25 Inspiring Books for Entrepreneurs Who Need a Boost
Running a business is exciting. As an entrepreneur, you are in a position to change lives with your products and services. You can leave a mark in an industry or field you care about. You can turn your passion and skills into profit. However, running a business can also leave entrepreneurs feeling isolated, pressured, or drained. Having a reading habit is a sure way to keep stress at bay. If you want to stay motivated and creative, you must have a collection of the best inspiring books for entrepreneurs.
Why Entrepreneurs Should Aspire to Read More Books
Reading comes naturally for some people. Unfortunately, running a business can quickly fill up your calendar with piles of work and appointments. This makes it almost impossible to find time to grab a book whether you have an inclination towards reading or not.
However, cultivating a reading habit is imperative if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Even innovators such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are known for intentionally setting aside time to enjoy a book.
Just consider the following benefits of reading:
- It boosts your cognitive skills. Just as working out tones the muscles, reading a book stimulates the brain and boosts your cognitive skills. A sharp memory, pattern recognition, verbal skills, and the ability to make strategic decisions are the kind of skills that will get you far in business. These are also the very skills that you will pick up from habitual reading.
- It enhances analytical thinking and imagination. Analytical thinking and imagination require focus. Unfortunately, the ability to maintain focus is hard to come by for the modern-day entrepreneur. From ringing phones and beeping gadgets to piles of paperwork, distractions are everywhere when you’re running a business. If you want to get better analytical skills and stay creative, reading books can help.
A Stanford research revealed that reading results invaluable exercise to the brain stretches one’s imagination, and enhances the ability to analyze situations.
- It lowers stress. The ability to manage stress is not only admirable – it’s imperative for survival, especially in a field as challenging and hectic as entrepreneurship. Immersing oneself in a book is one of the oldest forms of de-stressing. According to experts, the constructive distraction that books provide eases tensions in the muscles and the heart, thus lowering stress levels.
- It promotes articulation and verbal skills. Vocabulary expansion is inevitable when you read. The more pages you absorb, the more words seep into your mind. As a result, you have better ways to present your ideas and articulate your thoughts.
As you peruse different types of literary format and explore different authors, you are bound to soak up the style or manner they use to express ideas. Having exceptional communication skills is indispensable when you’re an entrepreneur. It’s the key ingredient in delivering a winning pitch to investors, building connections with an audience, and rallying employees.
- It builds confidence. People have made life-altering and groundbreaking decisions because of books. From quitting an unfulfilling job to travelling the world, inspired life choices often result from reading. Books have the ability to make people feel emboldened. When you learn that you’re not alone in your fears and that others have conquered your dilemma, you get fired up to improve your situation. Reading also expands your knowledge, so that you’re bound to be more strategic and resolved when you’re backed with facts.
As an entrepreneur, you make important decisions regularly. When you have a store of knowledge and ideas from the books you pick up, you wouldn’t be second-guessing yourself when making major decisions.
25 Most Inspiring Books for Entrepreneurs
Of course, reading alone isn’t enough. Just as it’s important to know the different kinds of support every business person needs, you should also know what inspiring books for entrepreneurs to pick up.
Stay motivated, develop different skills, and get a better business stance when you read these 25 inspiring books for entrepreneurs:
How We Make Stuff Now is arguably the most fitting book to kickstart your reading list. As the title suggests, the book helps people turn their concepts into actual, profitable commodities. It’s a great read for people who have a promising business idea but have no clue how to build, package, or promote it into a sellable item.
Author Jules Pieri is a startup founder herself and advocates helping fellow business people find a footing in their industry. How We Make Stuff Now helps the modern-day entrepreneur find business processes that are relevant and effective today, so that they can bring their ideas to life, sustain it, and turn it into a money-making machine.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
School can only teach you so much; some things are learned through first-hand, gritty experience. Author Ben Horowitz recognizes this and wants entrepreneurs to learn hard lessons without paying the same price.
As an entrepreneur himself, Horowitz has collected different learnings from the field that he shares in his book. From starting and managing a business to shutting one down, challenges come on a regular basis for entrepreneurs. The Hard Thing About Hard Things unabashedly discusses the trials that business owners face at every point of their journey as well as the things that they can do when facing such situations.
If you’re still on the fence about starting a business or developing a new product, this book is for you. Authored by success mentor and business leader Darren Hardy, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster will inspire you to finally take the leap of faith. Thorough, insightful and passionate in a straightforward but humorous way, Darren Hardy pens a book that you can use as a master plan and a map to navigate the highs and lows of the business world.
Apart from imparting his own knowledge and experience, Hardy also shares strategies and nuggets of wisdom from other entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster covers essential lessons on sales, recruitment, productivity, and leadership.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe The World by William H. McRaven
The adage, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out,” coined by 20th-century writer Robert Collier, still rings true today. The book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe The World echoes and builds on this school of thought.
Written by Admiral William McRaven, this book contains self-improvement lessons that the author has learned from his colourful career in the US Navy Seal. The discipline, courage, grit, and honour that McRaven developed from his days in the military service are values that will take entrepreneurs a long way. This book is great at helping readers find courage and tap on their own abilities when tackling tough circumstances themselves.
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
A company competes against 25 other brands on average. The odds against you go even higher when your company doesn’t have clear branding. One of the best ways to beat competitors is to have a sharp, yet the engaging way of reaching out to customers. Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand is written to help business owners craft the most influential marketing tactic through the power of storytelling.
In his book, Donald Miller shares how business owners can use the seven-story points that resonate with every customer all over the world in promoting faster purchase decisions. Whether you are an entrepreneur or marketer, the book Building a StoryBrand will add incalculable value to your craft.
Do More Faster by David Cohen and Brad Feld
Written by founders of a company that helps startup companies grow, Do More Faster is a collection of stories and lessons that David Cohen and Brad Feld encountered while helping businesses grow. While there are different reasons that startups fail, Do More Faster shares lessons and strategies on how your company can be one of those that survive.
The book contains anecdotes about real companies that the authors have helped. It talks about the different kinds of challenges that startups run into, and what steps real companies took that led to their growth or demise. Learn from the failures and successes of other businesses without paying the same price when you read Do More Faster.
Rules for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki
Every entrepreneur has the DNA of an innovator. It is up to them to tap into this inherent trait so that they can make a dent in their industry and in the lives of their customers.
Rules for Revolutionaries is written to help business people harness their innate power to influence and make a positive impact through their brands. Guy Kawasaki offers practical nuggets of advice that he gleaned from launching revolutionary products himself. As an efficient business person and communicator, the author sections the book into different chapters and categories, so that readers can easily digest and remember what would otherwise be complex ideas. The book also recognizes differences among entrepreneurs and encourages business owners to embrace their uniqueness.
Integrity Moments by Rick Boxx
Business can have an ugly side. The constant competition can sometimes push entrepreneurs to resort to shady practises getting ahead of the game. Integrity Moments is a book that challenges people to take the higher road and shares how doing so is still the best way to succeed.
The author has drawn on his years of experience as a public accountant, banker, consultant, entrepreneur, and head of a global ministry to share ethical insights that entrepreneurs can practice. Integrity Moments shows how entrepreneurs should first invest in themselves, and that a solid personal foundation is key so one can succeed in other endeavours.
A tunnel vision and conviction to reach for one’s goals are essential traits of a successful entrepreneur. Without focus, it’s easy to get sidetracked. Al Ries pens a book that wittingly and thoroughly discusses how intense focus is crucial for the success of any business.
The author relays how being excellent is a single field is better than being merely good in several trades. The last chapter of the book maps out fifteen keys to a long-term focus. Readers can take on the final chapter first and circle back to the others, for a more in-depth reading.
As an entrepreneur, you will have your own share of adventures and misadventures. John Brooks’ book will let you realize how you are not alone in the mishaps of business, and how even the biggest brands have been through bumps themselves.
Business Adventures recounts stories of how companies like Ford Motor and Xerox were defined by moments of notoriety and fame. Although these classic tales have taken place years ago, they still offer nuggets of wisdom that the modern entrepreneur can use and practice today. Hailed as a favourite book of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, Business Adventures entertains and challenges your thought processes as a business person.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
Although many startups don’t last, the causes of their failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a book that points out several reasons for startup failure and how your company can circumvent them. Testing your ideas before fully investing in them and keeping an eye out on what your customers do instead of listening to focus groups are just some practical advice you can learn from Eric Ries’ book.
As an entrepreneur himself, the author penned the many lessons he learned in the business world, and have organized them in this book in the hopes of helping companies across the globe.
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Referenced by Steve Jobs when faced with a crucial business decision, the Innovator’s Dilemma is undoubtedly an efficient and practical read. The book is a wealth of stories and lessons from the victories and failures of other companies. Although the tales recounted happened years ago, The Innovator’s Dilemma still poses truths that resonate today.
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
People have the tendency to divide the world into two camps resulting in an us vs them mentality. This perspective can lead to catastrophic outcomes. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World and Why Things Are Better Than You Think discusses the woes of having a muddled perspective. The book will challenge how you view the world as an entrepreneur and show you how a shift in perspective can bring unimaginable impact.
A great book that tackles leadership and innovation, Start With Why is a must-read for business owners and managers. The author is known for his revolutionary ideas that have helped people be more inspired to work. Start With Why shares the author’s strategies to help entrepreneurs become more influential and effective leaders. Apart from his book, Simon Sinek has also shared leadership advice as a TED Talk speaker.
Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will To Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Author and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg know the unique situations of women entrepreneurs and leaders. Her book Lean In challenges the conversation around women in the workplace while giving insight and tips on how one can change the course of their career. Lean In is a book that helps women find and use their own strengths to become leaders in their industry.
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Thrive The Third Metric To Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder is a candid take on juggling different life responsibilities. Managing career demands with family responsibilities and navigating between business deadlines and family crises is a situation that many entrepreneurs face. Arianna Huffington’s book draws on scientific research and psychology reports to offer practical advice and strategies on how entrepreneurs can find and maintain a work-life balance.
You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
Jen Sincero pens a humorous but candid manifesto on how people can unapologetically master the mindset of wealth. You Are a Badass At Making Money is a book that fortifies how financial freedom first starts in the mind. Combining fun anecdotes and wisdom, Jen Sincero teaches readers how they can grasp their own earning potential and overcome self-limiting ideas.
The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan
Although the Financial Diet is aimed as a “Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money”, it’s still a must-read for entrepreneurs. Ideal for young business people and startup owners, The Financial Diet helps people navigate the world of finance and debunks fears surrounding it. Chelsea Fagan offers practical steps on financial management, budgeting, and investing.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
Are you tired of never having enough time? When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing is a book for entrepreneurs and people who are on the brink of burnout. Brimming with insight and practical advice, When helps people to get on top of things and be the masters of their own time again. Author Daniel H. Pink writes a quick but impactful read to help people get better at time-management and career-life balance.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
As a modern-day artist, author Austin Kleon knows what it means to be creative in the digital world. Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is a personal manifesto that will help readers discover and make the most of their own artistic streak. The book talks about creative powerhouses like Pixar and Google and lays out principles on how to build a more innovative life.
Work Smarter by Nick Loper
Entrepreneur and founder of the Side Hustle Nation company, Nick Loper enlists “500+ Online Resources Today’s Top Entrepreneurs Use To Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals”. Work Smarter is a wealth of practical resources, tips, and insight that you can use today. It’s a must-read for entrepreneurs who want to boost productivity, creativity, and workflow.
Unlocking the Customer Value Chain by Thales Teixeira
Author and Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira spent nearly a decade visiting tech companies and startups. His book Unlocking the Customer Value Chain recounts the mistakes of consumer industries and what established businesses can do about it. Providing revolutionary business strategies, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain is a must-read for anyone wanting to make waves in tech and eCommerce.
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim
Other books and resources tell you how to beat the competition; W. Chan Kim tells you how to make it irrelevant. Blue Ocean Strategy tackles the dangers of the cutthroat culture that sometimes arise in business and offers a better way to thrive through uncontested market spaces. W. Chan Kim shows how competing against rivals only leads to a shrinking profit pool and shares transformative ways that businesses can tap on lasting success.
The Outsiders by William N. Thorndike
What makes some CEOs phenomenally successful? The Outsiders recounts Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success. Author William N. Thorndike writes a book that explores the different strategies and values that set successful CEOs apart. It’s a book for entrepreneurs and leaders that think outside the box and challenges the norm.
Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Unleashing your creative side becomes harder and harder as you become laden with more responsibilities. Authors Tom and David Kelley argue that it doesn’t have to be the case. As Stanford d.school figures, the Kelley brothers identify key strategies and principles to help people find and make the most of their artistic side. The book discusses how society puts limits on what can be labelled as creative and goes on to debunk this perception. Creative Confidence shows readers every person has an artistic streak and helps them build confidence in using it.
Self-improvement, continuous learning, and de-stressing are keys to business success. You can discover all these in more when you read these top inspirational books for entrepreneurs.