Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? – Seth Godin
There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there’s a third team, the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.
Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn’t reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back.
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Tony Hsieh
* Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit
* Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department
* Focus on company culture as the #1 priority
* Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business
* Help employees grow-both personally and professionally
* Seek to change the world
*Oh, and make money too . . .
Sound crazy? It’s all standard operating procedure at Zappos, the online retailer that’s doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. After debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer in Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list in 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.
In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, DELIVERING HAPPINESS shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.
Rework – Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.
Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.
What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You’ll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.
With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of “downsizing,” and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.
Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke – Scott Gerber
A twenty-something hustler, rainmaker, and bootstrapper who has survived and thrived despite never having held the proverbial “real” job, Scott Gerber is the ultimate “Generation Y-er.” He’s a self-taught serial entrepreneur who built several successful businesses without storied business connections, a business school background, executive training—or investment dollars. And in Never Get a “Real” Job, he shows you how he succeeded so you can overcome today’s chronic conditions of mass unemployment, underemployment, and dead-end 9-to-5s.
Gerber gives you the no-bull reality on turning your business idea into a viable enterprise capable ofgenerating real income now—based on his hard-knocks lessons learned in the entrepreneurial trenches. From the perils of doing too much too fast, to bogging down a promising start-up with infrastructure long before it’s needed, Gerber has experienced firsthand how you can sabotage your own business. Never Get a “Real” Job will help you avoid the costly mistakes that can take down your enterprise at any time, helping you to get off the ground, establish your business, and keep it successfully up and running.
But Gerber isn’t just giving you a collection of war stories. He gives you insights from a fellow young entrepreneur on how to start from absolutely nothing—building a viable business model from the ground up. Along with straight-shooting advice on creating contacts and cultivating clients, he offers practical, affordable, step-by-step instructions on how to constantly analyze, refine, and target your business offerings—while minimizing wasted time and keeping you on track.
Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business – David Siteman Garland
If you’re interested in building, marketing, and promoting your business with agility and grace, not sloth and dullness, get Smarter, Faster, Cheaper. This one-stop guide to the new entrepreneurial landscape—minus the “same old, same old” baggage that drags so many down—gives you real-world examples (as opposed to fluffy theory) from unique, winning innovators, inspiring you to think big and then take successful action.
In Smarter, Faster, Cheaper, you’ll meet a slew of already legendary new entrepreneurs and promoters, such as “Nametag Guy” Scott Ginsberg, Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger, Wine Library founder Gary Vaynerchuk, bestselling author and Squidoo founder Seth Godin, and many, many more. As you learn from their successes and failures, as well as those of author and entrepreneur David Siteman Garland, you’ll discover fresh and exciting approaches to:
- Becoming a trusted resource
- Building your audience and community
- Helping others while helping your business
- Using your content as a handshake
- Creating and growing one-on-one relationships with your customers
- Communicating effectively online and via social media
- Avoiding “selling” by educating, inspiring, and entertaining instead
- And more!