By Alex Zaltsman
Entrepreneurs are always seeking to grow our businesses and ourselves. We have an insatiable appetite to learn that’s ingrained in our DNA. Even the statistics are in our favor. Eighty-eight percent of wealthy people read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons, according to Tom Corley of Rich Habits Institute.
But with millions of business books and how-to guides on the market, how do you start filling up the business owner’s bookshelf? A survey of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) of New Jersey members reveals some of their most recent must-reads:
1.) The Pumpkin Plan by EO New Jersey member Mike Michalowicz. EO New Jersey Communications Chair Scott Weintraub, chief marketing officer of Healthcare Regional Marketing, says this book is a powerful analogy on what it takes to grow a colossal business, including focusing your efforts and having the discipline to say no to distractions, which are often labeled as opportunities. Denise Blasevick, CEO of the S3 Agency, also read the book and has implemented its strategy in her own company. For example, she has taken the advice of helping prospects even if they can’t afford to hire you.
2.) Above the Line: How the Golden Rule Rules the Bottom Line by Steve Satterwhite. Through the pages of this book, Harris Wolin, co-founder and partner of Myers Wolin, LLC and forum chair of EO New Jersey, has learned that doing the right thing on all levels is something that should always be top of mind. The book takes you through the start of the author’s business and how he dealt with a downturn.
3.) Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics by Jackie Huba. This book about Lady Gaga and her success in attracting and keeping loyal fans may seem less than applicable to the average entrepreneur. However, Sophie Shor, vice president of Roman Jewelers, says it offers a lot to learn about keeping customers and clients happy, and some of the best insight can come from other industries.
4.) Likeable Leadership: A Collection of 65+ Inspirational Stories on Marketing, Your Career, Social Media & More by Dave Kerpen. Beth Geller, owner of Just Be Smooth Endermologie Studio, says the collection of stories on embracing honesty and respect as a leader and marketer is not only entertaining, it is also helping her navigate the new age of inbound marketing.
5.) The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. Philip Patrick, founder and CEO of Four Leaf Strategies and mentorship chair for EO New Jersey, read this book to gain wisdom on how to achieve personal and professional goals without the confines of the traditional work schedule. He says the book is inspirational and tactical.
6.) The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling. Joe Infante, president of Dynamic Strategies, says this book focuses on the problems organizations have properly focusing, executing and completing projects. It takes a unique approach on realizing how everyday issues and human behavior impact the execution on projects.
7.) Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. EO New Jersey Learning Co-Chair and Founder and CEO of Soleil Tans Shawn Smith read this book based on the author’s success story to learn how to leverage social media to build his brand.
8.) Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. Edward Alicea is reading this book, which shares the author’s breakthrough methods for stress-free performance. The premise is that productivity is directly proportional to the ability to relax.
The common theme through all of these books is the same: The insights of others are not only valuable, they’re also obtainable. So why not make reading a priority this year? You might find you can stretch your business and gain some wisdom along the way.
Alex Zaltsman is CEO of InnoviMobile.com, a mobile application development company based in Piscataway, N.J., and president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of New Jersey.