Entrepreneurship can be one of the most challenging endeavors an individual can face. It requires drive, perseverance and the ability to think outside the box, but even then you may fail. Being an entrepreneur means you’re constantly learning new things and growing, trying to find the next way to ensure your venture gets its feet off the ground. Whether you go to seminars, listen to podcasts or talk to other like minded individuals, there’s always something new for you to learn. One great way to do this is by reading books. Some of the worlds most successful entrepreneurs have written books detailing their successes and failures as well as providing useful advice to help their fellow entrepreneurs out because they understand how challenging it can be. Here are a few great books to read if you’re trying to succeed as an entrepreneur.
The Psychology of Selling – Brain Tracey
No matter what your business venture is, one of the most important techniques you’ll make use of is the ability to make a sales pitch. That’s where this book comes in. Brain Tracey is a well known business consultant who has been helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals for years and his book is all selling your product and your idea. Tracey believes that even if you have a great product, an entrepreneur must understand how to approach a person and make them fall for both you and your product. This book features valuable strategies and info that will help you be a sales expert and get the results you want.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki
Considered to be one of the best books that any entrepreneur can find use of, Rich Dad Poor Dad tells you everything you need to know about money in order to help you succeed in life. You’ll read about the harsh reality of wealth and how you don’t need to make large sums of money in order to become rich and successful and how that 9 to 5 job you hate is the key to finding the success you want. While the book isn’t directly about entrepreneurship, your personal finances are often important in finding entrepreneurial success as you’ll likely need to dip into it if you want to succeed.
Founders At Work – Jessica Livingston
As previously mentioned, you’re likely going to have to dip into your own personal finances if you want to succeed at being an entrepreneur, but you also shouldn’t need as much money as you think you’ll need. We often hear stories about successful entrepreneurs who began their business with astronomically low amounts of money in their bank accounts, but how did they grow that business from there? Author Jessica Livingston discusses all of this in Founders At Work, a book full of interviews with some of the most well known and successful entrepreneurs on the planet. You’ll see interviews from individuals such as Steve Wozniak and Sabeer Bhatia and they’ll answer all of the hard hitting questions that can help you figure out how your business can succeed.
As an entrepreneur, your mind is your greatest asset. When your mind is at its best, you are more energized, productive, and ready for any challenge. However, the longer we go without a break, the more likely we are to face burnout. When this happens, we are not performing at our best which can get in the way of achieving success. This is why it is so important to take a mental health day and make sure that it counts:
Find Your Stress
In order to have a successful mental health day, it’s important to identify what has your under so much stress to the pint of burnout. When you find your big stress point, decide whether it would be better to get away from it or push through it. If it can be left only for a day so you can relax, then don’t think about it while you’re on your mental health day. However, if it is something that cannot wait and will cause you even more stress to leave alone, then work through it and take your mental health day when the task is completed.
Schedule the Day
The last thing you should be thinking about while on your mental health day is work. Before setting off on a day of relaxation, make sure everyone knows that you will not be available. Plan ahead on a day you know you will have no interruptions. This way nothing can get on the way of giving yourself the mental break that you have earned. Planning ahead can even help you figure out how you’d like to spend your day off.
Do What You Like
Use this day to an activity that you love. Some people make the mistake of running errands or catching up on work. This isn’t giving your mind the break that it needs. Take advantage of this time off to relax by going on a hike, a walk, drawing, painting, journaling, or whatever puts you at ease and relaxed. When your mind is focused on something that you love to do, it will be stronger for it when the day is over.
One of the greatest strengths you can have as an entrepreneur is your energy. You put your energy into your business, brand, networking, and everything else that helps you need to be a successful entrepreneur. In order to avoid burnout which could lead ultimately to failure and setbacks, it’s important to know how to effectively manage your energy as an entrepreneur:
Healthy Eating and Fitness
While this may sound like it has not a lot to do with being an entrepreneur, it definitely majorly effects your career. In order to be working at your best and being the greatest you can be, you need to be healthy. By eating food that has nutritional value and getting in daily exercise, you are being good to your body and giving it the energy it needs. By pumping in more energy through healthy lifestyle choices, you will have more energy and a much better focus for work.
Rest and Relieve Stress
The life of an entrepreneur is often very fast-paced and can feel a bit overwhelming, Many make the mistake trying to power through, thinking that it’ll set them apart from the rest and help them jump professional hurdles faster. This is not the case, however, because overworking yourself can lead to some serious stress constantly weighing down on you. This means that instead of focusing your energy on getting the actual job done, most of it is wasted on worrying over stressful obstacles. To combat this, remember to rest when you need it and destress whenever things are becoming too overwhelming.
Think of What Not to Do
Every entrepreneur will have their to-do list, but successful entrepreneurs will keep a what-not-to-do list. In order to manage your time and energy, know the tasks that are better left alone and would hold you back rather than moving you forward. Look at your days and pinpoint the activities that are not productive and not progressing you towards your professional goals. Then you need to replace them with activities and tasks that will push you forward in your life and your career.
Be Around Those Who Empower You
You are only as good as the company you keep. In order to manage your energy properly, it’s important to be around people who uplift you, not one who will bring you down. Make sure they are encouraging you and not draining you of all your potential energy for success. If there are people who steer you in the wrong direction, distract you from business goals, or discourage you, they are not someone you want or need in your life.
About Graham Zahoruiko
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS LEADER FOR GREATER CORPORATE SHAREHOLDER WEALTH, PUBLIC BENEFIT AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Graham Zahoruiko is a transformational growth leader with over 25 years of entrepreneurial C-Level leadership experience. His objective is to help companies unlock unprecedented growth and increase shareholder value, while delivering an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) that far exceeds the cost of any restructuring or reorganization. He does this by delivering a highly polished “game changing” solution strategy, executable materials, and team mentoring throughout the implementation phase.
The key foundational element of any organization is the right culture. When precisely positioned, the right company values and work environment lead to independent, empowered, self-reflective teams that have both the initiative and the capability to drive new revenue sources, generate higher profitability, and lower operational costs.
The assignments Graham Zahoruiko takes on vary widely based on the specific needs of the companies he works for, but some examples include: interim leadership; positioning and executing an initiative or project; cultural improvements; project and process management; leadership development; growth initiatives; cost efficiencies and improvements; personal career performance coaching; innovation modeling; entrepreneurship; and mentoring.
For a number of years, Graham Zahoruiko has contemplated how he can do the work that he loves but continue to add more purpose, meaning and value. Consultants tend to push harder and harder on the obsession for long-term value for clients.
Combining meaningful work and a meaningful “public benefit” certainly would be ideal. Near and dear to Graham Zahoruiko has always been family, children and disadvantaged. As a background in organizational effectiveness, change management and transformation ideally prepares one for leading through change, Graham is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation. Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation delivers high value project-based management consulting services for greater corporate shareholder wealth, public benefit and social responsibility. Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation’s own advocacy efforts focus on families, children and disadvantaged.
While working for a multi-billion dollar energy company, Graham proposed and led an effort to transform a $160 million dollar division with 750 employees and its 4th C-level leader in 5 years from a “cost center” into a “growth center”.
The implementation of this plan involved several key shifts, both in mindset and operation. The first step was the launch of a new culture through the development of a “Cultural Playbook”, which promoted a more innovative generation of employees empowered with the skills and ability to lead the company into a future of unprecedented growth. Graham Zahoruiko also conceptualized, developed, and implemented a QBR (Quarterly Business Review) program and accompanying materials for all senior leaders, resulting in a more consistent reporting format that improved corporate communication, business line health, and tracking mechanisms for leader reviews. This program increased shareholder value by $731 million. Graham also created a C-level leadership presentation for the CEO and Board on the subject of “game changing – change the lens/perspective of thinking” which outlined “the pitch, the proof and the value” of a $1 billion investment. This new thinking derived a 59% IRR, a significant impact on the organization’s P/E Ratio, and a $3.4 billion increase in shareholder value.
When working with a $250 million healthcare company, Graham Zahoruiko found the organization with a global business division comprised of over 350 hands-on IT professionals with expertise in cloud technologies, networking, applications hosting, storage, and disaster recovery. The $60 million division was facing declining revenue.
After rebuilding morale and mentoring the team on leadership and entrepreneurship, Graham helped improve gross margins by up to 40%, and net margins by 17% (12% to 29%) with the addition of $20 million in new revenue bookings. Operations were restructured through offshore centralization, and processes were formalized for the prevention of future revenue and cost leakages. The sales pipeline subsequently grew from $0 to $110M.
Graham Zahoruiko also led the formation a Cloud Software Services sub-business unit, and re-positioned aging software IP into a new offering centered on healthcare data access archiving, reducing ongoing client legacy software costs by 80%. The new release resulted in $15M in revenue opportunity and a recurring revenue stream. The company’s subsequent operating plan focused on continued margin improvement, better client value, innovation, and long-term sustainability of continued revenue growth.
Leveraging very early roots as a repeat start-up entrepreneur, Graham Zahoruiko is an independent management consultant helping leaders improve shareholder value through strategic improvements and transformations in culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth. He has a talent for balancing the business and financial impact of decisions with the people side of the equation.
Northeastern University (Business Management): 1996
Saint John’s Preparatory (General Studies): 1990
Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout Award): 1987