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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful

20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful

Being an entrepreneur is all fun until you realize that you’re actually not as experienced as others. Your knowledge might not be at the same level as those who’ve been in the business for twenty years and that scares you.

No need to worry though, if you have a high teachability index, you will be fine!

The following books will help you grow both in life and in business in order to become a successful entrepreneur. These best entrepreneur books will give you basic knowledge about being an entrepreneur and share advice on what happens while on the journey to entrepreneurial success.

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

    This book is guaranteed to change your life forever. Not only will it teach you all the do’s and don’ts of the social life, but it will also teach you how to be a better entrepreneur.

    We all know that the digital age has made it harder to be influential outside of the Internet, which is just as important as web influence, but Dale Carnegie breaks down all the steps you need to take in order to make friends with everyone you meet. It teaches you the etiquette of how to overcome competition or how to win over people who are close-minded or simply not interested in your pitch.

    Every entrepreneur needs to read this book at least once a year, it’s a business classic!

    Get the book here!

    2. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

      Every entrepreneur knows that the key to a good business is good sales technique. Not only do you have to sell your product, but you also have to sell yourself and your idea. Having a great product doesn’t do anything if you don’t know how to approach the person and make them fall in love with you and the product.

      This book by Brian Tracy gives you valuable information and strategies about how to make more selling by focusing on one thing – the person. Sometimes entrepreneurs forget the basics of selling and jump right over to getting results, but in order to get results, you need to know the basics. Brian Tracy goes over those major points thoroughly.

      Get the book here!

      3. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

        With only 96 pages of wisdom, this book is an easy weekend read. Featuring four mice – Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw – the story goes over the four different personalities and how they can affect one’s business.

        This book will enlighten all business people on themselves and the choices they make in life. It will teach you how to become flexible with your decisions in order to move forward confidently towards your dreams and goals.

        At the end of the book, it’s recommended to draw a map and position yourself between the four mice, at the personality type that best fits your own. If you are within a type that will most likely keep you from succeeding in business, do something.

        Get the book here!

        4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

          Another great read for every entrepreneur.

          When you are younger in age, financial education might not be as high as the older competition, which puts you in a place of vulnerability. Robert Kiyosaki’s book breaks down everything you need to know about financial education without giving you a headache.

          The book will shine a light on the 9-5 job and the rat race that keeps you in that job you hate in order to pay the debts. He teaches you how to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true by giving you the cold, hard truth about wealth – it’s not found by going to school, getting good grades, graduating with a diploma, and working for a secure company.

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          Get the book here!

          5. Rich Woman by Kim Kiyosaki

            Reading books on financials education is key to succeeding.

            Kim Kiyosaki takes on the challenge to inform women everywhere about the power of money and how they can get a piece of that too. She empowers women to learn about their finances to make sure that they don’t depend on men for the rest of their lives.

            She teaches women from all ages on how to create a budget, invest in real estate, stocks or businesses, and how to use the financial knowledge you have – the one they don’t teach you in school – to become wealthy and independent.

            Get the book here!

            6. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

              Daniel Kahneman goes over the two systems found in our mind, that can make or break our ability to move forward and succeed in life, in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

              He talks about the fast and emotional system, and the slow, more logical system that makes up our whole mind. He breaks down the various effects of each system on our success, mentality, confidence, and teachability index.

              This book is a must-read for everyone who wants to get to the top of the tower without actually killing the dragon.

              Get the book here!

              7. The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman

                It’s time to get inside the mind of LinkedIn’s co-founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman, and learn more about the keys to managing your career as if you were already an entrepreneur.

                It’s possible that you are still working a part-time job while you’re growing your business and it might be hard to stay focused on your entrepreneurial life while you still have to answer to a boss, but Reid Hoffman is here to help.

                In his book, he teaches you how to put yourself in the entrepreneurial mindset even if you’re still working for someone else. This will help you think like an entrepreneur at all times, which will motivate you to continue on your venture no matter what.

                At the same time, you will know what to look for in employees when your business becomes big enough to employ people. Win-Win.

                Get the book here!

                8. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

                  Who hasn’t heard of Timothy Ferriss? His name has been everywhere since he launched in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek.

                  Nowadays, everyone is looking for that easy fix, and becoming an entrepreneur is all about enjoying the wonders of life without having to work 40 hours a week. Timothy knows that and therefore puts you in the right mindset to start building a business that will allow you to work not 20, not 10, but 4 hours a week and still build a fortune.

                  Get the book here!

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                  9. The $100 Startup by Chris Gillebeau

                    This is a very interesting book for anyone who feels unmotivated because they lack funds. Chris turns the tables around and gives you the upper hand.

                    In his book, he talks about 50 of the most amazing success stories of entrepreneurs who are making more than $50,000 and who started with only a few bucks in their bank accounts.

                    This is the perfect book to motivate you to move forward without focusing on the money or the HOW. Get the idea, have the passion, and the rest will follow.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. Click Millionaires by Scott Fox

                      The Internet is taking over the world with more e-commerce businesses opening than ever before. Scott Fox focuses his words on how to combine outsourcing and automated online marketing to build monthly cash-flow online.

                      He thoroughly teaches you how to build an online business by going over all the tools that are available to you. It’s the perfect book to learn more about online business and how to utilize the software that’s been available to you since you were a baby.

                      Get the book here!

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

                        There are many misconceptions out there about starting your business and being a successful entrepreneur, and it’s only natural to become a little confused as the contradicting information is thrown at you from all directions.

                        Michael E. Gerber breaks down each myth and walks you through the real life steps of having a business and becoming successful as an entrepreneur in today’s era. He wants to make sure that you know the difference between working on your business and working in your business.

                        Get the book here!

                        12. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

                          Gary takes a very motivating and persuasive voice in his book Crush It! by motivating you to move on your passions.

                          In his book, he goes other the many reasons why you should stop sitting on your couch dreaming about the day you will get paid to do what you love. He wants you to get out of your comfort zone and create a happy and passionate life for yourself.

                          If you need that little extra nudge to move on your passion and create a business, this is your go-to book!

                          Get the book here!

                          13. Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston

                            We all hear the success stories after they happened: how millionaire XYZ started their business with only $1,000 in their bank accounts.

                            But how did they grow their business from that starting point? How did they become millionaires? What was their journey? How did they feel while they were battling through the obstacles?

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                            Jessica Livingston goes over all those questions in her book Founders at Work by interviewing some of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world and asking all the right questions.

                            How did Steve Wozniak from Apple grow his business? Where did Sabeer Bhatia get the strength to move past obstacles? All these questions will be answered only if you read the book!

                            Get the book here!

                            14. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Gillebeau

                              Ah, conformity. Most people tend to fail because of conformity; they want to follow what everyone else is doing just to not feel rejected.

                              This book is perfect for all entrepreneurs who are looking to break away from the crowd and face entrepreneurship head first. It’s time to stop believing the assumptions we were told about life and start living life differently.

                              In his book, Chris Gillebeau talks about how to live the life you want, following the rules you create, and the goals you set for yourself. This is a great and inspiring book for entrepreneurs who struggle with their ability to break away from their toxic entourage and making a run for it towards what they want most in life – entrepreneurship.

                              Get the book here!

                              15. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

                                The games have changed; building a business is no longer about updating the business plan every other week according to Eric Ries.

                                In his book, he goes over the various techniques an entrepreneur can use in order to create a business that will go against the odds and succeed. He takes on a more scientific and intuitive approach as to how to be a successful entrepreneur with a lasting business under your arm.

                                Get the book here!

                                16. The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson

                                  Everything starts in the mind. If you have negative thoughts all day, it’s pretty certain that your day will not end on a good note.

                                  Kevin D. Johnson knows that and wants to help entrepreneurs around the world to change their mindset in order to be successful. In his book, The Entrepreneur Mind, Kevin D. Johnson talks about the different ways to change your way of thinking in order to start a business, make it grow, and make it last.

                                  By the end of the book, he makes sure you know when to keep going and when it’s time to let go and start again.

                                  Being an entrepreneur means being able to get back up, and this book will teach you how to get back up without too many scars.

                                  Get the book here!

                                  17. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder

                                    Great for the visual entrepreneur. We’re all used to looking at pictures more than we are reading books, which is why Alexander Osterwalder wants to teach you the right way, according to him, to create a business plan and act on it.

                                    With pictures, graphs and timelines, this book is a must-have for every visionary entrepreneur. If you need calendars, post-its and picture reminders in order to do something, this is for you.

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                                    Build a successful business plan, and you’ll build a successful business. Back to the basics.

                                    Get the book here!

                                    18. Rework by Jason Fried & David Hansson

                                      Compared to Alexander Osterwalder, David Hanson and Jason Fried want to approach the other type of entrepreneurs – the ones who want fast results and don’t really care or have the time to go through all the basic steps.

                                      The two authors team up together to crunch down the basics and create a whole new system that will make you act upon your dreams and goals faster.

                                      The book will motivate you to get up on your feet and move forward without planning the steps on a piece of paper before. This is for the go-getters who prefer to learn by doing!

                                      Get the book here!

                                      19. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

                                        There are many things that school doesn’t teach us, and Ben Horowitz wants those things to be out in the open for entrepreneurs. His book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, gives advice on how to build and run a startup in the real world.

                                        He will give you advice on things that school just doesn’t seem to go over, like how to analyze problems and find solutions, or how difficult running a business actually is.

                                        He puts you in the CEO mentality by sharing his entrepreneurial story of how he overcame the competition and cultivated success.

                                        It’s a great read for entrepreneurs looking for a mentor to guide them through their journey. This book isn’t censored – it’s the real truth about being an entrepreneur!

                                        Get the book here!

                                        20. My Philosophy for Successful Living by Jim Rohn

                                          Jim Rohn has inspired many with his words over the years, and his book My Philosophy for Successful Living, is no exception. This book will teach you the principles and values behind being successful in life.

                                          According to Jim Rohn, living a successful life isn’t about being selfish, it’s about bringing value to people. It’s about being kind to others and letting the good karma come back to you.

                                          Of course, he pushes you to work hard towards your goals but he also goes over what a successful attitude should look like.

                                          No one wants to associate with someone who brings them down. With only 64 pages, it’s a great read to remind yourself to be good to the people around you and be thankful for everything in your life.

                                          Get the book here!

                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                          Sarah Anton

                                          Editor and founder of The Fitrepreneur, aspires to improve people's living style.

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                                          Last Updated on May 22, 2020

                                          What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

                                          What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

                                          The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

                                          But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

                                          Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

                                          So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

                                          Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

                                          The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

                                          1. A Positive Attitude

                                          Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

                                          Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

                                          Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

                                          Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

                                          The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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                                          Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

                                          2. Confidence

                                          All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

                                          Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

                                          If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

                                          Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

                                          You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

                                          • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
                                          • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

                                          3. A Sense of Humor

                                          It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

                                          Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

                                          Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

                                          As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

                                          Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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                                          Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

                                          4. Ability to Embrace Failure

                                          No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

                                          Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

                                          Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

                                          Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

                                          Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

                                          By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

                                          You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

                                          5. Careful Listening and Feedback

                                          This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

                                          The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

                                          The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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                                          Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

                                          Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

                                          6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

                                          No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

                                          Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

                                          Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

                                          To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

                                          • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
                                          • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

                                          Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

                                          7. Growth Mindset

                                          Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

                                          Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

                                          Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

                                          It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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                                          Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

                                          8. Responsibility

                                          Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

                                          The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

                                          Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

                                          Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

                                          9. A Desire to Learn

                                          It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

                                          Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

                                          You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

                                          Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

                                          To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

                                          Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

                                          More Tips on Leadership

                                          Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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