So, you have decided to be an Entrepreneur? Awesome! Here are 20 Book Suggestions To Help You Along The Way
There are so many stories circulating about startups being built and sold for millions and in some cases billions, and more often than not by some young kid with simply a bright idea. As a result, more and more people who are looking to move out of the 9-5 workforce once and for all are deciding to finally start backing themselves. However, before you get started, you might want to do a little groundwork to improve your chances of success.
We strongly recommend that you start with Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book will help you adjust your thinking and help you come to terms with the prospect of not having a steady job or reporting to a boss. This shift can be exciting and scary at the same time. You will get a good indication on how comfortable you feel about the journey ahead by reading this book.
Next, head straight into Reality Check, by Guy Kawasaki so that you can make sure you’re not just chasing the next big idea. If by the end of this book you are still more excited than scared about what lies ahead then you can take your pick from the following:
The Great Entrepreneurial Books Of All Time:
The next group of books are a must read. They have been inspiring entrepreneurs for decades: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey. Each of these books focuses on different aspects of unleashing the power of imagination, discipline, and your network to be able to solve problems, develop yourself, and create something bigger than the individual.
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Our Absolute Must Read Book Currently Is: Robert Greene’s Mastery
Once you have read the above books, you are probably getting excited to start something again. In true start-up fashion, it is time for a dose of cold reality right in the face: how hard the work will be. This is what separates great ideas from great companies, so it’s time to get serious about gaining some knowledge and developing best practices!
The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman. When you start you are CEO and CFO and HR and everything else. What do these and acronyms like DOL and EBITDA really mean? After this book you will know enough to be dangerous.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses is one of the single greatest books on starting an innovative company. Ever. By Eric Reis, the champion of the short cycle, fail forward idea of intelligently failing your way to success.
The 4-Hour Workweek might have been one of your inspirations to start a business because you thought you’d have all the free time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Tim Ferriss gives great insight as to how to actually automate and eliminate repetitive tasks so that you can enjoy what you are building and start taking back control of your life.
The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson. Because you need to make money to succeed as an entrepreneur, but how many of us would be Mark Zuckerbergs if we actually understood the concept of a dollar?
The Dip by Seth Godin will help you realize when your baby is ugly and what to do about it. Not getting emotionally attached to your creation is one of the secrets of business moguls.
Rework, by the Founders of 37Signals, is all about taking the rules you learned earlier and throwing the book out the window. This makes no sense, and all the sense in the world, just like picking a fight with the big guys. Learning when to break the rules is important for success.
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. Funny anecdotes and serious history blend to get you thinking again about “Why? Why do some ideas die, and others become great companies?”
Building Your Greatness:
After you have the basics of “how to” for business, it is time to start thinking like a successful entrepreneur and ask “why”. Think big. Think awesome. Those books will help you achieve it!
Good to Great by Jim Collins is mandatory reading in most business schools as it explores the hedgehog concept of excellence and the Venn diagram intersection of passion, excellence, and financial potential that is the target of all entrepreneurs.
The Millionaire Fastlane. by MJ Demarco isn’t nearly as well known, but let’s you understand the rules of the House stacked against entrepreneurs, and how to swing them into your favor.
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how to personalize the experience for your clients in a repeatable and scalable manner in The Thank You Economy, which is a good read because of the sometimes biting humor of the author.
Worth Every Penny is a bit of a different take on marketing and is as the title says. By Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck, it shows you how to NOT compete with the big boys on price, but rather to be paid what you are worth. Which is one of the reasons you are starting this business venture, isn’t it?
Crazy haired economist Malcom Gladwell rounds out this section with Outliers: The Story of Success, the study of the 10,000 hour rule and why successful people are just plain different than others. Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
Even better than being an entrepreneur is being a SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur! Who better to learn from and be inspired by than some of those who were in your shoes, and now you would love to be in theirs!
Jessica Livingston’s book Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days interviews some of the founders of great organizations (Apple, Paypal, etc) who might not be household names but who were there at the beginning and made those companies succeed. Not always pretty, but some serious behind the scenes keys to success.
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (founder of Zappos) focuses on the culture of the organization as a strategic asset, something that will attract the type of people that you want to build your organization.
And who is more inspirational in the business world than Sir Richard Branson?! Failure at business several times over before he could legally drive, he has built company after company in niches he had no place being (music, airlines, space travel!) to the point where he is a global icon. In his own words how and why he did it, Losing My Virginity is the final piece of your studies to be an entrepreneur.
So if you have said to yourself “maybe I should start a business” at any point in the past few years, take the time to make sure you have the mindset and skill set to make the leap from working for others before you try to work for yourself. Once you have read these 20 books (or at least one of them) you will know if it is a crazy leap of faith or just the right next move for you.