Five books every entrepreneur should read

Running a business involves hiring the right people, polishing the skills acquired and learning new ones at the same time, and most importantly, meeting the good and bad days with the same motivation. So where does an entrepreneur go to look for motivation in the bad days? The easiest source is diving into an inspiring book.

After all, there are so many success stories to learn from that can cheer you up on your bad days and remind you why you chose this path.

Today, Entrepreneurship 101 lists books that provide helpful guides to both high and low days, and will help you better navigate the entrepreneurial path.

Zero to one

This book by renowned entrepreneur and investor Peter Thielis often hailed along with Blake Masters as the first book any entrepreneur should read before embarking on their journey.

Recommended by the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, Zero to one presents a new way of thinking about innovation. It makes the reader ask questions and find values ​​in places least expected.

As the name suggests, the book focuses on creating something new, something the world has never seen before – it’s about being someone who doesn’t get into a rat race with his competitors, but someone who focuses on creating unique companies that escape competition.

The blurb reads:

“The next Bill Gates won’t build an operating system. The next Larry page or Serget Brin will not create a search engine. If you copy these guys you don’t learn from it… It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new, doing what we already know, takes the world from 1 to n, adding more to something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there.”


How to make friends and influence people

Probably one of the first self-help books in history, How to make friends and influence people by means of Dale Carnegie may have been written in the 1930s, but it remains valuable even today. Ranked as one of the international best-selling books of all time, it has been translated into 31 languages.

Through this book, Carnegie provides practical advice on dealing with and understanding people. As the title suggests, reading this book will help the readers to better interact with people. Carnegie believed that great leaders are those who can express their ideas, assume leadership, and get people excited about a mission or purpose. So he learns the same skills through this book by dividing it into six parts:

  • Basic techniques for dealing with people
  • Six ways to get people to like you
  • How to win people over to your way of thinking
  • Be a leader: how to change people without causing offense or arousing resentment?
  • Letters that yielded miraculous results
  • Seven rules to make your life happier at home


Why do we sleep?

We have already established how important it is to rest well. Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams is written by Matthew Walker, the director of UC Berkeley (Center for Human Sleep Science). The book aims to explain how not getting eyes closed for 8 hours can reduce one’s quality of life. Neglecting sleep not only affects one’s creative and decision-making abilities, but also leads to memory loss, deteriorated heart and mental health, disrupts the immune system and can even shorten one’s lifespan.

This book is the ultimate motivator for entrepreneurs who often ignore their rest and sleep cycles. It’s a reminder to take a break and get a good night’s sleep in order to perform well the next day.

In fact, entrepreneur Bill Gates shared a comment about this book where he writes:

“It took me a little longer than usual to complete Why do we sleep?– ironically, because I continued to follow Walker’s advice to put the book I was reading down a little earlier than I used to so I could get a better night’s sleep. But Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that everyone on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.’


7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This self-help book by Stephen R Covey guides business people to achieve their goals effectively by aligning themselves with goals based on character and personality-based principles. Covey writes that entrepreneurs can get the best out of themselves if they are able to carefully weigh their goals, so that they can achieve their goals.

In addition, this book also speaks about the importance and values ​​of timeless principles – courage, honesty, integrity, fairness, human dignity and sense of justice. As the name suggests, it discusses seven essential habits that every individual must adopt to live a fulfilling life:

  • Be proactive
  • Start with the end in mind
  • The most important things first
  • Think win-win
  • Try to understand first, then to be understood
  • synergize
  • Sharpen the saw


The hard stuff about hard stuff

The hard stuff about hard stuff: building a business when there are easy answers is written by Ben Horowitz about the challenges he faced during his journey as founder and CEO of Andreessen Horowitzone of the most sought after venture companies in the world.

Going back to where we started, many believe that starting up is the hardest leap. In this book, Holowitz talks about how it is all the more challenging to keep a business going. It is an entrepreneur’s report on selling, buying, managing, investing in and guiding technology companies.

The hard stuff about hard stuff is a first-hand account of Horowitz’s journey in which he shares practical tips on dealing with the toughest challenges of the entrepreneurial journey.


Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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