Entrepreurship Curriculum for College Dropouts: Top 10 Books to Read

After I left college, I had to get entrepreneurship training the hard way…reading books!

I thought that if I read enough information on entrepreneurship, written by people that are successful in business, then I could mimic some of their ideas and paths, and I could save myself the money and time it would take me to go back to college and finish my entrepreneurship development.

These books in my case are what have made me what I am today. One fine gentleman told me one day, “Wilson, the only difference from you today and in five years are the books you read and the people you associate yourself with.” I took his advice to the heart about the book part, and slowly I’m starting to associate with great people.

Here’s the collection of books that I’ve read that can help you save some money in your entrepreneurial education.

Top Ten Books for any College Dropout or Aspiring Entrepreneur:

  • Rework – This book, if you’re just getting started with your business or thinking about starting a business, is a great book. It’s short, to the point, and easy to read. Jason and David are rebels to the old school way of doing business and they challenge how things were always “SUPPOSED” to be done in the small business world. I think that’s what I like mostly about this book. These are just some of their chapter titles:
    “Learning from mistakes is overrated”
    – “Learning from failure is overrated”
    – “Planning is Guessing”
    – “What’s your problem?”
    – “Fund yourself”
  • The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – I would say the main takeaway for me in this book was that he explains what the simple steps to survive and thrive in business are. Why most businesses fail and how to prevent it from happening. The title pretty much says it all. I read it because it was recommended to me by a good amount of successful entrepreneurs.
  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything – I think as you start growing in your business career this book comes down the road, because it really explains the more complicated parts of business. Like how to deal with VC (venture capitalists); he really has a humorous way to explain the process of starting a business. If you’re just getting started or already have a business this book is beneficial. If you’re thinking that starting a business is hard, and it is, this book could make the process a little easier.
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Even though this book has not yet come out, I got two of them for my blog in advance. I read it in a week, because after reading a couple of pages I wanted to encode in my brain as much info as possible. You won’t read any other business book like it, and I can’t say I’ve ever had so much fun reading a book. Zappos’ core value of delivering happiness is directly expressed in the book. From raising earthworms and having garage sales and lemonade stands, Tony Hsieh takes you on a journey of his life and businesses. This is a hard-to-put-down book. Tony has really made an impact on me through this book and I bet it will in the entire world too.
  • Think and Grow Rich – Even though this book was published a little over 7 decades ago, the wisdom is still applicable to this day. Building a positive mental attitude, developing a definite purpose, channeling the power of the sub-conscious mind and dealing with adversity are just some of the concepts from this book that have helped me think and grow like the rich do. Most of the books that I’ve read relate in some way back to Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – My blog has been mainly inspired by this book. I was once the kind of person that had the many assumptions that many still have (retire when I am old enough, and live the rest of your life). I now see there are other options, and using the Internet to achieve your ideal lifestyle is something that is achievable. Thanks to Tim, I now see the 9 to 5 as the worst system ever created in life. I really love this book.
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Start-ups’ Early Days (Recipes: a Problem-Solution Ap) – If I ever want to go back and get into the brains of the people that have started some of the biggest companies over the last 30 years, I go back and read some of these success stories. What I liked about this book is that it really goes down the nitty gritty of what it took to get these companies of the ground from the start. Thanks, Jessica, for this great book. If you’re a new, old or wanna-be entrepreneur this is like a MUST-READ book.
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – For organizing your life, there really is no better book out there. When your running a business or starting a business life can get pretty unorganized and this book helps you work that out. I found the steps easier to handle than most books related to GTD.

Yaro Starak is Giving Away Entrepreneur Trading Cards

So just like a few moments ago I was reading some blogs and I ran into one of my favorite entrepreneurs online, Yaro Starak. It’s funny because I guess Evan Carmichael an entrepreneur from Toronto has just created these entrepreneur trading cards. Which I think is an awesome idea.

I remember when I was I little kid back in Cali, Colombia we used to collect these super campeones (super champions) and Los Cabelleros del Zodiaco (Gentlemen of the Zodiac) trading cards and also Futbol trading cards.

For entrepreneurs that are so passionate about business this will be a great way to connect with others and even kids that like business can connect with other kids that dream of being like all these new young entrepreneurs in the world. They’ll might even want to be on the cover of one of these days.

Anyway check out Yaro’s Entrepreneur Heroes Trading Cards post and Evan Carmichaels blog on motivation and strategies for the entrepreneur. Both guys have some awesome content. I actually just found Evan through Yaro…Thanks Yaro!!

The best thing is that the cards are for a good cause…

One Billion Pesos of Wisdom for the Week

Here is what you missed out this week put together…Read them and you might just becoming a billionaire…but in Pesos! Sorry. Not in dollars.

If you have interesting posts that you want to share, please do in the comments section.

Do You Have The Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur?

Recently I started reading one of my favorite entrepreneurs of our time…Guy Kawasaki’s book Reality Check. I’ll be honest, I’ve read only through the introduction and the first chapter, which is only four pages long. Big woop! Right?

Well, I have to say that those four pages hit home hard. I think anyone that is an aspiring entrepreneur should go get this book now. Yea I know I just read one chapter and I am telling you to go get it. You don’t have to. But I am just saying.

The first two quotes from Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs are powerful. Listen…

“All the best things I did at Apple came from (a) not having money, and (b) not having done it before, ever.”

That’s Wozniak…

Who is there or been there? I know I am right now. I have no money and have not done anything of what I am doing right now.

Here’s Steve Jobs…

So we went to Atari and said, “Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.” And they said,“No.” So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, “Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t gone through college yet.”

Wow yea who has been told this yet? I have, especially the whole college schpeel.

Why did these two young entrepreneurs become who they are today? What are the qualities that they posess? I see myself in their position and when I hear these stories I get excited to know that really to become a successful entrepreneur, it takes certain skills. But I wonder what they are.

If you look up Qualities of an entrepreneur on Google this is the what you find…

  • 7 Key Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur
  • Seven Key Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs
  • 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs …
  • Top 10 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs
  • 9 Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

And another collection of seems-to-me-as-too-much fluff. Don’t judge me, it’s just my personal opinion. From what I’ve read on just four pages of Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition (affiliate link) I find that it’s just 10 qualities that we must have to really come out and become heroes as some of the great companies that you can read about in Founders at work…another excellent book that entrepreneurs should read.

So by now if you’re still with me, you’re asking yourself what the heck are these 10 qualities? I am not going to tell you. Go get the book for yourself. Did you think it would be that easy? No way!

I am just messing with you. Guy Kawasaki says that “instead of pursuing professional entrepreneurs, we should figure out how and why ordinary people can do heroic things. You can read more on that here“.

But he also gives us another five qualities that these entrepreneurs exhibit that qualifies them as entrepreneurs. And if any of us can achieve them, then you know the rest.

1. Watching for Opportunities
2. Willing to compete with the Status Quo
3. Imagining that there is a better way
4. Refusing to settle for the Status Quo
5. Building a product or service based on the hope that people will love it.

Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition

@Zappos They are Delivering Happiness to Everyone

So far, reading Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose has been nothing of what I expected to read. And I mean that in a good way. I thought I was going to be reading some generic business/entrepreneurial book. I tell you this, if you’re an entrepreneur or you have been considering becoming one and you want to know what it takes to build a successful business (worth 1 billion), you’ll like it a ton.

As the book begins, he takes you through his first entrepreneurial journeys as a kid, where he believed he was going to build the most successful worm farm, and other funny stories about business as a kid. I really like it because you find out a lot about him. The first part of the book is very human and personal.

Then it takes you through his ups and downs when he was helping build Zappos. Everything from how they were so close to going out of business to turning it into the most successful shoe store online with their main focus on Customer Service and the Culture.

Here are some of the best parts of the book for me…

“I think that’s when I learned that, even in school, it sometimes pays to take risks and think outside the box”

Where he compares poker to business was a pretty cool part, how he found the similarities of both.

“Sometimes it may seem that new problems crop up as fast as we solve
the old ones (sometimes faster!), but that just means we’re moving —
that we’re getting better and stronger. Anyone that wants to compete
with us has to learn the same things, so problems are just mile
markers.”

and all the crazy stories about Zappos customers and employees I really enjoyed this book.

Want a free advance copy?

I actually got two books on the mail last week, one for me and another one to share with my readers. So if you’re interested in winning one I will be giving one away to some lucky winner.

What do I have to do?

Just share this post with anyone you want. Tweet it! Stumbleupon it! Share it on Facebook…anything but share it; just make sure you leave a comment and a link to where you shared it. Don’t forget to subscribe for my newsletter or RSS feed great things to come on my tiny blog.