leadership women leadership skills

10 Words Of Wisdom Every Leader Needs To Hear

10 Words Of Wisdom Every Leader Needs To Hear

As a leader, you are bound to face challenges and setbacks along the way. Whether you are an entrepreneur starting your own business or a seasoned executive leading a team, the road to success is never easy. However, the most successful leaders are the ones who learn from their failures and use their experiences to grow and improve. In this article, learn 10 words of wisdom that every leader needs to hear.

These Words Of Wisdom Will Provide Inspiration And Practical Advice To Help You Overcome Challenges And Succeed As A Leader

1. Failure Is Not The Opposite Of Success, It's Part Of The Journey.

It’s easy to view failure as a roadblock to success, but the truth is that failure is an inevitable part of the journey. The most successful leaders are the ones who embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Instead of fearing failure, embrace it as a natural part of the process and use it to fuel your growth and progress.

đź”” Elon Musk overcame multiple failed rocket launches before finally achieving success with SpaceX.

2. Lead With Empathy And Understanding

As a leader, it’s important to remember that your team is made up of individuals with unique needs and perspectives. Leading with empathy and understanding can help you build stronger relationships with your team members and create a culture of trust and respect. Take the time to listen to your team members and understand their needs and concerns.

Empathy is a crucial trait for any leader. It allows you to see situations from multiple perspectives and to connect with your team on a deeper level. To lead with empathy, you must be willing to listen to your team members, understand their perspectives, and show that you care about their well-being.

This means taking the time to build relationships with your team members and actively seeking out their feedback and input. When you lead with empathy and understanding, you create a culture of trust and respect that can drive your team’s success.

3. Success Is A Team Sport, Surround Yourself With The Right People

No one achieves success alone. Surround yourself with a team of people who share your vision and can help you achieve your goals. Look for team members who bring diverse perspectives and skill sets to the table and who share your passion for success.

đź”” Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is a great example of a leader who can balance short-term and long-term goals and realize the value of surrounding himself with the right people around him. He has focused on building a strong team and company culture and investing in research and development, allowing Microsoft to stay at the forefront of the tech industry for decades.

4. Never Stop Learning And Growing

The most successful leaders are the ones who never stop learning and growing. Stay curious and open-minded, and seek out opportunities to learn and develop new skills and your mindset. Attend conferences and workshops, read books and articles, and seek out mentorship and coaching opportunities.

5. Take Calculated Risks And Learn From Your Mistakes

Taking risks is an important part of achieving success as a leader, but it’s important to take calculated risks and learn from your mistakes. Before taking a risk, weigh the potential benefits and risks and make an informed decision. And when mistakes do happen, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow.

6. Focus On Your Strengths And Delegate Your Weaknesses

As a leader, it’s important to focus on developing your strengths and delegating tasks that you are not as skilled at. This will allow you to focus your energy on the things you do well and enable your team to thrive in areas where they excel.

7. Never Compromise Your Values

Integrity is a critical component of effective leadership. Stay true to your values and principles, even in the face of difficult decisions or challenges. Your team will respect you more for staying true to your beliefs, even when it’s not the easiest or most popular choice.

Your values are the foundation of your character, and compromising them is like compromising yourself. In leadership, it’s important to stay true to your values and principles, even when faced with difficult decisions or opposition. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” So, always strive for harmony between your values and your actions, and you will earn the respect and trust of your team.

8. Communication Is Key

Effective communication is essential to building strong relationships with your team members and achieving your goals as a leader. Make sure to communicate clearly and frequently, and seek out feedback from your team members to ensure that your messages are being received as intended.

Effective communication is a vital component of successful leadership. It allows you to build strong relationships with your team, establish clear expectations, and foster a positive and productive work environment. One of the most important aspects of communication is active listening. When you truly listen to your team members and take their concerns and ideas into account, you show that you value and respect them. This, in turn, leads to greater trust and loyalty, which are essential for building a cohesive and high-performing team.”

9. Celebrate Your Successes, But Stay Humble

It’s important to celebrate your successes as a leader, but it’s equally important to stay humble and remember that success is a team effort. Recognize the contributions of your team members and give credit where credit is due.

10. Stay Passionate And Stay The Course

Finally, the most successful leaders are the ones who stay passionate and committed to their vision, even in the face of challenges, failures, and setbacks. Stay the course and remain focused on your goals, and your perseverance will ultimately lead to success.

đź””When Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, he could have given up on his dream of becoming a basketball player. Instead, he used that rejection as fuel to work harder and prove himself. He went on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time, proving that failure can be a powerful motivator.

In conclusion, leadership is a complex and multifaceted concept that requires a range of skills and attributes. However, by focusing on developing your strengths, practicing empathy, embracing failure, and building strong relationships, you can become a more effective and successful leader.

It’s important to remember that leadership is not just about achieving personal success, but also about empowering and inspiring others to achieve their goals. As a leader, you have the power to positively influence those around you and make a real difference in your organization and community.

So, take these words of wisdom to heart and make a commitment to continuous learning and growth as a leader. Seek out opportunities to develop your skills, build relationships, and learn from others. Always remember that leadership is a journey, not a destination, so be patient, stay humble, and keep striving for excellence.

Here Is The Top 10 Words Of Wisdom For Leaders

Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. Simon and Schuster.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90.

Grant, A. M., & Gino, F. (2010). A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(6), 946-955.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. John Wiley & Sons.

Pink, D. H. (2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Riverhead Books.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
Tichy, N. M., & Ulrich, D. O. (2010). Leadership development: Forging ahead despite a bumpy road. Organizational Dynamics, 39(2), 145-154.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge university press.

Zenger, J. H., & Folkman, J. R. (2009). The extraordinary leader: Turning good managers into great leaders. McGraw Hill Professional.


Words Of Wisdom: Lessons For Leadership Success

Words Of Wisdom: Lessons For Leadership Success

Leadership is not an easy journey, and it takes a combination of skills, qualities, and experience to become a great leader. Over the years, many successful leaders have shared their insights, lessons, and advice on how to lead with excellence and achieve great results. In this article, we will explore some of the most impactful words of wisdom that can help you become a more effective leader.

Embrace Failure

Failure is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign that you are pushing your limits and trying new things. Great leaders embrace failure as a necessary step on the path to success. They use their failures as learning opportunities, not setbacks, and they are not afraid to take risks and experiment. As J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

One of the best examples of a leader who embraced failure is Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison’s perseverance and determination eventually led him to discover the right way to make the light bulb, and his invention changed the world.

Focus On Your Strengths

As a leader, it is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses. While it is important to work on improving your weaknesses, it is equally important to focus on your strengths. By developing your strengths, you can become an expert in your field and excel as a leader.

Marcus Buckingham, a leadership expert and author, said, “The key to success is to focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Your weaknesses will never develop, while your strengths will develop infinitely.” By focusing on your strengths, you can also inspire and motivate your team members to develop their strengths and contribute to the overall success of your organization.

Practice Empathetic Leadership

Empathy is a critical skill for effective leadership. Empathetic leaders understand the needs and concerns of their team members and can communicate with them in a way that builds trust and rapport. They are also able to create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

One of the best examples of empathetic leadership is Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. Nadella believes that empathy is essential to innovation and growth, and he has made it a cornerstone of his leadership philosophy. In his book, “Hit Refresh,” Nadella writes, “Empathy is not about being soft or coddling. It’s about being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see the world from their perspective. It’s about treating people with respect, regardless of their position or status.”

Never Stop Learning

Leadership is an ongoing journey, and great leaders never stop learning. They are always seeking out new ideas, insights, and knowledge that can help them become better leaders. They are also open to feedback and are willing to make changes to their approach based on what they learn.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is a great example of a leader who never stops learning. Gates is known for his voracious reading habits, and he has said that he reads around 50 books a year. Gates believes that reading is a critical part of his personal and professional growth, and he encourages others to make reading a priority as well.

Build Strong Relationships

Leadership is not a solo journey; it is a team sport. Great leaders understand the importance of building strong relationships with their team members, colleagues, and stakeholders. They can connect with others on a deeper level, listen actively, and understand different perspectives. These skills help them create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

To build strong relationships, start by getting to know your team members and colleagues on a personal level. Show a genuine interest in their lives and hobbies outside of work. Celebrate their accomplishments, and acknowledge their contributions to the team. Remember to listen actively and be empathetic when someone is going through a difficult time.

Effective communication is another crucial component of building strong relationships. Be clear and concise when delivering feedback, and make sure to provide constructive criticism in a supportive way. Use positive language to reinforce good behaviors and provide recognition when team members meet or exceed expectations.

Lastly, be open to feedback yourself. Encourage your team members to provide feedback on your leadership style and take their suggestions to heart. This helps build trust and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.


Becoming a great leader is a lifelong journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and constant learning. By focusing on developing your strengths, leading with empathy, embracing failure, and building strong relationships, you can become the kind of leader who inspires and motivates others to achieve their best.

Words of Wisdom

Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. Simon and Schuster.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90.

Grant, A. M., & Gino, F. (2010). A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(6), 946-955.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. John Wiley & Sons.

Pink, D. H. (2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Riverhead Books.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
Tichy, N. M., & Ulrich, D. O. (2010). Leadership development: Forging ahead despite a bumpy road. Organizational Dynamics, 39(2), 145-154.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge university press.

Zenger, J. H., & Folkman, J. R. (2009). The extraordinary leader: Turning good managers into great leaders. McGraw Hill Professional.

business ideas women leadership skills

How To Achieve Your Goals In A Year By Smart Working

How To Achieve Your Goals In A Year By Smart Working

In a dynamic and fast-paced world, goal achievement isn’t much about motivation as it is adaptability.

Every new year and new season starts with goals and for others resolutions with a genuine intention to see them through to the end of the period. Often that is never the case for many. Today, I want to submit that how productive you are determines how many of those goals you realize. If you always ditch your resolutions halfway through the year, your approach is the problem.

I neither mean to dispute the famous saying by Dustin Lynch that states “hard work always pays off” nor underestimate the widely known quote by Henry Ford that says, “Chop your wood, and it will warm you twice.”

However, there are more than a few cases where people have put their blood and sweat into working hard but have not accomplished their goals.

Two Approaches To Goal Achievement

Let us begin by looking at a classic example of working smart and working hard. Before civilization, a man would carry heavy materials from one place to another by doing all the hard work. A few years later and technological advancement, a man could use simple equipment like a wheelbarrow or locomotive to transport heavy luggage for long distances with less effort and more efficiency.

It is evident from this classic example that people can get overwhelmed by responsibilities and complete very few tasks despite working very hard. Such situations forced men to rethink their work dynamics and introduce equipment that could help increase efficiency and make work easier.

Many people work hard, yet only a few are successful, and the secret behind the successful few is that they work brilliantly. Although hard work pays off, smart work multiplies productivity.

For This Reason, Working Hard And Working Smart Are Two Contrasting Approaches To Accomplishing Your Goals.

  • The main difference is hard work focuses on spending long hours and effort while working smart emphasizes finding more efficient means to complete the task.
  • Plain hard work is about working consistently towards a particular objective irrespective of its worth and not caring about the result or not using any innovative methods to minimize the effort required. In contrast, working smart is when you prioritize working on a given task depending on its worth, energy input, and creativity to produce maximum results with minimum labor.

The current business environment is fast-paced, where swift completion of projects will put you ahead of the competition and help your company to be on top of its mission. That means it demands an intelligent work approach that utilizes less effort and maximizes efficiency to produce the best results.

Working smart and efficiently is not always easy. Daily habits, organizational processes, and bureaucratic processes for approvals may hinder the quick delivery of projects. Nonetheless, brilliant business leaders and professionals know that working quickly and efficiently is vital for accomplishing annual business targets.

Here Are Some Smart Tactics To Incorporate Into Your Business To Achieve Your Goals In A Year

1. Plan And Prioritize Your To-Do List

When working smart to realize your goals, you must take the lead role in the business project rather than assuming that things will flow. As a business leader, you must develop a strategy or systematic plan to accomplish your targets. Working with an objective and timeframe is much more efficient as it is easier to measure progress and results.

Smart Working Innovatively Also Calls For A Short To-do List Focused On The Most Crucial Tasks

As I mentioned, working smart is about prioritizing what you take on based on its worth. A good to-do list intentionally avoids all unnecessary things because a shorter list looks less intimidating and will not discourage the implementing person. Smart people break down their to-do lists into manageable tasks that are easy to accomplish.

For example, when planning to source the cheapest item from different distributors. First, break down your activities into simple tasks. Begin by listing all the item specifications, sending out emails to distributors, sending out kind reminders, comparing feedback, and selecting the best quotation.

Simplifying the to-do list into a series of activities makes it easier to follow the progress. When you have one major item on your to-do list, it will be impossible to trace daily progress.

As you plan your list, ensure that all time-sensitive activities are at the top of the to-do list to facilitate completion within deadlines.

Prioritizing Activities In The List Is Crucial For Big Projects As It Offers A Buffer When Something Inevitably Gets Delayed

In addition, it is imperative to schedule specific duties like proofreading a document in the morning because they demand a keen mind. Doing such activities in the evening when one is exhausted will lead to numerous errors.

Lastly, an efficient to-do list bunches small tasks together to help the implementers complete multiple activities quickly. Clearing the minor duties gives you adequate time and mental focus to tackle the large items.

The Financial Provider Case

I recall working in a financial sales company. We were subdivided into teams of ten members and given a target of selling five insurance policies valued at one million. The competition was on, the first team to achieve the target would win a good reward.

On the first day, when other teams were rushing to the field and trying to convince clients to buy the insurance policies, I called for a group meeting to strategize how to work as a team. In the team meeting, we appointed a chairperson to coordinate the group activities and a team secretary to document all the progress made by the members.

The elected chairperson and team secretary subdivided the members into sub-groups and allocated each subgroup a specific task. We had some members whose duty was to identify new prospects; another subgroup scrutinized the identified potentials and came up with the most eligible clients. The team leadership designated the last sub-group to send proposals to the most potential candidates, follow up with the clients, and close deals.

With Good Planning And Prioritizing Duties

My team was able to approach more clients and sold twelve policies within a month. Working smart enabled my team to accomplish the targets within the shortest time. Unlike the other teams, where each member had to do every task in the sale process, our team had members handling specific duties.

It is easy to close a deal and complete the sale process on time by letting a particular sub-group perform a single task. It was easy for the members to send proposals to potential clients, as they would forward one proposal to multiple clients. In other teams, one member would identify new prospects, scrutinize them to find eligible candidates, and send out pitches, making their work difficult.

These are more old leadership tactics to abandon this year.

2. Delegate Duties And Improve Time Management Skills

Typically, most people like things done in a particular manner, and some would prefer doing every task themselves rather than asking for assistance or delegating to others. Doing everything by yourself is an enormous hindrance to productivity. Train your team members to deliver quality work with minimal supervision.

You can design efficient systems and processes that produce standard products and services- start by documenting SOPs for the company, which everyone can access. The benefit of designing efficient systems is that your business does not rely on the individual default work modes, hence getting things done without prior planning.

Smart Work Involves Minding The Work Process As Much As The Duty

For example, when operating a bakery, you can predetermine the mixing of ingredients so that your employees can carry out the process even when you are absent. Developing efficient systems ensures production continues even in the absence of key personnel.

Brilliant business people are keen to prioritize, delegate, and improve their time management. Speaking of time management, improving time management translates to working smart.

Hard work is about spending long hours getting a task done while intelligent work means completing a similar amount of work in less time. Business people with good time management skills finish their projects before the deadline.

Repetitive processes involved in hard work can lead to time wastage and eventually fail to meet timelines. Hard work follows a tedious process rather than brainstorming for the quickest and most efficient way of achieving the goal.

Utilizing efficient procedures and tools to get things done quickly makes innovative work the most suitable option for completing tasks on schedule.

Consider Implementing All The Relevant Tools To Your Work; This Is Not Cheating But Working Creatively

We have a lot of productivity tools in the market today that can cut manual and repetitive processes by half; why reinvent the wheel? The Phalera CRM is a good example that combines and automates most of the daily day-to-day operations of a business.

The Steel Factory Case

During my internship, I was lucky to have a chance to work in a large steel factory that produces a wide range of products and employs over a thousand employees. Fortunately, during my internship period at the factory, I witnessed a management change.

The previous administration believed in hard work and bureaucratic processes. For instance, employees would physically sign in on paper attendance sheets filed by the department manager. The human resource officers would then go around the factory to collect the files and tally the hours. The human resource officers would then use that information to calculate salaries.

This Process Involved Plenty Of Hard Work And Consumed Much Time, Ultimately Was Inefficient And Marred With Numerous Mistakes

  • First, the employees would come to work late and leave early because the manual register was easy to manipulate.
  • Secondly, the human resource department had a tedious job of counting the hours worked by each employee. The counting would take days leading to delayed salary payments and endless conflict between the management and workers. Mathematical errors were frequent, resulting in over or under-compensation of some employees.
  • Lastly, the manual system did not capture absentee workers. Some unethical department managers would make underhand deals with employees to allow them to evade duties.

The New Management Noted The Issue Of Human And Time Mismanagement In The Factory

The approach? They suggested a digital system where employees would clock in at the gate as they enter and clock out as they leave the factory. It was a brilliant idea, but it would take the information technology department more than a year to design and develop such a system.

The new management was smart enough to outsource the software and technical equipment to monitor employee attendance rather than building a new in-house system.

  • The digital system was efficient and saved time, which the human resource department would spend reconciling the payroll. The human resource could now download the attendance details from the digital system and use that information to compute salaries correctly.
  • Second, the new system enhanced time management at the factory as employees arrived at workstations on time and left when the shift was over.
  • Third, the system eliminated ghost workers and increased production.
    Lastly, the digital system reduced the tedious work done by human resource officers.

They Applied Intelligent Working Techniques To Bring The Factory To Optimum Production By Minimizing Labor Wastage.

The new management also introduced a new work protocol that defined the duties designated for each employee. Dealing with over a thousand employees can be hectic because only a bunch of employees get things done while the rest joyride.

Instead, they assigned specific duties to each employee and delegated supervisory responsibilities to the department manager. Previously, workers would be assigned new tasks every day. With the new initiative, employees had permanent responsibilities.

Now, employees would report to their workstations knowing what they should accomplish by the end of the day, unlike in previous management, where there was rotation every morning.

Delegating Specific Duties To Each Employee Boosts Productivity Because Doing An Activity For A Long Time Makes It Easy

In addition, the senior management delegated supervisory and other minor managerial duties to department managers. Earlier, all employees reported directly to the senior management who also supervised production. The senior managers were slowly overwhelmed by countless cases and had little time to monitor production.

Delegating some duties to department managers gave them time to focus on other crucial management issues. Employees would send their progress reports to their department managers, who consolidate them and send a detailed summary to the senior managers. The senior management used detailed progress reports from department managers to identify unproductive sectors and seek long-lasting solutions.

The change from a management team that worked hard to a team that worked smart saw the factory increase its production, increase profitability, and reduce losses.

3. Have A Growth Mindset, Flexible Mind, And Adaptive Qualities

Progressive business people avoid conventional methods and comfort zones. They try different approaches to complete a task and test new procedures frequently in search of the most convenient ways to achieve the target. Trying new processes will help you to assess the amount of time spent on each activity.

Working Smart Is Also Focusing On Improving Skills And Learning New Ones

As a business person, focus on acquiring more knowledge in different aspects and fields of your work. The more knowledge in a specific business, the less time you need to find a solution to an issue. It is easier for businesspeople to identify innovative solutions or competitive ideas when they have adequate knowledge in their business field.

As a brilliant entrepreneur, you must be adaptive and flexible because business models change and markets shift. Sometimes things do not go as planned; thus, adapting quickly to a new situation will help to reach your targets even with changing circumstances.

Inflation, recession, and AI adoption are among the shifts every business must work around this year to achieve its goals.

Businesses get stuck on a problem when they continue to use the same procedures that had failed earlier. Adapting new methods to resolve an issue can accelerate growth as the business will experience such downtimes. Innovative business leaders have growth mindsets and are quick to adapt to new ways of doing business.

The Busy Construction Company Case

Working as a procurement officer in a busy construction company, I was always overwhelmed by numerous tenders. I had a standard way of applying for tenders, but unfortunately, I struggled to meet deadlines.

Luckily, I met an experienced procurement officer who changed my mindset. He taught me how to prepare templates I would modify each time I got a similar tender. With the new approach, I did not have to do each tender from scratch like in the beginning. My flexible mind and willingness to learn helped me become an efficient procurement officer who could complete tenders in the shortest time possible.

Furthermore, he taught me how to adapt to change quickly by analyzing new tender formats and updating my templates. With these new techniques, I could complete tenders quickly and have ample time to review and proofread.


In a dynamic and fast-paced world, goal achievement isn’t much about motivation as it is about adaptability. As the marketplace changes, it is time to forget the old school of thought on achieving your goals; adaptability will take you further.

Working smart involves having an in-depth knowledge of the duties at hand and applying your know-how to find the easiest and most efficient way to carry out the work in a more planned and organized manner.

Some believe working smart is a shortcut to hard work and cannot bear the same results. However, these allegations are incorrect as people who work smart reach great heights and lead a more successful personal and business life.

business ideas

Top 3 Small Business Grants For Women Entrepreneurs To Apply For Today

Top 3 Small Business Grants For Women Entrepreneurs To Apply For Today​

The modern woman plays a substantial role in shaping the business landscape. Women have become more involved in entrepreneurship, resulting in productivity surges, enhanced innovation, and economic growth. Statistics indicate that more than 40% of top Grants businessess are owned by women entrepreneurs today. Yet, in stark contrast, only 2% of startup venture funding is awarded to women.

Too often, women face inordinate challenges in qualifying for business loans and other forms of financing compared to their male counterparts. With stereotyping and socioeconomic factors like running a business, and making deals are seen as male territory.

Top Business Grants For Women Entrepreneurs

Where Is This Money, And How Can Women Ensure Slightly Fair Distribution?

Considering the difficulties of accessing loans and other investment financings by women, they can look into grant awards.
This article seeks to bridge that gap by empowering and enlightening you on the top three grants in the U.S. that women can apply to obtain funds for their businesses.

If you are a female entrepreneur running a startup or thinking of setting up one, find out if you qualify for a business grant. There are several small business grants specifically for women entrepreneurs. But before we dive in, let us first answer the question: what is a grant?

A grant is essentially free money that you do not have to pay back. Sounds pretty great, right? Grants can come from the government, local organizations, corporations, or foundations. They are typically awarded based on need or merit. Below are three small business grants for women entrepreneurs that you can apply for in 2022:

The Tony Burch Foundation Grant

First on this list is the grant by the Tory Burch Foundation. The foundation offers an annual program for women entrepreneurs in early-stage companies, a business education grant, and access to capital.

The Tony Burch Foundation, in partnership with the Fearless Fund, promotes black women-owned businesses through business capital, workshops, and peer-to-peer networking. Inside the program is an online community of peers to collaborate and engage in workshops with expert instructors according to individual business needs.


The applicant criteria dictate that eligible candidates must be women in a qualifying business that is 51% or more owned or controlled by women. They must also be 21 years old, proficient in English, and legal residents of the United States. The candidates who qualify for the program get a $5000 grant to advance their business education alongside a highly educational one-year fellowship and a trip to the Tory Burch Foundation offices in New York. Amazing, right?

Are you a new or aspiring business leader? Try this short online leadership course for beginners: The Impactful Leader

The Black Founder Start Up Grant

The second grant is the Black Founder StartUp Grant which provides $10,000 and $5000 to black women and nonbinary entrepreneurs.


Applicants must be black women or black non-binary entrepreneurs running a legally registered business. One must also plan to seek investor funding to grow and have a scalable, high-impact solution that has the potential to become the next billion-dollar. The application process involves filling and submitting an online form, after which the vetting and selection of the applicants happen.

The Amber Grant

The third grant is the Amber Grant by WomensNet. Amber Grant was set up in 1998 to honor the memory of a young woman, Amber Wigdhal, who died before realizing her business dreams.


The application process is simple since it involves sharing about one’s business irrespective of the niche or sector. The selection and judging criteria consider the woman behind the enterprise. So, it counts to build a solid profile for your business. Women whose applications stand out to the selection committee receive an award of a 35,000-dollar grant. The good news is this award is usually up for grabs every month.

A few Pointers That Can Help Women Entrepreneurs Ensure Funding

Although grant awards are purely on a merit basis, there are a few things women entrepreneurs can do to increase their chances of winning grant money.

It is essential to understand the process and requirements for grants in your specific industry. Create a well-thought-out and professional business plan that outlines your business goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Put together a strong team of experts who can help you with everything from developing your proposal to marketing your business. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to winning the funding you need to help grow your business.


There are plenty of small business grants available for women entrepreneurs seeking financial help to get their businesses off the ground. We’ve outlined three great options for you to consider, but these are by no means the only ones out there. So don’t hesitate to do your research and see what other opportunities might be a good fit for your small business.
And if you need help getting started on your business, don’t worry. Coach Bruce is here to help. Book a 15-minute consultation: Book Consultation.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Apply today for the business coaching program!

Already running a business online? Increase conversions with this guidebook on how to find, nurture potential clients and build a customer database: Dominate Your Market

business ideas financial strategies

Translating Critical Care Nursing Into Innovative Business Processes

Translating Critical Care Nursing Into Innovative Business Processes​

At the heart of entrepreneurship is innovation. It is the key that unlocks endless possibilities of products and services for any business venture. Speaking of business, if you are like most entrepreneurs, you are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve your business processes, but critical care nursing isn’t the first place you look.

You may not realize it, but critical care nurses have a knack for using their knowledge and experience to develop such innovations. The Covid 19 pandemic has just begun to highlight this. We will explore some of the business innovations that healthcare professionals have pioneered and how you can learn from them.

Why Critical Care Nurses Spearhead In Innovation​

Nurses are often the unsung heroes of the hospital. Critical care nurses, in particular, have some of the most challenging and crucial roles in the medical profession. Daily, they deal with life-and-death situations. For that reason, they must quickly assess patients’ conditions and administer life-saving treatments.

The pandemic made this creativity even more urgent not only for the survival of patients but also for theirs Reports show that 1,500 nurses, 7,000 healthcare workers died, and 3 million health workers were infected]. In addition to their clinical skills, critical care nurses also need to think innovatively and translate their knowledge into creative processes that improve patient care.

This level of creativity can especially be helpful for nursing professionals who want to create new businesses or improve existing ones.

Nurses In Critical Care Units Are Constantly Innovating To Improve Patient Care

There is a common misconception that nurses are all cut from the same cloth. In reality, nurses come from all walks of life and have a variety of talents and strengths. Critical care nurses, in particular, are renowned for their creativity and innovation. In emergencies, they always find ways to make the patients comfortable-whether that’s developing new protocols or making existing treatments more effective.

Here are ways critical care nurses have used the pandemic to improve patient care outcomes. According to a report by neuroscience nursing, the motivation for these innovations falls into three categories:

  • To reduce the use of unnecessary PPE
  • To promote staff safety and support
  • To improve the readiness of nursing professionals while reducing foot traffic

Now, let’s dive deeper.

Using The Pandemic To Innovate For Better Patient Care

With the Covid 19 causing restrictions in contact with ICU patients, many critical nurses found it difficult to manage care for their patients.

Preventing And Controlling The Spread Of The Virus

Nadia Andrade, a critical care nurse at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center is one of the many who have implemented the use of extended infusion pumps allowing them to tend to patients without being inside the rooms. Moving infusion pumps to the hallway allowed nurses to replace the bags and tend to alarms without entering the ICU rooms.

In support of this, Jason Farley of Johns Hopkins developed a portable plexiglass testing booth for nurses that prevents the exhaled air by patients from reaching the care provider while in the room.

Telemedicine Innovations

Critical Care Nursing

Although telemedicine had already been in existence before the pandemic, it has become one of the best opportunities for nursing professionals to innovate patient care.
Like many other nurses, Whitney Fear, an NP at a clinic for the homeless in North Dakota, transitioned to using technology to consult with patients after being quarantined.

Another innovation spurred by the pandemic is the Facebook group Social Distance Powwow creating experiences for ICU patients. Through its now 200,000 members, people can share stories of healing and survival.

Staff Safety And Support

One thing stands out as far as nursing professionals’ physical and emotional well-being is concerned- the role of social media in offering support, encouragement, and information. As nurses invented better ways to care for patients and protect themselves, social platforms were the place of ideas exchange.

Tonika Bruce, a former critical care nurse and business leader, has been at the forefront of innovating ways to support and connect nurses. One of her ventures, the Network Nurse, provides nurse empowerment through training and networking.

Starting As A Place

Connect healthcare professionals to business and healthcare training opportunities, The Network Nurse has become the hub of other healthcare inventions. It has given rise to Thrudemic; an anthology by healthcare professionals that captures the Covid experiences in the industry, and MBBCH; an online health encyclopedia simplifying nutrition and illness management for the public.

But like many great achievements and inventions, there is always an immense deal of support going on behind the scenes.

Bruce credits the fast-tracking of these innovative projects to the dedication of a solid network and community of supporters. These partners include the YEC by Forbes platform providing entrepreneurial resources, the NBNA for awarding her the graduate studies scholarship, and Common Ground’s sponsorship and support to the Young Professionals Council membership.

Critical Care Nurses Innovations In Business

Critical care nursing innovations also translate to ventures that solve specific problems within the emergency care setting. 

Below Are A Few Examples Of Businesses Started By Nurses

  • A company that makes and distributes specialized medical equipment for use in the ICU
  • A home health care agency that provides skilled nursing visits to patients recovering from critical illness
  • A web-based training program for critical care nurses
  • A mobile app that helps clinicians track patients’ vital signs and provides clinical decision-support tools

In Conclusion

Often when we talk about innovation in healthcare, we think about the invention of a vaccine or an endoscopic robot, yet, the chief innovation during this pandemic period has been the ability of critical care nurses to innovate patient care on the go. Critical care nurses can translate this knowledge and experience into innovative business processes.

Bode, Lisa De. “Innovating “In the Here and Now”.” Issues in Science and Technology 37, no. 2 (Winter 2021): 50–55.

Newby, Jamison C.; Mabry, Madison C.; Carlisle, Byron A.; Olson, DaiWai M.; Lane, Blair E. Reflections on Nursing Ingenuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: October 2020 – Volume 52 – Issue 5 – p E13-E16
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000525

business ideas financial strategies

How To Become A Persuasion Master And Attract More Customers

How To Become A Persuasion Master And Attract More Customers

Every brand and consumer is different, but the goal for all business brands and entrepreneurs is to sell more and, for the consumer, to satisfy a need. The only way the two goals intersect is through clear and persuasive communication. There have been studies on persuasion for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the early twentieth century that psychologists began to investigate powerful persuasion techniques. Persuasion’s ultimate goal is to get the target audience to internalize the persuasive argument and adopt the new attitude as part of their belief system. Learn how to become a master of persuasion, attracting more customers with powerful techniques for effective communication.

Here Are A Few Persuasion Strategies To Help You Attract More Customers And Increase Sales

Different Persuasion Techniques You Can Use to Attract Customers

1. Make An Anchor Point

The anchoring bias is a subtle cognitive bias with significant impacts on negotiations. Marketing and advertising firms understand this and use it to reinforce people’s perceptions of a product.

How To Become A Persuasion Master

How does it work? When attempting to make a decision, the first offer made tends to become the anchoring point for all subsequent negotiations. The first number you suggest will serve as the starting point and may result in a higher offer in the end.

Here Are A Few Ways Anchoring Bias Is Applied In Persuasion

Using Multiple Unit Pricing

When pricing items, say 4 hygiene wipes for $2 usually perform better than 1 hygiene wipes for $0.5. Although the price is the same in both cases, multiple pricing performs better. Psychologists Brian Wansink, Robert Kent, and Stephen Hoch’s study on multiple unit pricing found the brain uses the number 4 as an anchor.

Initial Price Technique

In sales negotiation, the initial offer price always becomes the anchor point. Anything below that appears reasonable regardless of its legitimacy. After this initial anchor, any lower price is a good deal.

Using Product Range

Pricing two or more similar items in a price range can influence your ability to persuade a customer. For instance, when you place a cotton T-shirt at $45, people will see it as expensive. However, put it alongside another cotton T-shirt labeled as a premium at $99, and people will see the $40 one as cheap. That type of anchoring is super popular with digital marketing solutions pricing, such as web hosting.

Clever marketing uses cognitive biases to persuade.
The anchoring effect happens subliminally to everyone, experts, and non-experts- learning about it doesn’t change.

2. Create A Need

Creating a need or increasing the appeal of an already existing one is a powerful method of persuasion. This type of persuasion appeals to a person’s basic need for love, shelter, self-actualization, and self-esteem. All business startups hinge on meeting a need in the audience or demographic they choose to serve.

That is useful for persuading your customers to buy the product once it hits the market. You can use this strategy to sell your products by telling potential customers that they should buy your product because it will make them happy, loved, safe, and admired.

People go for Uber because it meets the need for safety, household brands like Chanel and Giorgio Armani for fame and class.

Already online with your business? Increase your conversion rate with a step by step guidebook on email marketing and digital marketing strategies: Dominate Your Market

3. Make An Appeal To Social Needs

Another effective persuasion technique that you can use in your business is to appeal to the desire to be popular. A good example is how companies use television commercials to persuade viewers to buy products. Persuasion using social appeal focuses on motives and customer needs such as status, fame, respect, recognition, etc.

Become A Persuasion Master

It is a fact that you can convince a person to buy a product if they see that everybody is buying it. That’s why people check reviews before making a purchase. Influencer marketing is also based on this principle.

Some excellent examples of brands with high sales because of social appeal include WordPress, YouTube, and Masterclass’s celebrity endorsements. All these are part of social proof based on popularity.

If you want to understand your target market or audience, you can also read: 8 Keys to Understanding Your Target Market As a Small Business Owner

4. Start With A Foot In The Door

Another effective method for getting people to comply with a request is the “foot in the door” technique. It entails persuading someone to agree to a small request, followed by a much larger one. You can get your foot in the door by convincing them to agree to a small initial favor, making the person more likely to comply with a bigger request later.

How Does This Work?

When starting with low prices and increasing them gradually. A company like Apple has been increasing its prices over the years despite protests. People use the initial price as a reference point seeing the increase as a small one and accept it.

5. First, Go Big, And Then Go Small

This method is the inverse of the foot in the door approach, which requires you to start with a broad, often unrealistic request. The chances are that the person will refuse, allowing you to respond with a much smaller request, which is more likely to be accepted. People frequently feel obligated to respond to such offers.

Already running a business online? Increase conversions with this guidebook on how to find, nurture potential clients and build a customer database: Dominate Your Market

6. Use A Powerful USP

Apart from persuading using emotions and their hearts, you can also reach them using their brains- rational appeal. You can use logic with measurable results indicating statistics, facts, or benefits. That is usually a company’s unique selling proposition.

If someone told you they wanted to sell you a cup of coffee at $5, for instance, you would think it ridiculous. Yet Starbucks does, and thousands pay for it. Starbucks isn’t just selling coffee, it has created a lifestyle and culture around it with its unique flavors and relaxing cafe ambiance- the benefit/USP. Logical fallacies are not uncommon in customer persuasion, but giving honest, tangible results, nothing can match that in sales.

In Summary

These are just a few effective techniques you can employ to persuade people to buy your products or services. Look for examples of persuasion in your daily life and consider which ones you might be able to apply to your business. Be knowledgeable, learn more, apply, and keep testing what works for your market demographics

Learn how to create a social media and email marketing campaign with this package: Dominate Your Market.

women leadership skills

The Top 10 Leadership Strategies To Create Winning Teams

The Top 10 Leadership Strategies To Create Winning Teams​

Leadership Strategies A winning team has a strong sense of teamwork. Building a winning team takes more than getting a group of people with the right mix of professional skills to work together. They must blend and move in harmony like a well-oiled machine. They are highly productive, communicate efficiently, collaborate, and innovate in an environment of mutual respect. A winning team always has clear goals, strong leadership, and diplomatic means of conflict resolution. As a leader, you know you have a winning team when everything is well organized and everybody knows their duty. But this is easier said than done.

What Do Leaders Do To Achieve This Goal For The Business?

Well, hiring great talent is good; delegating to allow autonomy is great for motivation. Nevertheless, what is better is being present as a harmonizing influence to ensure the group works well and focuses on the priorities. Gaining such levels of success takes excellent leadership skills and effort on the part of the leader. According to, leaders of successful teams ensure that all members have fulfilled their assigned duties. Luckily, some strategies help leaders to create a winning team. These are ten time-tested tips that can be applied to building organizational teams with employees as few as five to as many as thousands.

1. Build On Strengths

One trait common among leaders with high-performing teams is that they consistently encourage members to use their strengths every day. They focus on building the talents of the people around them. Recent studies indicate that strength-based leadership boosts the performance and output of employees in workplaces. In addition, another research by Liquidplanner shows that building on the strengths of team members is more effective in elevating performance than trying to improve flaws. Carry an audit for your team and assign them accordingly.

2. Foster Psychological Safety

The number one struggle for employees in workplaces is the thought of underperforming, failing, and making mistakes. Psychological safety ensures that the team can work without worry and fear of the consequences of such incidents. As a leader, creating space for vulnerability helps with this. Leaders who practice vulnerable leadership build trust among members, thus, creating winning teams. For instance, leaders who use suggestion boxes or anonymous messaging applications, receive continuous streams of feedback and truly understand their team members. As a leader, you should seek feedback, listen, and show that failure sometimes happens. According to the advisory board, leaders build winning teams by motivating their members that a mistake is not a sign of defeat but a step towards growth.

3. Manage Conflict

Teams that perform do not necessarily run without friction. Disagreements are natural in group settings. Depending on how you deal with them, they produce either positive or negative outcomes. When you deal with them openly and fast, they strengthen and bring the unit closer. Although avoiding conflict is the best, high-performing teams may engage in conflict that is productive and healthy. According to tools-here, leaders of winning teams solve conflict using various styles such as compromising, collaborating, and competing.

4. Build Relationships

Leaders of winning teams build professional capacity through good work relationships. At the heart of effective relations are trust, acceptance, and open communication. Tap into your emotional intelligence to improve your interactions with colleagues.

5. Encourage Team Communication

Teamwork is necessary to create a high-performing team. Typically, people grow closer through interaction. Therefore, encourage open and honest conversations where everyone can express their opinions without fear of reproach. Leaders who encourage effective communication among team members in the workplace often yield favorable outcomes such as greater agility, smoother team building, increased focus, diminished workload, and efficient performance. According to Forbes, leaders ought to improve the quality of communication in the workplace, to ensure that members have purposeful communication, which is key for creating a winning team.

6. Manage Time And Productivity

For teams to be successful, time management and productivity must be a priority. Juggling multiple tasks and working under pressure or remotely can often lead to stress and wasted time. However, there are ways to help streamline workflow and improve overall productivity. Watch the video to learn how:


By learning how to manage your time efficiently, you can help your team achieve its goals.

7. Establish Ground Rules

It is vital to lay down rules for operation even more when you are dealing with a cross-cultural team. These include decision-making, reporting, communication, and frequency of meetings. The uniformity accorded by the guidelines will help reduce friction. A report by Harvard shows that leaders who set ground rules and consistently enforce them are likely to create winning teams because the rules can substantially improve how the team makes decisions and solves problems.

8. Manage Diversity

Leading a diverse group is inevitable. Differences play a significant role in breaking down team cohesion. If you are to build a solid team, prioritize managing the work culture to accommodate the diverse people on your team. According to PeopleScout, leaders who can successfully manage diversity in the workplace are likely to have a competitive advantage over others due to enhanced innovation, differentiation, and employer branding.

9. Be A Team Member

Do not forget to be present. Leading from the front is an excellent approach to leadership strategies that allows the team leader to be a role model and maintain effective communication. When a team leader guides by behavior rather than words, the members are inspired and emulate their leader, thus creating a winning team.

10. Evaluate Progress

A leader is a facilitator. That means you periodically check to ensure everyone is still on track with his or her role and contribution to the goal. The evaluation keeps teams in line and guarantees results. A leader can use various tools to evaluate the performance of their employees to ensure that they become more successful and stay ahead of the competition. These evaluation tools include key performance indicators, performance appraisals, 360-degree feedback, personal development plans, and management by objective.


Even as you strive to build a winning team, remember that most go through the stages of development before they start to leadership strategies produce efficiently. The model by Bruce Tuckman presents these as forming, storming, norming, and then performing. In addition, for a leader to develop a winning team, they must be part of the team and guide by example.

business ideas

Three Effective Ways To Increase Customer Trust

Three Effective Ways To Increase Customer Trust

How to Increase Customer Building trust with customers is one of the most important goals for new businesses. Potential customers want to know that they are dealing with a reputable and dependable company that will deliver on time and to their satisfaction.

While getting customers to spend money is a great way to start any business, the only way to get them to buy from you again is to build a healthy relationship based on positive experiences. Therefore, customer trust is crucial to developing and fostering long-term relationships with your core targets. In addition, increasing customer trust enables a business to provide better customer experiences, enhances loyalty, and retains more clients.

Here Are Three Effective Ways To Increase Customer Trust

1. Make Help Desk Resources Available

The best way to show your customers that their concerns are important to your company is to create a comprehensive customer service department that is accessible via multiple contact methods. Entrepreneurs willing to nurture customers should learn about social media and email marketing. 

You will want to offer assistance via phone, email, web forms, and online chat. In addition, by utilizing a centralized interface, you can use help desk software to manage your IT support needs, save time, and make things easier.

Availing a customer service desk enhances process efficiency, thus increasing customer trust. Most businesses are systems of interconnected departments working harmoniously. Although solving customer issues is the responsibility of the customer service department, some customer problems may require the intervention of another department. Hence, a customer service desk will act as a centralized venue for receiving all the communications from the clients and channeling them to the appropriate department for various solutions. For example, if a client complains about purchasing substandard goods, the help desk resource will direct the issue to the quality control department to address it.

Businesses with help desk resources provide proactive customer support that boosts customer trust.

Traditional customer service only offered reactive support, in that, customers had to contact the support team for problems to be resolved. Currently, advanced help desk resources are enabling businesses to offer proactive customer support to their clients. For example, a business can predict a problem such as a delayed delivery in a certain area due to logistics turmoil, and notify the other customers in the area about the issue rather than waiting to receive multiple complaints. According to Help Scout, Trader Joe’s, Rackspace, Ritz-Carlton, Wistia, CVS, Buffer, JetBlue, and StudioPress are some of the companies with the best customer service.

2. Accurate Product And Service Representation

Only promise what you can consistently deliver

Once you have established a dependable support system that is up and running smoothly, you can avoid customer dissatisfaction by making it a policy only to promise what you can consistently deliver. This will also assist you in promoting an impeccable brand reputation.

In addition, make every effort to describe the features accurately while avoiding the use of tricky fine print or hidden fees. You should also clearly outline your terms of service so that all of your customers know what to expect from your company each time they do business with you. You may also want to consider using high-quality images and videos to show your customers what they will be getting ahead of time to instill trust in first-time customers.

Accurate product and service representation increases customer satisfaction because the customer gets the product or service that was described in the sales pitch. While most clients expect and appreciate accurate product or service descriptions, misrepresentation or dishonest descriptions are likely to cause customer dissatisfaction and consequently cause customer distrust.

When customers grow to trust your brand, it is an invaluable asset to your business. When customers trust your brand, they are likely to come back for more products and even recommend your brand to their friends, networks, and family.

Forbes shows that transparent companies such as Oatly, Southwest Airlines, and Patagonia continue to make profits due to increased customer trust. Therefore, we can confidently attest that accurate product and service representation increases customer trust and consequently elevates customer loyalty.

3. Communication And Presentation Are Critical

One of the most important steps you can take to build trust with your customers is always being available to them and presenting your company with utmost professionalism. The initial belief is primarily motivated by aesthetic appeal. However, ongoing trust in a company can only be gained through great products and customer service accompanied by stellar support for each customer. Once you have won over your customers with your initial offering. It is critical to building the trust necessary to keep them as a customer for life. This will take time, but with the right approach and commitment to putting your customers first, you can do it.

Great communication skills such as transparency, providing multiple communication channels, getting to understand your customers, quick responses, and the inclusion of live chat in the business website can help an enterprise build customers. Companies that effectively communicate and understand their client’s needs, eventually provide more relevant solutions than companies that just depend on traditional communication.

Responding quickly to any inquiry by the customers enhances customer satisfaction and clients find such companies reliable.

Businesses that offer more channels of communication give their customers the freedom to select the most convenient and cheapest channel. Customers are likely to trust a business with multiple communication channels as it is an indication that the enterprise is committed to serving its customers.


Developing robust relationships with your clients is vital for the success of your business. Increasing the level of customer trust is a fundamental way to strengthen your customer relationship. Building customer trust attracts new clients and enhances customer retention. Availing help desk resources, accurate representation of products or services, and effective communication are some of the proven ways to increase customer trust in your business.


7 Books To Read Before Enrolling In An MBA Program

7 Books To Read Before Enrolling in an MBA Program [Essential Business School Reading List]

Business and Leadership Coach, Tonika Bruce, shares a list of seven books that have helped her journey through her MBA program.

All MBA aspirants must cultivate the habit of reading because books always offer a broader perspective of the world outside their knowledge zone.

Books provide information and serve as the window to explore expert thoughts on a specific subject and subsequently link your opinion and concept with that of the author. In addition to aiding you to pass the MBA entrance examination, books also help you to build managerial skills, become innovative, and develop business excellence.

An MBA can be a valuable investment in your career, but it’s important to consider what you’re getting into before enrolling. These seven books are a great starting point for learning more about the world of business and will give you a better idea of what to expect in an MBA program. Whether you’re still considering whether or not an MBA is right for you, or you’re just getting started on your studies, these books will help you to gain skills and hone business and innovation capacities.

In this article, I’ll share a brief review of each book to give you a peek to help you decide.

1. Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert Sutton

Sutton addresses a challenge that every enterprise experiences as it tries to scale up or expand. The book keenly analyzes case studies and inside accounts of various industry segments to determine the vital scaling challenges that confront every company at a particular time.

The author handles the tough trade-offs and discloses how good leadership, team development skills, and instilling the right mindsets can result in business excellence.

The book further explains the principles to help in advancing excellence and innovation throughout the firm. The book is recommended for all MBA aspirants as it will help them grow and navigate evolving technologies while delivering quality work. The principles explained in this book are so valuable that it is listed among the mandatory reading requirements of Harvard Business School.

2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Sometimes as a business leader, you may underestimate what you can accomplish with the limited resources at your disposal. The art of winning an unfair game shows you how to creatively use your weakness to your advantage.

The book is about a baseball team that was trying to win a major league with a smaller budget than all the competitor teams. The coach and the team management carefully analyzed statistical data to defy the conventional wisdom traditionally held by big teams. Using the research information and a restricted budget, the team manager succeeded to build a winning team of young inexpensive players and affordable castoff veterans.

Michael Lewis brings out the role of critical thinking as a hallmark of exceptional leaders.

The book can be very helpful for MBA aspirants as it stirs up their innovative potential. Additionally, the book can help MBA aspirants to develop business excellence just like the team manager with the least budget to put together a winning team.

3. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffet and Lawrence Cunningham.

This book is highly recommended for all people wishing to enroll for MBA. The book is a compilation of Warren’s letters to Berkshire’s shareholders. It describes the approach to wise investing and the fundamentals of business.

The book advises that good investors must identify good businesses, buy them at fair prices and run them for the long term, rather than focusing on the market. It also disagrees with the recent finance theory that relies on market prices to determine the business value.

The book can help aspiring business leaders to hone smart investment strategies which are crucial elements of business and leadership excellence. The best take away? It will teach you how to make business decisions without using emotions.

Check a selection of popular business and personal development titles at the bookshelf.

4. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This book is regarded as one of the most influential books in the business sector. The seven habits include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand, then to be understood, synergizing, and sharpening the saw.

These habits can be very handy for MBA students during their coursework and even after school. You will learn how to build a work discipline that will result in increased innovation and build business excellence.

Incorporating these habits into schoolwork and employment can improve your communication skills.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Despite being published in 1936, this book is still among the bestselling self-help books. The book offers solid rock advice that has propelled numerous famous people up the ladder of success in their personal lives and business.

The principles introduced by Carnegie are still relevant and can aid anyone to accomplish their maximum potential in competitive and complex business environments.

The content of this book can get MBA aspirants out of their mental ditch; give them new thoughts, new ambitions, and new visions. Furthermore, Carnegie’s timeless advice in this book can help you build persuasive arguments for your MBA admissions and later thesis. Not to mention, networking potential to increase popularity and enable you to make allies quickly and easily.

Therefore, this book enhances social skills which lead to business excellence when implemented properly.

6. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

The author, an experienced entrepreneur, commenced an entire worldwide movement around the idea of a lean startup, which has been implemented by numerous businesses around the globe. He expounds on how startups can be more innovative to minimize time wastage and be more successful. The book introduces a successful methodology on how to establish a profitable startup.

The methodology of a lean startup is not about being low-cost but about averting wastage and still performing the key duties.

Noting that one of the vital learning items of an MBA is the ability to lead transformative business tactics across different organizations. Therefore, this book is highly recommended for all MBA aspirants because it enhances innovation, management skills, and business excellence.

7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The book provides practical insights into the challenges that may arise when operating a business. These challenges include gaining employee loyalty, employee dismissals, and different methods to attract investors. The author, a technology entrepreneur, gives his war story that indicates that the right things are similar to the hard things.

One of my favorite reads, The Hard Thing About Hard Things will make understanding people and crisis management easy.

This is an ideal read for all MBA aspirants as it will prepare them for the coursework and future business management. The author offers information on skills and a mindset that will embrace continuous change. Implementing the knowledge of this book enhances innovation and business leadership resulting in business excellence. Additionally, this book is recommended by top achievers in the business sector including Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Peter Thiel.


As an MBA student, you must be aware that personal reading material can be as valuable as lessons acquired in the classroom. The path to success in the business landscape is constantly changing and reading such books will help you get ahead and stay relevant. Reading the recommended books brings new insights and fresh thinking into the studies. Additionally, these books assist in expanding your minds to comprehend international business concepts.

Find more business and personal development books at the bookshelf.

Tonika Bruce is a business and professional development coach with over 15 years experience running businesses. To get more in depth career and business coaching, connect with Coach Bruce: Book a Consultation Call.

business ideas

COVID 19 And The Business Landscape(why Small Business Start-ups Are Taking Off)

COVID 19 And The Business Landscape: Why Small Business Start-ups Are Taking Off

The Coronavirus hit at the close of 2019, but its severity and global impact spread at an alarming rate reaching a worldwide scale by March of 2020. From this point on, business in all economic sectors took a progressive downward trend thanks to the disruption. Many downsizing and others completely shutting down. Just weeks after the onset of the pandemic many small businesses had experienced dislocations. From the PNAS survey of 5,800 small businesses affiliated with Alignable, these statistics confirm the above trend.

Source: PNAS.ORG

The Professional service industries were less impacted by the crisis because they were able to better transition to remote work than the entertainment and hospitality industries.

However, small businesses are no strangers to crises. They are survivors who thrive on the innovative minds of optimistic entrepreneurs. In the face of challenges, they either adopt or morph into entirely new ventures.

That has been the case for small businesses since 2021. After the initial shock of the pandemic and lockdown, business owners started responding by adopting new strategies to survive the new landscape while more people started venturing into entrepreneurship.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 4.4 million new businesses launched in 2020, 23.4% higher than the record in 2019. Here is the even more shocking news, in January 2021 alone, over half a million new small businesses came into the market..

Small Businesses Statistics 2020-2021

Source: US Census Bureau

Florida recorded the highest number of new business applications with close to half a million entries, followed by California, Texas, Georgia, and New York. However, Georgia had the highest record based on new business formation performance per county with a growth of 56%. Both North and South Dakota experienced a decline in the number of small businesses launched in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Economic experts theorize that the reasons for this surge in new start-ups despite the crisis are accessibility to technology, increased creativity from spending more time at home, and spare time.

Challenges give rise to creativity. It is a basic human instinct to survive. That is why entrepreneurs are born during tough times. COVID-19 brought about layoffs, business shutdowns, and furloughs that pushed people to look for alternative means of survival.

Reasons For The Rise Of Start-ups During The Pandemic​

Source: Salesforce Report SAL706

According to studies and surveys conducted by various organizations into entrepreneurship during the Covid-19 pandemic, the top reasons for the upsurge include the following:

Increased Creativity

With a long hiatus from work, lockdown, and too much time on their hands, people had to get creative to beat the boredom, if not for anything else. Fitness trainers started online video sessions, therapists and teachers launched virtual sessions and classes, and employed professionals joined freelance sites to offer their skills.

The Desire To Be Self-Employed

Another reason for the increase in start-ups is the desire to be in charge. The pandemic only enhanced this desire.


The closure of many businesses necessitated the additional income stream, which led to most people venturing into side hustles. For others, the pandemic accelerated their plans of going entrepreneurial. The survey by Salesforce has shown that 12.6% of new businesses were opportunities people recognized during the pandemic.

Availability Of Less Capital Intensive Side Hustles

Without the need for office space, a big team, or inventory, the barrier to entry drastically dropped for people interested in starting a business. Studies indicate new start-ups launched on a budget of fewer than 10,000 dollars, with half that number having below 5000 dollars in capital. Here are a few online businesses to start on a 1000-bucks budget

Technological Advantage

Starting a business has never been easier than today in the age of technology. The rise of freelance consultancies is proof of that. With layoffs and furloughs at work, most professionals transitioned into freelancing thanks to the internet. The digital capabilities made it easier to start a business without physical space. From fitness enthusiasts offering training over video calls to professionals giving services via app-based or job platforms, the opportunities just became endless. (Get access to business start-up training: From business planning to website creation and marketing strategies)

Small Businesses Trends And Opportunities For Growth During The Pandemic Beyond 2022

The rise of the post-pandemic generation of businesses is highly characterized by technological adoption and application. Because of the lockdown and staying at home, of course, most people had to carry out their interactions with customers online.

Some Of The Key Trends Of The New Start-ups In 2021 Include

  • They operate remotely
  • They use digital marketing activities
  • They apply modern customer experiences such as mobile-based communication, curbside pick-ups, etc.
  • They prioritize customer safety

Trends In Business Communication And Operation Software

Source: Salesforce Report SAL706

Opportunities For Business Growth In 2022

The pandemic brought in challenges that necessitated solutions and the savvy entrepreneurs seized the opportunities to be the problem-solvers. According to Salesforce, over 60% of startup owners ventured into new markets. Another 61% of existing owners developed new products and services to suit the impacts of the pandemic.

Technology was also a major player in propelling and enabling new startup growth. The government relief programs went a long way to create favorable conditions. These include federal assistance programs such as credit access and guarantees, salary subsidies, tax deferrals, and taking care of household members.


With so many innovative minds coming up with creative solutions for this crisis, it’s no surprise that these agile thinkers are now poised as some of today’s most successful young business ventures- not just because they were able to survive but thrive during one of our toughest times but because they’re great at solving problems.

Tools to Start Your Business

If you are interested in growing your business through digital marketing strategies or want some help making strategic decisions, reach us or make an appointment for a free consultation..

Use this online marketing ebook to start a social media and email marketing plan: