If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, it’s helpful to have a roadmap that takes you from where you are now to where you want to be.
There’s so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start. Anybody with a word processor and an internet connection can publish a book these days. It’s incredibly easy for the unscrupulous to pay for a large number of glowing reviews that will entice you into clicking the buy button, only to find that they offer absolutely NOTHING of value.
At best, you’ll be getting the same advice that’s freely available on any number of blogs. Much more commonly, you’ll be getting an unreadable mess of poor English that’s been cobbled together in a night.
But just because there’s a lot of rubbish out there doesn’t mean there aren’t some truly fantastic resources out there.
In this post, I’ve put together a list of what I consider the best books for entrepreneurs. These are books that I’ve personally read, and continue to do so because they are the ones that helped me get started running my own business and grow from my humble beginnings to where I am now.
Best Books for Entrepreneurs
It’s since become a book that I keep close to me at all times. I’ve read it cover to cover dozens of times, and I would recommend you do the same.
The biggest impact it had was on how I approached the problem of finding new clients. When I first started out as a freelance writer, I would literally bend over backwards just to get any work, no matter how badly it paid.
Now I’m in a position where I can actively sort through clients for the ones that offer me the kind of work I enjoy doing, and who are able to afford my services.
It’s not a doorstopper by any means, but it does pack a lot of great information. There’s very little in the way of repetition or useless biographical filler – each section of the books introduces a new concept and makes it very clear how you can implement the principles into your own business.
Tools of Titans is a little different. The book is a huge tome, and features insights from dozens of extremely successful individuals. It’s not a “Do this, now do that, then profit” type of book. What it offers is the unique perspectives of people who have encountered phenomenal difficulties in the business and dealt with them, turning what look like failures into distinct advantages.
Now, it’s important to bear in mind that when many of the individuals and their respective businesses were starting out, the environment they were operating in was very different to the one in which you’ll be in if you were to start a business today.
So what’s the point of reading about it?
It’s important to recognise that any time you get given a specific set of instructions, it’s probably going to fall apart on contact with reality. It’s much better to learn what kinds of mental attitudes correspond to good business acumen.
Think of Tools of Titans as a sort of mentorship-lite. A mentor doesn’t teach you how to be good at something, they help you find your own successes by showing you a model of behaviours, thoughts and practices that you can incorporate into your own life.
Kevin Dutton is one of the foremost researchers into the science of persuasion alive today. He’s basically the new Dale Carnegie. Andy McNab is a former member of the SAS and clinically proven psychopath.
The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success is the combination of their respective fields of expertise. It’s an invaluable resource, not just for building a business, but in leading a life defined by what you want it to be, rather than somebody else.
The book comes in two versions. They’ve both got most of the same content, except one version is just shorter than the other.
Either book is fine. You don’t really lose any of the value in the shorter book, it simply cuts out some of the more academic parts that are interesting, but not completely necessary for applying the contents of the book into your daily life.
His other works are definitely worth checking out, but if you’re just looking to get started then Mastery is the best book by far. Rather than abstract ideas, political maneuvering and other advanced business concept, Mastery lays out a number of best practices for becoming a genuine expert at whatever it is you do.
Simply being an expert at something isn’t enough to make a successful business anymore. You need to be a great marketer too. However, if you’re trying to sell something, whether it be a service or a product, you actually have to be damn good at it. You could be the best self promoter in the world, but once your clients find out you have no idea what you’re doing they’ll never want to do business with you again.
Committing yourself to excellence in what you do is the best way to keep clients. This has been the key to my own personal success. Finding new clients can be pretty hard, especially with the amount of competition between freelancers. However, once I got those first couple of clients it was very easy to keep them, because I always strove to deliver an end result that was my absolute best, and this is what set me apart. This had the knock on effect of gaining me new clients too, as the reputation I built for myself was nothing short of perfect.
That concludes the roundup of the best books for entrepreneurs. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment and I’ll see if it should be added to the list. As I acquire and read more books, I’ll consider adding them too.