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11 Books any entrepreneur should read

There are many books out there that promise to show you the successful ways of entrepreneurship, help you transform your life, and make you rich and famous. I haven't read all of them, nor do I have the recipe for quick and easy success. Still, I found some reads that I can honestly recommend to anybody who is considering taking the entrepreneurship route or is already on it but feeling rather lost.

Some are more focused on entrepreneurship, while you might be wondering why others are on this list, but trust me, there are good reasons why I chose them. Here they are:

1. The start-up of YOU

The start-up of YOU by Reid Hoffmann, the co-founder of LinkedIn, and Ben Casnocha is a great read to start with because it teaches you how to get into that entrepreneurial mindset. Most people have at least a part-time job while building their own business, and while that provides a certain degree of safety, it also acts as a deterrent to taking the leap. This book shows you how entrepreneurs think and offers the right tools for moving forward and growing a business.

2. The $100 Startup

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is equal parts entertaining and motivating. One of the main issues preventing people from launching their own business is a lack of funds. This book gathers fifty stories of people who started successful companies with very limited capital. Besides the obvious advantage of learning from the experience of others, this read acts as a very efficient wind beneath the wings.

Read more: Debunking 5 myths about being an entrepreneur

3. Founders at Work

Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston is along the same lines as The $100 Startup but built around interviews with the founders of some of well-known companies – Yahoo, Flickr, Apple, Craigslist, PayPal are some examples. There is a lot of good information and some fascinating morsels of business history. This book is like a literary masterclass for aspiring entrepreneurs.

4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, is a popular financial education book. I’ve seen it mentioned a lot of times in various contexts. It’s essential for new entrepreneurs to read it, as it sheds light on what wealth actually is and how it can be acquired – ironically, not in the ways we are taught by school and society.

5. Crush It!

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk comes with a very powerful title and motivating content. Gary Vee can convince anybody that passions can be monetized, and it’s a missed opportunity not to turn what we like to do into profit. It’s the perfect thing to read if you feel you need that extra push to get out of your comfort zone and take a chance on something that's important to you.

6. The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is more of a “how-to” read. It’s not as much about what successful entrepreneurs have done in the past but about finding the right way of growing your business in today’s environment. It looks at several techniques that can be used to reach success. Not as entertaining as other books on this list, but definitely informative.

Read more: 8 Rules for success every entrepreneur should follow right now

7. Rework

Rework by Jason Fried & David Hansson is mainly aimed at entrepreneurs who need to move fast and get results even faster. Blueprints and intricate business plans are not for them. In this book, you’ll find how to get your business going and learn as you go along. Obviously, not a recipe for the faint of heart.

8. Start With Why

Start With Why by Simon Sinek is based on the premise that people can be influenced by manipulation or inspiration, and it’s obviously best if entrepreneurs manage the latter. The book will teach you how to promote yourself and your business to attract loyal customers and the most suitable employees.

Read more: 6 Personal branding tips for knowledge entrepreneurs

9. Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow is an international bestseller, written by Noble prize winner Daniel Kahneman. The book tackles the psychology of decision-making, giving you the information you need to understand how the decisional process works and what you can do to improve yours for superior results.

10. Mindset

Mindset by Carol Dweck examines the mindsets people use to structure the “self” and guide their behavior. Looking at both fixed and growth mindsets, the author sheds light on using our own psychology to better ourselves. The book is equal parts informative and transformational.

11. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini is yet another classic, one I see as very fit to close this list. Based on decades of rigorous psychological research, this book will teach you why persuasion matters and how it works in real life. It's a must-read for any entrepreneur since both in your personal and professional life, you'll have to convince people to follow your ideas and possibly influence their behavior. Most importantly, it'll open your eyes to various situations in which you'd be much better off by saying "no" to things.

Closing thoughts

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, going through these reads will give you the tools, ideas, inspiration, and, possibly the most important one of all, motivation to get off the couch and go after your dreams.

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