“Inspiring Books…”

As an entrepreneur, one is always looking to learn from various sources (mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, books & blogs). So it is with me as well.

I am an avid reader. I love reading autobiographies, books & blogs written by experienced leaders.

I am not a great fan of books or blogs with catchy titles that promise shortcuts viz..

  • “5 proven strategies to ..”
  • “3 sure ways to pitch to..”

I believe in learning by doing.

3 books that have helped me and I have read a few times.

  • “Great by Choice — Jim Collins”

This is a well-researched book infused with engaging stories on why some companies thrive in uncertainty and chaos and others do not. What I liked about this book was the constant theme of analogy of explorers and the business context. It begins with the comparison of how 2 explorers made their preparations to conquer the South Pole with differing results.

The entrepreneurial journey is no different from an explorer’s journey with danger strewn all around, and if one is not prepared, it can kill your startup. We entrepreneurs can connect to explorers in the context of brush with dangers, getting lost and how preparation can help in each of these situations.

My favorite chapter of this book is “The 20 Mile March”, where the explorers to the South Pole had a daily goal and never missed it or crossed it. It compares a few benchmark companies that practised this rule. This is very applicable in the startup world, where striving for consistency is key.

  • “Sam Walton — Made in America”

I first read this famous book some 18 years back. I must have read it at least a dozen times since then. It still continues to energize me whenever I pick it after a long day. My favorite chapter is the “Learning to value the dollar”, emphasizing the importance of frugality as a competitive advantage. I loved his consistent focus on learning from different stores across the world to build the competitive advantage for Walmart.

  • “Romancing the Balance Sheet by Anil Lamba”

When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I was a rookie when it came to understanding business finances. This book helped me understand the nuances of Finances & Balance sheets. Written in a lucid style, easy to understand for the layman, the author builds up your financial knowledge in a systematic way. A must-read book for every entrepreneur.

Which books have inspired you? Please share.

This is the fourteenth part of a series by the author. Find the previous post here.

[About the Author: Shashi Bhushan is the Founder & CEO of HealthMacro Technologies. He plunged into entrepreneurship to explore his dream of building something that touches people’s lives. HealthMacro were TiE’s AnthahPrerana2013 winners. He can be followed on twitter at @ShashiBhushanHR]