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Published on December 3, 2018

15 Best Books for Entrepreneurs to Start Reading Right Now

15 Best Books for Entrepreneurs to Start Reading Right Now

Knowledge is power, and you’re going to need a lot of it if you’re going to be able to steer your business to success.

Without further ado, we take a look at 15 best books for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and get inspirations about success.

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

    This book has been dubbed the Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature, and it was actually the first book that gave a prescription of what it takes to be a winner.

    Napoleon Hill draws from the stories of millionaires like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas Edison to illustrate the principles he put forth.

    Get the book here!

    2. The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

      A lot of startups end up failing, but many of these failures are actually avoidable. The Lean Startup provides a different approach that is now being adopted all over the world and changing the way that companies are developed and products are being launched.

      In The Lean Startup, Eric Reis describes what is required for a company to penetrate the fog of uncertainty in order to discover a path to a sustainable and successful business.

      Get the book here!

      3. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

        In a revised edition of the 150,000-copy bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber refutes some of the myths that surround starting your own business and shows just how commonplace assumptions can end up getting in the way of being able to run a successful business.

        Gerber succeeds in walking the reader through the steps that occur in the life of a business, from infancy, through the pains of growing as an adolescent, to the perspective of the mature entrepreneur.

        Get the book here!

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        4. Rework by Jason Fried

          Most of the business books that you get today will give you the same advice: draft a business plan, study the competition, look for investors, and all that.

          However, Rework shows you a more effective, easier and faster means of succeeding when running a business. By reading it, you’ll be able to know why some plans are harmful, why you don’t really need to get investors, and why you’re better of shutting out your competition.

          Get the book here!

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

            This is one of the most successful motivational books in history, selling well over 15 million copies since it was released in 1936. The book is timeless, and it appeals to businesses, self-help startups, and general readers.

            Carnegie believes that a lot of successes come from an ability to communicate rather than having brilliant insights. In his book, he teaches how to value others and make them feel appreciated and loved.

            Get the book here!

            6. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

              Through this amazing book, Malcolm Gladwell is able to take the reader on an intellectual journey through the world of ‘outliers’. He asks the question of what truly differentiates high-achievers.

              His answer to this question is that we tend to pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and less attention to where they are actually from.

              Get the book here!

              7. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

                This is the best personal finance book ever written. It tells the story of Kiyosaki and his two fathers; his real father, and that of his best friend (his rich dad), as well as how the two men helped him shape his opinions on money and investing.

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                It refutes the myth that you need to earn high to become rich, and it distinguishes between working for money and having money work for you.

                Get the book here!

                8. The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

                  Niall Ferguson, in this book, follows the money to tell the story behind the evolution of the word’s financial system, from the beginning way back in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest occurrences in what he had dubbed Planet Finance.

                  Fergusson also reveals financial history as the backstory behind our very own history, with an argument that the evolution of debt and credit is as significant as the history of technological innovation and the rise of civilization.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

                    Michael Lewis landed a job at Salomon Brothers after getting out of the London School of Economics and Princeton within three years, he had risen to the rank of bond salesman, making millions for the firm and cashing out steadily.

                    Liar’s Poker is the amalgamation of these years — a look behind the scenes at one of the most turbulent times in American business. His book is Lewis’s account of an era where greed and gluttony were the order of the day.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Michael H. Pink

                      A lot of people see money as the best motivator. Michael pink says it’s a mistake.

                      In this provocative book, he asserts that the secret to high performance anywhere is the need to direct our lives, to learn and create, and to do better by our world and ourselves.

                      Get the book here!

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                      11. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

                        Outdated methods don’t work in today’s world. In this book, Allen shares some awesome methods for stress-free performance that he has shared with thousands of people all over the world.

                        His premise? That productivity is proportional to your ability to relax.

                        Get the book here!

                        12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

                          In this book, Stephen Covey presents a holistic approach for overcoming both professional and personal issues. With insights and anecdotes, Covey presents a way to live with integrity fairness, service and dignity.

                          Get the book here!

                          13. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

                            In this book, Ferriss dishes on the tips he has learned from studying the New Rich, a subculture of people who did away with the deferred life plan and mastered time and mobility to developed luxury lifestyles for themselves.

                            If you’re looking to make your way in this revolutionary new world, this here is your compass.

                            Get the book here!

                            14. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

                              The CEO of Zappos shows how a unique kind of corporate identity can help deliver a huge difference in the way results are being achieved — by creating a company that values and delivers happiness.

                              Get the book here!

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                              15. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

                                From Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records and V2 to Virgin Cola, Virgin Megastores and a wide array of other companies, Richard Branson is the rockstar billionaire that a lot of us want to be.

                                Branson, however, did business by following a simple philosophy:

                                “Oh, screw it, let’s do it”

                                Losing My Virginity is an unusual, borderline outrageous autobiography of one of the greatest business geniuses in the world. Branson and his friends named their business “Virgin” because that was what they were — virgins at the game.

                                Since then, he’s written his success rules, creating a global business that has no headquarters, no management structure no corporate identity as it were.

                                Get the book here!

                                More Inspirations for Entrepreneurs

                                 10 Best Time Management Books Recommended By Entrepreneurs

                                Feel like Giving Up? 16 Way to Help Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated

                                Ask The Entrepreneurs: 16 Ways to Master Your Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur

                                30 Best Business Podcasts That Help Entrepreneurs Become Successful

                                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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                                Tanvir Zafar

                                The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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                                Last Updated on March 12, 2019

                                20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

                                20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

                                There is normally a lengthy list of things you need to consider when starting a business, and if you don’t manage them properly, your excitement can quickly turn into overwhelm. What can support you to stay inspired and on the right track when starting out? You guessed it: this is your vision statement.

                                What Is a Vision Statement?

                                A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.

                                A vision statement provides the direction and describes what the founder wants the organization to achieve in the future; it’s more about the “what” of a business. It is different from a mission statement, which describes the purpose of an organization and more about the “how” of a business.

                                If you were to take a photo of your future business now, what would it look like? What do you want your business to be recognized for one day?

                                You need to have a crystal clear vision when you start out, otherwise you can get easily lost in deciding the best way forward. When you are making strategic decisions for your business and even daily operation decisions, your vision statement will give you the inspiration and targeted direction you need.

                                The Importance of a Vision Statement

                                Without a vision statement, your business will lack motivation to keep going.

                                If you don’t aim for anything, you might not hit anything. The more specific and clear you are, the better your chances are at seeing your vision turn into reality.

                                The importance of a vision statement cannot be overlooked; not only does it provide long term direction and guidance, but it also gives you the inspiration and the necessary energy to keep going when you feel lost.

                                Always keep your vision statement alive by revisiting it regularly and communicating your vision with other members of the team, to inspire and motivate them as well.

                                How to Craft an Inspiring Vision Statement

                                1. Dream big and use clear language

                                An inspiring vision statement should inform a clear direction and priorities for the organization, while challenging all the team members to grow together. Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you:

                                • Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years.
                                • Infuse the business’ values in the statement.
                                • Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business.
                                • Write your vision statement in the present tense.
                                • Use clear and concise language.
                                • Ensure the statement is easily understood.

                                There are many different types of vision statements and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most important thing is to resonate with it. It will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.

                                2. Get inspirations from the successful companies.

                                Having researched on a number of successful companies’ vision statements, I’ve shortlisted 20 good examples for the new startups:

                                Short vision statements made up of a few words only:

                                1. Disney

                                To make people happy.

                                2. Oxfam

                                A just world without poverty.

                                3. Ikea

                                To create a better every day life for the many people.

                                Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:

                                4. Microsoft

                                Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

                                  5. Nike

                                  Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

                                    Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:

                                    6. Ford

                                    People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

                                    7. Avon

                                    To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.

                                    Competitor based statements – this type is becoming less common, but famous examples are:

                                    8. Honda – in 1970

                                    We will destroy Yamaha.

                                    9. Nike – in 1960s

                                    Crush Adidas.

                                      10. Philip Morris – in 1950s

                                      Knock off RJR as the number one tobacco  company in the world.

                                      Role Model Vision Statements – using another company as an example:

                                      11. Stanford University – in the past

                                      To become the Harvard of the West.

                                      12. Reach for Success – in the past

                                      To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.

                                      Internal Transformations vision statements:

                                      13. Apple

                                      To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.

                                      14. Giro Sport Design

                                      To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.

                                      15. Tesla

                                      To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

                                      16. Sony

                                      To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

                                      17. Facebook

                                      To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

                                        Longer and more detailed vision statement:

                                        18. Walmart

                                        To give customers a wide assortment of their favorite products, Every Day Low Prices, guaranteed satisfaction, friendly service, convenient hours (24 hours, 7 days a week) and a great online shopping experience.

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                                        19. Coca Cola

                                        To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

                                        Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

                                        People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

                                        Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

                                        Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

                                        Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.

                                          20. Heinz

                                          Our VISION, quite simply, is to be: “The World’s Premier Food Company, Offering Nutritious, Superior Tasting Foods To People Everywhere.” Being the premier food company does not mean being the biggest but it does mean being the best in terms of consumer value, customer service, employee talent, and consistent and predictable growth.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Remember, always keep your vision statement up-to-date to direct your company’s actions.

                                          Remember, once you reach your vision, it needs to be changed. General Motors overtook Ford as #1 automotive company in the world because once Ford’s goal was reached, they never updated it.

                                          Keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

                                          Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

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                                          To your success!

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