Entrepreneurship might sound unapproachable and unattainable, reserved for business geniuses. But you might find that through trial and error, reading, and confidence, that your dream of building something of your own becomes a reality. It’s all about taking your first step.
Not many people take it, giving the illusion that building a business is possible only for a select few. But if you’re thinking about it, you’re ahead of the crowd already.
Through reading about others’ stories, relating to their situations and taking their advice, you too can develop your business. These are the very best books to get started with. Advice, inspiration, ideas – it’s all here, in the first installment of inspirational entrepreneur books.
“Cadence is the story of a business owner and triathlon coach named JJ, who left his stable job as a teacher to fulfil his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, two years after opening his bike shop, Cadence, JJ finds himself in a place that is all too familiar to most business owners – struggling to stay afloat. That all changes, fast, when an athlete he coaches, in turn, teaches him how to turn the store’s profitability around with seven key “10% Wins.”
Cadence lays out the framework known as “The 7 Levers,” and gives you an action plan you can cycle through, to exponentially grow your profits by achieving small wins in these seven areas.”
“New small business owners fall victim to needless losses because they violate laws they’re unaware of. For example, beware of discrimination lawsuits. If you ask any identity-based questions during and interview process, like those regarding race, gender, or religion, then you may have made a costly mistake.
Small businesses and startups are simply more vulnerable to legal issues because they’re the new kids on the block. Entrepreneurs can avoid this pitfall by reading books that outline everything you need to know about the legal side of your new business.”
I think this is the most helpful book ever written for entrepreneurs because Napoleon Hill breaks down the prosperity and growth mindset needed for achievement on a big level. This book teaches you how to be the best version of yourself with rapid results. I owe all of my success in business to this sole book and give copies to everyone I know.
“My name is Beth Pauvlinch. In 2009, my mother/best friend was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Honestly, we discussed suicide as we didn’t think we could survive such a devastating journey. We decided to fight through it. I knew I was going to need an outlet with which to release my emotions that would be a safe place and I knew that my mother would as well. I decided to create a blog where we could both honestly express our emotions. The blog continued for three years, throughout the entire process..
Unfortunately, I ultimately lost my mother to cancer. In May of 2018 (in honor of Mother’s Day), I published the blog as a book ‘Two Women 1 Disease’ to help other people dealing with the same or similar situation. It is unique, in that, it was written by both the patient and the caregiver. This book follows a three-year journey of a mother and daughter as they struggle with life, love, survival, and lessons learned along the way. It will bring peace to both the afflicted and the affected and let them know they are not alone in this battle. ‘Two Women 1 Disease’ is both emotional and humorous, in its own right.”
For those who believe starting your own business has to be expensive and/or difficult, this book tells you otherwise. There are business opportunities everywhere, and in The $100 Startup, Chris guides us through how he and dozens of entrepreneurs turned their dreams into profits. This book is essential for anybody who wants to take control of their own future.
“Startups have it hardest when they are not driven by monetary interests first and foremost. A lot of startup founders begin with a goal of creating something that disrupts the status quo, realizing later on that the resources they have aren’t enough to sustain the business yet. At that point, they have to make a decision: either give up on their dream, or look for more money to keep the business going.
For some, Venture Capital schemes seem like a viable option – however (spoiler alert!) VC’s serve one purpose only: making money for investors. This is a double-edged sword for startups. Ideally, it means that that the startup is led to resounding success and everyone is happy. But the very real downside is the huge possibility that the VC will have control, and make decisions that the founders strongly disagree with.
If you’re a startup founder who needs resources but don’t want to compromise your vision and decision-making, in short- if you absolutely cannot avoid Venture Capital, then you best be prepared for it. This very comprehensive Book was written by the great Judy Robinett, Grande Dame of the Rolodex (basically the Peggy Guggenheim of Start Ups). Her book provides valuable instruction on how to create pitches that attract investors and how to structure deals, a roadmap for locating the best funding sources and mentors, as well as providing valuable insight into how investors think and how funding works.”
“Many young people start a business with the dream of escaping the 9 to 5, only to find themselves trapped between overload and chaos. To avoid burnout, and develop a healthy work routine, the following two books might provide a few helpful leads.
Dude culture with its (at times terribly unhealthy) “Get shit done” culture at all costs doesnt prove very helpful when it comes to sustainable routines – and you might want to stay functional to be able to enjoy the fruits of your business at some point in the future. Alter your surroundings to sustain your goals, and learn to work in harmony with your body, mind and spirit. Only then will you be able to enjoy sustainable success- pushing hard, but in the wrong direction, and against your nature will only lead to failure.”
As you develop your product, you might find that product market fit can be quite a challenge. One book that provides a helpful structure is this book by Ryan Levesque. The author describes an analytical, excel-based method to dive deep into the mind of your customer, to better adapt your product to the buyers needs. This method works especially great for consumer products.
This book is a more emotional, design thinking-driven method for building products that demand a higher level of empathy and insight than say a tennis rack or a golf ball. The process is more qualitative than quantitative, and works very well for app development, or more complex service design.
Deciding what to create at modern companies often looks like an episode of Mad Men: people throw ideas around until one sounds sexy enough and then they scale immediately. The result? Companies overspend on marketing to drive engagement with products and services that people don’t want and won’t help them be happier and healthier. Start at the End offers a new framework for creating products and services, grounded in behavioral science. Technology executive and behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert argues that the purpose of everything is behavior change. By starting with outcomes instead of processes, the most effective companies understand what people want to do and why they aren’t already doing it, then build products and services to bridge the gap.
I recommend, The power of your leadership by John C. Maxwell. This book highlights leadership as the backbone of businesses. It is important to communicate the goals and vision of the company, as well as inspire individuals to take actions that inspired growth simultaneously within their company and within themselves.
The bestseller illustrates the story of the entrepreneurial life of Tony Hsieh. It’s probably one of the best books that covers the subject of work culture and how to build one. I believe it’s a great read for any entrepreneur, I even managed to implement a few tips and tricks into my business. Hsieh’s book is the inspiration behind our company’s 360-Degree Happiness Philosophy. The author suggests that the key to making yourself happy is to first ensure your customers’, business partners’ and employees’ happiness. This has become the cornerstone of Fantastic Services’ work culture.
Anything by Seth Godin but one of his latest is This is Marketing, you can’t be seen until you learn to see, he is a master who really understands what drives people to purchase from a practitionerÂ¹s perspective using his first hand experience and simple language not jargon.
The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott as the sub head says he teaches you How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, Newsjacking, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly and again he has been there and done it so he tells it like it is not theoretically but from the trenches.
How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie – it is a classic with timeless advice on manners and people/human nature. You cannot go wrong with this one.
Another good one is Getting To Yes – I also took his negotiations class in business school and this reminds me of what he taught us, we are constantly negotiating in business and you have to always keep in mind what your best alternatives are and be ready to walk away.
“The Startup Owner’s Manual is a must-read for CEOs that want to achieve rapid growth while building a strong company. Steve Blank and Bob Dorf focus on how passion and innovation can power a startup’s success while presenting specific best practices, lessons, and tips for anyone in the startup world.
This holistic view of entrepreneurship allowed me to think about my business in a new way and helped me connect the dots that would eventually lead to our success. The authors pedigree as a thought leader on innovation also drew me to the book combined the fact that he didn’t let a publishing company water down his real-world advice.”
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. A coffee shop or co-working space can help when you need other people around, but that doesn’t cut it when feeling creatively stuck coming up with something new or resolving an issue. When I worked in traditional businesses, my team could help, but now it’s just me. When it gets overwhelming, I turn to Me, Myself & Ideas for creative tips and techniques to get my brain going all on my own. This is an essential resource for every entrepreneur, and is sure to help you crush mental blocks and forge ahead.
Let The New Energy Body take you on a journey that will transform the way you perceive yourself, your body and your untapped power. Introducing The New Energy Body, the latest book from Natalia Rose. Take a leap into the new frontiers of quantum physics where the Theory of Relativity, String Theory, sacred geometry, the law of attraction and the truth about your DNA meet to reveal the most cutting edge insights into the human body. Learn what you could be doing to take your body and life into a new dimension of health, beauty and happiness! The New Energy Body merges the latest scientific discoveries about the human cell, DNA, sub-atomic particles and Natalia Rose’s enlightened dietary guidance to shed fresh light on how to maximize our pleasure and well-being. The New Energy Body will be unlike anything you have ever read before.
#20 Wishwork Book
Whatever you want to create in your life-whether it’s big or small, easy or difficult-you have the power to make it happen. There’s nothing more powerful than a human mind and heart. With positivity and determination, you can make your own wishes come true. This book will help you stay committed to your dreams, get there faster, and enjoy each day of the journey! Make a wish, do the work, and watch it come true.
In Management Mess to Leadership Success, FranklinCovey’s Scott Miller reflects on his own messy leadership path, openly sharing examples of how his missteps have been shaped, validated (although rarely) and often corrected by the deep expertise and thought leadership of his colleagues, friends and mentors, to make him the successful leader he is today. Along with his experiences, the book guides readers in an introspective review of their own personal leadership style as well as 30 challenges that readers can put into practice to ultimately help them become the kind of leader they would follow.
Many people assume a good pitch is a flashy, elaborate affair with dozens of talking points and beautiful slides – Brand Pinvidic says that’s absolutely untrue and in this book, he spills his bag of pitching tricks to show you how to turn any proposition into an effective, compelling 3-minute pitch.
I love how Coach Wooden talks about competitive greatness. He describes competitive greatness as the ability to be at your best when your best is needed. In business, the unexpected could happen at any time. Colleagues get sick or leave unexpectedly and somebody has to step in and fill their role and responsibilities. At any time, you could be called to act. You have to ready. Being at your best when your best is needed is critical to your own success and that of the team.
This is a helpful book for the emerging entrepreneur; so inspirational, in fact, that it actually gave those at the company that published the book [Square One Publishers] some ideas and pointers on how to get the best from their shared and continued success.
Christy’s writing makes the goal of being an entrepreneur tangible and realistic. She gives templates for creating a plan and putting a person’s dream into action. Her advice also ranges from pricing to taxes, marketing to sales. It is a great guide.
If you are a busy business owner, like I am, you really need to work through priorities and make every hour of your day matter. The book goes into depth about how to avoid distractions and work at the items that are most important to you. Kutheis is a trainer and coach to executives, and she has a proven process for putting together a game plan to get more done in the office, and feel more content and energized. It goes way beyond your typical book on time management. In addition she talks about the contentment part of your work. If you are harried and constantly on-edge at work, you have a tendency to bring that poor temperament home. The at-work craziness can have a negative effect on your family and even your friends. It was motivating to learn how to develop a plan to make sure you stay on track, accomplish more, and leave the tensions of the job in the office. I am putting a lot of her recommendations into action and would highly recommend this to all entrepreneurs.
Startups Made Simple gives you a clear roadmap as to how to go about scaling your business. The book is not written for startups with millions of dollars in funding, but for the 99% of entrepreneurs who bootstrap and start real businesses. The content is free from fluff and provides information in a clear and understandable manner. If you feel overwhelmed and drained from your entrepreneurial endeavors, this book will show you how to better manage your time, money, and resources.
The wellness industry is booming – how can you make sure your business gets noticed? In Wellpreneur, you’ll learn real world, tested strategies to bring more of the right people to your website and turn them into paying clients. You’ll also hear from successful wellness entrepreneurs about what’s worked for them to grow their businesses online. Wellpreneur gives you a blueprint to follow for marketing your wellness business, whether you’re a health coach, yoga teacher, nutritional therapist or other wellness entrepreneur.
Most diet books make it sound so easy: do this, do that, lose weight, keep it off, have a fabulous life. But fitness isn’t some story with a tidy ending – it’s a journey where the toughest step is the first and the destination seems to be a club where only the genetically blessed, athletically gifted and ferociously disciplined get to be lifetime members. The Way In is for the rest ofus, those who want to make the journey to health and happiness a place where fitness can “fit in” our busy schedules and doesn’t require 12 weekspretending to be someone we’re not. The Way In guides readers to a course of action that’s right for you – resulting in an outside that matches the strong, capable person you know you are on the inside.
“Money Matters for Financial Freedom provides a roadmap for achieving financial freedom in less than five years! David and Leslie Shippy went from a middle-class life to financial freedom in three short years. They were able to replace both of their multiple six-figure incomes and walk away from corporate America becoming entrepreneurs. Their first three apartment investments tripled their investors’ money. They have since gone on to purchase and manage a portfolio of apartments that consists of over 3000 units and is worth over $300 million. Money Matters for Financial Freedom reveals the principles they used to do so. David and Leslie’s detailed guide provides specific examples and skills that shift readers’ thinking from a middle-class mindset to a financially free millionaire mindset. It outlines specific techniques and leadership skills necessary for running a multimillion-dollar business, along with step-by-step examples of how to manage money, create multiple business streams of income, and enable financial freedom!
David Shippy is an investor entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, and educator. He is an expert in business leadership and led successful design teams for products like the PlayStation, Xbox, iPhone, and iPad. David, along with Leslie Shippy, owns and manages a portfolio of apartments that consists of over 3,000 units and is worth over $350 million. He is a real estate investment expert and is frequently interviewed on television and radio shows and has done many speaking engagements regarding apartment real estate investing.
Leslie Shippy is an investor, entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, and educator. She is an expert in human development and has a proven track record of over twenty-five years running successful businesses.”
A unique suggestion for entrepreneurs, she finds the book to be an inspiration to all of the dreamers of the world. Many entrepreneurial journeys begin with a dream. To believe and to pursuit that dream with passion is where true self-discovery and success is born. I read The Alchemist whenever I need a reminder of why I have chosen the unbeaten path of following my heart and chasing my wildest dreams.
Simple Soulful Sacred is a guidebook for the modern woman who seeks clarity and guidance on how to live the life of her dreams, on her own terms. It’s for the women of our time: the mothers, teachers, leaders, healers, light workers, dreamers, creators, who are ready to find their voice, speak their truth and own their power, whilst living life with less hustle and more flow. For modern women wanting more for their lives, it’s the now age definition of having it all.
“Anyone in the professional service industry – lawyers, financial advisors, consultants, CPAs, realtors, coaches, insurance agents, interior designers – can tell you the quickest, cheapest, most effective way to secure a new client is referrals. But most people make the mistake of ASKING for referrals or PAYING for them. A new book by Stacey Brown Randall explains how to avoid such pitfalls and how one can greatly increase their business. Generating Business Referrals Without Asking: A Simple 5-Step Plan to a Referral Explosion explains how one can generate referrals the right way. She should know – the business coach generates triple digit referrals annually.
As a former member of the business failure club, Stacey has a unique view on how to generate referrals and is a supporter of the entrepreneurial dream. Through her programs, she provides a roadmap to take control of your business. I am a contrarian, declares Stacey. I believe if you are asking for referrals, you are doing it wrong.
Stacey’s quest to crack the code on how to generate referrals without asking began after her first business failed. When she started her second business – a business and productivity coaching practice – she knew keeping her pipeline full of new clients would be one of the biggest differentiators from her business failure. She honed-in on referrals as the main source of prospects for her second business but wasn’t satisfied with the conventional advice — to receive referrals you must ask.
Referrals come from relationships and relationships are maintained through outreach (touch points). BUT the type of outreach you do to your referral sources matters most.
Randall’s details the following:
- How overcoming a business failure led to an unexpected journey and mission.
- How referral explosions start with a trickle.
- How your mindset about referrals holds you back from generating them.
- The many ways business owners doom their referral-generation capability.
- How to build a pipeline of prospective new clients.
- How to discern the difference between referrals, word-of-mouth buzz, warm leads, and mere introductions.
- Why giving incentives to others for referrals will not yield results.
- Why you need a process to take care of your referral sources.
- How to not just stay in touch, but top of mind, when hoping to receive referrals.”
“I was once looking for books that will enhance my creative thinking until I read this book. As an entrepreneur, this book confirmed what I know about the potentials of creative thinking which I am sure will help many entrepreneurs enhance their creative thinking abilities as it goes a along way in determining how business ideas can be generated and executed successful. The book exposed me to what creative thinking can do for me
which are the following:
1. Draws people and ideas to me.
2. Helps me to learn more.
3. It challenges the status quo
4. It compounds and adds value to everything.
After reading it to the end, I was able to work on many ideas I have on ground which I found difficult to put together and execute.”
For me, Steve laid out all of the pre-work that was needed to be done before a company should even be started. From getting out of the building and getting feedback from random strangers to being on top of your company and not in it, Steve takes real-world examples and explains everything in detail. He gave me the confidence and the reasoning to get the ball rolling on becoming an entrepreneur.
Direct-sales leader Becky Launder offers her best tips – the ones she uses every day in her own business. She teaches how to set your business up for success and stand out from the competition; make a splash as you launch, market, and promote your products; serve your customers; and grow your leadership team with confidence. Becky is the CEO and founder of myconsultanttraining, a community for direct sellers looking to build their business online and offline. Becky’s Modern Direct Seller framework is being adapted across companies worldwide.
I have read and re-read Good to Great by Jim Collins several times, and each time I get new insights that I can apply to my business. It helps you bring clarity to our mission, highlights the importance of having the right people and putting them in positions where they can be most effective. Most important, however, it reminds me what it takes to be the leader that I want to be and that my business needs me to be.
There is one book that sticks out to me the most when it comes to entrepreneur related titles, Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s written in a way that helps you see the path to success, and while it appears on the surface that Crushing It! is about social media, as you dig in you’ll realize it’s actually about spending your time focused on creating content and ads where everyone’s attention is (which is for sure social media!). It helped me immensely in focusing my ambitions in the right place and not “worrying” about whether what I was doing was the right thing or not.
I heavily suggest this book as a Foundation of Online Marketing. Russell walks you step-by-step, using illustrations to demonstrate how simple Online Marketing really is. This is the best possible book for beginners in Online Marketing because readers can take out advice from the book and directly implement it within their businesses. It’s a plug and play formula that also teaches you customer psychology and the most important aspects of online marketing.
This is essential in building the sharpest mindset possible. It takes one from procrastination to extraordinary efforts in achieving your goals and dreams. This is the most effective wake-up message that I’ve ever read and implementing it into my life has been game-changing. It took me from nothing to running 7-figure businesses. It’s a mindset shift!