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Foundations of Success: Entrepreneurial Lessons from 12 Must-Read Books

By Dyno Creative | Jan 04, 2023
Dyno Creative shares their top 12 must-read books that have provided valuable lessons and insight as an entrepreneur.
Foundations Of Success Entrepreneurial Lessons From 12 Must Read Books
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    Building from the Core

    Being an entrepreneur means boldly venturing where no one has gone before. As you navigate uncharted territories, innovation and creativity serve as your compass. However, today’s business landscape is vast and there are numerous routes you can take on your path to success.

    So, how will you know where to begin?

    With over 25 years of business experience, I want to share a little secret with you—the most important place to start building your brand is from the core. You can begin by asking yourself the following questions:

    These central components establish a solid foundation for your brand. Without them, your business would most likely experience unnecessary challenges stemming from a lack of unified purpose and cohesive messaging.  

    Once you DO have these items in place, you will have a much clearer understanding of the who, what, when, where, and why of your brand, allowing you to confidently build outward and develop all of the external elements of your business.

    Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned

    If there’s one thing we can count on to stay the same in the world of business, it’s this—nothing stays the same.

    Change is constant. Businesses are committed to continuous learning and adaptation to be able to thrive. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to continue to educate yourself.

    My favorite way to do this is by reading….with my ears…because you know, I’m real busy.  In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 12 Must-Reads that have taught me valuable entrepreneurial (and life) lessons over the years. I hope you can find value and inspiration in some (or all) of these as well!

    Happy reading! 


    Daniel Adoff — Principal and Chief Strategist at Dyno Creative

    This book is a great tool to have in your home library (or audible account if you prefer reading books with your ears, like me). Not only does it explore the concept of inspiring leadership, it also addresses the importance of organizational success by focusing on the fundamental question of “WHY” (rather than just the “what” or “how”). All in all, this book helped me realize that small changes can yield big results, and habit stacking (integrating – or stacking – a new habit into an existing routine to make it easier to adopt and maintain) can significantly help you shape your environment for success.  

    Next on the list is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink. This book explores the science of human motivation, which I personally find very interesting! It challenges traditional views on what drives people to perform well (rewards vs fear of punishment) in both their work and personal lives, and it introduces a framework build on three elements of motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. As someone who is in a leadership position, I found this book to be an invaluable resource that helps me better understand what drives and motivates myself and the members of my team. 

    If you’re looking for a solid self-help and personal development book that outlines a holistic approach to success, look no further. This book is built around seven principles or habits that any person can cultivate to achieve lasting positive change:

    1. Be proactive.
    2. Begin with the end in mind.
    3. Put first things first.
    4. Think win-win.
    5. Seek first to understand.
    6. Synergize.
    7. Sharpen the saw.

    As you unpack these seven habits, I hope you find them to be as enlightening as I did. Even better, these principles are built on integrity and maintaining human dignity in business, which I can 100% get behind, and hopefully you can too! 

    I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of this book already. James Clear has mastered the art of delving into the science and mechanics of habits. In this book, he gives insights and strategies on how to make small changes or “atomic habits” that compound over time, eventually leading to significant transformations. His key concepts include:

    • Cue, Craving, Response, and Reward (Cue-Routine-Reward) – Habits are formed through a cue that triggers a craving, followed by a specific routine or behavior, and ending with a reward. Once you understand how to manipulate this look, you can take control of your habit change. 
    • The 1% Rule – This rule breaks down the idea that making small improvements on a consistent basic (i.e. focusing on getting 1% better every day) can build up to significant progress and change over time.
    • Habit Stacking – A technique that involves integrating new habits into already established routines, which make sit easier to adopt and sustain positive behaviors over time.
    • The Four Laws of Behavior Change – Introduces four laws—Make It Obvious, Make It Attractive, Make It Easy, Make It Satisfying—that provide a framework for creating and maintaining positive habits. 
    • Identity-Based Habits – James Clear argues that lasting change can only occur when a person shifts their identity and sees themselves as they type of person who embodies those desired habits.

    Now, I don’t want to give away all the goods on this one, so I would strongly encourage you to give this one a read sooner rather than later. You won’t regret it!

    As a business owner, especially if you are at the beginning stage of your journey, it is important to recognize the common pitfalls and challenges you may face. In this book, the “E-Myth” stands for the Entrepreneurial Myth, which is considered to be the mistaken belief that most businesses are started by entrepreneurs who are driven by a desire for creative freedom. Gerber, however, argues that most small businesses fail because the founders are often technicians (with strong technical skills) that lack the entrepreneurial mindset needed to run a successful business. Some important concepts covered in the book that are incredibly helpful include: 

    • The Three Personas
    • Working On vs. In the Business
    • Systems and Processes
    • Franchise Prototype
    • The Importance of Innovation
    This book will offer you practical insights, case studies, and actionable advice to transform your mindset and learn how to structure your business for success while avoiding the common pitfalls many small business owners encounter. 

    Looking for tips on organizational success? Have you been in business for a while and feel like you need to reign in your systems and processes, and gain more control? This book introduces the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) that is designed to help companies like yours gain traction and realize their vision. To gain organizational clarity, the EOS includes the following core components that can improve your overall organizational health and help you achieve your long-term goals:

    • Vision
    • People
    • Data
    • Issues
    • Process
    • Traction
    • Rocks

    One of my goals for Dyno Creative is to create effective systems and processes that help the company run like “clockwork”, so it only made sense that I check out this book. Michalowicz explores the concept of businesses running like clockwork, allowing financial success and personal freedom to become more attainable. The metaphor of a “clockwork” refers to a businesses ability to operate efficiently and effectively without the constant presence of the owner—sounds good, right!? To make this possible, the following concepts are discussed in detail:

    • The Queen Bee Role (QBR)
    • Four Ds Framework
    • The Omen
    • Batching
    • The 4-Week Vacation

    Another valuable book to check out, written by the same author as above, is Profit First. When running a business, financial management is essential to a successful operation. This book taught be about important methods that are more effective and sustainable than the traditional formula “Sales – Expenses = Profit”:

    • Allocate Profits First
    • Envelopes System
    • Percentage-based System
    • Regular Assessments
    • Behavioral Change

    If you are looking for ways to achieve financial stability, sustainable growth, and long-term profitability, read this book and discover with of the following methods will work best for you! After reading this book, I developed a deeper understanding for how to effectively manage cash flow. 

    This memoir by co-founder and former CEO of Nike, Phil Knight, chronicles his journey founding and growing Nike. Now known as one of the world’s most iconic (and successful!) athletic apparel and footwear companies, this book addresses important elements such as the founding of Nike, innovations and challenges, global expansion, company culture, and personal reflections that captured the role determination, resilience, and passion can have on the success of a global brand. 

    If you are struggling to solidify your creative process or find your artistic voice, this book  is a great place to start.  Written by nine-time GRAMMY-winning producer Rick Rubin, this book embraces authenticity in creative endeavors and celebrates the creative path of an artist.  This book inspired me to focus beyond the specific output of my business and instead look at the larger picture and the value we provide—to ourselves, to our team, to our customers, and to our community. 

    Interesting fact—the author, Chris Voss, is a former FBI hostage negotiator. I think it’s safe to say, any insight or advice he has to share is worth paying attention to! Voss uses some of his experiences as a hostage negotiator to provide deeper insights in to negotiation strategies that can effectively be applied to different aspects of life, business, and personal relationships.  To say this was an interesting read would be an understatement. Here are just a few of the key concepts discussed that can provide great value to you and your team:

    • Emotional Intelligence in Negotiation
    • The Power of Mirroring
    • Labeling and Tactical Empathy
    • The Accusation Audit
    • Calibrated Questions
    • Black Swan Method

    Last but not least, this book is one that I listened to on audible with my wife. If you have ever met me in person, you know that I am extremely extroverted. I blame the curly mustache. I am also married to an incredible woman who is a true introvert, through and through. Interesting combination, right? We both loved this book as it explored the strengths of introverts in a culture that often values extroversion more. We shared our personal experiences, in life and in business, how we are often perceived by the world, and how our personality differences show up (in positive and negative ways) within our marriage. All in all, this book reminded us that there is no “right” or “better” way to be, but that there is power in moments of quiet and creating reflective spaces that allow for creativity and productivity to bloom. 

    Connecting the Dots

    All of these books have one thing in common—building a successful business starts with the core or the “why” of your business.

    At Dyno Creative, our vision is to redefine the branding landscape by fostering a culture of continuous evolution, empowering businesses to thrive through our unique blend of playful creativity, genuine partnerships, and an unwavering commitment to improvement. We strive to inspire growth and transformation, paving the way for a vibrant and innovative future that elevates brands, exceeds expectations, and leaves a lasting impact on the world.

    The Power of Creative Communities

    We couldn’t do what we do best if it weren’t for highly valuable resources like these 12 must-read entrepreneurial books, as well as fellow supportive creative communities like Michael Janda and the More Creative Academy. This community offers personalized resources, support, and guidance to help creative entrepreneurs (like me and you) reach our maximum potential. When it comes to running a successful business, you don’t have to do it alone! Take control of your business in 2024 and sign up for to further promote your learning and growth!

    Join the Dyno Tribe

    If you want to learn more about the higher-level specifics of being an entrepreneur, sign up for our monthly newsletter and join the Dyno Tribe! Each month, we give a sneak peek at some of our most recent design projects, as well as share valuable industry insights, helpful tools, and resources, and provide a supportive community that will guide you through your entrepreneurial endeavors.

    If you have already established the foundation of your business and are looking for a high-quality design team to evolve your visual brand identity, we’re here to help! 


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