Starting a business is a very exciting time, but it’s also a very nerve wracking one. If statistics are to be believed then most businesses fail before they’ve even had a chance to build up momentum, and it would seem that the odds are certainly stacked against you.
What you have to remember though when you look at these worrying business odds, is simply that a lot of businesses that start up aren’t that good. Sure a lot of businesses fail, but that’s not necessarily because there’s no room for those businesses – it’s just that a lot of people don’t know what they’re doing and aren’t very careful when they launch their new dream project.
Business works on a series of systems and principles which can simply and easily be applied to any industry. These principles have been shown to work countless times and have been tested over and over by countless companies before you. Once you realise this it can be very comforting to know that business success isn’t reliant on luck, and that the odds will be much more in your favour if you have the right approach and the right information on your side. Research then and general reading can greatly help your business to thrive and make it unlikely that you aren’t successful.
So the simple question is what to read? Here I will share some of the best business books, websites and blogs and magazines for you to start reading now. Work through this reading list, apply the principles within and you’ll automatically sway the odds of success back in your favour.
Book: The Personal MBA
The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman is a book that aims to give a ‘full MBA education’ through a single volume. While that’s a rather lofty claim, it’s certainly true that you can learn an awful lot from this book, and it’s all explained in a very logical and easy to understand way. This is a book that really hits home the ‘systematic’ nature of business, and this can give you a lot more confidence moving forward. There’s some basic information to get you started on the site though if you don’t have time for the whole tome: http://book.personalmba.com
Wired is a technology, business and lifestyle magazine that any tech entrepreneur should own a subscription to. It covers a broad range of topics but ties it all together with a great sense of style and respect for the future-now. Even if you aren’t in the tech industry, you’ll no doubt want to take advantage of the latest tools and gadgets to help your business go further so you should still look into it. Visit the site here: http://www.wired.com/
Don’t want to shell out for a magazine subscription? The Mashable blog then can offer you the same broad range of technology, business and science news that will keep you at the cutting edge. http://mashable.com/
Book: Business Stripped Bare
When it comes to business icons they don’t come much more successful or recognizable than Richard Branson. In this book he explains the basics of business and what he’s learned from his considerable experience. From his tips on marketing and delivery to his humorous anecdotes its great reading for any prospective CEO.
Blog: Steve Pavlina
Some of his ideas are a little off the wall, but overall Steve Pavlina’s blog is a brilliant one for self-improvement and productivity. Self-discipline is crucial to the success of any new start-up or entrepreneurial venture, and this site can help you to cultivate that. http://www.stevepavlina.com/
Blog: Seth Godin
Seth’s business blog is a brilliant one partly for its brevity and simplicity. Each post is a short bit of business wisdom and makes for a great ‘thought for the day’ that you can apply to your business. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Being successful in business means knowing what’s going on in the world and staying relevant. Time covers business, but it also covers politics, economics, the arts and everything else you need to know about if you’re going to stay relevant. Visit the site at http://www.time.com/time/ if you don’t fancy subscribing (though it’s very cheap).
Reddit is a social site where you can share and vote on content. There are countless ‘hubs’ for specific topics too which means you can see only the new posts that apply to you – which is highly useful for getting all the latest business news as well as lively discussion on those topics. You can find the business ‘sub-Reddit’ here: http://en.reddit.com/r/business/