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April 1, 2016

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: ENTREPRENEURSHIP

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:33 PM – Filed under: Biography & Narrative

The word didn't even exist until 1950. However, blacksmiths, bakers, and candlestick makers faced the same challenges as today's organic farmers and database designers. These businesses are born out of a passion but often fail in practicality. Entrepreneurship is hip, treacherous, and vital--all of which served as inspiration for our selections.

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki

Whether you're an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there's no shortage of advice on such topics as writing a business plan, recruiting, raising capital, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, and Web sites that many startups get bogged down to the point of paralysis, or they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they discover their mistakes.

The Art of the Start solves that problem by distilling Guy Kawasaki's decades of experience as one of the most original and irreverent strategists in the business world. Since late 2004, The Art of the Start has been the essential guide for anyone starting anything, from a multinational corporation to a church group. From raising money to hiring the right people, from defining your positioning to creating a brand, from driving buzz to buzzing the competition, this book will guide you through an adventure that's more art than science—the art of the start.

The E-­Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

E-Myth \ 'e-,'mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.

An instant classic, this phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business.

Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. The E-­Myth Revisited will help you grow your business in a productive, assured way.

The Republic of Tea: The Story of the Creation of a Business, as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders (out of print) by Mel Ziegler, Patricia Ziegler, and Bill Rosenzweig

Almost all of us have at some point dreamed of starting our own business but have not been able to get past our fear, anxiety, and uncertainty about pursuing those dreams. Through a 20-month exchange of faxes, The Republic of Tea chronicles the feelings and emotions of three partners as they confront their fears and dreams to create an enormously successful start-up company. The book shows the budding entrepreneur how to start a successful business that embodies his or her own soul and economic realities. The insightful correspondence between Mel Ziegler and Patricia Ziegler, co-founders of The Banana Republic chain, and their new partner Bill Rosenzweig provides a map for the entrepreneur. It tells of the day-to-day breakthroughs and breakdowns of the creative process—inventing a product, developing a plan, and structuring a business partnership--and even provides the actual business plan used to raise money for the venture.

The Partnership Charter: How to Start Out Right with Your New Business Partnership (or Fix the One You're In) by David Gage

In The Partnership Charter, psychologist and business mediation expert David Gage offers a comprehensive guide to the art of establishing and maintaining a business partnership. The centerpiece of his approach is the Partnership Charter, a document that clearly outlines the goals, expectations, responsibilities, and relationships of the principals. The charter identifies potential sources of conflict and how they will be resolved, while addressing such sensitive issues as personal styles, values, money, and power.

Illustrating every principle through engaging stories drawn from Gage's front-line experience consulting to business partners, as well as interviews with the founding partners of such successful businesses as Progressive Insurance Company and Manpower, Inc., The Partnership Charter dispels common myths and presents a practical framework for launching, building, and sustaining a thriving business partnership.

Growing a Business by Paul Hawken

Nearly everyone harbors a secret dream of starting or owning a business. In fact, 1,000,000 businesses start in the United States every year. Many of them fail, but enough succeed so that small businesses are now adding millions of jobs to the economy at the same time that the Fortune 500 companies are actually losing jobs.

Paul Hawken—entrepreneur and best-selling author—wrote Growing a Business for those who set out to make their dream a reality. He knows what he's talking about; he is his own best example of success. In the early 1970s, while he was still in his twenties, he founded Erewhon, the largest distributor of natural foods. More recently, he founded and still runs Smith & Hawken, the premier mail-order garden tool company.

Using examples like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry's, and University National Bank of Palo Alto, California, Hawken shows that the successful business is an expression of an individual person. The most successful business will grow from something that is deep within you, something that can't be stolen by anyone because it is so uniquely yours that anyone else who tried to execute your idea would fail. He dispels the myth of the risk-taking entrepreneur. The purpose of business, he points out, is not to take risks but rather to get something done.

Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson

When Guerrilla Marketing was first published in 1983, Jay Levinson revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it.

Guerrilla Marketing is the entrepreneur’s marketing bible—and the book every small-business owner should have on the shelf.

The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Life by Randy Komisar with Kent Lineback

What would you be willing to do for the rest of your life? It's a question most of us consider only hypothetically—opting instead to "do what we have to do" to earn a living. But in the critically acclaimed bestseller The Monk and the Riddle, entrepreneurial sage Randy Komisar asks us to answer it for real. The book's timeless advice—to make work pay not just in cash, but in experience, satisfaction, and joy—will be embraced by anyone who wants success to come not just from what they do, but from who they are. At once a fictional tale of Komisar's encounters with a would-be entrepreneur and a personal account of how Komisar found meaning not in work's rewards but in work itself, the book illustrates what's wrong with the mainstream thinking that we should sacrifice our lives to make a living.

 


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