The start of a January tends to be a time of renewal and fresh start for people, it is also a time of reflection which normally is accompanied with the desire to learn from previous mistakes and to prepare for the future. As part of this I have reviewed a few books that would be good for all budding and not so budding entrepreneurs to read over the next few months.
Legally Branded by Shireen Smith
In Legally Branded Shireen demystifies the subject of trademarks by providing an easy to follow guide to the otherwise confusing and intimidating concepts of intellectual property. The book is written in none threatening language making it reader friendly for even the ‘non learned friends.’ It provides clear guidance on when one may or may not need the advice of legal experts when working on their branding, brand protection, online presence, licensing of products and services and related areas. Use of pertinent cases to illustrate points enables one to relate their own business situation to the issues discussed.
Although Shireen’s focus is on English law, the areas discussed have international applicability particularly for small to medium sized enterprises as they tend not to have access to top notch legal experts and are therefore more susceptible to costly legal blunders. In the continuously evolving and competitive business environment Legally Branded is a must have reference book for every busy person.
Michael J. Michalowicz’s The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll
When we have no option to just get up and walk away, we find a way to get the job done – that is the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur’s approach to doing business. Michalowicz’s The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is thought provoking and challenges the conventional business school wisdom on how to start and run a business. Emphasis is on following one’s urge and taking action using whatever resources are available as opposed to developing detailed plans and being immobilized by the non availability of funding. One’s success as a budding entrepreneur is attributed to one’s ability to use the mind to produce maximum impact from limited or even none existent resources and taking the small steps that will lead to big gains.
Although the book uses coarse language that may be considered offensive by some, it delivers the core message in an uncompromising manner. To derive maximum benefit from Michalowicz’s valuable tips and anecdotes one has to make a conscious effort to see beyond the blunt language.
There are few books that can combine ancient philosophy and the modern day approach to our 21st century lives, and yet this book does it magnificently!
Slingerland bases the entire piece on his PhD dissertation and combines the ancient Chinese philosophy of Wu Wei (doing things without actually trying) and our busy schedules and competitive nature at work to bring you a book about knowing how to calm down and go with the flow.
In terms of its application to running and working in a business, what this Wu Wei method boils down to is making sure that you do not put a mental strain on the things you do in life, and that this way of thinking about your tasks will actually help you get them done at a much higher quality and without the usual stress that follows them. Slingerland suggests that you should take every task as a positive thing that will help you build on your career, and that you shouldn’t actually be spending any time of preparing for the task, but that you should just allow yourself to go with the flow and to accomplish it in a calm state of mind and in a way that seems the most natural. In the competitive world of businesses, this book will show you how to take it easy and yet still make it big!
By Janice Chaka