What Are Entrepreneurs Reading?

By Ann Marie van den Hurk
Lexington Herald-Leader

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) So what are entrepreneurs reading this summer? Here’s a look at some book choices that may not be what you’d expect.

Lexington Herald-Leader

What are you doing to further your business knowledge?

One way entrepreneurs keep their skills sharp is reading, and not just books that directly relate to their business.

Studies prove that reading fiction and nonfiction enhances your brain functions and keeps you sharp as you age.

Reading helps improve your analytical thinking and also improves memory and increases vocabulary. Also, reading is known to reduce stress.

Time and attention are at a premium in our nonstop world, especially if you are running or building a business, have a family, and are involved actively in service to your community. There seems to be not enough minutes in the day.

How do you find the time? You don’t. You instead make the time to read every day as part of your daily routine.

Reading at night before bed is often ideal as it helps you retain the material better.

What are entrepreneurs reading? Here’s a look at some entrepreneurs’ book choices, that might not be what you’d expect.

Lauren Milligan, of resume writing service ResuMAYDAY in Chicago, suggests reading “The E-Myth Revisited,” by Michael E. Gerber. When Milligan was new in her business, she dealt with many of the issues the book addresses and she thinks most new business owners do too. Instead of being a complicated business theory book, it tells an accessible story. She didn’t need an MBA to understand it.

Chadd Lewis, with Peak NanoSytsems in Texas, focuses on leadership and his industry in his reading. Lewis suggests: “Scales on War: Future of America’s Military” by Gen. Bob Scales, “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel, and “Team of Teams” by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

-“The Dictator’s Handbook” and “The Logic of Political Survival” by authors Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith are recommend by Ysmay Walsh with Ysmay, Inc., in Washington, D.C. Walsh, who describes herself as a New Mexican girl who’s “totally obsessed with web design and online business,” likes these books because business is very much a political beast, she said.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or CEO of a Fortune 500, business is politics. Just as a politician gets elected based on constituents and influencers, a business thrives on clients and influencers (even minor ones who only have a fan base in their community). Understanding how politicians thrive and stay in power helped Walsh to understand how businesses can do the same.

-“Expert Secrets” by Russell Brunson and “The Road to Riches” by Napoleon Hill are suggested by Allie Theiss, of in Wooster, Ohio. Theiss recalls that she read Hill’s first book, “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Road to Riches,” an accompaniment to that book.

The books helped remind her of what is possible if you put your belief into an idea and have the work to back it up. She is a fan of author Brunson and read his “Dot.Com Secrets” prior to “Expert Secrets.”

Other books you should think about adding to your reading list are:

-“Zombie Loyalist: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans,” by Peter Shankman. Publishers Weekly says this about the book: “Marketing and PR expert Shankman offers a hilarious, astute, and ultimately practical guide to creating customers so satisfied they’ll promote your company with zombie-like fervor … this entertaining yet valuable work is a must-read for any business owner or executive interested in turning satisfied customers into avid brand ambassadors.”

-“Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant, author of two New York Times best selling books and Wharton’s top-rated teacher for four straight years.

-“You’re a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. Publishers Weekly says: “Sincero brings a fun, feminine verve to now well-tread self-help tropes … The tone is far more feisty than academic, and there’s humor on every page, all of which is exactly what her intended audience most needs.”

-“The One Thing: The Surprising Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. The book has made more than 350 appearances on national bestseller lists, including No. 1 in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. It won 12 book awards and has been translated into 27 languages.

-“Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick” by Alexandra Watkins. Watkins, founder of the naming firm Eat My Words, attempts with this book to prove that even the “most noncreative person” can conceive of something that will resonate with customers. She examines all aspects of a brand name’s commercial value, from how easily it can be pronounced and recognized, to whether or not voice recognition software will be able to spell it correctly, Publishers Weekly states.
Ann Marie van den Hurk, an accredited public relations professional, is principal of Mind the Gap Public Relations and author of “Social Media Crisis Communications.”

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