Renowned American film producer and entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, recommends The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand as a must-read for all entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is a tough, risky career path, the lifeblood and passion of a selected few. For these select few, there is nothing more addictive than being your own boss, planning your own hours, and scheduling activities as per your convenience. That said, the very feeling of creating something, having a vision, a goal, helping people grow, is something to be cherished―it possibly makes one feel like the Creator Himself. There are very successful entrepreneurs, moderately successful entrepreneurs, and then there are those who have not achieved what they planned or what they desired.
The business world can be a competitive jungle, and if you intend to be one of the best, you need to update yourself with knowledge periodically. This means, going back to the basic, primitive method. Yes, you read it right. You need to read books―in order to get ideas and seek encouragement and inspiration. Whether you are a rookie or an experienced hand, books will help you immensely. Listed below are some of the best books for entrepreneurs.
#1 The Fountainhead
What it Contains: Penned down by Ayn Rand and recommended by renowned businessmen, the plot of 'The Fountainhead' focuses on a struggling young architect who refuses to compromise on his artistic vision. The book highlights his journey to realize his architectural vision. It is one of the best books about entrepreneurship that highlights the victory of individualism.
What It Teaches: It teaches one to believe in oneself, come what may.
#2 How To Win Friends And Influence People
What it Contains: Authored by Dale Carnegie, it is one of the best books on entrepreneurship. Apart from marketing all over the web, it enlists steps and reasons to make friends as and when possible, for at the end of the day, having important contacts is crucial for a successful entrepreneur.
What It Teaches: It teaches you the essentials of being a social animal for your business, and provides tips to become a better businessman.
What it Contains: One of the oldest classics, written by Marcus Aurelius, it is one of the must-read business books. Ironically, it does not directly focus on anything related to business. The ideas given, however, can be incorporated into the current business scenario. It is divided into 12 manuscripts and highlights the author's life. A strong theme that recurs throughout the book is to maintain focus and not get distracted.
What It Teaches: It teaches you to analyze and judge yourself and others from a global perspective, i.e., be aware of the rapidly-changing business world.
#4 Rich Dad, Poor Dad
What it Contains: It is one of the best books for young entrepreneurs, written by Robert Kiyosaki. It contains all you need to know regarding financial education. But education alone is not sufficient to succeed in business, one needs to learn several other tactics. The book is, to an extent, based on a part of the author's life, about the lessons he learned during childhood. He has woven a plot around two men, one rich, and the other poor, and highlighted the different attitudes towards money to describe the lessons he learned, which he intends to convey to others.
What It Teaches: It teaches you to look beyond being a mere employee, and to upgrade your financial aptitude to own high value assets.
# 5 True North
What it Contains: Authored by Bill George and Peter Sims, it is titled 'True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership', and is one of the best books to inspire entrepreneurs. The book contains interview snippets of famous entrepreneurs, like Howard Schultz, Sir Adrian Cadbury, etc., and focuses on effective leadership styles.
What It Teaches: It tries to enlist the qualities that are essential to be an effective leader.
#6 The Slight Edge
What it Contains: Written by Jeff Olson, a successful entrepreneur himself, this novel explains how you can achieve successful results in your life by making slight changes in your everyday activities. It is one of the best books about becoming an entrepreneur; it focuses on execution through a simple philosophy.
What It Teaches: It teaches you to create a better today and execute a better tomorrow by changing the course of simple activities on a daily basis.
#7 The 4-hour Workweek
What it Contains: It is written by American entrepreneur, Timothy Ferriss. It contains all that you need to know if you are a frustrated employee, wanting to carve out a niche in the world of business. It basically focuses on the author's personal escape from an overworked job and tough lifestyle, following which he devised a series of lectures (which he has incorporated in the book), wherein he explains how to build a sufficient income, simplify corporate life without the use of extensive technology, etc.
What It Teaches: From a business perspective, it teaches you time management and to focus on important tasks.
#8 Choose Yourself
What it Contains: Authored by James Altucher, this book contains important lessons that every entrepreneur needs to learn. It explains how you need to focus on yourself first―physically and mentally―and goes further to outline the importance of decision-making, acknowledgment and improvement of failures, and getting work done immediately.
What It Teaches: It teaches you to concentrate on yourself, to do things you enjoy, and concentrate on executing the things you love to do.
#9 The $100 Startup
What it Contains: This is a brilliant book for those entrepreneurs who are worried about capital. It is authored by Chris Guillebeau and contains the exact finance required to get started in a business, and how the finance can be planned ahead. This is explained by the writer through the medium of stories of successful entrepreneurs, how they got started, and how they spent their initial years struggling to establish their business.
What It Teaches: It teaches you the procedure of careful financial planning.
#10 Founders At Work
What it Contains: Written by Jessica Livingston, it contains interviews of famous entrepreneurs about everything they did in their initial years. This includes how they got started, financial difficulties, and many other business-related pitfalls. To actually hear the stories of these successful entrepreneurial ventures directly from the owners themselves is very inspiring.
What It Teaches: It teaches you many valuable lessons about what you need to do when you plan a startup.
What it Contains: This is one of the most famous, most sought-after, and most recommended books that entrepreneurs must read. It is written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, and provides you with quick tips and short-cuts to achieve success faster. Its motto is 'stop thinking, start working'. You need to focus on quality, productive actions, and the most strikingly different point that this book highlights, is the ignorance of competition. You must stop worrying about trivial matters and focus on what is important, and go about executing the same in an easy, approachable manner.
What It Teaches: It advocates an easier way to succeed in business.
#12 The Hard Thing About Hard Things
What it Contains: Ben Horowitz is the author of this book that focuses on startups. Like the title indicates, it explains to you all about the hardships you undergo in a startup, and how you need to deal with them. The author stresses on the fact that you need to identify the next move in business, and this is what separates winners from losers.
What It Teaches: It teaches you how to deal with the struggles of owning a startup.
#13 Who Moved My Cheese?
What it Contains: One of the most famous business books of all time, this book by Spencer Johnson is on the New York Times Bestsellers' list. It is narrated in the form of a business fable, where the author uses the mice and cheese concept to prove his point. The sum and substance is that entrepreneurs must understand that change is inevitable, they must anticipate change, adapt to the same, and so on, the cycle goes on.
What It Teaches: It teaches you about the inevitable changes in the world of business.
#14 The Leadership Challenge
What it Contains: It is written by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. As the name indicates, the book deals with leadership. It concentrates on five practices essential to be an exemplary leader. The focus is on outlining a vision, inspiring the same, undertaking challenges along the way, getting proper work done, and maintaining sincerity towards the goals.
What It Teaches: It teaches you to be an efficient leader.
Books are a treasure trove of knowledge. No matter how young or old you are, you always get to learn something new. This is especially true in the world of business. There is always a smarter move, a better financial plan, or an improvised budget. There are many popular business books for women
as well. Irrespective of whether you are starting a new venture or planning to expand an existing company, the above books will help you develop better ideas, feel positive, and grow professionally.