Sales and Growth
My copy of this is dog eared. It's the foundational bible of outbound sales prospecting. It was originally published in 2011, so it's already 5 years old, which is like 2 decades in start-up years. A lot has changed, but this book provides a great foundational understanding to build and expand on to make it work for today.
I think this is a really important book to read, especially for women. After reading this, I suddenly realized all the times these techniques had been used on me. Oren Klaff wrote this book under the perspective of pitching large deals, and his style can be off putting for some, but what he teaches is valuable to understand at the least and put into practice at best.
Part of getting your money mindset right is making sure you feel comfortable with it, and understand the environment of money, the markets, having it, investing it, etc. I read this book after realizing that while I was very articulate in corporate finance, I was clueless about my own finances and that I needed to rectify that immediately. If you want to be a serious entrepreneur, executive and investor, that means doing right by your own finances too.
TRACTION - BY GABRIEL WEISS
Traction is a good read for the first couple chapters as they outline their bullseye framework. This is a fun and important activity to do with your cofounders or team. This link goes directly to their website where they offer a free download for the first few chapters.
Mindset, Perspective, and Focus
For me, this was one of those magical books that you read at the right moment in your life and it just clicks. Prior to reading this, I thought that everybody was having overnight success except me. I thought something was wrong with me. Turns out, I'd always got discouraged, burned out and gave up because I didn't understand the Slight Edge. It changed how I thought and how I operated, nobody else could see it but me.
The Alchemist is an important book for entrepreneurs to read because it's the classic tale of the Hero's Journey. The epic journey of transformation that we are all on. It helped me understand that there is no finite, clearly defined path. Finding the treasure is not at all about the treasure itself, it's about the journey to it.
The law of attention, the law of attraction and the law of action are extremely powerful when properly understood. But too many people out there just spout platitudes and make vision boards. Jennifer Grace's method helps you to get aligned with what you want to create and helps you implement a daily practice to help stay focused and aligned with your intentions to make these things real. She also does webinars as a companion to the book that are very enjoyable. Check out her DYD online class here.
This book was so important to me because I read it at a very critical time in my life. During the no heat tiny apartment days. This was back when I thought that I was completely undeserving. It was the exact message I needed to hear. I wanted to understand spirituality and our personal power outside the realm of church and religion, and I didn't want to hear more "everything happens for a reason" platitudes. Return to Love is a true framework to live life and frame your mindset around.
When I realized that the negative naysayer voice in my head wasn't actually me, it opened up a whole new world of understanding. Meditation helps me strengthen my ability to ignore what Eckhart Tolle calls "the ego mind." For those of us really struggling to overcome the "ego mind," "the itty bitty shitty committee," "the gremlins" or whatever you want to call them, A New Earth is an insightful an thought provoking place to start.
This book is referred to the holy grail for success mindset. It's a classic. Napoleon Hill interviewed dozens of executives, thought leaders and successful people of his time ranging from JP Morgan to Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, William Taft and J.H. Woolworth to name a few. A lot of other business books are just reiterating what was written by Napoleon Hill. Might as well just go straight to the source.
Whether you are new to meditation, or a long time meditator, this is a great app to have on your phone. For those new to meditation, try the "7 Days of Calm" program to get started. Once you're going with meditation, if you want to learn more and really understand how meditation works from a cognitive sense, check out Rick Hansen's Foundations of Well Being program.
Start-ups and Entrepreneurship
I am a big fan of cutting through the fluff. Our brains don't have the capacity to spend time focusing on anything that is not important. Business Model Generation teaches the business model canvas methodology, which I like because the exercise really helps you cut through all the thoughts, ideas and fluff swarming around in your head and cut to the core of what is important to focus on. It's a great activity to set up on the wall of your office, so the ideas that percolate in your head can have somewhere meaningful to go.