5 Must-Read Books for the Startup Entrepreneur

startup books

When you’re self employed, one of the most important advantages you can give yourself is having an excellent knowledge and understanding of business and sales tactics. Unfortunately, taking classes and attending seminars tend to take up far too much of your most important resource – time. So how do you obtain the knowledge without sacrificing a large amount of time? For most of us, the answer lies in self-education through books.

Once you’ve made up your mind to read some books that will help you become a better business owner, how do you know where to start? Well, today is your lucky day! The following five books are a great opening set that will put you on track to growing both as an entrepreneur and as a person.

Linchpin by Seth Godin
Are you indispensable? If you put into practice the insights presented in Godin’s book, you will be. Here, Godin illustrates how we’ve been brought up to follow directions. With our business culture changing, this is no longer good enough. Linchpin is an amazing self-motivating validator that your work as an artist is needed and desired. Godin’s message is to learn to live your life as an indispensable asset in everything you do. For me, it reinforces the “Your life is your message” motto in simple layman’s terms.

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Many people looking to start their own business are doing so because they’ve found themselves displaced in the workforce. There’s been a significant shift in the way we look at job security. This particular book is an excellent way to help gain a positive perspective on change and its effects on you personally. Even better, it’s a pretty short, but moving read.

The Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki
As an entrepreneur ideas are our currency. The better the idea, the better we’ll do. Or, so we think. What happens if we have the greatest idea in the world, but we never act on it. This book addresses that issue and gives a successful blueprint anyone can follow for taking that great idea out into the world.

Work the System by Sam Carpenter
Similar in concept to the ever-popular Four Hour Workweek, Work the System addresses the need to set up systems to run your business. In the book, you’ll find solutions for creating systems that you can put your business on autopilot. In short, you’ll learn how to make more while working less, and still providing a valuable service or product for your customers.

Why We Buy by Paco Hill
If you sell products, you need to read this book. Paco Hill explores the science behind shopping with his secret “spy” shoppers who reveal interesting facts about why we actually buy. Probably the most recommended book for retail sales, this new edition has been updated to include online retail sales. If this little book teaser doesn’t perk interest, I’m not sure what will, “…how nearly every Internet retailer from iTunes to Amazon can dramatically improve how it serves its customers.”