Book Review: The Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide

If you’re dealing with job loss, you’ll want to check out The Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide, The Ultimate Visualization System for Landing a Great Job Now, written by Lynn Joseph, PH.D. This book is a quick read and gets straight to the heart of the matter. The premise of the Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide is, if you change your thoughts about the situation, your feelings will also change.

mourning

Losing a job is considered a very traumatic life event and like the loss of a loved one, can trigger symptoms of grief. The loss of a job requires coping strategies. One of the big takeaways is to “Take the time to grieve.” “The Job-Loss Recovery Program” will help you improve your coping skills and shift your thoughts from seeing the situation as a challenge rather than a threat.

managing

The stages and symptoms of a job-loss often feel a little discouraging.
Job loss is an experience that requires a period of grieving. Often the newly jobless feel abandoned and betrayed by their previous company. As in the stages of grieving a death, there is inevitably a stage of anger. The author cautions against turning the anger in on yourself, in the form of blame. The key goal of the program is to help you move through the stages to closure and the first step is to manage stress.

moving on

Through these visualization exercises the Program offers help to overcome stress, grief, and anger to improve attitude, boost confidence to find the new opportunity. This program has been used with many participants who all report feeling much improved and being able to address the job search with new energy.

If you would like in-person help with job loss, recovery and how to find a new role, the Career Center is here to help. Please check out the resources on our website and YouTube channel, or call us at 225-231-3733 to schedule an in-person appointment.

Book Review: Machiavelli for Women

Machiavelli for Women: Defend your Worth,
Grow your Ambition, and Win the Workplace
by Stacey Vanek Smith

“What Machiavelli offered [in The Prince] was an unflinching and rigorous look at how people get into positions of power. And how they hold on to them.” According to veteran journalist Stacey Vanek Smith, this is the essence of Machiavelli’s most famous writing, The Prince. While the original book was written a few centuries ago to advise Renaissance potentates, Vanek Smith translates his thinking and advice to benefit women in 21st-century Corporate America.

Her book sets out to show women in an equally unflinching way how today’s workplace is still designed to keep them out. She applies Machiavelli’s insights, his cunning, and his strategies to show women how to conquer positions of power in the workplace, how to get there, and how to hold on to them. The Prince serves as the guide for this playbook on how to achieve corporate power.

Money, Confidence, Respect, Support, Title

For Vanek Smith, power in the workplace manifests in 5 main aspects: money, confidence, respect, support, and title. She subsequently devotes a chapter to each of those aspects, analyzing exactly what obstacles women are dealing with and how to overcome them. She keeps the tone light, employs examples from successful women, and includes experts on salary negotiation and confidence coaching. The best parts are the realistic, immediately usable strategies and templates which the author includes in her chapters.

One of those practical examples is the amplification strategy in the chapter about Respect. When women speak up in meetings, their ideas are often not given the same attention and respect than if a man said the same thing. Amplification is one strategy to fix this. If there are several women in a meeting, they can amplify what each of them is saying. If one raises an issue or an idea, the other women will speak up and repeat this issue or idea one after the other. This way it sticks in participants’ minds and also cannot be claimed by somebody else later.

A Lady’s Guide to Negotiation

This is easily the best part of the book. While all chapters contain actionable advice, this one is brimming with it. Vanek Smith explains why regular negotiation advice rarely works for women and why it can, in fact, backfire if women use the same techniques men do. She explains that the exact behaviors that are perceived positively and strong in men make women be seen as negative, bitchy or whiny. Whereas it is all about the “I” for men, it has to be all about the “we”, “our team” or “our company” for women. With the help of experts, she manages to give detailed examples and templates of how women can approach negotiation instead. This is easy to understand and immediately usable information!

The book gives examples of common negotiation situations as well as possible pitfalls. Some of those pitfalls are: lowball offers, asking about previous job’s pay, stalling, or threatening to pull the job offer (a.k.a. the nuclear option). More importantly, it presents several options for how to address those pitfalls and turn them around to your advantage. Be prepared, do your homework, and anticipate negotiation detours and traps. In this chapter the book serves as a manual of how to do exactly that. It has pages and pages of “pro tips” and “pitfall alerts”.

final thoughts

You don’t have to be a fan of Machiavelli, or even know about him, to like and profit from this book. If you are a woman who wants to make it in Corporate America (or non-profit organizations or Higher Ed, etc.), you want to read this book. It’s a well-researched easy read with actionable pro tips that will help you succeed in your career.

Written by Anne Nowak

Spotlight: Career Books by Black Authors

In celebration of Black History Month, we’d like to showcase some books from our collection which have African-American authors. These books offer advice from professionals who have the perspective and experience to discuss the job-search and career issues that affect minorities.

Double Outsiders: How Women of Color Can Succeed in Corporate America
by Jessica Faye Carter, J.D., MBA
“Women of color make up 15 percent of the US population, but only 1.7% of the Fortune 500.” This book discusses the unique challenges that non-Caucasian women face in the corporate world, as well as how to overcome them. Meticulously researched, this book pulls from several sources, including academic research, statistical reports, human resources managers, senior executives, and of course, women of color who have succeeded professionally. The information within is useful both to jobseekers in this situation, and to companies seeking to grow a more diverse workforce.

The Calling: 3 Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good
by Rha Goddess
“Every single one of us has a calling. Your calling is that thing that only you can do. And it will always compel you – but it will be up to you to decide whether or not you’re going to answer.” This book’s goal is to enable readers to discover and successfully pursue their calling in life. The book contains exercises to help readers identify their motivations, values, beliefs, and fears, as well as techniques for changing negative mindsets. The author also includes client stories from her work as a life coach, providing examples of how her methodology works.

She Makes More: Inside the Minds of Female Breadwinners
by Dawn DeLavallade, M.D.
As her medical career blossomed and she started out-earning her husband, Dr. DeLavallade began to experience struggles related to being her family’s primary breadwinner.  When she interviewed other women in similar positions, she found common themes of stress, lack of communication, and resentment between these women and their husbands. Those interviews have been compiled into this book, to provide perspective into these problems and ideas for solving them.

The African-American Jobseeker’s Guide to Successful Employment
by Rebecca Enyia
This book is intended as a one-stop shop for the entire job-seeking process, from career goal-setting, through applying and interviewing, to negotiating salary and succeeding in the new job. This thorough compendium includes skills assessments, sample resumes, networking tips for finding job leads, information about employment agencies in each state, and more.

How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life
by Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D.
“To be a black woman is to exist in a constant state of navigation. In facing the dual challenges of both race and gender in a cultural context that privileges all that you are not, you must learn how to overcome both internal and external challenges.” In addition to statistical data about black female leadership in America, this book presents tips and advice from 70 black women who’ve thrived as leaders and want to share their techniques for success.

The Episodic Career
by Farai Chideya
“We live in a globalized economy where not just jobs but also entire career tracks are created and destroyed in front of our eyes.” In this time of rapid change, author Chideya posits, the traditional stable career has been replaced by episodic careers that have multiple phases. This book aims to assist workers in managing those phases, whether that be through evolving within their field, changing careers, or recovering from job loss. The book includes diagnostic tools to help jobseekers define their career attitudes and goals, profiles of jobseekers who have overcome career upheaval, and data about the changing world of work.

If any of these books caught your eye, you can put them on hold on the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Book Review: 50 Plus! Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life

“Age is no barrier”, prolific author and successful CEO Robert Dilenschneider writes. He wants this book to be a guide for 50+ seekers, who are either seeking a new job out of necessity or who are seeking new challenges, because they feel unfulfilled.

how to stay relevant in a changing world

There is a stark contrast in yesteryear’s work force and today’s ever changing kaleidoscope of opportunities. The new landscape is that of frequently changing jobs, many times out of necessity. An employee is expected to add immediate and continued value to the organization.

To stay relevant, Dilenschneider recommends:

  • Develop a five-year (or ten-year) plan.
  • Be technologically able to utilize a computer, phone, tablet, social media, email and texting.
  • Intentionally bridge the age gap. Where applicable assist the younger person by sharing your knowledge and experiences in a casual and informal manner, if receptive.
  • Recognize the younger generation’s need for instant gratification. Young people are often in a hurry.
  • Listen. And listen without judgment. Never betray confidences.
  • Keep up with the latest media, ideology, movies and social movements. If you have been out of the game, get back into it.
  • Determine a focus or specific direction. Set goals and maintain a constant resolve.
  • Take action, then celebrate small and large accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

what to do if you’re being let go

If you see proverbial “hand writing on the wall” that change is imminent, you should, according to Dilenschneider:

  • Be honest at all times.
  • Know your own motives. Try to understand those of other people. And be suspicious.
  • Be respectful. Control your anger.
  • Be aware and protect yourself.
  • Contact supportive friends, family and colleagues, and seek advice from a therapist or job counselor.
  • Always keep your resume updated!
  • Take inventory of your strengths and recognize your weaknesses.

general job-seeking tips:

  • Have a plan A and a plan B.
  • If you lose your job, don’t get bitter, get busy. Rather than accepting defeat, you may launch out and start your own company, or become an independent contractor or consultant.
  • If you have a job but are dissatisfied, you should be developing options.
  • Don’t quit your present job unless you have to. It is easier to get a job if you already have one.
  • Pay attention to changes in your relationship with your supervisor or subordinates and respond in a proactive manner. This may include changing departments or changing companies.
  • Utilize the people in your network. Get them to assist in your job search – ask for their advice and strategize with them
  • When interviewing/networking, make the interviewer feel good about you and great about himself.

communication and interpersonal relations

Since Dilenschneider spent his entire career in communications and public relations, no book of his would be complete without some advice on the topic.

Develop your message: write down 3 major points you want to make. Put together two examples for each point. If you interact with the public, PR should be important to you. Take control of your own message. Building a network in the right way means being willing to go beyond yourself. Follow up. Respond to e-mails. Return your phone calls. Write thank-you notes. Reciprocate and do it quickly. Finally, remember: everyone judges a book by its cover, so make sure you make an excellent first impression as a professional.

This book may be placed on hold through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Cynthia Payton

Book Review: Overcoming Underearning

​In the opening parable of Barbara Stanny’s Overcoming Underearning, the fairy godmother says, “When you learn to face what makes you fearful, it need never control you again.”  I cannot think of a more liberating opening.

the voice of experience

Stanny states, “if you don’t deal with your money, your money will deal with you…often in ways you’d never expect.”  She experienced this maxim first hand when her husband lost “a substantial portion of [her] inheritance”. She blatantly says that “staying stupid was not an option”, but when confronted by her financial counselor about being an underearner, she insisted she was not. She ignored her financial counselor’s advice until she “research[ed] financially savvy women” and interviewed “154 high-earners, several of whom were writers” she discovered to be “supremely confident.” She shattered her mental block holding her back, that people who make a lot of money are “cold, aloof, designer-dressed snobs.”  Her pivotal confession was that “they didn’t let self-doubt stop them” like she did.  Then Stanny miraculously earned six figures.  “Without even realizing it, I had seamlessly incorporated their strategies into my life, which I’ll share with you throughout this book.”

planning the life you want

The purpose of this book is to help you achieve financial independence. This process begins with one simple question:  What do you want? Stanny asks, if you had only six months to live:

  • “What would you be doing?”
  • “Where would you be living?”
  • “Who would you be with?”
  • “What would you change?  What would you add?  What would you eliminate?”

Based on your answers to these questions, you can formulate plans for how to change your life. “Make your plans as fantastic as you like, because twenty-five years from now they will seem mediocre.  You will wonder why you didn’t make them 50 times as great.”

the psychology of underearning

Stanny explains, “The problem we’re dealing with isn’t really about money at all.  Money is simply a metaphor.  In fact, the problem isn’t even about overcoming underearning.  Underearning is merely a symptom.  Lasting change never occurs by treating the symptom.  My belief is that you’ve kept yourself an underearner for a reason. Bottom line:  Underearning is a condition of low self-esteem.  Inside every underearner lies some degree of hopelessness or helplessness brought on by a perceived lack of self-worth or absence of self-love.” Stanny follows this insight with a Self Esteem Inventory designed to help readers identify their self-esteem roadblocks.

Stanny now counteracts the voices in our heads that tell us we cannot be anything.  “Those voices may never shut up.  Mine haven’t.”  She talks about how she has learned to ignore them.  “So should you.  Just because you hear voices in your head doesn’t mean you have to listen to them.” Defiantly she encourages us to “Start replacing the voices with different, more positive statements, a personal mantra or affirmation.”

Section Two:  Taking the Steps

The second portion of the book outlines the steps you can take to begin changing your financial state and achieving success. This begins with a five-part plan, each step of which contains detailed plans and exercises:

  • Step 1:  Tell the Truth-The Defining Truth:  No one is doing this to me.  I am doing this to myself.  Therefore, I have the ability to change it.
  • Step 2:  Make a Decision-profit motive.  THE GRAND CONUNDRUM:  You get what you really want, not what you ask for.
  • Step 3:  Stretch:  Your biggest barrier is fear.  And it’s usually that which we’re most afraid to let go of that is the very thing we need to release.
  • Step 4:  Create Community-who are your true believers, confidants, way showers, messengers, and naysayers?
  • Step 5:  Respect and Appreciate Money-The Big Must for Overcoming Underearning: Stop Debting Now!

This book can be placed on hold from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Andre de la Fuente

Book Review: Stillness Is the Key

Maybe the pandemic forced you to rethink your life or career. Maybe you had arrived at the point of change regardless. But how to let go of the old and focus on and strategize about the new? According to Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key.

distracted and distressed

This book echoes similar sentiments to those of a popular Rascal Flatts’ song: “Sunday was a day of rest, Now, it’s one more day for progress.”  The author states that we “are pulled in countless directions by competing priorities and beliefs.  In those battles, in that war, stillness is the river and the railroad junction through which so much depends.  It is the key…”  Holiday gives several obstacles that present us with so many distractions.  For instance: “We are afraid of the silence.  We are afraid of looking stupid.  We are afraid of missing out. We are afraid of being the bad guy who says, “Nope, not interested.”  The author adds a quote from John Cage: “If the mind is disciplined, the heart turns quickly from fear to love.”

finding peace through stillness

Holiday divides the book into three domains: The Mind, Spirit, and Body. The head, the heart and the flesh.  It is in these three areas the author encourages us to focus and develop methods for stillness.  The author references a wide range of the world’s greatest thinkers to show us what stillness is and how we can achieve it.  The objective is to reduce the disturbances that make stillness impossible. To be at peace within ourselves, and to establish a lasting inner and outer peace.

It is critical that the mind domain is mastered in order to find success in stillness.  That will involve managing the amount and type of information you allow in and to properly appreciate being present in the moment. Protect yourself and your mind by managing your thoughts.  Invest time and mental energy to find truth and solution to problems you face.

tips and techniques

One effective method for stillness is to journal.  Journaling allows you to transfer some of the thoughts that are floating around in your head to another medium and to clarify your thoughts. Seeking wise counsel is another proven method for gaining stillness along with receiving constructive criticism.  Cultivating a flexible attitude will allow you to grow and experience situations in a whole new light.

Holiday gives a laundry list of goals one must meet in order to find stillness, some of which include…

  • Developing a strong moral compass,
  • Steering clear of envy and jealousy and harmful desires, and
  • Coming to terms with the painful wounds of childhood.

The author instructs us to take responsibility for our own emotions and impulses.  To strengthen our bodies as the physical vessel of our minds and spirit by developing a routine and investing in ourselves through personal hobbies.  Holiday states that “when the body is busy with the familiar, the mind can relax.  The monotony becomes muscle memory.”

Holiday insists that we “Get out from under all your stuff.  Get rid of it.  Give away what you don’t need.  Declutter.

In the midst of stillness, you can find peace. And with peace of mind you can better find your new career or life’s purpose.

This book can be placed on hold from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Cynthia Payton

Book Review: The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide

Do you find you struggle to land a job because you’re introverted? If so, you may benefit from the book The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide, which you may place on hold through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.

“even wallflowers can blossom”: thoughts on introversion

In her Introduction, Author Jane Finkle immediately states that introversion and extroversion are not etched in stone, but mere moving preferences–ideal “situational” comfort zones.  Finkle declaratively confides she is an introvert, yet touts the fine balance between extroversion and introversion equally.  She characterizes her older brother’s extroversion as demanding of Mom’s “attention with nonstop chatter” yet speaking “freely to any stranger in his path.”

She continues that balancing act:  “My grandmother’s entrepreneurial spirit was supported by my quiet immigrant grandfather, who was content staying behind the scenes.  And my socially timid father chronically complained of upcoming social gatherings, though in the end he thoroughly enjoyed such events despite his reticent nature.”

Jane Finkle’s long familial line of introversion includes her own willingness to listen to stories and come up “with ways to solve their problems” then “helping them rewrite a chapter in their lives that would lead to a happy ending” which led her “to a career in counseling.”  As a result, she toots the proverbial “introvert’s” horn saying “listeners by design, introverts prefer to take in all pertinent information before speaking, but then often surprise their audience by making relevant, thoughtful contributions.”

The elephant in the room, according to Jane Finkle, is that “In America, we live in a culture that favors extroversion” which leads to many introverts questioning “their personal value and ability to compete in the face of market changes.”  In contrast, introversion does not impede success.  Although “Asian cultures and some African cultures identified more closely with introversion” related to “tradition, conservatism, and compliance…Asian Americans are the best educated, earn the highest incomes, and constitute the fastest growing racial group in the United States.”

Introverts may feel invisible like a wallflower, but Finkle notes that “even wallflowers can blossom!”  Author Jane Finkle encourages introverts to assess themselves to discover their values and put their strengths on display.  She ultimately prods all readers to strive for “rewarding” work where “your daily tasks and work environment are aligned with your career values.”

How introverts can succeed in the job search

In Chapter 3, Finkle encourages introverts to tell results-oriented stories using the résumé, even if they are uncomfortable blowing their own horn.  Listing achievements and personal brand using short-and-sweet descriptions along with keywords are résumé writing trends, she continues, and of course we can help you at our Career Center.  We have downloadable templates here to trigger your résumé’s starting line which the author defines as “focusing on your industry/field and target audience.”  She then dives into achievements which makes me think of specific goals met that enhanced your organization’s effectiveness.  For example, did you compose new manuals to maintain consistent training, or develop a website or brochure, or simplify Frequently Asked Questions?  These are essential to making any organization function better and if you are a change agent, then toot that horn, because these accomplishments should not go unnoticed.

Chapter 4’s Promote Yourself in Real Time delves into examples, such as creating blogs like this one or updating your LinkedIn page to make it more current?  Jane Finkle demonstrates that social media “is a perfect marketing tool for introverts” since it allows “exposure to support your professional development while respecting your need for adequate privacy.”

Talk to Strangers, as Chapter 5 encourages, might seem audacious at first, but in reality stepping out of your comfort zone might be the best thing ever.  I remember first presenting at a local conference after the organizer stated quite frankly that she was always looking for an opportunity to state her thoughts, even though she was polite and thoughtful and did not come off as pushy.  Now I am not saying you must go out and present at the next convention, but as Jane Finkle states, “use your inquisitive nature” to “consider what truly matters to you and what you want to say” and “form solid relationships”.

Eventually you will get The Interview (see Chapter 6), Navigate a Job Offer (Chapter 7), Onboard (8), then finally Survive and Thrive (9) by setting short-term goals then achieving them using your talents and interests to solve problems, commit to learning, and meet experts and leaders, which, in my opinion​, you were already doing from the beginning.  She aptly closes:  “Embrace your introversion as a familiar friend, and challenge its nature now and again by periodic bold moves.  In time these won’t seem so bold at all, just another variation of your theme.”

Written by Andre de la Fuente

New Career Center Books

COVID-19 has made this a challenging time for workers. Unemployment is high, layoffs are widespread, and some people are finding themselves out of work for the first time in years. Please remember, though, that the Career Center is here to help. In addition to our in-person and online services, we also have books on a variety of job-searching topics. Here are a few of our newest guides:

Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide
by Karen Wickre
We often tell clients that the best way to get job leads is through networking. The old adage is true: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Too often, our clients feel uncomfortable and shy about reaching out to their network. This book aims to help jobseekers with networking strategies via an unconventional approach which can work well for introverts. Subjects include: maintaining relationships through social media, mastering small talk, managing email communications, and blending the personal with the professional. Author Karen Wickre, journalist and former editorial director of Twitter, brings to bear a lifetime of experience in communications.

Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed. . .Get Hired
by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark
The rules of resume design change fairly frequently, so if you haven’t reworked your resume in a few years, it may be outdated. Fear not, though: Master Resume Writers Kursmark and Enelow have drawn on their significant expertise to provide a thorough compendium for resume structure, content, and design.  From the big (How do I make a resume ATS-friendly?) to the small (What font should I use?) to the tricky (I haven’t worked in five years. . .), this guide aims to answer all your resume questions. Included are several dozen example resumes.

Job Interview Tips for Overcoming Red Flags
by Ronald Krannich, PhD
The job interview is a stressful process at the best of times. This is of course doubly true if you have a sticky situation that may come up in the interview. Perhaps you have been fired, or received a negative reference. Maybe you lack certain relevant skills, have an unstable work history, or possess a criminal record. Whatever your situation, this guide aims to help you identify your red flags, formulate strategies to overcome them, and find ways to present yourself in your best light at job interviews. Author Ronald Krannich is a job search expert with more than 100 published books to his name.

Comeback Careers: At 40, 50, and Beyond
by Mika Brzezinski and Ginny Brzezinski
Workers over the age of 40 face an extra obstacle in the job search – age discrimination. For women especially, this obstacle can compound with other issues, such as years spent raising children instead of focusing on a career. Yet restarting one’s career in middle age is possible. This book features interviews with dozens of successful professionals who have reinvented and relaunched themselves into a second career. The book discusses ways to use the knowledge and experience you already have as a foundation for building a new image and career. There are also strategies from expert career coaches tailored especially to mid-career jobseekers.

If you’d like to place a hold on one of these books, please visit the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Lynnette Lee

New Career Center Books

The Career Center has just received a set of books from the Masters at Work series by Simon and Schuster Publishing. This series of career exploration guides aims to help job-seekers understand their career options.

Synopsis: Each book in this series contains in-depth interviews with  experts in the field, including discussion of how the person achieved success, what the job is like on a daily basis, and pros and cons of working in that field. Described by the publishers as “the best virtual internship you’ll ever have,” these books hope to provide job-seekers with insight into whether the chosen field would be a good career fit for them.

Titles in this series include:

Becoming an Architect by Janelle Zara

Becoming a Baker by Glynnis MacNicol

Becoming an Ethical Hacker by Gary Mivlin

Becoming a Hairstylist by Kate Bolick

Becoming a Life Coach by Tom Chiarella

Becoming a Marine Biologist by Virginia Morell

Becoming a Neurosurgeon by John Colapinto

Becoming a Private Investigator by Howie Kahn

Becoming a Sommelier by Rosie Schaap 

Becoming a Venture Capitalist by Gary Mivlin

Becoming a Yoga Instructor 

You can place a hold on any of these books through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s online catalog. And for additional career path advice, please feel free to call the Career Center at 225-231-3733 to make an appointment for career coaching.

Written by Lynnette Lee

New Career Center Books

Happy New Year! As we begin a new year many people make resolutions to do something new and different. Such as perhaps starting a new business. This year the Career Center offered a seminar on how to buy or expand into a franchise as well as a series of seminars on how to start a non-profit. We have witnessed a great deal of interest in how to start a non-profit or a business. The Career Center has a whole section of books on how to start your own business, including a few new titles.

Start Your Own Business, 7th edition
by The Staff of Entrepreneur Media

If you see yourself as an entrepreneur or aspire to become one this book is for you. It is designed as a “road map to help you plan a course for your own journey to business ownership”. The team at Entrepreneur provide more than 700 pages of information and lessons to help you make your business dream a reality. It begins with a forward by Jason Feifer that encourages the reader with a revised understanding of what is means to succeed as an entrepreneur. The forty-one chapters are divided into eight parts that cover how to Think, Plan, Fund, Prepare, Buy, Market, Engage, and Profit.

HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business
by Richard Ruback and Royce Yudkoff

Would you like to be your own boss, fashion a company environment that meets your own needs, and profit directly from your success? Roback and Yudkoff offer an alternative to a career path at a big firm or the risk of founding your own start-up. In this book they take a big idea from their popular courses at the Harvard Business School and for the first time share it. That you can buy an existing business right now and run it as a CEO. Twenty-one chapters are divided into five parts: Think Big, Buy Small; Preparing Your Search; Finding the Right Small Business to Buy; Making an Offer; and Completing the Acquisition.

Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World
by Rand Fishkin

No one should found a startup alone. Fishkin, founder of Moz (a software provider that creates products for professionals to help client with search engine optimization), shares from his own experience so the reader can avoid the mistakes he made. In addition to covering the difficult realities of founding a startup, Fishkin provides tactical tips and tricks (what he calls the “startup cheat code”). Chapters cover such topics as Great Founders Don’t Do What They Love; They Enable a Vision, Don’t Raise Money for the Wrong Reasons or from the Wrong People, Founding a Top 5 Percent Startup May Not Make You Rich, Living the Lives of Your Customers and Their Influencers is a Startup Cheat Code, and Self-Awareness is a Superpower.

Be Your Best Boss: Reinvent Yourself from Employee to Entrepreneur
by William Seagraves

Becoming an entrepreneur midcareer can be confusing. Perhaps you feel stuck at work, are recently unemployed, or are hanging on to your job. And you want to do something more, something better, something new and different. Seagraves, president and founder of Catchfire Funding, draws on the stories of new and once-reluctant entrepreneurs and offers advice to those wanting to begin a second act in their careers. He breaks down the process of becoming an entrepreneur, explaining how to evaluate yourself and your business opportunity.  Chapters cover whether you are entrepreneurially ready, how to be a company of one and a business of many, how to buy a franchise or existing business, how to navigate the first six months to beyond the first two years, when and how to exit, and how to use your 401(k) (without penalty) to fund your new business.

Written by Richard Wright