Entrepreneurs are at the forefront of innovation and fortune in today’s business world. They create products we use on a daily basis. Their success has inspired millions, but how can that success be replicated? Although young entrepreneurs are surrounded by information online, books remain one of the best way for an entrepreneur to expand their mind. It’s no coincidence he average CEO is usually quite well-read, reading 60 books per year! Here are 10 books recommended by numerous successful entrepreneurs and innovators from all walks of life.
10. The Millionaire Fastlane – M.J. DeMarco
As the title suggests, the Millionaire Fastlane shows you how to make money fast. It rejects the conventional path many people follow in life – the “slow lane”, or the long and miserable process of going to college, settling into a career, paying off student loans, and retiring after your golden years are long gone while pinching every penny the whole way. The “fast lane” isn’t a secret formula, it’s simply a rejection of conventional wisdom and the lies industries have conned us into believe that ultimately limit our financial potential.
9. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
Although the mind of an entrepreneur is capable of great things, every human mind is inherently flawed. Everyone is subject to different biases and mental tendencies that can limit our potential. In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explains how the brain naturally uses two different “systems” of thinking – “system 1” (quick, but passive and prone to mistakes) and “system 2” (not as fast, but more rational and deliberate). He also explains the natural shortcuts in thinking our brain takes, how we can understand them and circumvent their effects.
8. Influence – Robert B. Cialdini
Every idea has a selling point, and it takes persuasion skills to make people notice those. People don’t always say “yes” to an idea because they think through it logically. There are a myriad of factors at play, but even a novice salesman can learn to leverage the bulk of them in their favor. Robert B. Cialdini has 35 years worth of research that explains how one can become a master persuader whilst resisting the persuasion of others.
7. The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferris
Can you really only work 4 hours a week, or is it too good to be true? As demonstrated by Tim Ferris, it’s certainly attainable. Frustrated with his 14 hour workdays and workaholic lifestyle, Tim Ferris dedicated years of his life to finding out the methods of the “new rich”, a growing subculture of young people who have retired early to live a life of adventure and leisure. Using the steps from The 4-Hour Workweek Ferris was able to create a system any person can utilize to create a similar lifestyle for themselves.
6. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
A habit is a powerful thing, but it goes both ways. Many people find themselves locked in a rut not by poor luck, but by sheer force of habit. By changing and creating new habits, people can unlock their hidden potential. New York TImes business reporter Charles Duhigg explains why we have habits, how they are formed, and ultimately how they can be changed. Becoming successful doesn’t require being born with the right habits, but being conscious of how to develop them.
5. The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M. Christensen
Harvard Professor Clayton M. Christensen is no stranger to creating a successful business. He also knows from experience that even if a business does everything “right” – it can still fail. The book revolves around the concept of disruptive innovation, a form of innovation that creates a new product and a totally new market as a result, but destroys as it creates. Creating a new product is a skill, but knowing how and when to unveil it is even more invaluable.
4. Good to Great – James C. Collins
There are millions of good companies, but what makes a good company make the leap to being great? James C. Collins and his research team set out to uncover what companies that made that leap great. The team found many answers, some of which were obvious. Good leadership and a culture of discipline were core to great companies. However, much of their discoveries completely blindsided them – and you need to know them.
3. 48 Laws of Power
Every interaction one finds themselves in involves an exchange of power. Learning to manipulate the “laws” of power can build friendships, relationships, businesses, and even empires. Robert Greene thoroughly explains these laws, accompanying each one with concrete historical examples of proper and improper demonstrations. The tactics range from clever to ruthless. Yet as amoral as the book may seem at times, these are all very real examples of how the tradeoffs of power affect us all.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
An extremely important but overlooked aspect of being a successful entrepreneur is having charisma and good social skills. Even if you’ve got a grand and memorable idea, one must be memorable themselves to truly make it in today’s world. Additionally, In a world where we are more connected yet more isolated than ever by a digital divide, face-to-face interpersonal skills are even more valuable than before. Dale Carnegie’s legendary book shows even the most timid and tactless entrepreneur how to become a social aficionado.
1. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Can you really think your way to riches? Napoleon Hill thinks so. Think and Grow Rich was written from the experiences of hundreds of exceptional people who all made millions of dollars. By observing these great people, Hill was able to find a common pattern and condense their methods down to a simple yet replicable system to create endless wealth and success. From developing the proper mindset to executing plans, Think and Grow Rich covers everything an entrepreneur needs to know to earn great wealth.