The 8 Best Books for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Starting life as an entrepreneur is a scary and uncertain venture, and knowing how to weather unknown dangers is crucial to ensure long-term success.

While you might think the key is to create a successful business plan, that’s only a part of it. The individual at the helm of your business needs to be well informed, creative and motivated, and if you want to become that person, you’re going to need a team of experienced advisers. Luckily these advisers can come in paperback or hardback form.

Here are the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs to help develop and grow:

“The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau

Sure, it’s easier to start a successful business when you have unlimited cash at your fingertips; buying the resources, broadening your budget, and renting a deluxe office for your legion of employees is a more likely way to see success. But what happens when you’re like everyone else and live paycheck to paycheck? According to Chris Guillebeau, all you need is $100 – and maybe even less.

This book details practical case studies on successful business owners who created a business for pennies and substantially increased their investment. If you’re looking to turn a hobby into a career or a startup dream into a reality, this book will show you how you can take advantage of tools, creativity, and strategy to make your business a success without extreme capital.

“The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups From Their Founding Entrepreneurs” by David Kidder

The startup craze is still relatively new and while older styles of business have had decades to grow and evolve in a traditional environment, new startups still look forward to quite a bit of improvisation. Looking at the accounts within this book, however, you can see prime examples of how businesses from a range of industries approached the new venture, tailored practices and technology to their advantage, and weathered some of the hardest storms an entrepreneur can face. With over 41 accounts from leading startup founders, you can learn how to run your business, how to maintain it, and even how to create it.

“The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss

There’s a title that catches your eye – who wouldn’t want to work a four-hour workweek? This book shows the true value of every moment spent, and who we spend them with both personally and during office hours. With the modern business world being fast-paced and ingraining an instant-return mentality, understanding what outdated concepts need to be dispensed with is important for thriving in the new arena.

4 Hour Workweek

This book teaches you how to harness your working style and mindset to be more productive when you do work, and free up your time for family and social activities to maintain a work/life balance.

“The Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte

Unique advice that is both friendly and heavy hitting, designed for business life as well as personal affairs, this book can do more than help you nurture and guide a startup – it can turn you into the successful entrepreneur needed to do it. With insights ranging from marketing to motivation to generosity, this book features sixteen well-crafted sessions that can be revisited as you move forward with your startup.

“Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World” by René Girard

Who better for entrepreneurial advice than the co-founder of PayPal, billionaire Peter Thiel? Whatever he’s reading, you should be reading, and that brings us to one of his most recommended books: Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. This book deals out heavy hits that may unsettle your perspective on business and strategy, but offer a unique and actionable look at success.

For example, the book encourages you to place much less focus on your competition than you’d imagine, and instead focus on your audience and the progress of your services or products – letting the rivalry sort itself. Very little progress comes from beating the competition; the majority comes from pleasing your customers.

“Zero to One” by Peter Thiel

“Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1,” says Thiel in his book. Not every startup idea is genius or even smart, but knowing what makes you or your idea unique is the first step in your journey as an entrepreneur.

Zero to One

Zero to One gives you actionable guidance on how to make originality into functionality, how to find something unique in the world to harness for your new business, and if your startup needs some serious revisions, how you can put this into action without losing progress. With first-hand accounts and opinions from the author, this is the book to read before starting your business.

“Out of the Crisis” by W. Edwards Deming

At the founding of a startup, it’s much less about success and freedom and more about damage control. Working your way out of the crisis is the key to finding both success and balance. This book by Edwards Deming is one of the most recommended for new entrepreneurs seeking to build a startup, as it gives the practical and unique guidelines necessary to weather the crisis within an ever-changing market.

It details advice on how to interact and communicate with your employees, chart and manage progress, and how to take advantage of all the big name digital tools large corporations are adopting, giving you an educated road-map for getting started.

“Lucky or Smart?” by Bo Peabody

Success often comes from careful planning, but sometimes opportunities do just fall in our lap – taking advantage of those moments is the key. Lucky or Smart shows you how to look out for those opportunities, where you can go searching for them, and how you can turn your strokes of luck into actionable and understandable tactics that can be reproduced on a regular basis to grow success.

Did we miss your favorite entrepreneurial book? Let us know in the comments.