1. The Knowledge to Succeed by Wendy Day
You may not have heard of Wendy Day, but you hear the fruits of her labor everywhere. Tired of seeing her favorite musicians being screwed, Day quit her day job and went to work in the music industry. She’s credited for discovering Master P and his No Limit Records label, Eminem, Cash Money Records (Lil Wayne, BG, Juvenile, Hot Boyz, Big Tymers, etc), Twista, Do Or Die, David Banner, and many others. The Knowledge to Succeed is where Wendy Day teaches anyone how to replicate their success or hers.
2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
Seven Habits is a timeless lesson in leadership and success. By changing your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective, Covey walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift. The process is broken down into Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement, resulting in meaningful and consistent growth.
3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Prepare to have your mind blown. Americans have the least amount of vacation hours in the industrial world. We also work much more than 40 hours per week. Timothy Ferriss challenges conventional wisdom by providing case after case to prove normal “banking hours” aren’t as productive as we think. As an entrepreneur, you’ll find it easy to relate to the ideas presented in Workweek
4. Shark Tank: Jump Start Your Business by Michael Parrish DuDell and the Shark Tank cast
On the hit ABC show Shark Tank, hopeful entrepreneurs present their business ideas to savvy investors, such as FUBU founder Damon Johns and Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban. The show is filled with useful business advice from these savvy investors that every entrepreneur could use. From always knowing your customer acquisition cost to the real-world value of your business, don’t start a business without the fundamentals from the sharks.
5. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
A company’s brand is an extension of the person running it. If you want to create a successful business, you’ll need to create a successful self. Self-help books are an oxymoron, but The Secret manages to avoid the pitfalls of the genre by focusing on actionable exercises over generic advice. It’s no secret that Byrne’s tips lead you down a better path, so add it to your entrepreneurial reading list.
6. Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson
The business world is a rat race, and Dr. Spencer Johnson uses this imagery to illustrate our different reactions to change. Cheese is a business fable featuring two mice and two littlepeople. When their treasured cheese supply dwindles, the characters have different reactions to the change. Traversing through the maze, some learn to adapt to their new cheese situation, while attempting to assist the others in finding their own way. Change is inevitable, and as an entrepreneur it becomes part of your daily routine. Dr. Johnson can help you find comfort when you’re constantly forced out of your zone.
7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnagie
Although Simon Pegg’s spoof How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is a great tip of the hat to the disruptive side of relationships, Dale Carnagie’s classic book is every bit as relevant today as it was the day it was written. Negotiations are a cornerstone of entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn how to successfully steer people toward your line of thinking, whether it’s clients, customers, or employees.
8. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
If you’re going to emulate someone in business, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone better than Richard Branson. He started his first business at 17, and opened the Virgin Records stores at 22. Branson expanded his iconic Virgin brand from a record store to an empire, including a music label, airline, mobile carrier, and even a space shuttle. Branson even has his own island where celebrities such as Mariah Carey take a vacation. He explains how he did it in his own words in Virginity
9. Il Principe (The Prince) by Nicolo Machiavelli
In 1532, Nicolo Machiavelli published one of the most important works of political philosophy in human history. Although written in Italian, and quite short, he summarizes all the lures and trappings of the quest for power. It may seem like an oddball choice for an entrepreneur, but it’s important to understand that when you stand on your own and attempt to build an empire, you’re joining reality’s Game of Thrones, and those in power will notice your success because it takes away from theirs. Know your enemy – you may one day become him.
10. The Signal And The Noise by Nate Silver
Big data is a new concept to many people, but it’s been studied by large organizations for years. After gaining public recognition for developing a performance forecasting system for Major League Baseball, Nate moved into politics, where he analyzed the data and near-flawlessly predicted the results of both the 2008 and 2012 elections. As big data becomes more prominent, every entrepreneur needs to understand what it is and how it can be leveraged. The Signal And The Noise is your first lesson.
Featured photo credit: Rene Skaflestad via reneskaflestad.com