Once the initial excitement of “following your dreams” fades, entrepreneurs start thinking about money: their assets, the sums they will need to invest, and the profit margins that will ultimately tell if the business is successful or not.
Whether you’re exclusively an online course creator or have other ventures in addition to this, money is important. The list of quality, relevant finance books isn’t by any means short, yet not all of them are truly helpful for entrepreneurs.
Here’s a list of five books and their lessons that can help you learn more about money:
1. Invest in yourself first
Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett Gunderson and Stephen Palmer has a controversial title. But don’t be put off by it, the book is unique in that instead of talking about profitable business investments it focuses on the importance of investing in yourself.
Furthermore, it looks at some of the most powerful myths about finance and prosperity. It looks with a critical eye at how much is accurate and how much is the stuff of modern legend. For example, the authors approach the search for financial security from a surprising angle. They say that if you find something you love doing and adds value to your life, it’s a lot more likely you’ll end up wealthier than if you become an investment expert.
As long as your work is also your passion, you will work harder and longer and have the best chance to be excellent at it. More than a “how-to” book, this tackles the philosophy behind money-making.
Read more: 11 Books any entrepreneur should read
2. Pay yourself first
The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason uses parables set in the ancient city to illustrate valuable lessons about money and wealth building. The most important takeaway from this book is that you should always pay yourself first. Even in tough times, as long as you are still earning something, you should take 10 percent of that and put it away in a savings account or deposit.
The author also formulates seven simple money rules:
- Start thy purse to fattening: save money;
- Control thy expenditures: don't spend more than what you need;
- Make thy gold multiply: invest wisely;
- Guard thy treasures from loss: avoid investments that sound too good to be true;
- Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment: own your home;
- Ensure a future income: protect yourself with life insurance;
- Improve thy ability to earn: strive to become wiser and more knowledgeable.
Read more: How to set a price for your online course
3. Business is different than economics
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt is the go-to read if you want to understand the basics of economics and how money flows without taking an extensive course. It’s a common misconception that business and economics are synonyms.
Even governments sometimes make this mistake, trying to build policies for a country as if it were a corporation. These are always going to fail. Many visible and lesser-known factors influence economies – inflation, minimum wage, supply and demand, trade policies, Gross Domestic Product, and more.
Henry Hazlitt does a great job of explaining all these and putting them into context, so it’s easy to understand how they’re related and how they make or break an economy. It’s a crash course that will prove useful to any entrepreneur as it provides the basic knowledge needed to make sense of the big picture.
4. Making money is possible
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley was originally published in 1996 and updated in 2010. It’s widely acknowledged as a must-read on personal finance. It’s not a “what to do to become a millionaire” type of book. Instead, it considers a twenty-year-old study of over 1,000 millionaires from different parts of the world.
Analyzing the data, the authors identified seven prominent characteristics millionaires have in common:
- They have conservative lifestyles;
- They are efficient in allocating resources (time, money, energy);
- They place a higher priority on financial independence than on social status;
- They made it on their own efforts without significant help from their parents;
- They teach their own family members to be economically self-sufficient;
- They focus on emerging market opportunities;
- They choose an occupation where they can become self-employed.
Read more: Freelancer, solopreneur, or entrepreneur – What are you?
5. You can be a financial alchemist
Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy by Paul Zane Pilzer uses the alchemy analogy to discuss the much-coveted ability of finding the right avenues for generating wealth.
The author maintains that we are in a world of boundless economic resources and are limited only by technology. He says that modern financial alchemists must exploit technological gaps to devise new goods and services.
While it doesn’t offer a bulletproof recipe for financial success, this book makes some great points about global economies and their future as well as what it will mean to create wealth. Furthermore, the book raises pertinent questions about what we need to survive. On close analysis, it’s really very little, but we don’t perceive it as such because we are programmed to confuse our wants with our needs.
Some people have a flair for making money and don’t spend too much time weighing in options. Others need to get a lot of information before they make financial decisions. Regardless of which category you are in, these five books can help you get to a new level when it comes to your finances as an entrepreneur.