Best Entrepreneur Books and Startup Books
You’ve decided to take the leap toward becoming an entrepreneur. We’ve got you covered. Here are the best books for entrepreneurs to read and the best startup books to get up and running fast. And they will help you with building a business.
The Art of the Start 2.0
Written by iconic entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything is an unvarnished take on what every startup should keep in mind when starting a business. Art of the Start covers topics such as innovating, recruiting, fundraising, and branding.
The E-Myth Revisited
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber is the updated version of his original groundbreaking book. The E-Myth assesses the most common problems faced by founders and co-founders. Michael Gerber guides small business owners through the process of embracing your “why” and then creating a process that shares that process and passion with team members.
Zero to One
In Zero to One: Notes on Start-Ups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel and Blake Masters argue that as more and more businesses come into existence, innovation will be the gate to survival, and the monopoly may very well be the key. Peter Thiel and Blake Masters advise startups to think for themselves — don’t get caught up in culture or movements.
Escape From Cubicle Nation
Thinking about leaving your day job? Then read Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim. The book covers how to determine if you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, how to recruit a team of advisors and tips on breaking free from your corporate job.
The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan
The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan (StartUp Series) by Tim Berry simplifies the planning process and reveals how to create business plans that grow with you. This book covers instructions to help you quickly build the type of plan that helps you take total control, improve profits, raise capital, operate a profitable enterprise, and stay ahead of the competition.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries has become a classic. The Lean Startup gives entrepreneurs a way to test their vision, adapt, and adjust before it’s too late. Eric Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing a successful and lean startup in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
The $100 Startup
You don’t need a ton of money to start your business. In The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, you’ll learn how to connect your skills and interests with what people want and how to test pricing and positioning to generate the highest profits.
If there’s anything that an entrepreneur needs, it’s grit; the ability to persevere in the face of obstacles, challenges, and rejections. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth gives entrepreneurs proof that you don’t have to be a genius to start and build a successful venture.
Start Your Own Business
Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need by Rieva Lesonsky and the Editorial Staff of Entrepreneur Magazine is written with millions of freelancers in mind. This book will help you get through the first three years of being on your own. Find tips on everything from testing ideas to Facebook ads.
The Thank You Economy
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk is like the “B-side” song that never became a big hit, but should have. Written in 2009, when Gary Vaynerchuk was more like everyone else than a celebrity. The Thank You Economy offers a customer-first strategy any entrepreneur can implement. This book is one of the best books for entrepreneurs because it gives practical, real life advice to use when building a business.
These are the best books for entrepreneurs that business owners can use to get real life advice that will help them on a business plan.
Best Books on How to Run a Small Business
Starting a business is easy. Running it takes commitment and discipline. Here is a list of the best books on running a small business.
Built to Sell
You want to work on your business and not in it, but how? Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow shows you how. This book is written as a parable. The main character, Alex is struggling to sell his advertising agency. Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who helps him transform his company.
J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes
J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2021: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line by Barbara Weltman is a must-read for owners who want to understand business taxes. After all, it’s not just about how much revenue your company generates, but how much you keep to turn into big profits.
Simple Numbers 2.0
If you had to choose between investing in yourself or the stock market — choose yourself. Simple Numbers 2.0 – Rules for Smart Scaling: A Play by Play Analysis for Pure Growth by Greg Crabtree shows you how to generate big profits. This book provides advice from Greg Crabtree on how to use data to find hidden opportunities for maximum return on investment.
Fix This Next
According to author, Mike Michalowicz, the biggest problem owners have is not knowing what their biggest problem is. Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business provides a simple problem-identification model that you can use to help you focus on the most important thing your company needs right now.
Legal Forms for Starting and Running a Small Business
Legal Forms for Starting & Running a Small Business: 65 Essential Agreements, Contracts, Leases & Letters by Fred S. Steingold is an ideal book that contains all the forms you’ll need to manage and run your company. Each document comes with thorough, plain-English, line-by-line instructions.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki highlights different attitudes towards money, work, and life and the need to build assets not debt. The author shares advice about what it takes to be financially literate — something every owner needs.
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz shows you how to use the “pay yourself first” philosophy to guarantee that your company is profitable.
Don’t let negative people drag you down. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
Best Business Biographies
Great leaders inspire everyone. The companies we admire and use daily often started as a vision. We’ve curated what we think are the best biographic of all time. Our goal with all of these books is to provide value. Investing your time in understanding how these people turned into great leaders.
Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran and Bruce Littlefield will inspire everyone to take action. After failing at 22 jobs, Corcoran borrowed $1,000 to start her real estate office in New York. In this book, she shares her common-sense advice on how to turn lemons into lemonade.
The Everything Store
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone tells the story of Amazon icon, Jeff Bezos. In July of 1995, Jeff Bezos started an online book store. But he wanted more than that. The Everything Store tells the story of Amazon and how it implements his vision of becoming the world’s most customer-centric company.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Experience a deep dive into controversial entrepreneur, Elon Musk. Written by Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future compiles more than forty hours of interviews into this fascinating history of one of today’s most visionary entrepreneurs.
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
This Silicon Valley icon is just as popular today as he was decades ago. After hundreds of interviews with friends, family, and associates, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson offers an unvarnished view of Steve Jobs and his obsessions, flaws, and genius.
Empire State of Mind
An inspirational biography of JayZ and how he went from being a rapper to entrepreneurial superstar. Written by Zack O’Malley Greenburg Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office tells Jay Z’s story from the perspective of classmates, friends and the people who convinced him to focus on music.
Business the Bill Gates Way
Believe it or not, it’s hard to find a good biography about Bill Gates. After reviewing several, we chose Business the Bill Gates Way: 10 Secrets of the World’s Richest Business Leader by Des Dearlove. This book highlights universal strategies and identifies lessons that can be applied to any career.
Have you ever wondered what made Nike the iconic brand it is today? Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight tells the story of how he took $50 that he borrowed from his father and started building a shoe empire.
Warren Buffett on Business
The name Warren Buffett is synonymous with success with common sense. Warren Buffett on Business: Principles from the Sage of Omaha is a practical management handbook. Before Warren Buffett was a billionaire, he was a small business owner. You’ll learn how Warren Buffett incorporates his personal style and values into corporate governance: patience, perseverance, admitting mistakes, value-investing and having a sense of humor.
Losing My Virginity
Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way explains entrepreneurial icon Richard Branson’s meteoric rise to success. The book outlines what made him the daring, adventurous, go-with-the-flow entrepreneur he is today and what lessons you can learn from him.
Grinding it Out
You’re never too old to start a business. Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc is the personal story of the man behind McDonald’s meteoric growth.
And that concludes our list. If we had more room we would have included such classics as Business Adventures by John Brooks, which Bill Gates called one of the best business books ever.
How Do You Choose a Business Book?
The factors to choose a good book are not always what you think. Successful people go beyond big-name authors or books about well-known figures. Such books don’t always have sufficient practical help for a startup entrepreneur or owners of smaller companies. We suggest you consider:
- Your goals – The business book category is broad, encompassing everything from Wall Street finance to marketing approaches, to stories about famous entrepreneurs. Pick the type of book to meet your need.
- Skill gaps – You don’t have to be an expert in everything. But you do need general knowledge about leadership, marketing, finance, management and more. Find your gaps and fill them.
- Inspiration – What will get you fired up? One thing that’s awesome about books is their ability to inspire and motivate.
Additional Reading Lists
See other best books for business people:
- Millionaire Books
- Top 10 Leadership Books
- Top Business Books for Kids
- Business Books for Women
- 10 Best Marketing Books
- Best Sales Books
- Top Social Media Books
Images: Small Business Trends