If you’re a startup founder, you may want to read about those who have done what you aspire to do. Through their errors and achievements, you can prevent making the same decisions they have or dedicate time to doing what brought these entrepreneurs success.
1. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy
This book is a road map to leaving your 9 to 5 job and stepping into the role of an entrepreneur. This isn’t a step-by-step guide, or a merely a book, but a mentor. You’ll learn that who you hire will greatly impact the destiny of your business and find practical applications and plans. Hardy is straightforward and provides valuable personal insights.
2. Zero to One by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, explains how emerging companies can successfully take the opposite approach. He teaches the reader how to handle the inevitable ups and downs and how unconventional thinking is required to succeed. Monopolies, the future economy, and amusing views about society are a few major themes in this book.
3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
This honest book explains why the job of a CEO is tough and lonely. Horowitz goes into detail about the challenges he experienced as the CEO of various companies and the lessons he learned from them. He explains that being a successful entrepreneur has to do with your ability to make good decisions in a sea of bad ones to choose from.
4. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
Learn how to organize sales and “become an expert until you reach your limits.” Blank explains customer development should be the focus and how to validate your vision. There are important questions in this book that you will need to answer before you can build and sell a product that you may overlook as a novice. This book proposes a customer-centered approach rather than a product-centered approach.
5. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
Michael Gerber teaches you that you need more than an idea to succeed. This book is a real-life example of how to build a concrete business structure and it’s told through a discussion between Gerber and a bakery shop entrepreneur he worked with. Gerber also addresses the entrepreneur myths.
6. The Start Owner’s Manual by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank
This book is similar to a textbook with all of its information. It’s inspiring and it focuses on the most important aspect of how to discover customers and how to validate them. It offers a step-by-step guide with graphics that emphasize key processes. Blank goes into depth on what you can do to minimize the risk of failure.
7. Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston
Livingston interviews 32 different entrepreneurs throughout the chapters of this book. It’ll teach you determination is the most important quality in a startup founder, the importance of not giving up too easily, and the need for a network of people in order to succeed. This book explains that most of the time things don’t work out the first time and persistence is the key to success.
8. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
If you’re looking for a book that focuses on how experience has been applied successfully elsewhere, this is the one for you. This is a manual for doing things efficiently and understanding the importance of expanding your knowledge. It’s heavily related to tech founders, but the lessons aren’t applicable solely to tech startups.
9. Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis
You’ll most likely want to read this book multiple times. It’s filled with advice on how to grow your business and the information is backed up with proof and examples. The inspiring stories and methods can be used by business owners, managers, and marketers. Specific cycle phases are clearly outlined, and it is easily digestible yet complex.
10. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
This book is for those who aspire to improve themselves as well as their business. Part self-help and part motivational, this book teaches the reader how to create a habit and change a bad habit. Duhigg explains the science behind why we do what we do and how our habits influence the business world.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.