Entrepreneurs Survival Guide: 10 Business Books for Your Nightstand


Being an entrepreneur isn’t a career choice, it’s a calling.  And this means that it’s a very personal experience.  There are countless experts and gurus out there who are happy to share their “blueprints” for success.  But at the end of the day, you are the master of your destiny.

It’s easy to feel lonely and overwhelmed, but the bottom line is that you are not alone. Check out these books I’ve pulled together for entrepreneurs of all ages and at all levels of experience.  One thing you’ll notice is that while many of these business books have helpful tips and strategies, all of them are focused on helping you craft your life and your business in a way that works for you.  Without further ado, here’s the Entrepreneurs Survival Guide:

Entrepreneurship Stories

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideThe A.D.D Entrepreneur 

By Matt Curry

Author Matt Curry (@MattHybrid1) looks at his A.D.D. and he says it’s common for most entrepreneurs to have this condition.  But, instead of looking at it the way so many teachers and doctors do — as a problem — what if you looked at it as a superpower; harnessed it and used it to leverage your strengths and create great things?

That’s what “The A.D.D. Entrepreneur” is all about.  Curry shares his personal experiences, insights and strategies in this crazy short and easy-to-read book that any crazy busy (or A.D.D.) entrepreneur will appreciate.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuidesEndless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits 

By Ken Goldstein

Have you just come off a huge success? Whether you’ve launched or sold a company or a basic product, this is the ideal time to stop and take a close look at how you’re going to repeat that success.  There’s no better way to take a quick break to enjoy your success while thinking about how you’re going to repeat it then reading this engaging business parable by Ken Goldstein (@CorporateIntel).  In “Endless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products and Profits” you’ll meet a successful man who is worried about being exposed as a fraud and the woman CEO with multiple successes shows him the secret to repeating his successes consistently.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuidePerformance Breakthrough: The Four Secrets of Passionate Organizations Second Edition

By Mike Goldman

It’s one thing to be passionate about your business.  But how do you engage your employees to be just as passionate about your business so that you can all share in the growth and profits? That’s the question answered in “Performance Breakthrough: The Four Secrets of Passionate Organizations Second Edition” by Mike Goldman (@MGoldman10). This easy and fun to read story reveals the four secrets for creating a more passionate, productive and profitable organization.  An added bonus is that there are case studies that prove out the concepts and the strategies are basically FREE and don’t cost you a penny.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideGetting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works

By Roger Martin and Sally Osberg

Doing the right thing and making money are not mutually exclusive principles.  It’s called social entrepreneurship.  Roger Martin and Sally Osberg explore this concept in their book, “Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works.” Whether it’s climate change, poverty, literacy or anything in between, it will continue if we only consider throwing money at it in the form of aid.  We can have a massive transformation in these areas similar to Uber and AirBnB. In this book you’ll learn how social entrepreneurs change systems by getting inside of them.  THey dig deep to find the underlying problem and transform it.  

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideOver 50? Start Your Business!: Build Wealth. Control Your Destiny. Leave A Legacy. Kindle Edition

By Brian D. Jones

If 50 is the new 30, then you’re never too old to start a business. That’s the assertion behind “Over 50? Start Your Business!: Build Wealth. Control Your Destiny. Leave a Legacy. Kindle Edition” by Brian D. Jones (@TheMaturentrepr). You’ve lived the first part of your life doing what was expected of you and for other people, now it’s time to create a life for yourself.  Why not start a business?  This book will be your guide.  It’s specifically written for mature entrepreneurs and based on solid research and proven best practices that will help you avoid a lot of common pitfalls that face older entrepreneurs.

Overcoming Overwhelm — Head Games and How to Win Them

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideNo One Understands You and What to Do About It

By Heidi Halvorson

How many times have you heard the phrase “Perception is reality.” And how many times have you beat your head against the wall wondering how you can change someone’s perception of you — especially when you think it’s wrong or incorrect? “No One Understands You and What to Do About It” by Heidi Halvorson (@HGHalvorson) provides an answer. This is the power of this little book with big ways to change the quality of your life.  You’ll learn how perception works, how the personality of your audience influencers how they see you and how to correct a bad impression.  Definitely worth a read.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideOne Second Ahead: Enhance Your Performance at Work with Mindfulness

By Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter

If you feel like you’re constantly saying “Too much to do, not enough time” to yourself, then you’ll want to grab yourself a copy of this powerful book.  Read “One Second Ahead: Enhance Your Performance at Work with Mindfulness” by Rasmus Hougaard (@Rasmustpp) and Jacqueline Carter (@JacquelineTPP). You’ll learn how to work differently and get more focused, calm and have less mind clutter.  That means you’ll be able to manage your time better and have less stress in your life.  It’s called mindfulness and includes easy to apply tools and techniques to enhance your performance.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideThe Simplicity Cycle: A Field Guide to Making Things Better Without Making Them Worse

By Dan Ward

How is complexity like a two liter bottle of soda? We crave it, it’s satisfying and occasionally exactly what’s required. But in large doses, both can become dangerous to the healthy functioning of our lives. That’s the central idea behind “The Simplicity Cycle: A Field Guide to Making Things Better Without  Making Them Worse” by Dan Ward (@TheDanWard). The author suggests several techniques for identifying the complexity problem and fixing it, including how to overcome several types of wrongheaded thinking—such as the idea that complexity and quality are the same.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideListen …Till You Disappear

By Martin Kettelhut, PhD

Listen … Till You Disappear” by Martin Kettelhut, PhD is about just what the title implies. This book flew in under the radar in December of 2014, but I’m still including it in this list because the topic is one every leader and small business owner can never get enough practice on … listening.  As so many spiritual leaders, management gurus and grandmothers have told us, when you listen, you can get anything you want in life effortlessly and ethically. This is a deeply psychological and even spiritual read.  Not for everyone, but for those that are ready to hear … er … listen.

Entrepreneurs Survival GuideThe Morning Routine Blueprint: How to Wake Up Early, Energized and Motivated Everyday Kindle Edition

By Mike Fishbein

Eliminate overwhelm by starting your day on the right side of the bed.  This short, easy-to-read book will help.  In “The Morning Routine Blueprint: How to Wake Up Early, Energized and Motivated Everyday Kindle Edition” author Mike Fishbein (@mfishbein) outlines a morning routine that will take you from tired to transformed.  Here’s the best news, you don’t have to follow Fishbein’s routine, he will show you how to craft your very own routine.  And the even better news is that you can create a new routine whenever you want.  And a special bonus section even outlines and evening routine — to set you up for an awesome morning!

Nightstand Books Photo via Shutterstock

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Ivana Taylor - Book Editor


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

6 Reactions

  1. So many good books! Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Hey Robert — I’ve had review copies on my nightstand for a while – and they were all awesome 🙂

    • Aira Bongco

      How was ADD Entrepreneur? I was eyeing that one being a firm believer that personality disorders should not be viewed as barriers to success. Sometimes, it is just so negatively labeled so it is seen that way.

  3. Aira Bongco

    It is also a habit to read books before I go to bed. I guess it allows me to foster a continuous production of ideas so that I have some things to think about as I doze off.

  4. OMG! I have been a social entrepreneur for 38 years. You have left out my most important book TRACTION by Gino Wickman. You need to know how to run a company effectively if you are going to do some good in the world.

  5. Thanks for reading my book and making me a part of this!

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