I took a look at my circle of friends recently and realized something: they are all in varying stages of entrepreneurship, myself included. All of us have something else in common: we love to read. So this got me to thinking, starting your own business is an exciting yet stressful adventure. Entrepreneurship is both left and right brained, engaging you creatively but also challenging your organizational and financial skills. Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of owning your own company, or a great idea has recently possessed you but you don’t know where to start. First off, reach out through your sphere and contact those individuals who have successfully started a business. This could be a professor, aunt, past employer, friend, you name it. Secondly, get to reading! There are some fantastic books on entrepreneurship that help you put a game plan together and stay the course. After reaching out to that same circle of friends, I’ve put together a list of five great reads to get you started!
1. Start Something that Matters by TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie. Mycoskie’s book is an ideal read for the social entrepreneur. As you may know, for every shoe purchased by a customer of TOMS, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to someone in need. And that’s what social entrepreneurship is all about: creating a business that goes beyond profit and creates positive social change.
2. Drive by Daniel H. Pink. Generation X and Y have pretty bad reputations in regards to work ethic if you didn’t know. I could get on my soapbox about this, but I’ll save that for another time! Pink’s book focuses on what motivates us and gives us satisfaction in our life, whether it is career satisfaction or personal satisfaction. Find out how to utilize the ideas of autonomy, mastery and purpose to create your business.
3. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is a godsend for anyone in the arts. Whether you are a blogger, choreographer, actor, novelist, dancer – okay you get the picture – this book is for you. Set up as a 12 week program, her system is quite powerful and through some kind of magic manages to hold you accountable. Through “morning pages” and weekly tasks, the artistic entrepreneur learns dedication and self-nurturing.
4. Just Start was created by several masterminds: Leonard Schlesinger, Charles Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown. These three gentlemen bring both research and personal experience to help others create success for themselves “in a world where you can no longer plan or predict your way to success.” Just Start works as a guide for a wide variety of projects whether they be professional or personal.
5. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne is a great fit for the uber-business minded entrepreneur or anyone looking to create an “uncontested market space” rather than battling their competition to the death! Whether you love systems or need help implementing systems to create your business, check it out.