How I Built This by Guy Raz
How I Built This by Guy Raz

The only book you need to read if you own a business or dream of starting a business.

Guy Raz has interviewed hundreds of brilliant and successful CEOs, serial entrepreneurs, and silicon valley giants on his podcast “How I Built This”. This book (of the same name) is a condensed and distilled version of the pearls of wisdom gathered from all those interviews. Consider it a crash course on entrepreneurship or a startup Bootcamp in a book.

Whether you are still looking for a startup idea to call your own or looking to scale up your business or hunting for funding, this book will give you amazing ideas to accomplish all of them.

One of my school teachers used to say every student should possess an Oxford English Dictionary. In a similar vein, anyone who wants to succeed in business for their side hustle should have this book in their personal library. Even if you work in a company, the ideas in this book will help you take better ownership of your tasks and become an intrapreneur innovator!

This is a book you want to savor, read, refer, and re-read.

Running a business comes with many highs and lows. This book will keep you motivated throughout that roller coaster ride. Many entrepreneurs and freelancers find themselves lonely and unable to discuss their stressors with friends or family. Consider this book your escape hatch and therapist!

Unlike other books, which propagate various kinds of hustle “porn”, a single-method playbook that rarely works for anyone, this book has meaningful and practical techniques that can be applied by everyday hustlers trying to keep their idea afloat. The book presents multiple pathways to business success – like an entrepreneurial buffet. As the subtitle says, this book will present the reader with multiple paths to success. So choose your journey and launch yourself to success.

Last but not the least, shout out and thanks to Technical.ly and Philly Tech week for bringing in Guy to be the main speaker at the recent “Introduced” conference. Thanks to Guy Raz himself for giving away signed copies to the attendees of the conference!🙂

In summation, brilliant book! 5* rating.

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Reading Lists 2021
Best Books to Read in 2021

Happy New Year! Looking to crush your reading goals in 2021? Well, here are some amazing books that will make you healthy, wealthy and wise!

For easy selection, these book lists are segmented into broad themes like personal development, marketing, etc. Last year’s reading list is very much relevant although I have added a new theme this year “Money”.

New Books not on the previous lists:

#1. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. [Personal Development]

#2. Think like a Rocket scientist. [Personal Development]

#3. 12 months to 1Million Dollar [Money]

#4. Think and Grow Rich [Money]

#5. How I Built This. [Personal Development]

#6. Hype Yourself. [Marketing]

#7. Invested [Money]

#8. Hooked [Marketing & Entrepreneurship]

Top 25 Books:

Here is the list from 2020 – http://greatnewreads.com/top-25-books-2020/.

For Writers:

If you are an author, you should definitely look up these books on writing and author promotion. https://medium.com/self-publish-world/best-books-on-marketing-for-indie-authors-810b3ff09fc3

Books on Leadership:

  • Books for Young Professionals – Link here.
  • Executive Leadership and Management – Link here.

Creativity and Innovation 

Want to add more creativity to your life or spark innovation in your team? Use ideas from these brilliant books.

Reading Habits:

Want to speed up your reading, content retention or just want to find more time to read more? These links will help.

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Imagination and creativity for writers

As the year comes to an end, ponder what you want to do in 2021. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that life is unpredictable and we cannot wait for a perfect moment to live our dreams!

As a budding writer, author or content creator, what stories are you deferring for later?

Don’t wait anymore!

Be Bold! Put your writing for all to see!

Commit to your writing dreams for 2021 and use this last month to plan how you are going to achieve it. At worst, you will fail which means the status quo (from today) remains unchanged. At best, you will do a spectacular job and live your dreams!

If you still need motivation, here is a screenshot from Gumroad where hundreds and thousands of indie creators have made astonishing sales! Achieving even 0.01% of this success translates to $100; wouldn’t that be delightful?

Plus, this is just one site. You could publish on Amazon or Google Play or host a course on Udemy and Teachable. The possibilities are limitless!

Gumroad sales

For me, I have been writing sporadically in 2020 despite my professional and personal commitments. For 2021 though I plan to be more regular and also publish 4 books that have been simmering inside me for years!

So, what will you achieve in 2021?

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leadership books for first time managers and young early career professionals
Leadership books – early career professionals

Leadership sounds really glamorous and exciting, but truth is most newly minted managers feel a little overwhelmed. Unfortunately, most companies give little or no training to first-time managers, leaving them to figure out everything on their own, from resolving employee conflicts to getting projects completed, budget handling, etc.

So how do you balance it all without coming off as an arrogant jerk or a complete ignoramus? Try these 2 books… They are not targeted specifically for young managers, but the pearls of wisdom provided are extremely valuable for such situations.

#1. Truth About Managing People

I was assigned this book by Stephen Robbins for my MBA class, and it is brilliant. Not sure why it is not more popular among corporate executives. However, if you are a time-crunched new leader, you will appreciate the bite-sized chapters on a variety of topics – hiring, employee feedback, negotiation, getting results, growing your team, etc.

I have a detailed review here, if you want to investigate further.

#2. Leadership Secrets from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

Honestly, you could pick any Robin Sharma and it would be fantastic. However, this one is really useful if you want to establish yourself as a respected leader while getting positive results (read profits) and meeting corporate KPIs. Without selling your soul, I might add.

This book is something to savor, so get a copy that you can refer periodically. The anecdotes and quotes are amazing. I’ve read this book dozens of times and it never fails to impress.

If you don’t have so much time or need a quick summary, just read the last chapter and the overview after each chapter.

Hope you found this useful. If you are interested in honing your leadership skills further, you may also want to peruse this other list of leadership books.

Until next time, Adieu!

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Books on Creativity & Innovation

Feeling stuck or devoid of inspiration? A problem irritating you to no end? Stuck with writer’s block?

Creative inspiration is an ideal answer to all these problems. In today’s knowledge economy, innovative ideas and creativity are the new currency for career acceleration. Also, as more jobs get automated, soft skills combined with innovative thinking is the only way to remain relevant and valuable in the marketplace.

Creativity & Innovation Thinking – the only way to save your job from being made obsolete by Automation!

So here is a list of 7 superb books that will turbocharge your thinking and sharpen your creativity muscles:

1. Alchemy. Author = Rory Sutherland.
2. Creativity Inc. Author = Ed Catmull.
3. Design Thinking. Author = Tim Brown.
4. 131 Boredom Busters & Creativity Builders for Kids. Author = Jed Jurchenko.
5. The Accidental Creative. Author = Todd Henry.
6. Creative Careers. Author = Jeffrey Madoff.
7. Tools of the Titans. Author = Tim Ferris. Review here

Some of these books also feature on my list of Top 25 books to read this year. A modified version of this article was also posted on Medium.com under the title “Best Books on Creativity & Innovation

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