Close to 4.5 million new businesses were started in the United States in 2020, making it the highest year on record. New business start-ups jumped 24% from 2019 and more than 50% about the 2010-2019 average. Half a million businesses were started in January 2021 alone.
One of the effects of the COVID pandemic is a desire for people to leave their jobs and do something independently.
As a manufacturing business owner in my sixth year of a start-up, I want to caution those beginning down this path.
Starting a business is challenging, and success is not guaranteed.
You are more likely to fail than succeed.
So, why do millions of people each year ignore the statistics and become entrepreneurs?
Because they see successful entrepreneurs, and they think they can do it as well.
They see the “hustle porn” on social media telling them that they too can have a fancy car and a private jet if they just work hard.
They see people like Phil Knight, a former college athlete who took a desire to find the perfect running shoe and built it into Nike, a global brand worth more than $280 billion.
They think, “if he can do it, I can too.”
The problem is that every entrepreneur underestimates the immensity of the task.
This is an incredible dive into what it truly takes to start a company. In this book, we learn that Phil Knight’s journey from a crazy idea of importing Japanese running shoes to building a successful, global brand was anything but a short story.
He faced cash flow problems, lawsuits, unfaithful partners, government investigations, media scrutiny, employees leaving for the competition, and the loss of endorsing athletes.
Problems every entrepreneur will face.
Nike is the story of an overnight success that took more than 18 years.
The lesson you will take away from this book is that starting a business is incredibly arduous, and only the strong, persistent, and lucky will survive.
Leaders need to be readers. I recommend reading leadership and business books regularly to sharpen your skills and make you aware of important, new concepts. I’m a huge fan of Audible. I listen to these books on my daily commute. I especially like hearing the books read by the authors. Here are the Top 10 Best Selling Business Books for September 2018 according to Amazon:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators, parents, and students — in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations have benefited from Dr. Covey’s 7 Habits book.
With over 100,000 copies sold, Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley has been a Wall Street Journal Best Seller and the #1 memory book on Amazon for more than two years. It has been translated into seven languages including French, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Ukrainian, and Lithuanian.
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations – whether in the boardroom or at home. After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’ head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: in saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles – counterintuitive tactics and strategies – you, too, can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal lives.
Often the decision between a customer choosing you over someone like you is your ability to know exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to make it count. Phil M. Jones has trained more than two million people across five continents and over 50 countries in the lost art of spoken communication. In Exactly What to Say, he delivers the tactics you need to get more of what you want.
In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin share hard-hitting Navy SEAL combat stories that translate into lessons for business and life. With riveting firsthand accounts of making high-pressure decisions as Navy SEAL battlefield leaders, this audiobook is equally gripping for leaders who seek to dominate other arenas.
[NEW to Top 10] Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis urges women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes, and dreams and instead to go after them with passion and confidence. Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women being afraid of their own goals. They’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough. But the biggest fear of all is of being judged for having ambition at all. Having been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, friend, or team member—many women have forgotten who they are and what they were meant to be. In Girl, Stop Apologizing, entrepreneur and online personality Rachel Hollis encourages women to own their hopes, desires, and goals and reminds them they don’t need permission to want more.
[NEW to Top 10] Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown. Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, changemakers, and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead. Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas and has the courage to develop that potential. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.
Quietly and steadily, the number of women making six figures or more is increasing and continues to rise at a rate faster than for men. From entrepreneurs to corporate executives, from white-collar professionals to freelancers and part-timers, women are forging careers with considerable financial success. In Secrets of Six-Figure Women, Barbara Stanny, journalist, motivational speaker, and financial educator, identifies the seven key strategies of female highearners: A Profit Motive, Audacity, Resilience, Encouragement, Self-Awareness, Non-attachment, and Financial Know-How.
[NEW to Top 10] Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past 40 years to create unique results in both life and business – and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals. In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency”, include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.
Leaders need to be readers. I recommend reading leadership and business books regularly to sharpen your skills and make you aware of important, new concepts. I’m a huge fan of Audible. I listen to these books on my daily commute. I especially like hearing the books read by the authors. Here are the Best Selling New Business and Leadership Books of 2018 according to Amazon:
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou is a riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
In Measure What Matters, Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth – and how it can help any organization thrive. The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization’s most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees on track. They link objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention.
In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations – including Pixar, the San Antonio Spurs, and the US Navy’s SEAL Team Six – and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change.
Every day, we find ourselves in gatherings, Priya Parker says in The Art of Gathering. If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike. Parker defines a gathering as three or more people who come together for a specific purpose. When we understand why we gather, she says – to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change – we learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable: from an effective business meeting to a thought-provoking conference; from a joyful wedding to a unifying family dinner.
Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel H. Pink shows that timing is really a science. Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?
For over 20 years, a select group of Yale undergraduates has been admitted into the year-long “Grand Strategy” seminar team-taught by John Lewis Gaddis and Paul Kennedy. Its purpose: to provide a grounding in strategic decision-making in the face of crisis to prepare future American leaders for important work. Now, John Lewis Gaddis has transposed the experience of that course into a wonderfully succinct, lucid and inspirational book, a view from the commanding heights of statesmanship across the landscape of world history from the ancient Greeks to Lincoln, and beyond. A thrilling experience for history lovers and a necessary one for anyone serious about the art of leadership, On Grand Strategy is the very definition of a master class.
In his most provocative and practical book yet, one of the foremost thinkers of our time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. In Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, Taleb cites examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump. Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.
In Energy, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes highlights the successes and failures that led to each breakthrough in energy production, from animal and water power to the steam engine, from internal combustion to the electric motor. He addresses how we learned from such challenges, mastered their transitions, and capitalized on their opportunities. Rhodes also looks at the current energy landscape, with a focus on how wind energy is competing for dominance with cast supplies of coal and natural gas. He also addresses the specter of global warming and a population hurtling toward 10 billion by 2100.
A candid guide for ambitious women who want to succeed without losing themselves in the process. In The Myth of the Nice Girl, Fran Hauser deconstructs the negative perception of “niceness” that many women struggle with in the business world. If women are nice, they are seen as weak and ineffective, but if they are tough, they are labeled a bitch. Hauser proves that women don’t have to sacrifice their values or hide their authentic personalities to be successful.
Great at Work by Morten Hansen is based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study. Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance.