Entrepreneurship is best known as an industry for doers, but it doesn’t hurt when you learn one or two things from people who have initially done it and are still doing it. Entrepreneurial success entails continuously investing in your own education. It’s almost impossible to meet a great entrepreneur who doesn’t read books to stay on top of the latest trends that could impact their business and the global marketplace. Bill Gates estimates that he reads approximately fifty books a year. You would be mistaken to think that since his Microsoft years are over he is less interested in business.  The reality is the opposite.

You are what you read, and if your ultimate goal is to build a successful company, then you just might want to start reading the following entrepreneurship books. They focus on purposeful passion, willingness to question, realness, leanness and core drive. They provide the most direct, actionable/practical advice for starting, growing and running a world-class business.1. Zero to One: – Peter Thiel

Aspiring Entrepreneur

1. Zero to One: – Peter Thiel

This is one of the best books focusing on startups that you can ever read. The co-founder of Paypal, Peter Thiel, takes on startups, innovation and what it takes to create the future. This book is more conceptual in nature, challenging notions of startups or rather what it takes to truly create and important startup whose products move the needs from zero to one. This book is also a New York Times best-selling work and definitely a must-read for anybody planning to venture into business without falling victim to some of the risks that other unprepared first-time entrepreneurs often do.

2. Lean Startup

This is arguably the most paramount book for any individual aspiring to be an entrepreneur to read. Reis’ philosophies are very specific and at times highly tailored towards technology, for instance, his belief in going through with a very tough MVP ahead of anything else. By Silicon Valley standard, this can be considered an oldie but goodie’ and if you are working on a startup and haven’t read it yet, maybe it’s time you rethink your strategy.

Ries’ take on user-centered business and ongoing innovation is based on real-life experience, and the lessons you’ll take away are more than worth the hours you’ll spend reading this page turner. His vital message of failing lean, failing fast, scaling once you hit’ is what a good number of the top successful growth companies in the past decade have been riding on.

3. The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

Timothy Ferris was nominated as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People of 2007” and is the author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been sold in 33 different languages. The 4-hour Workweek focuses on providing information on how you can increase your per-hour input by ten-fold or essentially slim down 40-hours a week into just four hours.

Whether you are an overworked employee or an entrepreneur trapped in your own business, the 4-hour Workweek is the compass for a new and revolutionary world. The book disputes the conventional concept of retirement and states the importance of not waiting and making every minute count. This book is the ultimate blueprint for any entrepreneur who wants to learn to make the most of their time and start enjoying the perks of being your own boss.

4. Bold: by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler.

Established entrepreneur and best-selling author Peter Diamandis alongside Steven Kotler released the book, Bold a follow-up to their initial read Abundance, which focused how the future is way better than you could ever think. This book focuses on going big, creating wealth and impacting the world. The book is very actionable providing practical information and tools to the entrepreneurs to use in making money and also impacting other people’s lives.

Bold is divided into in three, easy-to-digest sections. It contains several nuggets of wisdom which any aspiring entrepreneur can use to their advantage. Diamandis and Kotler have also used detailed interviews from renowned entrepreneurs like Larry Page and Elon Musk to help the reader get as much insight as possible.


Aspiring Entrepreneur

5. Exponential Organizations- Salim Ismail

Exponential Organizations was authored by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest, Mike Malone and Peter Diamandis and its centered around on how to build exponential organizations with exponential technologies and new organizational techniques for an exponential era. The Amazon bestseller book integrates all key organizational and technology trends into new and holistic 11 attribute framework applicable for startups, mid markets and corporate.

The book is quite precise and straightforward that anybody who wants to can reinvent the business practices in their businesses. Performance is vital in any business but how exactly do you organize your efforts to maximize performance? Salim Ismail et.al answers this question incredibly well.

Honorary Mention

Losing my Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun and Made a Fortune Doing Business My way- by Richard Branson.

Now this is the most real epitome of old is gold. Richard Branson is a favorite to so many people because he is not only a successful entrepreneur but also he has a way of making entrepreneurship look fun, and he stops at nothing to have a good time and just be himself. The book is an autobiography of the British entrepreneur, and actually, it’s based on his unique philosophy of oh screw it, let’s do it’.

Branson mentions how he was very willing to take risks which ultimately paid off as he now owns a number of the top successful business ventures including Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Records and V2 which have a global presence but without any central headquarters, management hierarchy and also with minimal bureaucracy. He was a virgin’ in business when he started, but he has learned so much along the way that he is sharing with the world in this book plus we get a sneak peek into Richard’s carefree and fun lifestyle.

Just like a nutrition plan and a gym, the best book is actually the one you read and benefit from. If you’ve struggled to learn from entrepreneurial books in the past, then the above books are the best place to start. It’s quite unfortunate that there isn’t a silver bullet in life and business, and a single book wouldn’t give you all the answers. It takes a culmination of a plethora of books focused on meaningful experiences that will inform your approach in not only business but life too. Find the resources that speak to you and never stop learning.