It’s been quite the journey – these last 3 weeks have pushed me to write about content outside of my comfort zone.
While it wasn’t my best content, I’m still very glad I was able to share with you a number of things I’ve learned in the past year through my entrepreneurial endeavors.
Here are all of the posts in our Wantrepreneurship to Entrepreneurship series:
Even though I’ve just provided you 9 great resources and posts to get you started from wantrepreneurship to entrepreneurship, I’m just one person and only have 1 point of view.
In this post, I will be sharing with you 10 books which would be great for you to read to learn more about entrepreneurship.
10 Books to Read for Entrepreneurial Success
Below are 10 books which I highly recommend you read for entrepreneurial success.
The Millionaire Fastlane
“What if I told you ‘insane’ was working fifty hours a week in some office for fifty years at the end of which they tell you to piss off; ending up in some retirement village hoping to die before suffering the indignity of trying to make it to the toilet on time? Wouldn’t you consider that to be insane?” – Steve Buscemi
Is your financial plan destined for greatness or mediocrity? Is your financial plan tied to variables you can’t control, such as the stock market or your job? Why spend 40 years working 40 hours a week so you can be rich in a wheelchair? It doesn’t make sense.
The Millionaire Fastlane is a great book which targets individuals who are willing to live like no one else today, so that they can live like nobody else tomorrow.
The End of Jobs
Entrepreneurship is connecting, creating, and inventing systems – be they businesses, people, ideas, or processes.
The End of Jobs, by Taylor Pearson, discusses how now is the best time in the history of the world to become an entrepreneur. Pearson spent three years interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over the world and working with dozens of them to grow their businesses.
The End of Jobs is the culmination of Pearson’s interviews and experiences. This book was eye-opening, thought provoking, and gives a rough outline of how you could be a successful entrepreneur.
Many companies and executives expect managers to use financial data to allocate resources and run their departments.
Unfortunately, even with this expectation, many managers can’t read a balance sheet, don’t understand how to calculate return on investment, and don’t understand all of the assumptions that go into the income statement and statement of cash flows.
With all of these moving parts, it’s essential to have a very strong understanding of accounting and finance – that’s where Financial Intelligence comes in.
In Financial Intelligence, Karen Berman and Joe Knight teach the basics of finance – but with a twist. Financial reporting, they argue, is as much art as science.
The Slight Edge
Humans are creatures of habit. Every day, we make simple decisions: what to eat, should we exercise, should I call my parents, should I read my book, etc. Are the decisions you are making helping your life? Or are they detrimental to your life? Are they bringing you closer to your goals? Or are you still a long time away from achieving those goals?
The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson, walks us through a strategy to achieve success in anything we want in life. Do you want to lose weight? Well, first, you have to start. You have to be consistent. A positive attitude helps keep you going. You will have to pay the price, and you may need to be committed for the long haul. It will be worth it!
Sam Walton: Made in America
As a student of personal finance and entrepreneurship, Sam Walton’s story of success and growth interested me. Sam Walton: Made in America was one of the recommended books on Jeff Bezos’ reading list.
If a nobody from the Midwest can build a retailing empire from the ground up, then there must be something to learn.
Sam Walton: Made in America, is Sam Walton’s autobiography of his life and work. Starting in the 30’s, he talks about growing up during the Great Depression, and the impact it had on his life. Then he takes you on a 50 year retailing journey, from his days running his first store, to owning a national brand and a company bringing in billions of dollars a year. This book was a great read – I definitely recommend it!
Question Based Selling
Without sales, you have no business. Let’s look at a great book on sales.
Secrets of Question Based Selling, represents a shift in traditional sales thinking.
In the past, sales training programs focused on defining the steps of the sales process. It turns out that just identifying “what to do” provides no advantage over competitors who also have a sales process in place, as it’s likely their process is very similar (if not identical) to yours.
As a result, rather than just continually rehashing the sales process, Question Based Selling was specifically developed to teach salespeople and entire sales teams “how” to execute more effectively. There’s a reason top salespeople in every industry (and within every company), are outperforming their struggling counterparts, even though they’re all following the same sales process steps!
The method of SPIN selling was developed, through the careful observation of sales experts on 35,000 sales calls, to identify exactly why a sale was successful or not.
It turns out that specific questions and the quality of those questions were most important during the sales process.
The book, SPIN selling, talks about these specific questions: Situation questions, Problem questions, Implication questions, and Need-payoff questions.
For business to business, and large product salespeople, this is a fantastic book for you to read and apply.
Zero To One
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter Thiel, with Blake Masters, touches on the mindset required to create a thriving and successful business in the modern world. In addition to thoughts on the required mindset, he poses questions and criteria which are important for any founder to ask and examine as they decide to go into the harsh world of startups and business.
Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal and Palantir, and has made investments in other startups, such as Facebook, SpaceX, and LinkedIn.
Given this first hand experience in working in and with startups, he created a class which he taught to Stanford students on startups; Zero to One is the book version of this class.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, sales manager, or executive, you know that when it comes to connecting with your customers, every word counts.
In POP! you learn about the secrets behind some of the biggest successful brands, names, and slogans.
This is a great book for you if you are looking to break through the crowd, stay at the top of the mind for your customers, and make a huge impact.
I really enjoyed it while doing through my most recent re-brand of my business. Check it out!
The Power of Broke
Have you ever been down to your last fifty dollars? You didn’t know where to go? Were you energized by the fact you had no where to go but up? What you experienced was the power of broke…
The Power of Broke is a book about how being broke, on a tight budget, and hungry for success can be motivating, exhilarating, and a catalyst for great success.
It’s a story book profiling a number of successful entrepreneurs who didn’t have large amounts of funding starting off.
I was drawn to reading The Power of Broke because I saw Daymond John on the popular TV Show Shark Tank and wanted to learn more about his story. In addition, I’m constantly looking to surround myself with the ideas of successful business owners and entrepreneurs. There is no better way than to read about them in books!
With every post in this Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur series, I will be providing you with a task for you to think about after finishing this post up.
For you, decide today that your education is never done.
Each and every hour, day, and week, there is an opportunity for you to learn more.
The books above span a wide variety of topics.
Each book I read, I add a little bit to my perspective of the world. I hope you will experience wild growth from learning and the application of your knowledge in your career, business, and life!
Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.
The world of business is a wild one – there is so much to learn and know.
Look to grow a little bit each and every day.
While there’s so much to learn and know, you can become knowledgeable in any field you want over time.
Readers: what is your favorite book on entrepreneurship? What about sales and marketing? Do you have a favorite book for self improvement which could tie nicely into this discussion?