Best Entrepreneur Books - Growth Freaks

Best Entrepreneur Books

Best Entrepreneur Books 2

Learn what makes a book required reading for the hungry entrepreneur inside of you. Check out our list of some of the best entrepreneur books out there that will teach you to be the most successful you possible.

In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship and startups, knowledge is power. Business degrees are great, but they are only the first step on a long road to success. From there, you need experience and on the job training, which admittedly can be hard to come by and financially detrimental if you take an unpaid internship. But there is one thing you can do to grow your business acumen that takes very little time and money. Read.

The shelves (or online catalogs in most cases these days) of book merchants are stuffed with self-help books, and business is one of the most popular sub-genres. After all, who doesn't want to make more money? Learning to become an entrepreneur or becoming a better one has never been easier if you know where to look. With the right books, you can supercharge your career or set off on an exciting new one.

To help you on your way, compiled here is a list of some of the best entrepreneur books for people who are hungry for success. First, however, it is important to know what makes a good book for striving entrepreneurs and what information you should expect to find when reading one so you can tell a good book when you see one.

How The Ratings Are Chosen For The Best Entrepreneur Books

First of all, it should be important to note that even though the following books have star ratings, the top book is not "the best." Even educational books are partially subjective in their quality, and what might work for some could fall flat for you.

Furthermore, not every book out there may apply to you. The business world is massive and diverse, and you can't restrict yourself to broad sources of information. Sometimes you'll have to find specialized knowledge that pertains to your unique circumstances. Books that could help the most people rated higher on this list and some specialized books made it as well.

The Best Entrepreneur Books for Striving and Hungry Entrepreneurs

Ultimately it will be up to you which books work best for your learning style and situation. However, here is a good place to start.

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Price & Rating

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations best entrepreneur books

“All In”
by Bill Green

All in Bill Green best entrepreneur books

Self Made: The Definitive Guide to Business Start-Up Success” by Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole

Self Made Cole best entrepreneur books

“Tools of the Titans” by
Tim Ferris

Tools of Titans best entrepreneur books

“The Obstacle is the Way” by
Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is the Way best entrepreneur books

“Recipe for Success: The Ingredients of a Profitable Food Business” by Karen Green

Recipe for Success best entrepreneur books

“Disrupted” by
Dan Lyons

Disrupted best entrepreneur books

The Best Entrepreneur Books

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius


Meditations best entrepreneur books

It may seem strange to start off with a book that is not necessarily a book about business. Indeed, this book was written before the word “business” even existed. This book was written by one of the most successful and loved Roman emperor in history. His writings on leadership and the philosophy of Stoicism are lessons that everyone who wants to be in charge of something should learn.

Marcus Aurelius was a warrior-poet the likes the world had not seen or arguably has seen since. Since the lessons he taught are so basic and fundamental, his book scores high on this list. Aurelius ushered in a Golden Age of prosperity for Rome, and his teachings will help you shape your destiny through force of will.

As an aside, it should be noted here that another required tome for the ambitious is Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” The quintessential general’s handbook has been considered required reading for anyone in positions of power for decades if not centuries. It didn’t get an entry on this list by itself because it should go without saying that you must read it. If you have never heard of it somehow, though, get a copy as soon as you can.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent edition of the greatest text ever written
  • Some say that many of the chapters repeat the same subjects in different ways

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“All In” by Bill Green


All in Bill Green best entrepreneur books

For entrepreneurs, there’s no one better to learn from than an entrepreneur that has already been successful.

Bill Green has been to the top of the mountain. But from there he saw other mountains and reached the tops of those as well. His origins could scarcely be more humble, as he started out in a flea market and rose to the top of the hardware and home improvement supply industry. 

A self-professed "serial entrepreneur," Green writes about how persistence, dedication and commitment are the most important things when growing a business from idea to success story.

He'll teach you how to pour all of yourself into your business and make it work for you. It's not so simple as spending every waking moment thinking about your business. However, Green's book can teach you how to go all in on your dreams.

Pros

Cons

  • Organized, driven and focused
  • First part of book is an excellent read, but unless you are already on the path to selling your company and going public, second half becomes a drag.

Quality

Price

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$$

Self Made: The Definitive Guide to Business Start-Up Success” by Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole


Self Made Cole best entrepreneur books

This book was written by a couple who, between the two of them, have started or own around a half a dozen businesses. They don't come much hungrier than these two, and their book explains how to get your business off of the ground in the new all-digital age. "Self Made" is full of great advice for the newcomers of the startup world. 

You won't find complex analytics in this book, nor will you need a whole new glossary just to make sense of the esoteric business vocabulary.

You'll just get useful, proven and easy to understand advice on topics ranging from networking business connections to navigating social media like LinkedIn and even down to the best ways to make a business presentation.

It's a must-read for the uninitiated.

Pros

Cons

  • Something brilliant in it's uniqueness and special in it's value.
  • Some review say, lacking in simplicity

Quality

Price

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$$

“Tools of the Titans” by Tim Ferris


Tools of Titans best entrepreneur books

If you want to be successful, you need to know what successful people do. To find that out, you need to talk to a lot of successful people, and that is just what Tim Ferris did. 

He has interviewed hundreds of people on his podcast, all highly successful people from all corners of the business world. After years of these interviews, he has compiled them into a book and points out common themes and actions that these people have in common and shows how they can breed success. 

The interesting thing about this book is just how comprehensive it is. Ferris doesn’t just go in depth about business practices and how to make deals. He also discusses with his subjects everything about their lives that they believe contributes to their success.

Whether it be what they wear, eat, or even do in the morning. When this book says it will teach you about what successful people do, it means everything they do

Pros

Cons

  • Organized, driven and focused
  • First part of book is an excellent read, but unless you are already on the path to selling your company and going public, second half becomes a drag.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$

“The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday


The Obstacle Is the Way best entrepreneur books

Unlike most books on success, this one does not focus on the good things that you can do. But rather all the bad things that might happen to you on your way to the top. By focusing on the obstacles that will inevitably land in your path and the complications that always arise when striving for success. Holiday teaches you not only how to identify these things but also how to overcome them. 

The old saying informs us that success doesn’t come from not falling, but rather getting up after every fall. Holiday’s book teaches you how to get back up after each of your falls by looking back at history. And showing you how the giants of the past did it. No one ever had an easy road to success. However, those who made it had to smash their way through their fair share of roadblocks. And this book can help you be one of those people.

Pros

Cons

  • A very good book with lots of examples about people who had to overcome great obstacles to have success.
  • Some people say it is incredibly superficial.

Quality

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$$

“Recipe for Success: The Ingredients of a Profitable Food Business” by Karen Green


Recipe for Success best entrepreneur books

This book from Karen Green deals specifically with growing a food business, as evidenced by the title. New restaurants, pop-ups, artisanal food supply and many more subgenres of the food business are taking off in today's market. And you'll need some advice to take advantage. The food industry is unlike any other, so this book is a great source of specialized knowledge. 

Green, a commercial director for several food companies, does everything right in this book. She goes in depth with important lessons like how to pitch, networking with suppliers, identifying strengths and weakness and more. Then, she backs up each lesson with case studies and examples so you can see them in action. 

If you are planning to sell rare delicacies or just serve up tasty street food, this book is required reading for anyone looking to get into or improve a food business.

Pros

Cons

  •  Interesting and informative, not only providing an excellent insight into food start ups and how the industry thinks but also some thought provoking parts about good business process.
  •  Written from a commercial perspective.

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$$

“Disrupted” by Dan Lyons


Disrupted best entrepreneur books

Sometimes, being an entrepreneur is not about starting up, but rather starting over. This is one of the best entrepreneur books out there for someone who has found themselves in a dying business sector or is just in dire need of something new. Lyons was there himself, witnessing the end of print media and with it, his future prospects. But he picked himself, dusted himself off and transitioned to online business and is even a writer on the hit show, “Silicon Valley.” 

He was able to turn his career around in the face of a changing industry, and his book can teach you how to do the same. You’ll get insight into how industries shift and change and who gets left behind. You’ll also get an insider’s perspective of the startup Mecca itself, Silicon Valley. 

Get educated on the trendy entrepreneurs of today so you don’t end up the failed business of yesterday.

Pros

Cons

  •  Sheds light on some troubling issues in the startup and tech cultures
  • Not interesting or compelling

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Price

Rating

$$

A Buyer’s Guide to Finding a Good Business and Entrepreneur Book

Books should contain a large amount of knowledge, no surprise there. But that isn’t all a book on entrepreneurship must have for you. A good business book should help nurture you into a better, more active person and not just fill your head with facts. Here are a few things that the best entrepreneur books should do for the reader.

Inspire

Starting or expanding a business can be scary. There's so much uncertainty involved, and there are always risks. For these reasons and many mores, countless potential self-starters give up before they even begin because they are just too scared or filled with doubt. It's understandable to feel fear, but you don't make a life for yourself by giving up. 

Just like a good mentor or teacher, a book that helps you become an entrepreneur should be inspiring. It should help you push past the fear and see that the risks are either not so great, or that they are necessary and surmountable. This goes beyond just saying “you can do it,” the book has to show you how you can be successful and maybe even show you some examples of how others achieved success.

Demonstrate

The best leaders lead by example, and the best educational books teach with examples. It can be very difficult to visualize a concept or practice without seeing it at work. Descriptions can only take you so far. 

Learning to be the best always involves learning about those who came before and how they became the best. Case studies, historical reports and even anecdotes can help you get a sense of how to put the ideas and concepts you learn into practice. You don't want to read a book of someone droning on about theoretical concepts, you need hard evidence of success.

Convince

If you don’t trust the author, then you likely won’t put much stock into what they have to say. The author has to convince you of their acumen, credentials and knowledge. Without that, why would you ever pay someone for instruction? You wouldn’t trust a mechanic who has never fixed a car before, why trust an author with no experience? 

The author has a short amount of time and a small amount of space to convince you if their credibility, so they should put the best of what they have done in the author’s blurb or book description. If, after you have read those, you are not convinced, then it is time to move on. 

You don’t have the time to waste giving every book a chance to get good. The author should have, ideally, both business and teaching experience. Who better to learn about entrepreneurial topics from than business people, professors and entrepreneurs?

Author: Jon Stahl

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