I have recently encountered two excellent resources:
1). Michael Hartl’s tutorial on Rails3. This is an excellent overview of Rails3, Test Driven Development, and the most popular tools for developing applications in Ruby on Rails. This tutorial is really for anyone that is involved with producing applications for the Internet. If you are a graphic designer it will help you learn to start adding database functionality to your sites. If you are a developer the tutorial will introduce you to the best language/framework available for creating web-based applications (Ruby on Rails). And if you already know Ruby On Rails the tutorial is truly like “looking over the shoulder of an expert RoR programmer” as the quotes claim. Fantastic and well worth the $95 for book and videos.
2). The Intelligent Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy Jr. I came across this book accidentally when my wife brought it home from the library for herself. I picked it up and started reading and couldn’t put it down. The title of the book sounds stuffy and the quotes don’t make it seem like it is going to be an inspiring read but this is an excellent book for anybody that has entrepreneurial dreams. The stories are inspiring and show you 3 ways in which businesses can be started. They also form an anecdotal account of the business climate of the late 90’s early 00’s, most notably the Internet boom and collapse. It is fascinating to read about actual entrepreneurs dealing with the challenges of that time.
One particular line prompted me to write this blog post. On the second to last page of the book he refers to a book written by a Harvard Business School professor that tries to “show readers how to juggle … the four key elements in work and life: happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy.” That line nailed it for me for that is exactly what what I’m searching for. I have asked myself the question often: Why do I want to run my own business? I have a great life with a well-paying job and low stress. After reading that line I realized that I only have 1 of the 4 (happiness). I want them all. In my opinion those four factors define complete self-fulfillment.