If I had to pick four books for a brand-new entrepreneur to read, which four would they be?
After some thought, I came to...
For where you're at, I'd recommend the following. "Principles" by Dalio is a PDF on his hedge fund's website, so no excuse not to grab a copy right now... one of my favorite pieces of writing ever on goal-setting and clear thinking. Then How To Get Rich has some good broad overviews, Ultimate Sales Machine is the best all-around marketing/sales/business development book I've read, and Getting Things Done is good for keeping things on track and not going crazy.
Principles by Ray Dalio --
Dalio built the largest hedge fund in the world, and his internal document -- Principles -- is clear, refreshing, and direct on how to think, how to set goals, how to do business, how to manage people, how to untangle conflict... a book to go back to again, and again, and again. Incredibly dense with valuable information for all stages of business life.
How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis --
Dennis built a multi-million dollar fortune from scratch and humble beginnings through force of will, persistence, and seizing opportunity. Likewise to Dalio, he's clear and direct -- though his writing is much more cynical. But probably in a good way. He tells you all the things you need to know that no one else will tell you, including the downside and the questions you have to ask to see if what it takes. He also gives immensely good guidance on seizing opportunities, keeping overhead low, finding and working with great people, and being a mix of flexible and seizing opportunity and hard-headed about getting what you want.
The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes --
The best all-around book I've found on marketing, sales, and general business development. Dalio will help you set good goals, understand the process, think clearly, and -- once you're running -- manage your enterprise well. Dennis will let you know what it really takes in terms of your character and tenacity, will teach you about seizing opportunity, and will lay down a number of very important guidelines.
But then, how do you actually sell your products and services? This book tells you. I daresay that it'd be worth reading and re-reading this book until you've implemented everything in it before reading any other book on sales, marketing, and business development. That's a slight exaggeration, but not so much.
Getting Things Done by David Allen --
Finally, this is the book that keeps you on track. This is your personal organization, staying on top of projects and initiatives, and executing well. It also helps you not go crazy. Another book worth reading and re-reading.
I'd suggest four of the Best: E-Myth (or one of the series, i.e. revisited and others) (Michael Gerber), Jay Abraham's Getting The Most Out Of Everything You Have Got (or something like that), Why That Idiot's Rich and I'm Not (Robert Shemin), Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (Harv Eker). And For the Spiritually inclined, Power of NOW (Eckhart Tolle).
If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:
You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.
My name's J - I'm 22, a senior in college, and the founder/co-founder of 2 different startups. I have been reading a lot about strategy and history as of late, and been a reader of your blog for several months now.
I wanted to know - what would you say the top 3 most influential books are that you've read on strategy? What books have allowed you to reach the position you are currently in? Any suggestions would be appreciated (especially ones that you didn't suggest in your recent email to your mailing list - I'm working through those!).
Principles by Ray Dalio (free online, that's #1) Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (not strategy, but necessary for your personal development to become more strategic)
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Good usable content can come in many forms. For example: a mathematics tutorial video to demonstrate a method to solve a problem may work for one user group. However another may prefer an ebook format instead. But it can range from the text on a button in a mobile application through to the credit card payment form on a website.