The startup books that changed my life as a young entrepreneur. Useful information, guidelines, tips and inspiration are the fundamental keys for every successful startup entrepreneur.
After coaches/mentors, friends and family have motivated you in your startup business, the next thing to do is finding wisdom between the pages of a well-written book. Shooting a business for the first time is not easy.
There are 150 million startups in the world today, with 50 million new startups launching every year. As of 2020, about 90% of startups failed because of the pandemic.
And what is the cause of their diminished? There are so many problems startups faced during their first endeavour. Some of the underlying issues include; misleading information, lack of focus, and guidance.
Therefore, when the going gets tough and ideas run dry, read the stories of other successful people who have been there and done what you’re about to start. That’s why every startup entrepreneur should spend at least 30 minutes reading a book every day to get more ideas.
The Covid-19 is a big struck for entrepreneurs and businesses since last year. Through that, I developed a new habit of reading books during the lockdown period. I decided to read one book for a month, and eventually, my interest kindle for that, and I scaled it up.
However, it was challenging for me when I thought of writing the best books every young startup entrepreneur should read.
There are books about entrepreneurship and startups you have already heard of or read before. But below are the ones that gave me a dab on my back during the quarantine period last year.
1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
Most people want to retire as millionaires, but they don’t carve a million dollars; all they want is a millionaire lifestyle. They want to be their boss, travel the world, and live the lifestyle they want instead of having a 9-5 job.
In this book, Tim Ferris teaches about achieving this kind of lifestyle in two ways: the ‘deferrers and the ‘new rich’.
The Deferrers: are those group of people who follows the old school ways of life; “go to school, learn hard and get good grades so you can get a secured job.” Or those who follow the conventional system of working for 30-40 years of their lives and then retiring.
They use up the prime physical years of their life working, either run out of money or run out of things to do with their money while they’re traditionally retired.
The New Rich: also live the ‘retired‘ life early throughout their lives, alternating work periods and fun. Their goal is to spend as little effort and time to make as much money as possible.
And this is what The 4-Hour Workweek is all about. It teaches how to live the new rich lifestyle.
2. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Do you want to make your life better? Are you struggling in your personal or professional life, your interactions with other people, your life balance, or your life’s purpose?
Then look no further; I recommend The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People to you. This book provides an inside-out approach to improving yourself and your life.
Its best for entrepreneurs to learn how to communicate effectively with people. Learn how to focus your time best, define your mission, and build productive relationships with others.
3. How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn how to influence people to follow you, love your product or service, and trust you.
This book has helped millions of people to change their lifestyle from being critics or making excuses for their own mistakes to understand that you need to make mistakes to learn.
The idea that “people crave importance” is repeated the most often throughout the book, so it’s worth paying particular attention.
4. The Psychology Of Selling by Brian Tracy
In The Psychology Of Selling, bestselling author and management consultant Brian Tracy explains how you can become a top salesperson by understanding how your customers think.
Before you try to sell anything to a customer, you need to be in his shoes. First, think of how best your product will solve his major problem; we don’t hook the customer with pieces of stuff that have no value.
And this and many other principles Brian Tracy is teaching in his book. He talks about the basic and advanced selling techniques that every entrepreneur needs to increase sales success dramatically.
5. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robeert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of the bestselling books of all time because of the in-depth advice that has changed many peoples’ lifestyles.
The author shares his story when growing up about having two dads of different financial background. Both of them advised him concerning money and how to handle it, and that’s what he shares in the book Poor dad Rich Dad.
His biological father (Poor Dad) had education at Stanford with PhD, followed traditional career thinking, was allergic to risk-taking, and was financially illiterate. His best friend’s father (The Rich dad) was a high school drop-out who later built a business empire worth millions and employed thousands.
This book will undoubtedly change your life as a young entrepreneur. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to glance through it.
6. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The title of the book even says it all. Every startup business’s goal is to learn what the customers want and are willing to pay for as quickly as possible. Because startups face so much uncertainty, they have to make continuous adjustments to their startup plans based on their information.
Business success is mainly on the information you get; if you have a good business idea, timing, determinations, and luck, you will inevitably succeed. And this is precisely what Eric Ries is teaching in his book ‘The Lean Startup’. It is a complete startup kit for young entrepreneurs.
7. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller
The first thing a customer always looks out for in your business is how your brand can solve their problem.
Most entrepreneurs don’t recognize this, but branding has a significant role in every successful business. As a result, marketing that’s unclear or confusing doesn’t explain how their product or service can solve problems.
Therefore in building a storied brand, marketing expert Donald Miller explains how to create compelling marketing message and materials that speak to your customers. He also teaches about leveraging the power of story to create a company culture and increase employee engagement.
Contagious by Jonah Berger
In this book, author Jonah Berger asks why some new products and ideas gain widespread popularity while others fail to get attention. For instance, you have been in a particular business for a long time but not getting social recognition, and a new business like yours get a ‘boom!’ on the market.
What is their secret? According to Jonah Berger, the driving force behind their products or ideas, making it more “contagious”, is a social transmission known as word of mouth. See how a topic trends on social media; you will see many people talking about it. And this is what ‘Contagious’ is all about.
This book teaches how you can generate word of mouth around your product or ideas as an entrepreneur. Making your product or ideas compelling enough is to implement six fundamental principles discussed in the book.
Hooked by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover
The habits you formed should attach to your goals. Because habits are a shortcut for your brain, you execute automatic behaviours without thinking hard at it.
Hooked is all about habit formation through a loop of 4-steps. After reading this book, you’ll develop a certain kind of habits that will trigger you to do the most productive things in your life.
10.Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Whenever we heard of someone becoming more successful or hit a mark of breakthrough, we often wanted to know how the person did it. We assume that person has some unique personalities or skill-set we don’t have in our life, or maybe his lifestyle is different.
We try to figure things out to know the keys to his success. The assumption is part of the myth of self-made man or woman, someone who earned his success through hard work and innate talent.
We call these people Outliers. Therefore in ‘Outliers’, Gladwell emphasizes how success or failure depends on talent and hard work, but sometimes luck also comes in.
He argues that luck comes from external factors and their hidden advantages, which are out of control. It includes; where and when you were born, what kind of family you born into, and even how they raised you.
11.Principles by Ray Dalio
Another book that every young entrepreneur should consider reading is ‘Principles.’
Why Principles? We all know principles to be the fundamental truth that determines how you behave. It reflects our inner character and values. We all have principles set for our lives.
Therefore, Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, share the principles that have worked for him throughout his life.
In this book, he reveals the 5-steps process for getting what you want and many other life principles that will contribute to a successful life.
12.Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
Think and Grow Rich is one of Napoleon Hill’s best-selling books published in early 1937. It teaches how one can become wealthy and successful through positive thinking. The central premise of Think and Grow Rich is that our thoughts create our reality.
That’s, if we know what we want, desire and pursue it single-mindedly, have faith and create a plan, we can think it into being.
Through a section of interviews with some wealthy people, including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill shared a specific action plan and principles for achieving riches.
13.Zero To One by Peter Thiel
PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel is the author of Zero To One. In this book, Thiel contends that creating new things or bringing out new ideas or product is the best way to profit economically and the only path for human progress.
To become successful as an entrepreneur, one needs to create new things or have a different idea of doing things without duplicating what has been done before.
And, he believes, is the key to a successful business. Creating something entirely new moves us from Zero to one.
Which startup books helped you the most as an entrepreneur?
I have gathered 13 best books for young entrepreneurs and startup founders.
Identify the main challenge for your business now or your life and choose the appropriate book or you can decide to take a journey of reading it all.
Please take note, none of the book would solve all the challenges you face, but it will help you understand that you’re not alone and give you some tips for further development.