The Best Books for Entrepreneurship:
This is a continually updated recommended reading list for entrepreneurs. These are not the ‘best books’ available, but are simply books that members of our Mastermind group have found useful in their separate journeys. Also not a book, but a great tip for entrepreneurs is to use some promo codes when booking any business travel. Yes, it’s a business expense and therefore a write-off, but it’s still a good idea to save some dollars wherever you can.
Each of these books will have a little blurb by the Entrepreneur who endorsed it, as well as a quick explanation of why they found it useful.
The Four-Hour Workweek: Tim Ferriss
It’s a classic for a reason. If you’re looking to start a new business, no matter what type of business it is, you can learn something from Tim Ferriss’ lessons. Even if you aren’t trying to make a business that lets you work from a laptop on a beach somewhere (although that sounds nice!), Ferriss’ philosophies about doing the 20% of work that makes 80% of the difference can help anyone make their work more efficient.
Valuing your time as an entrepreneur is one of the most valuable things you can do.
Zero to One By: Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel taught a course on entrepreneurship. This book is essentially his lectures distilled into a useful guidebook. And by ‘distilled’, we mean that it’s chock full of useful information on every page. Instead of the day-to-day managing of a startup, this book focuses on the essentials that take a regular company from mildly successful to world-changing. Instead of making an undifferentiated commodity business, Thiel argues, creating your own category means you can define success in that category. Think of something like Apple’s iPad. The tablet market was essentially created because of the tablet. Every product that entered the market after Apple needed to differentiate itself in some way to justify its existence.
(Note: That’s our thought about the iPad in the paragraph above, not Peter Thiel’s).
The War of Art: Steven Pressfield
While not specifically for business, the War of Art is essentially a way of thinking. The War of Art was written with artists and writers in mind. Essentially the argument boils down to this: there’s activities that we intend to do: the things you know you should do that grow your soul and feed your mind: writing a book, learning a new skill, exercising, etc.
Every time you try to do these things, you encounter a force that Pressfield calls ‘Resistance’. Resistance wants to keep you from doing these activities. Resistance will use everything it can think of to convince/trick you into doing things that don’t make you grow (i.e. playing video games, or work on something that doesn’t make much difference).
For entrepreneurs, this book is the antidote to procrastination and fear. It identifies all those excuses you tell yourself, and encourages you to be honest with yourself about what’s really important. It’s sobering, it’s necessary. And you’re not alone.
The Compound Effect: Darren Hardy
The man who reinvigorated Success Magazine has written a great book all about something we can all do to radically transform our lives for the better (or worse): the compound effect. What is it? Essentially it involves taking an action each day (without breaking), and allowing the compound effect of that daily activity to add up and transform your life in some way. Working out with weights each day will add up to massive changes over a few months, and so will other activities like reading educational books, expressing love to your loved ones, and eating fewer calories. The principle can also add up to disastrous results the other way: eating more calories each day, avoiding a problem, and other activities can destroy your life if you don’t realize the power of the compound effect to make bad problems worse.
Hardy is an impatient writer: his passion is success, and if you want to whine to him, he doesn’t have time for you. When you’re ready to stand up and change your life, he’ll be there with the tools to help you.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook! – By: Gary Vaynerchuck
Chad: This is the most current and cutting edge book on social media marketing that exists today. Social media is one of the most influential advertising mediums that have ever existed, and yet most established companies don’t know how to utilize them! That’s where knowing your stuff can help you get a jump on your competition.
Gary goes into each social media platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and shows you how to cater your brand’s message to that particular medium. Most companies have one image, or message, that they plaster on all their social media accounts…and then wonder why no one is engaging with them! The other great thing about social media? It’s free!
Persuasion: By Arlene Dickinson
Kevin: I always found Arlene to be the most grounded of all the ‘dragons’ in Dragon’s Den. What’s interesting about her book is she looks back on her career and starts to realize what helped her to be successful at key times in her life. As we all know, our success or failure in life tends to boil down to how we acted in a few key moments in our lives. Did you say the right thing in that meeting? Did you decide to send out that one email that would have changed your life forever? Arlene’s book is a great reminder to try and be as ready as you can for these moments. And that it’s not random: you can influence these important moments in your life.
Steve Jobs: A Biography by Walter Isaacson
Chad: In the late 90’s and early 00’s I was a huge Mac fan. But after Steve Jobs started to become a tech dictator, I went off him and started using open source whenever I could. Despite by mixed feelings on the guy, Jobs is someone that all entrepreneurs should be aware of: he’s one individual who refused to play by the rules and had a huge hand in shaping the world we live in today. There were cell phones, video chat, and portable computers long before Jobs’ iPhone arrived on the scene in 2007, but that device is credited with kickstarting this massive smartphone era. It’s a lesson in how the world works: there’s a lot more that goes in to mass adoption of a new technology than it simply being ‘new’.
There you have it! We’ll keep adding new recommendations as our group finish up their respective Kindle’s reading lists!