What’s up, Believe Nation? It’s Evan, I’m really excited that we are continuing our Top 5 Book Series, where basically we look at five different books in a different category that will help you grow your business.
Last time, we looked at the top five marketing books for entrepreneurs, and today, I’m going to be looking at the top five entrepreneurship books based off of different Amazon reviews, comments, and what’s trending right now, I hope you’ll enjoy.
Top 5 ENTREPRENEURSHIP Books
#5: Zero to One
Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel.
And I think every moment in the history of business, every moment in the history of technology, happens only once. The next Mark Zuckerberg will not be building a social networking site, the next Larry Page will not be building a search engine, the next Bill Gates will not be building an operating system company. If you’re copying these people in some sense, you’re not learning from them. And this is why I think there is no science to business.
Science starts with the number two, it starts with things that are repeatable and experimentally verifiable in one way or another, whereas I think every great company is one of a kind, and the question, how do you get from zero to one, and so the starting point for my book, Zero to One, is this sort of anti-formulaic approach, and take this question of singularity and uniqueness as the central question. And I try to get at it through a variety of sort of contrarian questions, what great business is nobody building, tell me something that’s true that nobody agrees with you on.
These are often quite hard questions to answer because we think it’s hard to come up with some new truth, or it often requires courage because you often have to go against conventional wisdom in one way or another. I think that if you’re a founder or a entrepreneur, what you want to aim for is monopoly. You want to aim to build a company that is one of a kind, that’s so far differentiated from the competition that it’s not even competing.
And I think conventional wisdom is always that capitalism and competition are somehow synonyms, I believe they’re antonyms. A capitalist is someone who’s in the business of accumulating capital. A world of perfect competition is a world where all the profits are competed away. If you want to compete like crazy, then you should just open a restaurant in Chicago. And I think the great companies, like Google, sort of the paradigm example I use, has had no serious competition in search since 2002, when it definitively distanced itself from Yahoo and Microsoft, and as a result, it’s been generating enormous cash flows for the last 12 years.
The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump.
Well, I wrote a back in the late ’80s called The Art of the Deal, and, to this day, it’s the biggest-selling business book ever written. And it doesn’t change. I mean, the times have changed, the world has changed, business has changed, but, it doesn’t change, and to a certain extent, it was about negotiation, and a lot of negotiation’s about honesty.
Be honest, because the other side, you’re dealing with intelligent people, they’re going to see it. But, have an idea, make sure it’s the right idea, and never, ever quit or give up on it, and be straight, be honest, because you’re going to meet a lot of these people all throughout your life, and if they respect you, and if they do more or less what you want them to do, you’re going to have to show that great degree of honesty.
So, The Art of the Deal was a great honor for me because of its wonderful success. I remember when it first came out, it went immediately to number one on every list, and it was a lot of fun, but, it hasn’t changed very much, and it probably won’t. If we go 1,000 years into the future, negotiation will never change. It’s always going to be The Art of the Deal, it’s always going to be. You could pick up that book in 1,000 years, it’s not going to change, it’s going to be the same.
#3: Getting Things Done:
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
Getting Things Done is a set of practices that I have researched and tested over many, many years. It’s really not about time management, it’s really more about how do we manage our focus, how do we manage our attention? So, a quick overview of how it all hangs together is really five steps. These five steps, I didn’t really make them up, I just started to understand what really goes on when we get things under control.
Like, if you’ve ever had your kitchen out of control, what did you do to get it back in stable ground so you could focus on cooking dinner? Well, you actually go through five steps, whether it’s your kitchen, or your company, or anything that you want to get under control. Quite simply, the first step is to capture and to recognize anything that’s not on cruise control, and you need to identify those things, so you need to capture or collect anything that may be out of place, or not exactly where it needs to be, the way it needs to be.
The second thing to do with it is you make decisions about what it is that you captured, and clarify exactly what those things mean to you. In other words, is it something to move on or not, is it something that belongs where it is, does it represent something else that I need to keep track of? Once you do that, if you’ve captured all of those things, then you’ve clarified what they mean, then you want to organize the results of that thinking.
Organization just means, “I need to park these things where they go “so I don’t have to keep rethinking them, “or have them still bother me, “or somehow distract me from what I’m doing.” So, we capture things first, we clarify exactly what they mean, and then you need to organize those into appropriate categories so that you’re not confused about how things hang together and what to do with it. Now, once you’ve done all that, then you need to step back and review and reflect on what all of this means, sort of the larger gestalt, the larger picture, the larger inventory of what all these things are.
Once you’ve done that, I’ve captured the things that have my attention, clarified exactly what they mean, parked them where they go, and step back and see the whole picture, that’s when I can start to make good, trusted, intuitive choices about what exactly I do, and how do I allocate my resources about all of that? So to take an example of your kitchen, you walk in, “Gee, it’s out of control, “I need to decide what are the things “and capture the things that aren’t where they need to be.”
So you start cleaning it up, you start gathering things together, and then you say, “Well, what exactly are these? “Does that belong in the refrigerator, “does that go in the trash?” And then you step back, and you maybe pull out your recipe, take a look, make sure you have all the ingredients, and then you start actually making dinner. So it’s a commonsense kind of thing, it’s a common approach to how we do all of that, however, applying that in a much more sophisticated way in the kind of world that we’re dealing with, the speed and volume of input that we’re all having to manage on a hour by hour basis.
Applying those principles, actually, are something that people don’t automatically, or naturally, seem to do. It’s actually something you need to learn how to do, and you can get much better at. So Getting Things Done is really the methodology of those best practices put together in such a way so that you can surf on top of your life and your work, and not be distracted by it, and you’d be fully-present with what you’re doing.
#2: The 4-Hour Workweek
Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss.
Life doesn’t have to be so hard, it really doesn’t. Now, if you had told me that three years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you, but most people, my past self included, have resigned themselves to 9-5 grind in exchange for, sometimes, although increasingly less and less, relaxing weekends and the occasional one-week, certainly no more than two-week, vacation. I came to realize that income really has no practical value without time.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to escape the rat race entirely, not just win it. One of the first steps is the process of elimination. So to start, you need to consider something called Pareto’s law, more commonly known as the 80/20 principle, because in order to work less and not have everything fall apart, you’ll have to quantify the 20% of activities that are producing 80% of your desired outcomes.
Also, take that time to determine the 20% of activities and people who are consuming 80% of your time. Use this principal for everything, customers, work tests, but also for personal chores, even for friends. The goal here is twofold. Number one, to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them, and then secondly, and this is just as important, to find your strengths in those critical few tasks so you can multiply your output.
Working every hour, every minute from 9-5 with some type of fidget isn’t the goal, it’s simply the structure most people use. It’s actually a legacy from a time that’s already been obsolesced. In a knowledge economy, the more important thing is to shift from presence to performance, cut out the static, all of the things that consume time and income without contributing back, and focus on the critical few. You’ll find that very few things matter.
Another critical step, and a real complement to elimination, is what I call the low information diet, or cultivating selective ignorance. Keeping abreast of all the new developments in any field will consume all of your time. It’ll be all input and no output. You can’t possibly digest all that information. So a more effective approach is to try to catch up when need be, as opposed to keeping up at all times.
A big part of selective ignorance is learning to let things wait. For example, email. So, email is the single largest acceptable interruption in modern life, and it’s a very convenient way of simulating forward motion without accomplishing anything.
It shouldn’t be a workspace, it’s a tool, and one of the easiest methods I’ve seen for controlling email, and one that’s become quite popular in Silicon Valley, is setting up a simple auto-responder, much like a vacation auto-response, that says something like the following: “Dear all, “in an effort to actually get work done, “I’m testing a new email policy. “I’m checking and responding to email only twice a day “at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Pacific time,” or whatever your timezone happens to be. “If you need a response before one of these two times, “for anything urgent, “please call me on my cell phone. “Thanks for understanding this move “to greater effectiveness and efficiency,” whatever your name is.
This gives you the breathing room, finally, to single-task and focus on completing the mission-critical tasks, the critical few, from start to finish without interruption. The third important tool I’d like to mention, and one of my personal favorites, is outsourcing life. To get started though, we first need to replace the very obsolete concept of annual income, which is a very deceptive metric, with hourly income.
And people are generally extremely hesitant to delegate or outsource because they feel they can do something free themselves. This is very inaccurate. So let’s start with a very basic calculation of hourly time. If you make, let’s say, $50,000 per year, you cut off the last three zeros, that leaves you with 50, and you divide that in half and you get 25. So you make $25 an hour, this is assuming you get two weeks off per year and you’re working 40 hours per week.
So let’s just say on the very high end, that you can hire a personal assistant at $30 per hour to handle one workday of eight hours. So your cost per hour is then $5. So his or her 30 minus your 25. That means $40 for a full eight-hour day of freedom. So this also means that you can take a three-day weekend every week, and it will cost you $40 per week.
I hire virtual assistants around the world, which only takes a few hours, to help me with just about everything, from business research, to reading email, cutting hundreds of email down to four or five that I actually have to deal with, to travel, product development, purchasing, planning parties, even online dating.
There are a lot of unorthodox and creative uses. Personal outsourcing is only limited by your imagination and the return on investment is astounding, 400-500%, even for someone who makes 30, $40,000 a year. It’s smart to focus on getting things done, but it’s only possible when you actually set your not-to-do list.
So once we remove the constant static and the distraction and focus on the critical few, and there really just aren’t that many. So I hope you enjoyed the book, and just remember, that outside of the law in science, all of the rules we follow are rules we set ourselves. So set yourself up to win and choose your own rules.
Just as a side note, The 4-Hour Workweek is one of my favorite books of all time, and it’s awesome to see that video that was made 10 years ago, and how far we’ve come along in video technology since. That was a awesome flashback that I really enjoyed watching.
#1: Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill.
My search led me to the study of the spiritual forces with which all of us are blessed, and it was in this field that I came upon a clue which has enabled me to help millions of people to find their earthly destinies.
I want to describe my discovery in the simplest terms possible, because it will reveal to you why it is true that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve, regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past, or how lofty your aims and hopes may be. Mr. Carnegie delivered a lecture that I shall never forget, because it changed my entire life and paved the way for my helping to change the lives of millions of people, some of them not yet born.
“Let me call your attention to a great power “which is under your control,” said Mr. Carnegie, “a power which is greater than poverty, “greater than the lack of education, “greater than all of your fears and superstitions combined, “it is the power to take possession of your own mind “and direct it to whatever ends you may desire. “This profound power,” Mr. Carnegie continued, “is the gift of the Creator, “and it must’ve been considered “the greatest of all of his gifts to man, “because it is the only thing over which “man has the complete and unchallengeable right “of control and direction.
“When you speak of your poverty and lack of education,” Mr. Carnegie explained, “you are simply directing your mind power “to attract these undesirable circumstances, “because it is true that whatever your mind feeds upon, “your mind attracts to you. “Now you see why it is important that you recognize “that all success begins with definite purpose, “with a clear picture in your mind “of precisely what you want from life.”
So that’s what we’ve got for this episode, the top five entrepreneurship books, I’d love to know what you guys think. Have you read those books, are you going to go check them out now, or not? Do you want to add a six, seven, eight, nine, 10 on the list? I have a pretty good book too. This one, that people have enjoyed and said some good things about, if you haven’t picked it up already.
Tim Schmoyer: So tell us about the book real quick, and then he’s got to sign it for me.
Evan: Putting me on the spot.
Jelena Ostrovska: Your One Word by Evan Carmichael.
Simon Stanley: I’m doing a video review of Your One Word.
Melissa Alexandria: Your One Word by Evan Carmichael.
Simple Programmer: Your One Word, you can check it out here.
Essetino Artist: Your One Word by Evan Carmichael. This book is really for any entrepreneur who wants to create massive success in a powerfully meaningful way.
The Josh Speaks: Dig deeper into Evan Carmichael’s book Your One Word.
Evan: It’s not just self-promotion, it’s actually a really, really, really good book. So let me know what you guys think. Have you read some of these books, have they meant something to you? Is there a six, seven, eight, nine, 10 that you want to add to the list, and I missed one that you really feel connected to? Let me know, leave it down in the comments below.
Your comments, your views, your shares will also determine if we continue this series right now, ’cause it’s on the bubble, it’s on the bubble if it’s going to continue once a month or not, so let me know. Thank you guys again for your support, I hope you have a great weekend, I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is. Much love, guys, I’ll see you soon.
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