Entrepreneurs never stop evolving and growing. They see every opportunity as a chance to enhance their game or learn something new. This entrepreneurial spirit influences the movies they watch, the music they listen to, and the books they read.
No doubt, the complete works of author Robert Greene — The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, Mastery, and The 50th Law — are likely to be found on their bookshelves. While they’re all required reading material, here is the order in which they should be read:
“Mastery — the feeling that we have a greater command of reality, other people, and ourselves. Although it might be something we experience for only a short while, for others — Masters of their field — it becomes their way of life, their way of seeing the world.”
Too many people don’t know what they’re destined to do. Perhaps you feel you possess the entrepreneurial spirit it takes to become a small business owner without quite knowing where your specific strengths and talents lie. While mastery is a lifelong process and is not something you’ll see to completion by the time you finish this book, it will help you to identify your life’s purpose, starting you out on the right foot once you find your path on the map.
Even though Mastery was written after The 48 Laws of Power, it would behoove you to read Mastery first. It’s impossible to accumulate individualized success or wealth without a strong foundation on which to build. Once you’ve decided power is what you seek, you can’t just emptily proceed before having the goods to back it up.
THE 48 LAWS OF POWER
“If the world is like a giant scheming court and we are trapped inside it, there is no use in trying to opt out of the game. That will only render you powerless, and powerlessness will make you miserable. Instead of struggling against the inevitable, instead of arguing and whining and feeling guilty, it is far better to excel at power. In fact, the better you are at dealing with power, the better friend, lover, husband, wife, and person you become.”
Easily Greene’s most popular and controversial book, The 48 Laws of Power equips its readers with the weapons they need for the workforce and life. You’ve probably already read it. If you have, you may have been aghast at such manipulative tactics as “Law 7 – Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit,” “Law 21 – Play a sucker to catch a sucker — seem dumber than your mark,” or “Law 40 – Despise the free lunch.”
There is a method to the manipulation, though. Greene uses examples from historical figures to back up these laws. It’s alright if you don’t want to enforce the laws yourself. You’ll still benefit from knowing what’s contained in your enemy’s arsenal.
THE 50th LAW
“Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.”
Naturally, a continuation of The 48 Laws of Power would be an ideal follow-up to its predecessor. Written alongside rapper and entrepreneur, 50 Cent, The 50th Law serves as a hustler’s handbook that will help you conquer two common roadblocks to success: fear and a lack of motivation.
Although Robert Greene and 50 Cent seem like an unlikely pair, Greene insists 50 Cent is the personification of his 48 laws applied. What made him a perfect candidate for this partnership were the survival instincts he honed growing up in the south side of Queens that laid the groundwork for his fearlessness in the music industry and the corporate world.
THE ART OF SEDUCTION
“Now more than ever, force or brutality of any kind is discouraged. All areas of social life require the ability to persuade people in a way that does not offend or impose itself. Forms of seduction can be found everywhere, blending male and female strategies. Advertisements insinuate, the soft sell dominates. If we are to change people’s opinions — and affecting opinion is basic to seduction — we must act in subtle, subliminal ways.”
Although some people might recoil at the thought of having to apply seduction techniques to their entrepreneurial role, seduction has many applications in the “anything goes” world of business.
According to Greene, we all have to seduce people in some way when we are attempting to influence them. Greene provides several different archetypes commonly found in history, literature, and film (like the Siren, the Rake, and the Dandy) to help you identify how other people might see you, and how you can work that to your advantage.
Seduction makes us nervous. Nip your anxieties in the bud and prepare yourself by equipping yourself with confidence and acquiring the tools you’ll need should any situation arise. Just in case.
THE 33 STRATEGIES OF WAR
“We are taught early on in life that those who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle and not-so-subtle ways — through books on how to be successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the world present to the public; through notions of correctness that saturate the public space. The problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for peace, and we are not at all prepared for what confronts us in the real world — war.”
Many of us will live our lives without having to experience warfare firsthand. It is inevitable, however, that we will experience varying degrees of conflict. Sometimes it brews slowly, while other times it hits us in the face with a brick. Oftentimes, a lack of preparedness for whatever comes our way is at the root of our anxieties.
The 33 Strategies of Warfare attempts to prepare you for life’s battles and wars alike with strategies like “Pick your battles carefully: The Perfect-Economy Strategy,” “Create a threatening presence: Deterrence Strategies,” and “Know how to end things: The Exit Strategy” — allowing you to analyze your opponent’s strategies alongside your own.
If you feel like studying up on entrepreneurship, check out these other books for entrepreneurs.