Jeffrey J. Fox paints a picture of entrepreneurship as an unglamorous but hugely rewarding endeavor in his brief but bright How to Make Big Money in Your Own Small Business: Unexpected Rules Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know (Hyperion, $16.95). Fox, a marketing consultant, zips through topics from selling to hiring in one- to three-page riffs that are easy to read and often do contain unexpected-but useful-advice.
Among his tips is the observation that many successful enterprises are founded on ideas big companies rejected as unworthy of pursuing. So, he concludes, you should be alert for corporate castoffs. On employing family members, he cannily advises hiring every relative who can do the job and none who can't. Sometimes he's joking, as when he advises collecting aluminum cans to raise capital. Occasionally Fox is wrong, as when he declares it's impossible to be productive in a home office. But, especially considering that it won't take much time to read, Fox's foray into small-business advice is one many entrepreneurs will find worthwhile.
Even agile entrepreneurs get stuck. In Unstuck: A Tool for Yourself, Your Team and Your World (Portfolio, $19.95), management consultant Keith Yamashita and Yale University management professor Sandra Spataro show how to jet out of your rut and into the fast lane. Be warned: This is a quirky collection of anecdotes and exercises that makes odd connections and employs avant-garde designs that some will find confusing or even irritating. But, with tips such as "Go forward by stepping back" and "Have a moonshot" (a grand motivating goal), Unstuck will at least rearrange your neurons-even if it doesn't redirect your strategy.
Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Smart Moves" columnist.