No matter if you feel stuck or just want to improve your business-related skills, there are hundreds of books written by successful entrepreneurs that can motivate you and turn you into a professional entrepreneur, just like them.
Here’s a list of 9 great books for entrepreneurs that contain advice, guides, and stories by successful business owners that will inspire you and teach you something new:
1. How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell
John C. Maxwell is a bestselling author, with over 24 million copies sold worldwide. Through great examples and practical suggestions, this book will teach you how to get things done effectively and on time.
In this short but informative read, Maxwell speaks about 11 different types of thinking: big-picture, focused, creative, realistic, strategic, possibility, reflective, popular, shared, unselfish and bottom-line, so there is something for everyone who wants to learn how to think differently or just improve their own way of thinking. Great book for not only entrepreneurs but also everyone who wants to solve problems and create opportunities.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Published all the way back in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People is relevant to this day.
This self-help book is one of the best-selling books of all time and will teach you a number of different things: how to get out of a monotonous cycle, how to make friends, increase your popularity and influence, but it will also teach you how to get things done, get new clients and customers, how to become a better salesman, handle criticism and complaints and many more.
In about 300 pages, Carnegie teaches you how to handle people, make them like you, win them to your way of thinking and be a leader.
3. Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spenser Johnson
If you are interested in a more humorous read, this is the book for you. In Who Moved My Cheese, Johnson writes about 4 mice who are stuck in a labyrinth and are looking for cheese, which constantly keeps moving. The labyrinth is a metaphor for the place where you are looking for something, like your workplace or family, and the cheese is a metaphor for what you want to achieve: a good job, money or a stable and loving relationship.
Through the stories of these mice, you will learn how to deal with problems and change and overcome obstacles in a read that takes about an hour.
4. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
In this read, Pink writes about the science of organization and routine, something that is necessary for every entrepreneur to know.
You will learn how to organize your time both at work and at home. He lists the best times for completing tasks, which of our abilities are most active during what time of the day, and at what time is it best to utilize specific skills. You can also learn more about yourself and your personality type and how it affects your work and interactions.
In the second chapter, you can learn more about the best time for breaks and their ideal duration that will help boost our creativity and efficiency, as well as exercise and necessary motion.
5. The $100 Startup: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
What makes this book different from most is how Guillebeau approached writing it. He identified 1,500 individuals who invested modest amounts of money ($100 or less in many cases) and built businesses that earn $50,000 or more.
He chose 50 of those people to focus on and realized that, in nearly all cases, they had no special skills but discovered how to make money using certain aspects of their personal passions.
This book, that is presented as a guide, will teach you how to earn a living using what you know and love doing through valuable lessons of those who have achieved this.
According to Guillebeau, you don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees. All you need is a product or service related to what you love doing, people willing to pay for it and a way to get paid. He also tells us how the people he chose earned their first funds, what mistakes they made and what made their businesses succeed.
In a review for this book, Daniel H. Pink said: ‘’If you’re not ready to launch your own business after reading this book, you need to go back and read it again”. Were I an entrepreneur, this review would immediately convince me to read the book.
6. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spenser Johnson
The One Minute Manager is of the most successful management books ever published and through three easy-to-master management techniques, it will help you master the way of time management, which is a necessary skill for every entrepreneur. The techniques are one minute goal setting, one minute praising and one minute reprimands.
The writers used a story about a young man, which makes for an interesting and easy read. After each chapter about the techniques, there is a short summary that describes the technique, a good reminder if you ever go back to the book and don’t have the time to read each chapter.
7. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
This book features interviews of founders of famous technology companies and their early days.
You can read about founders such as Steve Wozniak (Apple), Tim Brady (Yahoo), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail), Max Levchin (PayPal) and Paul Buchheit (Gmail) and the ideas that made them rich and the obstacles they faced and how they overcame them.
This book consists of 32 chapters and features stories of 32 founders told in their own words. When talking to them, Livinston noticed that not all of them had great confidence when they started off, and some ideas were even accidents. What they all had, she noticed, was the determination to make things that worked. Without perseverance, it is hard to succeed, because nothing goes according to plan in the beginning. This serves as great advice and encouragement to entrepreneurs everywhere.
8. The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs by Kevin D. Johnson
In this book meant for both new and veteran entrepreneurs, Johnson shares the essential beliefs, characteristics, and habits of the best entrepreneurs in the seven important areas: strategy, education, people, finance, marketing and sales, leadership and motivation.
Johnson gives valuable advice on dozens of things: how to think big, create new markets, hire a good lawyer, move on fast from a bad business idea, but also how to work with people, manage your finances, increase your sales and motivate yourself.
9. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
The 4-Hour Workweek is a step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design where Ferriss teaches us how to live more and work less.
Ferriss describes how he went from earning $40,000 per year and working 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week. In 4 chapters about the New Rich, time, income and mobility, Ferriss shows us how to reinvent ourselves and become successful entrepreneurs.
All the listed books have something for everyone. No matter if you are just starting off as an entrepreneur and would like to know more about it, or you are already one and have been doing it for years, but lately you feel stuck in a rut, at least one of these books will be a useful and insightful read.
We hope that you enjoy these reads and learn something new about being a successful entrepreneur!