Learning how to listen is the first step toward business success

There is no playbook for starting a successful business, and in the current and emerging economy, conventional wisdom doesn’t cut it anymore. If you’re going to start a new venture in today’s world, you need to know how to succeed in today's economy, how to do business utilizing new technologies and how successful entrepreneurs in the past rewrote the rules.

The home office has changed the communication game and it’s more important than ever to listen and soak up all the learnings you can if you want to strike out on your own. Whether you’re embarking on a career as a freelancer or trying to build something bigger, business audiobooks can be a great place to start for advice.

Prepare Yourself for Success

There’s a slew of audiobooks and podcasts designed to help you navigate today’s business environment. From management and leadership skills to perfecting your work-from-home routine, there are plenty of resources where you can get more information.

Business audiobooks and podcasts can help, but don’t feel as though you need to know everything before you start. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is just get started. If you’re eager to get down to business and want some quick takeaways, these five straightforward tips will help you get started. Want to learn more than just the basics? Read further down into each section for recommendations on business audiobooks and podcasts that can provide more in-depth advice on each subject.

1) Find a Routine that Works from Home

Work-from-home is a big change, but if you’re working for yourself, you had better get used to it. Skipping an office will keep your costs way down. What you need to do is find a routine that allows you to stay focused and productive.

Fortunately, how to work from home is a question entrepreneurs have been grappling with for decades. When you first strike out on your own, home is often the only office you can afford. Laura Vanderkam has been working remotely for over 18 years and she’s got all the advice you need to find a productive work-from-home routine in The New Corner Office.

The New Corner Office

Vanderkam sets out to help you break the old routines of the office and build one that keeps you productive while you build your professional network.

One crucial part of your routine is turning off. When you work from home, it’s easy for boundaries to blur. We’ve gotten used to the commute as a way to transition into R&R mode. We use the drive or the ride to rehash the day’s events, so that when we get home, we’re ready to forget about it. You need a new routine that will help put you in the right mindset to unwind. Podcasts can help you take your mind off work and start to relax for the evening. On Audible, you can find a podcast for you that will refill your tanks.

2) Become a Pro at Communications Technology

When you’re talking to clients online or managing a team, you need to be a pro at communications technology. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with video chat apps so you can use them effectively. One tip for using new communications technology: not everything needs to be a big meeting. Plenty of little issues can be resolved with a quick check-in, just like at the office.

If you’re starting up a company with a team, how you use new communication technology will set the tone and culture of your organization. You need to put your right foot forward. You can learn more about how to successfully lead a team with these audiobooks on workplace and organizational behaviour.

A woman engages in a conference call on a laptop with many other individuals

3) Learn How to Rejuvenate

Whether you’re working as a freelancer or hoping to expand your business rapidly, you know you have to hustle. Pushing yourself is the entrepreneur’s motto. But what happens when you push yourself too far? Burn out won’t just affect your career; it can also derail your health. As demanding as going into business alone can be, you need to know what your limits are and how to restore your energy.

In Lean Out, Tara Henley reflects on our culture of overwork and precarity. In 2016, Henley was a journalist travelling around the world until chest pains stopped her in her tracks. When she found out the cause was anxiety, she had to re-examine her life and along with it, the stresses of 21st-century life. In a culture that’s constantly telling us to “lean in,” Lean Out will help you evaluate your priorities and decide how much work is too much.

Lean Out

Late evenings and early mornings are the calling card of the self-starting entrepreneur. But if you want to keep going, you need a good night’s sleep. Sleeping with David Baddiel is a six-episode podcast in which insomniac comedian David Baddiel tries to uncover the secret of a good night’s sleep. Sleep is one of the most important resources you have as a self-starter, and this podcast will help you make the most of it.

Sleeping with David Baddiel

4) Expect Change

If there’s anything you should expect in business, it’s the unexpected. Whether it’s a surprise start-up rising to dominance and changing our daily lives or an event that radically alters the way the world works, you need to be ready to adapt.

That’s the main message behind Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan, a cerebral analysis of unpredictable phenomena that have massive impacts. From the stunning success of a corporation like Google to a global pandemic, black swans change the paradigm of the business world and blindside even the most successful executives and investors when they do.

The Black Swan, Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility"

Taleb’s argument is that too many businesses don’t have the robustness to withstand these events because their leaders are focused too much on already identified problems to adapt to what they aren’t expecting. This is a big-thinking kind of audiobook that will change your perspective and encourage you to build a robust, adaptable business for yourself.

5) Find Inspiration

Do you feel like you’re ready for change, but you’re not quite sure you’re ready to make that big leap of faith? The right mindset is the first thing you need before you can bet on yourself. Inspiration is a source of strength that can keep you going no matter what.

Kevin Hart, the superstar comedian and actor, wants you to “get your mind right” so that you can reach your goals. The Decision will put you through the Kevin Hart Mental Fitness Bootcamp, as Hart shares the rules he’s developed to elevate his own life and mental fitness. Starting your own business is more than just a professional decision; it’s a personal journey. Kevin Hart helps you transform your mindset and take your life to the next level.

The Decision

The business environment has changed, but for some, that’s just a new opportunity. Do you have an audiobook or podcast that changed your outlook on business or your career? Head over to our Facebook page to share it with us, and it might just change someone else’s life too!

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