The Top 20 Must-Read Best Books for Entrepreneurs
For entrepreneurs, continuous learning is essential to maximize growth both personally and professionally. Reading books written by experienced founders provides invaluable insights into successfully launching and scaling a business. This comprehensive guide covers 20 Must-Read Best Books for Entrepreneurs every entrepreneur should read for actionable advice, mindset shifts, improved skills, and inspirational stories.
The 20 Best Books for Entrepreneurs You Should Read
1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This modern startup bible pioneered a scientific approach to launching businesses by continually testing and iterating ideas to build what customers actually want.
2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
A candid read on the gritty underbelly of entrepreneurship, VC Ben Horowitz offers blunt advice on the hardest decisions founders face.
3. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
The Nike founder’s personal memoir recounts pivotal entrepreneurial lessons from early startup scrappiness to explosive global growth.
4. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel provides shrewd insights on pursuing true innovation and developing breakthrough ideas as a competitive advantage.
5. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Get inspired to launch highly profitable microbusinesses and side hustles requiring minimal capital through smart leverage of existing skills and passions.
6. Traction by Gabriel Weinberg
This tactical guide reveals targeted strategies across marketing, sales, PR, partnerships, and more to acquire new customers in a competitive online landscape.
7. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
Learn why most small businesses fail and how to create an enduring and entrepreneurial venture positioned for long-term growth.
8. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Former FBI negotiator Chris Voss shares invaluable tactics based on psychology and hostage negotiation for striking better deals.
9. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s research on cognitive biases and decision-making psychology provides thought-provoking insights with practical applications in business.
10. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Christensen analyzes why industry leaders and outstanding companies often miss game-changing innovations that upend entrenched products and services.
11. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
Moore shares hard truths on the gulf between early adopters and mainstream customers and how to successfully cross the “chasm” with disruptive innovations.
12. The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins
Walk through major strategies to smoothly transition into larger leadership roles and overcome common missteps during the pivotal first 90 days in a new executive position.
13. Built to Last by Jim Collins
Based on extensive research into long-enduring Fortune 500 companies, Collins distills success principles for building an iconic, visionary company.
14. The Power of Broke by Daymond John
Shark Tank star and FUBU founder Daymond John draws from his extraordinary path to demonstrate how financial constraints spur resourcefulness and innovative thinking.
15. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
This ancient Chinese military treatise reveals principles on strategy, tactics, and managing uncertainty that deliver an unconventional but potent playbook for modern entrepreneurs.
16. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
The Virgin founder imparts far-ranging wisdom on following intuition, crafting visionary brands, building cultures of happiness, and reinventing stagnant industries shared through humorous personal stories.
17. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen
An introspective read on ensuring you apply your gifts toward a purposeful life measured by achievements that truly matter instead of misguided social benchmarks.
18. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
DeMarco offers an inspirational kick in the pants toward escaping the slow wealth-building of the masses by daring to chase rapid financial independence on your own startup terms.
19. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Discover the deceptively powerful management method of setting clear goals matched with frequent constructive feedback to bring out the best in people.
20. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Through deeply personal stories, internet entrepreneur Rachel Hollis motivates readers to abandon limiting beliefs, embrace their gifts, and lead an unapologetically authentic life.
While no book holds all the “secrets”, curating an entrepreneurial bookshelf with diverse wisdom accelerates your startup education journey. Let these books provide mental fuel as fellow traveler guides mapping your path to business breakthroughs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top 5 must-read best books for entrepreneurs?
The Lean Startup, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Zero to One, Traction, and The $100 Startup offers an ideal foundation covering startup strategy, mindset, innovation, marketing, and frugality.
Which genres are most valuable for entrepreneurs to read?
Memoirs, biographies of successful founders, and books on business strategy/marketing, psychology, negotiation, management, and economics offer huge value to entrepreneurs.
Should entrepreneurs read fiction books?
Absolutely. Though not overtly business-focused, fiction expands creativity, empathy, storytelling, and new perspectives valuable for entrepreneurship.
What format do busy entrepreneurs prefer – physical books or audiobooks?
Audiobooks that can be played during commutes, exercise, errands, etc. make consuming business books efficient for busy entrepreneurs on the go.
How often should entrepreneurs read book recommendations?
Aim to read one book per month. Consistent reading helps cement learning. Take notes and discuss books with others to maximize insights.
The best entrepreneurs never stop learning. Make reading an integral lifelong habit to continually level up your abilities. Absorb wisdom from those farther along the path before you. Let these best books for entrepreneurs provide mental models, counterintuitive insights, unconventional strategies, and inspirational stories to spur your own winning formulas. The ROI? Priceless.