Some business acumen is natural and inherent: buy low, sell high and you make a profit. However, a lot of it needs to be learnt. Once you realise you don’t know much of what you need to know, you’re a step ahead the game, the next step is filling in those gaps.
There are three solutions to the knowledge gap:
I would love to have a coach or mentor that truly understands the current global business landscape and all the opportunities that online resources represent. As far as I’m concerned that’s where any serious money is going to be made. The problem is, I can’t afford any of the guys (and they are usually guys) that know more than I already know and I found most courses to be too basic for my needs.
The good news is that most business gurus have written books espousing their knowledge so I decided to get all those books and learn the best that I could through this avenue. This is one of the best business decisions that I have ever made. I paid for a free audiobook trial on audible.co.uk; I looked at audible.com which prices in USD but it is more expensive so I opted into the UK website.
After the free book trial I realised that business audiobooks were the future and I paid for a 24 book annual subscription – that was too much and I have since reduced it to 12 books per annum.
Through audiobooks I learnt things that pushed my business in a way no coach or mentor that I can afford could have. Just to give you an idea of what these gurus charge, Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week says a request for mentoring needs to come with a six-figure cheque – yes, that’s right six figures – and fortune 500 CEOs do pay up because he is so worth it.
With this comprehensive list of business books that helped me out you can transform the way you think and the way in which you approach business:
These books are general business and marketing books. Once you decide on the business you actually want to pursue, zone in on specific people in that industry and on any industry journals that might be available.
There are many niche markets out there and all of them will have a zealous group of enthusiastic participants that are willing to share their knowledge – most of it completely free via blogs.
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." Eleanor Roosevelt
For 2 years until early 2014 I wrote a weekly personal finance and business column for Malawi's leading media house, The Times Group. The target is middle-class, working African women.
This is a reproduction of the articles that appeared in the weekend edition of Malawi News.