Working in a business start-up is one of the busiest and stressful times in a person’s life.
But as a business owner, there are ways to continually educate yourself, give yourself new ideas and new ways of thinking by reading the very best business books on the market.
Hardly bed-time reading I know, but even if you can get through 15 minutes of a book per day, or download them and listen to them through Audible (that’s what I do – kill two birds with one stone) – they are a wealth of knowledge by industry leaders who have been exactly where you are right now.
1. The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)
This book is perfect for learning how to make your startups go up and running. It has new approaches that enable business owners to have a new perspective on how to successfully run their companies and how to launch their products effectively.
It contains lessons that were inspired by lean manufacturing, which relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, and some counter-intuitive practices that actually listen to what customers really need.
2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)
Blogger Mark Manson is giving new entrepreneurs no bullsh*t facts in his self-help book that “f*cks positivity.” Yes you heard it right. For Manson, it’s not about thinking positive that makes people happier, but actually facing the honest truth that some things really suck.
In this book, Manson’s argument, that is supported by academic research and intelligent well-timed jokes, says that to better improve people’s lives, they must not “turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.” This means getting to know ourselves, our limitations and just learn to accept them and make the most of what we have.
A surefire way to change people’s perspective not just in starting in business but in life as well.
3. The Tipping Point: ‘How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’ (Malcolm Gladwell)
Every successful business has a tipping point — that little light bulb moment that grows into an idea that can make a big difference. This is what Malcolm Gladwell explored in this book. He takes us to the core of making businesses boom by introducing the type of persons who make this happen, analysing trends, and dissecting ideas to help people start and sustain “social epidemics.”
4. How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
This self-help book teaches you the fundamental techniques of handling people. It also contains ways on how to make people like you and eventually win friends. It also gives pointers on how to be an effective leader, how to influence people and get them to understand your way of thinking.
5. Startup Opportunities: ‘Know When to Quit Your Day Job’ (Sean Wise & Brad Feld)
All budding entrepreneurs might want to take a hold of this book for a few guides to learning how to make your business idea prosper. While most of us have day jobs before thinking about venturing into business, there’s a 10x Rule that you should follow before quitting your day job.
With a vast experience in assessing startup opportunities, Dr Sean Wise and Brad Feld have handy tips on how to make your business a resounding success.
6. Running Lean: ‘Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works’ (Ash Maurya)
This book helps aspiring entrepreneurs to be time and cost efficient in their plans for their business. Based on Ash Maurya’s experience, the book contains lessons and tips on building your business and how to employ the best strategy to achieve a “product/market fit” for your venture.
7. The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
For every business to thrive, its money should be spent wisely and this is what this book teaches — how to make over your money habits.
The workbook contains real-life stories and questionnaires that will assess financial aspects of your business and some motivational lessons to keep you on track on your way to financial fitness.
8. Impact! What Every Woman Needs to Know to Go From Invisible to Invincible (Nancy D. Solomon)
This personality development book helps you see what you’ve been doing right, not on what you’ve been doing wrong in your life that can affect your plans throughout your life. It focuses on what impact you can make to the world and become more productive. It gives you ideas on how to be who you’re meant to be and not on who others want you to be.
9. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
Though this book was published 1937, the lessons that this book imparts is timeless. Napoleon Hill who was friends with well-known wealthy people in America, whom he analysed, has come up with different strategeis to help you get rich. There’s also a chapter in the book about “sex transmutation” where you convert your libido into other purposes to help you achieve your goals, which is really quite interesting.
10. How to Be A Power Connector (Judy Robinett)
How to make yourself become a “power connector” or basically employ strategic relationships with people is what Judy Robinett suggests to help you build your business and keep it going.
With a mix of special skills and talents and how to manage your relationships and maintain a power grid of influence, you’re on your way to long-term success in your endeavours.
11. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah)
With people now on social media, it’s now “out” with the traditional “outbound” marketing methods, such as email blasts and cold-calling, and “in” with social media and blogs.
People are now looking for innovations at the palm of their hands — on social media. With this book, you will get to know what are the strategies on how to get found by customers online.
The book also helps you improve your rankings in Google and get more traffic and build and promote your blog for your business, among a few strategies.
12. Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)
Outliers are those who are different from the rest. In this book, Malcolm Gladwell wants us to go into the life of the best outliers in the world — those whose brilliant minds make them apart from the rest, and along the way tells us why they are successful, and teaches us the secrets to becoming “outliers” ourselves.
13. The $100 Startup (Chris Guillenbeau)
The book stems from the rich experiences of Chris Guillenbeau, living a life that is extraordinary and full of adventure. He had been to over 175 countries but never had a “real job”. Instead, what he does is to turn his ideas into money-making ones and still live the life he always wanted. In this book, Chris talks about some people who have built their businesses starting from as little as $100 and has now become full-fledged businesses earning thousands.
Even those with no special skills were able to get cash out of their passion by just restructuring their lives. This is what Chris wants us to do with his easy-to-use guide towards self-fulfillment.
14. Tools of Titans (Tim Ferriss)
Known speaker and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has come up with another book that is the result of his podcast The Tim Ferriss Show, where he interviewed over 200 world-class “titans” in their own field and discussed how they were able to achieve what they are enjoying now.
“Everything within these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration.
“I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you,” he says.
15. Pivot (Jenny Blake)
Pivot is to turn on, and Jenny Blake uses this concept to help us make a change in our careers and in our lives as a whole. This book helps us answer, “What’s next?” especially when we feel like we’re stagnant in one place not knowing where to head next. It has life lessons that we can use to help us make the best move towards a better future.