9 Books for entrepreneurs recommended by inspiring entrepreneurs with a sustainable mission!

It is this time of the year again where you'd like to find the perfect gift for your entrepreneur friends and lovers?!

Then here are some recommendations by the guests of the first season of Mission First, the podcast to learn from successful entrepreneurs changing the world for the better!

Table of Contents

Vaitea is revolutionizing the energy world with the hydrogen electrolyzers of her company Enapter. Listen to her on the video below (at 1h10’56”) explaining why she particularly likes to wake up or fall asleep with that book: 

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

System thinking is a holistic approach you must learn if  you want to be able to change our very complex world. This book was recommended by Maayke Damen who is revolutionizing the circular economy market with Excess Materials Exchange. Listen to what she says about the book here (at 1h16’55”):

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

Beside providing solar panels to schools and climate change education to more than 75’000 kids, Robert runs a book club with his friends, and everybody who reads that book has started to sleep one more hour per night! Listen to Robert below (at 1h10’25”) explain why this book is almost a compulsory read for his team members:

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

A great book with hands-on tips about negotiation and also vibrant stories from a ex-FBI agent. We discussed the book and Chris Voss’ online Masterclass with Lubomila Jordanova from Plan A. in the 3rd episode of Mission First – listen to this sequence here below (at 1h03’37”):

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

Another classic from Simon Sinek, author of Start with why. Recommended by Jeff Kirschner who is cleaning up the world with his company Litterati

Listen to what Jeff says about it in the video below (at 1h01’32”):

Listen to the full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.


A book and a guide to activism written by the fantastic Captain Paul Watson, who cofounded Greenpeace and is fighting for the sea with his international NGO Sea Shepherd since 30+ years.

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

An inspiring book for those who want to create a new paradigm in their organization. We discussed holacracy and the concept of this book in details in the episode with Franziska Schmid from Junge Tüftler. Listen to this episode here below: 

or listen to the full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

To grow a sustainable fashion business successfully like Benny Mandos from Got Bag, you also need to take care of yourself. This is why Benni recommended this spiritual enlightenment book (also recommended by Oprah)

Listen to what Benni says about the book here below (at 56’25”):

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.

Christoph Berger runs Vilisto, a sustainable tech company decreasing energy costs from buildings, and his company is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by its employees! No wonder that he recommended a book explaining how to build a culture to motivate your employees, as he explains it here below (at 1h21’09”):

Listen to this full podcast episode on all streaming platforms with this link.


I hope this will help you to show your love and support to one of the entrepreneurs out there, and I wish you a merry and joyful Christmas with your beloved ones!

PS: if you want more inspiration, check out my other blog article with 5  books for entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives.

7 lessons on leadership from Michael Jordan & the Bulls’ Last Dance documentary


In this article, I have summarized 7 leadership lessons that every CEO or manager can learn from the Bulls’ epic adventure and from one of the best and most emblematic sportsmen in the world.

The Last Dance is a documentary about the greatest basketball team of all time and their superstar Michael Jordan! If you haven’t watched it on Netflix yet, you may want to binge-watch the 10 episodes of that inspiring documentary before you read this!

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1)  Trust your teammates to make the shot

Countless times before, like that famous buzzer-beater shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers with only 3 seconds to go, Michael loved to take his responsibilities to make the final victory shot (goose-bumps guaranteed with the video below!!!).

But in the finale series vs the Lakers in 1991, when it is 80 – 80 in the last quarter of the game, he learned to be a different leader!

This time, he listens to Phil Jackson’s coaching and decides to trust his teammate John Paxton for the last moments of the game: he fakes to take his responsibility to free Paxton and gives him the ball to make the difference…and John made it. He realized that it works, so he kept on doing it for the rest of the game and they won! He learned that the other guys can help him out.

A couple of years later, against all expectations, he did the same thing with Steve Kerr: he created the illusion to go for the last shot, brought defenders against him to free his teammate and gave him the ball for the final shot.

So it is great to lead by example, it is great to take the pride at being the best, it is great to try to do as much as you can on your own, but you have to trust your teammates and give them the opportunity to shine and take the shot if you want them to grow, to become amazing players too, to be better as a team. As Michael said: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”


2) Lead by example – When leaders work so hard, everyone wants to work as hard

Jordan was considered sometimes a tyrant by his peers.

Indeed he pushed his team’s mates at their limit and sometimes beyond, but they didn’t have any resentment against him because he was so driven, so committed, pushing himself so hard and because he was never asking them something he wasn’t doing himself. So if you want to push your team, first start to lead by example.

3) Competition should be a driver to become better

Jordan would always find a reason to motivate himself, and very often, he would find it in his competitors, whatever it was, for instance when somebody else was nominated MVP and he thought he was better than that person, or when another player teased him in the media or trashed talk him during the competition. So don’t be afraid of the competition, embrace it to become better!

4) Do not care about people’s opinions.

When asked how he handles everybody’s expectation about him to do or not do certain things, Michael said:
‘The way I go about my life is I set examples. If it inspires you, great. If it doesn’t, then maybe I shouldn’t be the person you follow!’ Same for you: do what you do because you love it and stop caring about what everybody else thinks.


5) When you are at your weakest, you can find extra resources.

Against the Uta Jazz, Michael was in pretty bad shape, having thrown up all night, a terrible start of the game with lots of missed shots, he looked completely gassed during the first quarter, but as Pippen said “lots of times, when you are sick, you are able to find something deep down inside that you didn’t know was there. He wanted to win so badly, that he stayed with it. And he pulled the team to the victory once again. However down you feel, there are extra resources within you that you have to find to pull it together.

6) Live in the present.

Most people live in fear because they project their past into the future. Michael was completely present, that was his separator compared to other great players, that’s what made him the greatest player of all time. Michael wouldn’t allow to let something he couldn’t control get in his head. MJ made a LOT of decisive last-second shots. However, he also missed some of them, but he never let that make him fear to take the next one. A great example: even though he missed an “easy” free throw 40 sec before the end against Utah at 85-85, he managed to scoop up the loose ball, then shot a decisive 3 points right after.


7) Let your players be who they are and learn to give them a break at the right time.

Phil Jackson is one of the greatest coaches of all time, and one of his secrets is to let the players be themselves, with their strengths but also their flaws. He let Dennis Rodman be himself and do what he does:


In this last final series, after game 3’s victory, Dennis went up wrestling, disappeared from the radar (= had a rough party night), and missed the practice the day after. Some coaches would have made a fuss about it, but Phil just let it go. He knew that Rodman is there 100% on the court when they need him and that was the most important to him (and he played one of his best games right after). Another time, he gave the players a vacation day right before another important game. As Michael said: “a younger coach would have made us practice today”. So don’t try to make everyone fits in a mold, let people be themselves, and learn to know when to push people to work hard and when to give them a break in order to perform better after!

Christmas gifts: my top 5 best books for entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives

Are you still looking for an original Christmas gift for your beloved friend, your partner or your relatives? Is s.he an entrepreneur, a freelancer or a creative?

Here are 5 of the recent books that have truly helped me and that I would heartily recommend as a Christmas gift! 


Entrepreneurial You, by Dorie Clark

It is one of the last books I have read and I found it soooo useful! Filled with plenty of hands-on tips and broken down success stories, it details you how to proceed if you want to monetize your experience as a solopreneur, freelancer or creative. It is very easy to read and every chapter is dedicated to one specific channel (how to become a coach, to become a speaker, to build a following through podcasting, to create an online course,…).

entreprenarial you

Start with Why, by Simon Sinek

With his book and the theory behind it, Simon changed my life and helped me to define who I am and where I want to go. Simon is the reason why I named my company GT Impact and why my website starts with the Earth picture and my slogan. His theory will inspire and guide entrepreneurs to find out who they truly are, to attract the right people around them, and to grow a company that really inspires, converts and retains customers! Highly recommended to leaders who want to become even better leaders and to wanna-be entrepreneurs who need a little dose of inspiration to dare to follow their dreams!

Start with why book


Steal like an artist, from Austin Kleon

For all creatives around there, it is a MUST-HAVE! An inspiring guide to creativity in the digital age which comes with fantastic value for its price. It is quick and easy to read, no superflu or long waffle text, only useful tips to boost your creativity. It really helped me to improve my creative process and I have written a couple more songs for my band Lapwings since I read it.

Steal like an artist


The Brain Audit, by Sean D’Souza

If you are trying to sell a product or your services, this is the perfect book! Based on how our brain works, Sean explains extremely well and step by step how to convince your visitors or leads to buy what you want to sell. Special mention to his very funny cartoons that make it a pleasure to read!

The brain audit


Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari

This is the sequel of the best seller and captivating book Sapiens. In Sapiens, Harari explained extremely well why and how humans and our society have evolved until now. The first book is a must-read for everyone. But why is Homo Deus a good book for entrepreneurs? Because Harari articulates a very clear vision of where we are going (I won’t say more, I don’t want to spoil it). So if you aspire to develop products in the future, or if you want to simply get ready for that insane future, then you should read it!

Homo Deus


I hope this will help you to show your love and support to one of the entrepreneurs, freelancers, or creatives out there, and I wish you a merry and joyful Christmas with your beloved ones!


Inspiring Employee Value Proposition examples to attract top talent in 2020

Let’s discuss two Employee Value Proposition examples used by inspiring companies to attract top talent from the Z- and Y-Generations.

I remember clearly when I had to hire my first team member at iMusician: I put enormous pressure on myself because I was afraid to not make the right decision, and it is indeed a rational fear: according to a study by Leadership IQ, 46% of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months, while only 19% will achieve unequivocal success. And when you know that even an $8/hour employee can end up costing a company around $3,500 in turnover costs, both direct and indirect, you don’t want to fail that.

When reading a job ad, do you know that candidates spend an average of 49.7 seconds before dismissing a position as a poor fit, and 76.7 seconds with job ads that appeared to match their interests and skills?

Do you wanna have a piece of evidence?

In a similar time period in the same city (London), without a sponsored post, Spotify had 97 applications for a Director of Sales position, compared to 2 applicants for another software company with a similar position!

In consequence, if you want to attract candidates to your company, you have stand out and to be attractive already in your job post!

How can you do that? With your Employee Value Proposition!

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What is an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)?

An EVP is a set of associations and offerings provided by an organization in return for the skills, capabilities, and experiences an employee brings to the organization. To act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement, and retention, an EVP must be unique, relevant and compelling.

In other words, an EVP explains why someone should work at your company and not at another one. 

If you want to be unique, your EVP should include your mission, your values, and attractive assets for the candidates.

In this article, I will first focus on the mission and the values.


Example of Employee Value Proposition: inspiring mission

Your mission is your why, it is what makes your company unique.

Follows Simon Sinek’s advice: always start with why and always describe your mission at the top of your job ad!

Here is the mission of ResearchGate, one of the previous inspiring companies I worked for:

“ResearchGate is here to connect the world of science and to make research open to all”

Their CEO started the company because he believed researchers should not have to pay to access scientific journals. This is a very bold mission, but ResearchGate grew very quickly and managed to attract a very talented team of passionate employees driven by that mission. The platform has now 15 million registered researchers and gathers more than 85% of all scientific papers published every year.


Example of Employee Value Proposition: inspiring values

Values are part of the “how” of your Employee Value Proposition. It is a clever way to end your job ads in order for candidates to understand what your culture looks like.

Here is for example what Spotify mentions in their job ads:

“At Spotify, we are proud to foster a workplace free from discrimination. We strongly believe that diversity of experience, perspectives, and background will lead to a better environment for our employees and a better product for our users and our creators.”

Guess who you attract with such a strong statement?

You attract open-minded people who care about others and who will thrive in a multicultural environment!


Creating and sharing a strong mission and values in your job post plays with the emotions of candidates. Consequently, it helps you attract people who share these values!

Your Employee Value Proposition can therefore act as a filter to attract the right candidates to your company.

Don’t neglect it, it will save you time and money on the recruiting process.

I see so many job posts describing everything the company requires from the candidate but not explaining what the company has to offer in exchange.

Candidates reading that kind of job post usually just swipe to the next post…

so don’t fall into that trap in 2020 and:

  • Start your job posts by explaining your mission
  • End your job posts by explaining your values (+ your exclusive assets that we will discuss in the following articles).


This is something that is always part of my strategy when I help clients to build their growth team.


Have you been sharing your mission and values in your job posts?

Which other parts of the Employee Value Proposition do you think are crucial to attract the right top talent to your company?

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