Have you been thinking about becoming an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship is not for everyone but for those who are ready to take the plunge, the rewards can be huge! There are so many benefits to being an entrepreneur that you just won’t get from a regular 9 to 5 corporate job. Being able to set your own schedule, the potential for unlimited income and, not having to report to a boss are just a few. Starting a business can be an intimidating experience though. So, here is a list of six of the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs to help you succeed and take your dream from “passion project” to reality.
1. The Power of Broke by Daymond John
In this book, the author teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to take their biggest weaknesses and turn them into their greatest strengths. The author believes that entrepreneurs who start a business when they’re broke are forced to think more creatively, use resources more efficiently, connect with customers more authentically, and market ideas more imaginatively. “It forces you to be true to yourself, stay laser-focused on your goals, and come up with those innovative solutions required to make a meaningful mark,” he writes. John uses real-world examples to illustrate his points, including his own rise from struggling entrepreneur to Shark Tank investor.
2. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
The main takeaway in this book is that people don’t buy what you do. They buy WHY you do it. This book’s author notes that the most influential leaders are those who stress the “why” in their actions while others focus on the “what” and “how.” He further emphasizes how leaders can only lead when they have a clear purpose for their actions. If leaders do not begin with a clear core purpose, they will not have the foundation to stay consistent when times become difficult. Real world examples across a variety of fields, such as Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King Jr., are provided to illustrate most of the book’s points. Finally, the book concludes with practical advice on how to translate these experiences to improve your own leadership style.
3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
In this book, the author reveals that having a great idea and working tirelessly are not enough to drive success. The author provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups, developing a new product, getting that product into customers’ hands faster, steering the startup more effectively, and driving fast growth.
4. Getting To Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
This book helps entrepreneurs understand the art of negotiation. Contrary to popular belief, negotiation is not about ensuring that your side defeats the other side. Instead, the authors argue that it is about coming to a “wise agreement,” the type of bargain that fulfills everyone’s interests and improves their relationship. The book offers a simple set of four steps that you can use to help reach a wise agreement. Advice is also provided for negotiations where one or more sides refuse to follow the above guidelines, making this book an excellent introduction to a vital skill in any entrepreneur’s toolkit.
5. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
This book details how to transform your passion into a micro-business that generates a livable income. It teaches some good business practices, including the value of action over excessive planning and thinking of your potential customer base in terms of what you can do to provide them happiness. You will not need venture capital or a business degree to follow the author’s advice, just reasonable business sense, passion, and a drive to succeed.
6. The Time Chunking Method by Damon Zahariades
This book on time management advocates an updated version of the Pomodoro technique. The classic technique consists of using a timer to hyper-focus on one task at a time with no disruptions, scheduling short breaks to recharge your mental batteries every 20-40 minutes. Zahariades details how to adapt this technique to your specific workflow, making it more accessible than it has ever been before.
There is no end to an entrepreneur’s reading list, but the six books for aspiring entrepreneurs listed above are an excellent start. These must-reads might take your business to the next level.