7 Must-Read Books for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
You may always benefit from guidance from someone who has traveled a similar path, no matter how experienced you are as an entrepreneur—whether you're just starting out or have previously created a few successful enterprises. That's where reading some of the best business books comes into play.
Perhaps you require some motivation to crank up your engines, or you could benefit from some guidance on how to improve your management skills and propel your company to new heights. Sitting down and reading one of these finest books for entrepreneurs can be one of the best ways to receive whatever business guidance you need.
What are the best books for business people? If you're a small business owner, there are plenty of must-reads. Here is a compilation of a comprehensive list of seven books to answer all of your questions regarding how to establish and run a business.
1)Start With Why, by Simon Sinek
Why is it, do you think, that some organizations are able to inspire, lead, and transform industries and sectors where others don’t?
Is it about funding? Good Luck? Or just sheer determination?
Simon Sinek has an alternative theory.
In his book Start With Why, Sinek argues that inspired leaders (regardless of background, industry, or funding) always think from the inside out.
They understand WHY they exist, what their purpose is, what their core mission is, and place this at the center of everything they do.
He argues that most companies have got it backward, focusing too much on WHAT they sell, and HOW it works.
But in reality...
People buy why you do what you do, not what you do. "-Simon Sinek
Throughout the book, he uses his Golden Circle diagram to demonstrate his concept:
With examples from Steve Jobs, including what made him a successful leader, Apple, and why buyers keep coming back to buy their products.
It's a great book for entrepreneurs because it makes you rethink your messaging and teaches you to place your basic values, beliefs, and purpose at the center of everything you do.
2)Donald Miller's Building A Story Brand
Consider the last film you saw. It was most likely centered on a main figure or protagonist. This character was probably confronted with a difficulty or a task. They were, however, unable to do it on their own. They required the assistance and support of a guide. This handbook provided them with a strategy, a call to action, and the assurance that they would avoid failure and, in the end, achieve success...
It's finally over.
Doesn't this sound like a pretty conventional tale arc?
In his book, Building a Story Brand, Donald Miller recommends using this 7-step Storybrand Barandscript framework for your personal brand.
Customers are always looking for ways to solve their problems. That truth is demonstrated by Google, Firefox, YouTube, Bing, and all other search engines.
By substituting your consumer for the main character and your brand for the guide, you can be the one who empathizes with their plight and leads them on this quest for solutions.
So, why should entrepreneurs to use this framework?
There are three parts to the answer:
- It allows you to streamline your communication.
- Make contact with your customers.
- Expand your company.
The book is jam-packed with information to help you better understand the concept and how to apply it to your own company.
3)Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People
You'll be working with people directly on a daily basis as an entrepreneur.
It's a lot of talking with a lot of different people, whether it's with clients, internal personnel, agents, contractors, or possible investors.
While it may appear to be a simple ability, the "craft" of good conversation is in reality a challenging one to master. One that is not for the faint of heart.
So, Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence Them acts as a map to help you find your way around the galleries.
It teaches you how to communicate differently depending on your relationship with that person, making it our favorite business psychology book.
An area that many aspiring entrepreneurs may overlook!
The simple act of wishing someone a happy birthday is a notable example here.
Consider that for a moment. Isn't it nice when someone remembers your birthday and makes an attempt to contact you?
Especially if it comes from someone who isn't a close friend or family member. Someone you wouldn't expect to hear from.
4)The Blue Ocean Strategy
Take a look at the majority of companies in your industry.
Do you believe it's fair to state that they all sell the same products, to the same target audience, and through the same channels?
They look like grazing sheep in a paddock.
Following the herd's general direction, munching on the same grass, wearing the same woolly coats, and generally following the herd's general direction.
But what if you could reinvent your company and stand out from the sea of white?
What if there was a way for you to stand out? To actually distinguish yourself in areas other than price and quality?
Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim both thought the same thing.
They were so taken with the concept that they created a book about it called Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Ignore Competition.
What a book it is, too!
It forces you to reconsider not only how your firm operates, but also the industry as a whole.
It accomplishes this by emphasizing the importance of the client in all aspects of the business. This pushes you to reconsider the entire concept of value innovation: "Value innovation is about increasing customer value while lowering costs."
You'll discover that after reading the book and applying the tools, you'll be able to approach the customer problem from an entirely new perspective.
You have a unique perspective that none of your competitors have.
5)Eric Ries' book The Lean Startup
So, you've got a company concept that you'd like to pursue.
You're fairly confident that the market will embrace it, and you have the resources to make it happen. So, the next step is to confirm it.
Author Eric Ries explains how to achieve just that in his book, The Lean Startup.
His method also ensures that you accomplish it without putting too much effort or money into it. As an entrepreneur, we can assist you in avoiding excessive risk...
So, how does it function?
His build-measure-learn feedback cycle underpins the entire concept:
Build a prototype and test it instead of generating assumptions about how the market would react to your idea.
In this manner, you can constantly tweak and enhance your product based on input from your first customers, all while cutting the time it takes to get it to market.
Of course, this is a very "simple" explanation, and the book goes into a lot more.
6)Neil Rackham's SPIN Selling
Your firm will fail regardless of how good your product, service, or idea is if you can't promote and sell it.
This is especially true nowadays, when customers have dozens of options to pick from. Entrepreneurs must know how to market if they are to prosper.
Neil Rackham's SPIN Selling is one of the best books you can buy if you're working with massive, multi-faceted sales cycles.
Rackham studied over 35,000 sales calls made by seasoned salespeople to see what worked and what didn't.
"The quality of the questions addressed by the salesman positively impacted higher closing rates," according to his research.
A close can often be completed in a single call-in shorter consumer goods sale cycle.
When dealing with far lengthier, more complicated agreements, though, it's more about cultivating connections, displaying empathy, and establishing trust than it is about the goods.
This is accomplished by posing questions in "SPIN" order:
- Situation: be aware of the sale's context.
- Problems: determine what the customer's issues are.
What happens if they don't take action?
The customer finishes up explaining how the solution helps them as a need-payoff.
While it may appear intimidating to those unfamiliar with sales, Rackham does an excellent job of breaking down the steps into manageable chunks.
Real-life examples are used to demonstrate each idea.
If you keep finding solutions to problems, you'll need to learn to pivot (From the Lean Startup), because your initial hypothesis is almost certainly incorrect.
7)Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
This is the final book to recommend here.
Your life as an entrepreneur is chaotic.
To be successful in business, you must learn:
- A fresh set of capabilities
- Keep an eye on the competition.
- Consult with customers
- Read as many books as you can.
- Learn how to bargain.
- Manage your product and sell it.
... all while juggling a family life (and trying to remain fit and healthy).
The issue is that there just isn't enough time to do everything. You must learn to manage your time well.
This book will push you to achieve exactly that!
To take a step back and consider what you're doing with your time.
What are your advantages? Where will you have the greatest impact? What aspects of your team can you assign to others?
"Warren Buffett owes 90% of his wealth to just ten investments," according to one quotation from the book.
McKeown emphasizes throughout the book that less is frequently more. For sure all entrepreneurs may benefit from this.