If you want to become an entrepreneur or you want to become wealthy, reading books can really help you. I will give some recommendations here, but first let me say fourthings about books:
- No one book has “all the answers”. The solution is to read widely – read lots of books. Look for patterns and correlations between books. Form a big picture by reading dozens of books.
- Many books can contain lots of good stuff, but parts of every book are wrong. You should read every book with a grain of salt. For example, in the book “Money: Master the Game”, the author recommends something called “Fixed Indexed Annuities”. But that sounded too-goodto-be-true to me, and when I looked it up there were many people who think the author is wrong in this area.
- Even if a book is a best seller and lots of people are recommending it, that does not necessarily mean that you will like it. Books are a personal thing. People like some authors and dislike others. Again, take everything with a grain of salt. Even if you don’t like it, you may want to read the book and take away what you can from it.
- Keep track of what you read in a spreadsheet or a word document. Write down a few notes too, e.g. what are the 3 most important things you got from this book? If you read or listen to one book a week, that would be 50 books a year. Even one a month would be 12 books a year. If you read 12 books on stocks and entrepreneurship over the next year, you would be way ahead.
A few other things:
- You can get books for free at the library
- You can often find books in used book stores for half price or less.
- You can sometimes find PDF files for books for free online
- A place like http://www.wikisummaries.org (there are lots of places like this) can help speed things up sometimes. Other times it really is better to read the whole book.
- You have a lot of “wasted time” in a day (e.g. walking to classes, driving to work, etc.) and audio books can make good use of that time. See Audible.com
Here are four books to start with, and if you look these up in Amazon you will get lots of other recommendations:
- “Rich dad, poor dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki – A perfect book for getting your head in the right spot to start a business.
- “The $100 Startup” – pretty easy to understand from the title
- “How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients” by Jeffrey J. Fox
- “The Millionaire Fastlane” – A starting point for entrepreneurs, but some people don’t like the style.
Other books that can change your thinking:
- “Zero to One” I have some friends who swear by this book, others who don’t like it.
- “The one minute millionare” by Victor Mark Hansen – a little over the top, but encourages you to think differently about starting companies and building wealth.
- “How to be a billionaire” by Martin Fridson – Really makes you look at the world differently.
- “The Warren Buffet Way” by Robert Hagstrom – Not light reading, but helps you see how one of the richest men in the world thinks about the business world.
- “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – A classic that everyone should read.
- “The Richest Man in Babylon” – Another classic
- “Think and Grow Rich” – Another classic
- “As a man thinketh” – Another classic
- “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi – Helps you to think about business relationships differently.
- “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, on how he created Nike.
- “Money: Master the game” by Tony Robbins is a good intro book to money and achieving wealth. He interviewed a lot of millionaires/billionaires.
- “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. Talks about keeping yourself out of debt, which can be a big part of financial freedom.
- “The automatic millionaire” by David Bach – Teaches you how to manage your finances. A basic guide to “saving $5 a day to become a millionaire in the future.”
- “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris – Will definitely help you think differently.
You can read books about people who have started successful businesses. There are thousands of them. Here are 5 older books that show how crazy business starting can be:
- “The Sam Walton Story”, by Austin Teutsch – Tells how Sam Walton went from being a guy with one little store in Arkansas to the richest man in the world.
- “Dave’s Way”, by David Thomas – The story of Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. He started as an orphan bussing tables in a restaurant, and he went on to create an empire.
- “Built from scratch” – the subtitle says it all: “How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion”
- “Nuts!”, by Kevin Freiberg – The story of Southwest Airlines.
- “Be my guest”, by Conrad Hilton – The story of Hilton Hotels.
Lewis Sheats teaches in the NCSU College of Management. Here is a list of books he recommends:
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk
- The Lean Startup, Eric Ries
- Zero to One, Peter Thiel
- The E-myth Revisted, Michael Gerber
- Titan, Ron Chernow
- Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
- Power Questions, Andrew Sobel & Jerold Panas
- Good to Great, Jim Collins
- Business Model Generation, Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
- Commercialization of Innovative Technologies: Bringing Good Ideas to the Marketplace, Touhill, Touhill, and O’Riordan
- How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie
Dave Spannhake from ReunionMarketing.com recommends:
- Start with Why – Simon Sinek
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey
- Little Red Book of Selling – Jeffrey Gitomer
- The Founders Dilemmas – Noam Wasserman
- Good to Great – Jim Collins
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
- Multipliers – Liz Wiseman
- Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
- The One Minute Manager – Spencer Johnson
- Also you can find a ton of great blogs on this website
If you are interested in Podcasts, here are several lists (do another search of your own in Google and you can find new lists like these):