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Success Advice

The Top 22 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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books every entrepreneur should read

These 22 Amazing books have been compiled by various reviews and have come out on top as the 22 Best Books that every Entrepreneur Must Read.

Have you read any of these books yourself? If not, get your hands on a few of these and increase your skills for success in the world of Entrepreneurship.

 

The Top Entrepreneur Books

 

“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand

Charlie O’Donnell: “I don’t know any book that sums up the entrepreneurial passion and spirit better than The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.'”

 

“Out of the Crisis” by W. Edwards Deming

Roger Ehrenberg: “Big or small, this book focuses the entrepreneur/manager on respecting employees, focusing on process, and insisting on the collection and analysis of data. The development of metrics to manage the business is critical for the start-up founder.”

 

“Extreme Programming Explained” by Kent Beck

Babak Nivi: “Revelatory. Develop your product like this book tells you to, unless you know better (e.g. you have experience building operating systems, space shuttles, Googles.) Buy the first edition.”

 

“The Four Steps to the Epiphany” by Steven Gary Blank

Babak Nivi: “The closest thing to a manual for building a startup. Marc Andreessen calls it ‘a roadmap for how to get to Product/Market Fit.'”

 

“Reality Check” by Guy Kawasaki

Penelope Trunk: “I love flipping through the chapters. Each one is like a blog post, so you learn something on every page. And each chapter reminds me to be a little bit better at something I’m doing already.”

 

“Peak” by Chip Conley

Fred Destin: “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs adapted to the business world.  Not that well written (sorry Chip) but sound advice on achieving ‘sustainable outperformance’ and leveraging crises for the better.”

 

“The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt

Fred Destin:  “Not a business book, but if you assume self-awareness and knowing what you are really good at are key to success in business (and life in general), this is the best attempt I have read at deriving ‘meaning’ from the joyous mess of life.”

 

“Against The Odds” by James Dyson

Jason Fried: “One of the best books about design, business, invention, and entrepreneurship I’ve ever read. Highly recommended. It’s really inspirational. His persistence is otherworldly. You won’t believe what he went through to get this product to market.”

 

“How To Get Rich” by Felix Dennis

Greg Galant: “The self-made billionaire founder of Maxim Magazine and The Week titles this book as though it’s a snake oil self-help book. It’s really a great entrepreneurial memoir with British wit at its finest.”

 

“Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor” by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and James O’Toole

Nilofer Merchant: “The future is invented not in the easy conversations but in the hard ones. We’ve got to know how to have and manage those conversations that lend light and transparency to WHY we are doing what we are doing. This book emphasizes how leaders create a culture of candor that can allow them to grow beyond the first idea.”

 

“The Future Arrived Yesterday” by Michael S. Malone

Nilofer Merchant: “The next type of company is going to have to grow in a very different way than companies even in the last 10 years. Mike Malone who wrote about virtual corporations 25 years ago has now written about “the protean corporation” which is a way to say organizations will organize to be more fluid, nimble, and shape shifters. He’s onto the new model and entrepreneurs should know about it so they are not surprised by the growth stages needed. ”

 

“Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Sean Ellis: “[The book’s] key message is to double down on things that are working.”

 

“The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law” by Constance Bagley and Craig Dauchy

Chris Dixon: “[This one might be a] bit painful if you aren’t into legal details (I’m not), but perhaps the most useful business book you can ever read.”

 

“Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore

Chris Dixon: “Although a bit too enterprise- (vs. consumer-) focused for my taste, this is an extremely intelligent and useful book.You’ve probably heard about the central thesis (lots of startups get stuck in the “chasm”, in between early adopter and mainstream customers) but there are tons of other interesting anecdotes and ideas in the book. I’ve reread this one a couple of times.”

 

“Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War” by Robert Coram

Steve Blank: “Observe, Orient, Decide and Act – The cornerstone of Customer Development and the Lean Startup was first invented by a fighter pilot.  Read his story.”

Steve is a former serial entrepreneur who now teaches at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program. He is the author of Four Steps to the Epiphany.

 

“The Innovator’s Dilemma” and “The Innovator’s Solution” by Clayton Christensen

Steve Blank: “Why do large companies seem and act like dinosaurs? Christensen finally was able to diagnose why and propose solutions. Entrepreneurs should read these books as ‘how to books’ to beat large companies in their own markets.”

Also recommended by Chris Dixon: “The Innovator’s Dilemma popularized the (often misused) phrase ‘disruptive technology’; But there’s a lot more than that one big idea. Great insights into the ‘dynamics’ (changes over time) of markets.”

 

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

David Heinemeier Hansson: “Influence teaches you how to sell and deal with customers by treating them as humans. Great stuff.”

David is a partner in 37signals.

 

“Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace” by Ricardo Semler

David Heinemeier Hansson: “Maverick tells the story about how you can make radical change [even at] a very old-world company of 8,000 people producing industrial pumps.”

 

“Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell

Paul Jozefak: “Some great advice on how decisions are made.”

Paul is a Managing Partner at Neuhaus Partners.

 

“Lucky or Smart? Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life”, by Bo Peabody

Mark Peter Davis: “Insight into some of the unique trials entrepreneurs face.”

Mark is a co-founder are CEO of Kohort, who previously worked as a VC at DFJ Gotham Ventures.

 

“The Zen & Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance”, by Robert M Persig

Brad Feld: “Anyone who is creating anything should read this book, slowly, and savor it.”

Brad Feld has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over 20 years and is the co-founder of Foundry Group.

Also recommended by Fred Wilson: “There is way more insight to be gained from stories than from business books. And these are some amazing stories.”

 

“The Thank You Economy”, by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy is much more than saying “thank you.” The Thank You Economy represents a much bigger movement. This book could easily have been called The Humanization of Business or Manners Marketing.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Manuel Bendana

    Jun 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Surprised by the absence of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Mr. Robert Kiyosaki

    I must consider it the ABC for entrepreneurs !

  2. Olesya

    Mar 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Love Ayn Rand!

  3. Jo-Anne Rockwood

    Aug 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Also loved The E Myth by Michael Gerber. Read it decades ago, and the lessons still resonate with me today.

  4. Heidi

    Apr 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Have not heard of all of them, read quite a few. There are some great books left out. Don’t think Blink needs to be there.

  5. Olivia Gray

    Dec 17, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hi, thanks for the tips. Another great one that has only been published this year is “Welcome to Entrepreneur Country” by Julie Meyer – check it out!

  6. David Mariano

    Sep 13, 2012 at 2:28 am

    What, no REWORK? I think it would be a great addition along with Linchpin. Just my thoughts.

  7. Malcolm Donaldson

    Jun 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Another great book and easy reading. Go-Givers Sell More.

  8. Tony Staunton

    Jun 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    All great choices but I would have liked to have seen more bio’s in the list as I think they make business and entrepreneurship more accessible to the every day reader. Titles like ‘Andrew Carnegie’ by David Nasaw (it was Carnegie who commissioned Napoleon Hill to conduct research into what would become ‘Think and grow rich’. Also ‘Team of Rivals’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin is an excellent study on how to bring opposing sides together.

  9. Phil Wall

    May 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Influence a great book as is Blink by Gladwell. I think adding some leadership books would be more than appropriate. Start with “launching a leadership revolution” by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward and another great one “Resolved, 13 resolutions for life” by Orrin Woodward.

  10. Modernartdistrict

    May 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Hi, I like your list plenty of great books. I would add Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

    Modern Art District

  11. Martin

    Feb 29, 2012 at 7:25 am

    You should add rework from 37signals to this list. It’s great book for enterpreneurs.

  12. Bill Trasolini

    Jan 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

    My fav book is Small Business Big Vision which is not on your list.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Jan 17, 2012 at 1:42 am

      Yes, I will add it and make this post 23. Thanks Bill.

  13. Olawale

    Jul 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

    All the books recomended worth it. Very good & inspiring.

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

3 Things We Can Learn About Success From a 13 Year Old Girls School Project

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Dog Do or Dog Don’t
Image Credit: Aiden Horwitz

Success comes in all shapes and sizes. So, when I read about a 13 year old that was solving a major problem in the dog adoption industry, I was intrigued. It turns out that many families often choose the wrong dog for their family and end up giving them up to a shelter.

When a school project came up, this young girl decided she would try to tackle the problem. First, she created a survey that would help potential dog foster parents determine which dog would be a good fit for them. Then, she teamed up with a local shelter who gave her information on the dogs. Finally, she added the survey to a website she built called Dog Do or Dog Don’t. So far, it’s seen success in just a few months by pairing 5 dogs with the perfect home.

Here are 3 important points we can learn about success from this little girl’s innovation:

1. Focus on your why

No matter what we do in life, we need to know why we are doing it. This girl didn’t care about the end result of making money or getting attention from local news channels. She wanted to solve a problem and her why was clearly defined. “I wanted to come up with a way to help get dogs adopted or help people get the right dog for them and their family,” she says on her website. That was her why and it drove her to the success of what she eventually created.

When we have a goal in life, we need to focus on why we want to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being successful in business, raising our family or traveling the world, we need to clarify why. Without passion behind what we are doing, the dedication required to achieve success is hard to come by. Only when we focus on our why will we really be on the path to success.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

2. Define what success looks like

It sounds simple when I say to define success, but oftentimes we don’t. We set goals of working out more or making more money or even adopting more dogs. However, if we don’t define what that actually means, it’s really hard to know when we have hit the success we are working toward.

Success can quickly become like a bully on the playground that draws a line and when you cross it, he draws another line. When that happens, it’s hard to understand what we have achieved and keep moving onto the next goal.

When this survey for the dog adoption was built out, the goal was to adopt a dog to the perfect home. Now that the goal has been achieved, it’s time to set another goal and keep moving forward. By defining success clearly, we can make sure that when we work our plan and hit our goal, we will know it. Then, we can define another goal and work toward that.

3. Do the important work

What I didn’t mention earlier was that this was actually called the “Passion Project” and they were given an hour and a half each week to work on something they were passionate about. She found her topic through research and discovered that about half the dogs at shelters were there because they were the wrong type for the family.

This girl didn’t do this for accolades or attention as she was focused on doing the important work on something she was passionate about. It was only then that she found the problem she could solve and decided it was important to do so.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Real world problems are all around us from financial issues to poverty to famine and much more. Often, we look at a problem and think to ourselves that it’s too big for us to solve or there’s nothing that can be done about it anyway.

This young girl has a lot to teach us about looking at a problem and finding a solution for it. We need to pay attention to the things she has taught us about achieving success by doing the important work which is close to our heart.

What do you think is the most important aspect to success? Let us know in the comments below!

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How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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Success Advice

5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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law of attraction
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Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Manuel Bendana

    Jun 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Surprised by the absence of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Mr. Robert Kiyosaki

    I must consider it the ABC for entrepreneurs !

  2. Olesya

    Mar 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Love Ayn Rand!

  3. Jo-Anne Rockwood

    Aug 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Also loved The E Myth by Michael Gerber. Read it decades ago, and the lessons still resonate with me today.

  4. Heidi

    Apr 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Have not heard of all of them, read quite a few. There are some great books left out. Don’t think Blink needs to be there.

  5. Olivia Gray

    Dec 17, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hi, thanks for the tips. Another great one that has only been published this year is “Welcome to Entrepreneur Country” by Julie Meyer – check it out!

  6. David Mariano

    Sep 13, 2012 at 2:28 am

    What, no REWORK? I think it would be a great addition along with Linchpin. Just my thoughts.

  7. Malcolm Donaldson

    Jun 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Another great book and easy reading. Go-Givers Sell More.

  8. Tony Staunton

    Jun 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    All great choices but I would have liked to have seen more bio’s in the list as I think they make business and entrepreneurship more accessible to the every day reader. Titles like ‘Andrew Carnegie’ by David Nasaw (it was Carnegie who commissioned Napoleon Hill to conduct research into what would become ‘Think and grow rich’. Also ‘Team of Rivals’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin is an excellent study on how to bring opposing sides together.

  9. Phil Wall

    May 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Influence a great book as is Blink by Gladwell. I think adding some leadership books would be more than appropriate. Start with “launching a leadership revolution” by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward and another great one “Resolved, 13 resolutions for life” by Orrin Woodward.

  10. Modernartdistrict

    May 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Hi, I like your list plenty of great books. I would add Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

    Modern Art District

  11. Martin

    Feb 29, 2012 at 7:25 am

    You should add rework from 37signals to this list. It’s great book for enterpreneurs.

  12. Bill Trasolini

    Jan 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

    My fav book is Small Business Big Vision which is not on your list.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Jan 17, 2012 at 1:42 am

      Yes, I will add it and make this post 23. Thanks Bill.

  13. Olawale

    Jul 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

    All the books recomended worth it. Very good & inspiring.

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Continue Reading

Success Advice

3 Things We Can Learn About Success From a 13 Year Old Girls School Project

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Dog Do or Dog Don’t
Image Credit: Aiden Horwitz

Success comes in all shapes and sizes. So, when I read about a 13 year old that was solving a major problem in the dog adoption industry, I was intrigued. It turns out that many families often choose the wrong dog for their family and end up giving them up to a shelter.

When a school project came up, this young girl decided she would try to tackle the problem. First, she created a survey that would help potential dog foster parents determine which dog would be a good fit for them. Then, she teamed up with a local shelter who gave her information on the dogs. Finally, she added the survey to a website she built called Dog Do or Dog Don’t. So far, it’s seen success in just a few months by pairing 5 dogs with the perfect home.

Here are 3 important points we can learn about success from this little girl’s innovation:

1. Focus on your why

No matter what we do in life, we need to know why we are doing it. This girl didn’t care about the end result of making money or getting attention from local news channels. She wanted to solve a problem and her why was clearly defined. “I wanted to come up with a way to help get dogs adopted or help people get the right dog for them and their family,” she says on her website. That was her why and it drove her to the success of what she eventually created.

When we have a goal in life, we need to focus on why we want to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being successful in business, raising our family or traveling the world, we need to clarify why. Without passion behind what we are doing, the dedication required to achieve success is hard to come by. Only when we focus on our why will we really be on the path to success.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

2. Define what success looks like

It sounds simple when I say to define success, but oftentimes we don’t. We set goals of working out more or making more money or even adopting more dogs. However, if we don’t define what that actually means, it’s really hard to know when we have hit the success we are working toward.

Success can quickly become like a bully on the playground that draws a line and when you cross it, he draws another line. When that happens, it’s hard to understand what we have achieved and keep moving onto the next goal.

When this survey for the dog adoption was built out, the goal was to adopt a dog to the perfect home. Now that the goal has been achieved, it’s time to set another goal and keep moving forward. By defining success clearly, we can make sure that when we work our plan and hit our goal, we will know it. Then, we can define another goal and work toward that.

3. Do the important work

What I didn’t mention earlier was that this was actually called the “Passion Project” and they were given an hour and a half each week to work on something they were passionate about. She found her topic through research and discovered that about half the dogs at shelters were there because they were the wrong type for the family.

This girl didn’t do this for accolades or attention as she was focused on doing the important work on something she was passionate about. It was only then that she found the problem she could solve and decided it was important to do so.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Real world problems are all around us from financial issues to poverty to famine and much more. Often, we look at a problem and think to ourselves that it’s too big for us to solve or there’s nothing that can be done about it anyway.

This young girl has a lot to teach us about looking at a problem and finding a solution for it. We need to pay attention to the things she has taught us about achieving success by doing the important work which is close to our heart.

What do you think is the most important aspect to success? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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Success Advice

5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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law of attraction
Image Credit: Unsplash

Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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