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Expert Advice

Entrepreneur and TV Host JJ Ramberg Shares Her Top 5 Favorite Business Books

Take a peek into the reading list of a successful woman entrepreneur: JJ Ramberg is the host of MSNBC’s Your Business, the co-founder of Goodshop and and host of the podcast Been There. Built That. Since I host a program which covers entrepreneurship, as you can imagine, a lot of business books cross my desk. They pile up until I get a chance to go through them, and while I generally get at least something out of every book, there are a group that end up as permanent fixtures in my office because I’ve either learned so much or been so inspired by them. Here is a list of five business books that I recommend: 1. Influence by Robert Cialdini I recently did a podcast with Andy Dunn from Bonobos and found out that this is his favorite book too. Cialdini walks us through the psychology of persuasion. As a quick teaser — did you know that simply using the word “because” changes the way people respond to your request? It’s a really interesting read and I promise you’ll learn a lot. 2. It Takes a Tribe: Building the Tough Mudder Movement by Will Dean Will tells the story of how he created Tough Mudder (with no outside funding) and built a passionate group of both customers and employees. I love this book because Will is incredibly honest about what went well and what was hard. 3. Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Segal Read this when you are feeling like things at work are not going as planned and you’ll be reminded that it’s not easy for anyone! Segal interviews successful people from a variety of industries including Warren Buffet, Jillian Michaels, Craig Newmark and Frank Gehry to find out what it took for them to get to where they are. The interviews are both inspiring and insightful. 4. Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing your Humanity by Kim Scott I interviewed Kim about this book a couple of months ago and have recommended this book to many people since. Scott explains how, in order to be a great manager, you have to both “care personally” and “challenge directly,” and gives ideas on how to get there. Once you read this book, I promise it will make you rethink the way you interact with your team. 5. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek I love this book because it really gets you thinking about what makes your company so different than every other company in your space. It’s a great book to read at any point in your company’s life as you really need to understand your “why” to know what makes you (or can make you) great. And just one more thing. As the mother of three children, I think it’s incredibly important for us to be teaching our kids the tenants of business and entrepreneurship from a young age. So, for any of you with kids, please check out this final book (which I wrote with my sister): The Startup Club: The Big Idea.This is a fun, fiction book for grammar school-aged kids about a group of kids who start a company called CJ Chainz. Through it, your kids will learn the difference between revenue and profit, what it takes to have a partnership and hopefully be inspired to start their own little business! [Editor’s Note: Visit Alice for more business-minded books] This post was originally published on HelloAlice.
Apr 3, 2018 • 2 min read
Expert Advice

Coffee, Cookies and a Work Wife

Kena Paranjape is a marketer, merchandiser, writer and the creative force behind BRIKA. After earning her MBA, she created merchandising strategies for Old Navy, Banana Republic, Joe Fresh, and a high-end eco-lifestyle concept shop before launching BRIKA with her co-founder. Today Kena also consults with artisans and designers, helping them to define and grow their creative businesses. What was your biggest discovery in 2017? My biggest discovery in 2017 was that when you own your own business, and face a challenge, there is literally no one who can give you the right answer. You can connect with mentors, read entrepreneurship articles, and consult with other entrepreneurs, but you are, ultimately, the one who has to find the answers. It is daunting but exhilarating if you are willing to take on that challenge. And it forces you to be more creative and innovative than you ever thought possible. What hurdles did you face in 2017, and how did you navigate them? My daughter was born in the fall of last year, so my 2017 challenge was all about finding balance between spending time with her and focusing on my business. When you have two babies, it is hard to know how to split that time! But like all moms, I did the best I could. Your baby is only a baby for a little time, so when I am with her I fully enjoy it. On the other hand, BRIKA brings me so much fulfillment and satisfaction that I never feel guilty when I spend time on building our vision. What is getting you pumped up for 2018? I’m excited to push ahead on some big ideas both personally and for BRIKA. Some of the themes I’m focused on for 2018 are creativity, growth, and expansion. When you’re not thinking about business, what occupies your daydreams? I dream about traveling the world with my husband and daughter, while writing, meeting, and helping artisans and designers grow their businesses, making new friends, and eating delicious food. What is in your “entrepreneurship” emergency kit? A pretty notebook and my agenda, other entrepreneurs to commiserate with, coffee shops and cookies, and of course, my co-founder Jen (my work wife-ha!).
Jan 31, 2018 • 2 min read