10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read [Checklist]
For most entrepreneurs, from the moment we wake up we’re already reading something. Emails, tweets, news articles—some of us can read thousands of words before 10 a.m.! But in these content-saturated times, are you making time amid your crazy schedule to read content of true value?
Reading can be both an incredibly important source of knowledge, but also a chance to remove yourself for a moment from the day-to-day and instead envision your future & possibilities, and dream creatively. It is extremely valuable to take the time to hit the pause button, sit down and pick up a book.
Here are 10 books we recommend every entrepreneur read this year. These books can quite possibly make a strong impact on your skills as an entrepreneur and leader. We’ve included a quick overview (from Amazon description) for each of our recommendations.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz.“Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular Ben’s Blog.”
- The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.“If you could 10x your per-hour output…how would your life and business change?”
Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan – there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is for you.
- The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization by Jacob Morgan.“What is work? What is an employee? What is leadership? You may not be asking these questions, but you can be sure that the future employee is. . . . The companies that have a future are the ones that focus on what the future will bring. This book pushes the boundaries of how we think about work and opens our minds to new possibilities and new ways of doing business.”
- Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes.“Until recently, hotels, taxi services, doctors, and energy companies had little to fear from the information revolution. Those days are gone forever. . . . Based on extensive research by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and executives from more than thirty industries, Big Bang Disruption will arm you with strategies and insights to thrive in this brave new world.
- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington.“In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters—of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her ‘aha moment.’ Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.”
- Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“From the locker room to the living room to the boardroom—how winners become winners . . . and stay that way.Is success simply a matter of money and talent? Or is there another reason why some people and organizations always land on their feet, while others, equally talented, stumble again and again? There’s a fundamental principle at work–confidence–that makes the difference between winning and losing in any competition, be it a high school basketball game or a high-stakes business situation. In Confidence, Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter shows why organizations of all types may be brimming with talent but not be winners. Based on her extraordinary investigation of success and failure in companies such as Continental Airlines and Verizon and sports teams such as the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the arenas of education, health care, and politics, Kanter explores a new theory and practice of success and provides people in leadership positions with a prescriptive program for maintaining a winning streak or turning around a downward spiral.Packed with brilliant, practical ideas, Confidence provides fresh thinking about success in all facets of life—from the factors that can make or break corporations and governments to the keys for successful relationships in the workplace or at home.”
- Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull.“Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and ‘Braintrust’ sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, ‘an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.’”
- The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment by Ted Schadler.“Your customers now turn to their smartphones for everything. . . . This Pavlovian response is the mobile mind shift — the expectation that I can get what I want, anytime, in my immediate context. Your new battleground for customers is this mobile moment—the instant in which your customer is seeking an answer. If you’re there for them, they’ll love you; if you’re not, you’ll lose their business. Both entrepreneurial companies like Dropbox and huge corporations like Nestlé are winning in that mobile moment. Are you?”
- #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.“Sophia’s never been a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers. #GIRLBOSS includes Sophia’s story, yet is infinitely bigger than Sophia. It’s deeply personal yet universal. . . . Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.”
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel.“Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.”
Every day is a new day to learn. Read one of these books to find great advice and ready-to-use tools to help you create your own road map for success.