Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the collaborators are his.
One of my first jobs after leaving the Marine Corps was in a software company during the dot-com bubble. There, I was responsible for selling training software designed to help network engineers, software developers, and database administrators pass certification exams.
It was a particularly interesting time to be in the world of technology because the Internet was just beginning to become popular. Most of what we take for granted online today simply did not exist yet, and the Internet was evolving rapidly in real time. There were so many things we had to learn along the way. For me, despite knowing how impactful the Internet would soon be, there was one more important topic I had to learn. A subject that would prove to be one of the most valuable skills I would have learned: sales.
Sales skills were essential in my job at the software company because it was a commission-only function. I mean, if I didn’t sell, they wouldn’t charge me, and at that point in my life, I wasn’t very good at selling. This company offered phenomenal sales training, but I wanted to improve faster because that meant more money. Instead of simply relying on the training of the company, I complemented it with my own training. At the time, we couldn’t afford to just buy a course online or even go to a free website to learn something because there wasn’t much available online. So I stopped by a Barnes & Noble to look for a book to improve my sales skills.
I still have this book today: it was by Tom Hopkins How to master the art of selling.
Reading this book, and most importantly, the constant application of its principles, helped me to become one of the best-selling representatives of this software company in 90 days. This further strengthened my love of reading because it showed me a faster and more efficient path to success. Reading the advice of those who had already mastered what I was trying to learn, I was able to follow a proven framework and avoid the usual inconveniences that people usually have.
Read more: 61 books Elon Musk thinks you should read
Being obsessed or being mean (Grant Cardone)
Whether you love it or hate it, and there are a lot of people on every side – I think we can all agree that Grant Cardone is absolutely obsessed with success.
It is true that the word “obsessed” has a negative connotation. Especially when it comes to entrepreneurship because some people think that means working 24 hours a day. But I choose to see the positive side.
Being obsessed doesn’t mean grinding all the time. It simply means that you are so aligned with your goals that most of your thoughts and actions are focused on achieving them. With that in mind, don’t limit yourself to a typical 9-5 window. Instead, ideas come to mind at any time, and you are constantly working to build skills, relationships, and assets to help you achieve those goals. In other words, even though you may not work all the time, everything you do is aligned with your goals.
I think this kind of obsession is critical to mass success, because without it, it’s easy for distractions, fear, and discomfort to get out of the way.
Related: 8 Books to Help Entrepreneurs Become Strong Leaders
Put anything (Oren Klaff)
Sales strategy and tactics have changed a lot over the years, but unfortunately, a lot of sales training has not adapted to what works in the real world today.
I came across Oren Klaff’s book, Put anything, after hearing him talk on a podcast about his unique approach to sales. Today, just like when I started my career, sales, fundraising, and trading are essential to success as an entrepreneur. We are all facing a more competitive environment than ever before, so we need all the benefits we can find.
Put anything it will give you a powerful advantage because, instead of outdated techniques that depend on sticking perspectives to the presentation, Klaff’s approach leverages psychological principles to craft an argument that makes your audience feel like your ideas are their own.
It is also worth noting that Klaff published another related book, entitled Rotate the scriptwhich I also highly recommend.
The war on small business (Carol Roth)
As entrepreneurs, we are so busy with day-to-day operations that we often do not have time to control what our government is doing that could negatively affect our business. This is understandable, but it is also dangerous.
During the pandemic blockade, small businesses across the country were forced to close their doors while giant corporations were allowed to remain open. This move channeled billions of dollars into giant corporations while starving small businesses that employ nearly half of the U.S. workforce. And while this is one of the most egregious cases of over-government and capitalism by friends, there are many other examples.
The war on small business it is important for entrepreneurs because it clearly demonstrates, using facts and data, exactly what entrepreneurs face. And once you know what happened, you can adapt and fight locally and federally to avoid it in the future.
Read more: 10 new books to lead in a hybrid work environment
You can’t hurt me (David Goggins)
“Life is not fair. It is not supposed to be. Life is not biased with anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are black or white. Gay or lesbian. Rich or poor. Life does not discriminate. Once you accept the fact that life will go wrong for you one way or another, you can start preparing for it. The right mindset is everything. “
This was written by David Goggins in the introduction to his book, You can’t hurt me.
I knew this book would be powerful in the first 30 seconds after I opened it. About eight years ago, I faced a health crisis that nearly killed me. I spent two years on my deathbed and have been in tremendous pain ever since.
As entrepreneurs, we will face intense challenges every day that most people will never face. And despite what some may believe, things are not going to get any easier. In fact, they become more difficult. But with the right mindset, we become tougher.
I love Goggins ’book because every story that is shared tries to rethink your mind about what’s possible. These stories show that we are all much tougher than we think. This is something that entrepreneurs need to know as we pursue the next level.
Extreme property (Jocko Willink)
Leadership is seen differently in the military than anywhere else. Although victory is generally shared, the blame for failure and mistakes lies directly on the shoulders of the unit leaders.
This is the foundation of the book Extreme property of Navy SEAL Jocko Willink. The idea here is that the leader of an organization is responsible for everything.
Did an employee not perform a task correctly? This is yours. You may not have given them clear instructions or expressed the importance of the task. Maybe they weren’t able to because you didn’t give them enough training. You may have hired the wrong person in the first place. But it’s not about blaming, it’s about learning from these situations and adapting your leadership approach to prevent it from happening again in the future.
This is crucial for entrepreneurs because if we want to scale a business, we need to be able to lead our team and delegate tasks effectively.
Some readers, as well as Willink himself, heard certain aspects Extreme property they were too rigid and not clear enough, so he published a sequel to this book, entitled The leadership dichotomy. This book perfects and clarifies the principles of the former in a way that makes the concept even more effective
A CEO only does three things (Trey Taylor)
I’ve always had a hard time delegating tasks because I want things to be done my way, by my standards. But I had to break with that mindset to grow my business.
Trey Taylor’s book, A CEO only does three things, has played a key role in this for me. It does a phenomenal job of breaking down exactly what a CEO should do – just high-level tasks related to the culture, people, and numbers of your business. By focusing only on these three things, you free up more time, which you can then reassign to the type of high-level tasks that have the greatest impact on your business. Lower level team members and contractors take care of everything else.
This concept, while simple in theory, is difficult to implement. It’s also a game changer because when you implement it in your business, you can start earning exponential gains.
Atomic habits (James Clear)
I think we can all agree that it’s hard to build good habits, but it’s incredibly easy to create bad ones. Who among us hasn’t wasted time scrolling through our favorite social networking platform when we should have been doing something more productive?
Personal improvement requires us to build the kind of good habits that will move us toward our goals. This is essential to take our business to the next level, but we cannot approach it at random: we need a process. In the book Atomic habitsJames Clear shares his process for doing so.
As entrepreneurs, we are often caught up in the chaos of the day-to-day running of a business. This derails our potential. The reality is that we do not reach the level of our goals, but we fall to the level of our systems. This is where this book comes in; provides a clearly documented process, such as the processes we create for the workflow in our companies, that you can use to eliminate bad habits and create good ones.
This book resonated with me because Clear was facing a health crisis that completely changed his life, and many of the principles described in this book are based on how he later rebuilt his life.
Read more: 11 books approved by Oprah that all entrepreneurs should read