Stephen King once called books “a uniquely portable magic,” and there’s no question he’s right. Books can transport you, uplift you, and inspire you. Reading opens your mind to new ideas and fosters creativity. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, making time to read is an absolute must.
Throughout history, great innovators, founders, and thinkers have touted reading as one of the more important pathways to success. Today, the world’s greatest founders are still reading their ways to greatness. Luckily, you can follow in their footsteps by reading some of their favorite books.
Your New Reading List: 10 Books Every Founder Needs
Whether you’re launching a startup or growing a small brick-and-mortar business, these ten books will give you the tools you need to grow your business into everything you’ve imagined.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
In recent years, Tim Ferriss has gained a reputation as a Silicon Valley sensation. Known for his philosophy of “lifestyle design” and propensity for self-experimentation, Ferriss stands out as one of the most inspiring figures in the business world today.
Published in 2009, The 4-Hour Workweek is a manifesto for the entrepreneur and deserves a spot on every entrepreneur’s bookshelf. This book is filled with helpful tips about how to automate your business, cut down on your hands-on commitment, and make time for travel and relaxation right now.
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People has been called “one of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written,” and rightfully so. With more than 10 million copies sold, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a business bestseller. It teaches entrepreneurs and founders how to reach peak performance, even under strenuous business challenges. A book to be studied and re-read, this stands out as a requirement.
Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Jason Fried is the co-founder & CEO of Basecamp while David Heinemeier Hansson is the creator of Ruby on Rails, a popular server-side web application. Rework is this duo’s guide to shaking up the entrepreneurial world.
Dedicated to turning some common business beliefs on their heads, Rework advocates ditching the outside investors, learning to be more productive, and firing the workaholics.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
A cult classic in the world of marketing, Purple Cow was one of the first books to break the news that if your company isn’t standing out, it’s invisible. Known as the “Remarketing Ruru,” Set Godin has written as a guide to transforming your business and making it stand out.
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
One of the first self-help books out there, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. It has earned a spot on the bookshelves of thinkers from Bill Gates to Tim Ferriss. This book teaches founders how to improve their relationships with employees, investors, and the competition.
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
The Go-Giver introduces an interesting concept that many of the world’s most accomplished people believe: if you want to be successful, you must give. Critical for developing a healthy and well-rounded view of what success truly means, this book is required reading for founders everywhere.
This book also has a companion publication, The Go-Giver Leader, which breaks down why great leaders act less like ‘leaders’ and more like good people: conscious, generous, and kind.
Choose Yourself by James Altucher
Choose Yourself is a manifesto to what so many entrepreneurs already know: the world is changing. Gone are the days when most people could work stable, salaried, pensioned jobs for forty years. Gone are the days when people are clamoring to hire you. Today, this book says, the only way to be successful is to do it on your own.
This book is designed to teach founders how to follow their dreams and create opportunities to grow their business. It is an inspiring read for anyone who is self-employed.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
While it sounds counterintuitive, lots of founders don’t know why they do what they do. While the vision may have been clear in the beginning, it got lost somewhere in the process of raising capital, marketing, and launching products.
Start With Why helps you get back to the root. It explores the question of why certain organizations are more innovative than others, and what you can do to follow in their footsteps.
The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
Owning a small business is ripe with challenges. Competitors steal your ideas, target your clients, and play dirty. The work is hard, and often lonely. The challenges are many. The question this book asks, though, is simple: will you let them define you or will you find a way to make them benefit you? This book is filled with inspirational advice about how to push through the negatives to get to the positives. It is a must-have for any entrepreneur or business leader.
Give And Take by Adam Grant
Give And Take takes the idea of individuality in business and smashes it. While most entrepreneurs believe they operate on islands, this book highlights the importance of effective networking and collaboration. It outlines the place they have in successful business management.
Reading Your Way to Success
As an entrepreneur, the challenges of “making it” are many. Luckily, one of the best ways to achieve your goals is to follow in the footsteps of the people who have already done it. These ten innovative and exciting books are a wealth of knowledge for any entrepreneur who wants to become more giving, get better at managing people, or change the way they approach difficulty.
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