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Career tips

10 Books you should read to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset

To start and grow a thriving business, you need to make books a regular part of your diet. Just like food is for the nourishment to the body, so are books the nourishment to the mind.

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10 Books you should read to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset

Would you like to be your own boss? Are you tired of working from 8 to 5, receiving meager monthly pay checks, and wondering when your next promotion might be? Then you need to become an entrepreneur and run things on your own terms.

But what does it really mean to be an entrepreneur? Can anyone just wake up one fine morning and say, “hey, it’s time I started my own business”, or is there more to it?

Today, we are going to look at 10 books you should read to help you understand what running your own business really entails. The struggles, persistence, skills, and of course, success stories to help inspire you down the road.

READ: This two minute test can determine if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur

Every leader, which is what an entrepreneur must be, should read at least five books a month. Books are essential if you want to broaden your way of thinking, learn new skills, and push through tough times.

To start and grow a thriving business, you need to make books a regular part of your diet. Just like food is for the nourishment to the body, so are books the nourishment to the mind.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is one of my all-time favorites.

Relationships are essential to the success of any business. After all, what’s a business without customers or allies? Therefore, it’s important to know how to motivate your workers and persuade clients.

If you want to grow quickly as an entrepreneur, master the art of building long-lasting alliances with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.

Proximity is power in business. Build and maintain your connections. Human relationships should never be underestimated.

READ: How to improve your investing habit

  1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon basically doles out common sense advice brilliantly presented through tales and parables from the times of ancient Babylon. It’s an undisputed finance classic.

If you are in a financial rot without even knowing it, Clason offers you the red pill that will open your eyes to the cold reality.

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If you want to discover the age-long principles behind wealth creation, this is a must read.

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  1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

To be an effective manager, learn how to use your time wisely. You can’t run a successful venture if you are terrible at time management. You can be busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and still end up achieving very little.

The 4-Hour Workweek shows you how to make every hour count. It proves that it’s possible to turn 80 hours of work into 4 and still achieve the same results – Unbelievable right? Well, you’d have to find out for yourself how exactly this can be achieved.

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If you always struggle to meet deadlines and need a way to propel your hourly output, this book will show you how to maximise your life so that you can spend fewer hours working.

READ: WallStreetBets initiate silver’s biggest jump since 2013

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

This is an intriguing title. And the content is even better.

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The mind is the greatest tool ever given to man. When it comes to succeeding in business or in life, your own mind is the most powerful influence you will ever face. The weak minded never go far, especially so in business.

Not everything in life is relevant. Things matter only when you make it so. You will learn how to channel all your mental energy only on things that can help you achieve what you’ve set out for.

Discover how to take control of your own mind and not allow people, struggles, and downfalls occupy valuable real estate in your head and eat away at your brain.

READ: 5 key steps to a successful investment journey

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  1. Man Up: How to Cut the Bullshit and Kick Ass in Business (and in Life) by Bedros Keuilian

Excuses and procrastination are the greatest killers of progress. You put days, months, or even years between you and your financial goals every time you delay doing the inevitable.

Being an entrepreneur demands you roll up your sleeves and do the dirty work.  Most people are fond of reveling in their thoughts and end up never gathering the will to set things in motion.

Bedros Keuilian shows you exactly how to stop making excuses and put in the effort when you can’t find the motivation to do so.

This read is for you if you are fond of thinking about your dreams but always find excuses to remain safe in your comfort zone.

READ: Dangote reveals steps to success in business

  1. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffet

To attain your full potentials in business, you’d have to learn the fundamentals.

Many entrepreneurs fail because they lack a basic understanding of what it takes to sustain a business. For this reason, Warren Buffet has arranged his most valuable writings in a well presented manner. Think of it as a quick guide to business success. If you’d rather learn the easy way and avoid the pains of trial and error, go grab a copy.

Of all the things you’d learn from this guide, the basics of sustaining cash flow and an understanding of profit and loss are just the tip of the iceberg. It is an all-encompassing guide to business practices.

READ: McCaleb, co-founder of Ripple sells 28.6 million XRP

  1. To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

To Sell is Human is what you’ve been looking for if you consider yourself shy and think you don’t have the essential skills of salesmanship.

Every entrepreneur needs to understand how to make their target want their offers. Learn how exactly to make people budge in this interesting read.

  1. Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin

The world of business is not all sunshine and rainbows. Do you have what it takes to stick it out even when everything seems to be going wrong?

Rand Fishkin in this brilliant book sheds light on what it’s like to struggle and survive in the world of business as a startup. It presents strong advice that can be applied to any business, no matter the size or industry.

  1. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank

As a business, achieving the perfect product-market fit is all it takes to become a leading brand. Steve Blank shows you how to do just that. It presents a series of practical exercises that ensure you don’t make any faulty assumptions about your target market, which can turn out badly for your business. It also gives concrete examples of how to organize your marketing strategies and sales.

  1. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Carl Newport

I had to list this one last because it provides the solution to a problem people, both young and old, battle with daily, around the world.

Today’s world is full of distractions like the internet and social media. It’s increasingly hard to focus on and complete cognitively demanding tasks without succumbing to one form of distraction or the other. Carl Newport presents four rules to help you cultivate a deep work ethic.

There you have it. Get started with your reading and take the first step to a better life.

You may say you can’t find the time to read a book, or even finish one. But there’s time if you create it.

And remember, at the end of the day, it’s all up to you to put everything you’ve learned into practice. See you at the top.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nkenna

    April 17, 2019 at 9:04 am

    And the essays of Warren buffet becomes my next read.

    Suggestion: how about a reading list for capital and money markets.

  2. Dùbé

    April 17, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Currently on The Richest Man in Babylon, very practical and interesting. Also straight to the point coz I really hate long reads. In any case, kudos Tobenna.

    • Ndukwe

      April 18, 2019 at 1:36 am

      It is rather a long story parable on how to get rich by saving 10% of your earnings and investing it. I got inpatient with the ancient story.

  3. Daniel

    April 17, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Awesome list.

    Quality stuff too. Thanks

  4. Annie

    April 17, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    My weakness is I will start reading a book and never finish it. How can I change this habit ?

    • Alfred Akuki

      April 17, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Annie there are apps that now aid you in this process like blinkist. Some even summarise the book.

  5. Seun Lawal

    April 18, 2019 at 11:44 am

    You didn’t include Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

  6. Obiorah Emeka Kingsley

    April 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for the good work, to me NairaMetrics.com is one of the best companies we have here…If you understand where am coming from.

    I listened once on the radio, today am a subscriber of your newsletter.

    I love the article. But please I know I can go in search of these books, but your direction will be of immense importance to which store I buy they from.
    Thank you.

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Career tips

7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

Juggling between work and family life has been one challenge faced by many women.

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7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, women make up 44.94% of labour force in Nigeria as at 2019. It can be estimated that more than half of this number of working women are wives and mothers. This is quite impressive and shows an appreciable increase in the number of working women and working mothers to compared to what was seen two decades ago.  However. The rise in the number of working women and mothers also increased some of the problems working wives/mothers faced both at home and at work. In fact, some of these problems remain largely unattended to in the Nigerian society.

In our world today, especially in the corporate world, where competitive nature is prevalent, a lot of women have risen career-wise and have carved a niche for themselves. Some of the career choices they made has put so many of them in a state of dilemma. i.e. juggling between their work as well as their family life, thereby making it difficult for them to strike a balance.

READ: 10 side businesses to sustain your professional career

In addition, many husbands, especially in Nigeria where patriarchy is strong do not support the idea of their wives working. A few who buy the idea, do so grudgingly, thereby, not offering their full support and cooperation to their wives.  This, however, has made a lot of relationships suffer.

Contrary to the above, many men give their wives full consent to work, pursue their dreams and professions. In Nigeria, there is an indication that most working mothers/wives are working not just for self-fulfilment but also to supplement their husband’s income in the face of persistent inflation and to assist their spouse financially.

A lot of people find it difficult balancing the strike i.e. their career and family, leading to some having to quit their jobs. Nevertheless, there are some women who, over the years were able to balance their professional careers with that of their family, and these women have become source of inspiration to so many women finding it difficult to strike the balance. And they are the likes of Oby Ezekwesili, Folorunso Alakija, Aisha Ahmed, Ibukun Awosika, Toyin Sanni, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu and so many other women striving in their area of specialization.

READ: President Buhari approves N13.3 billion for Community Policing in Nigeria

According to Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu (MD/CEO, NSIA Insurance Company Limited) in an exclusive interview with the Amazons Watch Magazine editorial team, she said that “balancing work with family life is quiet challenging to achieve but is very achievable. I think women more than men need to realize that it is essential to start early to focus on a desired career and we need to stay the course when marriage and children come. We do not have time to play around or to waste, and we must stay motivated and not burn out. Women, by starting early would already have set a pace, before family life comes in. Even when you don’t start early; women must realize that many times, we need to do more. We must stay the course”

According to Ibukun Awosika (Chairman Firstbank Nigeria) “In life, you decide on those things that are important to you, because as a woman I have all my visions and dreams and I want to achieve them. I want to also be a successful mother to my children and I want to be a successful wife to my husband; once I am able to balance it up, it will make a successful home. All we need is understanding. And we need a balanced home to have the right atmosphere. I also apply wisdom most of the time because the day my children matter most to me, I create time for them. The day it is my husband that matters, I create the time. The same goes for my work. If not, everything will crumble and that is why I need to measure the percentage of attention I give to them and that is why I can’t advise another woman on how to run her family because it is your circumstances that determine your kind of action; my home is different from any other home. I am happy to be married to the best man.”

READ: Women and unemployment in Nigeria: How government and stakeholders can bridge the gap

Here are the 7 ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish:

Having a supportive spouse is key to balance

Having a supportive spouse is key to balancing your career and family because he will assist in the responsibilities of taking care of the family. Having a supportive spouse will enable you reach your career height. They go as far as being supportive of their pursuits to seek higher education thereby supporting them financially, morally, emotionally and otherwise.

Though at times some when overwhelmed might grumble about a woman’s dedication to her job, however, as a woman the best way to resolve this concern is by being diplomatic. Nevertheless, when your spouse is being supportive, it is still imperative to give them top priority and also tend to their needs.

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Planning and time management is crucial

Good planning and time management are crucial to balancing career and family. A lot of people are faced with the challenges of taking care of their young children/ pursuing their careers. Some will plan it in a way that they will pursue postgraduate degrees or career advancement when their children are older.

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Also, when planning and managing time, figure out your family’s priorities. Have a calendar that includes dates when bills are due, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and more. It is always recommended to use a Google calendar, which can be easily shared and synced on smartphones. Set aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week. Also, have a time put in place to take care of yourself by going to a spa and exercising (like a yoga class). Remember to eat well and get enough rest. These are simple things a lot of working mothers/wives’ neglect.

Be focus and work hard

This is specifically true for women who want to compete for leadership positions and elevate higher in their careers. For you to get to that position you have to be focused and work so hard to avoid your gender being a hindrance to your success. There is often pressure from employers on women to convince them that their loyalties lie at work and not at home, since working mothers might not be able to afford to spend extra hours doing overtime or other work-related activities which can jeopardize their family. The best way to meet up with all the expectations is to be focused and work super hard. Multitasking will aid you to achieve your goals. Avoid time-wasting, casual internet browsing, gossiping, and long lunches. All these things cause distractions and make you less productive.

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Hire a good house help/nanny  

When trying to balance a professional career with family, it is advisable to hire someone that will take care of your children. You may decide to employ a house help/nanny or even invite a family member, like your mother/mother-in-law to come around and take care of your kid(s).

When hiring a help/nanny it is always imperative to do a background check of the person you are bringing inside your home so you wouldn’t end up creating a problem for yourself and for your family. Go for someone that has excellent experience and is adaptable to kids of various age range; caring for newborns and older children who need homework help.

The house help could cover the necessary functions, such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, and taking care of the children while both parents are at work. It is imperative to show your house help love so they can reciprocate and take good care of your children when you are at work.

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Find quality creche for you kids

Using a Creche (for toddlers) is a good way of balancing your work and family for those that do not want to hire a nanny/house-help. There are some inexpensive schools you can enroll your kids, where they will receive proper care. Having them enroll in Creche will give you ample time to focus on your job and grow your career. You and your spouse can reshuffle on how you both can go for school runs. Choosing a Creche is not something you carelessly pick out and move on, the reason being that leaving your child in the care of others is a major act and needs your utmost attention. Before choosing a Creche it is important to take note of their services and leave room for evaluation to be sure they are in good hands.

Go for online courses

Getting an education is very important to a lot of women as it enables them to achieve higher leadership positions. Having a successful career has to do with furthering your education, whether through degrees or certifications.

For this to be feasible, since you are trying to balance your career and that of your family, it is advisable to venture into online professional courses/online Master/PHD courses. Going into online courses will give you sufficient time to take care of your family and also aid in self-development which is a good ladder to enable you climb faster in your career.

Create a family time

Making time for your kids is crucial, both during the week and on the weekends, to nurture your family dynamic and allow everyone to bond. Always create family time, like having a family breakfast and family weekend. The family weekend covers going to the movies/amusement parks.  When you are having family time, avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Instead, focus on your kids’ interests by asking questions about their friends, classes, and hobbies. With older children, ask for their activity suggestions and try to meet their needs.

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Get relevant economic and financial data on Nairalytics

In conclusion, being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to be focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood.

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Career tips

Great tips for landing a job during this lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has had its impact on job opportunities, but here are some tips for landing jobs.

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Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

The economic lockdown and movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on job opportunities. Some of them could be in the form of job losses, getting new jobs, or even changing the way we work.

Given the unemployment numbers especially in these challenging times, it might be hard not to be apprehensive.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for personal finance website Bankrate.com, said, “It’s important to remember that there is hiring happening. There’s always attrition and individuals leaving for other jobs.”

Robin Ryan, a career counsellor, said that just a few unemployed people are job hunting at the moment. Most believe that there are no jobs, they can’t be hired, or that only lower-level jobs are available.

Here are some tips for landing jobs during this lockdown.

Beat the system: Make a list of your recent jobs and your top accomplishments at each of them. Those are the items that should be on your résumé. To get past automated applicant vetting systems, enter your work tasks—budgeting, project management, graphic design, team leadership, etc.—in the first bullet point under each job. Don’t include extraneous formatting, such as text boxes, tables, footers, or headers, because application software can’t recognize it.

(READ MORE:Skills Africa needs for sustainable development)

Assess your prospects: You have to find out if the opportunities in your industry are shrinking. According to Hamrick, “many people fail to see that their skills might apply to a variety of settings.” Consider some of the sectors that have stayed open in the lockdown—finance, real estate, food and other consumer goods, technology, and retail, plus suppliers and distributors for each. If that exercise doesn’t yield much, think about how your skills might help companies sharpen their online business. “There’s a need for people to help facilitate digital transformation,” Hamrick says.

Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

Hit up recruiters (Recruiting agency firms): Let them help you with your resume and offer suggestions about things you might do to stand out.

Use your resources: Companies are filling positions needed to support virtual workers as part of their pandemic strategies. Many company websites might not yet reflect these changes, so try popular online job search websites, type in a company and your city, and you’ll get a better sense of what kind of hiring is going on.

Network: That friend-of-a-friend who previously ignored you. He’s home now and might be up for a quick Zoom coffee date. Connect with everyone you know in your field. (LinkedIn is good for this.). Those connections build on each other. You can ask mutual acquaintances to introduce you to people who can help and once that happens, you can fix a virtual coffee date. If that goes well, ask for an introduction to a hiring manager or supervisor. You’ve got nothing to lose.

 

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