Starting a business can be tough without the proper resources. Here are some books that share real advice and stories from entrepreneurs and experts in business.
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie
From an abandoned child to one of fashion’s most revered, the life of Coco Chanel is one that shows how adversity shouldn’t hold back someone who has a dream. The book is told through interviews from her friends, employees, and relatives on the topic of what has influenced Coco Chanel throughout the years.
It’s easy to forget that sometimes even the most famous and successful entrepreneurs had to face adversity before making it. So, looking at a very personal account of one of the most famous entrepreneurs can give you the confidence you need.
Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley
IDEO is famous for its approach to innovation and creativity. They have been lauded for their flat management structure and their office culture. In this book, the company’s founders talk about what they believe can help you unlock your creativity, innovation, and design.
The book is perfect for anyone who is looking to enter the product development phase, but needs exercises to get that process started. It is also great for young businesses trying to build an office culture around creativity.
How do you get the big idea that becomes your business? This book takes you into the process of questioning, which eventually leads to innovation. Warren Berger takes you into companies like Google, Netflix, IDEO, and Airbnb to see how they use questioning in their organization. He also talks to artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, and inventors on how their inspiration came from looking at the world around them.
This is obviously great for someone who is looking to get the “big idea.” Looking around at your environment could be the best inspiration and this book will help you harness it.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
Famed entrepreneur Peter Thiel shows how the world we live in affects how we build businesses. He covers how to be a better leader and how to get your business started. Specifically, he talks about how to compete in today’s environment.
There may not be a manual on how to build a startup, but this may be the closest you get. Thiel covers a range of topics, from looking at the environment for startups to thinking about innovation to scaling your business. It’s perfect for entrepreneurs of any background and experience level.
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen
How do you make an innovative product that will stay a market leader? Well that’s the question that this book, by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, answers. It talks about disruptive technology and the dilemma of capitalizing on it. He talks about when to and when not to listen to customers, and what markets to pursue.
Creating a product is half the battle. So this book tells you how to market it and keep your product alive. It’s perfect for someone who is in the starting stages of their business.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature,” Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 and draws on the stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and others to talk about the principles of success. It has been updated to include contemporaries like Bill Gates and John Templeton.
This book is purely motivational and could give you the confidence to take the entrepreneurial leap.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
From writing a business plan to marketing to business development, this book covers how to bring a product to market. It offers insight into what makes startups successful and what makes some fail.
This is a great book on how to launch your business for someone who doesn’t have a business background.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz draws on his own experience of building a business to give advice and wisdom on the things that you aren’t taught in business school. He uses rap lyrics to amplify his lesson and talks openly about firing friends, dealing with competitors, and keeping a CEO mentality. It’s a very personal book, which makes it all the more affective as a learning tool.
Often times, people don’t speak truthfully about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. That’s why this book is a great way to hear the advice you need to hear when starting a business. It is an essential read for preparing you for the often hard life of starting and running a business.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
Talking specifically about our day and age, this book focuses on making companies more efficient and on using creativity more effectively. Inspired by lean manufacturing, the book talks about shortening production cycles, measuring progress, and pivoting without missing a beat.
The best way to run a business is efficiently. Saving money and cutting waste will help your business in the long run and that is this book’s goal. Its scientific approach grounds the book and gives you a very detailed look on running a successful startup.
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