It has always been a discourse that reading books have significant benefits for the head and heart.
For some of us, it is an effortless task that is the greatest form of amusement and stress-busting.
Meanwhile, for others, it is like an insurmountable burden one cannot surpass no matter how hard one tries.
If you’re an entrepreneur, books can help you uncover a whole new dimension of knowledge, ideas, and optimism.
Here are the 15 must-read books for entrepreneurs in 2021 that you surely need to take a look at.
These books will help you not only enhance your confidence in your business but will also expand your exposure to businesses around the world in different niches.
- 1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- 2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- 3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- 4. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
- 5. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller
- 6. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
- 7. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
- 8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- 9. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
- 10. The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker
- 11. Business Adventures by John Brooks
- 12. Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod
- 13. The Daily Entrepreneur by S.J. Scott and Rebecca Livermore
- 14. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy
- 15. The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom
1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek established a movement in 2009 to assist people to become more motivated at work, and in turn, to motivate their colleagues and clients to do the same and follow the path of always doing and achieving more.
He calls it “Start With Why.”
Because of this initiative, millions of people have been moved by the strength of his ideas, including more than 28 million people who have watched his TED Talk based on Start With Why, which is the third most popular TED video of all time.
Sinek begins with an enlightening question:
Why are certain people and organizations more creative and more wealthy than others?
Sinek then goes on to explain how this is accomplished. Why do certain businesses enjoy higher levels of consumer and employee loyalty than others?
Why is it that so few people, even among the successful, can replicate their success time and time again?
- Shows us how leaders should lead
- The theory of 5 WHYs
- Life-changing leadership tips and ideas
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a business bestseller when it was first released in 1990, and it still is.
In this book, Stephen Covey, a renowned leadership expert, explains how to improve personal and professional efficiency.
His stories are as often about family as they are about business. You’ll need to undergo a “fundamental change” before you can embrace Covey’s seven habits.
You will learn how to develop your “proactive muscles” (acting with initiative rather than reaction) and much more as Covey guides you through this shift.
This isn’t a start-tomorrow book.
The ideas are complex, so don’t skim this book. You’ll have post-it notes or handwritten remarks in every chapter and feel like you’ve attended a strong Covey seminar.
- Beginning with the end in mind
- Seek first to understand then to be understood
- Put first things first
3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This book’s main premise is to discover and validate value and growth hypotheses efficiently — to find scientifically how to turn a company’s vision into a viable business model — we need to rethink how we think about business.
The lean startup methodology focuses on producing a minimal viable product and getting feedback from customers to improve it.
It’s often enough to post a rough draft of a functional product to get crucial input and ideas that developers would have missed otherwise. The process helps optimize the end product.
By applying scientific principles to business management, The Lean Startup accelerates product delivery to customers. The lean startup process teaches you how to steer, turn, and persevere to maximize business growth. It’s a systematic approach to new product innovation.
- Elimination of uncertainty
- Work smarter not harder
- Validate learning
4. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
This is unquestionably one of those books that will “transform your life.” Tony starts the book with the three steps to success and then inspires and guides the reader to radically change his life.
Tony thinks the first step is to elevate your standards. Reading his approach to this core principle of self-improvement makes one realize how much they were accepting in life that might have been improved if they only raised their expectations.
From a business perspective, you realize how many more people you could assist, and how much more time you could spend with your family and pursue your personal ambitions.
- Raise your standards
- Change your limiting beliefs
- Change your strategy
5. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller
Donald Miller introduces his StoryBrand 7 Framework in Section I of the book, laying the groundwork for the rest of the book’s content.
His first point is to point out what is wrong with most marketing approaches, specifically those that aren’t heard by our desired clients above and beyond the cacophony of other communications they are exposed to regularly.
To put it bluntly, they’re a complete waste of money.
The author helps you simplify your message, create high-quality websites, and keynote speeches that are memorable, emails that are opened, and sales letters that people respond to, among other things.
He does this because he believes that businesses, by the solutions they provide to their consumers, have the potential to make the world a better place.
He is aware, however, that high-quality products and services are not sufficient in and of themselves.
As entrepreneurs, we’re not just racing against the clock to get our products to market; we’re also racing against the clock to articulate why our customers need our products in their everyday lives.
The clarity of our offer is what distinguishes the winners from the losers in the world of commerce.
- Why most marketing is a money pit and a failure
- Building your StoryBrand
- Implementing StoryBrand brandscript
6. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
Tribe of Mentors is a book that discusses the greatest methods to live and thrive in one’s personal and professional life. It features guidance from 140 mentors, all of whom are accomplished individuals in their own industries.
Timothy Ferriss, an entrepreneur, and investor who also has expertise in fitness and productivity, compiled the book for readers. He posed 11 questions to his mentors and received replies that make up most of the book’s 649 pages.
The author conducted interviews with eleven people, asking them about their professional advice, what quote they would put on a huge billboard, and how they deal with job pressures and stress.
The students were also questioned whether they would return to school if they had the opportunity to do so again.
The author questions the interviewees about which part of their lives has been the most useful to them and why, what investment has allowed them to move ahead in life, and what lessons their professional failures have taught them through time that have contributed to their eventual success.
- Hard work is the main driver of success
- Failure paves the way for success
7. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell investigates the relationship between power and status on the one hand, and helplessness and hardship on the other, in a collection of essays published by Random House.
Two themes run across the essays in David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.
The first argument is that, in a conflict in which one side is clearly superior to another by traditional metrics, the weaker side frequently has one or more advantages that are undervalued by the other side.
The second premise is that having too much strength can be detrimental, a fact illustrated graphically by an inverted-u-curve: as strength increases along the horizontal axis, the benefit, measured along the vertical axis, first rises but gradually begins to decline as strength increases.
- Adopt a different strategy to win
- The ‘n’ curve (or inverted ‘u’)
- How a potential weakness can give us strength
8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
An inside look at the difficult decisions and lonely moments that all CEOs endure, before demonstrating what it takes to develop a strong organization and become a world-class leader, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is an essential read for everyone interested in business leadership.
Horowitz describes the toughest decisions he had to make as well as the horrible scenarios you may find yourself in.
Entrepreneurship is said to be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, and this book depicts the complete, bleak image of what it’s like to live in the face of adversity, in the face of calamity.
A true understanding of what you may expect to confront as an entrepreneur is vital, and this is the reason this book is essential for beginner entrepreneurs.
- Dealing with stressful environments while taking complex strategic decisions
- Being a CEO requires a lot of learning
- Being a CEO is a lonely job
9. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
A feeling of helplessness is a depressing experience. Everyone, if offered the choice, would prefer more power rather than less power.
However, it is frowned upon to be so overt in one’s attempts to achieve authority. To rise to power, you must be deceptive, shrewd, and democratic while remaining devious.
Therefore, best-selling author Robert Greene contends in his controversial book, The 48 Laws of Power, that if you can successfully entice, charm, and fool your opponents, you will be able to achieve ultimate power.
Greene asserts that the more proficient you get at delegating authority, the better a friend, lover, and overall person you may become.
This is because you learn how to make others feel better about themselves, which leads to their becoming reliant on you as a source of tremendous pleasure to be around.
- Conceal your intentions
- Win through your actions, never through argument
- Pose as a friend, work as a spy
10. The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker
Peter Drucker’s famous book on how to get the right things done is still as important now as it was when it was first released in 1967. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential contemporary thinkers of all time.
Time management, prioritization, and effective decision-making are just a few of the practical subjects that Drucker tackles with a novel perspective in this book. This book is a must-have reference resource for everyone who wants to improve their leadership abilities.
Peter Drucker provides advice on how to become a more effective executive in his book The Effective Executive.
As long as your decisions have an impact on the productivity of your team, you are considered an executive. You do not have to be in charge of people to be an executive. Because of this, it is a book for everyone who wishes to make more effective workplace choices.
- Effectiveness can be learned
- What can you contribute?
- Making strength productive
11. Business Adventures by John Brooks
Business Adventures – Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street, a favorite read recommended by both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, goes further than the showy suggestions to entrepreneurial beginners to provide relevant insights that stand the test of time.
In this book, you will learn about everything from marketing and sales to stocks and research and development departments and other areas. The book contains compelling behind-the-scenes sagas of momentous events in the history of business in the twentieth century.
Brooks describes 12 business battle stories in his book, which was first released between 1959 and 1969.
The events covered in this book constitute numerous significant developments in the history of commerce in the United States, the consequences of which can still be observed today.
They opened the way for things like the abolition of insider trading and the ability of an employee to work for whomever he or she chooses, among other things.
- Uncertainty of the stock market
- A guide on how to launch a product
- How to get a new job
12. Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod
Hugh MacLeod began doodles on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar while he was a struggling young copywriter living in a YMCA.
Those drawings eventually led to the creation of a prominent blog – gapingvoid.com – and developing a reputation for sharp insight and witty humor expressed both in words and pictures.
In his writings, MacLeod expresses his thoughts on anything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his primary interests is creativity. How do fresh ideas develop in a world that is jaded and risk-averse?
Where does one get their ideas from? To make a living as a creative person, what do you need?
Hugh MacLeod reveals his 40 principles to creativity in this book, which he developed as a working entrepreneur.
He discusses his most incisive ideas, gives clever drawings, and offers sound counsel.
- You have to put in the hours
- Self-imposed limitations hinder creativity
- Every great artist has their own voice
13. The Daily Entrepreneur by S.J. Scott and Rebecca Livermore
This is an excellent book for anyone who wishes to start their own business as a freelancer or who is searching for a method to supplement their income. Most entrepreneurs want to produce enough money to support themselves, although this expectation is not always satisfied.
In the book, the author discusses the importance of building habits and demonstrates to the reader how to apply these habits to overcome various problems that they may encounter. In comparison to other books, this one differs in that it is organized according to the issues that everyone experiences daily.
This book contains 33 life-changing habits that will improve your ability to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Each habit is addressed in detail.
- 5 challenges that hold back many entrepreneurs
- 9 steps for developing entrepreneurial habits
- The #1 focus for ANY new business
14. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy
Anyone who reads this book will be better prepared for the ups and downs of becoming an entrepreneur.
It will issue warnings and equip future entrepreneurs to deal with skeptics and critics professionally. People are also better prepared to deal with the pain of rejection and failure, and they are given a roadmap to help them get past the roadblocks that cause 66 percent of new enterprises to fail.
This book is excellent for people who desire to start their own business and yet are intimidated by the prospect of doing so.
It is also beneficial for people who are actively running their own businesses but want to ensure that they continue to be successful or move their firm to the next level of success.
This book is intended to be both motivational and informative. There is a lot of information in this book that is not common knowledge that one would come across while studying online; instead, it contains first-person tales of success that are as engaging and exhilarating to read as they are informative.
- Finding your love/passion
- Finding your fight
- Finding your strength
15. The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom
Investing in this book provides an in-depth examination of the investment and business techniques that he employed to attain success.
The author also draws on the field of behavioral finance to illustrate how investors might overcome the hurdles that stand in their way of becoming profitable.
After reading this book, readers will understand how to think like a long-term investor, overcome hurdles, and conduct logically in the stock market.
Regarding comprehending the concepts and practices that Buffet has utilized to become the best investor of his generation, the psychological foundations discussed in this book provide the best guide available at the time of publication.
- Act independently
- Define your circle of competence
- Avoid the institutional imperative
Being an entrepreneur is an exhausting and time-consuming task.
However, reading is one of how you can give yourself an extra boost of motivation and tell yourself that you can do it.
If you need to keep your morals going, consider reading these non-fiction books with real-life examples.