A study by F1000Research in 2021 found that transformational entrepreneurship has an incredible effect on a leader’s personal readiness for change, psychological resilience, and employee performance.
Meanwhile, another case study from the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research gives valuable insights into how entrepreneurial firms are creating and seizing opportunities using innovative practices, digital technologies, and key organizational values.
While it is impossible for every business endeavor to be successful, the key to transforming your entrepreneurship goals into effective plans of action is to discover your genuine brand authenticity, recognize the best ways to connect with your customers, and have a strong supporting team to help you along the way.
The following books on this list will help any business leader and entrepreneur that is looking to elevate their business ideas and build a highly successful business.
1. Jeremy Delk – Without a Plan
Jeremy Delk’s Without a Plan: A Memoir of Unbound Action and Failing My Way to Success is for the entrepreneur that is looking to find personal and professional career growth by following a forward-moving approach when it comes to overcoming moments of failure, building authenticity, and finding true happiness.
It is a story of how a smart and confident man with a passion for disrupting industries has been able to navigate life’s inevitable challenges and dive headfirst into the business world. Like so many entrepreneurs, Jeremy Delk started his journey without a plan but now lights the path for Fortune 500 companies across the globe.
‘There was a pattern emerging in my life that dictated that the second I got bored, I’d make a move. Luckily, I was never short of ideas.’
Delk shows us that success can be achieved through a variety of innovations and as many ideas as possible, rather than only relying on one truly amazing concept. Despite some missteps, his businesses have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, hundreds of well-paying American jobs, and recognition as one of Inc. 500's fastest-growing companies.
2. Ben Sachs – All Rise
Ben Sachs began practicing law as a lawyer at Sidley Austin and a strategic management consultant at Storyblocks and the Boston Consulting Group. Since then, he has held the position of president of The Landing Group and taught law students at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is regarded as an authority in management, strategy, negotiation, and communications.
In his book, All Rise: Practical Tools for Building High-Performing Legal Teams, Ben explains how lawyers can advance in their careers by setting themselves apart not just through their legal work but also through their capacity to assemble outstanding legal teams.
Along with informing readers how to turn common challenges into constructive action, Ben empowers leaders to utilize ‘tools that create an environment where ownership can thrive’ to prevent the potential of ‘unraveling’ and ‘strike the right balance.’ He believes that the greatest legal professionals see the world in a different light and that the right practices and tools can make all the difference in any industry.
But this book isn’t just for legal professionals, leaders from any industry can use these practical tools for building high-performing teams. This can include trusted tools for conflict resolution, team communications, monitoring organizational health, and other implementations that allow managers to align teams beyond traditional management training. Ultimately, Ben Sachs’s book demonstrates that having the right tools in your business toolbox helps leaders align and put teams first.
3. David Allison – The Death of Demographics
When it comes to how global B2B and B2C brands can create engaging values-driven strategies, the truth is out there.
In his new book, The Death of Demographics: Valuegraphic Marketing for a Values-Driven World, David Allison provides a do-it-yourself approach to understanding what your target audience values and how you can improve marketing effectiveness with valuegraphics.
Instead of focusing on only the demographics and psychographics that influence consumer behavior, valuegraphics focuses on what drives and unites consumers on a deeper level. As the founder of the Valuegraphics Project, David argues that the traditional ways we research and define our target audiences is becoming ineffective. That instead, aligning our shared human values can be far more powerful. As a result, global companies can transform themselves into more customer-centric and values-driven organizations.
Building Highly Productive Team Takes Work
If you are looking to take the next step in your business venture or are just getting started, these books will offer any business leader or entrepreneur practical advice on how to thrive. Move forward without a plan but with positive thinking, build a highly productive team with the right internal tools, and focus on the core human values of your customers to build trust. These are the key elements that will help your company experience forward-moving growth in the new year.
Image Credit: Getty Images
Executive insights for building your business and generating growth in the post-pandemic world.
According to a July 2020 PNAS study, more than 80% of small businesses became financially unstable at the start of the pandemic. Almost three years later, the major changes to the business ecosystem have continued to leave many businesses reevaluating what it means to be a successful company.
No matter where your next business venture takes you in 2023, these authors provide exceptional insights into how to transform your business through innovative leadership and partnership building, along with how to leverage the people and resources you already have for future success.
Niching Up by Chris Dreyer
Positioning your business for success isn't simply about having a good business idea, it's about finding the perfectly sized niche to grow into.
In his book Niching Up, Chris Dreyer clears up the common misconception that niching means having fewer business opportunities available to grow and monetize your business. Instead, he says niching isn't so black and white — it is about giving you more options and more opportunities based on your expertise while leaving the door open to explore other possibilities that are a right fit for you.
"When you choose a specialization, your focus and attention make all the difference. Niching allows you to stand out, to be in a blue ocean instead of a red one. And when you niche up, you obtain significant advantages," says Dreyer in his book.
While leaning on a specific niche isn't for everyone, it gives any entrepreneur or business leader the chance to find untapped potential in the competitive market. Revealing a path to becoming a well-known expert in your field and building a business of long-term profitability.
Trust Signals by Scott Baradell
Are you a business leader looking to find practical, trustworthy advice on how to build, grow and protect your brand? You are not alone.
In Trust Signals, Scott Baradell teaches readers how to master discovering credibility in the business world with trust signals. That is, evidence that individuals, companies and brands use to win one another's trust.
Trust is the bedrock of what encourages customers to purchase your products and services when they visit your store or website. Likewise, as a savvy business leader, you need to know the tell-tale signs of what makes a trustworthy partner in today's complex, competitive business environment.
As a trusted thought leader on the future of public relations for over a decade, Baradell provides compelling insights into how to navigate trust signals in our post-truth world and build lasting, honest relationships with customers and potential business partners.
Keen on Retirement by Bill Keen
When do you picture yourself retiring? According to Bill Keen, there is no one-age-fits-all scenario. Instead, he suggests finding your crossover point — the time in your life when you know you are mentally, emotionally and financially ready to begin engineering the second half of your life.
In the second edition of Keen on Retirement, Keen goes deeper into how to address the challenges that many people face when failing to plan all aspects of retirement. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, Keen seeks to help individuals retire comfortably. For some, this may mean simply having enough money to support themselves and their families. For others, it may mean taking a new step towards entrepreneurship to focus on something you're passionate about.
No matter what you envision for your future, Keen says the one thing that everyone shares is that we all want to know that we can retire if we want to.
The Founder & The Force Multiplier by Adam Hergenrother and Hallie Warner
No entrepreneur can build and sustain a business on their own — they need a gatekeeper that helps steer communication pitfalls, shares a united vision of the company and is dedicated to accomplishing goals and scaling growth.
In this updated version of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, Adam Hergenrother and Hallie Warner bring you their candid insights into forming a strategic partnership with your executive assistant to lead and achieve more together in the highly competitive marketplace. The leaders of tomorrow want to work smarter, not harder — meaning they need to have the right person by their side to achieve the success they envision. Hergenrother and Warner demonstrate this using their first-hand experience as successful leaders to provide important understandings of what it means to create a business relationship built on communication and connectedness.
Love Your Team by Helen Fanucci
The pandemic completely changed how managers approach leadership and team development, especially when it comes to effective sales management.
In Love Your Team, Helen Fanucci teaches business leaders how to strategically and carefully retain top sales talent to fit the "new normal" in today's work environment. She gives key insights into how to build a cohesive team in a hybrid work environment that results in maximized performance and retention, while also delivering proven strategies for how to build a strong team culture that is driven by the efforts of top performers.
How Sharing Your Personal Story Can Transform Your Business And Change Your Life
Looking back at your business journey, you know how you got started, you remember the highs and the lows, and you know the people you met who made the most difference. Every detail and bump in the road creates your narrative and positions you as the perfect person to do what you do.
Keeping their founder’s story private is a mistake many entrepreneurs make, but entrepreneur and author Mark Leruste is on a mission to turn this around. As founder of Ministry of Purpose, award-winning host of The Unconventionalists podcast, keynote speaker and author of Glow in the Dark: how sharing your personal story can transform your business and change your life, Leruste inspires people to have the confidence to share their personal stories in a way that is authentic and empowering.
Most people don’t share their story because they think it’s dull. They think no one cares and they can’t see the benefit. Leruste knows they are wrong. “People are just too damn close to their story that they don't see the mountain of value they're standing on,” he said.
Here are the three reasons that sharing your personal story can transform your business and change your life.
Stories make people pay attention
“We are hard-wired to pay attention, engage with and retain stories,” explained Leruste. “Since the first primitive language-like systems emerged over 2 million years ago, storytelling has been a vital part of sharing and retaining information to survive and thrive as a species.” Your biology wants you to do it, and other people are programmed to want to hear what you have to say.
Leruste describes storytelling as, “the ultimate hack” for grabbing attention and making sales. But why is it so powerful? Apparently, it’s down to neuroscience.
In his book, Leruste explains the research of Doctor Uri Hasson, a neuroscientist at Princeton University, who studies how we tell and hear stories. One study explains how an effective story may allow two brains to sync. “According to Hasson, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments show that initially, the brainwave activities of a storyteller and a listener are different, as you’d expect them to be. But as the storyteller shares their story the MRI shows that the brainwaves of the listener begin to match the brainwaves of the storyteller.”
Leruste’s research, including of Hasson’s findings, led him to believe that storytelling is, “the oldest and most powerful tool in your entrepreneurial toolbox” because telling your story creates a connection between you and the listener. It helps them understand your hopes and dreams and understand where you come from. They relate to you, they empathize. They can feel inspired and persuaded by your message.
Your story is your only true unique selling point
Nearly everything in your business can be copied. Competitors can figure out your secret recipe, duplicate your content, products and services and emulate your sales strategy, but they cannot copy your founder’s story. That belongs only to you, so it makes sense to leverage it.
“In today’s noisy digital world, people buy from people they know, like and trust,” explains Leruste. “And personal storytelling is the best way to emotionally connect and engage with your audience to create that sense of trust with you.” Leruste knows that “people connect far better with another human than with a faceless brand or logo.”
How often have you read the about page of a website to learn about the husband-and-wife team who risked everything to create their products and build their business? These stories are popularized by savvy business owners because they work. Even as these brands grow and become acquired, the tales remain. Ben & Jerry’s still tells the story of school friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opening their first scoop shop in a Vermont gas station in 1978 despite being bought by Unilever in 2000. It’s the same for Quaker Oats, Spanx, Cadbury and Starbucks. The story is remembered long after the business changes hands.
“It would be crazy for you not to leverage the most valuable asset you possess to stand out from the crowd,” said Leruste. Criminal, almost. You wouldn’t waste your profits or not put your best team members to work in your business. But you’re leaving cash and impact on the table when you stay in the shadows.
Sharing your story heals you and inspires others
Leruste highlights the work of comedians in talking openly about, “their flaws, imperfections and embarrassing moments in a very public setting.” This, he said, is what builds their tribe of superfans. “Kevin Hart attracts more than 50,000 fans to watch his Sunday stand-up,” because “we are all desperate for that sense of relief that we’re not alone in our earthly struggles.” Leruste believes that hearing someone else talk about their shortcomings reminds us that we aren’t as terrible as we sometimes believe we are.
“Most people don’t realise that there is a tremendous gift in the process of owning and sharing your personal story, warts and all,” said Leruste. When you do, “you will experience the ultimate freedom, which is that no one can hurt you when you have nothing to hide.”
In his work with entrepreneurs and business leaders, Leruste meets people who are afraid of what the world will think or say if they find out who they really are. “God forbid anyone should know that you sometimes have an off-day or that your life isn’t as perfect as your Instagram feed or that you don’t have it all figured out,” he challenged.
When someone fully owns their story, it’s magnetic and compelling. “The reason why we are attracted to people who unashamedly own their story is that, deep down, we too want to drop the mask and just be our authentic selves, especially in a professional or business context.” Seeing someone else do it makes it okay for us to show up.
Transform your business and life by stepping into the spotlight
Leruste wants you to make your choice. “Do you spend your time and energy hiding away and controlling people’s perception of you, for the sake of feeling safe and having a false sense of control?” Or do you choose to spend that same time and energy, “figuring out the moments in your past that can inspire, resonate and make you memorable?”
The latter, he said, will mean you can impact the lives of yourself and others in the most positive way. Make people stand up and listen, leverage your true USP and help others become better versions of themselves by sharing your journey with your networks, prospects and customers.
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