A Publication of WTVP

10 Books Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Must Read
So you wanna be an entrepreneur, do ya? Remember that entrepreneurship is a mindset, and it’s not for everyone. Do you have more good ideas than you know what to do with? Are you amenable to risk? Do you think and act differently when challenges arise? If so, you may be a natural entrepreneur. So how many books on this list have you read?

Jab, Jab, Jab by Gary Vaynerchuck. The social media expert shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition—a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really work. “Great marketing is all about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling.”

Socialnomics by Erik Qualman. An essential book for anyone who wants to understand the implications of social media on our daily lives and how businesses can tap the power of social media to increase sales, cut marketing costs and reach consumers directly. “We no longer search for news; rather, the news finds us.”

Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier. Learn why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. “Unless you are a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy.”

Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson. “Oh, screw it, let’s do it.” That’s the philosophy that has allowed Richard Branson to spawn so many successful ventures. This is the unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time. “It is only by being bold that you get anywhere.”

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. This exclusive biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation. “I think Henry Ford once said, ‘If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, “A faster horse!”’ People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research.”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This classic story teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens along life’s path, and above all, following our dreams. “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner. This book show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. “Morality, it could be argued, represents the way people would like the world to work—whereas economics represents how it actually does work.”

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. This book takes the fear and anxiety out of managing the future and shows you a simple way to successfully deal with changing times. “What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.”

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. Anderson’s first article about the “long tail” has become one of the most influential business essays of our time. In this book, he takes a closer look at the new economics of the Internet age, exploring the huge opportunities that exist. “For a generation of customers used to doing their buying research via search engine, a company’s brand is not what the company says it is, but what Google says it is.”

Good to Great by Jim Collins. Widely regarded as a modern classic of management theory, this book addresses one single question: Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how? “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”



Make It Your Own
If you want to make it in the business world, establish a routine. Routines can have a huge impact on health, happiness and productivity; many of the greats owe part of their success to sticking to schedules. Winston Churchill preferred to stay in bed until 11am, reading his mail and newspapers and dictating correspondence to secretaries. Despite a busy schedule as prime minister, he managed to stick to his routine most days. Meanwhile, Ben Franklin started every day asking, “What good shall I do this day?” and at night, “What good have I done today?” Of course, Franklin also favored sitting in the nude for an hour before starting his day… but every man for himself!

Finding what works for you is the key to success, explains Belle Beth Cooper in “The Daily Routines of 7 Famous Entrepreneurs and How to Design your Own Master Routine.” “Understanding how you live right now can help you to work towards how you want to live,” she writes. Here are six tips for creating your own routine:

  1. Eat a good breakfast. Consciously setting aside the time to prepare and eat breakfast can be the first step toward maintaining a solid morning routine. Always running late? Take charge of the clock by preparing breakfast the night before.
  2. Save creative work for when you’re tired. There’s nothing worse than sitting in on a big meeting and fighting the urge to nod off. People are at their best at different times of the day, so find out what works for you and plan accordingly.
  3. Set an alarm to wake up… and one to go to sleep. Setting an alarm to remind yourself to go to bed can help you stick to a daily sleep routine and make for a more productive tomorrow.
  4. Try “zero notifications.” For the best night’s sleep, turn off your phone, shut your computer down, and turn your alarm clock away from your bed. If you read before bed, avoid work-related books that could cause you to re-engage.
  5. Keep your routine on weekends. We all get the urge to sleep in on weekends, but maintaining your morning routine stabilizes your sleep cycle and allows you to get more out of your day. You need not wake up at 6am on Saturdays, but avoid sleeping until noon.
  6. Track your habits. To know what’s best for you, know yourself. Stay in tune with your body and its limits. If you feel best at 9am, schedule your important meetings then. If you’re more productive at night, sleep in and save your tasks for after dinner. The sooner you understand your body’s timer, the shorter your road to efficiency. iBi




What’s in a City?
The research firm Endeavor Insight recently conducted surveys of more than 150 entrepreneurs of fast-growing American firms in order to better understand what they need from their cities. The report, What Do the Best Entrepreneurs Want in a City?, highlights some of the principal lessons learned:

Entrepreneurs typically decide where to live based on personal connections and quality-of-life factors years before they start their firms. The survey found that 80 percent of entrepreneurs lived in their city for at least two years before founding their company. The most common reason for launching their business in a specific city was that it was where they lived at the time.

Entrepreneurs value a pool of talented employees more than any other business-related resource cities can offer. Thirty-one percent of company founders stated that proximity to talent played a huge role in locating their company. One in five entrepreneurs mentioned the availability of technically-skilled employees as important.

Entrepreneurs cite access to customers and suppliers as the second most valuable business-related resource cities can provide. One in five entrepreneurs cited “access to clients and suppliers” as a deciding factor in where to launch their company. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed listed geographic factors, such as proximity to other large population centers, as a deciding factor in determining location.

Entrepreneurs rarely cite low tax rates or business-friendly regulations as reasons for starting businesses in a specific city. Only five percent of entrepreneurs cited low tax rates as a factor when deciding where to start their company. Business-friendly relations or policies were only mentioned by two percent of respondents. 

For the full report, visit


Paid & Unpaid…
Among 2013 graduates who applied for jobs, those who had paid internships held a distinct advantage over their peers with unpaid internships or no internships at all. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 63.1 percent of paid interns received at least one job offer, while just 37 percent of unpaid interns received an offer—not much better than the results for those with no internship—35.2 percent. When it comes to salaries, paid interns also did much better. The median starting salary for new grads with paid internship experience was $51,930—far more than those with an unpaid internship ($35,721) or no internship ($37,087).

States of Business
The number of U.S. businesses owned by women of color has increased rapidly since 1997, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN. Over the last 17 years, that number has more than doubled to an estimated 2,934,500, accounting for 32 percent of women-owned firms. The states with the fastest growth in the number of African-American women-owned firms were Georgia (up 430%), Texas (up 376%) and Illinois (up 320%). In Illinois, the number of African-American women-owned firms was 83,800—up from 19,951 in 1997—while sales more than doubled from $1,229,224 to $2,506,200.

To the Stars, We Return

For our beloved sky watchers, a Houston-based company offers memorial spaceflights to help families honor the memory of their loved ones. Celestis, Inc. has a history of leadership in the sector, offering the first-ever private launch into outer space in 1982, the first private, post-cremation memorial spaceflight in 1997, and the first lunar burial in 1999. With packages starting at $995, your loved one will be part of a real space mission, riding alongside a commercial or scientific satellite. For more information, visit iBi