Successful business owners don’t reach their goals without learning a few lessons along the way. Reading relevant books by those who have already navigated through the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship is a good way to start. Books are often a source of both inspiration and skill-building exercises. They can help us hone our leadership strategies or give us new insights into potential pitfalls.
Here are five lessons from the best business books of all time:
Establish a Work-Life Balance
David Allen’s classic book, Getting Things Done, is a popular and important study of how entrepreneurs can achieve a work-life balance. Allen’s simple system of time management focuses on staying productive without compromising the comfort of everyday routines. The book emphasizes creating an “external brain” by concentrating only on the task at hand and keeping the “next action” out of your head. Allen encourages the use of lists and calendars as the key to stress-free business action.
Think Big And Take Risks
The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson stands out for its unrelenting analysis of how business owners must think to succeed. Johnson’s no-nonsense approach gives entrepreneurs an edge by building confidence and promoting the value of big ideas. To Johnson, it is all about an individual’s mindset and how they interpret the opportunities before them. Business owners benefit from the book’s insistence on taking risks, creating new markets, and reaching beyond the limits they once imagined.
Learn From Others
Legendary sales professional Brian Tracy’s book, The Psychology of Selling, is bursting with tips and ideas on how to perfect your sales strategy. There is much to take away from his methods including setting clear goals, asking questions, and using the power of suggestion. Tracy covers straightforward business productivity topics with common sense advice. Learning from others is top of the list. Surrounding yourself with successful people who share your passion and mimicking their habits helps you sharpen your own techniques.
Embrace Disruptive Technologies
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen is an important examination of how business managers often fail to apply or adapt to new technologies. Christensen points out that choosing imagination over comfortable efficiency might be the only way to stay competitive in the ever-changing market environment. Disruptive innovation poses potential risks to maintaining the existing customer base. But business owners and managers are able to stay one step ahead by embracing and anticipating new technologies despite that risk.
Big Business Is Good
Economist Tyler Cowen aggressively defends his positive attitude toward big business in his book, Big Business. He methodically dismantles the conflicting misconceptions about the role of capitalism in society. Business owners come away from reading this thoughtful book feeling good about their place in the country’s economic prosperity. Cowen’s progressive take on business emphasizes the crucial role it plays in driving innovation. Entrepreneurs only need to learn to love it as much as he does.