Countless innovators before you have faced down challenges of their own, and hearing their stories is a great way to start forming your own.
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Good entrepreneurs need to have courage to thrive, but courage is becoming increasingly difficult to come by. Between a global recession and an accelerating pandemic, the deck can seem more stacked against you than ever.
There’s no easy way to overcome your fears as an entrepreneur, but reading is one of the best places to start. Countless innovators before you have faced down challenges of their own, and hearing their stories is a great way to start forming your own. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Create and Orchestrate: The Path to Claiming Your Creative Power from an Unlikely Entrepreneur by Marcus Whitney
If Marcus Whitney can go from a college dropout without a place to call home to one of Nashville’s most exciting entrepreneurs in just two decades, there’s nothing stopping you from forging a path entirely your own. Create and Orchestrate tells Whitney’s incredible story and offers some of his invaluable insights, ensuring that everyone who reads it walks away with a deeper understanding of how to make their dreams a reality.
2. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
As a businessperson, being risk-averse can seem like an asset. Daring Greatly not only proves this wrong, but it also shows how leaning into your vulnerabilities can make you a greater entrepreneur along the way. Brené Brown’s research has shown the power that vulnerability can have in a professional environment, and this book can help you see how to turn your anxieties into assets.
Related: There Is No Success Without Risk
3. Fireproof: A Five-Step Model to Take Your Law Firm from Unpredictable to Wildly Profitable by Mike Morse with John Nachazel
Lawyers are intelligent, accomplished and highly educated, but few are trained in how to run an actual business. When Mike Morse decided to open his own law firm, he quickly learned that there’s much more to running a company than he had imagined. Fireproof is an account of everything Morse learned during his journey, a fantastic showcase of how taking that leap may not be easy, but the results are almost always worth it.
4. Invisible Marketing: A Hidden Tool for Connecting with Consumers through Licensing by Jeff Lotman
For business leaders, nothing is scarier than the idea of handing off the brand you’ve created to someone else, but Jeff Lotman shows in his new book that doing so might just be the secret to growth. Invisible Marketing is dedicated to exploring the art of brand licensing and how letting others spread word about your company can be as liberating as it is terrifying.
5. Breaking the Code: Five Steps to a Life-Changing Software Development Job by Bobby Davis Jr.
More people than ever are leaving their old sectors behind and starting anew in the world of tech. While doing so can offer the possibility of big returns down the line, it’s never easy to carve out a niche in a new market. Breaking the Code is Bobby Davis Jr.’s how-to guide for landing big professional opportunities once you’ve decided that tech is for you. Having the skills is one thing, but being able to do something with them is another, and this book ensures you’ll be able to break into your chosen market more easily.
6. Broken, Bankrupt, and Dying: How to Solve the Great American Healthcare Rip-off by Brad Spellberg
Healthcare is consistently a top issue for all Americans, yet no one can seem to agree on what the fix is. Brad Spellberg’s book is one of the most lucid and comprehensive looks yet at what’s gone wrong with our country’s healthcare and what our next steps should be. Broken, Bankrupt, and Dying is far from an easy read, but it’s a powerful marker of just how much courage it’s going to take to fix a system so dilapidated.
7. Don’t Be a Stranger: Create Your Own Luck in Business through Strategic Relationship Building by Lawrence R. Perkins
As frustrating as it can be, the old adage is as true as ever: In business, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Creating a powerful network is the first step to forging your own path in business, and Don’t Be a Stranger can help you know how. Lawrence R. Perkins has compressed a whole career’s worth of wisdom into a single book, and entrepreneurs looking to take the next step can’t afford to ignore it.
Entrepreneurs who are ready to make big leaps in their careers need to be fully prepared before they do so. Preparation is a key part of courage. Reading a few of these books may not guarantee success, but they’ll show you exactly what it looks like.