30 Remarkable Books For Entrepreneurs That Want To Be Successful
Books have been an invaluable source of knowledge for many centuries now. And in some shape or form, they always will be.
This is especially the case if you’re trying to become a successful entrepreneur. Or if you’re trying to just succeed in general.
So we decided to share 30 of our favorite books, which marketing books, entrepreneurship books, books for startups, and books for achieving success.
Among them are new books and old books, bestsellers and even relatively unknown books. But all of them have left a lasting impression on us. And we hope they’ll do the same for you!
So without further ado, here are the books!
MARKETING (4 BOOKS)
#1 All Marketers Are Liars (2005)
By Seth Godin
Key idea: We believe what we want to believe and successful marketers use it to sells their products.
Short summary: All successful marketers are storytellers. They tell us a story we want to believe in about life, hardship, success, and how their new and exciting product makes it all that much easier. In the end, we buy the brand and not the product. We drink the can and not the beverage.
#2 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (1993)
By Al Ries and Jack Trout
Key idea: There are 22 things about marketing that will never change. Learn them now, so you don’t need to re-discover them later.
Short summary: The book is structured into 22 chapters, dealing on topics like industry leadership, perception, exclusivity, and hype among others, describing how and why these will always affect the efficiency of your marketing.
#3 The Lead Machine (2017)
By Rich Brooks
Key idea: The simplest digital marketing method – the BARE Essentials of Digital Marketing.
Short summary: TLM contains all the latest and relevant digital marketing methods, tips, and tricks to help anyone up their marketing game. From keyword choice and title generation to customer avatars and email layouts.
#4 Purple Cow
By Seth Godin
Key idea: The only way to truly succeed is to stop advertising and start innovating
Short summary: Purple Cow is a book that explains how even the greatest marketers can’t sell a completely ordinary product in the long term. Because that’s simply putting the cart before the horse. Godin notes that the product should be remarkable, so customers seek out the product by themselves and only then is it worth it to involve marketers of any caliber.
BUSINESS STRATEGY (5 BOOKS)
#5 Blue Ocean Strategy (2004)
By W. Chan Kim
Key idea: Don’t try to beat your competition because the results are only short-term. Instead, completely obliterate them to the point they become irrelevant.
Short summary: This book mainly focuses on two notions. The red ocean, which is the crowded market space with cutthroat competition you should avoid. And the blue ocean, which has no competition and only profit. The core principle to create a blue ocean is value innovation – you make a product that’s so much better than everyone else’s, theirs suddenly becomes irrelevant.
#6 Brand Flip (2015)
By Marty Neumeier
Key idea: A brand is now the people that support it rather than the company behind it.
Short summary: A successful brand is built on adaptability. Jumping for and integrating the new in all your entrepreneurial processes is the key to succeeding in the current world. Things like social media, digital products, and online distribution platforms are an absolute necessity. This is why so many titans like Toys’R’Us and Sears have gone bankrupt recently. They couldn’t adapt to the changes and never acknowledged the current zeitgeist.
#7 The E-Myth Revisited (1985)
Michael E. Gerber
Key idea: A business should be based around systems and not people
Short summary: Gerber describes the pitfalls of small businesses and how small-time business owners get trapped in a job that’s more taxing than a normal job. To avoid it, you need to make a business that will be able to run without your presence. Whether it’s by outsourcing certain tasks, automation, or reducing costs.
#8 Competitive Strategy (1980)
By Michael E. Porter
Key idea: The first important step to any successful business venture is understanding your industry’s landscape.
Short summary: This book teaches you how to analyze your competitors, giving you timeless questions that will always remain relevant. Only by answering them can you gain the ability to truly succeed. At first glance, the questions might seem like common sense, but people forget the simple and focus on the complex way too easily. That’s why this book can help to keep you in check.
#9 Good to Great (2001)
By James C. Collins
Key idea: Greatness is a conscious choice.
Short summary: Good to Great is a collection of actionable concepts and ideas, that make you more likely to succeed in any industry. From things like the “Hedgehog concept” and the “Doom loop” all the way to leadership and company culture. These tools to greatness are available to everyone, but most choose to ignore them.
STARTUPS (5 BOOKS)
#10 Crush it! (2009)
By Gary Vaynerchuk
Key idea: In the digital era, you can turn your interests, hobbies, and passions into a real and thriving business.
Short summary: This book describes the entire process of creating your brand, maintaining it, profiting from it, and never sacrificing the quality of your life in the process. It goes into detail about passion, family, happiness, motivation, adaptability, and using all the resources available to you, culminating in a solid blueprint for success.
#11 The Art of the Start (2004)
By Guy Kawasaki
Key idea: Any startup can be successful if you follow the right steps.
Short summary: Kawasaki’s book is a rather short, but very insightful read. The first main point he makes is that the best startups are the ones made for “meaning” instead of “profit.” This is described in great detail, explaining things like morals, continuity, the mantra for your organization, business models, niches, milestones, and overall mindset for any aspect of the startup. And the best part is, there’s hardly any fluff, so almost every sentence you read is a knowledge bomb.
#12 The Hard Thing About Hard Things (2014)
By Ben Horowitz
Key idea: There’s no recipe or plan for a successful startup, only tips, suggestions, and experiences you can use to make it more likely to succeed.
Short summary: This book is the condensation of Horowitz’s experiences with startups. It notes “being grounded in reality” as the key approach to everything. Embrace the struggle and do what you have to do. Stop looking for the easy ways out because most of them are a hoax anyway. It might feel uncomfortable at times, but it’s a very valuable read.
#13 The Lean Startup
By Eric Ries
Key idea: The only way to succeed is to learn and adapt faster than others.
Short summary: Ries’ book is a semi-scientific cheat sheet for entrepreneurial success. It notes three main lessons: find your business model through user validation, use split-testing to find value, and never indulge into vanity metrics like FB likes. It’s packed with actionable and effective stuff.
#14 Zero to One (2014)
By Peter Thiel
Key idea: Aim straight for the top right from the beginning. This way you’ll always be operating in a different league than your competition.
Short Summary: Zero to One is an insight into how Peter Thiel’s mind works and what lead him to his success. There are many interesting ideas and principles, including the value of vertical advancement, the benefits of monopolies, and why it’s important to be a lunatic with a vision. A fun and at times personal read.
ACHIEVING SUCCESS (11 BOOKS)
#15 Delivering Happiness (2010)
By Tony Hsieh
Key idea: You should always focus on your happiness and the happiness of your employees, customers, and others people around you.
Short summary: This book goes into great detail about the importance of core values, building trust, and a great mindset not just in yourself, but also your team, your clients, and your family. The path to success isn’t solitude, but a journey that’s best taken with like-minded individuals
#16 Manage Your Day-to-Day (2013)
By Jocelyn K. Glei
Key idea: Great goals are completed in small steps.
Short summary: This book stresses the importance of segmenting any and all tasks, so you’re never intimidated or turned-off by a massive workload. When you make doing this a habit, consistency, creativity, and meaningful results happen all by themselves.
#17 The Millionaire Fastlane (2010)
By MJ DeMarco
Key idea: There are three wealth creation paths: the sidewalk that always leads to poverty, the slow lane that will make you rich when you’re old, and the fast lane that will lead you to riches in 5-10 years.
Short summary: The Millionaire Fastlane isn’t an anecdote or a hyped up “get rich” scheme. Instead, it addresses the misconceptions people have about getting rich while also providing key advice on the path to wealth creation. For example, if you’re not getting rich right now, stop what you’re doing and do something else.
#18 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006)
By Carol S. Dweck
Key idea: There are two types of mindsets in the world. A fixed mindset that most people have and a growth mindset that all successful people have.
Short summary: In this book, Dweck describes how the mindset can be the most limiting aspect of anyone’s life. It also showcases how it affects each aspect of your life. From school, relationships, and work in a corporate environment. Successful and failure don’t have clear-cut definitions. It’s simply a matter of perspective.
By Ray Dalio
Key idea: Principles are the guidepost to using your passion and purpose to succeed.
Short summary: Ray Dalio talks about the three guiding questions that are needed for any successful entrepreneur. What do you desire? What is true? And how do you reach your desires by taking into account the truth? When you repeatedly answer these questions throughout your life, your goals and motivations will always be in line with your character. This makes it easier and more pleasant to succeed because your core principles and values remain intact.
#20 Rich Dad Poor Dad (1997)
By Robert Kiyosaki
Key idea: Your life shouldn’t be guided by money, but money should be guided by your life.
Short summary: This book is a contrasting tale of two mindsets, explaining why the poor stay poor and why the rich get richer. This includes things like knowing how to use your money, differentiating between assets and liabilities, and many other important lessons. While this book has gotten a bad rap for being the centerpiece of every MLM scheme in the past decade, it’s still a book that’s filled with valuable content and ideas.
#21 How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1944)
By Dale Carnegie
Key idea: When you change yourself, other people in your life will change as well.
Short summary: Carnegie’s book is a classic that’s managed to stay relevant even today. It shows how to get rid of worries by turning them into positive, driving emotions. After all, life is too short to spend it worrying.
#22 The 10x Rule (2011)
By Grant Cardone
Key idea: Set goals that are x10 greater than what you can achieve. And put in x10 more effort than you think you need to succeed.
Short summary: It’s essentially a trick that always lets you work at 100% efficiency. Because you have set impossibly grand goals, your realistic goals seem much easier and pleasant. And because you put in a lot more effort than you should, there will never be a time when you can’t do what’s needed. In fact, you’ll always do more without trying, allowing you to stay ahead of your competition much easier.
#23 The Power of Broke (2016)
By Daymond John
Key idea: You can leverage a lack of money into an advantage in business.
Short summary: This book is basically a guide on how you can start and maintain a business with minimal capital. With one of the more important ideas is that broke people look for resources others don’t. In the end, it comes down to your creativity and passions to succeed. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
#24 The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)
By George S. Clason
Key idea: Common sense is worth more than any type of advice you can get.
Short summary: A collection of financial advice disguised in the form of tales from the ancient city of Babylon. All of the book’s contents are surprisingly relevant even today. From things like living slightly below your means, reinvesting your savings, and avoid debt like the black plague. A must-read for anyone who enjoys interesting tales, finances, and common sense.
#25 Think and Grow Rich (1937)
By Napoleon Hill
Key idea: Your state of mind, above all else, influences the chances of success.
Short summary: Think and Grow Rich is cited as one of the most famous success books of all times. It focuses mainly on how you, the reader, can become “money conscious.” This is split into many connected ideas like manifesting your desires into reality, controlling your thoughts, finding a definite purpose, and having a burning desire. A very interesting and insightful read that’s more on the philosophical side.
MANAGEMENT (3 BOOKS)
#26 How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936)
By Even Carnegie
Key idea: Never criticize, condemn, or complain, but instead give genuine appreciation and create a strong desire in people.
Short summary: Almost a century later, Carnegie’s lessons about making people like you still hold true. From simple things like smiling, being friendly to encouragement, empathy, and understanding, there are many tools packed in this book that will improve anyone’s social life and career.
#27 Start with Why (2009)
By Simon Sinek
Key idea: Everything starts and ends with your “why.” Understand your “why”, attach it to your brand, let others see it as well, and use it as the driving force behind your success.
Short summary: Sinek’s book is a thesis on the cause of any individual’s actions, the “why.” How to find it, how to reinforce it, and how to use it. Not just in your private life, but also your business, your career, and leading others. It’s a great read for anyone wanting to have a clearer path and meaning in life.
#28 Tribes (2017)
By Seth Godin
Key idea: People are wired to unify and create tribes.
Short summary: Godin’s book is an easily-digestible explanation on how society works and why we need leaders. The centerpiece being the parallels drawn between leaders and managers/bosses. And how anyone can be a leader to some extent.
MANAGING YOUR FINANCES (1 BOOK)
#29 Unshakeable (2017)
By Tony Robbins
Key idea: The best way to increase your income is to reduce your expenses.
Short summary: Unshakeable is a pristine knowledge bomb distilled from the experiences of 50 world-class investors. The main lessons of the book come down to always being rational and never being emotional or hoping for the best. Low risk, high reward, and always run your investment decisions by a checklist.
GENERATING SALES (1 BOOK)
#30 SPIN Selling (1988)
By Neil Rackham
Key idea: The most important skill in selling is building up the perceived value.
Short summary: SPIN Selling is the summary of a very extensive research on the sales process. Anyone can be a successful salesperson, as long as they know how to ask the right questions and provide the most fitting solutions. It’s as much about conversational skills as it is about reading your client’s needs and dealing with their objections.
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That being said, maybe you have some book recommendations you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below!
See you in the next blog post, live empowered!