Not everyone is built to be an entrepreneur. It's tough work. It requires an obscene amount of persistence, patience, and  drive. It means enduring a lot of "No" just to get to a single "Yes." And it means relying on yourself more than you can rely on anyone else.

But that is not to say you can't be entrepreneurial. In fact, being entrepreneurial in spirit, whether that is in the workplace or with your own hobbies, is exceedingly important. 

Here are some of my favorite books when it comes to thinking on your own two feet, and being willing to dig into the tough work to get done what needs to get done:

1. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

The king of entrepreneurship, Gary is a role model for what it means to truly be a purebred entrepreneur. Crush It is essentially a monologue of inspiration combined with actionable advice. His mantra? "Work. Work really hard. Effort is underestimated."

2. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

I live by this rule: Never eat alone. Everybody has to eat, so why not make the best use of your time and share a meal with someone from whom you can learn? 

Never Eat Alone is a book on interpersonal connections and how to build your network in a way that doesn't feel like you're, you know, building your network. It's about forging real relationships and making people feel comfortable doing business with you.

3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

One of the biggest mistakes young entrepreneurs make is to create their ideas in a vacuum. They spend weeks, months, even years on one idea, waiting for a "grand reveal" to the public--only to launch and realize they missed the mark entirely.

The Lean Startup suggests an iterative approach to business. Test your market and your audience as you go along, instead of saving the "grand reveal" for the very end. This will help you avoid falling flat on your face. You can learn as you go instead.

4. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

Who better to share the entrepreneurial spirit than one of the greatest to ever walk the path? Richard Branson is a playboy in every sense of the word--often times prioritizing "playing" over everything. His greatest successes, after all, did not come from hours of focus groups or deep market research. They came from a spirited approach for getting in the trenches, looking around, and emerging with an idea that just makes sense.

Losing My Virginity is less about actionable advice and more about inspiring you to take great leaps of faith.

5. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

And finally, one of the great thought leaders in advertising, marketing, and innovation. Seth Godin's Purple Cow is a reminder that everything we do should be, in some way, remarkable.

Everyone has seen a cow. But a purple cow is different. The great companies, individuals, and messages of our time are what Seth calls "purple cows." They stand out. They force you to take notice.

And that is a powerful thing to have in a world of saturated messaging.

 

Published on: Apr 28, 2016
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