After I left college, I had to get entrepreneurship training the hard way…reading books!
I thought that if I read enough information on entrepreneurship, written by people that are successful in business, then I could mimic some of their ideas and paths, and I could save myself the money and time it would take me to go back to college and finish my entrepreneurship development.
These books in my case are what have made me what I am today. One fine gentleman told me one day, “Wilson, the only difference from you today and in five years are the books you read and the people you associate yourself with.” I took his advice to the heart about the book part, and slowly I’m starting to associate with great people.
Here’s the collection of books that I’ve read that can help you save some money in your entrepreneurial education.
Top Ten Books for any College Dropout or Aspiring Entrepreneur:
- Rework – This book, if you’re just getting started with your business or thinking about starting a business, is a great book. It’s short, to the point, and easy to read. Jason and David are rebels to the old school way of doing business and they challenge how things were always “SUPPOSED” to be done in the small business world. I think that’s what I like mostly about this book. These are just some of their chapter titles:
– “Learning from mistakes is overrated”
– “Learning from failure is overrated”
– “Planning is Guessing”
– “What’s your problem?”
– “Fund yourself”
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – I would say the main takeaway for me in this book was that he explains what the simple steps to survive and thrive in business are. Why most businesses fail and how to prevent it from happening. The title pretty much says it all. I read it because it was recommended to me by a good amount of successful entrepreneurs.
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion – Cocaine for the brain. Gary Vaynerchuk, my favorite entrepreneur of the century, is really a great guy to read, listen to, and chat with. When have you ever heard of an entrepreneur that will answer your tweets, or emails? Maybe there are a few, and garyvee is one of them. This book is what really helps you turn your life-long passion into profit, and you can live the best damn lifestyle with the opportunity of the Internet.
- The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything – I think as you start growing in your business career this book comes down the road, because it really explains the more complicated parts of business. Like how to deal with VC (venture capitalists); he really has a humorous way to explain the process of starting a business. If you’re just getting started or already have a business this book is beneficial. If you’re thinking that starting a business is hard, and it is, this book could make the process a little easier.
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Even though this book has not yet come out, I got two of them for my blog in advance. I read it in a week, because after reading a couple of pages I wanted to encode in my brain as much info as possible. You won’t read any other business book like it, and I can’t say I’ve ever had so much fun reading a book. Zappos’ core value of delivering happiness is directly expressed in the book. From raising earthworms and having garage sales and lemonade stands, Tony Hsieh takes you on a journey of his life and businesses. This is a hard-to-put-down book. Tony has really made an impact on me through this book and I bet it will in the entire world too.
- Think and Grow Rich – Even though this book was published a little over 7 decades ago, the wisdom is still applicable to this day. Building a positive mental attitude, developing a definite purpose, channeling the power of the sub-conscious mind and dealing with adversity are just some of the concepts from this book that have helped me think and grow like the rich do. Most of the books that I’ve read relate in some way back to Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – My blog has been mainly inspired by this book. I was once the kind of person that had the many assumptions that many still have (retire when I am old enough, and live the rest of your life). I now see there are other options, and using the Internet to achieve your ideal lifestyle is something that is achievable. Thanks to Tim, I now see the 9 to 5 as the worst system ever created in life. I really love this book.
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t – This book has given me an idea of how to really make a business succeed and is almost a checklist for the great businesses. Definitely not an easy read, but the data is excellent if you really want to get down the trenches of building a company for decades.
- Founders at Work: Stories of Start-ups’ Early Days (Recipes: a Problem-Solution Ap) – If I ever want to go back and get into the brains of the people that have started some of the biggest companies over the last 30 years, I go back and read some of these success stories. What I liked about this book is that it really goes down the nitty gritty of what it took to get these companies of the ground from the start. Thanks, Jessica, for this great book. If you’re a new, old or wanna-be entrepreneur this is like a MUST-READ book.
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – For organizing your life, there really is no better book out there. When your running a business or starting a business life can get pretty unorganized and this book helps you work that out. I found the steps easier to handle than most books related to GTD.