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Top Books for Entrepreneurs

Are you an entrepreneur? Or do you see yourself striking out on your own with an adventurous start-up in the future? It’s a dream for a lot of people. But how do you do it successfully? This question keeps so many from choosing the entrepreneurial path. While there may not be one school of thought that leads entrepreneurs to success, there are lessons to be learned. The following list includes some of the top entrepreneur book suggestions for founders, CEO’s, and small business leaders.

Our top eight book suggestions for entrepreneurs and business leaders:

1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek.

In Start With Why, Sinek outlines the characteristics – ways of thinking, acting, and communicating – that set great leaders apart. Inspired by the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Steve Jobs, Sinek crafts The Golden Circle, a framework for great organizations and movements. According to Sinek, The Golden Circle is the way to inspire all those around you. You may have seen Simon Sinek on the TED stage… Well, this title will allow you to really deep dive into the concepts that he laid out. Call it a modern-day How to Win Friends and Influence People (another oldie but goodie when it comes to entrepreneur book suggestions).

2. REWORK, by Jason Fried.

Jason Fried, one of the co-founders of Basecamp, breaks with convention in Rework. By laying out small business hacks that can lead to more productivity, profitability, and sustainability, Fried makes it alright to build a business that’s based on keeping it simple. For those that find it challenging to get up and go with a business idea, or who become overwhelmed with business planning, this book can help you to do less and be more successful by “one-downing” the competition. Figure out exactly what you want to offer and just focus on making those things better than your competitors.

3. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries.

It’s a mouthful, but the concepts are pretty simple. Being lean means using limited resources efficiently to build a successful product. In The Lean Startup, Ries outlines five steps to developing the perfect product to meet market needs. His focus is on MVP (minimum viable product) testing. As most entrepreneurs know, you’ve got to learn to be very flexible in order to innovate your way to success. Eric Ries’ concepts should help you do just that.

4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz.

If you’re a founder or CEO facing difficult questions or issues that seem insurmountable, then Ben Horowitz has got some advice for you. His focus is on honesty, transparency, and utilizing resources effectively. Skip ahead of the trauma that can come with decision-making, and get right to problem-solving. You’ll find simple rules for building strong teams and eliminating unnecessary office politics. As he says, “…the hard thing about hard things — there is no formula for dealing with them…” Horowitz offers tips and techniques to lead by example and allow your best people to be more involved.

5. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter Thiel.

In Zero to One, Thiel strips innovation back to the core concept that in order to create new and exciting things, you have to start at zero. Stop worrying about building or improving on something that already exists. The boldest entrepreneurs escape the market entirely, creating unique, new segments. Thiel’s view on progress takes readers to unexpected places, and teaches them to think for themselves in order to build a better future.

6. Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees, by Hassan Osman.

This Amazon bestseller includes step-by-step tactics to improve your remote team’s engagement. You’ll learn how a single word can increase compliance by 33%, how to plan and run effective meetings, and establish trust with your team. Also the author of “Don’t Reply All”, Osman is a PMO director at Cisco Systems and regularly blogs about managing remote teams on www.thecouchmanager.com.

7. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber.

Voted a #1 business book by Inc. 500, small business consultant, Michael E. Gerber, dispels the myths about starting your own business. Walking readers through the steps in the life of a business, Gerber points out how common assumptions and technical expertise can get in the way of success. Guiding business owners from the start and even steps to franchise, The E-Myth Revisited will help you grow.

8. 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 live more and work less. Whether your dream is to escape the rat race or to travel, this book will teach you how to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts. Ferriss is a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, blogger, and angel investor/advisor.


Each of these titles is available on Amazon.com. In fact, we’ve created a longer list of books you should check out if you’re an entrepreneur or business leader. If you have other entrepreneur book suggestions, feel free to leave us a comment.

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