneurs! Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the craziest leaps of faith you’ll ever have to take, followed by the crazy decision to stay as an entrepreneur. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being the boss, and not because I need to tell others what to do. I love it because I have always been a strategic visionary who also loves leadership, impact, and inspiring people. I love to find solutions and come up with creative ideas to solve problems–being an entrepreneur has me doing just that like clockwork! Does it mean it’s easy? Nope! Does it mean I don’t encounter challenges? Nope! But, it does mean I get to create impact, do what I love, and build a team while making an income, and that makes all the craziness worth it!
Now, before I share my favorite takeaways from some of the best entrepreneurial books, I want to share something I teach in one of my startup workshops, The 4 Types of Entrepreneurs:
Wannapreneurs are those who want to take the leap but for different reasons are holding back! They kind of start designing a product but then forget about it for months, they build a website for their e-commerce but never share it, they do a couple of catering gigs but don’t commit to actually getting the permits and becoming “official.” Can you relate? Now, I’m not judging because I know each person has their own unique circumstances, but I urge you to decide if you want to continue to work for someone else or fully commit to your business and dreams! It’s okay to do it as a side gig at first as long as you’re actually doing it! The issue is when you aren’t taking consistent action. So, if you have it sitting there without taking any actions, then perhaps you aren’t cut out to be an entrepreneur or perhaps you need to trust yourself and give it all you’ve got!
First, let me give you a round of applause because you already did the hardest thing, you actually took a bet on yourself and started the entrepreneurial journey. However, if you are a solopreneur, chances are you are doing it all on your own. You are the CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, secretary, sales manager, accountant…you get the idea. Figure out what you need to do to start building a team because you’re going to need it to get to the next level! Delegate repetitive tasks, create manuals and processes for others to execute for you, get professional help for legal and tax matters, and please give yourself a break! You need a break from mundane work so you can focus on being the CEO and working on your business as opposed to working in your business. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
Okay, so at this point, you have a legitimate business, you are making money, and you are building a team. Now what? This is a crucial time because this is where you have some time and income to take your business to the next level. However, this can become a comfort zone for some and stagnation becomes the standard. As an entrepreneur, you always want to make sure you are continually improving, training your team, and growing your bottom line. Don’t get too comfortable, there is always room for growth.
I personally consider this the best stage. At this point, you have a thriving business that provides for you and your loved ones, you feel fulfilled, and you are so inspired that you are ready to make an impact. You use the influence and resources you’ve built to make a difference in your community, personal life, or a cause you love. This is where companies build corporate responsibility programs, you (the CEO/leader) decide to speak, write a book or teach others. Or perhaps, you pick a cause to donate a percentage of proceeds to. You get bonus points if your entire business is in itself a social enterprise that offers products or services from the get-go to help people, the environment, or a specific cause. This my friends, is one of the most fulfilling stages for me. Don’t get me wrong, being an entrepreneur is amazing, but using your influence for good is extra rewarding! You are living out your purpose and you are creating an impact, this is what I call an impactpreneur!
So, let’s jump right into my favorite book takeaways to take your business to the next level! Ready? Here we go:
THE E-MYTH by Michael E. Gerber
The People Game. Here is some very great takeaways about people and team!
- Figure out what you want your team to do before you share it with them.
- Only ask of your people the things you would be willing to do yourself.
- Make sure the “win” doesn’t have an end. Create milestones and victories to celebrate but make sure there is always an ongoing goal and effort.
- Change the game from time to time–tactics, not strategy!
- Remind your team what the ‘game’ is about and encourage them to always stay in it!
- Make sure the ‘game’ makes sense.
- Make sure it’s fun from time to time!
- Use your game or learn from others’ but make sure to play it right!
THE FIRST 90 DAYS by Michael D. Watkins
Create Alliances. First decide why you need the support of others, then figure out what you are trying to accomplish and who can help you accomplish it.
THE THANK YOU ECONOMY By Gary Vaynerchuk
Create True Value.
“If your view of social media is so tunnel-visioned that all you care about are the number of fans or retweets or views you’re garnering, you’re missing the whole point. Success in social media, and business in general, in the Thank You Economy will always have to be measured with an eye toward both quality and quantity. You can throw meaningless tactics around to grow your numbers, but even if they work and your online numbers look impressive, you won’t have gained anything of true value because you didn’t put anything of true value out there.” -The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 3.0 by John A. Goodman
Create A Great Customer Experience: The company must try to create opportunities for connection.
- Make the customer experience memorable
- Take the high road by placing the customer first
- Identify with the customer
- Anticipate customer needs
- Create friendly interaction
- Show your expertise and education on your topic/business
- Add value to standard transactions
THE EXECUTION FACTOR by Kim Perell
“Your idea is just a dream until you execute it. Execution separates the dreamers from the doers: it is the ability to do and get results–to keep moving forward to achieve your vision and goals in business and life despite the challenges, hardships, and obstacles that lie ahead.” -The Execution Factor, Kim Perell
LINCHPIN by Seth Godin
Be exceptional and have exceptional people in your team. This is one of my favorite books and a must-read no matter what stage in life you’re in! This book inspired me to stay out of my comfort zone and make bold moves. So, it was hard to pick one takeaway, I recommend you read the entire book multiple times, but here is one of the ‘main idea’ quotes from the book:
‘Every successful organization has at least one linchpin.’ ‘Linchpins are indispensable, the driving force of our future.’ ‘The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people deeply care about.’ -Linchpin, Seth Godin
DARING GREATLY by Brene Brown
Connect with yourself, your circles, and your customers. Even though this isn’t a business-specific book, it is in my opinion a must-read for personal growth and bravery! Here is a great quote from it:
“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.” -Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
LEAPFROG: THE NEW REVOLUTION FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS by Nathalie Molino Niño
Consider franchising to expand. Okay, this is a great read, especially if you are a female entrepreneur. I remember thinking one day how much I wanted to find a modern book by a woman on how to do entrepreneurship today! A lot of the books out there are outdated or don’t necessarily address the challenges and issues that female entrepreneurs face…and then this book fell in my lap! Make sure to get it and read it, it is packed with resources and very useful information. Here is a quote from it’s author about franchising as a way to not have to do business alone, go public, or sell your company:
“Great businesses that scale well tend to look a little like franchises” –Nathalie Molino Niño
BONUS! Okay, I always like to throw in a bonus. The next book isn’t a business book per se and it might be a little ‘out there’ for some people, but trust me, it can make such a difference in impacting your beliefs around money and how you apply those to your business! The book is really a 21-day “challenge” with simple inspiration and action to take each day. I totally recommend it! It’s called “Unleash Your Inner Money Babe” by Kathrin Zenkina and it’s magic!
Contributing Author, Jessie Medina
A playful creative and curious intellectual, Jessie Medina likes to defy stereotypes and shatter glass ceilings. She climbed the corporate ladder in her 20’s working as a digital marketing and PR executive. She is now the founder & CEO of a global female empowerment community for Latinas @femlatinas and feminine branding agency @femgency. She is also a crisis communication and workplace equality consultant, speaker, business strategist, and podcast host. Jessie loves traveling, dancing, and cooking at home! She enjoys the beach and doing anything creative. Jessie is an avid advocate for female empowerment and helps women design their dream life.
Keep up with Jessie on her personal Instagram as well @jessiemedinaofficial.