Category Archives: Entrepreneur

Book posts for those wanting to start their own business or to help run one

Best Books for Business Startups

So it was our birthday this week. We turned 12 and boy are we excited.  

Taking an idea and turning it into a thriving business is a dream for many entrepreneurs and one of the best ways to make sure you can do this is to learn and listen to those you admire who have also been through the process. That’s why we are super excited about this week’s blog. Today we’re sharing some the the most recommended books for business startups in today’s digital world. We hope they will inspire you to take your idea to the next level. 

So get your pen and paper ready (well actually it’d be easier to just add them to your list in Booko or set an alert for the price you want to pay for them), here we go…

Atomic Habits by James Clear 

If we had a $1 for every time someone recommended this book on a podcast…oh boy. It’s no surprise this book is a New York Times bestseller. 

An atomic habit is defined as a small habit with big results. People say when you want to change your life, you need to think big, swap jobs, move house, change partners. But they’re wrong. World-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered a completely different way to transform your behaviour. He knows that lasting change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of tiny decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call. He calls them atomic habits. In Atomic Habits, Clear delves into cutting-edge psychology to explain why your brain can amplify these small changes into huge consequences. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, or the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule), to show how you, too, turn minuscule shifts in behaviour into life-transforming outcomes. And he reveals a simple four-stage method that will let you build atomic habits into your day-to-day routine, starting now. These nuclear changes will have an explosive effect on your career, your relationships and your life.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz 


This book is currently sitting on my nightstand and I am 3/4 of the way through. It’s amazing. 

Ben Horowitz is the cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs. In this book he offers essential advice on building and running a startup and practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover.

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyses the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favourite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

Filled with his trademark humour and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

The Crowdsourceress by Alex Daly

In the past few years, crowdfunding platforms helped generate a staggering $34 USD billion dollars in funding. But the harsh reality is that the majority of crowdfunding campaigns fail: only 40% meet their goals. And failing means failing hard. If you fall short of your goal by the deadline, not only won’t you see any of the money you’ve worked so hard to raise, but you might actually tarnish your shiny idea. Alex Daly is a hugely successful crowdfunding expert who has run some of Kickstarter’s biggest campaigns, from TLC’s new album to Neil Young’s music player to Joan Didion’s documentary “We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live.” In this book, she shows you how to build a deep fan base prior to launch, understand the psychology of why people give and create the right narrative around your project, find the right platform on which to raise funds, deal with unfulfilled promises and angry backers, create intimacy and promote shareability of your project and the best use of influence and exclusivity to get funded. Woven throughout is Alex’s own entrepreneurial story and the unconventional career path she took to ultimately start her business, Vann Alexandra, thanks to crowdfunding.Daly takes us deep into her most successful campaigns, showing how she helped them get funded. As someone who’s spent lots of time in the trenches, she has learned the hard way how to communicate and connect with people on the Internet-and offers tangible tools to run your own crowdfunding campaigns. Above all, this is a book about how to fully connect with the crowd, get people to pay attention, and inspire them to act.

Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba

This is the essential career handbook for creative working women. It’s the modern career guide every creative woman needs, whether you’re just starting out or already have years of experience. Packed with fresh ideas and no-nonsense practical advice, this travel-sized career handbook is guaranteed to become your go-to resource when it comes to building the career you want.

Writer Otegha Uwagba takes you through everything you need to build a successful self-made career: from how to negotiate a payrise to building a killer personal brand, via a crash course in networking like a pro, and tips for overcoming creative block. Plus Little Black Book is full of indispensable advice on how to thrive as a freelancer, and an entire chapter dedicated to helping you master the tricky art of public speaking.

With contributions from trailblazing creative women including acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Refinery29 co-founder Piera Gelardi, The Gentlewoman’s Editor in Chief Penny Martin, and many more, Little Black Book is a curation of essential wisdom and hard-won career insights. Whether you’re a thinker, a maker, an artist or an entrepreneur, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your working life here.

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

This book was named Book of the year by Apple’s iBooks. 

Tara Mohr is a groundbreaking women’s leadership expert and popular conference speaker who gives women the practical skills to voice and implement the changes they want to see in themselves and in the world. In her coaching and programs for women, Tara Mohr saw how women were “playing small” in their lives and careers, were frustrated by it, and wanted to “play bigger.” She has devised a proven way for them to achieve their dreams by playing big from the inside out. 

While not all women aspire to end up in the corner office, every woman aspires to something. Playing Big fills a major gap among women’s career books; it isn’t just for corporate women. The book offers tools to help every woman play bigger whether she’s an executive, community volunteer, artist, or stay-at-home mum.

The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett

Big data entrepreneur Allen Gannett overturns the mythology around creative genius, and reveals the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field. We have been spoon-fed the notion that creativity is the province of genius of those favoured, brilliant few whose moments of insight arrive in unpredictable flashes of divine inspiration.  And if we are not a genius, we might as well pack it in and give up. Either we have that gift, or we don’t.  But Allen shows that simply isn’t true.  Recent research has shown that there is a predictable science behind achieving commercial success in any creative endeavour, from writing a popular novel to starting up a successful company to creating an effective marketing campaign.  

As the world’s most creative people have discovered, we are enticed by the novel and the familiar. By understanding the mechanics of what Gannett calls “the creative curve”, the point of optimal tension between the novel and the familiar, everyone can better engineer mainstream success.  

In a thoroughly entertaining book that describes the stories and insights of everyone from the Broadway team behind Dear Evan Hansen, to the founder of Reddit, from the Chief Content Officer of Netflix to Michelin star chefs, Gannett reveals the four laws of creative success and identifies the common patterns behind their achievement.

Enjoy!

The real reason female entrepreneurs get less funding

Women own 39 percent of all businesses in the US, but female entrepreneurs get only two percent of venture funding. In this eye opening Ted Talk Dana Kanze shares research suggesting that it might be the types of questions start-up founders get asked when they’re invited to pitch.


#tuesdaychat

We love celebrating startups (that’s why we love sharing books for entrepreneurs – keep an eye out for Thursday’s post for some of our favourites). And now’s the time to share your business with the world. Tag your startup in the comments section below and tell the Booko world what you do.

Books to Help You Launch a Blog

For the past few weeks we have been looking at social media options that help support your side business.  Today we are focussing on the Granddaddy/mummy of them all – the blog.  Blogs allow us to share our thoughts and connect with other people on pretty much any topic.    Whether you want to start blogging for personal enjoyment, to support your professional goals or to develop a business idea,  here are titles that will inspire and help you get started. 

The One Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand

This is a great tool for those of us who like a bit of structure and a “big picture” overview before we plunge into a project.  Meera Kothand is a digital marketing specialist, and this is her method for generating a year’s worth of blog post ideas in an hour or less. The secret is to set regular blogging goals, and to never forget the purpose of your blog.  The One Hour Content Plan contains downloadable worksheets and templates to help you work through Meera’s actionable ideas.  This mix of business / marketing and writing advice will help you craft a cohesive, authentic blog that will support your public/professional persona or business.

Likeable Social Media (Third Edition): How to Delight your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and be Generally Amazing on all Social Networks that Matter by Dave Kerpen

You know a book must be good if it is onto its Third Edition in eight years. Likeable Social Media is not just about how to get more “Likes” on Facebook; instead it is about how to develop likeable business practices and likeable content that capture customer loyalty, build communities and strengthen reputations in the long run. This latest revision offers strategies about newer social media platforms such as Snapchat, and news and tactics on the latest tools and options.  The direct, conversational tone of the book is easy to read and feels like Dave Kerpen has become your personal mentor. 

The Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers by Sally Miller

If you’ve ever dreamt of making a living as a blogger – or want to know how to make money from your blog – then you need this book.  In The Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers, Sally Miller interviewed 17 top bloggers to learn the strategies, habits and mindsets that have helped them become successful.  These bloggers make six- or even seven-figure salaries from blogging – when most bloggers struggle to make a tiny fraction of that. The bloggers all took different paths to success, but showed that persistence and smart work habits are essential.  The tips and advice they shared are sensible and practical, and can help to improve the focus and quality of any blog.

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom & David Kelley

Creative Confidence is not specifically about blogging, but is a guide on how we can use creative thinking to become more productive and successful in our lives.  Tom and David Kelley are brothers and co-founders of the award-winning design firm, IDEO – innovation and creativity is their life’s work.  They wrote Creative Confidence in order to inspire and help everyone realise their creative potential.  Using many interesting anecdotes, and ideas based on design / iterative thinking, the Kelleys show that greater creativity can be learnt – by trying new things without fear of failure, and by learning from our mistakes.

Influencer: Building your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy

If you’ve ever scrolled through your Instagram feed and thought, I wear clothes, eat avocado toast and like sunsets, why can’t someone pay me to live my best life? Then this book is for you – Influencer is a detailed guide on how to nurture your social media presence – including your blog and your personal brand – into valuable social influence.  With her experience from both sides of the industry – starting as a blogger, eventually entering senior marketing roles in influencer strategy for various companies – Brittany Hennessy is able to offer a range of tips and tricks  to help you.  She is also refreshingly honest about the flipside of the influencer lifestyle – the amount of hard work and attention-to-detail required to live that picture-perfect life.  Essential reading.

365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About by Dana Fox

Dana Fox fell in love with the creative potential of the internet as a teen, then went on to build a successful career as a graphic artist, web designer, and blogger.  She is now paying it forward, sharing tips and tutorials on how to start blogging, through her blog I Can Build a Blog, and this book, 365 Blog Topic Ideas.  On each page there is a basic topic, such as “7 things found on the net this week”.  These are great starting points that also prompt you to modify or expand to suit the tone and focus of your own blog.  There is also a section full of holiday and seasonal ideas.  365 Blog Topic Ideas is a great resource for getting started, injecting variety or helping you become unstuck in your blogging.

Growing your side business with Youtube

More and more people are carving out their own little corner of the internet to launch their side hustle. Video is the most powerful content on social media. It can stop us in our (scrolling) tracks and demand our attention with FOMO viral clips. Video also allows brands to show snippets of life behind the scenes of a business which is a  technique used to build trust with customers. 

If you’re thinking of utilising youtube for your side hustle read on. Our team has trailed the internet and has found the top titles for using youtube for business. 

Really professional internet person by Jenn McAlister

Jenn McAllister, better known as JennxPenn, has been obsessed with making videos since she found her parents video camera at the age of eight. A shy child, Jenn turned to film because, unlike with life, you can always have a do-over. Really Professional Internet Person offers both an insider’s guide to building a successful YouTube channel and an intimate portrait of the surreality of insta-fame and the harsh reality of high school. Brimming with honesty, heart and Jenn’s patented sense of humour, Really Professional Internet Person features top ten lists, photos, screenshots, social media posts and never-before-posted stories chronicling Jenn’s journey from an anxious middle-schooler just trying to fit in, to a YouTube sensation unafraid to stand out.

So you want to blog by Andrea Valeria 

So, you’re an aspiring vlogger? Your new favourite content creator, Andrea Valeria of “It’s a Travel O.D.,” has broken down the vlogging process for you, without taking herself too seriously or getting overly technical. From naming your vlog, refining your style, and advancing your skills—to the satisfaction of publishing your very first video — you now have a vlogging mentor (and maybe your first viewer!). 

I, Justine by Justine Ezarik

A one-woman media phenomenon and a leading YouTube influencer takes readers behind the camera, and deep inside her world. Justine Ezarik has been tech-obsessed since unboxing her family s first Apple computer. By sixth grade she had built her first website. A decade later, she became one of the Internet s first and most popular lifecasters, inviting people around the world to watch her every move, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. But it was a one-minute video about an itemised AT&T bill that gave Justine her first taste of viral success: Within ten days of release, her 300-page iPhone bill had garnered more than 3 million views and international media attention. These days, iJustine is a one-woman new media phenomenon: The popular techie, gamer, vlogger, and digital influencer has an army of nearly 3.5 million subscribers across multiple YouTube channels, with total views approaching half a billion. Now, Justine is giving friends and fans a look behind the scenes, sharing never-before-told stories about the hilarious (and sometimes heartbreaking) reality of sharing your life online. With her trademark wit and delightfully weird sense of humor, Justine delivers an inspirational message in support of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the power of staying true to yourself, while reminding readers that the Internet is a very small world you just never know who you re going to meet.

The Amazing Book is not on fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Dan and Phil are youtube sensations who just about broke the internet when they announced they were releasing a board game back in 2017. You can check it out here. But back in 2015 they released a book offering helpful advice on how to make successful videos. Using themselves as object lessons, they start with short but thorough autobiographies that provide insight into their childhood, teen, and early vlogging years. They then move into talking about their creative processes, a little bit about their setups, and a lot of helpful advice, including what not to do, to make entertaining videos.

Vlog like a Boss by Amy Schmittauer

Vlog Like a Boss is the complete guide to video blogging.

Amy Schmittauer is the Vlog Boss. As a new media triple threat; a YouTuber, keynote speaker and author and all the while she coaches people to go after what they want in life and leverage online video to make it happen. Creator of the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social, her channel boasts a global community and millions of views. Now, in her first book, she will show you how to Vlog Like a Boss and get the attention you deserve. The book is a collection of strategies and tactics from years of experience in online video, Schmittauer shares time-tested, proven methods to creating brand awareness with vlogging that will build a loyal community for years to come. 

Enjoy. 

Best Books to help grow your side business with Instagram

This month we are stepping into the world of side hustles. Last week we showcased a number of top books focussing on your business making the transition from side hustle to real life business. You can read that here

Today, we are diving into the world of Instagram. Instagram is a super efficient marketing tool especially when have a side businesses to launch, or if you have made the decision to amp up your marketing game. 

Here’s our top picks for the titles that will offer you guidance. 

Capture your style by Aimee Song

With 3 million Instagram fans and counting, Aimee Song knows a thing or two about taking the perfect Instagram photo. In Capture Your Style, Song reveals the secrets behind creating the ultimate feed and breaks down the technical and editorial essentials for creating an account that will draw thousands of followers to earn you likes and brand attention. Organised by lifestyle categories, including fashion, travel, food, decor and more, the book presents the best apps and filters for processing photos, improving your voice and capturing your story on Instagram. There is also how-to information for propping and styling food and fashion photos. Whether you’re launching a career or simply sharing a gorgeous meal with your friends, Capture Your Style empowers you to become a master mobile photographer and shows you how to turn everyday moments into Instagold.

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

In his 2009 international bestseller, Crush It!, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was one of the primary paths to entrepreneurial success. In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what remains timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier, and not just financially, than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It! principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of social media platforms and their willingness to do whatever it takes to make these tools work to their utmost potential. Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint for living life on your own terms.

Styling for Instagram by Leela Cyd

Instagram is a rich source of inspiration and aspiration. It’s easy to set up an account, but to really master it, and gain a significant following, you need two things: a strong personal brand and an aspirational style that people will want to emulate. This book will help you achieve both. Written by renowned Instagram expert and photographer Leela Cyd, this book is packed with beautiful images as well as her sage advice for certain Instagram success. With sections on creating the perfect composition, finding the unique angle, and capturing scenes and places, this book covers all you need to know about getting the shots that work.

Instastyle by Tessa Barton

Instagram is the place where trends break, tastes are made, and brands are launched. Plus it’s packed with insightful analytics and handy business tools to help you elevate your social media presence to the next level. Create, connect with others, and share the way you see the world! Whether your passion is fitness, fashion, food, or anything in between, you can turn that passion into a business, inspire others, and meet amazing people. Learn from Tezza and her friends how to tell compelling visual stories on the fastest growing social media platform, with topics including photography tips, brand engagement strategies, and advice for finding management. InstaStyle is a must-have guide for a booming industry, full of beautiful imagery and easily understood guides to help you achieve your Instagram goals. You’ll learn how you can create an immediately recognisable grid aesthetic and showcase your life while remaining true to your personal brand. With contributions from successful influencers, you’ll be inspired to curate category-specific content to share with the Insta-universe.

Read this if you want to be instagram famous by Henry Carroll

So you’ve got an Instagram account, you’re posting pictures, but your follower count has flatlined. Read This If You Want to Be Instagram Famous holds the answers to fixing up your feed and finding thousands of new followers. Packed with the essential secrets of the hottest Instagrammers around, the book features tips covering photographic techniques, captioning, codes of conduct, kit and managing your account. Put the advice into practice and soon you too will be hailed as an Instagram icon.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other titles you think we should share. Nest week we’re sharing our top picks when using youtube for business.

Enjoy!