The most important thing we can do to increase the likelihood that our businesses are successful is educate ourselves. Being the chief in a small businesses or start-up is particularly challenging because you must not only be an expert in your industry, you must also know about management, marketing, sales, accounting, negotiations, leadership, production, design, communications, etc.
It is therefore critically important to get educated on these topics. Some venture to business school to get an MBA; that is the path that I followed (shameless plug: MBA from Babson, #1 in Entrepreneurship like 14 years in a row). But an MBA is not the only option, not always a great option, and may not even be the best option. But fear not! There is an alternative.
Over at Personal MBA (http://www.personalmba.com
), Josh has pulled together a reading list, manifesto, blog, and discussion forums to help provide an MBA-like education from some great books in business. Despite the fact that I have an MBA, I have still read over half of his list so far. You can`t get enough education. I recommend that you check it out. And, no, I have no affiliation with Josh or the site. Just passing along a good find.