“Knowledge is Power they say. What you don’t read, you don’t know”. The simple truth is that to start or running a business requires a relentless commitment to bettering and improving yourself.
Books are one of the cheapest investments you will make, with a potentially infinite Return on Investment.
Here are 5 books I think every Entrepreneur should read:
- Traction – A startup guide to getting customers By Gabriel Weinberg
Most startups don’t fail at building a product. Most startups fail at getting traction.
Traction is a guide to getting customers, written for startup founders, marketers, and those interested in how today’s startups grow and gain traction.
- Elon musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
This book tells the story of Elon Musk who now owns 3 of the most exciting companies of this decade, Tesla, Space-X and SolarCity.
The book describes Elon’s path from his childhood in South Africa to his arrival, empty handed in the United States as a 17 year old. From then on, Elon Musk worked, studied, and became an entrepreneur taking risks that are beyond the staying of ordinary folk.
The book also describes his endeavors to succedd even though he was on the brink of bankruptcy many times.
- Mastery by Robert Greene
The book crystallizes lessons from the world’s most prolific artists, scientists and entrepreneurs, and then distills their teachings into actionable insights.
The book examined the lives of great historical figures such as Henry Ford and contemporary leaders such as Paul Graham and Freddie Roach and distills the traits and universal ingredients that made them masters.
One of the great quotes from the book “Think of it this way. There are two kinds of failure. The first is never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done”
- Zero to one by Peter Thiel
Thiel is the founder of PayPal and Palantir, and was the first outside investor in Facebook. He shares his theories on building a billion dollar business.
Zero to one is assuredly worth reading, even if you’re not engaged in the world of startups and venture capital. Peter Thiel’s first point is that creating a game changing company means going from zero to one – from nothing to something, instead of going from something to a slightly better something. What a zero-to-one company does is lay claim to an uninhabited stretch of market space in order to create a monopoly.
According to him, a monopoly is not a bad thing, but a good thing that opens up valuable market territory by doing something new.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This book was written over 80 years ago, but it’s still a bestseller. The book places a lot of emphasis on your career, but an entrepreneur can also apply Carnegie’s teachings to your personal and business life. In your journey as an entrepreneur you will need to convince and influence people to get what you want. So this is a must read.