There are literally millions of books out there with great insights and messages for any entrepreneur. In fact, that is why one of the key success principles of high performing entrepreneurs is that they are voracious lifetime learners and are dedicated to their personal growth. There is always something new to learn.
Recently, I was asked if I could recommend the top 5 books for a young entrepreneur. I laughed because it's a trick question and totally subjective. What I think are the best books for a young entrepreneur will be totally different than what someone,say Marc Cuban, thinks are good, etc. So who is right? Neither. I think the most important lesson I can give a young entrepreneur is to embrace a personal growth routine and commit to lifelong learning. My best advice? Go to the book store or library and start reading titles, you'll find you gravitate to certain ones. Start there and then branch out. Never stop learning.
Ok, back to the question at hand. Inevitably, as mentioned above, I will leave some great work of entrepreneurial genius off the list below that you think should be on there. Oh well. What I wanted to do with the list below is give you books that you may not have heard of and that are not as mainstream, but are better than the ones that are. Hopefully, the list below will give you some unexpected inspiration and secret(s) to success that you did not expect, especially if you are a young entrepreneur.
1. ) The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad put Robert Kiyosaki on the map, but I think this book is even more important for young entrepreneurs. It gives you a clear idea of the types of businesses out there and helps you to figure out which type you want to have.
One of the most important things a young entrepreneur can do is be crystal clear on what they want to accomplish and do with their business. This book will help greatly with that.
2.) Your One Word by Evan Carmichael
What I love about this book is that it does one thing better than any book I have ever read. It makes you get very serious and question to your core what you stand for and what your purpose is. If you had to boil yourself and your mission down to just one word, what would it be? It's not easy, but Evan makes it a lot easier and gives you the secrets and process to do it and then take action on it.
3.) How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
This is an older book and the book that Dale Carnegie called "the most helpful and inspiring book on salesmanship I have ever read." (and you should know by now that you need to read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" so I am not listing it). Selling and knowing how to sell is vital to business success and this book gives you some of the most common sense and easy to use advice on how to become a professional sales person. It is also a fun read as it is told through a series of engaging stories of failure and success.
4. ) Zero to One by Peter Thiel
I like this book not only because it is from one of the top entrepreneurs out there today, but because it really makes you think and look at things in a different way. It challenges your assumptions and what you believe. It makes you question what you are doing and what the future looks like. It also helps you to plan for it and take advantage. It is great to read when you are starting out on a new venture.
5.) An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
What does being an astronaut and having to go up into space, survive, and come back have to do with entrepreneurship? Everything! This book may not have been written as a guide for entrepreneurs, but every principle Chris Hadfield, one of the most decorated astronauts in history, gives directly relates to the entrepreneurial journey. From being prepared for anything, to having to engineer solutions and solve unexpected problems, to staying alive, this book has become one of my favorite books to teach entrepreneurship with.
As I mentioned above, there are a number of amazing books out there for you to study and learn from the rest of your life. Get started. Commit to your personal growth. And a shameless plug...if you get a chance along the way, check out my book, The Ten Year Career. It was written to help anyone get on the past to success, wealth, and fulfillment faster in their lives.