The business book industry is huge with guidance available on every topic imaginable. For example, did you know you can buy books on how to organise calls and take contact information? Or on how to create a vision board? It’s all there on Amazon. Fortunately, there are some books that do provide truly exceptional value and can literally change people’s lives. Here’s a list of my best books for entrepreneurs as well as some recommendations from other business leaders.
The 7 day startup
The 7 day startup by Dan Norris taught me to make decisions more quickly. As someone who had been dreaming about running a business for several years, I assumed it was too complicated and that I wouldn’t be able to do it without lots of investment, time and support. The book teaches you that it’s better to make a poor decision than no decision at all because as a startup nothing is permanent. You can literally start a business with nothing but your brain – you just need a good idea and some enthusiasm.
Each day, you focus on a new element of the business – the name, the website, the marketing etc. He teaches you that it’s all simple and straightforward provided you’re able to go with your gut and make decisions.
If you’ve been putting off taking something further for a while, this book is for you. Even if your business is already set up, his approach should help you let go of worries and push yourself further.
In my opinion, Daniel Priestley writes the best books for entrepreneurs. His business, Dent Global, is a business incubator and he’s helped entrepreneurs all over the world to find success. My favourite one of this books is 24 Assets which shows you how to add incredible value to your business in the eyes of new employees, customers and investors. One such asset is the brand and that’s why I place so much importance on giving clients a strong brand to hang every other form of communication on.
Blue Ocean Strategy
She said, “The key takeaway is not to focus on how to beat your competition as there is always limited pie to go around. I build my brand by focusing on value innovation in hopes of creating a demand that didn’t even exist. I work to keep costs low and pass it on to my customer while keeping product quality high. I incorporate flexible working into every area of the business in order to create a culture that every stakeholder buys into. I change the game that everyone is playing. I want to create the first ever tech start up run only by flexible working staff. Imagine a tech start up run mainly by mums of toddlers that takes on world.”
Thinking Fast and Slow
“Thinking Fast and Slow is a brilliant read by a brilliant author. It is an analysis on the dichotomy of thought – one way your brain works is fast and instinctive, the other is slow and deliberate. On the face of it, it sounds unrelated to business. However, the more you read, the more fascinating the analysis becomes, allowing you to understand how these processes go on in the minds of your customers, your employees, yourself even. Reading the book will literally change the way you think, as well as helping you understand when to use each of those ways of thinking. It is without doubt the most useful book I have read for business.”
She Who Dares
Commenting on why she enjoyed the book so much, she said, “She Who Dares is a powerful movement to encourage & inspire aspiring female entrepreneurs. A variety of exceptional women describe how they embraced their entrepreneurial spirit, overcame adversity & broke boundaries to achieve their version of success.”
Black Box Thinking
She said the book “really helped us frame our company culture. What inspires us most about the book are the following concepts:
Zero to One
Business for Punks
He commented, “The most non nonsense, no BS, real world advice I’ve ever read. How not to conform, how to be different, how to excel when power organisations are trying to stop you and using it against them ! Utterly brilliant”
The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry
The Big Leap
She Means Business
Speaking about why it had such an impact on her, Katie said, “She Means Business was a lesson on mindset really. It made me think about how important it is to believe in myself and chase my dreams. I went on to join the She Means Business Facebook group and still watch training webinars from Carrie Green every now and then.”
Good to Great
She said, “It gave me the inspiration and insight to take the long term view and build a great brand, rather than chasing quick money.”
Measure What Matters
Rob Hartley, Co-founder at Get Dinghy, the ethical insurance provider for freelancers, cites Measure what Matters by John Doerr as his favourite book, saying “It is the best book on Objectives and Key Result (OKRs) and why this practice of goal setting matters to any stage business. Containing real life examples it helps you see how effective OKRs are and how they can be implemented successfully.”
Building a Storybrand
The 10x Rule: The only difference between success and failure
The 4 hour work week
And to finish off with one more of my favourites….. Timothy Ferris had international success with The Four Hour Work Week because he introduced new ideas to help you achieve more in less time. Who doesn’t want that?
From skim reading to checking emails only once a day, he introduces you to a ton of clever hacks suitable for the self-employed and those working for other companies.
I think the main takeaway for me was to assign a financial value to my time. If I determine that an hour of my time is worth £X and I could get a task done by someone else for half that time, enabling me to spend my time much more wisely, then that’s a good business decision. From outsourcing to cheaper experts to trying virtual assistants in India to tackle all your admin for a few pounds per hour, you’ll learn how to make much better use of your time but still get everything you need to do, done.
So if you’re reading this blog post now and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by your workload, give The 4 Hour Work Week a read. It’ll change your life.