So you want to start a business (or you’ve already taken the plunge), remember you’re never an expert, you can always get away with knowing more. That’s where these books come in, if you feel like you need a helping hand to get started, don’t know how things work, and are just unsure of what the best place to start would be, give these a read and get super inspired.
There’s nothing stopping you from starting your own business and absolutely smashing it. Check out our recommended reading list below:
1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
I bet you didn’t know that all successful people have seven habits in common? Stephen Covey did, which is why this is a worldwide best-seller. He identified seven things that successful people do that helps them to stand out, and get ahead. Reading this book will help you identify any potential problems you may have in your own business, and figure out how to be a better manager and leader. With problem-solving techniques and insights on things you might not even have considered, this is one you definitely have to pick up – even if your business hasn’t even started out.
Learning how people work and how to leave your own prejudices behind is important if you want to get ahead, and be a great manager. Find it here.
2. The Networking Survival Guide
Networking is a huge part of business, and one you’ll find extremely helpful when you’re trying to grow and meet new people. The right kind of networking can open lots of doors, start with this book. It’s a staple for everyone in business, and definitely should be on your reading list. You’ll get advice on how to approach people and how to use body language and conversation to win people over.
Whether you want to look for financing, new employees to hire, stellar business advice, or interested clients, a network of people with overlapping experience and interests can go a long way. Find it here.
3. The War of Art
Have you been thinking about following your passion for ages but putting it off for one thing or another? Then this is the book you need. Written originally to inspire writers to follow their creative impulses, this is one of those books that’s become an iconic ‘bible’ for everyone stuck and wanting to follow their passion.
Work through this book and you’ll suddenly find that motivation that was missing, if you’re lacking the dedication or energy to get things off the ground, you’ll definitely have it by the time you finish this book, and you’ll remember exactly why you wanted it so badly in the first place! Find it here.
4. Lean In
Have you had a chance to read this one yet? Sheryl Sandberg shares her insights on working life as a woman, tackling everything from work/life balance. Sheryl herself says women believe in equality at work but often feel conscious asking for a raise, promotion, or equal pay.
In this book, Sheryl will not only help you learn to balance life with work but give you the tools to emerge as a confident leader. Find it here.
5. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
You don’t have to start a business from scratch with nobody behind you. Daniel Pink has already done all the research you need to build a great business, this book will help you stay motivated, driven, and finally get stuff done. It applies to everything, being able to put the drive into business that you put into, say, working out, is important too. There are three things that drive you that happen unconsciously.
This book will teach you what you’re doing wrong and show you how to do better. Find it here.
6. How to Win Friends & Influence People
This book is super important for growing a business. A bit of a psychological one, Dale Carnegie talks about the tips and tricks to win people over, the secrets about human nature that we don’t even realize. It’s possible to walk into a room and annoy people without even saying a word, you know, so it’s important that if you’re growing a business you know, not just how to ask people to do things, but how to get people to want to do things for you. To work with you towards a common goal.
There are things that you probably didn’t realize are super important, for example, did you know what not remembering someone’s name can do? It can damage relationships and give people an impression of you that you probably would rather they didn’t have. Small things mean a big deal in business, so read this to get wise on the etiquette rules. Find it here.
7. Delivering Happiness
Zappos is pretty giant, Amazon acquired it for an estimated $1.2 billion. $1.2 billion. Let that sink in. Clearly, Zappos is doing something right. In this book, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos talks about how to actually combine profits, passion, and purpose. He tells the story of Zappos, and how you need to invest in the company culture to attract the right people, to make employees feel great, and to make a difference.
You need to give this a read for insights on how a CEO of a super successful company thinks. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear about Tony’s origins, starting a worm farm, running a pizza business, right through to Zappos and how he grew and evolved into a great leader. Find it here.
8. Built to Last
What makes a company stand the test of time? What do world-famous companies have that other, smaller businesses don’t? They’re built to last. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras take an in-depth look at the formula for success by picking apart companies like Disney, and figuring out how they grew from small to industry powerhouses. There are some tricks, tips, and sneaky secrets that any small company can rely on to be sure they’re built to last, and this book will reveal them. Find it here.
9. Crush It!
Gary Vaynerchuck is the one person you should listen to about pursuing your passion. He took his family’s wine store and transformed it into a national company, then popped up from nowhere and developed himself into a definitive source of business information and advice.
He’s trusted, and because he used the very techniques he talks about to follow his passion and make something of himself, he’s an expert that actually has the proof on paper. If you want to know how to become known, grow a business that stands out and follow your passion into the spotlight, you need to read this. Find it here.
10. Creativity, Inc.
Written by one of the original founders of Pixar, this book is a combination of memoir and management training, you really won’t want to put it down. Ed had a dream when he was younger, and followed that dream with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter. Against all odds, Toy Story was released and changed the game, showing that Ed’s vision for a computer animated movie came true, with dedication and belief.
Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation Studios―into the story meetings, the postmortems, and the ‘Braintrust’ sessions where art is born. Find out how the founders came up with ideas, dealt with each other, and what it takes to build an organization, from one of the people who did it. Find it here.
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