16 Books to Read to Kickstart Your Entrepreneurial Life

16 Books to Read to Kickstart Your Entrepreneurial Life

Want to know the secret in becoming a successful entrepreneur? Invest in yourself. And is there any better way to invest in yourself then by reading an inspiring book that is full of advice and lessons?

The thing is, there thousands of books that would make excellent additions to your bookshelf, but here are 16 books that can kickstart your entrepreneurial life in first place.

1. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Author Chris Guillebeau examines 50 successful businesses that were launched for $100 or less to discover how much it really takes to start a business and how each founder spent their first couple of months in operation. Ultimately, this New York Times bestseller can be used a guide to determine how other people can pay for your expertise.

2. Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money and Community in a Changing World by Dev Aujla and Bill Parish

Can you make money and change the world at the same time? Of course there is. And, that’s why all entrepreneurs strive to accomplish. Backed by real-life stories, this books provides a step-by-step guide on how to help people, while still achieving financial freedom.

3. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

This is arguably one of the greatest and revolutionary books ever written about starting your own business. Reis champions the ‘lean startup,’ which means launching when you have a "minimal viable product" (MVP), as opposed to waiting for everything to be perfect. By doing so you can test ideas and validate your business before investing too much into it.

4. Mastery by Robert Greene

What’s the secret to success? After years of research, Robert Greene determines that it involves being an apprentice, learning from a mentor, and practicing focus. When you do, you’ll become a master in your field, like Einstein, da Vinci, and Paul Graham.

5. School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper and Leaving a Legacy by Lewis Howes

Author Lewis Howes, who is also an entrepreneur coach, founder, host of the podcast the School of Greatness, and an athlete, makes the case for “changing your lifestyle to match your goals,” despite the world of distractions around you through a series of actionable steps and behavior.

6. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson

This is probably one of the most inspiring books that entrepreneurs can read. It focuses mainly on self-made individuals who were are driven to do something extraordinary by examining the so-called ‘maker movement’ and where it will take America in the future.

7. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This book “explores the psyche of creativity” and should be “a staple for every freelancer, creative, entrepreneur and anyone who wants to play big in the world,” writes Amanda Abella on Due.com. “It’s a book that explores our inner enemies when it comes to reaching our potential and was specifically written for writers in the middle of a creative battle” and “teaches you how to overcome the resistance to creating and putting your work out there.”

8. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Do you think that it’s impossible for you to run a business and not a personal life? Timothy Ferriss puts that myth to rest by sharing his step-by-step guide on how you can work smarter, not longer, and earn a comfortable living so that you enjoy what life has to offer.

9. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Building a corporate culture that reflects your values is essential when starting a business. Just as important is surrounding yourself with people who support and embrace your culture. Zappos is one the best example of this, and it’s CEO Tony Hsieh shares in this book how you can grow your business through the culture of an organization.

10. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg

Written by the founder of DuckDuckGo, the search that doesn’t track your browsing history, this book discusses the importance of traction and how it an audience, as well as a user base for products or services. It also provides actionable advice on you can build your audience through channels like offline events, content marketing, and affiliate programs.

11. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

If you want some tips on how to stand out and go against the grain, then this book deserves place your bookshelf. Authored by the founders of Basecamp, is a quick and easy read that should that will make you rethink you thought, or were told, about everything from strategy to customers so that you can start getting things done.

12. The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Steve Blank

How valuable is this book? It’s taught at Stanford, Berkeley, and Columbia. The reason? For starter it’s written by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank. More importantly, it passses along the best practices, lessons, and tips that have been proven to lead startups to success.

13. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

This is the story of Pixar and the creative minds behind that have made it a juggernaut in the entertainment industry. It’s an essential read if you’re managing your startup since it shares innovative techniques on how to build a great and creative culture.

14. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

If you want to become an entrepreneur because you think it will make you a millionaire or billionaire, then I have some bad news for you, you’ll never become successful. Successful entrepreneurs don’t chase the money. They chase their dreams. And Elon Musk is known for chasing really big dreams. If you need some inspiration, this is an excellent biography to get your motivated.

15. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

As one of the most experienced entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Ben Horowitz, who is also cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, there’s more than enough advice in this business book to get you started on your entrepreneurial journey through his years of experience such as making the tough decisions like demoting a friend. These are the types of decisions that rarely covered in business schools.

16. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

Probably one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve come across, and one of my personal favorites, regarding entrepreneurship is from Sir Richard Branson who said; "Oh, screw it, let's do it."

As the founder of numerous companies in diverse industries like media, entertainment, travel, and financial services, and being one of the most iconic and fascinating entrepreneurs ever, Branson has a lot of stories and advice to share in this engaging and inspiring autobiographies that motivates you to just go ahead and launch your startup.


About the Author

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company Due.

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