11 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read in 2015

Last week, I wrote about starting fires.

I believe that a great idea is a spark…

And that a spark can turn into a great fire that can change our lives, as long as we bring the resources and hustle necessary to make that happen.

How then do we expose ourselves to great ideas? 

The short answer:

Books.

Books are the perfect harbinger for ideas:

  1. Books give writers the space to explore and analyze an idea in depth (much more so then the modern mediums of blogging, podcasting, or youtube, for example)
  2. Books are compact enough to hold, carry, and share easily with others (and this ease of sharing is increased exponentially through digital books and ereaders)
  3. Books require focused attention from the reader, making the understanding of the idea being spread much more likely (no adds will popup in a book…and hopefully the author has the good taste to not add too many links in the text)

On that note, I want to share a few books with you that have personally sparked positive change in my own life.

These books are specifically related to business, entrepreneurship, and / or startups in some way, shape, or form, but I think many of the lessons from these books extend far beyond that subject matter.

My hope is that if even one of these books creates a spark for you like they have for me, the world (or at least the people who matter) will be a lot better off.

Enjoy. [Read more…]

How to Start Multiple Businesses, Blaze Your Own Path, and Instigate like a Professional: an Interview with Clay Hebert

In the Trenches: Episode 2Spindows

Here is the 2nd episode of “In the Trenches: The Resistance Broadcast Interview Series” and today I had the honor of interviewing Clay Hebert.

[Listen to the Interview by clicking this link]

Clay is an entrepreneur, blogger, multitasking ninja, and all around instigator.

Clay began his career at Accenture.  After ten years at Accenture, Clay left corporate America and got his MBA from Seth Godin.

Currently, Clay is building Spindows.com, a new startup that will change the way organizations collaborate (think of it like speed dating + skype + your organization).

Clay has created a number of startups, including:  Tribes Win, a marketing strategy and innovation agency, where he helped brands lead their tribes.  More recently, Clay began a new project called Work Hacks, where he helps people live a more productive, efficient, and streamlined lifestyle.

You can read Clay’s blog and find out more about him at Daily Sense.

Clay is a sought after speaker, writer, and entrepreneur, and this interview is essential listening for anyone looking to start their own project (book, business, or blog).


[icon icon=”0300.png”][/icon]In the Trenches: an Interview with Clay Hebert – How to Start Multiple Businesses, Blaze Your Own Path, and Instigate like a Professional


In this interview, we cover:

  • Why it’s hard to be a linchpin inside a large, bureaucratic organization
  • What it was like to transition to Seth Godin’s MBA program
  • Why making a slower transition from conventional work to entrepreneurship might be the right strategy for many people
  • Why entrepreneurship isn’t jumping off a building and hoping the parachute deploys (it’s less risky if you do it right)
  • How you don’t have to quit your day job to make it as an entrepreneur
  • The difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur; between a business that can’t scale and one that can
  • Why online software is such a compelling proposition for entrepreneurs (and how to make it actually work)
  • And one extremely compelling piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Why it’s essential you validate your ideas before you jump into your next project
  • Why you don’t need to raise tons of capital to create a successful startup from scratch

You can read more about Tribes Win here, Work Hacks here, and read Clay’s blog here.

Be sure to check out Spindows here, and read up on some of the interviews Clay has done regarding the new platform he is developing (very interesting stuff).

If you liked this interview, share it with everyone you know and reach out to Clay and thank him!

***

Some other highlights from our conversation:

Purple Cow: The essential guide on marketing and creating remarkable products.

War: A nonfiction work that follows a group of soldiers in Afghanistan – not for the feint of heart.

Crush It!: If you want to dominate in the online arena, you need to leverage the connection economy.

The Lean Startup: An incredible book on the power of validating an idea before you begin, failing fast and scaling fast (with minimal resources – great for the solopreneur).

Launchrock: Starting a project?  Validate it first.

Skillshare: Have something worth teaching?  Make money sharing your knowledge!

***

If you haven’t had a chance, catch In the Trenches: Episode 1 here.

 

what will you create

Too many options…

That’s the problem we have now.

Too many options.

20+ years ago, that wasn’t the problem. There was a bottleneck of information, production, and distribution. That bottleneck created scarcity. Those who controlled the land, factories, or people decided what would be created and what shipped.

Not now.

You don’t have to wait for the producer to give you the go ahead. You don’t need to get the publisher’s approval.

For virtually no cost, you can create your own ebook and sell it online. If you want to create a hardcover copy, you can do that too – again, for no up-front fee (Amazon’s affiliate Createspace does just that). Want someone to fabricate a product for you, produce it in bulk, and ship it to a warehouse where another group of people can manage the fulfillment and distribution? A completely hands-off, automated business is completely possible with the click of a mouse.

All this leads to more access. Not only access BY the consumer, but access TO the consumer.  We now have access to become the producer. All of us, at least potentially, are producers in this new economy.

This is unprecedented.

Our problem now isn’t distance, or cost, or other seemingly insurmountable issues of the past.

Our problem now is one of choice.

It’s not who will let me, it’s who can stop me?

This is the new economy (covered at length in Chris Anderson’s incredible book The Long Tail).  The choice is in our hands to produce what we want.  We can’t complain any longer about something not being right or not being good enough. The burden is on the end user – because the end user is now the producer.

If you don’t like it, fix it. If it’s not good enough, create something better.

Want to reach your clients from across the country? Build a website and post daily workouts for them virtually. Wish your cutting board had a place to hold your knife or a way to channel the food into the bowl? Why not invent and produce an entire product line from scratch?   The options are infinite.

This doesn’t apply to neurosurgery, but the truth is it applies to a lot more than you might imagine.

We have the responsibility to be producers (now more than ever).

What will you create?