Did you know that small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the US? And did you realize more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business? (Source: SBA, Small Business Administration)
Impressive, isn’t it? Particularly since many believe it’s big business which creates the majority of new jobs and employs the most workers.
And it’s not just the mom and pop store around the corner who’s hiring. You’ll find small businesses operate in every industry and every sector.
Small businesses are amazing…
Every day people have ideas and launch businesses.
Starting out small, they figure out how to create something, often only with limited resources at their fingertips.
- So how do these small business owners do it?
- How do they know what to do?
- And where do they find the courage and inspiration to follow their dreams?
Contrary to what most think, acquiring the knowledge is the “easy” part. The real challenge is maintaining courage and inspiration against all the odds and naysayers.
Maintaining the right mindset is what’s important. Without it, it’s all too easy to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble along the entrepreneurial journey.
Do you agree?
And that’s why paying attention to how you think is so important. For most entrepreneurs, keeping their mind sharp and focused is a never-ending journey; it’s ongoing.
Fortunately, there are many ways to keep a positive mind. My favorite way and perhaps one of the most effective ways is reading.
Yes, good old-fashioned reading! I believe there’s sound value in picking up a good book and taking the time to read it.
Here are five books to nourish your mind and help you grow both as entrepreneur and person.
by Charles Duhigg
The premise of the book is simple: if we can change our habits, we can change our lives!
We are humans, and we are creatures of habit!
Our habits determine the majority of our actions, both in business and personal life. Contrary to popular belief, what we do habitually shapes our lives more than most anything else.
Some habits serve us, while others harm us. Unfortunately, for most of us, changing our habits is difficult at best. But once you become aware of your habits and understand how they work, you are in a position to change them.
The “power of habit” shows the reader how to achieve lasting change and create habits that serve and support them.
by Stephen R. Covey
Even though this book has been around for a long time, the lessons apply today as then. The “7 habits…” could also be viewed as seven principles or natural laws.
From starting with the end in mind to sharpening the saw, Stephen Covey encourages the reader to think outside the box. By acknowledging and accepting our differences, we can create a win-win situation for ourselves and others.
by Hal Elrod
Are you familiar with “Early bird catches the worm?”
Yes, there’s power in early; and it’s not just to get there first. Use the extra time you gain from getting up earlier to work on improving yourself.
How you start your day often dictates the rest of your day. Create a morning ritual that gets you starting your day right.
This book is different… you already know why should wake up early, the book will tell you how to wake up early.
by Michael Gerber
No list of small business development would be complete without Michael Gerber’s E-Myth.
As a small business owner, it’s important you’re aware of the various hats you’ll be wearing in your business at different times… there is the technician, manager, and the entrepreneur. The awareness helps you avoid getting stuck in a role that doesn’t support your entrepreneurial growth.
Gerber talks about the importance of systematizing your business. He also emphasizes why you must work more on your business, instead of only working in your business.
by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
Do you know the one thing in your business or personal life that gives you the most significant leverage? And once you know your one thing, can you focus on it and eliminate distractions?
The book discusses the domino effect and how to use it to accomplish your goals. By starting with small and simple steps, you’ll gain the necessary momentum to accomplish your bigger goals.
Keller talks about the difference between your to-do and your success list and why you want to focus on your success list. He taps into the power of the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule. But he doesn’t stop there, he goes a step beyond and implements it to the extreme.
Learn about power tools that increase your productivity and let you accomplish more. These are just a few ideas presented in the book, but there is much more waiting for you to discover!
Are you familiar with some of the books? And tell us if you know of other books that help develop a strong mindset.
Let us know what you think and leave your comment below.
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog.