When you start your own business, there’s an exciting, slightly overwhelming sense of how much there is to learn. Even if you’re an expert in your chosen business vertical, when you become an entrepreneur the scope of all that you need to know and manage in order to grow your business widens.
And whenever there is more to learn, my favorite place to turn to educate myself is books.
While I appreciate what other educational mediums have to offer, there’s nothing like the heft of a really well-written entrepreneurial book to meaningfully nudge the needle on my life’s compass back into alignment with my truest calling and bend the arc of my business’s progress towards success.
So - once you’ve explored books about finding your purpose to ensure that your life’s purpose and your business’s impact are in alignment - then it’s time to dive into the best books for entrepreneurs that will support you along your entrepreneurial journey.
Best Books On Starting A Business
At the beginning of your business ownership journey, it's incredibly easy to become engrossed with the myriad details you're managing such that you can't even see where you're headed.
It's incredibly important to set your sights on what you're building towards at a macro level so that you don't get so bogged down in the minutiae that you pick your head up a few years down the road and realize you've drifted off course from what you were working towards to begin with.
These books will help you cast your vision and begin taking steps towards it with the end goal in mind.
Chill & Prosper: The New Way to Grow Your Business, Make Millions, and Change the World
If you want to start your business with the right energy and mindset, you cannot go wrong kicking it off with Denise Duffield-Thomas's Chill & Prosper.
It delivers a masterful blend of mindset and strategy in Denise’s candidly breezy voice.
Even if you’re in the middle of your journey and feeling a bit drained by everything on your plate, this book is a great reminder of the tremendous power we have to bring more joy and freedom and ease back into our businesses and our lives.
The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field
In a world in which it is as easy as setting up another sales page to dilute our business’s impact and drive ourselves crazy with distractions, The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz reminds us that delivering value with clarity and simplicity are the hallmarks of entrepreneurial success.
Plus, I’m a big fan of gardening and autumn visits to the pumpkin patch so the central metaphor was right up my alley.
The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber is on nearly every list of best books for entrepreneurs - and with good reason.
It is just that good.
While I do not aspire to run a large-scale company with hundreds of employees, the principles shared in this book are excellent reminders that whether we are running solo entrepreneurial ventures from our guest bedroom offices or head up a C-Corp with an org chart, sound business practices benefit us all.
Best Books for Entrepreneurs In The Muddy Middle
If you're been running your small business for a while and are feeling rudderless or on the verge of burnout, these books can help you weather the storm by giving you practical, actionable advice as you take the next right step in your venture.
Free Time: Lose the Busywork, Love Your Business
Reading Free Time by Jenny Blake felt a bit like time traveling to me.
It beautifully crystalized so much of what I have just started edging into in my business right now. The sensation was one of being instantly teleported to a future more fully developed idea expressed better than I could ever have done.
It felt like a smarter version of me was passing me cheat codes from the future.
If you’re at a tipping point in your business and are ready to level up, this is the book will help you fast-track your systems success while keeping you in alignment with whole-hearted business ownership.
Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things
Never have I ever literally cheered while reading a book…until I read Hidden Potential by Adam Grant.
And it happened multiple times throughout.
That may sound strange, but I got my start in digital entrepreneurship as an ACT & SAT tutor and online course creator for the college admissions tests. I have coached kids who are beyond frustrated and don’t know how close they are to a breakthrough.
The same energy exists in entrepreneurs who are about to take off and this book helps us find hope in the dark moments right before a new dawn and gives us strategies to help us shake things up and get to those breakthroughs more quickly.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Sometimes we need a reminder that things feel difficult because they are difficult - and that the best stuff lies on the other side of sticking with the right thing.
I love that Grit by Angela Duckworth helps us discern between worthy endeavors and knowing when it’s time to pivot or quit entirely.
Even gritty people quit the wrong things.
If you’re on the edge of burnout or need a roadmap for navigating challenging times and difficult decisions about your next right step, this is the book you should turn to right now.
Best Entrepreneurial Mindset Books
Ready to level up your business? As an entrepreneur, it starts all with you and your mindset.
These books are absolute musts to have on your shelves. I've read them all multiple times and their high vibe energy and nuanced advice hits different every time, propelling me on my way to new heights.
Fill your entrepreneurial energy tank here.
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth
As entrepreneurs, there’s no doubt that what goes on between our ears impacts our bottom line. And we all have unconscious beliefs that shape our path in business.
If you feel uncomfortable with pricing your offerings, if you get ill at the thought of selling your services, pick this book up.
You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero is as entertaining as it is enlightening.
I’ve happily listened to it more times than I can count. It’s just that good.
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
Spoilers: the average human life is 4,000 weeks.
If that number seems mindblowingly small, blame OIiver Burkeman. His perfect positioning of our mortality against our desire to get all the things done is a necessary reminder for entrepreneurs. A lot of us are doers, building and growing and optimizing and, sometimes, working ourselves to death without stopping to wonder why it is we’re working so frantically to get all the things done.
By framing what we want to accomplish against how we want to live, Burkeman forces us to grapple with thinking of our business as part of a larger life rather than letting our entrepreneurial inclinations eclipse every other aspect of our lives.
I’m so grateful for the balance that 4,000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman restored to my life.
No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
No Rules Rules by Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings is kind of an odd choice to recommend as a mindset book, but go with me here.
Exploring how Hastings collaboratively crafted the culture at Netflix is a journey that is, at times, entirely counterintuitive. I found that hearing him tease out why he made the choices he did helped me see how thoughtfully bending or outright breaking the rules of corporate culture led to incredible innovations at Netflix.
So often we entrepreneurs leave a traditional job but build ourselves a job without the security of our previous position. All of the downside and none of the perks.
If you approach this book with an eye on how to think more innovatively, I think you’ll be inspired to shake a few things up in your own world.
Your Next Right Step
I hope you find the books above incredibly helpful as you continue your business learning and growth as an entrepreneur.
And, when it comes to marketing your entrepreneurial venture, I hope you consider avenues that are backed by data and drive both your impact and your income.
For example, this article was Search Engine Optimized for the keyword “best books for entrepreneurs” and other iterations of that term.
So if you found this particular article by typing precisely what you were looking for into Google or another search engine, consider just how powerful SEO might be to bring your ideal prospect directly to your digital doorstep.
If you’d like to learn more about how your business’s website is performing at this very moment, you can sign up for a free website audit.
Or if you’d like to continue your entrepreneurial growth with live monthly entrepreneur workshops, sign up below and I will let you know when the next one is being held.