By Charity Muia
As an entrepreneur, reading books can put your entrepreneurship skills and knowledge to the next level. Books teach you, enlighten you, change and influence your way of thinking. They generally change your life and guide you to doing things right.
Successful C.E.Os like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffett among others have one crucial habit in common. Reading books and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge has clearly set these entrepreneurs up for success.
As an entrepreneur you need knowledge and guidance through your entrepreneurship journey. Without a doubt, your mentor might not always be there to give you exhaustive knowledge on running a business. Therefore, reading books comes in handy.
The way you run your business changes as your business grows. Running a business at the beginning phase is different from running a business after expanding a business and growing your client books.
Clearly, every phase in entrepreneurship and running a business requires different expertise, knowledge and different type of skills. Therefore, if you want your business to succeed in each phase, you have to regularly acquire new knowledge from books.
Business coaches and successful entrepreneurs have acquired knowledge from years and decades of experience in entrepreneurship. From the experience and through research, they have put vast life changing knowledge into books.
These 8 books among others are a must read for every entrepreneur who wants to succeed in their business and in their entrepreneurship journey. They will give you tips on how to run your business and help you develop skills and business strategies. This will eventually lead to the success of your business.
Planning to start or just started, read these.
- The Entrepreneur Mind – Kevin D. Johnson
This is a must read for anyone who is an entrepreneur or wants to be an entrepreneur.
Kevin D. Johnson discusses the mindset that entrepreneurs should have to be successful.
Johnson takes you through 100 essential characteristics, beliefs and habits you should have to fulfill your dreams as an elite entrepreneur.
He describes an elite entrepreneur’s line of thought, mind and the way he or she views the world.
Johnson states these significant qualities, characters and habits in different areas such as strategy, Marketing and sales. He mentions other areas such as Education, Leadership and motivation, People and Finance.
Importantly, this book will teach you and help you understand the mindset you should have to be a successful entrepreneur.
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
This book is an old gem written by Napoleon Hill in 1937 and promotes self-improvement and personal development.
Self-improvement and personal development is very crucial for every entrepreneur to succeed in their business venture as they are the overall in-charge of their businesses.
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill will teach you the secret to building wealth using 13 principles to riches. Hill states these principles as desire, faith, auto-suggestion, specialized knowledge, imagination, organized planning, decision, persistence, and mastermind. He also mentions the mystery of sex transmutation, the subconscious mind, the brain and the 6th sense.
Facing challenges and feeling stuck, read this.
- Founders At Work – Jessica Livingston
This is a life changing read for founders by Jessica Livingston.
She puts together amazing stories of 32 successful entrepreneurs owning famous companies in the world of technology.
Founders such as Apple’s Steve Wozniak, PayPal’s Max Levchin, and Gmail’s Paul Buchheit, among others share their startup stories.
They share how their companies came into existence, the many common struggles they faced and the victories and failures they had in early years of their companies’ existence.
Additionally, they share what went wrong and how they recovered from the failures and crises they experienced.
This book is a source of inspiration and motivation to many founders helping them understand the journey of entrepreneurship and successful business.
Want To Increase Sales?
- The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy
This great book is written by Brian Tracy and teaches you on how to make more sales in your business.
Without doubt, sales is the key to the success of many businesses. Entrepreneurs who are succeeding in business clearly understand that good sales techniques drive good business. Brian Tracy will teach you these techniques.
Unfortunately, selling your product is not just enough. Brian Tracy emphasizes that you have to sell yourself as a brand and sell your idea to your customers, potential customers, partners and investors.
This book teaches you and gives you information and skills to be successful in selling the three elements for your business – your product/services, yourself as brand and your idea.
The author emphasizes on selling yourself as a person and a brand. Besides, you cannot sell your product or your idea without selling yourself as a brand first.
Dealing With Change and want Growth?
- Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson
This is read by Spencer Johnson is a must for every individual, entrepreneur or not.
Spencer Johnson teaches you how to adapt to and deal with changes in life especially career changes and changes in business environment. He tells the stories of four mice characters/personalities – Hem, Haw, Scurry and Sniff.
Change is one thing that is constant and you cannot be in the same place or spot forever.
Therefore, if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to move with the change. You have to adapt to the change and make decisions and choices that help you move forward.
Your personality in relation to change will influence how successful you will be in business and in life. This mind opening book will help you know the type of personality you have in relation to change.
To improve your relationship with money.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad. – Robert T. Kiyoski and Sharon Letcher
This is a story of two dads – the rich dad and the poor dad – how they see wealth, their relationship with money and what they teach their children about wealth and money.
In this great read, Kiyoski and Letcher sensitize on the importance of financial literacy and financial independence. They also teach the importance of building wealth through investing in assets.
Generally, Rich Dad, Poor Dad will teach you all you need to know about personal finance. Additionally, you will learn about cash flow, which is very important for any entrepreneur. You will learn about investing and the right places to make your investments.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a perfect read for anyone who wants to start a business or is in the early phases of entrepreneurship.
Innovation for business success.
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
In the Lean Startup, Eric Ries teaches entrepreneurs how they can use innovation to create Radically Successful Businesses.
He brings out various techniques that an entrepreneur in this day and era can use to build a successful lasting business and a business that goes against all odds to succeed.
The Lean Startup takes a scientific principled approach in starting and running startups known as the Lean Startup process. This process is through experimentation, customer based feedback and insistent design.
Another key element you will learn from this book is how to start a business.
To make the necessary hard decisions.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz wins it in this book. He teaches you on how to build and sustain a business when there are no easy answers to some hard questions to having a business. He gives you the brutal honest answers to most of these questions.
This book will teach you everything you need to know about building and running a startup. You will come across the hard decisions you have to make like firing friends, the tough, difficult problems and issues you are likely going to deal with.
Lastly, Horowitz will teach you how to cultivate and sustain a CEO mentality or mindset that will take you through the CEO journey.
To conclude, as an entrepreneur, you will always need to know more. This is why, what you already know cannot take you through the rest of your life and your journey as an entrepreneur. You have to get wiser every opportunity you get since growth comes through knowledge.
Apart from these 8, there are other entrepreneurial books and self-development books you can read. Therefore, when you come across any book that will give you more knowledge and make you a little wiser, don’t hesitate.
It will not be a waste of time, it will count into running your business a little better and smarter. Eventually, this will help you do the right things and making better and difficult decisions.
Learn from entrepreneurs who have gone before you as they have done what you are doing or are planning to do.
Learn from the mistakes they made in their journey, the challenges they have faced and how they have dealt with them. From this, you can get motivation, inspiration and develop skills you need to run your business better leading to success.