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20 Motivational Books & Essays Startup Leaders Should Read in 2020

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top 20 Motivational Books for startups

If you read about start-ups and their success rate, you’ll find that the failure rate is higher than 90%. Some research suggests how these rates are even higher than 95%.

For this very reason, it’s really important to have strong willpower to endure even the biggest obstacles in your journey.

Below we list out the best motivational books and essays available for you online.

1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

While this book might even be considered outdated in our fast-paced online world, the principles shared in it will never go away.

The most important thing you’re going to learn is how to manage your schedule and how to delegate your tasks.

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Even though this book was published back in 1937, its core values and principles will never go away. This book is focused on the power of your mind and explores how you can better use your desires, ideas, and plans.

When you steer all these factors into a focused direction and add a massive amount of action to it, your success will be inevitable.

3. Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

This is another modern age book that shares a similar type of content and ideas as The 4-Hour Workweek.

The new-age work culture is not only focused on money, but on life quality and time management.

4. Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone

You might question the authenticity or even the legitimacy of many things and claims shared by Grant Cardone. One thing is for sure – he will get you fired up, especially if you’re reading his content for the first time.

5. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence – and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is another author and businessman who is highly focused on taking massive action in order to reach success.

He’s also highly active on social media, and if you’re in the same boat, you might learn a lot. On top of that, he’ll give you a huge boost of energy and motivation.

6. The Dip by Seth Godin

When you start your start-up journey, there will be so many moments where you just want to quit.

Well, this book is highly focused on quitting. To be precise, it will teach you when to quit and when to stick!

7. 10 Success-Boosting Motivation Tips From Millionaire Entrepreneurs by John Rampton

In this great essay, the author analyses great ideas and business guidelines shared by the richest people in the world.

It’s great content to expand your views and gain more of the business-oriented wisdom.

8. How to Stay Motivated to Start a Business by Simone Johnson

This essay is focused on explaining why motivation is so important when starting your business. You’ll find out more about different types of motivation and how to sustain it in the long run.

9. Famous Entrepreneurs Who Started Late and Founded Multi-Million Dollar Empires

As an entrepreneur, you might ask yourself: Am I too old for this? Well, in this essay, you’ll learn about 8 famous people who started their start-up journey when they were older.

You have to remember to never quit and that it’s never too late to start!

10.  Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

This is another great book by Tim in which he analyses the habits and beliefs of 101 highly successful people. It’s a great way to expand your views and gain wisdom. 

11. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

If you want to learn more about two different systems running inside of your head, you’ll find great value in this book. This is another great book for NPL enthusiasts.

12. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry

The overall success of your start-up will not depend on your skills or the amount of capital you pour into it. One extremely important factor is teamwork. This book will teach you how to recognize and better react to your own emotions and the emotions of others.

13. The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

In this all-time classic work, you’ll learn extremely valuable lessons that are being taught across sixteen lessons.

14. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Every entrepreneur has a list of people influencing their startup, starting with employees all the way to investors. This book will improve your skills when it comes to influencing the behavior of others.

15. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins

What would be a motivational list without Tony Robbins? All jokes aside, if you need motivation and energy, you’ll find them in his books and videos.

He’s creating this type of content for decades, and he knows every bit of detail when it comes to motivation.

16. Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

If you want to dive deeper into the journey of finding your purpose in life and to learn how to get rid of fear, this book is a must-read!

You’ll find great tips on not only how to set your goals but how to achieve them as well.

17. Business Adventures by John Brooks

This book is recommended both by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. These two know what they’re talking about when it comes to business.

Bill Gates has not only recommended this book, but he also regards it as his favorite book of all time.

In this book, you’ll find 12 different stories based on which you can learn 12 different key ideas about the business.

18. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike

In this book, the author is analyzing eight different CEO’s and their approach to management. Each one of them had a quite unique approach, which is extremely useful for a reader to learn more about thinking out of the box.

In the worst case, you’re going to expand your own box.

19. 15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write by MasterClass

Being a writer myself, I had to share this extremely useful content with all of my fellow colleagues around the world. Writing is frightening but never give up! Here are some other resources you can use to master the skill of writing, which is essential in any startup: ordering research papers online (when you need a case study or a business report), Grammarly (for checking the grammatical accuracy of your texts), Canva (to add a visual flair to your writing).

20. See You At The Top By Zig Ziglar

We had to add another sales author to our list. Somehow, sales authors have extremely valuable insight when it comes to motivation. This book will teach you not only that but how to live a more balanced and fulfilling life as well.

Conclusion

On the one hand, it’s harder to succeed as a start-up now that there is so much competition. On the other, these and millions of other resources enable you to learn faster and better than ever before! Be it for team leadership, soft skills, or business-running, you can learn anything from these great books and essays.

Estelle Liotard is a writer, editor, and business advisor. She has worked with dozens of start-up leaders to help boost motivation and tap into their entrepreneurial mindset. Estelle is currently working on a book on time management.

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Inspiration

Creative Advice from 11 World Famous Architects

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Creative advice from 11 world-famous architects

As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably no stranger to the ups and downs of inspiration. Motivation can come in waves, and when it’s gone, productivity can take a pretty major hit.

It’s impossible to stay constantly inspired all of the time. However, when we notice our creative spark fade, it’s important to engage in activities that rekindle the fire. Often, this means unplugging, pursuing a hobby, or talking with a friend or mentor.

Another great way to boost motivation is to look to other successful creatives. Architects, in particular, make great creative role models because of their ability to juggle multiple tasks and oversee projects like a pro. Check out the visual below for creative inspiration from 11 world-famous architects.

 

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Inspiration

Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

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Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

Do you serve a customer to make money? Or do you serve a customer to serve a customer? Do you wash dishes to get them clean? Or do you wash the dishes to wash the dishes?

Here’s a story from Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, about ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes’ and the difference between mindful and mindless:

“In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest… Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we’ve finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else.

One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, “Go ahead, but
if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them.” Jim replied, “Come on, you think I don’t know how to wash the dishes?” I answered, “There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes
in order to wash the dishes.”

Jim was delighted and said, “I choose the second way-to wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the “responsibility” to him for an entire week.

If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.”

What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.
In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.

If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future
– and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Are you focusing more at being successful, or being mindful? It is a conscious choice that shows up in your daily routine – Being present in every moment shows up in the quality of your products, your service, your communication.

Being aware leads to care. It’s the contrast of being careful and being careless. This care becomes quality, and that’s why greater mindfulness leads to greater success.

Your daily routine isn’t a means to an end. It’s an opportunity to experience the miracle of life every day.

“Be here now.”
~ Ram Dass

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Inspiration

5 Quotes for Successful Entrepreneurship

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Quotes for Successful Entrepreneurship

Being a successful entrepreneur is a dreamcometrue for a lot of people out there. Being your own boss, benefiting from your own ingenuity and hard work, as well as creating a legacy are all reasons enough why so many people try to start businesses of their own. However, the majority of these entrepreneurial attempts end in failure. In order to avoid meeting the same fate, you need to examine these five quotes that reveal the entrepreneurship essentials.

1.    The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain

It’s incredibly easy to come up with a million excuses for why something is not worth doing. After all, the business world is a scary place. Gathering the right team is hard, raising funds can be even harder and with the current state of the economy (this is probably the most common excuse), what are your realistic chances of success? The truth is that you just cannot know and you never will. All you’re doing by procrastinating is wasting your own precious time. Instead of wasting energy and creativity to come up with a myriad of excuses, you need to try looking for solutions.

2.    Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

There’s probably no better person in the world to stand behind this statement, seeing as how there aren’t a lot of people in history who had more drastic ups and downs. Winston Churchill’s involvement in WWI resulted in a disaster and, had he given up, the horrendous Gallipoli Operation would have been what history would remember him by. Instead, nowadays he is known as one of the most defiant and victorious characters in human history. Other than this, there have been so many wildly successful entrepreneurs who went bankrupt at one point in their career. Henry Ford and Walt Disney belong on this list.

3.    The problem is not a loss of money or credit, it’s a loss of trust. – David Perry

One of the things that a lot of entrepreneurs seem not to understand is the fact that their reputation and their word seem to be their most valuable assets in the business world. If you underpay your staff or fail to deliver on what you’ve promised, the word will get out. Make one faulty promise to a client and your reputation will quickly be ruined for good. You also have your share of responsibilities when it comes to various financial organizations and if you fail to meet them, you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble. This will primarily reflect on your credit score. The next time you need some funds, it will be a lot harder to obtain them.

4.    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. – Henry Ford

Doing market research is a pivotal tip to making it in the business world. In fact, about 42 percent of startups fail because there’s no market need for what they’re selling or intend to sell. The biggest problem with this, however, lies in the fact that someone has to be first. At one point in history, Blockbuster refused to buy Netflix for $50 million, due to the fact that they failed to realize the potential behind this business model within the entertainment industry. We all know how this story ended. When it comes to innovation, you sometimes have to listen to your own instincts.

5.    Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. –Jayce Meyer

Succeeding in the business world takes time, however, time alone changes nothing. Developing the right strategy and then ensuring that it’s adhered to is something completely different. You see, in order to make time have any value, you need to set things in motion and then wait for them to unfold. Keep in mind that, in the business world, time is money. This means that making it, in the long run, is a question of financial endurance, as much as it’s a matter of your mental stamina.

Conclusion

To wrap things up with yet another celebrity quote, Mike Tyson once said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. What this means is that regardless of how organized or motivated you are, at one point, you’ll have to start altering your plans and adapting to the situation at hand. How quickly you and your business can evolve is something that will determine the success rate that you’re bound to face in the business world. This alone is definitely something worth bearing in mind.

 

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