There are a few influential books that have persuaded me as powerfully as the books below.

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

I try to reflect what I learned from this book in aspects of myself. In the text, Dan becomes a disciple of a modern, ninja, Socrates and confronts death and the meaninglessness of existence to become present, aware, open, and vulnerable. These qualities lead Dan to find, and marry, the girl, and concept, named Joy and realize his full capabilities as a human being. I believe the ideas that Dan expresses about how to find joy in life can help people become the best version of themselves that they can imagine.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This book teaches a person to pay attention to emotional responses, acknowledge them, and how to prevent them from representing your logical side. The book teaches that if some pain has already happened to you then do not let dwelling on it or future implications ruin the current moment. Lastly, try to find patterns in your brain by asking “what will my next thought be.” This will show your thought habits. Break those habits and focus on paying attention to the immediate moment, instead of being caught in a self-fulfilling loop.

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh’s story at Zappo’s is amazing by itself, but his employee-first attitude and focus on company culture and vision is particularly inspiring. Hsieh’s belief that company culture is the greatest predictor of success was an enlightening revelation. His decision that Zappos must be the best at one element of the business, then choosing customer service and dedicating themselves to that focus to the point where the company center to their Las Vegas customer service center shows how vision can be used to make bold decisions.

Delivering Happiness promotes having a company’s vision and culture drive everything. Hsieh shows how to focus on one aspect of your company, how to never outsource the best quality of your workplace, and how to remove one aspect of the budget (in Hsieh’s case, marketing) to re-invest it into a company’s primary focus. Most importantly Hsieh teaches how to make the company’s greatest strength be the greatest measure of their success.

The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump

The Art of the Deal is treasured among my influential books since it’s the one that taught me how to be scrappy. The guidelines of this influential book teach me how to fight like an underdog at the negotiation table.

  1. Think big.
  2. Anticipate the worst.
  3. Don’t get too attached to a deal, and start making lots of deals.
  4. Know the market.
  5. Never be desperate to make a deal work.
  6. If your situation isn’t the best, figure out a way to make your deal the best.
  7. Be sensational and get your name out.
  8. If someone tries to take advantage of you, fight back.
  9. Deliver what you promise.
  10. Never spend more than you have to.
  11. Be in a business you enjoy being a part of.

More

Below are a few authors who make nothing but influential books. I recommend reading every work they create or help create:

  • Tony Robbins
  • Marc Benioff
  • Zig Ziglar
  • Jim Rohn
  • Warren Buffett
  • Bill Gates
An Entrepreneur Thinks About His Lessons Learned While Living Abroad

Living abroad is a game changer for any entrepreneur; take everything you think you know and turn it upside down. You’re likely to discover things about yourself and the world that you’d never imagined, even when living in a county that’s like your native nation. The education and life experiences you gain from being immersed in another culture is incomparable to any other schooling you could have and the lessons that you can take away from it, especially as an entrepreneur, are invaluable.

Stretch Your Comfort Zone

How can you grow if you’ve always stayed in your comfort zone? Living abroad forces you to have moments of uncertainty and discomfort, but instead of looking at these moments in a negative light, you should turn them into a teaching moment. Let these experiences of the unknown take control. Staying within your comfort zone can make you avoid new ideas and opportunities — the very opposite of what makes a successful entrepreneur! If you aren’t challenged, you’re not growing as a person and as an innovator.

How to Ask for Help

Many entrepreneurs feel like they have to tough it out alone and “fake it until they make it.” The universal truth is that we all need help sometimes. When you’re living in another country there are going to be plenty of things you don’t know. Experiencing the unknown can be a humbling experience within itself. Many entrepreneurs have a strong sense of independence, but it’s important to remember that asking for help doesn’t negate your independence or your abilities. You can’t do everything alone. Everyone needs help sometimes and it’s important to be able to understand when you need it and how to seek it. From a business standpoint, utilizing the help that you have available can also boost brand awareness, increase your networking skills, and lead to business growth. So, don’t be afraid to get comfortable asking for help.

Question the Status Quo

We tend to see the world through our own culture’s eyes. Traveling allows you to see the world through the eyes of other cultures and makes you realize that most things people think are culturally relative. Culture shock is defined by BusinessDictionary.com as a “sense of confusion, discomfort, disorientation, and uncertainty felt by those exposed to a different cultural environment.” Culture shock is an important tool because when you experience it your long-held ideas, beliefs, and your comfort zone are being challenged. Learning to accept another culture’s techniques and perspective of ways to do certain things allows you to think outside your culture box and will promote increased creativity, individualism, and a greater understanding of the world. All are valuable skill sets for any entrepreneur.

Develop Better Communication

When living abroad, you will most likely discover that a friendly smile can get you far. Communication of all types is an art form and learning how to communicate with people from many backgrounds in both verbal and non-verbal ways is important when it comes to business. If you’re living in an area that has language barriers, you may have to rely significantly on nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication also becomes a helpful tool in business. We gather a lot of information from physical cues and knowing how to use effective nonverbal communication may mean the difference between a successful business pitch and a strikeout.

It’s About Advancing, Not Perfecting

Some entrepreneurs strive for perfection. Living abroad shakes up the idea that you need to be perfect. You’ll make mistakes at some point: a cultural faux pas, misspeaking a foreign language, or even taking the wrong public transit and getting lost. It’s not about being perfect. Continuing to learn and adapt is what matters and the flexibility that comes with learning and adapting quickly is especially useful for developing problem-solving skills. Every successful entrepreneur sees the value in learning from their mistakes and adjusting accordingly. Always keep advancing and adapting and the business world will be your oyster.