Three Books that Will Empower Your Entrepreneurial Journey


By Kenneth Lopez

When I created Tekton Labs in 2008, I was just a student in his third year of college in Lima, Perú, a country whose economic market left a lot to be desired for individuals whose goals went beyond the limits of plausible possibilities, at least for most of us born into this country. This, though, was irrelevant to me. Even as a naive 21-year-old student with no work experience, I took the plunge and targeted clients in the United States. And it was effective. I landed my first major client, and in retrospect, I suppose you could say that my college startup and I grew up together, learning from each other through several failures and losses.

I am now balancing multiple things: An entrepreneur, managing director, and helping entrepreneurs all over the world. But what many people don’t know about me is that I’m also an aspiring author. Books have given me insights that college never did. And the next three books have served as guiding lights in helping me grow and scale my firm into worldwide branches across other countries, including Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Chile. Although I must give credit to our highly skilled team for our growth, these books have certainly helped.

Have you ever thought about what makes a company successful? And how can you, as an entrepreneur, managing director, or CEO, help your firm develop from good to great? Yes, I did as well. Especially in our early days as a startup. So it felt like fate when I came across a book whose title raised the precise question that was doing somersaults in my mind at the moment. Good to Great by Jim Collins, has been circling the market for almost two decades and is still relevant today. Collins delves into a five-year research project that explored how 11 organizations survived and thrived in the face of time and competition in the United States. A significant takeaway was that it helped me in building my leadership and people skills, which are essential if you want to be the CEO of a company. And it’s one that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to a friend or colleague in need of advice.
The book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz has taught me a great deal. Among them is what to do “when things fall apart,” as Ben says. During the early years of Tekton, when we were a product company before becoming a software and consulting company, our product development efforts were unsuccessful. I realized at that moment that I was better at creating products for others than for myself. Thus, we adapted, evolved, and built a ship that could withstand turbulent waters. This book teaches, among other things, that in order to grow, it is sometimes necessary to take a step into the unknown and see where that leads. One large leap of faith or several minor leaps of faith can lead to many successes. Think about it: the worst thing that can happen to you is that you fail. But hey, you’ve learned from your mistakes, and you can always try again.
Putting aside businesses and companies, this book was crucial in my own personal growth. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, written by Carol S. Dweck, helped me discover some hard-to-accept truths that I needed to see. Self-awareness and growth are hard, but they are vital. What if you can’t be the kind of strong, reliable, and unbreakable boss that your company needs? You are instead stuck in a fixed state with little to no space for improvement. In this case, it’s more likely that your new business won’t be as successful as you hoped. With this book, I discovered that it all begins within. Every success and breakthrough, whether it comes from a boss or the company as a whole, is the result of personal growth and overcoming obstacles. Don’t be afraid to get to know yourself better and change things that no longer serve your life’s greater purpose.

Take it from me: power is knowledge, and knowledge is power. You’ll need both to build a long-lasting and successful business. So, get reading! And do share your comments on these business books that, at least for me, have signified a shift from the man and leader I was when I first started to the one I am now.