Archive for Book Reviews – Page 2

5 Business Books for Holiday Reading

Here are five books I’ve read recently and found great value in for entrepreneurs … so if you’re looking for a book to read over the holiday break, here are some ideas:

Growing a Startup Like a Pumpkin?

My latest read that really  is called The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field by Mike Michalowicz.

He uses the metaphor of growing REALLY big pumpkins to taking your business to the next level.

This definition of what is an entrepreneur was especially sharp:

“Entrepreneurs identify the problems, discover the opportunities and then build processes to allow other people and other things to get it done.”

Here are some of the great things I marked in the Pumpkin Plan:

  • Finding your best clients — the ones you actually like and sync with who you are. He calls it the ‘desert island’ approach. “If you could only bring one client to a desert island, who would it be? Who could you stand to be with for the months or years it takes you to figure out how to get off the island? Who can you trust? Who do you love?”
  • Interviewing clients to find out what they really want — we’re looking through our top 1000 customers right now to find commonalities and to begin talking to them with some of the questions he suggest
  • His product launch sequence — something I’m going to think through with our next product … “Predict,” “Appreciate,” “Announce,” “Engage,” “Ask,” “Limit,” “Over-deliver,” and “Keep Track.”
  • Three questions he uses to empower employees to make the best decisions — we’ll likely refine these but here they are: “1. Does this decision better serve our top clients? 2. Does this decision improve or maintain our Area of Innovation? 3. Does this decision grow or maintain our profitability?”

Get it The Pumpkin Plan here from Amazon.

Here’s my Amazon WishList to see what I’m either reading or wanting to read soon. By the way, what books are you reading right now? 

 

The Entrepreneurial Adventure Book is Here!

In 2008 I started my entrepreneurial journey with the founding of iThemes. This month, in fact, is my four year anniversary of becoming a full-time entrepreneur and living my lifelong dream.

Throughout the years as we’ve enjoyed our definition of success and others have seen it, I’ve been increasingly asked by friends and acquaintances about how they can get started in entrepreneurship.

Thus, I started StartupSofa to be an online resource for budding entrepreneurs, done talks, webinars and workshops, and now am proud to release a short book called “The Entrepreneurial Adventure: Is It For You?”

Entrepreneurship is an adventure — a long, arduous journey like climbing one of the world’s highest mountains. As such budding entrepreneurs should know the risks involved, what an entrepreneur does for the world and ask themselves some tough questions before starting on the journey.

In this book I share my experiences as a startup entrepreneur and offer advice on aligning your life’s passions and purpose, and how to prepare for the entrepreneurial climb.

It’s short enough to read in less than an hour, but I’ve packed with lessons I’ve learned and resources I’ve found extremely helpful for starting a business.

In this book, you’ll …

  • Learn how a compelling vision of the future helps keep the right motivations aligned
  • Realize the risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur
  • Be challenged with essential questions to unearth your life’s passions and purpose
  • Understand what an entrepreneurship does for the world
  • Get tips for starting a business without risking everything
  • Find a blueprint of essential books and resources to prepare you for your entrepreneurial journey

If you’re an aspiring or budding entrepreneur, this book is for you.

Here’s how to get the book:

Here’s to those daring and ready for the entrepreneurial journey!

The Entrepreneurial Adventure Book is Here!

In 2008 I started my entrepreneurial journey with the founding of iThemes. This month, in fact, is my four year anniversary of becoming a full-time entrepreneur and living my lifelong dream.

Throughout the years as we’ve enjoyed our definition of success and others have seen it, I’ve been increasingly asked by friends and acquaintances about how they can get started in entrepreneurship.

Thus, I started StartupSofa to be an online resource for budding entrepreneurs, done talks, webinars and workshops, and now am proud to release a short book called “The Entrepreneurial Adventure: Is It For You?”

Entrepreneurship is an adventure — a long, arduous journey like climbing one of the world’s highest mountains. As such budding entrepreneurs should know the risks involved, what an entrepreneur does for the world and ask themselves some tough questions before starting on the journey.

In this book I share my experiences as a startup entrepreneur and offer advice on aligning your life’s passions and purpose, and how to prepare for the entrepreneurial climb.

It’s short enough to read in less than an hour, but I’ve packed with lessons I’ve learned and resources I’ve found extremely helpful for starting a business.

In this book, you’ll …

  • Learn how a compelling vision of the future helps keep the right motivations aligned
  • Realize the risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur
  • Be challenged with essential questions to unearth your life’s passions and purpose
  • Understand what an entrepreneurship does for the world
  • Get tips for starting a business without risking everything
  • Find a blueprint of essential books and resources to prepare you for your entrepreneurial journey

If you’re an aspiring or budding entrepreneur, this book is for you.

Here’s how to get the book:

Here’s to those daring and ready for the entrepreneurial journey!

5 Ways to Maximize the Amazon Kindle Platform

When the Amazon Kindle originally came out, I was about ready to buy one so I could start reading ebooks on it, but then the iPad was introduced and thus I bought an iPad. Now we bought several at iThemes and gave them out to our team.

For the past 6-8 months I’ve transitioned my entire reading routine over to the Kindle platform. And it has greatly increased my reading efficiency.

The ebook platform and phenomenon is exploding. In April, Amazon announced that ebooks had surprised print book sales.

Here are 5 ways to maximize the Amazon Kindle Platform:

1. It’s WAY more than a device

The Kindle IS a piece of hardware, but it’s also a platform. You don’t have to have the Kindle device to read ebooks. Through their free Kindle reading applications, you can read ebooks on the iPhone, iPad, your desktop and other devices.

This is killer because you can read ebooks any of these devices and it will sync your account, the exact point you stopped reading, along with your highlights and notes.

2. Take your library everywhere

I love, love, love my print books and how they look on my bookshelf. But now I can lug my entire library anywhere. And with my iPhone, I really do take them with me anywhere now, which is awesome as I can redeem the time when I am waiting somewhere.

3. Sharing accounts

You can share your Amazon account with others on your team and thus, your entire ebook library (just make sure you trust them not to make unauthorized purchases). We do this internally and it helps us share ebooks with each other unlike having to buy individual printed books when we wanted to share. For now, you can share the account with any device but you can only have 5 titles downloaded on the devices. That’s really not a hard obstacle to overcome. If someone wants a title, just take it off a device.

4. Using Highlights and Notes

This is one of my favorite feature of the entire Kindle platform (available on any device) – the highlights and notes. In particular I use the highlights feature on every book. When you share accounts with other people on your team, you can also see what others are highlighting and what they find relevant and useful in the content. (It also shows the popular highlights for all Kindle users, which is especially cool – kind of like buying a used textbook in college that someone marked through thoroughly.) Although I haven’t used the Notes much, when collaborating with a team you could use it to share how to apply it in your context with specific ideas relating to the content.

5. See what others see

Another resource often overlooked is the Kindle Social site where you can see what other Kindle users are highlighting and the notes they make. I’ve used this to also see if others like a book and what they are finding useful. It is a great sales feature for Amazon and authors as I use it to find gold and then buy it. (Or not.)

Here is my Amazon Kindle social profile with the books I’ve read (not my entire reading list BTW).

And my Amazon WishList is here so you can see what books I’ve put on my reading agenda (and most of these I’ve bought).