5 Essential Books for Entrepreneurs

Posted on December 17, 2012

booksIf you are an entrepreneur or just considering possibility of becoming one, it helps to learn from those who have followed a similar path and found success. While there are dozens of great blogs and publications to read, it’s important to get a solid dose of books focusing on entrepreneurship as they often offer the big picture in a strong narrative that you can pull insights from easily and apply them to your current or even future ventures.

To help you start your list, here are some of my favorites that give a well rounded look into the different focuses an entrepreneur must have to get on the right track:

1. Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi

Ferrazzi shares how some of the most powerful people in the world mastered the art of networking, which allowed them to make it to the top. This book will convince you that networking is the key to success – that reaching out to people and using the power of solid relationships is an art form that helps everyone win. Using a form of networking that is based on generosity and helping friends connect with other friends, Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handling usually associated with networking. A fresh approach to networking, this book is a must-read.

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2. The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman

A macro-economic guide to understanding how globalization works. One of JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s favorite books, The World is Flat explores what happens next, after the major events of the turn of the 21st century began to shape and change the world’s economy. While it’s not the traditional book for entrepreneurship, this book is a great read when it comes to understanding foreign and domestic economic policies – a must for anyone who wants to build a large brand or organization.

3. Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell, known for his “pop psychology, bases his third book on the idea of success, and how both luck and hard work go into a successful career. Weaving different tales of success together, from musical prodigies to the big names in Silicon Valley, with a common theme that “10,000 hours of practice” will allow you to reach “genius” levels of success, this book is both interesting and informative.

4. Steal like an Artist, Austin Kleon

Because all entrepreneurship books don’t have to be same. Billed as a “manifesto for the digital age,” this book carries one simple message: “You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself.” Filled with graphics and inspirational quotes, this book is sure to light a fire under your own creative talents. It’s a quick read and great for the entrepreneur who wants to inspire others.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

This is a timeless piece for anyone interested in business, marketing or advertising. First published in 1937, Carnegie’s book has sold over 15 million copies, proving that it is just as useful today as it was when it first hit bookstores. In this book, Carnegie stresses that success comes from the “ability to express ideas, assume leadership and arouse enthusiasm among other people.” Based in psychology and an understanding of human nature, this is a great addition to any entrepreneur’s library.

There are several books I’ve left off of this list and many more that I haven’t even gotten to yet, so with that… What are some of your favorite books or blogs focusing on entrepreneurship that you’ve read?

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