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23 Inspirational Books Young Entrepreneurs Must Read

It’s crucial to keep learning as a young entrepreneur. Knowledge is power, especially in business.

Young entrepreneurs are the definition of potential. Having a vision and the inspiration to develop it at a young age is a force of energy that can lead to the right places, and quickly.

What’s difficult is the things that you don’t know you don’t know about. The elusive factors that, because of inexperience, are missed. This is why reading as a young entrepreneur is important. It’s one way of learning from experienced leading business people that can focus a young talent to the right places.

This contribution was made by Brian Weisfeld from The Startup Squad

The Startup Squad by Brian Weisfeld

The Startup Squad was co-authored by a former executive who was inspired by his daughters to write a novel series to get girls interested in entrepreneurship.

This contribution was made by Lindsey Handley from MetaCoders, Inc.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Following the Lean Startup process was a game-changer for my partner and I as young business owners. We were lucky to be starting our business in graduate school where we had access to a special program developed by the U.S. National Science Foundation to assist students and professors at universities to commercialize their research (the program is called NSF I-Corps). The I-Corps program puts a strong emphasis on the Lean Startup method because the NSF wants to make sure the products and businesses they fund coming out of universities will succeed, and the Lean Startup method offers a battle-tested, logical business-development process that is very successful! Follow the Lean Startup process from this book, and you’ll be on the right path to starting a successful business of your own!

This contribution was made by Steven Howard from Caliente Leadership

8 Keys to Becoming a Great Leader by Steven B Howard

Author Steven Howard says leadership is an art. He defines great leadership as the art of achieving progress through the involvement and actions of others. In this book, Howard uses three icons from pop culture – Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Jedi Master Yoda, and swashbuckling Captain Jack Sparrow – to demonstrate his 8 Keys to Great Leadership. The leadership mindset, behaviors, and techniques of these three fictional characters will enable readers to develop their own leadership beliefs, skills, and behaviors.

This contribution was made by David Adler from The Travel Secret

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, by Walter Isaacson

Benjamin Franklin is an excellent role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business veterans alike. He was a master of multi-tasking and reinventing himself, constantly learning and growing. His achievements in politics, writing, science, and invention survive in American life to this very day. While Franklin lived in a vastly different world, it is clear to see how his skills in business strategy and creative thinking remain the gold standard for an entrepreneur.

This contribution was made by Nathan Grieve from Project Hatch

Zero To One by Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel believes there is a huge benefit to going into unchartered territory when starting a business. If you build a startup that is 1% better than your competitor, it isn’t worth your time. Focus on building something new and delivering on your idea. So many businesses enter markets that are already saturated where competitors have a better understanding of their target demographic. Thiel is a proponent building products that outsmarts your closest competitors in a key area by 10X.

This contribution was made by Kenny Trinh from Netbooknews

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The biggest setback to any business is failure. This book will help you get out of that defeated mentality and push your way towards success.

This contribution was made by Kenny Trinh from Netbooknews

Rework by Jason Fried

Rework is a business book that offers a straight and concrete approach to starting businesses. It’s also written simply which makes it easy to understand. Lastly, it offers new approaches to working your job, hence the name “Rework”.

This contribution was made by Kenny Trinh from Netbooknews

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Last but not least we have Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book doesn’t teach you how to start a business but it does keep you in the money-making mindset. It teaches you the proper habits of saving money and investing it as well. It’s a good book for any starting entrepreneur.

This contribution was made by Michael Skiles from HostGPO Inc.

High Output Management by Andrew Grove

As young entrepreneurs reach the point of hiring and building a company, they need to know how to train and motivate employees to produce results and to build a collaborative culture that facilitates the free exchange and retention of knowledge collectively generated. High Output management dives deeply into how achieve this through guiding one through everything from how to structure meetings, when to be hands-on or hands-off, how to exchange feedback, and how to put employees in roles that will fully utilize them and enable them to grow and provide value without overwhelming them.

This contribution was made by Bryan Mattimore from Growth Engine Innovation Agency

21 Days to a Big Idea! by Bryan Mattimore

Inspired by a request from a Columbia Business School professor to help his MBA entrepreneurial students invent better ideas for their new ventures, 21 Days to a Big Idea leads the reader through a fun, easy-to-learn and apply process to invent and develop “the next big thing!” The book includes more than two dozen proven idea-creation techniques and processes that have helped Fortune 500 companies create over $3 Billion in successful new products and services.

This contribution was made by Daniel Koffler from New Frontiers

Traction by Gino Wickman

This is the first business book I ever read that actually walked me through HOW to bring a sense of clarity and structure to our business operations. From hiring to setting (and achieving) goals to meeting structure-this has become our bible!

This contribution was made by Bill from the Expat

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

In a world of robocalls, phone software asking us for our information to screen and sort us, or customer service people who read from a never ending impersonal script if we do reach them, we have a book that lets people know that customer service was once different. The Thank You Economy reminds us that we’re all people, and people not only want to be treated like we’re people, but like we matter. This is a very valuable business lesson not only to succeed with your business, but to have people like you and to grow personally.

This contribution was made by Bill from the Expat

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

The book Purple Cow is great for showing people that they need to be different in a truly unique way if they want to stand out and be noticed. Several great examples are given on how some companies who were bold enough to do something different reaped the rewards of being the purple cow, and how they faded back into obscurity once they decided to play it safe and be like their competitors. You can be the one who is talked about, or you can be just like everyone else doing what you do.

This contribution was made by Frank Chiodo from Trivr Eats

The Magic of Thinking Big By David J. Schwartz

Andy Frisella credits this book with making him millions of dollars, and that was good enough for me. A mindset book, written by a psychologist, that details how the ways in which you talk to and about yourself change your brain. I’ve bought this book for family and friends, as I think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever found for teaching you actionable ways to step up your life. Go buy it and read it right now. Now.

This contribution was made by Leia Kalani from Tropical Topics

Don’t Dumb Down Your Greatness by Anthony Frasier

This is a mental guidebook for young entrepreneurs of color. In this book, the author shares the mentally hard situations that one will have to go through to be an entrepreneur. By sharing stories from his personal life, he’s able to teach the lessons that he’s learned. It covers topics like goal setting, creating friendships, attracting success, and self-doubt. The book will help you instantly have that “greatness” mindset.

This contribution was made by Marcus Anwar from OhMy B.v

Work Less, Make More by James Schramko

Prior to starting my business, I wanted to learn as much as I can about lucrative opportunities. I remember I was on Amazon and this book caught my attention. It was on sale so I decided to buy it. This book really showed me how to build an online empire. How to develop it, implement it and grow your business. At the time I was working 60 plus a week and my hard work was building someone else business. With the help of this book, I took all the hard work and determination and started to develop my own business. I followed all the steps and recommendation James mentioned in his book and the rest is history.

This contribution was made by Shaan Patel from Prep Expert

Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an Entrepreneur by Mark Cuban

In it, I discuss 10 different ventures that any child entrepreneur can start a new business with. I discuss the strategies behind them, from concepts as classic as a lemonade stand to launching an Etsy store.

This contribution was made by Khabeer Rockley from The 5% Institute

E-Myth Mastery by Michael E. Gerber

It’ll teach then how to set up systems early on, and that business isn’t purely about sales and passion – but also about setting up a process that gives you consistency.

This contribution was made by Lars Skjold Iversen from Umbraco

Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin

If I were to ever start my own business, I would make sure to re-read this book and keep it next to my desk at all times. Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, takes you through a painfully honest tour of his personal ups and downs in the startup world. It’s not a feel-good story and it doesn’t give you the keys to success, but it gives you a lot of hard learned lessons that might help you navigate the startup landscape. If you’re a startup – or planning to be – within tech, IT or software this book is not just a great read. It’s an absolute must-read.

This contribution was made by Josefin Björklund from Topp Bonus

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

A New York Times bestseller, Crushing It is all about pursuing your passion and making a living out of it. This is perfect for this day and age of entrepreneurs who are more ideal in terms of how they approach their careers. It is for those who do not want to be tied down by a desk job and instead want to live their lives to the fullest.

This contribution was made by Josefin Björklund from Topp Bonus

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Similar to the previous item, Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek is about escaping the 9 to 5 work life and instead be your own boss. While it does value the concept of hard work, it also touches on the idea of working smarter and more efficiently.

This contribution was made by Rahul Vij from Webspero Solutions

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

This is a must read book especially for young entrepreneurs, this book does not tell you what to do but tells what not to do, in all our zeal and efforts to build the next billion dollar company, young entrepreneurs sometimes might forget something more essential: ethics. This book will make young entrepreneurs to think what is right and what is wrong. In the present world of bending the rules to launch your product, this book shows a mirror of where bending the rules can be disastrous. This is a good book to remind yourself that there is something bigger than money that you are trying to do, and you need to keep your feet on the ground while chasing your dreams without falling to the slippery slope of doing something unethical only once.

This contribution was made by Oliver Perryman from Dehumidifier Critic

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Running out of funds and feeling demotivated is a part of the life of every budding entrepreneur. The author Chris turns the equations around of disappointments in the presence of every growing entrepreneur. In his book, he talks about 50 success stories of entrepreneurs who had no funds when started but now has a worth more than $50,000. Just a perfect book, have a look, follow the passion, and success will find crediting you.

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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