Best Books for Entrepreneurs [Expert Roundup]Written by Mindaugas on February 18, 2019
World’s brightest and most successful people are avid readers. In fact, reaching your entrepreneurial goals may be difficult without first cracking open a few books.
The beauty of books is that they have the ability to teach and mentor you wherever you are. You can revert back to previous pages; go over the text again and again. Siphon the information – use it to better yourself and your venture.
I reached out to variety of entrepreneurs asking them to list the books that had the biggest impact in their professional life. Truth be told, some of the books that were mentioned were a bit of a surprise, but I digress.
So what books are favored by the self-starter community? What are the must-reads for an aspiring entrepreneur?
Gennady Litvin, Associate at Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C.
“Running Your Small Business Like a Pro” by Andrew Frazier.
This book is very much worth the look and it came out just this month so it’s up to date. Mr. Andrew Frazier has over 25 years of business experience and as of late, has been coaching and consulting entrepreneurs, business owners, and organizational leaders alike on the best ways to increase revenue, profit, obtain financing and more.
This book is like having Andrew himself give you a quick all-around business consulting session. One where you come out with your mind ten times clearer than when you first stepped in. I highly recommend anyone who is thinking about starting a business, is in the process of starting one or who already has one to add this book to their checkout list this year.
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO of Mavens and Moguls
I started a global branding and marketing firm 17 years ago. Here are the books I recommend:
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey — it has impacted the lives of millions of people for decades across all parts of society.
“In Search Excellence” by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman — puts the basic principles of business management out there for all to follow, groundbreaking and impactful then and now.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie —a classic on human nature never goes out of style.
“Competitive Strategy” by Michael Porter — I took his class in business school and this is a classic. It takes you through all the steps with frameworks, rules and tools to be successful.
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins — shows how any company can transition to become better.
These books give you the questions, mindset, inspiration and motivation to build your business so that when you sit down to actually do the work you are in the right frame of mind to think big and set your business apart.
Nicolas Straut, SEO Specialist at Fundera
I would highly recommend “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries to any entrepreneur or small business owner for both its practical steps and thoughtful approach to business creation.
As a successful entrepreneur, Ries guides the reader through the process of developing a minimum viable product (MVP) that will prove a business model, learning from missteps and correcting company direction, accounting specifically for a startup setting, and scaling a small enterprise using feedback loops..
Regardless of whether you’re building a SaaS product or managing a small retail location, you will learn from this book and become a better informed entrepreneur.
Greg Shepard, CEO and Founder of Emily’s Maids
These three books proudly on my office shelf. Among all of the business books I have read, these 3 had the most valuable information to really succeed:
“Own Your Own Corporation” – Garrett Sutton. This books lays out HOW to incorporate and start your corporation. It covers the legal aspects, what entity to chose (LLCs are usually the best), along with a ton of valuable information on – well as the title suggests – how to own your own corporation.
“The 4 Hour Work Week” – Timothy Ferris. Learn how to do more with less time, this book’s invaluable insight on how to outsource your busy work will make you free. Owning your own business is all bout the freedom. One of the mistakes for business owners is doing too much unnecessary work resulting in burn out. You can indeed work only 4 hours a week and become a millionaire!
“Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” – Harv Eker. You can now how to start and own your own corporation, you can know how to free up your time, BUT if you haven’t reprogrammed your mind you will fail. How your subconscious views the world has a huge impact on what you do unconsciously.
For most people, they subconsciously believe they can’t do this or that, they may even think money is evil. not good because your subconscious will not allow you to do what it believes, and if it believes money is evil, it will sabotage all your efforts. And that is why reprogramming your psychology for success is a must.
These 3 books are the ones I always recommend. These are the ones that helped me the post on my path to success.
Jason Brewer, CEO of Brolik
A few books for small business owners that I highly recommend include “Find Your Why”, “The Dip”, “Lost and Founder”, and “Blue Ocean Strategy”.
For new small business owners, “Find Your Why“, by Simon Sinek, is a great read for learning how to hash out the mission of the business so that the company can live by that mission on a daily basis.
“The Dip”, by Seth Godin, is all about figuring out when to quit a project or stick it out. Not all projects come to fruition – learning when to let a project go and when to dig deep and see it through is essential for every business owner. Godin does a great job of explaining that quitting is sometimes best.
“Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World”, by Rand Fishkin. The title says it all. If you are a startup, you should read this book.
Lastly, “Blue Ocean Strategy”, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, focuses on creating new, untapped markets instead of fighting all the competitors in a current, inundated market. The phrase, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” is a great way to encompass what this book is about.
Kristen Youngs, Co-Founder of One Bag Nomad
“Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff is a must-read for any entrepreneur, no matter what type of business you run. I firmly believe the ability to write a good pitch is something every CEO and founder should be able to do because it opens the doors to endless opportunities.
A great pitch can really be the foundation of a growing business. Klaff’s book teaches how to come up with a winning pitch, and you can apply that information to countless scenarios, whether you’re pitching a job, a promotional piece, or anything in between. It’s one of the top reads for anyone doing any type of business.
Louis Swingrover, Founder and CEO of 1031 Gatway
Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” has profoundly impacted my business philosophy. Aristotle thinks of virtue as a kind of skill, and sees skills as abilities to achieve certain ends. Just like a “good knife” is one that achieves the end of cutting well, Aristotle says a “good person” is one that achieves the end of living well—of living an excellent life.
The framework he develops helped me think about my role as an executive. The key to being a good businessperson is cultivating excellence at achieving the ends of performing a good service or creating a good product. But it also requires one to acquire and exercise the virtues of truthfulness, good-temperedness, and justice (among others).
What’s more is that services and products just get exchanged for money, which is by its very nature only an instrument, not an end in itself. Reflecting on Aristotle’s perspective helps me evaluate my own work and the work of my employees: set meaningful business goals and judge the effectiveness of work by how well it advances or hinders those goals.
Moreover, reflect on the ultimate ends that we truly believe in (What’s worth working for?), and assess the work according to how well it advances those ends. Doing business in a way that subverts human well-being is counterproductive.
This creates a healthy feedback loop—if my staff and I believe our daily work contributes to something we truly believe in, we are far more likely to give it our all and be fulfilled in doing so.
Robert Grossman, Managing Partner at Black Diamond Leadership
One of the books I recommend to the small business owner is “The “E” Myth” by Michael Gerber.
The majority of businesses are started by a trades person or professional who are usually very good at what they do, but have no idea how to run a business. The owners tend to spend all their time working in their business and not on their business. The result is the business owner has given him/her self a job for less pay, many more hours and all the risk.
The book is written is parable format and emphasizes the importance of being a business owner and carving out time to work on your business.
Denise Beaupre, Author and Owner of Auction Transport Services Inc.
My name is Denise Beaupre and I’m the Author of “Rise Above-Create the abundant life you desire”. I’m also owner of a Transport company.
In my book “Rise Above“, I explain how to properly set business or personal goals, how to control self-sabotage that most people go through, how to stay focus, how to bring Creativity in the workplace. I also discuss how to not accept mediocrity from employees, how change is uncomfortable and how we must adapt with change in our fast changing world.
My book made Best Seller in Canada within 3 hours of launching on Amazon on October 20th, 2018.
Son Ngo, CEO of Tanskcrib
The book I am recommending is “Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life” by Stuart Diamond. Being an entrepreneur, I often find myself in situations where negotiating skills had massive impacts on my company, let it be in dealing with a customer or a supplier.
Stuart Diamond has written a terrific guide on how to improve this skill, filled with straightforward steps and tips that you can apply right away. He also backed up his claims in the book with studies and anecdote, which I value more than just bare facts.
Rebecca Harpain, Founder of Dual Arrow Marketing + Design
“Being Boss” by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson is a must read for any entrepreneur. It is definitely not your typical marketing/sales
It covers important and rarely discussed things like setting boundaries, self care, and how to stay motivated, all paired with insight these two have gained while growing their own empires.
Sophie Miles, CEO and Co-Founder of elMajorTrato
I would say “Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity” by Charles Duhigg
It is further important to take control of how we think than our reflections itself. Based on this premise and along eight key concepts this book will teach us the importance of decision making in both personal and professional life.
This is a book that explains how to recognize the choices that lead to high productivity. It is a guide to how science, technology and opportunities have changed lives. There are people who have learned to succeed with less effort. And how companies or small business can create incredible things with less waste. Focusing on the leaders who transform the people around them.
The book consists of eight chapters: motivation, work teams, approach, goal setting, personnel management, decision making, innovation, and data absorption.
Why it a must-read? If you have felt unmotivated to get up from the bed or make work calls, or start a new business, probably it is because you feel you do not have options. Yes! You have to create options to make decisions and that way you will be motivated.
This book has changed the way I understand my job and has not made the leap in leadership that we needed to be able to expand.
In very easy to read and every concept explained there, it resonates in your head for weeks.
I leave you a final thought of the author that has personally identified myself.
«Productivity has to do especially with choosing certain options in certain ways. The way we decide to see ourselves and frame the daily decisions, the stories we tell ourselves and the easy goals we ignore, the sense of community that we instill in our teammates and the creative culture that we establish as leaders, all this is what differentiates simply occupied people from really productive ones.”Charles Duhigg
Brandon Hindle, Sales Representative at Remax
There are a few books I would suggest hands down that changed my perception of things and that drive my business today. I started off with a few but then my list turned into 7 books, each of which has brought a lot of value to me and my business today, my life, and my future businesses.
Each of these books are in audio form and I have through Audible, and I also have in paperback form.
1. Conversion Code (Chris Smith)
This one really set the stage for my social media and website presence. With the amount of detail Chris provides in every chapter you can build the entire foundation for any online business and start generating business online and through facebook.
2. Sell Or Be Sold (Grant Cardone)
Grant is one of my favourite authors and speakers hands down. Along with highly motivating content, this book also gets your mind in the right place and teaches us that everything in life is a sale. It gives you a great introduction into the world of Grant Cardone and makes you confident for client appointments and your product.
3. Be Obsessed or Be Average (Also Grant Cardone)
Another by Grant and highly motivational. In fact I turn to this book when I’m having a rough day, feeling like things aren’t working, or not working as hard as I know I can. I also love to read it when others tell me I’m working to hard or to much. This book will help you get obsessed about your self, your life, and your business and will keep you working hard for years to come.
4. UnMarketing (Scott Stratten & Alison Stratten)
Great authors and great speakers. This book really sets the stage for social media presence in todays society and gives some great tips and advice. It helps us and business owners focus on the really important things in a digital world, Developing digital relationships with people, and not just spewing content. It also provides great examples of successes and failures in the digital world.
5. Content Machine (Dan Norris)
If you are planning on writing a blog, creating content, ranking first on google, or simply getting peoples attention. Content machine will teach you how to write this compelling content, how to get people to pay attention to you, and how to optimize it for SEO.
6. Crushing It (Gary Vaynerchuk)
If you’ve ever heard Gary Vee speak, you need to listen to him on audible. Along with being highly motivational. and funny, he provides a lot of great insights into what you need to do to succeed in a digital world, and where the digital world is headed.
Keri Lindenmuth, Marketing Manager at KDG
Any business owner or entrepreneur should read “Competing Against Luck” by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen.
The book helps entrepreneurs answer the question: “What job are customers really hiring my product or service to do?” Known as the “Jobs Theory,” this approach forces business owners to step into the shoes of their customers and think about why they make the decisions they do.
What they discover may surprise them. One example Christensen gives is of a fast food restaurant. Customers weren’t stopping in to buy milkshakes because they were hungry for them, but because they had long commutes and needed something to distract themselves with. The “job” customers were hiring the restaurant to do wasn’t to feed them, but to entertain them for a bit.