1. Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki)
Regardless of Guy Kawasaki being a venture capitalist, he adapts a casual tone to the advice he gives in this book. It is very engaging and practical. His message is simple: to discover what is required to build a startup. He goes down from the basics and takes an approach that even a low funds business can use. He explores everything from bootstrapping, networking, and creating buzz for your business. It’s refreshing to be able to read a no-nonsense book that has not romanticized business. He also gives great resources at the end of the book.
2. Never get a Real Job (Scott Gerber)
Scott Gerber empowers young people to dump the conventional job for a more gratifying experience. He takes a no-nonsense approach and says that the journey will not be easy but it will be worth it for those who commit. He uses his own background, and “real job” experience to show that it is all possible. He encourages young people not to rely on the notion of job security but rather, create something that they can control. There is a lot of advice in this book from a young author who refused to accept the dead-end 9-5 and went ahead to create his own empire. A great book full of resources: online tools, websites and more. This book takes you through every phase of starting a business and tells you what works and what doesn’t and what is important and what isn’t. Why not learn from the mistakes and the triumphs of others!
3. Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business (David Siteman Garland)
David Garland reveals the importance of marketing with personality, passion and execution. The stories told will inspire because they are real experiences. It’s an entertaining book filled with unconventional wisdom. If you are interested in unique ways to market and promote your business, this is definitely not another boring marketing book! It has practical advice that you can actually see working.
4. UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.
The book is exactly what it implies “UnMarketing”. Scott Stratten wants us to question the stale methods of marketing that we continue to use without results. It’s more of establishing relationships with everyone you come in contact with and your business. The whole notion of engagement is crucial. It’s even more interesting the way he engages us with the seven deadly social media sins. Check this book out to see what you are violating, in marketing, and what you can improve in your marketing approach.
5. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity (by Hugh MacLeod)
Hugh MacLeod shows you that creativity can be an accomplice to the serious side of business. This book is filled with a lot of sketches that will inspire you. It will help you unlock your creative potential and to get away from the outdated, conventional, thinking. It makes you question the things you are settling for versus the things you are capable of becoming when you refuse to settle.
6. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Chris Guillebeau)
Chris Guillebeau makes you question the standards you set for your life. Often times we are told to conform and be “normal” but there is great potential to be realized. There is greater power in resisting and greater satisfaction to throwing all fear and caution away. In essence, Guillebeau wants you to listen to your goals and those impulses that power these goals. Your heart, and mind, will emit sparks thinking of all the great things that you could be missing while conforming. Live a life according to your own terms and this book is filled with tools, ideas and strategies to inspire you to do so. Chiris Guillebeau takes on a very motivating, and encouraging, voice that is sure to make this art doable!
7. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant (by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne)
Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne reveal the markets that are untouched ( or touched but not very well) and how the power of innovation can help you tap into these markets. It’s an approach that focuses on the idea of having fish in the sea but also the possibility of being the best fish in that sea. It’s an opportunity to think differently in order to experience high profitable growth. They explore the success of world renown companies like Starbucks and Cirque du Soleil and show you real life examples. It’s an art in capturing demand and being a business that engages instead of focusing on the numbers. Their words of advice “swim for open waters”.