On the lookout for some of the best books for entrepreneurs?
We can’t blame you. When you’re eager to get your own idea and business off the ground, sitting down for some reading time is an effective way to get the lowdown on all sorts of different and relevant topics.
So, where should you start? Have no fear—we’ve pulled together a list of 15 books that definitely deserve a spot on your entrepreneurial reading list.
From productivity to negotiation to goal setting to management and everything in between, turning these pages will fill your brain with all of the information you need to be a successful entrepreneur.
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Who Wrote it: Nigel Cumberland
What it’s About: Being an entrepreneur can feel overwhelming, so this book breaks things down into more manageable, bite-sized pieces. It’s packed full with actionable tips and exercises you can use to succeed in both work and life.
What Readers Say: “I received the book as a gift and find it just wonderful. Besides the 100 wonderful things successful people do I very much enjoy the structure of the book which allows me to dive in any place and take in its wisdom either in small bites or a full meal. If you are even the slightest bit intuitive, and I think most of us are, you could actually use it a bit like Wisdom Cards by asking a question and allowing your intuition to guide you to the appropriate chapter. The answer that comes up may at first be surprising but always profound leaving you feeling a lot like after a favorite meal but excited to keep learning more.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Kim Scott
What it’s About: Saying what you mean isn’t always easy. Kim Scott’s framework will teach you how to communicate in in a radically candid way—and, as a result, be a better boss, colleague, and person.
What Readers Say: “As a Googler and startup founder, everything Kim talks about resonates with me deeply. The approach to radical candor feedback, being truly transparent & balanced alongside caring for your team is the right modern approach to management. A great read for anyone considering starting a company or for managers everywhere.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Charles Duhigg
What it’s About: Ever wondered why you do what you do? In his book, Charles Duhigg digs into the science and research behind how we form habits—as well as how you can change them.
What Readers Say: “While reading this book I got to understand the habit loop and how to not necessarily stop a habit but to tweak it and to allow the individual to have control, not the habit. The stories in this book are awesome and teach not just about habits but many different subjects of life.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Ben Horowitz
What it’s About: If there’s one person you want to take entrepreneurship advice from, it’s Ben Horowitz—one of Silicon Valley’s most respected entrepreneurs. Within his book, you’ll get his insights into what it takes to build and run a startup. Horowitz isn’t one to gloss over the common challenges and problems—as the title indicates, he dives right in with his best advice for dealing with those tough situations.
What Readers Say: “The most memorable part of the book to me was the notion that there are no silver bullets to solve problems, just good old fashioned lead bullets. Good lesson to learn, and a mistake I see a lot of young start-up companies make. Of course this is my oversimplified version of the concept which Mr. Horowitz does a far better job of explaining. Worth reading just to see what he has to say about this concept.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Jim Collins
What it’s About: If you’re looking for something that’s heavily research-backed, you’re sure to love this one. Jim Collins and his research team identified companies that sustained great results and dug into exactly what made them work. He broke those findings down into valuable lessons that every entrepreneur should learn.
What Readers Say: “This book has been on my list for quite a while and now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! Jim Collins and his team provide some fantastic insights that aren’t just based upon a popular fad opinion, but are actually backed up by studies. If you are a leader or desire to be one, this is a must read. He speaks to much more than just trends, but to actual character. As a fairly charismatic person, I found it interesting to see some of the downsides of charisma. I really appreciated his approach to discussing the power of clarity and consistency.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole
What it’s About: Touted as a “comprehensive toolkit for anyone who wants to make a success of running their own business,” successful UK entrepreneurs Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole leverage plenty of interviews to dive into the nitty gritty details of every step of the business development process.
What Readers Say: “Great book, full of insight!” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Stephen R. Covey
What it’s About: We all have personal and professional problems that we need to overcome. In his wildly popular book, the late Stephen Covey shares insights into what it takes to roll with the punches—and ultimately use those punches as opportunities for improvement.
What Readers Say: “Difficult to put into words how influential this book has been for me. It has changed how I view my reality. It has given me hindsight that made me feel as though I was time traveling backwards, living my life twice, revisiting old memories, seeing my old self respond and react to situations in ways that now, after reading this book, I could never imagine doing again. If you are wondering if this book will actually change your life, IT WILL. You just have to be courageous enough to be proactive!” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Steve Blank
What it’s About: When it comes to business books, many people are quick to say that this is the one you need to read if you’re thinking of launching your own business. This book will empower you with the strategies and real-life examples you need to tackle your new project with confidence and an effective plan—rather than diving in blind.
What Readers Say: “An absolutely excellent book. A bible really for B2B SaaS CEOs and entrepreneurs. Blank does a great job of laying out a playbook for new ventures. No matter if you are launching a new market, disrupting an old one, or niche market player, there is gold in here. Read it. I plan to add to my permanent library.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Chris Guillebeau
What it’s About: If it’s inspiring stories you’re after, this book is well worth a read. In researching for this book, Guillebeau identified 1,500 different people who used a small investment in order to build their own successful businesses and lives that they loved. This book centers on 50 of the most interesting and unique of those many real stories.
What Readers Say: “I learned so much from this book and found myself re-inspired to start my business. There are many real life stories from all types of business owners. The inspiring stories coupled with the incredible depth of information throughout the book make this book my top business book purchase to date.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Gary Vaynerchuk
What it’s About: Unapologetically honest and authentic entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk, knows a thing or two about building a vibrant personal brand. Within his new book, he breaks down each of the social media platforms and provides directions for how you can leverage each for your own personal brand. If social media is one of those things that makes your head spin, Vaynerchuk’s strategies are just what you need.
What Readers Say: “This is one of the best books that I have ever read. Gary Vaynerchuk shows that the door to success is open and that the opportunities are endless. In this book you will find inspiring stories of people that came from nothing and created business empires, you will also find those who were miserable successes and were able to change the status-quo and create lives built around the things that matter to them the most. After reading ‘Crushing It’ I am inspired to go and DO in a way that I have never been before. Buy this book and read it with a highlighter in your hand, then reread it again and again because the lessons are timeless and the stories will always be inspiring.” – Amazon Reviewer
11. The Million-Dollar One-Person Business: Make Great Money, Work the Way You Like, Have the Life You Want
Who Wrote it: Elaine Pofeldt
What it’s About: It seems like more and more successful, one-person businesses have cropped up in recent years. Elaine Pofeldt draws insights from some of these businesses to dish out advice on how entrepreneurs can launch and grow their own successful ventures and create lives that they love.
What Readers Say: “Too many books on business try to shoehorn you into the massive enterprise idea. Built on the idea that everyone wants to have a huge company. In this book, Pofeldt turns that logic on its head. Focusing on one person businesses that are making over $1 million a year. As a solopreneur with a SaaS business I found this book both instructive and inspirational. While I’m not yet at that threshold, this book has given me some great ideas to pursue and the motivation to make it happen. Highly recommended.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Ryan Paugh and Scott Douglas Gerber
What it’s About: Let’s face it—networking is hard. And, all too often, your efforts end in superficial relationships that don’t really get you anywhere. In their book, Ryan Paugh and Scott Douglas Gerber encourage you to ditch that tired old networking mentality and share instructive anecdotes to help you build a web of contacts who can actually contribute to your professional success.
What Readers Say: “Unfortunately the majority of the books in the business relationship space are either so high level that they’re not actionable, or so tactical that it’s “icky”. I’m so glad Ryan and Scott invested the time to write this book… There’s a saying that the wisest investment is wisdom, and SUPERCONNECTOR is full of it. If you want to grow, nurture and amplify your business relationships, this is the book to read.” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Rajat Bhargava and Will Herman
What it’s About: It’s no secret that most startups fail. Rajat Bhargava and Will Herman use their combined years of experience to dish out the advice and insights you need to prevent your business from becoming just another statistic. If you’re looking for really actionable tactics, you’re sure to be pleased with this read.
What Readers Say: “I’m a serial entrepreneur myself and found many advice and stories resonate well with what I have experienced in the past 17+ years in starting up companies. It’s a book of experienced entrepreneurs (and venture investors) sharing their perspectives and what it takes to drive startup successes (building team, raising money, and executing). Not just sharing step-by-step insights, but also examples of mistakes and advice along the way which are super valuable. Surrounding oneself with best people and advisors (including this book) is the best advice…” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Kerry Patterson
What it’s About: Communication can be challenging—particularly when stakes are high, opinions are firm, or emotions are strong. Kerry Patterson’s book is a definitive guide to being an effective communicator, even when the circumstances aren’t ideal.
What Readers Say: “I found this book to be hugely helpful. The author’s methodology for dealing with an awkward conversation seems to be well-researched. I had been broaching an issue for months with someone to no avail; when I followed the advice given in this book, we had an open conversation that led to immediate understanding and action. The book is very clearly structured and written, with lots of inspiring and clear examples. Looking forward to rereading it and internalising the principles even further!” – Amazon Reviewer
Who Wrote it: Numerous Contributors
What it’s About: If you’re feeling burnt out, overworked, and overwhelmed, this book is the companion you’ve been searching for. Packed with insights from 20 leading creative minds, you’ll learn how to manage the ever-increasing demands of today’s “always on” workplace (while maintaining your own sanity).
What Readers Say: “This is the most valuable of the books I’ve read on managing one’s day and being more productive. I had been trying for years to organize my day and my week to get more writing in. Before I was halfway through reading Manage Your Day-To-Day, I had come up with a new schedule that worked.” – Amazon Reviewer
Ready to Start Reading?
There you have it—15 value-packed business books for entrepreneurs that are more than worthy of a spot on your own reading list.
The only thing left to do? Start reading (and learning)!