No matter how busy you are, you probably have five or ten minutes each night to skim a book or two and cherry pick the best ideas for your business before you go to bed. Here are five recent books for your bedside table that will help you navigate the choppy waters facing small businesses today.
The Power of Rest, by Matthew Edlund, MD
Why is a title like this on a suggested reading list for entrepreneurs? As Dr. Edlund, a sleep expert explains, it’s hard to achieve top performance if you’re burning yourself out, day after day. His tips will help you to fit some much-needed time to renew your energy into your schedule, while still getting the important things done. If you feel like a physical wreck, you need to read this book immediately.
The Most Dangerous Business Book You’ll Ever Read, by Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch
We all know it takes mental toughness to succeed as a self-employed professional in today’s economy. This fascinating book will help you tap your steely side when necessary, offering you advice on how to ask questions like a trained interrogator, close a deal like a hostage negotiator, and make decisions like a Navy SEAL. Even if you aren’t comfortable using all of the techniques, there’s value in learning to recognize when others are employing them on you.
The Entrepreneur Equation, by Carol Roth
The “do what you love, the money will follow” mindset can be dangerously misleading to entrepreneurs. As any experienced business owner will tell you, building a business isn’t just about self-fulfillment. It’s about serving a need in the marketplace. In this practical book, Roth, a successful entrepreneur, offers some tough-minded advice for those contemplating a new venture, to help in evaluating everything from its timing to whether it’s a good fit. This book is not just for newbies. If your company isn’t growing the way you want it to, you’ll find valuable insights to help you diagnose it.
How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times, edited by Sophfronia Scott
Many people allow their fears to prevent them from going after their entrepreneurial dreams, even when they’re fully prepared for the challenge and well beyond qualified. This book of essays, from everyone from Donald Trump to innovation expert Sandy Glass, offers advice on how to keep your insecurities from derailing you.
The Experience Effect: Engage Your Customers with a Consistent and Memorable Brand Experience, by Jim Joseph
I’ve interviewed the author, who runs Lippe Taylor, a successful brand communications firm in New York City, several times and found his branding tips to be very useful—and immediately actionable—for small business owners. In this book, he offers insights on how to create a memorable experience for your customers when they come into contact with your brand—the kind that builds loyalty. And he’ll help you learn from what well-known brands, from Pottery Barn to The Biggest Loser, have done right.