4 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

You do not know everything, and you never will. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Reading is invaluable when it comes to being better at who we are and what we do. If you’re a budding entrepreneur you’re already focused on becoming well versed in your field. However, add these books to your reading list in order to be a better overall leader.

The One Thing (Gary Keller, 2013)

A lot of individuals pride themselves on the ability to multitask. At first glance, it may seem like a commendable skill. After all, who wouldn’t want on their team someone who could handle multiple pots on the stove? But Gary Keller doesn’t buy into the hype. With The One Thing, he explains why you should channel your personal and professional goals into just one area of focus at a time. When you start a new business venture, it’s fine to have a vision or dream goal. But in order to make it materialize, he argues, you need to break it down into a series of actionable habits and steps. By creating a sense of forward progression, you aren’t allowing yourself to get mired in lateral movements that ultimately get you nowhere. It doesn’t just apply to business, either. Keller illustrates how the concept of the one thing can be used to make improvements in health and habits.

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie, 1931)

This has been a classic since publication and went through seventeen editions in its first year. Carnegie’s book has been a mainstay on the bookshelves of everyone from factory workers to board executives. The reason is simple: if we want to succeed, we need to reach people. Success never comes alone. Launching your own business, or even climbing a career ladder, will put you in contact with dozens of people from different backgrounds and opinions. While you can’t be friends with everybody, you can make an effort to be respectful and diplomatic in even the most difficult situations. Yes, some phrases and ideas might border on the archaic. But the emphasis on empathy and putting others before you are timeless.

The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg, 2012)

We can’t improve anything if we don’t know how it works. And that couldn’t be truer for the brain. Fixing bad habits allow the “autopilot” portion of our day to be more efficient and productive. Not only does Duhigg examine the habits of individuals, but he also presents several case studies of institutional habits in companies like Starbucks and Target. Exposing the habit loop opens the door to allow you to create new, more powerful habits that could benefit you and your team in the long run. The appendices include a wealth of information about how your brain operates and is itself a good guide to becoming more conscious of why you do what you do.

How We Lead Matters (Marilyn Carlson Nelson, 2008)

A lot of books can feel a bit too objective. The information may be valid and the arguments sound, but it starts to feel like a lecture after a while. How We Lead Matters remedies that issue by providing insights into the life of hotelier and entrepreneur Marilyn Carlson Nelson. It’s a great read because it assures readers that even the most successful people are in some ways just like us. Nelson shares her own ambitions, tough decisions, and the difficulties of maintaining a positive wor-k­life balance.


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