10 Essential Business Books For Every Young Entrepreneur
I read books. And great books. Reading great business books and other inspiring books and applying the key lessons contained in them has completely changed my life and my thinking. As I look back to where I am coming from and where I am, I feel great because, some of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve ever experienced started because of my commitment to reading great books.
In my studies of successful individuals and business leaders all over the world, one major characteristic tying them together is their passion for reading. They read because they understand it’s one of the most trusted ways to expand the mind and gain an incredible amount of valuable insight and knowledge.
Bill Gates reads 50 books a year, Warren Buffet estimates that 80 percent of his day is spent reading, Mark Cuban reads more than three hours a day, and Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks. Success leaves clues and it’s not a coincidence that some of the wealthiest and most successful people who’ve ever graced the face of this earth are avid readers.
Even if you are running your own business or living your own life, sometimes it’s hard to succeed alone without seeking advice from experts. And the best way to do this is through books.
I’ve compiled my list of the 10 “must-read” business books to help you get started.
#1. Meditations — Marcus Aurelius
I read this book over and over again. “Meditations” is a compilation of personal writings from the ancient philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ life. It is his interpretation of Stoic philosophy, focusing on accepting things out of your control and maintaining mastery over your emotions.
#2. The Innovator’s Dilemma — Clayton Christensen
According to Steve Blank, who teaches at UC Berkeley, writes in praise of Clayton book: “Why do large companies seem and act like dinosaurs? Christensen finally was able to diagnose why and propose solutions. Entrepreneurs should read these books as “how to books” to beat large companies in their own markets.”
Also, Chris Dixon, an investor at Andreessen Horowitz, notes: “The Innovator’s Dilemma” popularized the (often misused) phrase “disruptive technology,” but there’s a lot more than that one big idea. Great insights into the “dynamics” (changes over time) of markets.
#3. Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield & Shawn Coyne
This books takes all the excuses that business owners use and turns them inside out. It examines the real difference between what it means to be an amateur versus a pro when it comes to business and is always something I go back as a reminder of when I’m not being a pro.
#4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini
Influence digs deep into the psychology of what makes people say “yes”. It also include six universal principles and how to use them to become a skilled persuader. If you do any type of writing, or selling, you need to read this classic.
#5. The Thank You Economy – Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vee understands that the with the vast array of social media platforms available and consumers having near limitless options, a business success is going to be determined by its ability to connect with potential clients. He explains the benefit of not only embracing the social media phenomenon, but also understanding it fully. This is a bit of an older book, but definitely still worth a read.
#6. Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne
Blue Ocean Strategy flips the script and suggests that instead of fighting the competitors for space in an already tight marketplace business owners should be working to carve out a whole new space for themselves. If you’ve ever felt that there’s too much competition or that you can’t stand out, this book will challenge you to re-think that entirely and push you to be innovative.
#7. Sacred Success – Barbara Stanny
Sacred Success is a roadmap for taking charge of your life by taking charge of your money. Stanny makes a compelling case that you can see financial success without compromising on your personal values, and that wealth can be created by staying true to who you really are. If you’re struggling with your money and your money mindset this is a great place to start.
#8. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
We all know habits are inevitable. The human brain craves habits to avoid decision making and to be able to function on autopilot.The book looks at how the one thing that distinguishes the successful from the unsuccessful is whether we control the habit or the habit controls us. Super applicable in understanding our own habits and that of our customers.
#9. The War of Art – Steven Pressfield & Shawn Coyne
Procrastination. The nemesis of every business owner. The War of Art looks at the things that hold us back, why procrastinating can be detrimental to our long term success and how to overcome creative blocks. I read this a few years back and it helped me stop making excuses and put my “art” first.
#10. Secrets of the Streets — Teju Babyface Oyelakin
Filled with personal success stories and practical secrets for breaking forth, Teju decided to keep his language plain in other to allow readers get his points and utilize them effectively. The book will help you start making changes to your life and your thought process. This is not a light read but it’s smart and engaging if you’re trying to carve out your niche.
What business books would you add to this list? Share with us in the comments below as we’re always looking for a fresh new read!
I am the Founder and President of Young Leaders Arena. Formerly I was the Chief Editor and program co-ordinator at Walktall. Author of the upcoming Book; Success Recipe: Start up Tool-kit for exceptional business growth. I have written numerous articles on both leadership, business start up, entrepreneurship. I have served as thought leader in many societies and organisations, including the Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I obtained my post graduate from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I also have a Bachelors from the Delta State University, Abraka. Twitter & Instagram: @Charlessholokwu