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4 Non-Business Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

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books every entrepreneur needs to read
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Successful people read a lot. Take a look at any study regarding how successful people differ from everybody else. One characteristic you will find among successful people is that they are constantly reading and learning new things. While this fact is true of people who succeed in any field, it is especially common among those who have mastered the game of business.

There have been many posts written about the best business books, the best books for entrepreneurs, and the best self improvement books. But in my own experience, some of my greatest insights have come from books outside of the business world.

To name just a few examples, here are 4 books that have been surprisingly helpful to me as an entrepreneur:

1. The Signals Are Talking – Amy Webb

In business, especially when you are just starting out, you often have to make decisions even when you have very little data available. “The Signals Are Talking,” by Amy Webb, helps you make sense of small amounts of data and predicts trends based on what the author calls weak signals.

A weak signal is data that is not based on big data and statistics. Instead, it is based on observations of human behavior that could signal a coming change. For example, a unique corner store that suddenly becomes more popular or a niche website that has been gaining increased activity are both weak signals that could signal the very beginnings of a new trend developing.

Many of the greatest entrepreneurs found success by building something that satisfied a small but fast growing market. Amazon and Uber are both great examples. At the time they started, online book sales and ride sharing were very small markets. What other people didn’t realize was that while those markets may have been small, they were growing fast. Although it is not strictly aimed at business people, “The Signals Are Talking” shows you how to spot the weak signals that can tell you where a new market might be forming.

2. The Glass Cage – Nicholas Carr

Do you use a mapping app on your phone? If so, you might want to reconsider, and this book explains why. “The Glass Cage,” by Nicholas Carr, describes how technology is having a negative impact on our skills. For example, research has shown that the use of mapping apps reduces your spatial awareness and map reading skills.

In a more dramatic example, the author also describes a trend in plane crashes over the last few decades. Overall, plane crashes have gradually become less common, thanks to advances in autopilot and other tools. But those same tools can be hazardous when they fail because pilots have ceded control of the aircraft to technology, reducing their own skills as pilots. As a result, the cause of plane crashes have shifted away from safety and equipment malfunctions, and pilot error is now the leading cause of plane crashes.

This fascinating book describes the double-edged sword of technology that is around us every day, and it has changed how I work as a business owner. In light of what I learned from this book, I have gone back to doing a lot of my creative work with pen and paper, and I’m happy that I did. By learning which technology to embrace and what to avoid, I’ve become more creative and more productive in my business and in my life.

3. Who Gets What And Why? – Alvin E. Roth

Typically, selling a product is a simple matter of building something great and getting it in front of the right people at the right price. This is what economists call a commodity market. But there are some products and services that do not fit that pattern, and those products fall into a category called matching markets.

A matching market is one in which the customer not only has to choose the product, but the product is also selective about the customers. College admissions are a great example. In the college admissions market, it is not enough for a student to decide on a particular school, the school must also decide to accept the student. This is a matching market in action. Some other examples of two-sided markets are online dating, organ transplants, and job searching.

Matching markets are important for any business person to understand because they can create an uphill battle for those trying to enter an industry that is shaped by such a market. I personally have rejected product ideas I’ve had because I realized I would be working against the friction of a matching market.

If you want to learn about matching markets, the best book is “Who Gets What And Why?” by Alvin E. Roth, who won a Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering work on this very topic.

4. Hagakure – Yamamato Tsunetomo

I first read this book in college, lent my copy to a friend, never got it back, then forgot about it. Years later, I rediscovered this incredible book. “Hagakure”– also known as The Book of the Samurai— was written by Yamamato Tsunetomo in the years from 1709 to 1716. Tsunetomo was a scribe and retainer to a samurai named Nabeshima Mitsushige. This book is a collection of thoughts and observations made by Tsunetomo over the course of those years.

Written during a time period when samurai fighting was illegal, this book covers a vast range of topics including adapting to change, confronting fear, risk taking, and the value of lifelong learning. Another common topic in the book is the importance of finding a higher purpose and casting aside selfishness in pursuit of that cause.

As entrepreneurs, these are all skills that we must be striving to improve upon. This 300 year old book is full of timeless lessons on those and other topics we must master to succeed in our pursuit of success.

What’s your favorite non-business book and why? Share it with us below!

Aaron Wright is the founder and owner of Lernabit.com, a learning platform designed for self teaching. In college, he studied microbiology, but then he learned that you can't do much with that so he taught himself coding and business skills and starting building businesses. He is relentlessly passionate about encouraging and enabling others to make learning a lifelong pursuit. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Entrepreneurs

10 Lucrative Buy and Sell Businesses to Start in 2024

The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches

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Businesses to start in 2024

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, starting a business that capitalizes on buy-and-sell models can be incredibly lucrative. This article explores ten different models that entrepreneurs can consider. These ventures range from real estate flipping to trading in domains and luxury items, providing a broad spectrum of opportunities regardless of your initial capital or interest area.

1. Car Flipping

Flipping cars can be a very lucrative business venture for an individual with business acumen, an eye for value, and mechanically adept at cars. It involves buying under-priced cars, restoring, and selling them for a profit. For deeper insights and opportunities in this market, refer to sca.auction.

2. Real Estate Flipping

Flipping real estate—be it houses, condos, or even commercial properties—remains pretty solid business, especially in markets where real estate values are on the way up. Investors buy properties relatively low, do rehab or renovation, then sell at a profit.

The success of the area is endowed with a huge potential spotlight, the ability to juggle various elements such as local real estate market knowledge, and efficient management of renovations.

3. Vintage E-commerce

With the advent of technology, it became easy to sell vintage or retro items over the online selling platform. Be it clothes, furniture, or even collectibles, consumers these days prefer something unique that is eco-friendly and which may have a nostalgia quotient in it. Hence, it brings the opportunity to open an e-commerce shop effectively.

4. Domain Flipping

If you have the skill to predict catchy phrases or business names that would be popular in the future, then buying and selling domain names would be a very profitable business. Register prices are available to purchase domains, which later can be sold at high prices to interested parties or businesses that wish to get an early online identity.

5. Luxury Items

One of the most promising buy-and-sell businesses is the luxury market, and what makes it very attractive is its less sensitivity towards economic downturns. Some of the common items in the luxury market include high-end watches, jewelry, and art, rare cars, all with high yields. Most times, items do appreciate, especially when they are limited editions.

6. Sports Memorabilia

While the sports memorabilia trading business can at times seem lucrative, especially when one focuses on big personae or big events, authenticity and rarity can definitely help items fetch top dollar. Provenance and limited supply both go towards inflating their values.

7. Sneaker Reselling

In recent years, the sneaker resale market has exploded, fueled by a commodity of scarce releases and athletic brand collaborations with a list of celebrities. Today, with operations such as StockX and GOAT, it’s really that easy to break into the worldwide market. It’s pretty easy to find your buyers and make a very good profit if you’re targeting the right trend and releases.

8. Book Flipping

Flipping rare and first editions can become a really meaningful, and yes, one more profitable, business for a book lover. Sometimes the signed ones, rare manuscripts, or those early editions of famous novels could sell for thousands of dollars, usually done by collectors or academic institutions.

9. Furniture Upcycling

Upcycling furniture consists of restoring and using second-hand furniture to sell it at a higher price. For the environmentally aware consumer, this business model has great appeal. It could be pretty profitable if done with good taste and talent in design and restoration.

10. Electronics Flipping

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops resell at values significantly high; hence, business ensues. Buy, refurbish, and sell in better condition to appeal to budget-minded consumers looking for technology at more affordable price points. 

Overall, The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches. Be it real estate flipping or vintage item upcycling, you can succeed in both models with market understanding and trend application. That, with careful planning and strategic investment, will throw huge financial returns for these business models in 2024.

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Entrepreneurs

How Your Business Can Outmaneuver Your Competitors by 85%

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales

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big data strategy

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales and more than 25% in gross margins? Sounds inspiring, right? But the thing is that data alone isn’t enough. Rather, it’s the strategy behind it that unlocks these enviable boosts. So, this article explores how to make the most out of your big data and build a strategy that’s functional and competitive. (more…)

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Most Entrepreneurs Fail to Do This and It’s Killing Their Success

Celebrating progress also provides entrepreneurs with the psychological sustenance needed to endure the marathon of building a business

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celebrate your milestones

The journey from a mere concept to a tangible reality is one of the most exhilarating yet challenging paths an entrepreneur can navigate. This odyssey is punctuated by milestones that stand as testaments to perseverance, innovation, and relentless hard work.  (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

9 Ways Augmented Reality Gives Your Business a Competitive Edge

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success

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augmented reality in business

Leveraging Augmented Reality for Business Advancement: Exploring Applications

In the ever-evolving landscape of business innovation, Augmented Reality in business emerges as a transformative force, reshaping traditional paradigms and unlocking new opportunities for growth and advancement.

Through a comprehensive examination of AR’s capabilities, applications, and business benefits, this article serves as a roadmap for enterprises seeking to harness the full potential of augmented reality to propel their success in the digital age.

UNI.Agency as a forefront developmental agency tailors unmatched digital products and immersive experiences. They help companies outperform their competitors and customers’ expectations. And now, there is time to delve deep into the AR realm.

Gaining Insight into Augmented Reality

From revolutionizing customer experiences to optimizing operational efficiency, AR in retail is poised to drive significant advancements in how businesses operate and engage with their stakeholders.

Augmented Reality (AR) seamlessly integrates digital information and virtual objects into the real-world environment, offering users an immersive and interactive experience through devices like smartphones or AR glasses.

It revolutionizes various industries, from entertainment to healthcare, by enhancing perception and creating innovative opportunities for engagement and exploration in the digital era. AR not only enriches our understanding of reality but also opens up new possibilities for creativity, communication, and problem-solving, making it a powerful tool for businesses seeking to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations in an increasingly digital world.

Differentiating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital elements onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception of their environment. Virtual Reality (VR), however, immerses users in entirely virtual environments, blocking out the real world. There are some core differences between these two technologies in gear and display approaches:

  • AR enriches reality with digital information, while VR creates entirely immersive virtual experiences.
  • AR typically requires less specialized hardware, like smartphones or AR glasses, while VR often involves dedicated headsets.
  • AR is commonly used for enhancing real-world experiences, such as in gaming, retail, and navigation, encouraging augmented reality shopping. Whereas VR is primarily employed for immersive simulations, training, and entertainment in fully virtual environments.

The Influence of AR on the Customer Experience Journey

As of 2024, Augmented Reality (AR) has evolved into an indispensable tool across various sectors, offering immersive and interactive experiences that seamlessly blend digital elements with the real world.

Stimulating Interest

Augmented Reality (AR) captivates customers by offering visually engaging experiences that spark curiosity and intrigue, enticing them to explore products or services further.

AR’s ability to overlay digital content onto the real world creates an immersive and attention-grabbing experience, drawing customers in and igniting their interest.

Educating and Empowering Users

AR in business empowers users by providing interactive and informative experiences that educate them about products, services, or concepts in a visually compelling manner.

Through AR, customers can interact with virtual models, animations, or informational overlays, gaining a deeper understanding of the features, benefits, or use cases of the offerings.

Exploring Further Depths

AR encourages customers to delve deeper into products or services by offering immersive and interactive experiences that go beyond traditional marketing materials.

By allowing users to explore virtual representations of products in real-world contexts, AR in retail provides a unique opportunity for customers to visualize how offerings fit into their lives, fostering deeper engagement and understanding.

Business Benefits of Augmented Reality

Businesses utilize AR for diverse applications, including product visualization, virtual try-ons, and enhanced customer engagement. In education, AR transforms learning experiences by providing interactive simulations and visualizations.

Additionally, AR has become integral to industries such as healthcare, where it facilitates surgical training and patient education. With advancements in AR technology and widespread adoption, it continues to shape how we perceive and interact with our environment, ushering in a new era of innovation and connectivity.

Let’s look at why AR has become so indispensable as a business tool nowadays.

Revolutionizing Training Methods

AR in business transforms training by offering immersive, interactive simulations that replicate real-world scenarios, enhancing employee learning and skill development.

It’s lucrative for hands-on training experiences. Since there’s no need for physical equipment or environments, reducing costs and logistical constraints while improving knowledge retention and performance.

Boosting Productivity Levels

Augmented Reality in business boosts productivity by providing real-time access to information and guidance, allowing employees to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately.

Through AR-powered tools and applications, workers can streamline workflows, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate effectively, resulting in increased output and operational efficiency.

Implementing Dynamic Marketing Approaches

AR enables businesses to implement dynamic marketing strategies that captivate and engage audiences in unique ways.

By integrating AR into marketing campaigns, companies can create interactive experiences that drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales conversions, setting themselves apart in a crowded marketplace.

Fostering Product Development

Augmented reality and marketing foster innovation in product development by facilitating virtual prototyping, design iterations, and collaborative decision-making.

With AR, teams can visualize and test product concepts in 3D, gather feedback from stakeholders, and make informed design decisions faster, leading to faster time-to-market and more successful product launches.

Creating Tailored Customer Experiences

AR creates personalized customer experiences by allowing users to interact with products and services in customized ways.

Through AR-enhanced applications and experiences, businesses can tailor content, recommendations, and promotions to individual preferences and behaviors, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Amplifying Brand Recognition

Augmented Reality shopping amplifies brand recognition by providing memorable and shareable experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers.

By incorporating AR into branding initiatives, companies can create immersive brand experiences that spark conversations, increase social media engagement, and strengthen brand loyalty, ultimately driving business growth and success.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Augmented Reality in business stands as a transformative force, offering a multitude of benefits across various aspects of operations. From revolutionizing training methods to boosting productivity levels, AR empowers businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success, while delivering immersive and engaging experiences that resonate with customers and stakeholders alike.

As AR continues to evolve and integrate into everyday business practices, Uni will incorporate the best practices to promote business advancement and drive meaningful change for the clients. We’re to shape the future of commerce to your benefit.

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