The world is undoubtedly becoming a global village. But, as much as that has its negative aspects, I also know that it opens us up to new possibilities and opportunities. These opportunities are varied and not always straightforward, but they have birthed entrepreneurs. You do not need to go to school to become one, and it requires no particular skill other than leveraging who you are and applying the best of yourself to what you believe can create a beneficial impact on you and society.
Commitment, passion, discipline, dedication, and hard work are the characteristics of an entrepreneur. Most of these are abilities you have within you, but then you have to grow them, improve, learn to make the best from their application, and that is where books come in. Entrepreneurs do not need a special school, but part of the demands of effort and hard work is that you supply yourself with knowledge and tools that will help you maximise your potential.
These five books are some of the bests I know and are a good starting point for any budding entrepreneur.
HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE – DALE CARNEGIE
This one is a classic and will make almost every list you see about entrepreneurship, growing socially, or just personal growth. In this self-help staple that Time Magazine considered amongst the 100 most influential books in the world, Dale Carnegie discusses a recipe for success that revolves around you being yourself and making people see the value in that. Using six ways to make people like you and twelve ways to get people to buy into your way of thinking, Carnegie gives you the tools to be a leader in your personal and business life.
In every way, a must-read.
THE LEAN STARTUP – ERIC REISS
According to Reiss, a startup is an organisation dedicated to creating something new but exists under conditions of extreme uncertainty. However, the definition does not shy away from risk, an ever-present element that can either scare you from starting your path to entrepreneurship or become a guiding tool. Reiss makes it the latter in this book, helping budding entrepreneurs navigate their way through a product cycle with agility, counter-intuitiveness, and a creative thought process that will help you navigate the uncertain waters of creating and managing a startup.
TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH – JOHN MAXWELL
One of the things I love about today’s world is getting hired for your values and who you are as a person. Gone are the days when the Cv was supreme. Today, a CV only gets you an interview, and everything else depends on who you are and how that contributes to a company, startup, or community. In the same vein, your company or startup can be a reflection, extension of who you are. This is one of the reasons why things like work culture are increasingly important today. Maxwell outlines all this perfectly in this superb book that will change your perspective on how you approach the labour market or how you shape your startup in general.
IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN – GRACE BONNEY
This is an excellent start for women looking to get into a business of their own. Bonney shares relatable insights on the business world from a woman’s perspective, using stories, experiences, and advice from other women entrepreneurs across multiple industries, races, backgrounds from all over the world.
REWORK – JASON FRIED & DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
Paperwork, deadlines, decision-making, the expenditures, dealing with people and whatever baggage they come with, getting up before everyone and going to bed way past your bedtime. There are a million things people do not love about being the CEO or an entrepreneur, especially when you consider the limited resources you have to work with initially. Rework will make you see why all of these things shroud you from just getting to work and building something you are passionate about, and that has value. You will come to appreciate why simple is better and how to block out the negative thoughts.
Nike probably read this and was like, “JUST DO IT.”
The list is by no means exhaustible and not the most perfect, but it should get you on your way to becoming the next big innovator or the modest creator of the next life-changing product/service. You can check out a longer list of book recommendations I made