The 10 Best Books On Starting A Business That Every Entrepreneur Needs To Read

Embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship? Instead of relying solely on YouTube videos or Netflix documentaries, consider the timeless wisdom found in business startup books.
The 10 Best Books On Starting A Business | Amwork

While eBooks and audiobooks have their merits, there's a unique magic in the tactile experience of flipping through pages filled with ink and wisdom.

Amidst the multitude of options, we've curated a list of 10 transformative business startup books. These aren't just meant for your bookshelf or desk—they belong in your hands, their words etching their way into your mind. Remember, the true value comes not just from the purchase but from the time invested in reading and applying the principles they offer.

So, whip up a mug of hot cocoa, find comfort next to your space heater and furry friend, and dive into these books that promise to reshape your approach to starting and scaling your startup. From day-to-day management techniques to virality-boosting strategies, mindset shifts, and discovering your life's purpose, this list covers a spectrum of insights to guide your entrepreneurial journey.

Move Beyond Reading

Reading is a valuable activity, but the true depth of understanding comes through active study. Consider this: in a day filled with emails, articles, tweets, texts, and various other content, how much do you truly retain? The deluge of information makes it challenging for our brains to sift through and retain key insights.

This is where the power of studying comes into play.

Studying involves focused attention, note-taking, commitment, and actionable steps. It goes beyond the passive act of reading and requires a dedicated environment for optimal absorption of knowledge. Unlike reading, studying demands more than a casual glance, making it impractical to undertake while lying in bed at the end of a long day.

If you've committed to reading these business startup books, maximize your investment by transforming it into a study session. Set up a quiet, distraction-free space conducive to focused learning. After each chapter, engage actively by taking detailed notes and highlighting key takeaways. Most importantly, translate your newfound knowledge into actionable plans written down, don't just mentally note how you intend to apply these insights.

Make the shift from passive consumption to active engagement, and watch as your understanding of these valuable business insights deepens, paving the way for meaningful application in your entrepreneurial journey.

The 10 Essential Business Startup Books Every Entrepreneur Should Embrace

In the vast sea of business literature, we've distilled the recommendations to a concise list of 10 books essential for any entrepreneur. While reading and studying are valuable, they should complement the hands-on work of building your business. It's a cycle of study, application, building, and repetition, with the crucial addition of occasional relaxation and enjoyment.

Here are the top 10 business startup books that offer valuable insights, guidance, and inspiration for your entrepreneurial journey:

1. Born to Shine by Kendra Scott

In 'Born to Shine,' Kendra Scott unveils her entrepreneurial journey that began with the failure of her initial business venture. Faced with a setback, she pivoted by selling handmade jewelry door-to-door as a side hustle. Overcoming personal struggles, economic downturns, and rejections, Scott transformed her enterprise into Kendra Scott Jewelry—a billion-dollar business with 100 retail locations nationwide.

Scott's memoir is a compelling narrative filled with leadership lessons derived from both her triumphs and setbacks. Beyond the business realm, the book offers tools for cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, making it relevant not only for business owners but also for individuals undergoing life transitions.

The overarching theme emphasizes the power in embracing flaws and failures. Scott contends that these experiences contribute to one's uniqueness and strength. As an entrepreneur, business leader, and individual, finding empowerment through challenges becomes a guiding principle. The journey from 'no' to 'yes' becomes a testament to the pursuit of joy and the realization that every individual is destined for something extraordinary.

2. Born to Shine by Kendra Scott

In 'Made to Stick,' the Heath brothers Chip and Dan delve into the art of crafting ideas that leave a lasting impression. The book explores the reasons behind the memorability of iconic speeches like Kennedy's moon mission address and the seamless association of “Just Do It” with Nike, connecting with individuals across generations.

The Heath brothers outline six essential characteristics that contribute to the stickiness of a message:

  • Simple

  • Unexpected

  • Credible

  • Concrete

  • Emotional

  • Story

At the core of successful businesses, from Apple to IKEA to Patagonia, lies effective storytelling. 'Made to Stick' not only identifies these essential elements but also provides actionable insights to make any message more memorable. Whether applied to an 'About Us' page or casual Slack conversations, the principles from this book have the potential to transform your communication strategy, leaving a lasting impact.

3. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman's 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' offers an engaging exploration of human thought processes. Beyond being an insightful study of human nature, the concepts in this book provide valuable insights into understanding not only your own humanity but also gaining a deeper understanding of your potential customers.

Kahneman skillfully translates complex knowledge and logic into a captivating narrative, ensuring that readers don't feel like they are navigating a typical business startup book. The book serves as a bridge between understanding the intricacies of human thinking and applying that knowledge to enhance your interactions with customers.

As a resource for entrepreneurs, 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' becomes a tool to uncover the reasons behind the success or failure of copywriting tactics and marketing strategies. By delving into the psychology of decision-making, Kahneman's work equips you with the understanding needed to refine and optimize your approaches for more effective business outcomes.

4. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Despite its clickbaity title, 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferriss offers substantial and actionable content. Ferriss provides a roadmap for working less, earning more, and crafting the life you desire, challenging the conventional notion of trading time for success.

For entrepreneurs seeking financial prosperity or desiring increased everyday freedom, Ferriss shares a wealth of hacks and tools to optimize productivity.

  • Automation: Learn how to automate your business, allowing it to operate seamlessly even when you're not actively engaged.

  • Outsourcing: Discover affordable outsourcing strategies to delegate routine tasks, freeing up valuable time for essential endeavors.

  • Eliminating Busy Work: Focus on what truly matters by eliminating unnecessary tasks and streamlining your workflow.

  • Mini-Retirements: Challenge the traditional concept of waiting for retirement and instead explore the possibility of taking 'mini-retirements' throughout life.

  • Work-Life Balance: Ferriss provides real-world templates for negotiating, reducing meetings, and achieving the work-life balance you aspire to.

Contrary to the prevailing 'hustle' mentality, Ferriss advocates for efficiency and effectiveness over sheer volume of work. He challenges the belief that success requires sacrificing sleep and social lives, offering a refreshing perspective that doing less can lead to accomplishing more in your entrepreneurial journey.

5. Winners Never Cheat by Jon Huntsman

In 'Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times,' Jon Huntsman champions the idea that integrity is not only compatible with success but essential for it. In the challenging landscape of entrepreneurship, where opportunities to compromise values may arise, Huntsman advocates for a higher standard of conduct.

The book addresses the temptation to lie, steal, cut corners, or cheat in the pursuit of success, highlighting that such tactics might yield short-term gains but carry long-term consequences. Huntsman encourages entrepreneurs to embrace a life filled with courage and integrity, emphasizing the importance of ethical decision-making even in difficult circumstances.

'Winners Never Cheat' advocates for a business world where integrity is not a compromise but a fundamental aspect of success, contributing to a better world for employees, shareholders, customers, and communities alike.”

6. Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

In an unexpected addition to the list, 'Before & Laughter' by Jimmy Carr stands out among the typical startup business reads. More than a standard biography, Carr's book delves into the pursuit of happiness, weaving together his life story with the perspectives and beliefs he has cultivated over time.

Carr's approach transcends the boundaries of a traditional comedian's memoir, offering insights that resonate with a broad audience. The book's popularity is evident, with Carr's appearance on Stephen Bartlett's 'Diary of a CEO' becoming one of the most-watched and unwatched episodes.

While not a typical business book, Carr's work resonates with a diverse audience, offering a refreshing perspective on life and happiness that goes beyond the conventional bounds of startup literature.”

7. DotCom Secrets by Russel Brunson

In 'DotCom Secrets,' Russel Brunson addresses the common challenge faced by even the best brands—generating sufficient traffic and optimizing conversion rates. Brunson's insights and information provide a roadmap for taking your brand to the next level, making this a must-read for startups, especially those establishing an eCommerce presence.

While the book was first published in 2015, its enduring relevance lies in the foundational skills and techniques it imparts. For entrepreneurs navigating the complexities of online business, 'DotCom Secrets' offers actionable strategies to enhance traffic generation and improve conversion rates.

'DotCom Secrets' serves as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the digital landscape and elevate their brand's online presence, offering practical guidance for success in the ever-evolving world of eCommerce.”

8. Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post Media Group, challenges the conventional definition of success in 'Thrive.' Recognized as one of the world's most influential women, Huffington argues that the pursuit of money and power, often at the expense of health and well-being, is a flawed paradigm.

The book advocates for a holistic approach to success, introducing the concept of a 'third metric thrive. Thrive encompasses well-being, a sense of wonder, and compassion, providing a more balanced and fulfilling perspective on achievement. Serves as a guide for entrepreneurs to reassess their priorities, offering insights into achieving a more meaningful and sustainable form of success that goes beyond financial and professional achievements.

9. The Psychology of Wealth

Lauded as 'one of the best and most original finance books in years' by The Wall Street Journal, 'The Psychology of Wealth' is a crucial read for entrepreneurs navigating the unpredictable landscape of financial success and failure. As entrepreneurs embark on their journeys, the potential for both substantial earnings and significant setbacks escalates. This book serves as a guide to maintaining a healthy perspective on money, offering insights to help secure funds for unforeseen circumstances, avoid overspending, and cultivate a balanced view of profits and revenue.

For entrepreneurs who may identify as 'workaholics,' 'The Psychology of Wealth' offers essential guidance to ensure a balanced and prudent approach to financial success.

10. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

No list of business startup books is complete without 'The Lean Startup' by Eric Ries. Recognizing that most startups face the risk of failure, Ries offers a blueprint for building a company designed for lasting success.

  • Rapid Testing and Validation: Learn how to quickly test and validate ideas to ensure they align with market needs and preferences.

  • Adaptability: Embrace adaptability and make adjustments early on to avoid potential pitfalls before they become insurmountable.

  • Progress Measurement: Shift focus from vanity metrics to measurable progress, enabling a data-driven approach to success.

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Understand what customers really want by observing their actions rather than relying solely on their verbal feedback.

  • Nimbleness and Agility: Foster a nimble and agile startup culture, allowing for flexibility and responsiveness to evolving market conditions.

'The Lean Startup' provides practical insights and a scientific approach to building a startup, offering entrepreneurs a strategic framework to increase the likelihood of success while minimizing risks and wasted resources.”

Business Startup Books FAQs

Are business startup books worth reading?

Absolutely. Despite the fast-paced nature of information consumption, taking the time to delve into the stories and insights shared by successful entrepreneurs is immensely valuable. Many accomplished individuals emphasize that reading is a highly effective way to learn.

Are all business startup books alike?

No, they vary significantly. The abundance of self-publishing opportunities has led to a diverse range of business books, each offering unique perspectives and insights. While this variety allows for more access to ideas, it also requires careful selection to find books that align with your specific needs and goals.

How do you know if a business startup book is worth reading?

Consider the 50-page rule: if you haven't gained valuable insights within the first 50 pages, the rest of the book may not be worth your time. Additionally, listening to podcasts featuring entrepreneurs discussing their books can provide a preview of the content and help you determine if it aligns with your interests and learning objectives. In podcasts, authors often share ideas from their books.

Oliver Grand

Oliver Grand


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