10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees


Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done.

Exceptional bosses do all of the above–and more. Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them.

That’s why extraordinary bosses give every employee:

1. Autonomy and independence.

Great organizations are built on optimizing processes and procedures. Still, every task doesn’t deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (I’m looking at you, manufacturing.)

Engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence. I care when it’s “mine.” I care when I’m in charge and feel empowered to do what’s right.

Plus, freedom breeds innovation: Even heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches. (Still looking at you, manufacturing.)

Whenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.

2. Clear expectations.

While every job should include some degree of independence, every job does also need basic expectations for how specific situations should be handled.

Criticize an employee for offering a discount to an irate customer today even though yesterday that was standard practice and you make that employee’s job impossible.  Few things are more stressful than not knowing what is expected from one day to the next.

When an exceptional boss changes a standard or guideline, she communicates those changes first–and when that is not possible, she takes the time to explain why she made the decision she made, and what she expects in the future.

3. Meaningful objectives.

Almost everyone is competitive; often the best employees are extremely competitive–especially with themselves. Meaningful targets can create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks.

Plus, goals are fun. Without a meaningful goal to shoot for, work is just work.

No one likes work.

4. A true sense of purpose.

Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork and esprit de corps that turns a group of individuals into a real team.

The best missions involve making a real impact on the lives of the customers you serve. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for your customers, and even your community. And if you can, let them create a few missions of their own.

Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care.

5. Opportunities to provide significant input.

Engaged employees have ideas; take away opportunities for them to make suggestions, or instantly disregard their ideas without consideration, and they immediately disengage.

That’s why exceptional bosses make it incredibly easy for employees to offer suggestions. They ask leading questions. They probe gently. They help employees feel comfortable proposing new ways to get things done. When an idea isn’t feasible, they always take the time to explain why.

Great bosses know that employees who make suggestions care about the company, so they ensure those employees know their input is valued–and appreciated.

6. A real sense of connection.

Every employee works for a paycheck (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a paycheck: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire–and with and for people who respect and admire them.

That’s why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help–those moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations.

A true sense of connection is personal. That’s why exceptional bosses show they see and appreciate the person, not just the worker.

7. Reliable consistency.

Most people don’t mind a boss who is strict, demanding, and quick to offer (not always positive) feedback, as long as he or she treats every employee fairly.

(Great bosses treat each employee differently but they also treat every employee fairly. There’s a big difference.)

Exceptional bosses know the key to showing employees they are consistent and fair is communication: The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume unfair treatment or favoritism.

8. Private criticism.

No employee is perfect. Every employee needs constructive feedback. Every employee deserves constructive feedback. Good bosses give that feedback.

Great bosses always do it in private.

9. Public praise.

Every employee–even a relatively poor performer–does something well. Every employee deserves praise and appreciation. It’s easy to recognize some of your best employees because they’re consistently doing awesome things.  (Maybe consistent recognition is a reason they’re your best employees? Something to think about.)

You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize an employee who simply meets standards, but that’s okay: A few words of recognition–especially public recognition–may be the nudge an average performer needs to start becoming a great performer.

10. A chance for a meaningful future.

Every job should have the potential to lead to greater things. Exceptional bosses take the time to develop employees for the job they someday hope to land, even if that job is with another company.

How to Keep a Life Changing Resolution for 2014


From wiki- Edited by Abin c Pascal

At the beginning of each year, many people make a decision to seek a fresh start. The new year is a great time to commit to a life changing resolution, such as becoming healthier, finding a new career, paying more heed to your close relationships, and so forth. Yet, making the resolution is one thing––sticking to it is quite another and many people fail to follow through to the commitment’s end. To increase your chances of keeping your life changing resolution, here are some simple ways to increase your chances.

1- Rekindle your inner imp. Who says the “better” you is your stuffy self all prim and proper? With so many edicts to behave yourself, sometimes there’s a risk you’ll equate being better with conforming to some highly unrealistic standard planted in your head by confused media messages. Yes, it is important to eat healthily, exercise and quit “bad” habits. But equally, moderation requires that you accept yourself and let go of any scolding approach to self-improvement. When you let out the silly, sassy, playfully mischievous, and audacious person within, you reveal your true colors. You can accomplish anything––as long as you drop the fault finding and look for all that’s right with you.

2- Be non-committal. Play with marvelous ideas for a bit. Half of the stuff we say we will do, we never actually plan on really doing. All the promises you feel obligated to do will be completely trashed within the first week because you resent them. Rather than treating your resolutions as absolute commitments, try something novel––consider them as trials. Try them on for size to see if they fit. You may find that the harsh exercise regime is actually wrong for your body type, while forgoing those chocolates is a sure way to end up eating more of them. Give yourself the wriggle room to ease into change, bit by bit. Gradual change is likely to last long term because you’re buying into it. And remember––you can do anything set your mind to once you really want to––meanwhile, play until you feel the time is right.

  • Much advice on making resolutions suggest you commit publicly. While this may shame you into making changes, that’s really not a good basis for making a change. You must want to shift your old self into a new self and revealing your intentions to other people can open you up to naysayers, getting picked on when your progress seems slower than expected or having people give a ton of unwanted advice. The better approach is to zip it, show an enigmatic smile if anyone questions your intentions and simply let the internal commitment motivate you in its own way instead.

3- Acknowledge that you’re complex. There is a tendency to feel that the old you has to be shown the door and the new you will miraculously be much better. Yet, it’s both unrealistic to expect such a dramatic transformation and it’s a denial of the reality that you’re already a complex being with many facets. Which part of yourself are you challenging to change? You’ll need to think of the trigger situations or people who bring out the facets of yourself that you’re not so proud of, rather than assuming a one-size-solution will create change. Hence, a renowned diet may sound great but unless you face the reason why you overeat, eat the wrong sorts of foods or fail to exercise, that diet resolution is doomed. Only you know yourself well enough to face the deeper truths.

4- Live in a land of conundrums. Many resolutions tend to be all or nothing, black and white. And this tends to be why they’re set to fail. So, rather than stating “I intend to stop eating fried food forever” and assuming you will stick to this strict finality, give yourself the freedom to mix and match solutions that even each other out and restore the fun in life. Slow down and pick up the pace. Try yoga and drink triple lattes. Let your childlike wisdom shine. Try “modern urban rustic” decor. Be a modern minimalist multi-tasker. Drink nonalcoholic beer. Experiment with the extremes and see what marvelous moments you come up with.

5- Be unrealistic. Being realistic limits your options and tends to keep you in the zone of “that’ll never work”, a place most people stay in. You won’t change when you’re too invested in worrying about what might go wrong or what might hurt you. To get beyond this impasse, think bigger about the world than you ever have before. Go outside your comfort zone. Dream beyond your expectations. You have miraculous abilities to accomplish all you desire so passionately dream and dream some more––in vivid technicolor if possible. Keep dreaming until you have considered every imaginable possibility that thrills you. Some of it may well be too fantastical but within your dreaming, solid and workable ideas and plans will form. Finally, you’ll feel empowered by the process.

6- Steal resources. Why recreate the wheel? Just find all the people around you who have achieved the same or similar goals. Find out what worked for them––and what didn’t. Try their solutions on for size. Add plenty of personal modifications so the color, style, and habits fit you like a glove. Following in the footsteps of others is a tremendous way of enhancing your own talents and ideas, to reinvent and to make new discoveries from your own perspective. Knowing what others know is an investment in yourself.

  • Never before have so many people had so many opportunities to learn from skillful, inspiring, intelligent, interesting and innovative people than in our era of the internet. You can find out about almost any public figure you admire through video lectures, websites and other online resources. What are you waiting for?

7- Get busy. Resolutions lack spine if you fail to act. They’ll flop about in your gray matter, turning into sources of resentment when you ignore the work needed to implement them. Make the effort in small ways––getting started gives your resolution life and gives you motivation. And be very careful not to let resolutions turn into vague affirmations––sitting around all day telling yourself that things are going to change and get better won’t bring the universe to you. Get up, get going and something will happen in the doing.

8- Throw your arms up. Give in and give up. It’s the stress and strain that’s got your panties in a bunch. Without the worry and sense of urgency that comes from impatience, perfectionism and over attachment to single issues, you can do some pretty fierce stuff. You always got great results in the past when you were free flowing, energized and in the moment. Let go now and see what happens.

Be selfish. Give yourself unadulterated permission to think about you and only you! Be incredibly opinionated and resolute about what feels wonderful––then go for what you want. Allow yourself to connect with your true desires, wants, and needs. Toss out societal expectations and indulge in what makes you smile!

12 Rules for Startups by Mark Cuban


Anyone who has started a business has his or her own rules and guidelines, so I thought I would add to the memo with my own. My “rules” below aren’t just for those founding the companies, but for those who are considering going to work for them, as well.

Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups

Find out your passion and live in it…


How to find out your passion and live in it…?

From wiki- Edited by Abin c Pascal

 “Don’t worry about what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

Method 1 of 3: Brainstorm

1- Think about what you love to do. To find your passion, you should first take a look at your own life and see if you’re already doing something that you love — but just not doing it very often. Figuring out what you really love to do and channeling it in a productive way that turns it into a passion can help you explore your heart’s desires. Here are some of the things you should ask yourself when you brainstorm what you love to do:

  • What are my goals?
  • If I could do one thing for the rest of my life, what would it be?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What would I do, even if I didn’t get paid to do it?
  • What makes me feel like nothing else exists?
  • What activity makes me feel completely in my element?

2- Think about what you’ve always dreamed of doing. This is different from making a list of all of the things that make you happy. Here, you’ll have to write down all of those things you’ve always dreamed about, but haven’t done because you don’t have the time, the money, or because they’re impractical or even slightly scary. Here are the questions you should ask yourself as you brainstorm what you’ve always dreamed of doing:

  • What is the one thing I have always dreamed about, but never got to do?
  • What did I want to do when I was a child?
  • Do I have an impractical dream that I once abandoned?
  • Is there something I’ve been afraid to try because it takes me out of my comfort zone?
  • Is there something I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t done because of financial fears?
  • Is there something I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t tried because I’ve been afraid I’d fail or just not be very good at it?
  • Is there something that someone I know does that thrills me?

3- Create a game plan. Once you’ve written down the answers to your questions, you may have a better idea of the type of things that already interest you or the things that you’ve always wanted to try. Now that you have a bit more information, you can create a plan for finding your passion. Here are some things you can decide to do:

  • Make a goal of trying at least five things on your list. Plug them into your calendar. Make a plan for actually doing these things as soon as you can, even that means within a year, if the activities are more complicated, like traveling to a foreign country.
  • Make a goal of trying a few completely new things that take you out of your comfort zone. They don’t have to be on your list — you can just try a few more things that pique your interest, even if you haven’t necessarily always dreamed of doing them or tried them before.
  • Prioritize your potential passions. Decide which things you’d like to try first. You can try the ones that sound most intriguing first, or you can try the most practical ones first.

Method 2 of 3: Use Your Interests to Your Advantage

1- Turn a beloved hobby into a full-time passion. If there’s already something in your life that fills you with excitement, joy, and self-worth, then you should try to turn that hobby or activity into a full-time endeavor. Though it may scare you to make a big life change, if you know there’s something you already love, then you should spend more time pursuing it to see if it’s your passion.

  • Your hobby could be anything, from ceramics, painting, or poetry, to teaching yoga or screen printing.
  • If you can’t make money with your passion (like running marathons, for example), then you can find a way to make that hobby the central passion of your life by getting involved in the running world in some other way.
  • You can transition slowly into spending more time doing your favorite hobby to see if it’s your passion. If you’re afraid to drop everything and devote yourself to this hobby full time, then take baby steps. First, spend the entire weekend pursuing your hobby. If this makes you realize how much you love it, then spend the whole next week pursuing your hobby. After that, you can see if you want to spend all of your time devoted to this activity.

2- Rekindle a childhood passion. You may feel like your life has become too routine or boring for you to have time for dreams and passions, but there must have been a point in your life when you had a real dream to pursue something courageous and exciting. Think back to your childhood self, and the things you used to dream about when you were a kid or even an adolescent. See if you can find a way to transform these dreams into a passion.

  • If you always wanted to be an astronaut, then maybe this idea doesn’t appeal to you quite as much anymore. But think about why the idea appealed to you in the first place — maybe because it involved exploring space, science, or adventure — and see if you can find a new passion out of that.
  • Be brave. If you wanted to be a singer or an actress, it’s never too late to try to fulfill your dreams.
  • Unfortunately, you may have to take a practical approach in some cases. If you wanted to be an Olympic gymnast when you were ten and you’re forty now, it’s unlikely that there’s a gold medal in your future. But if you were once really passionate about gymnastics, see if you can involve yourself in it in some other way, such as being a trainer, coach, or being involved at a gym in some capacity.
  • If you were lucky enough to keep a journal when you were younger, go through it. See what passions sparked your fancy, and what dreams you wrote about again and again.

3- Combine your talents. Maybe you have more than one talent, like doing tricks on a BMX, and you love to write. Could you see yourself writing books on BMX riding and tricks, or true stories about how those riders started out doing what they love? Here are a few other ways to combine your talent:

  • Maybe you love to write poetry as well as interpretive dance; could you interpret one of your poems, or write a poem about your love for dance?
  • If you’re a talented writer, make the most of your writing skills. If you love something, blogging about it or making a website about it will help you share your passion, use your writing skills, and develop your love for what you’re doing.
  • If you have a passion for languages and an unrelated field, such as animal rights, see if you can use your language skills to work as a translator or interpreter in that field.

4- Do the thing you’ve always dreamed about. No matter how gutsy, risky, or impractical that thing may be, you should work hard to make your dream a reality. Who knows — maybe you’ll try salsa dancing and will realize its not the thing for you, or you’ll travel to the Galapagos Islands and will feel uninspired. But it’s more likely that by being brave and doing the thing you’ve always dreamed about, you’ll be lighting that spark that ignites you.

  • Be determined to pursue your dream, in spite of practical and financial constraints. Make a plan that allows you to try your dream out, even if it’s only for a little while. It could take a while to save up to pursue this dream or to make the proper arrangements, but it will be worth it.
  • If you’re afraid to try the new thing, like climbing to the top of a mountain, ask your friends for their support. You don’t have to try something new and scary alone.
  • Start talking about what you’re going to do before you do it. If you really wanted to build your own treehouse, start telling everyone about it. This will get you closer to making your dreams a reality. You’ll be less likely to back down if everyone knows you want to pursue your dreams.

Method 3 of 3: Try New Things

1- Try a new sport. You may not know it, but your true passion could be mountain biking or archery. Though you may think you only like to go jogging once in a while, you’ll never know what your true passion is until you try. Trying a new sport will get your adrenaline running, will make you more excited about the world, and will also be a great form of exercise. If you find you really love this sport, you can end up being a teacher, a coach, or even start sharing your love for the sport with devoted followers online. Here are some things to try:

  • Dancing. Take a class in salsa, ballroom dancing, foxtrot, hip hop, or anything you can think of.
  • Yoga. Take a variety of yoga classes to see if this is your life’s calling.
  • Running. You can just run on your own and see how great it feels, or you can set a goal of training for a 5K and work your way up to a marathon.
  • Swimming. Not only is swimming a fantastic full-body workout, but you may find that your head clears and your body feels like it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be when you’re in the water. Swimming in a lake or an ocean can also make you feel more in touch with nature.

2- Explore your artistic side. You may have a wonderful artistic side without even knowing it. To explore your artistic side, you can try painting, writing, acting, singing, or designing clothes, just to name a few things. There are a number of things that you can do to find your inner-artist.

  • Play an instrument. Maybe you loved playing the piano when you were a kid and stopped. Give it another try.
  • Write. Try your hand at penning a play, poem, short story, or even a novel. You may find that you have more to say than you think.
  • Act. You don’t have to be Jennifer Lawrence to try acting, whether you just have fun staging a play with a few friends, or try to join a local theatre company.
  • Sing. If you’ve always had a passion for singing but never had time to share your voice with others, this is it. You can also join a chorus or an a cappella group if singing in a group is more your thing.
  • Draw, paint, or sculpt. Use a variety of tools to either sketch a drawing, paint a landscape, or create a sculpture. You may be able to find your true passion by working with your hands.

3- Pick up a new hobby. There are a variety of hobbies that may not require any athletic or artistic skill that can still turn into a passion for you. Whether you want to be a coin collector or pick up a new language, any new hobby you pursue can turn into a real passion for you. Here are some hobbies you can consider:

  • Bird watching. You can connect with nature while learning a lot about the animal kingdom. If you’re passionate about this, you can write a book or lead bird-watching expeditions.
  • Pet grooming. Maybe you’ve always loved pets — now is your time to turn your hobby into a full – time passion.
  • Learn a new language. You can pick up a language just for fun and then find that you’re living and breathing foreign words. Convert this to a passion by working as a translator or getting so absorbed in the foreign language that you read and watch movies only in that language or even move to a foreign country because of it.
  • Cooking. You may be taking your stellar cooking skills for granted. If you already love cooking, start watching more cooking shows, reading food blogs, and sharing your recipes with your friends and see if you can make your love for tasty cuisine into a full-time passion.

4- Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re having trouble finding your passion, it may be because you’re so used to doing the same old thing that you don’t have the guts to try anything new. If you really want to find your passion, then you’ll have to test yourself and step out of your comfort zone to find the thing that really appeals to you. Here are some things to try:

  • Try an extreme activity, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, or zip-lining. You may find a new love for this crazy thing.
  • Do something you don’t think you’re good at. If you think you’re a terrible dancer, cook, knitter, or writer, try spending one hour a week on this act. See if you’re not only not as bad as you think, but if you’re developing a real love for this activity.
  • If you’re artistically minded, try something more logical, like crossword puzzles or chess. If you’re very practical, try something artistic with less rigid rules, like oil painting or yodeling.
  • If you’re convinced that you’re tone deaf, pick up an instrument. Learn to play the piano, flute, or even the recorder and see how this opens up your world.

5- Travel. Traveling can be a great way to open up your world and find a passion with new eyes. Though your budget may restrict you from extensive traveling, you should do what you can to go to a completely new place and see a new way of living, eating, and breathing. Whether you’re traveling to a new state or across the world, this can help you find something that you’re passionate about.

  • You may find that your true passion is travel. If you find out that you have wanderlust, make the most of it and plan a yearly — or even a monthly — trip.
  • Take lots of photos when you travel. You may find that your new passion is photography.
  • Get inspired. Use your surroundings to find your passion. If you’re on a beach in Florida, you may find that your new passion is shell collecting; if you’re touring the Louvre in Paris, you may find that your new passion is fine art.

6- Volunteer in your community. Take the time to volunteer in your community, and you may find that you have a new passion. There are a variety of ways to volunteer in your community: you can help people develop their writing and reading skills at your local library, volunteer at your local soup kitchen, or help clean up a park in your community.

  • If you help clean up a park, you can find a new passion for gardening.
  • If you help people learn to read, you may develop a passion for teaching.
  • If you work at a homeless shelter, you may develop a love for helping people in need.
  • If you take a leadership role in a volunteering event, such as organizing people to work at a clothing drive, then you may find a passion for leadership.

7- Try new things with the help of others. You may have a friend who is obsessed with archery or creating comic books, or a family member who is the best dessert chef in the country. Let the people you know, or the teachers in your community, help you explore a new talent or passion.

  • Let one of your friends who is really passionate about something give you a tutorial, whether it’s robotics or flower arranging. Your friend’s passion for that thing will inspire you.
  • Have your family member introduce you to his favorite thing in the world, whether it’s fixing motorcycles, or fishing. You’ll be surprised by how passionate you may feel about something you knew about for years.
  • Take a class. Whether you’re taking an art class or a class on the history of the USSR, you may find that having a teacher or professional explain a concept to you ignites your passion. Sign up for any class that sounds intriguing, whether it’s at a community college, online, or at a local rec center, and prepare to be inspired.
  • Read. Reading a book by an expert in a certain field or a person who is truly passionate about something can help you ignite your own passion.

10 Must-Read Inspiring Biographies of Business Leaders

1- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs 
(Simon & Schuster , 2011)
By Walter Isaacson

What began in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage in the 1970s laid the groundwork for revolutionary innovation in technology. From personal computers to animated films, how we listen to and purchase music, use our phones and even read books, Jobs left his indelible print on how we communicate, entertain and live. Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs himself and hundreds more with those who knew him, this no-limits, warts-and-all biography sheds light on a complicated man and his vision for how technology could be.

Inspirational Quote: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs

2- Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (Crown Business, 2011)
By Richard Branson

Don’t be intimidated by the more than 600 pages in this entertaining autobiography. In Losing My Virginity, Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, shares how his early experiences shaped his later business ventures. When he met with “experts” who advised he not enter an already crowded field, Branson followed his gut, with his trademark slogan, “Oh, screw it. Let’s do it.” Part memoir, part business guide for entrepreneurs, Branson’s belief that customer service reigns supreme is a theme throughout his businesses, from airlines to mobile and beyond.

Inspirational Quote: “Most ‘necessary evils’ are far more evil than necessary.” –Richard Branson 

3- Built from Scratch by Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus
Built from Scratch by Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus

Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew the Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion 
(Crown Business, 1999)

By Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, with Bob Andelman

In 1978, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were executives who’d just heard the two words that strike fear in the hearts of employees everywhere: You’re fired. Their perspective changed, however, when a friend told them they’d “been kicked in the a** with a golden horseshoe.” The firings, in fact, were a blessing in disguise. Built from Scratch is the inside story of how two determined executives constructed the Home Depot empire from the ground up.

Inspirational Quote: “You want a formula for success? Take two Jews who have just been fired, add an Irishman who just walked away from a bankruptcy and an Italian running a no-name investment banking firm.” — Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank

4- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseih
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseih

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose
(Business Plus Hachette Book Group, 2010)
By Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh’s entrepreneurial spirit emerged when he was just nine years old and launched his first business — a worm farm. When that didn’t pan out, he moved on, undeterred, to businesses ranging from publishing a newsletter and selling it to classmates and running garage sales, all before high school. In 1998, at age 24, he sold his company LinkExchange, an online banner advertising program, to Microsoft for $265 million. He joined Zappos shortly after and helped create a company culture that infuses the science of happiness into its business model. That vision statement, to deliver happiness to the world, has drawn new and repeat customers to the site.

Inspirational Quote: “We wanted to run our own business, and be in control of our own destiny. We had no idea where it would lead us, but wherever it was, we knew it had to be better than feeling bored and unfulfilled. We were ready for an adventure.”  — Tony Hsieh

5- By Invitation Only by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
By Invitation Only by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop
(Penguin Group, 2012)
By Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Fashionistas, rejoice! The co-founders of Gilt Group, the first invite-only online trunk show brought excitement to thousands of savvy shoppers and brought the thrill of a daily sample sale to the masses when it started in 2007. What began as a friendship at Harvard Business School over a shared love of fashion blossomed into a business reportedly valued at over $1 billion. With chapters ranging from how to hire an effective team to dealing with the recession, By Invitation Only shares the inspiring true story of one of the most successful startups of the past decade.

Inspirational Quote: “On that first day we sensed something revolutionary was happening: people were genuinely excited about Gilt. We had created a website that could potentially change the rules of retail, for both shoppers and brands.” — Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

6- Idea Man by Paul Allen
Idea Man by Paul Allen

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft
(Penguin Group, 2011)
By Paul Allen

In 1974 at 21 years old, Paul Allen teamed up with childhood friend Bill Gates to create programming language for the first personal computer. They worked together since their teens on professional programming jobs, but believed they were the ones who could write the code that, at the time, engineers didn’t believe was possible. The famously private Allen opens up about the founding of Microsoft, as well as his adventures after he stepped down from the company he helped create (advances in space travel and brain mapping, to name a few).

Inspirational Quote: “Any crusade requires optimism and the ambition to aim high.” — Paul Allen

7- Wild Company by Mel and Patricia Ziegler
Wild Company by Mel and Patricia Ziegler

Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic
(Simon & Schuster, 2012)
By Mel and Patricia Ziegler

When Mel and Patricia Ziegler met (in the newsroom of the San Francisco Chronicle) they wanted to travel the world, but as a young writer and artist they lacked the money or means to do so. Wild Company tells the story of how the pair, armed with creativity and passion (but no business training), built an empire from military surplus clothing finds plucked from their travels to create Banana Republic.

Inspirational Quote: “The only asset we had was our own oblivion. That would keep us blissfully ignorant of the bewildering and arbitrary impediments that would entangle us until we became so embroiled that quitting was no longer a possibility.” — Mel Ziegler

8- Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

Start Something That Matters
(Spiegel & Grau, 2011)
By Blake Mycoskie

In 2006, Blake Mycoskie traveled to Argentina to take some time off from his fourth startup and explore the culture of another country. What he found was a great need among children’s charities for shoes. Mycoskie knew he had to help, and the idea for TOMS shoes was born. The concept for the company is simple: Sell a pair of shoes today, give a pair of shoes to a child in need tomorrow. Mycoskie shares with readers lessons learned while creating TOMS, how to develop and tell your company’s story, and how to be resourceful without having resources.

Inspirational Quote: “You don’t have to have a lot of money, a complicated business plan, or a great deal of experience to start something.” — Blake Mycoskie

9- Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran with Bruce Littlefield
Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran with Bruce Littlefield

Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion Dollar Business
(Penguin Group, 2011)
By Barbara Corcoran with Bruce Littlefield

Before becoming one of the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran held 22 jobs by the age of 23. It was number 23, a small real estate company that would eventually lead her to founding the Corcoran Group, a $6 billion dollar company. Combining lessons learned from her childhood in New Jersey among nine brothers and sisters with lessons from the cut throat world of New York real estate, Corcoran offers entrepreneurs valuable advice for starting their own business.

Inspirational Quote: “The story of my billion-dollar business starts like this: I borrowed $1,000 from a friend.” — Barbara Corcoran

10- The Martha Rules by Martha Stewart
The Martha Rules by Martha Stewart

The Martha Rules
(Rodale, 2005)
By Martha Stewart

The Martha Rules consists of ten rules and a roadmap for entrepreneurs to create their own successful businesses. The book started as a project to help fellow inmates during her incarceration in a federal prison in 2004. The Martha Rules examine the importance of passion, quality, growth and taking risks. The first chapter, for example, is devoted to finding your passion and developing a business. Later chapters tout the importance of continued learning, innovation, and surrounding yourself with the right people.

Inspirational Quote: “Build your business success around something that you love — something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.” — Martha Stewart

Thanks to Entrepreneur.com