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10 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs

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You may have heard the phrase, “beg, borrow, steal,” and while we aren’t telling you to do those literally, as a growing entrepreneur, you should act like a sponge trying to absorb as much as you can before you start your first small business. But continually learning isn’t just reserved for new business owners. Even those that have found success keep reading as a part of their daily lives.

Warren Buffett claimed he spent most of his time at work reading. Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft, says he’s been reading one book a week since he was young. To start and grow a healthy, thriving small business, you need to make books a regular part of your diet. Luckily, many of the most successful business owners have written books for entrepreneurs detailing their successes and failures. Here are 10 must-read books for entrepreneurs:

Ready to Soar: Turn Your Idea Into A Business, by Naomi Simson

If you’re just starting a business or even thinking about it, this should be on your short list of books that entrepreneurs must read. Simson shows you the pitfalls that many new business owners encounter and how to avoid them. She’ll guide you along as you formulate your ideas and write a business plan for success. And really, who better to learn from then a woman that worked her way up the ladder at enterprise businesses like IBM and Apple Computer, and eventually formed her own holding company, Big Red Group.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

Chances are you’ll find this on just about every enterprise and small business owner’s shelf of business books for entrepreneurs. With over 25 million copies sold in 40 languages, this one is considered a classic and one of the best motivational books for entrepreneurs. Author Stephen R. Covey outlines a habit-based approach for finding and sticking to your “true north” in order to attain your goals.

The Effortless Experience, by Matthew Dixon

If you’re in the service industry, then put this on top of your stack of must-read books for entrepreneurs. The Effortless Experience lays out the four pillars of an effortless customer experience, backed by data, insights, and customer profiles. Dixon gives you the templates to improve service, reduce costs, and generate one of the most important commodities in the service industry—customer loyalty.

Strategize to Win, by Carla A. Harris

Harvard University grad and vice chairman and managing director of Morgan Stanley, Carla Harris gives her tricks of the trade in one of the best motivational books for entrepreneurs. Geared towards those just starting in their careers, Harris offers her tips and strategies to get you unstuck and back on track towards success, leadership habits worth cultivating, and how to take social cues in the business world.

How To Be Fcking Awesome*, by Dan Meredith

The title alone should tell you that this isn’t one of your typical books for entrepreneurs. Dan Meredith has made a name for himself as a copywriter, life coach, and entrepreneur in a matter of months after deciding to give himself a firm kick in the bum. His book is a gloves-off, no-nonsense guide for those looking to take control of their lives. Meredith explains how to be responsible for your own awesomeness, climb the career ladder, and be truly fulfilled in his refreshingly uncensored style.

The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Juicy Bits, by Janine Allis

Don’t think you have what it takes? Then add this to your list of must-read books for entrepreneurs. Janine Allis shares the secrets and skills that took her from housewife to entrepreneur to head of Boost Juice, a multinational corporation. Allis will walk you through the steps she took to infuse her brand with her own philosophy and how it won over her customers. She details the effect her career has on her personal and family life, and how without a supporting family, it may have turned out quite differently.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink

This book for entrepreneurs asks you to forget everything you thought about motivating people at work, at school, and at home. Pink will detail something you probably already knew but never confronted: that the secret to high performance and work satisfaction is the need to direct your own life. Along the way, Pink takes us to companies that are establishing novel approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are charging in a bold new direction.

Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek

British/American Simon Sinek has a host of bestsellers under his belt, each aiming to help people understand how their way of communicating, thinking, and doing can be improved to give them their desired results. This popular recommendation on many must-read books for entrepreneurs explores the world of leadership and how managers, directors, and the individual members of their team should sacrifice self-interest and adjust their way of thinking to achieve overall success.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

Why does one company endure while another one fails? What things can you infuse into your company’s ethos from day one that will help you build a lasting business? Jim Collins and his research team set off to find out. Over five years, they studied 28 companies, pouring over data and interviews to identify the key determinants of success and failure. New to the business or a seasoned veteran, this one of those books for entrepreneurs that should live on your shelf.

Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon

Filled with advice and based on student interviews, Kleon’s casual yet insightful book is filled with a list of ten things he wished he’d heard when he was younger. Brief, unapologetically direct, and visually stimulating, the book includes inciteful anecdotes and mini-exercise sections that readers can take to unleash their own creative spirits. The perfect carefree mate to join your other more buttoned up must-read books for entrepreneurs.