The Books You Should Read In Order To Enhance Yourself As An Entrepreneur


No matter what your age, the process of learning never ends. We, as humans, are always looking to enhance our skills in our specific fields. When it comes to books, we have compiled a list of the best ones that can help guide you in developing your skills. 

As we have entered the new decade, all of us want to make good use of this opportunity in order to enhance our careers. Therefore, we have gathered all the best books that were written in this past decade when it comes to the startup world. Whether its building products, management, content writing, or design; we have a book or two for you!  

These books have been written by talented individuals, whose guidance is going to help you go a long way. They are filled with knowledge that you can implement not only in your careers but also in your life. You will view your users and your products from a different perspective after reading these books. When reading these books, you will realize that you aren’t the only one who feels about your work a certain way, and other individuals are in similar boats. 

Take this moment to fully immerse yourself inside any of these topics, which attracts your attention and take lessons from individuals who have truly altered the way we think about strategy, how we write, design, and startups. 

You must be wondering who this list of books is directed towards. Well, these books are for entrepreneurs, managers, marketers, designers, writers, product developers, freelancers, CEOs, executives, and the ones who are looking for personal growth plus innovation.

How Can These Books Help?

If you are someone who is working on a tech product or close to one, then you are going to find this list very helpful. The list below showcases around twenty-five books; however do not get intimidated by that number. It should be noted that these books aren’t suppose to teach you each and every skill about becoming a one-person startup. These books are there to help you in understanding how all of these fields work and how they’re somehow connected to each other. Through these books, you will also learn how you can understand the challenges and the language of each field that is involved in making a product. Armed with the knowledge from these books, you will have the confidence you need in order to have a productive conversation with the professional people you work with, have to report to, or lead while creating a product. 

Furthermore, the more you educate yourself about the unfamiliar subjects, the more you are going to be aware regarding the challenges faced by other people in the related fields. Hopefully, with this additional knowledge, you will be able to create more successful and more sustainable products that are loved by the people who use them. 

In this article, we cover everything from product building to positioning and growth. Plus, you will also understand the design process, enhance your writing, get lessons in real-life startup, and learn how to successfully work with people. 

Great Books For Product Building

Any business owner can pen their thoughts about their business experiences. However, only a couple of selected books have made it into this list. These books are known to have truly altered the way we plan and then make the products. A few of them have presented new approaches, while others provide certain guidelines that have led to success. The authors from all of these books went on to become household names in this industry. Often times, they have drawn people to their conferences or have started a conversation on Twitter that was trending. If you haven’t read these books yet, then there’s no better time than the present! 

  • ‘Hacking Growth’ by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

This book is for founders and the members of the growth team and the marketing team. The best time to read this book is when you are having difficulties with growth or when your MVP is still in development.

Society sees changes every other day as time goes on, hence businesses need to change as well in order to remain relevant in the market. There aren’t any shortcuts for growth to take place. People often say to ‘keep hustling’, however, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Wasting your resources and people isn’t the right method for growth.

On the other hand, there are other methods out there that guarantee healthy growth. Once you are aware of your efforts, then you can use that to incorporate that effort in a direction that will give you the most ideal results. This is what this book will help you do. This book is not only for marketers or the people who are working in product innovation, but it’s also for all of the managers and designers who can affect the growth. Individuals who are searching for superior ways to adapt, see a growth in their company, and improve their customer base; this book will be extremely helpful for them. 

The writers wanted to write this book because they saw great potential for growth when it comes to all kinds of businesses. They believed that it was essential for people to understand the process and have a guide that contains the best practices with ways on how you can implement them. When it comes to market development, growth hacking is essentially a new approach that contains a lot of power. However, how one can use that to gain maximum benefit is still not understood well enough. 

  • ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries

This book is for founders or anyone who is working in a startup. The best time to read this book is when you have a product idea but are confused about how and where to start.

When it comes to trying to understand startups, this book is a classic. It was the best seller on Amazon for Lean Management. This was the first book that introduced the whole concept of lean management. It explained the products’ iterative development when it comes to lowering risks throughout the development cycles. To this day, everyone is following this method. Also, this book started the whole concept of MVPs, hence that’s why people have transferred from huge market research projects to a much smaller and pointed experiments that confirm or doesn’t confirm a hypothesis. 

In order to understand the failure of previous startups and learn from their mistakes, you need to read this book.  

  • ‘Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers’ by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

This book is for individuals who are looking to turn their idea into a successful business. The best time to read this book is before you start development or operations, and when you are still figuring out resourcing.

This book is co-written by almost 500 strategy practitioners, who utilized the ‘business model canvas.’ This book is known as the business planning template that is supposed to guide you when it comes to understanding the ideas you have and the development of your future startup.

Thanks to the exercises in this book, you become a lot more knowledgeable regarding your customers, the required infrastructure, and all of the financial possibilities. This book helps greatly in understanding a business’s moving parts, including the ones you probably aren’t aware of, plus how you can keep track of all of them. 

This guide is for individuals who want to take action and use a structured approach towards a business strategy. 

  • ‘The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company’ by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf

This book is for people who are venturing into the startup world and want an overview. The best time to read this book is when you start calling yourself an entrepreneur. 

This book is yet another great one when it comes to understanding how you can build your startup and also develop your product. You are given instructions for having a successful experience as an entrepreneur. So if you are looking to launch your startup on a digital platform or in the real world, you have all of the necessary steps that you need in order to start, presented to you in this book.  

There is no book out there, even this one, that provides all of the answers or a complete roadmap for the entrepreneurs. However, when studied together, the writing that’s present within the entrepreneurial management science library can provide guidance to the entrepreneurs, when there was none before. The startups that have been powered by potential markets were measured in more than a million of people, and they will use this knowledge in order to test, then refine, and scale all of their ideas much quicker and in a more affordable manner.

  • 5. ‘The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback’ by Dan Olsen

This book is for individuals whose teams have begun development or want to improve their product. Founders, designers, marketers, and product managers will find this book useful. This book can be read once you have introduced your MVP and have a bit of usage data. 

Since the lean startup principles started gaining popularity, there was also a need to have a detailed guide on how you can use them. The author showcased the lean product process’s main concepts and provided the techniques that were from real-life experiences when it came to building and optimizing the product. Questions, like what will better fit the market or how can you target your customers’ needs and what are they, are some of the questions that have been answered and explained in this book. 

Besides the Lean Product Process, this book covers a variety of other important topics. This book also explains in details the Agile development and UX design. Moreover, there is also a thorough coverage of analytics and how you can use metrics in order to optimize your product. 

  • 6. ‘Ruined by design’ by Mike Monteiro

This book is for designers or anyone else who is responsible for making decisions that directly affect the product. The book can be read at any time you want, particularly when you want to build your products with intent. 

This book made the bestseller list on Amazon and was awarded ‘Book of the Year’ by the UX Collective in 2019. This book challenges all the designers or anyone else who’s working on products and wants them to be aware of all of the product decisions that they are making. The author mentions that today’s products greatly affect each aspect of society and this is the time to leave the safe space where the employees have to live through the consequences that come from the decisions made by the designers. When designers do not know how to say ‘no’ or ask ‘why’, then the products they create can’t really fulfill all of the needs of their users or even protect them. 

So, whether you see this as an introspection or a call to arms into the type of world we are building, this book is going to guide you on being more aware regarding all of the product choices that you make. 

The aim of this book is to help the reader do the right thing in an environment that is designed to make the wrong thing look much easier. Either through fault or ignorance, action or inaction, the world has been designed in accordance to what it is behaving like right now. 

Great Books For Positioning And Growth

Do you still consider yourself a founder if you created a product that isn’t used by anybody? There are several founding teams that take stress when it comes to the development and production of their product, while paying little attention or using a small budget when it comes to their market strategy. For new startups, their end goal is often the creation of their product, however the end goal is actually making people purchase their product and use it. 

This is when positioning and growth should be taken into consideration. Being aware of your audience, their needs, where you can reach them, and how you can scale the customer acquisition channels is crucial when it comes to creating a sustainable business. 

Therefore, the next collection of books is meant to guide you on getting started. Through these books, you are able to learn from others’ experiences, including how you can smartly make use of positioning and growth.  

  • 1. ‘Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth’ by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

This book is for managers, founders, and marketers who want to gain traction. The best time to read this book is when you are just about to start planning for your market strategy. You can also go back to this book when the current growth plans of your business aren’t working. 

This book is filled with practically used advice that is based on actual businesses. Every new startup needs traction, which is the element that accelerates the growth of a company and takes it in the right direction. In order to get traction, the authors of this book presented the Bullseye framework which explains how one can recognize and approach the growth channels. The outside layer is all about understanding the possible channels that are for user acquisition. This usually happens during the brainstorming phase. The layer after that is known as the testing phase, where you select three channels with the greatest potential for the current resourcing and then positioning. Plus, also make a plan for all of their specific traits. The bullseye is the last layer, where you continue investing in channels that produced results until they stopped performing, as you add newer channels that can quicken your traction. 

  • 2. ‘Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models’ by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann

This book is for individuals who are just starting their careers or want to make improved decisions. This book can be read at any time. Whenever you have to make a new decision, you can come back to this book or study the examples given in it.

A founder who has the ability of assessing any type of situation and making the right decision on what to do next possesses a unique skill. Doing that becomes easier when one has the talent of working with mental models, which are defined ways when it comes to observing the world and also data. The authors of this book added their own uniqueness to the book and at the same time explained how you can basically upgrade your mind. This book contains fun illustrations and great graphs that hold the attention of the reader. It stands out when compared with other books that tackle these similar themes. Plus, even though you are just getting the introductory concepts that were the result of decade long researches in psychology, sociology, and economics, this book is still a great place to start when it comes to going down the research rabbit hole. 

People who have read the book wished that they received this knowledge years ago. Doesn’t matter where you’re in your life, this book is written and designed to help a person jump-start their thinking journey. 

  • 3. ‘Obviously Awesome’ by April Dunford

This book is for founders, managers, executives, and marketers. The best time to read this book is when you are still figuring out how to position yourself when compared with the competitors and how you can identify your target audience. 

If you want your business to stay unique in a crowded market, then you should position it correctly. When you achieve a correct position, everything seems to run a lot more smoothly and doesn’t take a lot of effort and time as before.

The author of this book brought years of experience plus useful tips when it comes to positioning and made it into a detailed guide. The customers of your business will understand your product after observing two different frameworks, one of them being ‘market categories’ and the second one being ‘trends.’ In order to become a well-positioned business and product, you need to put your solution in a market that greatly highlights your key features that makes your business different, and make people understand why all that is relevant at the moment. This book is the one for you if you are looking to study the art of positioning that has been turned into a strategy with actionable insights, which can be followed in order to achieve them.

  • 4. ‘Badass: Making Users Awesome’ by Kathy Sierra

This book is for founders, designers, product people, and marketers. The best time to read this book is when you are planning your ultimate market strategy, including your users’ onboarding plus activation. 

When you work on a product for a long time, it seems easier to allow it to occupy all the headspace and measure success depending on how well that product is performing. The author reminds us in this book that what actually matters is the users’ success. 

This book is not only interactive, it is also funny. When it comes to product design and development, the author presented a strategy that will help create successful users and not just products and services that are successful. Hence, you have to consider all of the environment’s elements in which the product is going to be placed. Moreover, you also need to pay attention to each of the steps that are required when it comes to understanding your users’ context. This book isn’t the standard marketing or business book, yet you will find an abundance of knowledge taken from a variety of disciplines. 

Great Books For Grasping The Design Process

Since the last ten years, designers have been working relentlessly and have changed people’ perception about them. Today they are known as important stakeholders that advocate for the user and focuses on how a product works. The books mentioned in this section will teach the readers how to comprehend the design process, what is beneath an interface design decision, how you can design for everyone, and also how you can negotiate plus relate with the clients.

  • 1. ‘Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days’ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Brad Kowitz

This book is for founders, designers, people who are managing teams, and marketers. The best time to read this book is when you want to learn how quickly hypotheses can be validated for newer features, newer product, or newer audiences.  

The best ideas come at the most unlikely places, whether it’s during a shower, in a coffee shop, or when waiting in a line. This is exactly what Jake Knapp noticed when he conducted brainstorming sessions during his workshops. Hence, the concept of design sprint was created. If you’re someone who enjoyed the use of lean methodology, then you most probably will also like working in sprints. No time is wasted in unnecessary meetings and ideas are stripped down to their simplest versions that are able to generate insights. Moreover, sprints are also great when it comes to staging informal interdisciplinary team buildings, since a tight deadline is known to bring people together to complete their work. There is step-by-step advice in this book on how you can organize a sprint, create deadlines, and also test ideas. 

  • 2. ‘Living in Information: Responsible Design for Digital Places’ by Jorge Arango

This book is for designers or anyone else who is responsible for making the decisions that affect their product. This book can be read at any time, particularly when you want to know the type of user data you will need or what you can do with it. 

The world is getting more and more digitalized as we speak. The way we shop, work, or even talk to others depends on the digital products that we are building. That is why the author presented the idea of ‘information environments’ and suggested connecting them to the physical environments. All of the people and designers that are involved in creating digital products and want to create a software that’s sustainable economically, socially, and ecologically can greatly benefit from this book. 

If you’re part of a digital product or service, or a member of the team that’s responsible for one, you are going to greatly benefit from understanding how you can design a much more sustainable information environment. Even if you are not a part of such system, you are still going to benefit from this book. Majority of your important decisions take place on a small rectangular screen. Therefore, it is only fitting that you understand how exactly does information environments affect your behavior. 

  • 3. ‘Accessibility for Everyone’ by Laura Kalbag

This book is for founders, marketers, designers, and anyone who is responsible for making decisions that will affect their product. The best time to read this book is when you realize that your product is being used by individuals with disabilities, whether it’s permanent or temporary. 

About 2.2 billion people in the world have vision impairment or are blind, according to the World Health Organization. Additionally, at least 466 million individuals are suffering from a disabling hearing loss. Hence, a lot of these people find it difficult to read a webpage’s content or cannot read it at all. As a response to this, the EU launched the Web Accessibility Directive. According to this, all websites and mobile apps that are from the public sectors need to make their content easily accessible to people who have disabilities. However, there is a lot more to this. Everyone can benefit when it comes to content accessibility and of course this will also result in the business getting better. 

In order to make your design accessible to each person, there is a lot of team effort involved, whether its content writers, designers, or front-end developers. The author suggests that you make accessibility the main focus of the design practice. For instance, you can make your font bigger so it’s easier to read, be aware of the color contrast that you use, explain the images in an alt field so it is easier to pick them up by screen readers. 

  • 4. ‘Just Enough Research’ by Erika Hall (2nd Edition)

This book is for designers, managers, and entrepreneurs. The best time to read this book is before you start a new project, before you allocate your budget (if you’re a decision-maker), or if you are the one requesting for a budget for your research. 

At often times, research is viewed as a waste of resources and money. This can happen due to many reasons, such as a tight budget, an executive team who can’t use the new insights, or maybe they are biased when it comes to understanding the industry. Either way, this can lead to misalignments and errors in the design that will waste both time and money. Also, it will cost a lot more to fix a product as compared to the cost of the initial research. You might forget this step or think that it can be done later, especially if you’re in a rush to launch the product. However, the author mentions that research is the ultimate step that can either make or break your startup. If you want your product to be successful then you should focus on the needs of its users, hence finding out those needs requires a little bit of research. 

Research is the ultimate tool that provides you with a better view of the surroundings. When applied thoughtfully, it has the potential of being very powerful. Therefore, instead of piling on the costs, both you and your team will save a lot of time and effort by just doing some research beforehand. 

Great Books For Better And Enhanced Writing

A design is incomplete when there are no words that explain what it is about. A website that doesn’t contain well-formulated content cannot be taken seriously. Writing content that is easy to grasp, is useful, and makes a high impact is a skill that everyone can learn. If you are someone who’s having trouble in shortening your writing, making it more clear, making it more instructional, or making it more persuasive, then these books below are sure to help you out.    

  • 1. ‘The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century’ by Steven Pinker

This book is for people who want to improve their writing skills. The best time to read this book is when you are staring at a blank page and don’t know what to write.

This book is a guide for the ones who want to improve how they write and it offers a comprehensive explanation when it comes to the nature of the language and how it’s processed inside people’s mind. Besides being one of the leading authors of the world on mind and language, Steven Pinker is also a psycholinguist and a cognitive scientist. He mentions points that are thorough and comprehensive, using humor and funny illustrations with examples and quotes from his real life. People with no linguistic background can easily read this book as well. Even though this book doesn’t answer all of the questions, but by the end of it you will know how to send across your message with a little bit of flair. 

  • 2. ‘The Elements of Content Strategy’ by Erin Kissane

This book is for designers, product people, technical writers, content strategist, and marketers, who are contributing with content for product or marketing purposes. The best time to read this book is during the early stages. However, this book may be light for the ones who have been in this field for more than 2 years. 

It can be difficult to write content that’s meaningful, especially when you’re at the start of your career. The difficulty increases when you start work on a big website that has multiple pages, or a big product with an in-app copy, plus a knowledge base, and a lot more resources. You probably need the help of a content strategist if the content in your startup isn’t owned by anyone and no one can understand how it is structured. Or, you need to understand all of the principles behind it and then create structure plus intent. The author offers an introduction inside this complex topic, including the basic principles and the tools and techniques needed in order to get started. There is also a list of resources for additional advanced insights.

This book isn’t a workbook or a tutorial that will tell you how to start earning millions in just ten easy steps. However, it collects the core principles of our discipline, capabilities, and practices for an easy reference into content work. 

  • 3. ‘Content Design’ by Sarah Richards

This book is for founders, designers, product people, marketers, and writers that have worked with a large amount of information and presented it in a simple and digestible way. The best time to read this book is during the early stages of your career. Plus, if you have experience in UX design then some parts of the book might be familiar to you. 

The author created content design in the form of a discipline through the work she did at the Government Digital Services. With her team, she took a straightforward and honest approach and placed the most important needs of the users as the main focus of her research. Their goal was to come up with the exact way to show users the information that they need, whenever they need it. This is a short but concise book. The book gives you insights on content design, including tips on how you can use it in your company. The author was also included during the making of the Readability Guidelines project, which was a movement whose goal was to provide the instructions that were needed in order to create content that’s more inclusive and comprehensible. She shows what she preaches on the pages of her book, making its layout eye-catching and unique. 

  • 4. ‘Writing for Designers’ by Scott Kubie

This book is for managers, designers, and founders, who become part of the occasional writing project. This book is also useful for content designers and marketers that want more structure in the work that they do. The right time to read this book is before you start a major writing project. Plus, also when you want to align a team on how they can work on content plus review writing. 

Everyone has their specific process when it comes to writing, but it is difficult for them to explain that process. The author believes that writing is an essential portion of design. But, creating the correct workflow isn’t always easy. However, you can make this process simple by going through the four step workflow that the author mentions in his book. This short workbook guides the reader throughout all these steps when it comes to improving one’s writing skills. 

Great Books That Contain Real-life Startup Lessons

There are people who have created empires from a small startup and a couple of them continue to stand. You might be thinking about how they reached that level. However, there are also the ones that have miserably failed and it is better to learn from their mistakes so you don’t make them as well. The books mentioned in this section offers a closer look in the decisions that took place behind-the-scenes that could make or break a company.

  • 1. ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers’ by Ben Horowitz

This book is for founders, CEOs, and people who want to build a business. The best time to read this book is during the early days of leading your team or when you have to make major decisions for your company.

A decade ago, Ben Horowitz, along with Marc Andressen, co-founded a venture capital firm, which works by investing in growth companies and startups. Today, this firm has made investments in Twitter, Skype, Airbnb, and Facebook, to name a few, making it one of the most influential venture capital firms that’s currently shaping the world.

His book can be viewed as a memoir or an advice book for your business. Either way, this book mentions all of the hard times the author went through in his business and all the decisions that he made. This book is for executives and CEOs that’s written by another CEO. 

This book does not present any formula, and only contains the story and difficulties that the author had to face. The lessons in this book are going to be useful for future founders and CEOs. The author mentions that there are difficulties when it comes to building a company and he has been there. The circumstances might be different but the patterns and lessons keep resonating.

  • 2. ‘Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products’ by Nir Eyal

This book is for designers, founders, marketers, or anyone who’s working on customer success. The best time to read this book is before you launch your MVP or before you look to improve your current product.

Why do users keep coming back to the same products again and again? What is the psychology behind it all? This book offers advice that’s based on substantial research when it comes to building products that will attract the customers. This ‘hook model’ isn’t created to be used in order to manipulate or trick individuals into using products. However, when it’s used with mindfulness and responsibility, it can offer insights into our habits and triggers. A world where every service provider is competing for the attention, money, and time of a user, this book helps in teaching the readers what they need in order to make a successful product that not only delivers value, but also dominates the market. 

  • 3. ‘Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup’ by John Carreyrou

This book is for anyone who is part of the startup industry or wants to know more about venture capital. This book can be read at any time. 

The Theranos scandal became the biggest corporate fraud of the last couple of years. The idea that you can conduct blood tests by using just a tiny fraction of blood soon became a revolutionary idea. This idea was introduced by Elizabeth Holmes, who was an intelligent young woman that wanted to outdo Steve Jobs in whatever that she did. The media was also eagerly waiting to see the rise of a brilliant new mind. Hence, some high profile people invested in this project, such as Betsy DeVos, the United States’ education secretary and the Walton family. However, these people lost millions when Theranos could not do what it promised to and went bankrupt in the year 2018. 

The author of this book mentions how he discovered this scam and how the CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, fooled the whole world. This fraud is a lesson on the power of deception and dangers of celebrity. 

Elizabeth Holmes did genuinely believe in her vision and threw herself into her work. However, in her quest to becoming the next Steve Jobs, she stopped following sound advice and started cutting corners. She had a greedy ambition that didn’t allow anyone else’s interference. She did not care if there was possibility of collateral damage on her way to success and riches.

  • 4. ‘Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean Series)’ by Ash Maurya (2nd Edition)

This book is for founders, managers, executives, product people, and marketers. The best time to read this book is during a startup’s beginning stages, when searching for a product-market fit. 

When it comes to product-market fit and the symptoms of not doing it correctly, these are a couple of the reasons why a startup would fail. Hence, this book is another great one when it comes to lean methodology that teaches you on how you can turn your ideas into actions. Whether it’s finding a problem that you can solve to looking for the ideal market for your product, this book takes you through all of the important steps so you increase your chances of success.

A lot of the entrepreneurs begin their journey with their initial vision plus Plan A in order to execute that vision. However, a lot of those Plan A’s do not work. Even though a strong vision is needed in order to go on, this book strives to support that vision with facts, and not just faith. One should accept the fact that their initial vision is created mostly on untested assumptions, also known as hypotheses. Hence, this book is going to help you thoroughly test and then refine the initial vision that you had. 

Great Books For Learning How You Can Work With People

This skill has to be the most important one among all of the skills that this list covered. You are required to talk to individuals on a daily basis if you want to get things done, whether you are a CEO, manager, designer, writer, or developer. When you communicate well with others, you create a healthy workplace culture. The books listed in this section are going to help you achieve all that. 

  • 1. ‘Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity’ by Kim Scott

This book is for founders, executives, or anyone who’s managing a team. This book can be read at any time, particularly when you are about to start working with a new team.

In this book, the author teaches its readers how they can become better leaders and managers. The author mentions that a place where human relationships are appreciated and the people feel safe when it comes to sharing their feedback, that is when creativity and innovation flourishes in an environment. The book also has tips on how you shouldn’t create toxic culture at the workplace, whether you’re too nice to offer honest feedback or are too aggressive without being aware of the other person’s mood. A truly honest conversation can take place by openly sharing your concerns with your colleagues and handling stress and difficulties in a balanced manner.  

  • 2. ‘You’re My Favorite Client’ by Mike Monteiro

This book is for freelancers, people who work with freelancers, and people who own small businesses. The best time to read this book is during the early stages of your career and before you get your first-ever clients. This book is also very useful later on, particularly when you’re in need of a pep talk.

This book is the follow-up to another book by the same author called ‘Design is a Job.’ Whether you’re a freelancer who is starting their career in the field of design, or you work with designers every day and are looking to create an environment where creativity can thrive, then this book is for you. With his upfront writing that adds humor, the author explains in this book how an individual can negotiate their contracts and their payments. He also mentions how you can handle your relationships with your clients, particularly during unforeseen events.

If this is the first time where you’re working with a designer, then this book is going to clarify the hiring process, explain what you can expect from them, and how you can work together in order to achieve success in your project. Plus, the book also mentions how you can handle a situation that goes badly. However, if you have worked with a designer before, then this book also explains how you can communicate much more effectively with them, why giving them lists of what they should do will only halt their best work, and why you shouldn’t hover over their shoulder at all times. Furthermore, you will discover why it’s important to include designers in strategy meetings. You will discover that designing starts way before a line is drawn or a pixel is pushed. Through his writing, the author helps all of the designers who give his book a read.

  • 3. ‘The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work’ by Scott Berkun

This book is for managers, team leaders, and people who want to know the workings of a remote organization. The best time to read this book is prior to working within a remote team.

According to studies, when choosing a job, about 79% of millennials want flexibility in their workplace and it is a top priority for them. Since millennials became an essential and important factor of the workforce, it is imperative that the future of the workplace should be taken into consideration. The author of this book challenges certain long-held assumptions when it comes to working remotely, the schedules, communication plus experimentation. 

However, all of the work is invisible and it’s hidden inside their laptop screens. What people aren’t aware of is that by just clicking a button from any of the web browsers, certain features can be launched that would affect millions of people from all over the world, instantly. But for others, it probably looks like they are just playing solitaire on their laptops. 

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Understanding How Introverts Function in the World.

woman sitting on cliff overlooking mountains during daytime

Here’s the thing, you probably know someone who is an introvert. After all, roughly a third to a half of the U.S. population alone consists of this personality type [1]. Whether it is an introvert at your workplace that you’d like to get to know better or someone you’ve been in a relationship with, it is likely that there are a few things that you’d like to understand better. While there are tons of misconceptions and misunderstandings about what it means to be an introverted person, there are also a lot of fantastic traits that go unnoticed. We are here to provide some insight into 15 personality traits of introverts that you want to know, so that the next time you interact with an introvert, you can understand them better. 

  1. Small Talk Feels Inauthentic.  Introverts often come off as rude or disinterested in those around them. This is not the case, as introverts are actually quite interested in the people and the world around them but find themselves exhausted by extensive socialization. Small talk can be cringe-worthy to an introvert because it doesn’t provide value. Introverts want to learn meaningful things about others, but they need a reason to talk. Small talk can feel inauthentic and needless. However, if you strike up an interesting conversation with an introvert about something they care about, they can be one of the most talkative people in the room. 
  1. Introverts Like People – Socializing Just Isn’t That Rewarding.  While many introverts do prefer to be reclusive, many lead active, deep, and cherished social lives. However, socializing comes in dosages as introverts don’t get that same energy boost that extroverts do when in social situations. This means that introverts party less, go out less, and prefer to have a quiet place to recharge at after socializing. 
  1. Retreating Completely is Commonplace. When introverts do go out and socialize, it can be very draining, even if it is only for a few hours. Some introverts are fine to recharge in a quiet place and head out the next weekend, while others will need to be completely alone. This means no phone calls from friends, little to no text conversations, and likely no social media either. Solitude allows introverts to relax, recharge, and indulge in solo hobbies that allow us to feel ourselves again.

  2. Once You Are In, We Will Love You Fiercely.  Speaking for those who are in relationships with introverts, once you are let in, they will do anything for you. This includes, extending themselves too far and leaving themselves vulnerable.  Introverts tend to have a handful of friends because it is easier to manage, and it is easier to be an amazing friend to a few people you cherish than it is to be a good friend to a large group of people. 
  1. Writing Comes Naturally to Introverts.  In the sense that for introverts, writing out their thoughts is a lot easier than saying them out loud or explaining them. This is because it allows for time to be taken to say exactly what needs to be said and to edit the words to express exactly what is meant. There is scientific backing here, as introverts rely more on long-term memory, so it takes longer for introverts to recall information.  Do not diminish the value of an introvert’s conversation if it is filled with “uhm” a lot, as it just means they need time to recall. 
  1. Introverts Are Quiet & They Know It.  One of the issues that comes up a lot is extroverts telling introverts that they are too or very quiet. Introverts already know that they are quiet, and it can cause them to feel self-conscious about not quite fitting in and being social like those around them. Rather than telling an introvert that they are quiet, use questions to draw them out into conversation as introverts love to connect. Introverts are naturally reserved, which means you may need to put in a little work to get them to open up. 
  1. Group Projects in the Workplace Aren’t Great. While introverts can definitely work in a group and work well, they prefer to work alone and in a quiet environment without interruptions. For introverts, group projects, especially in the workplace, can use up too much social attention and make the work harder to complete. 
  1. Introverts Take A While Around New Faces. It can be hard to meet or be around new faces as new people can make introverts feel uncomfortable. Meeting new faces may spark reservation and quietness, but this isn’t to be mistaken as rudeness. It just takes a while for introverts to open up. 
  1. Introverts Can Be Easily Hurt or Offended.  If you are in a relationship with an introvert, this is a good one to mark down. Introverts can be easily hurt by small things, such as weekly talks being ended abruptly or a lack of a “thank you” after they’ve done something for you. This can lead to small disagreements, where the introverted person will want an apology, but won’t mention it. If this happens, make sure to sit down with your partner and find ways to communicate apologies, disagreements, and ways to show appreciation.

  2. Explaining Things Can Be Tough for an Introvert.  There are going to be times where you may be talking with an introvert and they don’t have much to say on the subject, but a few hours later or even days later, they will have an entire essay to write about on the topic. This is because introverts have brains that focus on many different lines of thinking all at once, making it hard to explain the thoughts in the moment. Give them time and allow conversations to be revisited. 
  1. Too Much Attention is Unwelcome.  Ever wondered why your introverted friend seemed to slink down into the booth during “Happy Birthday” celebrations at restaurants? Even positive attention in a crowded space can be too much. While your introverted friends will put on a brave face, the attention may be unwelcome. 
  1. Introverts Take in Everything!  While some people may be able to focus intently on a sports game, on television, or at the main spectacle at an event, introverts find themselves paying attention to a lot more than that. They may notice the couple a few rows down, the aisle greeters, the door men/women, or even the popcorn that is littered on the floor halfway across the movie theatre. In situations where there are a lot of distractions, introverts can take them all in, analyze them, and reflect on them. Don’t take this as boredom or distraction, but more of an attention to detail.

  2. Communication Is Critical with Introverts.  While extroverts find it easy to let others know exactly how they feel about something, introverts tend to have a harder time with this. It’s not that introverts cannot communicate their feelings or what needs to be done, but more so because they can get too far into their own thinking patterns. If you have an introverted colleague or employee, make sure you are communicating with them, as they will be quicker to assume than they will be to ask about it. 
  1. Introverts Don’t Necessarily Have Low Self-Esteem. Yes, introverts are quiet and reserved but this isn’t necessarily because of low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. Pushing introverts to be social will not “fix” their reserved nature not will it positively impact them. 
  1. Introverts Are Deep Thinkers & Very Creative.  The majority of introverts do their best work when they are left alone. This is because solitude offers a place to be creative without needing to be self-conscious about the work being done. This allows risks to be taken and creative juices to flow freely. Introverts are also deep thinkers, who rely less on dopamine and more on acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) that provides pleasure from turning inwards and reflecting. This gives introverts an edge when it comes to giving attention for long periods of time. It is also why they prefer calm, quiet settings over loud ones. 

Bonus: introverts love the rain as a result of this because it gives opportunity to seek solitude and it is calming. Rain lowers the expectations for the day and removes the overbearing sunshine. 

How to Launch a Startup Successfully: Soft vs. Hard Launch Differences

When launching a new product into the market, there are two strategies that product managers and marketers can use. You can either opt for a soft launch, which is when you introduce the product to the market in a discreet manner and to a small and targeted audience. Or, you can opt to launch the product with a hard launch, making a large entrance and utilizing excitement to spread product awareness, quickly. As with all marketing strategies, each has its own pros and cons and scenarios in which one strategy will be better over the other. 

What Are the Pros & Cons of a Soft Launch & a Hard Launch? 

Soft Launch Positives

  • You can gradually present your product to an audience while maintaining full control of the release platforms and who can access the software/application. This works well if you want to monitor the behavior of real users, gain tractions, or scale slowly step by step. 
  • You can receive quick feedback from users and tweak the product application quickly and immediately. This works very well for products that haven’t quite found their fit in the market, as you can fine tune the details or pivot as needed. 
  • You can segment your users within a closed environment via a limited launch into specific geographical areas. Customers are always happy to experience a new product before a global launch. 
  • You can fine tune your user interface, optimize your core features, and spark up expectations. 
  • It takes less time to see results which allows you to gauge your customers’ reaction. The first initial data that you gather is critical in the success of your product as it determines your next steps. 

The cons with a soft launch is that it can have a lot of overhead as you will need a substantial budget to cover all expenses while you are gaining customer feedback and fine tuning your application. This means you will need to cover development costs, hosting fees, the initial marketing, and the cost of submitting your product to market.

Hard Launch Positives

  • Since you already have a finished product, customers are more likely to pick it up knowing that they are getting everything that it offers. This allows you to get a faster return on investment and potentially a higher customer engagement rate. 
  • A hard launch puts you into the market without competitors. Even if any information is leaked about your product prior to launch, it will take your competitors a significant amount of time to replicate you and catch up. This gives you market advantage. 
  • You have complete control over the marketing of your product. Why? You have the time to pre-plan your marketing strategy based and target precisely who your product fits. 
  • Launching hard into the market is a big event. The anticipation of a big launch reveal creates mystery and buzz around your product. This works in your favor as it generates hype and interest. 

The cons of a hard launch are that it is more expensive as you will need to reach a wider audience through multiple channels and place more capital into advertising resources to receive a quick return on investment. Your product will also be harder to tweak and making changes will be more expensive on a finished product. Finally, your audience will have higher expectations due to the buildup of interest that your product has created. 

When to Choose a Soft Launch Over a Hard Launch and Vice Versa? 

Contrary to popular belief, not all products need to be launched in a grand and boisterous way. A product can benefit from a soft launch if you are a small team and are in the market for the first time, require time to test the viability of your product, or you need to refine your product’s features by utilizing feedback from a small target audience. Beyond this, a product is well suited to a soft launch if you need to check price acceptance, need to test features, or need to test how much marketing is required to get your audience to engage with you.

On the other hand, you should go all in with a hard launch if you are 100% sure you can deliver your product on time, you have a product that is stable and reliable on all fronts, and you have eliminated all critical bugs and issues. When you are a large and trusted company, hard launches work well, especially if you have a detailed marketing plan and you have created enough “buzz” or “hype” around the product. 

5 Business Mistakes I made in the past.

Not using CRM 

 Bringing things under one umbrella has significantly helped me to reduce cost overhead. More data means more meaningful decisions. 

Not calculating Value of diminishing return.

  What looks good today may not help you to become better tomorrow. Any investment done on things which has diminishing returns is not going to help until and unless you have enough capital & your sole objective is to increase market share. 

Not investing in Process 

Investing in Process has helped business which I do and I consult to reduce reskilling efforts significantly. At initial days the process was never a priority but if I look back defining the process would have shorten the path of clarity.

Not investing in Automation

At least 30% of the processes can be automated to reduce stress ( Scheduled emails , reminders, posts, drip campaigns, content publishing ). And it can lead to consistency and brand value. I did not know the worth of doing this until I stated doing it by myself. 

Not thinking slow.

    “Followup email”  this is not a 5 minute task. This is a minimum 30 minute task to perform effectively and meaningfully. You need to pull up information , process information , propose information and then also update the CRM effectively so in future if the same lead is being taken by someone else he knows from where to start. Objective of the followup is not to complete the `followup” task. Objective of follow up is to generate interest in the potential customer so S/he can respond. It takes time to understand importance of thinking slow in fast paced environment. Trust me it turned out slow is fast at the end.

Structured data in Sharing Economy and AI world.

I have always been fascinated by RSS Feeds. Back in 2006 I wrote my first javascript to parse RSS feed. At that time I learned how to make asynchronous calls to server and do some magic with the data population.  Since that magic moment I was deeply in love with structured data.

Right after that I worked on a book publishing project where I was suppose to auto update inventory for one book publishing house selling books at 10 different online locations as well as 10 physical locations. I learned big thing on this eCommerce project about the Book Publishing industry.  This industry also has an amazingly structured data format for populating /sharing information across various websites.( No Wonder why Amazon started with Books & carry forwarded similar product feeds or it can be vice versa due amazon this industry adopted structured data)

After that I realized  If structured data is followed one would be able to create multiple application layers on top of it.  This amazed my journey with structured data.

My third project was my first entrepreneurial web project for real estate and can you believe this was the third straight experience on Structured Data? I learned about how IDX Feed for MLS works. Again specific format across the vertical and seamless information sharing.

During this journey I did get a chance to work on various feeds which includes sports feed, News Syndication, Business listings , TV schedule streaming and automobile inventor Feed. It gradually made a lot of sense.

Well after sometime was introduce in search engine optimization / digital marketing industry to create more entity driven web content & to identify low quality content ( never thought that  later it ll enable internet to transform user generated content heterogeneous data type such as Voice or video or image and vice versa) 

Structured Data in the current world. 

Now when I look at how things are going unfolding here onward, I believe some radical structured data format will come. Open Data ( Open Gov) movement also helped on significantly

Ride Sharing & Structured Data

Ex. All Shared Ride Platform, Shared Parking Lot Apps, Shared Room can come up with a single format to communicate with multiple applications as well as with public / private corps ( even if each one has its own infrastructure). Even Ride Sharing & Delivery Platform can come up with structured data format to bring homogeneous process. Ex single driver is on Uber, Lyft, SkiptheDishes, why three infrastructure should waste resources when it is pretty obvious it is the same driver who is going to work on it.

eCommerce Store has Product Feeds and it is also being used by retail store for inventory , return etc purpose. Bringing a more structured way of  communication between two different platform would increase resource optimization as well as transparency.

Govt 4.0 with Structured Data 

Government can also come up with a common standard of online communication between departments that can help artificial intelligence & machine learning software to create more meaningful analogy based on information exchange between various departments and ministries. For example If  proper leave format is followed by departments, information can be available across the public sector. And this can lead to informed planning and decision making. We usually make decisions based on information we have & our ability to access the information.

Credit Rating For Immigrants

There is an interesting dilemma when it comes to assessing financial health of the immigrants. We normally obstructs growth when we put everyone in same line ( that is why we are fighting with current education system is not it?) Majority of immigrants get a visa only after all financial & criminal scrutiny. Except Financial Credibility new immigrants eligible to start life from where it stopped in home or previous country. Why not have a homogeneous format to share basic financial health information of an individual across the organization/country? Based on that more informed decision can be made and also bad or good financial baggage of an individual carry forward to new country.

In Developer language it would be great to have one common api documentation for the entire world with Unique Key-Value pairs. So much can be improved ( as well exposed)

2 Books I read recently

Tribe : We need you to lead us By Seth Godin

Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition Book by Anthony Iannarino

And I recommend everyone to read it by all professionals. I am sure it will be worth of your time.

The RACI matrix: By Far the simplest ideology I came across to manage team.

There will be days in your professional life when you feel that oh you learned something which will act like an elevator In your growth, discussion on RACI  Matrix was one of that.

I would like to give credit to @Sharada Bose , time to time I take advice from her ( she has been wonderful person & always ready for mentoring).In Early 2016 when I was onsite in USA for one of the largest Parking Solution provider of USA, She brought this topic while having discussion about cross functional team’s performance.

I would recommend top management should go through RACI matrix. Implementation in organization can be done multiple ways. May be it needs a separate blog post on it ;). But having thought process of RACI in early age can help a lot. Not only for executing IT Projects but this should be in DNA of the organization.

What is a RACI Matrix?

RACI  stands for Stakeholder’s Role Responsible Accountable Consulted & Informed

The four roles that stakeholders might play in any project/ task/decision include the following:

  • Responsible: People or stakeholders who do the work. They must complete the task or objective or make the decision. Several people can be jointly Responsible. Cross functional team members can be responsible as well. Responsible stakeholders are the one who needs to execute the task with or without help of other stake holders. More authority should be in hands of Responsible & accountable person.
  • Accountable: Person or stakeholder who is the “owner” of the work. He or she must sign off or approve when the task, objective or decision is complete.  In smaller organization & smaller task Responsible person can be an accountable too. As an organization there should be only one person accountable. Multiple people in this role usually create conflicts.
  • Consulted: People or stakeholders who need to give input before the work can be done and signed-off on. These people are “in the loop” and active participants. People who may be at same position or may be lower or upper in management or may have better knowledge about the task ( it can be cross functional or it can be outside of the organization also) should be consulted for input in decision making. Also people who may not be responsible or accountable but may get highly affected by the decision should be consulted during the process.
  • Informed: People or stakeholders who need to be kept “in the picture.” They need updates on progress or decisions, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the task or decision. ( sometime people make mistake on consulting a stakeholders who are supposed to be informed not consulted) If there is a change in the process or decision is made on something there may not be direct impact on day to day process but to ensure that their own decision making process stays aligned with what organization has decided, these stakeholders should also be kept in loop.

 More about Responsibility Alignment Matrix

Every time when you think of a change management, project management ensure to fill up RACI matrix.

Feel free to tag me on Twitter @ketanraval or linkedin @ketanraval if you want to discuss more on this. I am happy to share my experiences. Yes I did implement this in multiple companies & department.

10 Things Every Business & Professional Should Learn from the Game of Cricket

To many outsiders, the fervent fanfare that dominates the game of cricket, appears feverish, intense, and incomprehensible to most. Why? It can be sorely boring to watch, it requires expensive equipment and turf, a lot of space to play and in some format of cricket single match can take days to complete. Despite this, it is one of the most beloved games in the world, with millions of individuals watching televised matches in India alone where it has become a pseudo-religion of sorts. With 105 countries involved with the International Cricket Council (12 full members), the game has clearly made an impact on the global competition sphere and like many other sports, there’s quite a lot one can learn from the game. Few matches has got 500 mn/1 bn viewers ( figures will be lot higher as India/Pakistan/Bangladesh/Srilanka still has not been fully digitized to have accurate viewership data)

• Every Game Is Different & Needs a Special Team.

When it comes to cricket, every format of the game will call for different requirements, such as strength, knowledge, training, and skill. In any environment that has a team setting, you will get different types of individual personalities, anything from outspoken extroverts to shy introverts to boisterous members, and intelligent/clever individuals. What this does is encourages diversity, creativity, problem solving, and opens the team to new perspectives, which can contribute to the team’s success. A professional that understands that personalities have different strengths and weakness, different nuances, and different capabilities, can learn how to embrace, encourage, and communicate with each team member effectively, creating that special dynamic that is needed for team success.

• Every Individual Has a Role to Play.

When it comes to any type of team, whether it be on the field or in the office, the success that transpires can only come about if every member is playing their role effectively, unimpeded, and with ease. In understanding your role and executing it, you are allowing others to go about their jobs without difficulty. Every role plays into one another, effects one another, and is key to how a team functions.

• Wicketkeeper is Not a Captain, but His/her Role is Not Diminished as Such.

Although captains of teams are often designated as the one’s who have greater ability, have shown promise or extensive knowledge, or have leadership qualities, doesn’t mean that any other member on the team is diminished as such. In cricket, the wicket-keeper may not be the captain of the team calling the shots, may not be the bowler, and may not even be a fielder, but they are just as important. Why? They stop the deliveries that pass the batsman, they prevent runs from being scored, and can dismiss the batsman in a variety of ways. CEO may not have the best picture of the organization all the time & Business must have reliable wicket keeper .

• Teamwork is More Important Than Individual Performances.

The one thing that sports teams and business teams have in common is that they are both made up by individuals who are driven, focused, and ambitious. When these individuals have star performances, it’s great but it doesn’t necessarily bode well on the team as a whole. Value teamwork over individual performances because teamwork creates synergy, it supports an empowered way of working, it promotes less hierarchy, it fosters flexibility, and it creates a sense of achievement for all involved.

• Communication, Timeout & Breakout Sessions are Important.

When it comes to any type of game, work condition, or project, effective, clear, and concise communication between members is critical. Taking timeout breaks and breakout sessions, are imperative to ensuring that everyone is familiar with how everyone else works. A breakout session can be utilized to discuss and pinpoint specific areas of concern on a broader theme, agenda, or topic and timeout meetings can re-orient the team along the correct path to success.

• Six or Wicket, Keep Moving.

One of the harder obstacles to overcome within team settings is to keep steering in difficult situation. In cricket, an opponent may steal your wicket or hit a six , attempting to stop you from being successful in your actions by sledging. Likewise, professionals who must work together on projects may come into conflict with workflow, communication, or problem-solving methods. Every individual person works differently, but conflict should not stop you from moving forward. When experiencing negativity, try to keep your eyes on the forward progression and keep the end goal in sight.

• Toss, Pitch Report, Location, & Time Plays a Big Role in Winning.

When it comes to winning in cricket, there are specific variables that play a massive role in whether a team wins or not. For instance, the Telegraph notes that teams who won the toss and batted first, won 111 out of 201 Tests played while losing only 56 of those matches. The location,Pitch also plays a psychological factor in whether a team wins or loses, Dealing with these types of conditions, issues, and constraints will always play a big part on a team’s success. Similarly in Business or in professional career there will be many factor which will play significant role in collective success.

• When in Doubt, the Umpire Makes the Call.

As it is well known fact Umpire takes the decision & when in doubt third umpire is called for, similarly no matter you are business owner or professional there will be time when decisions are taken by someone else who has the best knowledge of the situation.

• Brick by Brick, Run by Run, Play by Play, and Session by Session.

Break it Down. Many of you would be fan of Dhoni they he tackles/tackled some incredibly difficult plays on the cricket field or taking on a massive project as a professional. When you break down a play , you increase your likelihood of understanding what each step requires, what knowledge you need to tackle it, and what the most efficient route for success is. Your next move should be based on current situation from all future possibilities, Concentrating on one thing will help.

There’s a lot more at Stake Than you Think.

It can be very easy to think of the game of cricket as just a sport that throws a ball and swings a bat, but for many individuals and teams, it represents so much more than that. As we know Cricket is celebrated like religion in some countries & it has significant role in individual’s life even for spectators. One single run or wicket or even an interview at coffee show can make or break economy, career & lives of millions. Every task one professional does has a significant impact on world & one must have full sense of responsibility on what they do.

6 TV Shows Entrepreneurs Should Keep Watching in 2019

When it comes to our perceptions about entrepreneurs, there is this idea that they are constantly on-the-go, hustling their business, improving themselves, reaching new milestones, and obliterating anything that proves to be a distraction. However, despite the fact that entrepreneurs may not have a lot of free time to kill, there is still quite a lot that one can learn from watching television shows like ABC’s Shark Tank, and CBC’s Dragon’s Den. Beyond finding inspiration for overcoming obstacles, entrepreneurs can take away quite a bit of learning and education just by having the television show on in the background of the workday.

The ABC’s Shark Tank. This is one of the oldest and most popular American business-related reality TV show currently on the air allows budding entrepreneurs a shot at bringing their dreams to fruition by presenting and pitching their ideas to a panel of industry leaders who have turned their ideas into multi-million dollar empires. The billion-dollar tycoons look to invest in the best business products and services that are offered up by the entrepreneurs cast on the show. If one or more of the tycoons likes the idea and wants to invest their money, a bidding war can erupt, driving the investment sky high in price. The best thing about this show for entrepreneurs watching is they get to see both the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey and get some tips on how to polish your pitch making skills.

CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Although very similar to Shark Tank, this Canadian production provides entrepreneurs with an unscripted, front-row seat to the country’s top venture capitalists. Individuals who have business propositions are allowed to approach the five dragons with a pitch of their idea and if any of the dragons are interested in the idea, will fork out thousands of dollars to help them get their business idea off the ground. Negotiations do happen and the entrepreneur may find themselves with a dragon that wants a higher equity percentage, royalty sales, or may get a flat out offer. The main key here is that an entrepreneur is not permitted to accept an offer or multiple offers unless those offers total the amount they initially sought for their business idea. For budding entrepreneurs, Dragons’ Den provides a full-on look into how negotiations, partnerships, and pitches are dealt with in real-time.

CNBC’s Awaaz Entrepreneur. This Indian television series focuses on small and medium enterprises with the intention of aiding and educating budding entrepreneurs within the country. For those who want to learn a thing or two, Awaaz Entrepreneur helps young individuals understand the nuances associated with building and starting up business ventures. The idea behind the show is to help support emerging businesses within India to help make them successful since small and medium businesses are the driving force of the Indian economy. The series showcases the journey that small and medium enterprises must take to transform into larger businesses and it resolves common business-related queries through guest experts on the show.

Apple’s Planet of the Apps. Another American reality TV created and broadcasted by Apple Music provides developers with a chance to pitch their ideas to a team of successful entrepreneurs. If the entrepreneurs like the idea being pitched, they will mentor the app developers through the creation process, provide funding, and help with scaling the application up. Successful entrepreneurs include Gary Vaynerchuk from VaynerMedia, who is a multi-faceted entertainer, Jessica Alba an American actress and businesswoman, and Gwyneth Paltrow who is also an American actress and businesswoman. Those who participate in the show can learn a lot about industry knowledge from the best.

CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer. This American reality TV show introduces promising small business owners to Tilman Fertitta, one of America’s most successful businessmen. Tilman Fertitta is the CEO, owner, and sole shareholder of Landry’s INC, a multi-brand dining hospitality, entertainment, and gaming corporation that operates across thirty-five states. Throughout each sixty-minute episode, Fertitta spends time with two small businesses, shares his expertise with them on how to push improvements out for their products, and then decides whether to place an order with one, both, or neither of them. With the purchasing power of two billion dollars, not only can Fertitta transform the small business owners’ companies but their lives as well.

CNBC’s Follow The Leader. Each thirty-minute episode has the best-selling author, Farnoosh Torabi, spending forty-eight hours with superstar entrepreneurs in a bid to find out what makes these individuals so successful. Those who are watching from the television screen will get to see unique business philosophies, learn about new methods and practices that brought these individuals to success, and find out what talents they were able to use to reach business success. You will get to see the likes of Tracy Anderson (Tracy Anderson Method), Katia Beauchamp (Birchbox), and Gary Vaynerchuck (Co-founder of VaynerMedia).

Regardless of whether you are just starting the process of your business, are in the midst of expanding what you have built, or are already quite successful, taking some time to relax, recharge, and find inspiration is not only good for one’s soul but it can provide you with unexpected inspiration. So rather than feeling guilty for not hustling and grinding, consider watching the above shows and get a look at how the business world works behind-the-scenes.

What it takes to be a successful entrepreneur may be different for everyone, but the new methods and strategies you can learn from these television shows may enable you to grow and build your business beyond what you ever thought capable.

*Images are copyrights of respective shows. Happy to remove in case of objection.

Can Introvert Be A Good Leader? How?

This has been prime concern for Startup Founder who are introvert or small town startups who jumps into bandwagon of new city life. As leadership can not be hired upfront for non-funded startups. Introvert founders tends to feel insecure in this glittery startup world.

There are some really critical abilities introverts usually has compare to Extroverts which makes them perfect for leadership.

Introverts tend to bottle up emotions but they unload emotions at the right time. Do you know most people believe that introverts can’t be good leaders? There is no truth in this claim. An introvert can be a good leader and lead from the front in the right situation.

In fact, as an introvert, there is a practical approach to do things in the right way. Introverts are passionate about their work and that works in the decision-making process. External environment and social gatherings easily stimulate an extrovert. But, an introvert needs time to get the same stimulation as a cause and effect. Introverts need extra motivation to express themselves.

Once it’s done in the right way, there is no looking back. Do you know that there are some big leaders in the world who are introverts? Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, John Kennedy, and Rosa Parks are all introvert leaders but successful with their leadership skills. These leaders sought motivation through long-term goals and planning.

If you are an introvert and aim to be a good leader, then here are a few pointers for you.

Introverts are strong and flexible

Great leaders are always misunderstood and that is common in political situations. As an introvert, you are strong enough to face any situation because of a flexible approach. Most people misunderstand introverts because of their quiet nature. That is the reason they are able to handle any situation with ease and flexibility.

They have that confidence to face any situation without any problem, as they are resilient. If you are strong and flexible, then you have a great trait to be a leader. You won’t really succumb easily to any pressure or unforeseen political situation. You’ll handle any challenge with persistence and perseverance.

Introverts keep safety in mind

Most introverts work on planning. They keep in mind every action that leads to security. They think about details in the process. This trait is truly beneficial for followers of the leaders. As an introvert, you follow a methodological approach that also counts to safety. Followers need assurance and they do count on security.

Introverts can not only assure security but also make followers feel safe. Introverts make plans that are well thought of. They consider every detail about the issue before concluding. This is a great trait followed by introverts, which can help them lead better.

Introverts react according to situations

Introverts are great in analyzing things and that is the reason they react to things in a different way. They take time to think and then decide. In short, they are less reactive as compared to extroverts. Great leaders do elude confidence and their decision making power is good. As an introvert, you can be a good leader if you don’t react to a situation that easily.

Introverts reflect on before reactions. This can help them stay cool in situations that go out of control. Extroverts can be hyperactive at times but introverts react according to situations, so isn’t this a sign of being a great leader.

Introverts take time to think

Great leaders take time to think and delegate on good terms. The thought process that introverts have can be a good trait to become a leader. Introverts are good at analyzing situations and they often make decisions based on deep thinking. Introverts are not afraid of solitude. In fact, they think well when they are alone.

They aren’t emotionally dependent on any person for taking decisions. This trait is far superior to extroverts. Reflective thought process often leads to good decisions. Introverts take time to think and follow a strategic direction in leading. As an introvert, you can play on your strength.

Introverts are good listeners

Leaders are motivational speakers but they also need to be good listeners to understand situations. Great leadership doesn’t require constant talking, it also requires listening and contemplating. Being an introvert, it’s easier to instruct and listen in a better way. You need to have that patience to focus on relevant things and take feedback from people around you.

In fact, introverts have that innate power to listen to people around and take a calculative decision. This is the strongest trait of an introvert and also a great leader. There should be a balance of thinking, talking and listening.

Introverts display strategic perspective

Leadership requires a strategic perspective and introverts do that well. Unlike extroverts who take all the decisions in a moment, introverts are more sorted that way. They observe and analyze each and everything before taking a decision. They are not too social but they consider sensory details before arriving at a decision.

As an introvert, if you think about others viewpoint then this quality of yours can be truly powerful to lead. A planned approach is always better than a hasty decision in life. Introverts can deal with bigger things in a better way.

Introverts influence through actions

Actions always speak louder than words. What is the use of words if nobody acts on it? That’s the difference between an introvert and an extrovert. Introverts believe in actions rather than speaking much. People who follow influential leaders admire the quality of the action. They have immense belief in what the leader does or will do for them.

Introverts don’t talk much but when they do they make every word count. That’s indeed a great quality of a successful leader. Introverts are not only committed to their action but they also believe in consistency. As an introvert, you can not only influence people through your work but also leave a positive impact on them.

Introverts visualize better

Introverts are always lost in their thoughts as they speak less. And, that helps them to visualize in a much better way. Introverts set long-term goals with the power of visualization. They think about the consequences of action so the power of visualization works for them.

Extroverts also visualize but introverts are better in deep and reflective thinking. Leaders who visualize always leave an impact in the future. They turn the power of visualization to said action. Being an introvert, your power of visualization can also help you to develop a great leadership quality.

To sum up,

An introvert person can be an equally good leader as an extrovert. You just need to balance your time and optimize your thoughts for deep actions. You need to be clear in your thought process and stay strong. Whatever you observe, you can just write it down and use it later for decision-making.

Keep the whole process transparent and genuine, as that’ll help you develop great leadership qualities. Being an introvert, you can also have that determination to excel further and leave an impact on your followers. Your ways could be different but your actions are similar.

Power of a great leadership starts with intent and not the way you are. You can influence people with your honest approach. It all starts with your true actions and the way you want to lead.

Be unapologetically true to yourself to be a great leader. You’ll be able to set a benchmark for yourself for sure.