Business Bibles

I enjoy reading and getting recommendations of good business books to read.  I thought this was a useful list.  This is an article from Sean Wise.  Sean Wise is the Globe & Mail’s monthly entrepreneurship and venture capital columnist.

Business Bibles
Globe and Mail Update
August 29, 2007 at 2:25 PM EDT

I started my life as an Entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 13. Since that time, I’ve without a doubt read hundreds of books on entrepreneurship, venture capital, angel investing, innovation and business leadership.

  • Often I’m asked to recommend some of the best to those looking to get a jump on their entrepreneurial education. So without further ado, here’s my list:
  • The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton
  • The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  • Getting Things Done by David Allan

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

This is the book I wish I wrote. Kawasaki, bestselling author on more than a half dozen business books, outlines the what, the why and most of all the how of starting a new venture. This book covers topics including but not limited to:

  • The Art of Raising Capital
  • The Art of Pitching
  • The Art of Bootstrapping
  • The Art of Recruiting
  • The Art of Being a Mensch

The former Chief Evangelist for Apple and founder of ultra successful seed fund, Silicon Valley’s Garage Ventures, has taken the blogosphere by storm these last few years, expanding his early works and leveraging his network to share insights. Kawasaki is often controversial, and sometimes arrogant, but his lessons are almost always extremely valuable. For those reasons, Kawasaki is a must read for all founders and funders.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This was actually the first business book I read. The book has been a bestseller since the 1930s, and is still valuable even if some of the examples are slightly dated.Carnegie extols the virtues of putting yourself in the shoes of others before speaking or taking action. He also shares: why smiling is still the best (and most cost effective) form of customer service; the secret for getting any job (a secret I’ve successfully used many times); and how to increase employee satisfaction without increasing costs. My favorite lesson – and one I work at each and every day: Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain.

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

If Carnegie’s tome helps to minimize conflict, William’s and Ury’s treatise on negotiation theory sets out a process which, if followed, ensure efficient negotiation and effective conflict mitigation. This great book was required reading while I was in law school and helped bring terms like BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement — i.e. what is the next best case if you fail to resolve the matter) and WATNA (Worse Alternative to Negotiated Agreement — i.e. what is the biggest downside of not resolving the matter) to the forefront. Together, these terms help to clarify the boundaries of any disputed outcome. Whether you are going to ask for a raise or acquire a company, this is your requisite prior reading.

The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma

I was attracted to Sharma’s work by our similar backgrounds. Both of us are Toronto based, washed-up lawyers, who have both found rejuvenation in writing. However, that’s where the similarities end. Sharma has been a bestseller in more than 42 countries and sold more than 10 million copies of his first book, The Monk who Sold his Ferrari . Me? Not so many. On the plus side, I do have better hair than Robin, but that’s about it. As for the book, it’s a classic parable, helping readers to discover the true meaning of life (and it does). In this “always on”, “24/7” world we live in, with ever blurring lines between work and life, this book is more relevant than ever. If you are searching for your purpose, looking to refocus, or just wondering “is there something more”, I’d highly recommend this story.

Getting Things Done by David Allan

Do you have hundreds of emails waiting for your reply? A to-do list that gets bigger everyday? More meetings than there are hours in the day? Then Getting Things Done (or GTD as David Allan devotees refer to it) is what you NEED to read. Yes, NEED to Read. Sited as “the premiere text” for managing time in the modern world, this book outlines how to set and follow through on your priorities.

Allan’s book has spawned a cult-like following amongst tech entrepreneurs the world over, some even going so far as to create free software to take Allan’s GTD to the next level.Recently, I had the chance to have a “fireside chat” with David during one of Silicon Valley’s “Under the Radar” events. If I wasn’t convinced before of the value of Allan’s program, one need only look to the legions of devotees that swarmed him after the interview, clamoring for autographs and pictures.

David Allan has become the rockstar of organization, and rightfully so. Some readers claim double or triple increases in their efficiency and huge decreases in work -related anxiety. If you feel overwhelmed by your INBOX, take a break and read this book.

The Bottom Line: A few months ago, I shared with readers Jiu-Jitsu Master Sensei Helio Gracie’s secret to martial arts and life — always keep learning. If that makes sense to you — then grab one, two or all of the above texts, turn off your blackberry and improve your entrepreneurial life by reading a chapter a day.

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