When you first decide to break out of the corporate bubble and tackle the world of entrepreneurship, you want to be as prepared as possible. You read books, click on any and every relevant article online and watch YouTube videos — even queue up every business-inspired movie Netflix has to offer.
It’s easy to be gung-ho when it comes to learning about building your business in the beginning, only to slowly abandon those books, articles and videos once the company starts to take off.
But established or just starting out, you’re never too good to learn more. So why not take a moment to revisit your business bookshelf and opt for a read at the beach instead of 90 minutes staring at your smartphone this summer?
Here are three reasons why it’s an idea worth considering:
Keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well
One of the qualities that separate entrepreneurs from their corporate counterparts is their passion to simultaneously balance out dreaming with learning. Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney Co., has said that within the meeting point where imagination and reality exist is innovation. “Many companies don’t have great imagination, but their view of reality tells them that it’s impossible to do what they imagine.”
Think about what our world would be like if entrepreneurs opted against reaching for the stars because they were too far from earth. Undoubtedly, half of these books written by those who made it in business wouldn’t exist. But because said entrepreneurs went against the grain and pushed to make their dreams come true, their stories of the journey to get to where they are now serve as the perfect meal for our starving brains.
Learn from the mistakes of others
Failure isn’t a dirty word. If you’re looking for a mentor to influence you, business owners turned authors can serve as your best bet. These books will tell you about the twisting road that led them to success and they won’t edit themselves to only talk up their own accomplishments. Authors mentor masses — it’s why they write books.
Get inspired by the savvy of those successful in business
One of my favorite business books is “Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing its Soul,” written by the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. It tells of how Schultz fought and struggled with love and passion as his weapons of choice to get Starbucks to where it is today. He encourages readers to grow with discipline, innovate around the core, avoid embracing the status quo and find new ways to see, constantly.
“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins is another standard go-to for entrepreneurs starting out because it’s filled with plenty of great tips. It reminds me to push myself day in and day out to do everything I can to succeed and not just settle for halfway, because, as Collins says, “Good is the enemy of great.”