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Self Development

12 Entrepreneurs Share The Books They Always Recommend

Just in time for the holiday season, entrepreneurs tell us the books they always tell others to read.

Nina Zipkin

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reading-books

A savvy entrepreneur understands that the ability to empathise with a variety of perspectives is invaluable when growing a business. One of the simplest and most effective way to do this is to read widely, across genres and from authors whose point of view is different than your own.

Whether it is a novel or history book on your nightstand or an in-depth scientific study, these successful founders have some unexpected titles that they always recommend to everyone.

1On having a positive attitude in the face of adversity

danny-the-champion-of-the-world

  • Name: Merrill Stubbs
  • Company: Food52
  • Book: Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World. I love children’s books in general, and a lot of kid’s books are really good reading for adults. This one in particular is not only a great story and narrative, but it’s a great study of a relationship between father and his son.

Plus, the entrepreneurial, can-do attitude of Danny and his father has always been inspiring to me. While they are meticulous planners, ultimately it’s the partnership and camaraderie between them that is more important than their scheme working out exactly as planned. I try to keep this in mind when things don’t go the way we’ve anticipated.

Related: 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal The Books That Changed Their Lives


2On combating negative thinking

positive-intelligence

  • Name: Jessica Dilullo Herrin
  • Company: Stella & Dot
  • Book: Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. In this book, he pulls together decades of research to show people how to shift their negative thinking into empowering ways of thinking, acting and feeling. After I read it, I was convinced that Shirzad was the real deal, and his approach and techniques really worked.

The gist of positive psychology is this: The more you train your brain to be positive, the happier you feel. For me, this has translated into taking time to quiet my brain every day to recharge and refocus.


3On how emotions affect our work

thinking-fast-and-slow

  • Name: Oren Frank
  • Company: Talkspace
  • Book: I recommend a book called Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. He’s the first and only psychologist that won the Nobel prize for economics. The notion that people, emotions and relationships determine so much of the decisions we make and these are deeply rooted mechanisms is something that is becoming more understood and accepted. It’s basically the fundamentals of business, because who do you do business with? You do business with people. This particular book gives you amazing insight as to how to better understand and work with people

Related: 3 Books To Help You Become Better, Smarter And Faster


4On a learning from a diversity of opinions

conscious-capitalism

  • Name: Gavin Armstrong
  • Company: Lucky Iron Fish
  • Book: Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia. If you’re an entrepreneur, I think that you can’t only have one point of view. That book lets you explore the concept within different frameworks and how it would work for you. It uses relevant, current issues and examples. Even if you don’t agree with the opinions, you are given enough information to make your own decision.

5On the scope of technology

making-of-the-atomic-bomb-by-richard-rhodes

  • Name: Jeff Chapin
  • Company: Casper
  • Book: Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. It is a story of the U.S. effort to build the atomic bomb. It’s a beautifully written book about the science and technology behind it. I don’t think many people think of a non-fiction book as page turner, but it sucked me in.

There’s incredible science described in a very understandable way, tension around the morality of building an atomic bomb, egos and personality conflicts, along with the fact that many of the scientists were Jews expunged from Nazi Europe creating the ultimate weapon to destroy Nazism. It’s a good read. A lot of people haven’t had great experiences with non-fiction, so I think it surprises them.

Related: 3 Brilliant Books To Help You Launch Your Business


6On the golden rule

how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people

  • Name: Dave Rusenko
  • Company: Weebly
  • Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It’s a nice reminder and blueprint on how to be a good person. It’s effectively saying that if you could pay more attention to other people’s needs, it will benefit you.

7On taking ownership of your journey

the-alchemist

  • Name: Melissa Ben-Ishay
  • Company: Baked by Melissa
  • Book: I always recommend The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I try to read it once a year. I think everyone takes different lesson from reading that book. For me, it reminded me about the journey and that my path is my path, and I need to own it and enjoy it. It’s really all about the way you choose to perceive the events that are happening in your life.

Related: 7 Books (and Blogs) for the Entrepreneur in All of Us


8On the importance of sleep

no-more-sleepless-nights

  • Name: Aaron Hirschhorn
  • Company: DogVacay
  • Book: I have been recommending – and maybe because I have had some problems sleeping as the stress of the business is sort of catching up to me – is a book called No More Sleepless Nights by Peter Hauri. It puts insomnia into perspective. It’s a really practical guide to having a better attitude around sleep. I have been recommending that a lot to people, because it turns out a huge percentage of people I know suffer from insomnia and a huge percentage of the country, too. Very practical, not a business book, but it just affects your life in a huge way.

9On questioning your own perception

fooled-by-randomness-the-hidden-role-of-chance-in-life-and-in-the-markets

Related: 5 Books to Read Before Starting Your Business


10On taking risks

good-to-great-why-some-companies-make-the-leap-and-others-dont


11On reaching for the stars

an-astronauts-guide-to-life-on-earth

  • Name: Ryan Holmes
  • Company: Hootsuite
  • Book: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Canadian astronaut and International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield. He’s a friend and one of the most courageous and inspirational people I know. In the book, he shares some incredible stories from his life as an astronaut but also shows us how to make the impossible a reality whatever pursuit we’re in. I recommend this to anyone who dreams big and who strives to stay true to themselves.

Related: 5 Tips to Read 100 Books a Year


12On personal health and how it affects our daily lives

The China Study

  • Name: Daniella Yacobovsky
  • Company: BaubleBar
  • Book: I would recommend The China Study by Thomas Campbell and T. Colin Campbell. It is a really exceptional study on the impacts of nutrition on our outlook on life and how we approach basically everything. That has changed my approach to nutrition and my expectations that the things you eat do have a huge impact on everything, from your energy levels to your outlook.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Nina Zipkin is a staff reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Self Development

Make A New Start In 2019

It’s nearly the start of a new year, and possibly a wise time to take stock of your life. Whether you are ready for a complete change or just want to take stock and empower or tweak one or more areas of your life.

Dr John Demartini

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2019-new-years-resolutions

People fall into a rut whenever what they do on a daily basis doesn’t align with their true highest values and offer satisfaction and meaning. A rut is a by-product of not giving yourself permission to go after what you truly want in life. The result? You feel trapped in something that is not fully gratifying and fulfilling.

Here are some tips to help you make a new start…

1. Work out what is truly most important to you

When your daily actions do not align with your highest values, you won’t be eager to get up in the morning. So what could you wisely do? Be sure you know what your top three highest values are – what is truly most important to you. For example, ask yourself:

  • What energises you at work or at home?
  • What is it that you love doing each day that also serves others?
  • What do you always find money for and to do?
  • In a social situation, what do you most frequently desire to talk about?
  • What are the top three goals you’re persistently keen to achieve?

Pay close attention to what you are inspired by and what you spontaneously do each day and you will discover what you value most. Creating a life around your highest priorities and strategising your day in such a way to fulfill that is powerful.

Related: The Future Is Now – Ecommerce Retail Trends For 2019

2. Learn from your past reactions or actions

Although it’s unwise to dwell on the past and beat yourself up about any previous decisions, it is wise to reflect on what has most and least worked for you and view your previous actions as helpful feedback content for refinement. This can help you identify what might work more effectively for you in the future. For example, if your personal relationship is tense at the moment, is may be because you are projecting your personal values on to them and unwisely expecting them to live outside their own highest values. Or they may be doing this to you. Or you both may be doing this to each other.

If this is the case, perhaps it would be wise to ask yourself how is what they are dedicated to serving you and how is what you are dedicated to serving them? If you ask and answer those questions 20 times each you will end up with more communicative dialogues and less alternating monologues and tension.

If you applied for a new job and didn’t get or land it, take a look at what you might have done to get such a result, and what refinements you can do differently next time to help you get your desired outcome. Be honest with yourself. Then, think about how a different more refined outlook or action could help you achieve your desired outcome.

3. Learn to be SMART

SMART stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. You can apply these goals to both your personal and professional lives.

For instance, instead of setting a goal such as falling in love this year, rather consider a more likely or attainable goal. Subscribe to an online dating website, or ask your friends to set you up with someone. You could also join new groups and activities where you can meet new people. Or simply prioritise your actions, do what you love and live authentically, which is most attractive to someone who will match you. Then measure your success in attaining your goal by how many new people you meet and how productive and inspired you are.

Set realistic goals with actions you have true control over.

Related: Finish The Year Strong To Carry Momentum Into 2019

Set achievable goals, not improbable or unlikely ones! An example of an improbable goal is deciding that you’re going to win the lottery for wealth building purposes. Instead of this, which has a very small chance of coming true, why not look at your financial house and get it into order? Budget to save money to achieve your goal of having more, and also budget to spend money on appreciable investments more than depreciable consumables.  Serve more and earn more so you can save more and invest more.

Also, don’t set yourself a radical goal to lose half your body weight in an unrealistic time frame – this may be unwise, unhealthy and unrealistic. Rather set yourself a more realistic goal of say, losing a kilo every week or fortnight, something that is more probable. Be realistic with your goals, rather than trying to achieve something unattainable. And don’t expect a quick fix. Rather set yourself smaller, more achievable goals, and then, when you meet them, you’ll feel more inspired to continue to expand them further.

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Self Development

Anxiety And Fear Are Superpowers: Embrace Them

Think that your fear and anxiety hinder your potential as an entrepreneur? It’s time to think again.

Howard Feldman

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anxiety

Nothing drives us to succeed as powerfully as the emotions of fear and anxiety. They are the true superpowers that define the entrepreneur. They can inspire change, define concerns and transform business ideals. Of course, as with anything in life, moderation is key. Too much of these emotions and you can be crippled, too little and then you may not be fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead. But a normal amount of anxiety is an opportunity to challenge yourself and take your business to the next level.

Want to know why? Here are three excellent reasons…

Reason 01: Answering the questions

Fear forces you to ask questions. Do I want to do this? What if that happens? How do I fix this problem if that does happen? What if I fail? These are serious questions and they can make you feel as if you’re about to tame the world’s largest dragon but what if you turned them on their head? What if you looked at these questions as opportunities to plan ahead? Stop looking for the bad, it may never happen, instead look the monster in the eye and name it. Then you are in control and prepared for what the future brings.

By recognising your fears as legitimate warnings of reasonable concerns, you are giving yourself the opportunity to prepare for the future. That is the power of fear.

Reason 02: The next step

Often companies are held back by fear. They deliver only what their business started out doing, not evolving alongside their customers or providing customers with what they want. A great analogy is when someone walks into a store to buy a 14-inch drill bit and the business owner sells him a 1/4-inch drill bit. They’re still selling a drill bit to the customer, but it isn’t the right one and won’t solve the customer’s problem.

Fear can stop a business from transitioning and this can hold you back. Recognising that this is a challenge for your business will allow you to look at your offerings with a fresh eye and challenge yourself. This is very important, especially in today’s market where people and businesses are being disrupted all the time.

Related: The Business Of Anxiety In Business: Giving Heroes Permission To Feel Vulnerable

Reason 03: What you’ve been told may not be true

The ancient story of Icharus flying too close to the sun has been driven home across fable and tale since the dawn of time. Everyone is told – don’t fly too high or you will run the risk of failure! The reality is that the story was designed to stop people from trying too hard because the higher you fly the colder it gets. Your wings won’t melt, they will be just fine no matter how high you go. So, try, spread your wings and you will very likely discover that you’re only just starting to embrace your potential.

The way forward

Set a goal you would like to achieve and write down what concerns you about it. Verbalise these concerns. You will find that when you verbalise fears you end up finding ways of preventing them, or fixing them. When your fears have names, they become easier to manage and control and they become tools to help you take your business forward into a bolder future.

Fear isn’t your enemy, it’s your weapon…

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Self Development

Want To Take Your Coding To The Next Level? Check Out These 7 Productivity Hacks

There’s so much on developers’ plates these days, but the good news is there are also awesome tools to help.

Sadie Williamson

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coding

Between constantly designing, coding, testing, maintaining and updating, most developers likely feel that their work is never truly done.

As someone who has worked closely with developers, I can confirm that no matter which field of computer programming and technology these talented people inhabit, they’re constantly juggling new ideas with existing projects, responsibilities and spontaneous crises – which can change from minor to catastrophic in seconds.

Because of this, developers need to constantly update their arsenal of tools and keep a close eye on not just their workload, but their effectiveness at moving from task to task without sacrificing productivity.

To get the most out of limited time and resources, developers need solutions to help them minimise the time wasted and maximise their efforts. Here are seven of the best tools and hacks I can recommend to improve your development productivity and to get the most out of your work.

1. Automate your change-tracking

Tracking changes is vital to your company’s development projects, especially as code is rewritten, modified or added to daily. Manually tracking changes is not viable in massive projects and can lead to breakdowns and wasted time down the line. That’s where Git can help a developer: It’s a control-management tool designed to track changes in source code files and reduce the time developers spend looking for a clear history of changes.

Additionally, automating change logs lets developers create branching paths in directories. This means they can test several versions of the same idea without losing each one and having to start over. Git also allows every team member in a project to automatically track his or her local changes, which are then uploaded and distributed to everyone on the project directory.

2. Audit your open source code and close any vulnerabilities

The development and computer science community is increasingly embracing open source, as everyone from freelancers to corporations as large as Microsoft contribute to the world’s coding knowledge for free. Developers today simply can’t develop software at the pace needed, without open source. After all, why should any of us re-invent the wheel when we can simply download it from GitHub?

However, open source brings new security and compliance challenges, and currently most developers lack the necessary tools to handle these unique challenges alone.

Software composition analysis solutions, like WhiteSource, automate the process of selecting and approving open source components and send alerts in real time on security and compliance issues so that you can use open source freely without worry.

3. Refactor your code consistently

Aside from rewriting and making wholesale changes to your code, it’s important that you constantly ensure it’s written in the clearest and most efficient way possible. Especially for repositories that will be in widespread use – as with most major projects – clean code is a vital attribute of functionality and usability.

Refactoring code helps you accomplish three things: It keeps you familiar with the code you’re writing, improves the applicability potential for the code and makes it easier to maintain the code.

4. Leave your mouse behind

One of the hardest habits for developers to break is using their mouse. While a mouse is a vital peripheral for navigating your operating system, most IDEs and editors can and do work almost exclusively with a keyboard. Constantly switching between your mouse and keyboard can interrupt your flow, and usually means you’re browsing away from your IDE. Moreover, spending hundreds of hours coding and using a mouse for minute movements can hurt your wrist.

Instead, create keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys that remove the need to constantly shift your hands around. AutoHotKey, and other scripting languages like it can make it easier for you to automate actions into single hotkeys and key combinations. This can include anything from keystrokes to mouse clicks, menu selections and more.

desktop-project-coding

5. Keep your projects in separate desktops

One of the biggest productivity roadblocks for developers is the number of screens, windows, editor tabs and other clutter they have open simultaneously on their desktops. It’s not uncommon to work on several projects at once while having a browser with multiple research tabs active, as well as messaging or project management tools open simultaneously. This makes it harder to find the right window, information and application and causes a lack of organisation and method.

Separating your projects, research and other uses of your time into separate virtual desktops can help you keep organised and streamline your productivity. You can better focus on the specifics of the task at hand. Most operating systems already have this option available. They include Windows 10, Mac OS X, and Linux – the three most popular operating systems for developers. You can even add to this concept by incorporating multiple physical displays to help you keep better track of the information you need while you work.

6. Build a code base and update it

The more you code and learn different languages, the harder it becomes to keep your knowledge fresh and easily accessible. It’s easy to forget small shortcuts and useful functions you’ve created in the past, and frustrating to spend hours trying to recreate code from scratch. Moreover, knowing useful functions can improve your productivity down the line by reducing the time you spend on smaller tasks.

Get into the habit of building a code base full of past programs; distinctive tools in the languages you use, including widgets and snippets; and functions that you can implement in a number of applications. You can use Git or Github repositories, or even keep things in programs like Evernote, which offers a code snippet feature.

7. Be conscious of your physical needs

The biggest mistake developers make is to think that working around the clock will improve productivity. It’s common to eat poorly, skip exercise and short yourself on adequate sleep while working, all of which is incredibly detrimental to your productivity and overall health. Instead, focus on doing things that improve your health and well-being, and you will notice a significant improvement in your work.

It’s so important to get a good amount of proper sleep, eat nutritious and good meals instead of snacking and be mindful of how much you’re working every day. More importantly, focusing on time away from your screen has the added benefit of helping “reboot” your mind by letting you focus on other things.

Find a balance between your work hours and time off, and make sure to keep your body and mind fit to ensure that you’re motivated, rested and productive.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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