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The 6 Best Books of the Year for Entrepreneurs (They Make Great Gifts, Too)

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I read about 75 nonfiction books a year. As an author of nine of my own books, I must stay current on what the greatest minds in business are thinking. When a title really sparks my imagination, I contact the authors directly. But I only write about books that teach me something new.

Each of these books taught me something new. I’m sure they’ll inspire you, too. The hardcovers also make great gifts for the entrepreneur on your holiday list.

1. Edison by Edmund Morris

Thomas Edison didn’t just invent the light bulb. He averaged one patent for every 10 to 12 days of his adult life. Edison is the last book written by Morris, a Pulitzer Prize winning biographer who died in May. The book runs close to 800 pages (and gets very technical in places), but it’s a great read for inventors, scientists, and anyone who has a keen interest in the hard sciences and the history of inventions. 

The passages in which Morris describes what it was like to listen to recorded sound for the first time (Edison invented the phonograph) or to see a world illuminated by electric light are reminders of why entrepreneurs do what they do. Light bulbs were “globes of glass that gave off no fumes and sooted no ceilings.” When people heard the phonograph, a “miraculous machine” that recorded and played back a human voice, most couldn’t believe it. “Since the dawn of humanity … the human voice was a product of the body and therefore must die too … but here now were echoes made hard, resounding as often as anyone wanted to hear them again.”

If you choose to listen to the audio book of Edison, you know whom to thank for it.  

2. That Will Never Work by Marc Randolph

In That Will Never Work, Netflix’s co-founder tells the story of how Netflix went from concept to company–and how it nearly didn’t make it. It reads like a novel full of ups and downs, failures and successes.

One memorable story is the time Randolph and co-founder Reed Hastings (Netflix’s current CEO) pitched Blockbuster about a partnership. Netflix was making $5 million in revenue while Blockbuster was making $6 billion. Blockbuster executives laughed the founders out of the room–literally.

On the flight home, Hastings was exhausted, and the two men sat quietly. Randolph broke the silence with a line that became their rallying cry. Randolph said, “It looks like we’re going to have to kick their a**.” And so they did.

3. What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz

Horowitz is co-founder of the legendary venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The book is about how to create a business culture, one of the most important things any entrepreneur must do to sustain success. “Your culture is how your company makes decisions when you’re not there … it’s how they [your employees] behave when no one is looking.”

What You Do Is Who You Are is not just a culture book. It’s one of the most intriguing history books I’ve read in the business category. You’ll learn about slave rebellions, the samurai warriors who ruled Japan for 700 years, Genghis Khan, who built the world’s largest empire, and other stories you’re unlikely to find in a standard business book.

According to Horowitz, “Companies–just like gangs, armies, and nations–are large organizations that rise or fall because of the daily microbehaviors of the human beings that compose them.”

Read full article @ Inc here >>> https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/the-6-best-books-of-year-for-entrepreneurs-they-make-great-gifts-too.html

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Facebook commits $200 million to Black-owned businesses and organizations

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  • Facebook on Thursday announced it will commit $200 million to Black-owned businesses and organizations.
  • Facebook will also commit to increase the representation of people of color in the company’s leadership positions by 30%, including 30% more Black people, COO Sheryl Sandberg said.

Facebook on Thursday announced it will commit $200 million to Black-owned businesses and organizations.

“The past few weeks have compelled us to confront the reality of violence and injustice which members of the Black community face on a daily basis,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a post announcing the company’s initiative. “We have shared words of support for our friends, colleagues and communities. We need to take action as well.”

Read more @ CNBC.com

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HOW TO NEGOTIATE FEARLESSLY—EVEN IN TOUGH TIMES

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In her first book, negotiation guru Mori Taheripour offers readers more than a decade of expertise honed as both a faculty member at the Wharton School of Business and adviser to organizations such as the NFL and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Even in the midst of economic crisis, she insists, it’s important to negotiate—and to get creative about how.

Negotiations become more, not less, critical at times like these, when the economy is struggling and unemployment is running high. Whether you’re setting a price for your side hustle, or bargaining with clients or an employer seeking to downsize your regular pay, while you may not have much leverage in the moment, setting the stage for the comeback is key.

“It’s important to make sure that your clients don’t expect deep discounts to continue,” she says.

Read full story at Black Enterprise

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The Black Tax: Why African Americans Must Work Harder to Build Wealth

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After 400 years in this country, black families hold a fraction of the wealth of white families. And that is due, in part, to what is referred to as the “black tax.”

The term “black tax” is commonly used in South Africa, where it refers to the financial support that black professionals are expected to give their extended families. In the U.S. it also describes the racial dimensions that perpetuate a cycle of inequality such as lower pay and a lower standard of education.e

Read full article at Nasdaq

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