It’s 2019, start of a new year, and you are either:
- running your business and it’s going great
- running your business and it’s going not so great
- not running your business because you’re starting to think you don’t know what you’re doing
No matter which category you fall under, these reads will offer you the advice, understanding, and direction you didn’t even know you needed for your food and beverage company.
And while we all love How To Win Friends and Influence People as a tried and true classic (shout-out to Dale Carnegie for keeping the cash flowing 60+ years after his death!) maybe you’re struggling with something a bit more specific and could use some guidance from someone who’s seen a thing or two in the 21st century.
But which books are best for what you need?
Best for Setting Clear, Concrete Goals:
Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr
John Doerr, a venture capitalist legend with a net worth of more than $7 billion, has worked with pioneers like Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, and Eric Schmidt, just to name a few. In Measure What Matters, Doer shows us what made those folks so successful: the power of OKRs: Objectives and Key Results, a groundbreaking approach to setting and achieving your goals. Doerr shares a broad range of behind-the-scenes case studies from Bono to Bill Gates. Co-Founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman says, “Whether you’re a seasoned CEO or a first-time entrepreneur, you’ll find valuable lessons, tools, and inspiration in the pages of Measure What Matters.”
Best for Navigating Social Media:
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk
Four-time New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk offers inspiring and practical advice on how to become a successful brand on social channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms like Musical.ly. Drawing on experiences from dozens of major influencers, Vaynerchuk teaches that having a distinct, innovative, lively brand is the key to entrepreneurial success. Instagram-favorite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says, “Gary is a masterful entrepreneur with a gift for communication that cuts through all the bull*** that can often hinder one’s success…Be willing to put in the hard work. And always be grateful. Crushing It! is a must-have for all individuals who want to be the best at what they do.”
Best for Turning Good Deeds into Good Business:
High-Hanging Fruit: Build Something Great by Going Where No One Else Will by Mark Rampolla
Nowadays, it’s everyone’s business model to find waste products that are being underutilized and, well, use them – but it wasn’t always this way. ZICO Coconut Water founder Mark Rampolla discovered that sweet spot where being profitable and changing the world. While he lived in Central America, Rampolla drank coconut water with the locals, even though Americans treated it mostly as a waste product. He teaches the methods he used to not only grow his business, but also how to promote a healthy beverage alternative for customers and generate profit for developing-world growers and suppliers. John Mackey, cofounder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, says, “Mark Rampolla’s journey proves that you can found businesses that you’re passionate about, that help improve global problems, and that still make money. ZICO’s example should and will help guide a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs.”
Best for Running Your Company and Your Life:
Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart by Sheryl O’Loughlin
Sheryl O’Loughlin, former CEO of Clif Bar, Co-Founder of Plum, and current CEO of REBBL, offers insights into questions like:
- How do you prepare your significant other for your business venture?
- How do you time launching and growing your business with the ebb and flow of family life?
- How do you find joy in the day-to-day?
- How do you maintain meaningful, supportive friendships?
- How do you walk away and start again?
Armed with her experience launching and building companies from the ground up, O’Loughlin shares lessons learned to help entrepreneurs achieve success in business by protecting their self-worth and well-being. As Betsy Holden, former CEO of Kraft Foods says, “Sheryl’s deeply personal account provides authentic insight into not only the much-lauded upsides of entrepreneurship, but also the considerable toll it can take on one’s relationships and well-being.”
Best for Combatting Perfectionism + Getting It Done:
The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth by Eric Ries
In 2011, successful entrepreneur Eric Ries published The Lean Startup (also definitely worth the read!) which introduced the concept of “validated learning” to test your product (and your vision) and measure its success before you even launch. Ries’ new book elaborates on just how applicable his lean startup methodology is by taking on case studies of Fortune 500 brands like GE and Toyota, and tech companies like Airbnb and Amazon. Think of this as a more updated version of The Lean Startup, with fresh examples of how his entrepreneurial management techniques can be used to stimulate innovation and lower costs in this new age of opportunity. Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE, says, “I have witnessed firsthand how Eric Ries weaves the impact of lean start up methods with speed and scale into a big company. The Startup Way is an indispensable resource for companies, big and small, looking for faster, more sustainable ways to grow.”
Best for Women Entrepreneurs:
Million Dollar Women by Julia Pimsleur
It’s been a while since the publication of The Feminine Mystique. Successful entrepreneur and CEO Julia Pimsleur cites that over the last twenty years in the U.S., women have started nearly twice as many businesses as men, but only three percent of all women business owners ever make revenues of one million dollars or more. Her current ambition is to help one million female entrepreneurs achieve $1 million in revenue by 2020. How will she do that? “Building your million dollar business often requires finding, convincing and working with outside investors. And those angels and venture capitalists are mostly all men. Million Dollar Women provides the map, compass and inspiration to enable female entrepreneurs to enter that world and emerge victorious!” says Adam Quinton, CEO of Lucas Point Ventures.