Long before I ever took the plunge into entrepreneurship, folks were always telling me to start my own business - but I was too chicken. No one in my family is an entrepreneur, I hadn't gone to school for business, I was afraid of failure, and though the idea was enticing, I just didn't feel ready to make a leap of faith. It was around that time that I discovered the joys of business audiobooks. I'd drive to my job everyday simply eating books (when your commute is 2-3 hours each day, you can get through quite a lot of material if someone else is reading it to you!). I'd also pore over business media, reading stories of successful entrepreneurs and everything they went though before they "made it."
Some months later, I felt empowered by everything I had learned and finally threw caution to the wind; I started my own business and never looked back. I'm really grateful to so many entrepreneurs (who I've never met!) that contributed to my development by sharing their personal stories and expertise.
In my opinion, reading is one of the best practices you can have as an entrepreneur. It's a cheap and effective education! Being an avid reader will help you on the path to being the best version of yourself and may help your creative problem solving ability.
Here are five titles that you might want to add to your collection (if you haven't already):
1. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George and Peter Sims
True North helps the entrepreneur discover his/her own unique leadership ability, as it focuses on helping readers create values, visions and motivations to apply to their professional endeavors. The book has interviews from 125 of the top leaders from around the globe, delivering varying perspectives on being a great entrepreneurial leader.
2. The Art of the Start: The Time Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki
This book has a pretty broad subject matter, claiming to be a guide to help "anyone" start "anything," but many people find this to be true. The Art of the Start is filled with nuggets of valuable information on how to take the leap and get started with your business, no matter what it is you are looking to accomplish. This book was born out of the mind of a former Apple marketing executive and discusses everything from getting your first company off the ground to giving a strong presentation, using his 10-20-30 rule.
3. Hustle: The Power to Change Your Life With Money, Meaning and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler
This book delivers an easy-to-follow, well-organized format designed to help individuals change their life with "money, meaning, and momentum." Hustle features insights from three effective, unique entrepreneurs and consultants. These voices give the work an interesting perspective from its three very distinct voices.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This is a title that has been around for decades, but it is quite relevant. The book has the subtitle "the only book you need to lead you to success," and many of its fans believe this. The book focuses on how to win people over by communicating and interacting with them in a meaningful way. It isn't just a great tool for winning "friends" but for having good relationships with everyone from investors, to partners and employees.
5. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
The 4-Hour Workweek teaches you about getting out of the 9-5 mindset, which is helpful for entrepreneurs. This book features a step-by-step process that can help people automate their own income and start doing things they are actually passionate about. Even if you don't follow his guide for automation, this book may help you get in the mindset of abandoning the "9-5" thinking and to start thinking like an entrepreneur who is doing what they love.
Today's most successful entrepreneurs know that reading is one of the best things that they can do in order to thrive in today's difficult market. What other titles would you add to the list?