What is one thing the world’s wealthiest people all have in common? 88 percent of them read for at least 30 minutes a day (compared to just two percent of the general population).
If you aspire to join the ranks of wealthy entrepreneurs, reading is an invaluable skill. Books lead us into new ways of thinking, help us push through the tough times, and teach us how to become successful business men and women.
If you’re an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur, here are 10 must-read books.
1. Choose Yourself by James Altucher
This is an amazing book. Altucher’s writes like an old friend and his self-depreciating style is raw, honest, and the kick in the pants every entrepreneur needs. Here’s my favorite quote from the book:
The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.
2. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Rework is not your average business book. It shows you a smarter, faster approach to succeed in business. This is the best book I’ve ever read about entrepreneurship. It defies “traditional” rules and offers simple, no-nonsense advice for starting your own company. Like this:
The best way to get there is through iterations. Stop imagining what’s going to work. Find out for real.
3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Godin is one of the greatest entrepreneurial minds in the world. In Purple Cow, he advocates building something so amazing that people can’t ignore you. There are a lot of great lessons in this book—it’s definitely one you’ll be making notes on throughout.
You must design a product that is remarkable enough to attract the early adopters – but is flexible enough and attractive enough that those adopters will have an easy time spreading the idea.
4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
is a classic book about leadership and success. There’s a reason it has sold millions of copies: the lessons are timeless and they work. My personal favorite is the “Win-Win” habit, which says that one of your first priorities should be to create a product or service that benefits your customer, and then worry about the rest.
5. Tribes by Seth Godin
Godin makes this list twice because “Tribes” should be required reading for every entrepreneur. Here’s the most important takeaway:
Almost all growth that’s available to you exists when you aren’t like most people and when you work hard to appeal to folks who aren’t most people.
Choose your audience first, then find a product that fulfills an unmet need.
6. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
If there’s one book that changed the way I think more than any other, it’s this. Being an entrepreneur is about finding balance in your life. It’s a constant juggling act and Meditations, the classic book of wisdom from Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Aurelius, will help keep you grounded.
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
7. Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelly
This book will help you unlock your inner creativity, even if you think it’s an area where you’re lacking. A must-read for entrepreneurs.
Take time to ask yourself each day “When was I at my best?” or “When was work most rewarding?” It can help point you toward roles or activities that will enrich your work and reveal what gives you the greatest pleasure or fulfillment.
8. To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “sales person,” all entrepreneurs need to understand how to sell. This book breaks down the stigmas about salesmanship and shows you a simple strategy for “moving others.” It’s a fantastic read.
9. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
The Slight Edge philosophy is based on doing little things, which, done consistently over time, add up to the big accomplishments. This is a great read for entrepreneurs because it shows you how doing the “little stuff” and continuously improving are the keys to success.
10. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
Ferris lays out a brilliantly simple plan for taking your new “big idea” to market: pick a specific topic you know and have experienced more about than your audience; test different types of positioning and find out what your audience needs help with; then develop a product that meets their needs. This is one of my favorite books of all-time that will show you plenty of shortcuts for taking your entrepreneurial dream to reality.
Featured photo credit: gcouros via flickr.com