11 books every entrepreneur must read, and their synopsis

“There is no friend as loyal as a book!”

Every entrepreneur needs an active reading list. After all, books are one of the most valuable knowledge resources.

From self-development to business best practices, here are eleven must-reads for all entrepreneurs:

  1. The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M. Christensen

Why is it so difficult for big brands and major corporations to keep up with the rapid-fire evolution of their respective industries? In Clayton M. Christensen’s well-known business book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, he tackles why outstanding companies can continue to perform at optimum efficiency and still lose ownership over their market. This book serves as a history lesson as much as it is an actionable guide for business leaders who want to ensure the long-term success of their company.

  1. Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi

Every entrepreneur knows the challenge: how do I continue to build my network while I’m swamped with work? While various books attempt to answer, Keith Ferrazzi’s extremely popular book Never Eat Alone is a tactical guide to networking the right way, and the power of giving first. Here, readers will find advice on how to handle rejection, find their way into certain “inner circles,” and make the most of a conference. Ferrazzi’s approach to networking is both insightful and highly practical, and built on the proven principles he has employed in his own career.

  1. Meetings Suck – Cameron Herold

Various books talk of conducting successful meetings. However, this one is very different. How many times have you sat through a meeting and thought to yourself, “Why is this such a waste of time?” According to renowned business growth expert Cameron Herold, meetings aren’t the problem. We are. This is one of those books that helps shed some perspective on the importance of focusing on soft skills, like how to hold an effective meeting that leaves people feeling empowered. Meetings Suck is essentially a guide on how to be a better leader, by walking readers, step by step, through systems that encourage true productivity and efficiency.

  1. Unshakeable – Tony Robbins

For books on truly insightful financial advice, look no further than the guru himself, Tony Robbins. Unshakeable is, by all accounts, a compilation of “the best of the best.” It pulls knowledge from the top financial minds in the world to create a playbook for financial freedom. For any aspiring entrepreneurs looking to learn more about managing the financial aspect of their life (both personally and professionally) or even seasoned veterans hoping to continue honing their skills, this is a must-read.

  1. All In – Bill Green

Serial entrepreneur Bill Green pulls from over forty years of business experiences to share 101 key insights that have helped him build one of the largest industrial distribution companies in the country. For aspiring entrepreneurs, this is a glimpse into what it takes to go from a startup founder to CEO of a publicly traded company. This is the sort of read that makes you realize that even the world’s most successful entrepreneurs once started as paperboys and door-to-door salesmen — and Green is no exception. All In shows the true value of committing 100% to a venture, and the level of persistence and dedication it takes to become successful.

  1. Good to Great – Jim Collins

How does an organization go from good to great? That is the question that Jim Collins set out to answer. He deployed a 21-person research team to comb through every Fortune 500 company that met their scrupulous criteria: companies that suffered a decade-long period of stagnant profits, followed by 15 years of great success and increasing profits. These companies ended up being the foundational case studies for his book, and act as teaching tools for any entrepreneur wondering how a company can ultimately surpass its competitors.

  1. How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie

Tried and true, How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the most popular business books of all time for a reason. With plenty of undertones of self-development, Dale Carnegie shows readers why handling business the right way is so imperative. He exhorts us to treat each and every opportunity with the same level of respect and dignity you would any other–and acknowledge that people want to do business with their friends. People sign deals with the people they like, and with whom they believe they’d work well. If there is one book out there that will teach you how to do just that, it’s this one.

  1. Zero to One – Peter Theil

Entrepreneurs everywhere say they want to do something different, that they want to change the world. Well, serial entrepreneur Peter Thiel has decided to tackle that topic head-on, and point out exactly what it takes to make something entirely unique and new. As he says, “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 business will be unique.”

  1. Top of Mind – John Hall

This book is full of tactics, with insights into how consumer needs and expectations have changed over the past few years; how you can build a brand that serves both your ideal customers and your own employees; and ways to use digital content to build lasting trust with your readers, followers and subscribers.

  1. Be Obsessed or Be Average – Grant Cardone

From Cardone’s perspective, success ultimately comes down to three basic rules: first, be willing to set crazy goals, and aim to reach them, every single day; second, value your money and make it work for you; and, third, use your haters as fuel. This book is a humbling reminder of just how much you have to want success in order to eventually have it.

  1. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

What does it take to build a habit? Furthermore, what impact do our everyday habits have on us, as human beings? According to Charles Duhigg, they have a far greater impact on our happiness, productivity, relationships, and everything in between than we might think. It was Duhigg’s interest in the science of habits that sparked this well-known book, and in it, he tackles questions like how and why companies use the science of habit building to influence what we buy–and when we buy it. Out of various books on habit, this one will truly change the way you do what you do!

Entrepreneurship is a commitment—not only to your venture or business, but also to a unique learning process. And these books will definitely go a long long way in contributing to your success!

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