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Must-Read Entrepreneur Books to Kickstart Your Business

Alley Team
Alley Team
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Preparing yourself is essential when trying to creating a successful business brand that stands out, especially when the competition is stiff. Opening the door to the advice of those that have found success on similar journeys will definitely help.

No matter where you are at on your entrepreneurial journey, whether just getting started or just looking for some new inspiration. Reading will expose you to a diversity of knowledge and new ideas to help you towards success. Now, if you strive to be the next Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs, you need to read these books for entrepreneurs.

Books for Entrepreneurs

The Lean Start-Up - Eric Ries

If you’re starting a business, you’ll want to read The Lean Start-Up. Eric Ries uses his success and failures to develop a winning method. His approach focuses on human creativity more efficiently and effectively by targeting customer needs.

The Lean Start-Up offers aspiring entrepreneurs both a semi-scientific and a real-world approach to building a business. Focusing on being customer-focused, innovative, and finding a profitable business model and growth engine. Instead of creating an elaborate business plan, Ries instead uses his own experience to demonstrate how entrepreneurs should keep it simple.

There is a reason why Ries’ book is at the top of the reading list for many business leaders. This book changes the way products are tested, created, and launched. To be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to learn how to adapt and adjust. The Lean Start-Up can help.

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Rework - Jason Fried

After reading many startup and entrepreneurial books, Rework by Jason Fried is a breath of fresh air. He uses humor and a laid-back approach to building a business. Rework is optimistic and straightforward and advises growing your business by shutting out your competition and focusing on what really matters.

While most business books advise you to focus on the competition, to find more investors, and work long hours. Fried argues that simpler-is-better and debunks common business myths about customer research. Rework is an inspiring book for any future entrepreneur who has dreams of becoming successful.

The 4-Hour Workweek - Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is a reflection on how unnecessary the 9-to-5 grind has become. Ferriss demonstrates how to utilize your time best to enjoy a life full of vacations.

This book is a must-read for anyone who dreams of gaining control of their own time management. Tim Ferriss teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to kick the rat race by creating automating processes and using outsourcing strategies.

Stop living a "deferred life plan" save for decades just to enjoy a few years of retirement. And use Ferriss' blueprint on how to spend your time doing the things 'you're really passionate about instead.

The E-Myth Revisited - Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber's expertise as a small business consultant shines through in his book The E-Myth Revised. Gerber uses his own experiences to guide aspiring entrepreneurs through the step by step life-cycle of a business. He draws on his own expertise and insight to refute common myths associated with starting your own business. Gerber also points out how out certain common expectations and assumptions about owning a business can create a roadblock for success.

This book shows aspiring entrepreneurs how to manage the sometimes overwhelming amount of advice, expertise, and expectations.

E-Myth is an excellent resource for entrepreneurs of all levels. It gives straightforward advice on how to execute a business idea while working through the entire process of running a business.

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

Published in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best selling books of all time. Carnegie’s timeless ability to connect with others is why this is a must-read for entrepreneurs.

Even though startups need to be focused on the most recent business trends, no reading list is complete without this classic. A must-read for anyone who considers themselves a business leader. Carnegie's methods of building people skills and cultivating relationships have carried countless people up the ladder of success.

Carnegie believes that success is predicated on one's ability to communicate and connect with another. The book demonstrates how to make people like you, how to win people over, and how to change people's mind. These are essential skill when selling, negotiating, or even developing a customer-focused strategy.

Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich is another classic business book and was the first book ever to give a formula of what it takes to be a winner. Hill creates these principles based off of the successful millionaires of his time, such as Henry Ford.

Think and Grow Rich does an incredible job of demonstrating how to set goals and successfully reach them. It’s for this reason that Hill has been taught in business schools and has sold over 100 million copies of his book.

Think and Grow Rich has helped millions of business leaders and has been referenced by some of the most successful entrepreneurs. It should be a must-read book for any business owner.

The Startup Playbook - David Kidder

With hundreds of thousands of new businesses starting every year, having some guidance on how to succeed is invaluable. The Startup Playbook is a go-to for all entrepreneurs looking for advice on all aspects of starting and running a business.

David Kidder’s book is compiled of 40 face-to-face interviews with prominent entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders. It offers critical insights into what it takes to build, from the ground up, some of the largest companies such as LinkedIn and PayPal.

The Startup Playbook is one of the best business books no matter if you are starting or have been building up your business for some time. The business lessons and practical advice that Kidder offers to aspiring business owners in this book is a must-read.

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield

The War of Art is a bit different from the rest of the entrepreneurial books on this list. As the title indicates, this book focuses on what it takes to succeed in the creative sphere. The War of Art is written for writers. But the practical guide and advice that Pressfield offers can be applied across all aspect of life. Pressfield leaves you feeling inspired to seize the potential of your life.

I also find this book to be a must-read for the many artists that are entrepreneurs by nature and frequently get overlooked. This book identifies how to achieve success and reach the highest level of creative discipline by pinpointing and overcoming your internal obstacles.

The War of Art leaves you with two of the most critical emotions an entrepreneur can have, motivation and inspiration.

You’re not going to turn into the next Steve Jobs from reading books. But it does allow you to better prepare yourself by learning from proven business leaders.

Use these must-read books to learn from the success and failures of the greats and prepare your entrepreneurial self. Successful people open the door to advice and use it as a foundation for their growth.

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