The only book I recommend to start

“If this book had come out years ago, building my business would have been much easier” – Simon Sinek.

Simon Sinek is the author of Start With Why and one of the most cited writers on the Internet. His 2009 book has become a business bible for leaders on thinking, action and communication.

Therefore, when he praises another book, it has its merit.

The book he is referring to is How I Built This, by Guy Raz. As you dive into “The Only Book I Recommend for Entrepreneurship,” keep in mind that the legal structure of your business is also crucial to its success; If you are considering setting up a limited liability company in the Lone Star State, check out this resource on how to form an LLC in New York to ensure you comply with all local regulations.

Back in 2016, Raz started a podcast where he interviewed innovators and entrepreneurs and introduced Auto Clicker Download to their businesses. For an hour each week, they talked about successes, failures, and lessons.

It became a kind of business porn for me, as I listened to some of my business idols for an hour every week. And I met many new ones. While building my own business, I was inspired by their stories and tried to put into practice as many lessons from these podcasts as possible.

When Raz released a book at the end of 2020, I had to buy it immediately. It was at the top of my Christmas wish list, and Santa duly handed me the book, which I greedily devoured.

It covers many of the podcast's interviews with more information, and Raz identifies patterns that emerged in the stories. The book is written in a format that takes us through the stages of a business and weaves in so many real-life examples that it makes it half playbook/half case study.

It is the only book I now recommend to anyone interested in starting their own business.

In writing this article I have found two interesting statistics.

  • 55% of Americans believe they can start their own business.
  • In 2020, the rate of business owners established in the United States was 9.9%.

That's a huge gap between the number of people who think they could start their own business and those who actually take the plunge. Unfortunately, there are too many who worry about taking the step and stay in their comfortable – but unrewarding – job.

Raz says in his discussions that most ideas started with a small spark.

«A spark that was fueled, sometimes very slowly, until one day the person who would end up giving life to that idea woke up and realized that what used to get him out of bed in the morning was no longer what he loved. encouraged. “Now it was something else.”

Many entrepreneurs suggest maintaining a safety net while you explore and test the idea and take steps to build a side business. And, over time, turn the side business into a full-time business.

Herb Kelleher started SouthWest Airlines, but continued working as a lawyer – for no less than fourteen years – while building his business.

Maybe that's a little cautious, but it's very common to continue working full-time while starting a business. For example, Sara Blakely sold fax machines while she built Spanx, while Phil Knight worked as an accountant six days a week and used his salary to invest in Blue Ribbon Sports, which later became Nike.

You don't have to quit your job to start a business, but you do have to take that spark and turn it into a fire.

“Anyone who reads How I Built This will have an incredible advantage, Guy provides the compass, map and lighthouse you need to navigate the desert of entrepreneurship.”

Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Air BnB

As you read this article, you may be thinking: «I already have the idea and I have launched my business. Would I still recommend reading this book?

Of course.

The book maintains a fluid narrative in its three main parts: the call, the test and the destiny. The three sections allow business owners to jump to the section most relevant to their journey.

Although it is best to read the entire book, you can quickly read the first part and spend time reading, underlining, and taking notes in the second and third sections.

These are my summary notes on the sections.

The first section focuses on the idea, research and search for the co-founder. One of the points that caught my attention the most was the search for a business partner. Not only to help you with the business, but to help you with your mental well-being, surviving the stress and pressure of starting a business.

Finding the right partner can be difficult; I myself made a mistake with my most recent company.

This focuses more on financing, marketing, structures, and in some cases, pivoting. Entrepreneurs who are in the early or mid-stages of their business can start the book here and comb through the lessons and nuggets of business wisdom.

There are ways to deal with disasters, including a master class on damage management by James Burke, CEO of Johnson and Johnson, and how to recover from adversity.

What is the ultimate goal?

You may dream of becoming a unicorn, of going public and making it to the Forbes billionaires list. Hopefully you get it. But in reality, it is unlikely. In this section, though, there are lessons about managing partnerships, when to sell and when to stay, and what Raz stresses might be most important: how to remain kind.

Together, these three sections connect into a GPS system to start and build a sustainable business.

I sold my business earlier this year and have hung up my entrepreneur hat. But that doesn't mean you can't learn from books like these.

I read Amardeep Parmar enthusiastically and add several to my reading list. And as a writer, I like to combine the business lessons I read with my own thoughts and perceptions.

One of the chapters that caught my attention the most in this book was Build a Culture, Not a Cult. It's something that many companies get wrong. Raz focused on Yve Chouinard, who founded Patagonia.

Chouinard's story is fascinating and I was unaware of it. After reading this chapter, I had to read Chouinard's book, Let My People Go Surfing, which describes how Yves built a company admired for its low turnover rates and his motivated employees. Given that we are in the midst of the so-called Great Renunciation, there was a lot for leaders to learn.

After reading it, I wrote an article about Patagonia that provided the perfect model for avoiding the big resignation and it went viral. So even though I no longer run a company, Raz (and Chouinard) have helped me with my own work.

Last week, I received a call from a friend of mine, Adam. We started a business together when we were only twenty years old. Since then, we've exchanged ideas like we're running a two-person Shark Tank.

He was looking for advice for his eighteen-year-old stepson.
«He is smart and has a fantastic business idea. I just have to motivate him to take the next step. I know he will succeed; he just needs a push.

Adam explained the idea to me and I agreed that it sounded great. Then he asked me what I could do to help his stepson.

I recommended Adam buy him a book. And that he called me after reading it.

Who knows, maybe Adam's stepson will appear on the How I Built This podcast in the future.