12 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read Before Starting a Business in (2024)

Starting A Business WorkBook

Starting A Business Workbook

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Writing a business plan?

Starting your own business is a demanding yet exciting entrepreneurial journey.

It requires grit, hard work, dedication, and clear concepts about business fundamentals.

Reading books written by successful entrepreneurs is one of the effective ways to gain the better know-how needed to create radically successful businesses. 

It is said that Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day, Bill Gates reads 50 books a year and Mark Cuban reads 3 hours every day.   

Impressive, isn’t it?

To help you succeed, we’ve curated a list of 12 books on starting a business.

But before we begin, let’s understand why one must read books.

Why Do New Entrepreneurs Need to Read These Books?

  • Invaluable insights: Reading the best books about entrepreneurship provides invaluable insight into common business challenges and opportunities.
  • New perspective: Reading business books can help you to identify trends, anticipate changes in the industry and spark a new business idea.
  • Improve skills: Books also help develop communication and wide knowledge.
  • Guidance and mentorship: Business books also provide guidance and expertise gained over the years. For example, entrepreneurs can learn how to best manage their small businesses, money, or team.

In a nutshell, reading the best books written by experienced entrepreneurs can help you understand the reasons why startups fail and can as a result help you earn more money.

Now, let’s discuss the twelve books every entrepreneur must read before beginning their small business venture.

Books You Should Read Before Starting A Business

1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek


Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Start with Why by Simon Sinek is one of the important books on starting a business. It provides a framework for understanding and articulating the purpose behind their work.

Why should you read this business book before starting a business?

  • Build Purpose-driven leadership skills: The book argues that leaders who start with “why”, can inspire and motivate others more effectively than those who focus solely on what they do or how they do it.
  • Branding and marketing: By articulating their “why,” entrepreneurs can help differentiate their brands, and connect with clients on an emotional level. This helps figure out a compelling story that inspires others to take action.
  • Team-building: When employees in a company are aligned with the “why” behind their work, they are more likely to be engaged, and committed.
  • Problem-solving: The “Start with Why” framework can help business owners approach problems more innovatively, by focusing on their core purpose and values.
  • Legacy creation: By focusing on their “why,” you can create a lasting impact and leave a positive legacy in the world, beyond just financial success.

Simon even has a famous TED talk on “Start With Why” with more than 27M views.

Entrepreneurs must begin their journey by reading this one book. It offers great clarity and provides a strong motive to complete what you would start.

2. Atomic Habits by James Clear


Atomic Habits by James Clear

This provides the blueprint to developing and maintaining good habits and mindset, that will help any entrepreneur achieve their small business goals.

The book covers a range of topics including – how to form habits, why some habits stick while others don’t, and how to build long-lasting habits.

Whether you are in a full-time job or an aspiring entrepreneur, habits play a crucial role in any business’s success.

Atomic Habits can help you with

  • Making incremental small changes that lead to big results over time
  • Overcoming the challenges of habit formation and sticking to one’s goals

Whether an entrepreneur or a small business owner is looking to improve their productivity, or simply maintain a healthy work-life balance, this book is essentially a must-have resource.

3. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss


The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

This is a must-read for entrepreneurs because it provides a clear path with step-by-step instructions on how to live a more fulfilling life and become your own boss.

It is full of actionable advice for streamlining and automating one’s own business and personal life. This helps them prioritize and free up their time for the things that matter most.

The book covers a range of topics that are critical to success, including:

  • Time management – Discover how to prioritize tasks, set boundaries, and reduce distractions.
  • Entrepreneurial freedom – Discover how to build a business plan that supports the lifestyle design you envision (which includes retirement), rather than the other way around.

The 4-Hour Work Week provides a roadmap for achieving success and happiness (without sacrificing their health, relationships, or personal growth).

Whether you’re just starting or looking for new ways to optimize your existing business plan, this book is a must-read.

4. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau


The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

This is a must-read book by Chris Guillebeau for passionate business owners because it provides actionable advice and is an ultimate guide for starting a successful business with limited resources.

The business book contains case studies of over 50 successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses with less than $100 but with high personal passions.

Aspiring entrepreneurs will find this book particularly valuable because it covers a range of topics that are critical to their success, including

  • Finding your niche – How to identify a unique and successful small business idea that aligns with your passion, and interests.
  • Building a customer base – How to build a customer base and cultivate a solid relationship.
  • Marketing and sales – Effective marketing and sales strategies for growing your business and reaching out to new target audiences.
  • Bootstrapping – Find out how to start and scale your business with limited resources, and make the most of your finances.

The $100 Startup provides a wealth of professional advice and inspiration. A must-read!

5. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries


The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup by author Eric Ries is a must-read book for aspiring founders starting a business because it provides a practical framework for launching and scaling a profitable business idea.

The book introduces the Lean Startup methodology, which emphasizes the importance of continuous iteration and learning in the startup process.

Aspiring entrepreneurs will find this book particularly valuable because it covers a range of topics which include:

  • Customer discovery – How to conduct customer research and validate your business ideas with real feedback from potential clients.
  • Minimal viable product (MVP) – Learn how to launch a minimal viable product to test and refine your business idea with real-world feedback.
  • Metrics-driven decision making – Learn how to use data and metrics to make informed decisions and continuously improve your product or service.
  • Pivoting – Find out how to pivot your business strategy and adjust your approach, when necessary, based on customer feedback and data.

If you’re just starting, “The Lean Startup” provides a proven framework for success and helps you maximize your chances of creating a successful and sustainable business.

6. $100 Million Offers by Alex Hormozi


$100 Million Offers by Alex Hormozi

$100 Million Offers by Alex Hormozi is one of the best books for founders.

It helps create compelling offers. The book even dives deep into how to rise above the competition and charge a premium for your services.

5 reasons why you must read this book:

  • It simplifies business into 3 simple steps: getting more customers, increasing their average order value, and getting them to buy more times (which results in greater profit).
  • Learn how to avoid your service from being commoditized, overcome competition and charge a premium
  • Learn how to build a grand slam offer – an offer people feel stupid saying no to. 
  • Choose your market based on 4 crucial factors. These include – solving a massive pain point and solving the problem of people with bigger purchasing power. The audience should be easy to target and the market should be growing in the future.
  • It teaches you how to increase the perceived likelihood of achievement for your product/service.

After focussing on the business fundamentals, it is time to learn how to market your business idea better.

7. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout


The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a highly regarded book that provides practical insights for entrepreneurs.

Why should you invest in this book before starting a business?

The book covers fundamental principles of marketing such as the law of leadership, the law of the category, and the law of the mind.

The book even offers valuable lessons on how to position a brand, build a unique image, and stay ahead of competitors in the marketplace.

By understanding and applying the laws outlined in the book, new businesses can make informed decisions that can lead to increased brand awareness, higher sales, and more money.

The examples mentioned can be outdated but will help existing small businesses.

8. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin must be a go-to book for aspiring entrepreneurs because it helps build a solid foundation of marketing efforts and continuous innovation.

The book discards conventional wisdom and offers a new approach to creating and promoting products and services using human psychology and mindset.

Why you must make a small investment in this book:

  • Innovative thinking: “Purple Cow” encourages new entrepreneurs to think differently about their products and services and to find ways to make them stand out in the market.
  • Garner attention: The book offers practical tips and insights on how to market products in a way that captures the attention of consumers and inspires them to take action.
  • Brand differentiation: Entrepreneurs need to differentiate their brands in a crowded market, and “Purple Cow” guides how to create a unique and memorable brand that stands out from the competition.

9. Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk


Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Entrepreneurs should read “Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk because it provides practical advice on how to succeed as an entrepreneur in the digital age.

The book covers topics such as:

  • How to build a personal brand to help grow your business
  • Leveraging the internet to build a successful business
  • Creating content that resonates with your audience
  • The book also highlights the importance of hustle, persistence, and passion in building successful businesses.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a successful entrepreneur, investor, and internet personality, and his experience and insights can be valuable to entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses using the internet.

10. How To Win Friends And Influence People By Dale Carnegie


How To Win Friends And Influence People By Dale Carnegie

This book by Dale Carnegie is a classical book that can help in sales, communication, and public relations (PR).

  • Communication: The book offers tips on effective communication, which is crucial for business owners in building and maintaining relationships with clients, employees, and partners.
  • Networking: Carnegie’s advice on building relationships and making a positive impression can be useful for entrepreneurs looking to expand their network and connect with potential investors, outside investors, and customers.
  • Salesmanship: To succeed, entrepreneurs must be effective at selling their key idea and product. Carnegie’s book offers actionable insights into how to persuade others (including their customers).

11. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber


The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber should be on each aspiring entrepreneur’s to-read list because it offers practical guidance on how to build a successful and sustainable business. 

Why do we suggest the same?

  • Business management: The book provides a framework for comprehending and addressing the key issues that entrepreneurs face in building and running a business.
  • Business growth: The E-Myth Revisited offers a roadmap for growing a business and helping business owners grow beyond just the early stages of entrepreneurship and guides how to build a business that can thrive over the long term.

Our verdict?

It is a great read! Reading this book will help you realize why most startups fail and how you can ensure that your venture succeeds.

12. The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield


The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break by Steven Pressfield is a book that addresses the obstacles faced by creative individuals, including entrepreneurs, in pursuing their work and reaching their full potential.

The main theme of the book is that success in any creative endeavor requires overcoming resistance, which can take many forms, such as procrastination, self-doubt, and fear.

The key takeaways include:

  • Embracing the struggle: The creative process is not easy, and Pressfield argues that embracing life’s struggles and overcoming resistance is essential to achieving success.
  • Consistency and discipline: The author stresses the importance of developing a consistent and disciplined approach to work, to overcome resistance and achieve long-term success.
  • Focus on the work, not the outcome: The book encourages creative individuals to focus on the work itself, rather than on external rewards, to maintain their motivation and creativity.

Additional Resources

In addition to the 12 books listed above, there are many other resources available to entrepreneurs looking for a better understanding of the business world and help business owners and business leaders scale beyond their imagination.

For example, YouTube channels such as “Y Combinator” provide advice for most startups and share inspiring stories of successful entrepreneurs and their journeys.

Finally, attending conferences and networking events can be a great way to meet other business owners and learn from their experiences.

Applying What You Learn

After reading these books, it’s important to apply what you’ve learned in real life.

Align your knowledge and experiences with established business principles but also think outside of the box and take calculated risks when necessary to help your business succeed.

Taking Action And Succeeding

To start a business successfully requires both knowledge and action.

After taking in all the information from reading about business start-up strategies, entrepreneurs must actively pursue challenges that put all their knowledge into practice.

Start your growth today by building a solid business plan.

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About the Author


Suryansh Sodhani

Suryansh is a writer for B2B and SaaS brands. He has worked with some of the biggest tech brands including Dell. Outside of work, he loves reading about technology, business, and startups.

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