Entrepreneurship is anything but pretty. It's anything but an idea of a cool lifestyle that most want to lead.
Entrepreneurship is hard. It takes years of patience and toil to get a taste of success. Yet, this is one of the most exciting times to start your own business.
Startups are defining a better user experience across industries and innovating at a much faster pace than ever before. Many startups are joining the billion-dollar club much quicker than the ones that had launched in decades prior to the last.
So, if you're wanting to have a go at it or are already down the path, here are some of the most invigorating reads that will not only show you a direction, but give you ideas and inspiration for every stage of your journey.
Every company starts with the founder toying with the idea of starting a business. If you're at the stage where you're not sold on an idea yet, but have the willingness and the desire to start a business, these should be your reads.
Best known for his rapid-learning techniques, Tim Ferriss' books - The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef - have been published in 30+ languages. The 4-Hour Workweek has spent seven years on The New York Times bestseller list. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
In its original form, The Art of the Start was the de-facto standard for learning how to start a company. The new version is 64% longer and features Guy Kawasaki's latest insights and practical advice about social media, crowdfunding, cloud computing, and many other topics.
Now that you've gone past the entrepreneurial spark and decided on the starting point of your journey, these books will help clarify what's ahead, what to expect and how do you take the idea forward.
3. Zero to One
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, the Number 1 New York Times Bestseller, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
Eric Ries' book has been a New York Times bestseller and the Lean Startup methodology has been written about in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Inc. (where he appeared on the cover), Wired, Fast Company, and countless blogs. The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it's too late.
If you get past the idea stage to be able to build a product, this would be one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences. End of the day, you'd learn something from failure or success. The following books will help you build a better product.
Hooked is based on Nir Eyal's years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder--not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.
The Startup Owner's Manual guides you, step-by-step, as you put the Customer Development process to work. This method was created by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank, acknowledged catalyst of the "Lean Startup" movement, and tested and refined by him for more than a decade. This 608-page how-to guide includes over 100 charts, graphs, and diagrams, plus 77 valuable checklists that guide you as you drive your company toward profitability.
Even if you've got a great product, but no one hears about it, there's very little chance that it will ever be successful. The following books will help you get the early traction that your products deserve and help you grow your company.
Traction, a book by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares,will teach you the nineteen channels you can use to build a customer base, and how to pick the right ones for your business. It draws on inter-views with more than forty successful founders, including Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (reddit), Paul English (Kayak), and Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot).
Inbound Marketing, a book by HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, is a comprehensive guide to increasing online visibility and engagement. The book contains the latest information about customer behavior and preferred digital experiences. From the latest insights on lead nurturing and visual marketing to advice on producing remarkable content by building tools, readers will gain the information they need to transform their marketing online.