Best Books for Online Entrepreneurs
Kids are heading back to school and people have learning on the mind. Adults may not have classes of their own to return to, but it’s a good time for us to start thinking about how to improve our own learning.
Any good entrepreneur knows that you never reach the point of knowing too much. To keep your brain fresh and your business acumen sharp, check out some of these books for online entrepreneurs.
1. The Lean Startup, by Eric Reis
The Lean Startup has been influential in changing the way many people think about running a business. The book aims to help entrepreneurs make better, faster business decisions by embracing experimentation and valuing creativity and customer feedback more in decision making. The book has inspired many entrepreneurs and even launched a movement and community of people that meet around the world. It could change the way you do business too.
2. Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell has made a career out of looking at popular subjects in a unique way fueled by research. His book Outliers puts that approach to the subject of what makes people successful. If you want to understand how some of the most successful people in the world got where they are, Gladwell’s book can provide some insight.
3. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
While Sandberg’s book is focused more on advice for businesswomen in general rather than entrepreneurs specifically, many of her recommendations can be helpful for women who run businesses now, or hope to start one. The book can also be a good education for male entrepreneurs who want to understand what their female employees face and create a more inclusive work environment.
4. The E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber
In this updated followup to his 1988 book on the same subject, Gerber tackles some of the myths that make people think they know what they’re doing in business when they’re really on the path to failure. He walks readers through the actual steps that entrepreneurs should plan on taking to succeed in business.
5. Grit, by Angela Duckworth
Psychologist Angela Duckworth provides her analysis of what it takes to succeed in the book Grit. She lays out the case that ultimately talent and smarts aren’t as important to how well you do in business as perseverance and passion. Give the book a look to see how you can put her research to use in your own life.
6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini
Yet another book focusing on the role psychology can play in business success, Cialdini’s Influence has been extremely influential in the marketing industry over the past few decades. The book can help you understand how to reach and gain customers better, as well as providing concepts that could make you a better manager of the people who work for you.
7. Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss
Ferriss interviewed nearly 200 successful people in a variety of industries in order to put together this tome that collects a wide range of tips and techniques to improve business success, productivity, and life.
8. The Psychology of Selling, by Brian Tracy
Salesmen aren’t the only ones who need to understand how to craft a successful sales pitch. Business owners have to know how to sell their business idea to potential investors, customers, and employees. The Psychology of Selling can give you a firmer grasp on how to successfully convince people the value of your business and products.
9. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout
It’s common knowledge by now that we live in a world oversaturated with information and advertisements. The only way for brands to reach customers is to figure out a way to cut through the noise. Positioning seeks to help brands figure out how to do that by crafting clear positioning for your business and products that helps you stand out.
10. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, by Arianna Huffington
The title may be a mouthful, but the concept behind Huffington’s book is one that may bring more simplicity to your life. She tackles the subject of work-life balance and how to make self-care and well being a part of your definition of success. We all work better when we’re happy and fulfilled. Huffington makes the case for giving those values the same priority as money and recognition.
11. Deep Work, by Cal Newport
We’re all besieged by distractions every day. It’s getting harder and harder to stay productive throughout the entire workday without frequent forays into social media, blogs, or other sources of online distraction. Deep Work argues that one of the most important skills for success is one that many people are losing touch with: the ability to focus. The book will help you figure out how to regain your ability to tune out distractions and focus on the main tasks you need to complete.
12. The Power of Broke, by Daymond John
It’s easy to feel like all your business problems would be solved if you simply had more money. The Power of Broke argues otherwise. Based on personal experience, John shares his view that starting out with almost nothing can actually be an asset that forces you to get creative and strategic. If you’re struggling with feeling like you don’t have enough capital to take where business where you want it to go, this book could be the inspiration you need.
13. The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom, by Carrie Wilkerson
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to mean spending long, stressful days at an office. You can approach it as a way to be your own boss and run things on your own terms. Wilkerson’s book provides suggestions on how to make a more low-key, low-stress version of entrepreneurship a reality.
14. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, Hal Elrod and Cameron Herold
The Miracle Morning provides tips for ways to start your day that will make you more energized and productive once you dive into work. If you’re not convinced a few new morning habits can make much of a difference, five minutes reading reviews of this book may change your mind. People praise the book for improving in their energy levels and success for each day in tangible ways.
15. Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products, by Nir Eyal
Most of these books are about how to run a business effectively, but one of the biggest factors in the success of a business is its product. Hooked looks at what’s behind the kind of products that people just can’t get enough of and provides an analysis of what you can do to create that kind of product yourself.
16. What If It Does Work Out? By Susie Moore
Moore’s motivational book aims to take the power out of the question that keeps many entrepreneurs from moving forward on their ideas: what if it doesn’t work out? The book takes a stab at the fear of failure that could be keeping you back.
17. The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz
A lot of books about entrepreneurship focus on the inspirational side of things – insisting that you can do it, you just have to put the work in. This book gives a hard look to the aspects of entrepreneurship that are hard for reasons that go beyond being a lot of work. If you want some guidance on some of the difficult decisions you may have to face as an entrepreneur and how to handle them, this is a good book to check out.
18. The Personal MBA, by Josh Kaufman
MBA programs are expensive and, Kaufman argues, not worth it. This book lays out fundamentals you need to know and some tips on how to learn the rest in practice. Instead of spending years in school and tens of thousands of dollars, this book can cover the most important basics for you.
19. The Entrepreneur Mind, by Kevin Johnson
A big part of how successful you’ll be as an entrepreneur is the kind of mindset you bring into each day of work. The Entrepreneur Mind provides many of the lessons entrepreneurs need to learn to be able to approach various tasks and problems in their business with the right mindset to do well.
20. The 10 Laws of Enduring Success, Maria Bartiromo
Bartiromo has talked to a number of successful people over the years. Her book is based on the lessons and insights gleaned from those many interviews. The book speaks to not only how people achieve success, but how they maintain it once they’ve reached it.
No matter where you are in your entrepreneur’s journey, the lessons others have learned have something to teach you. Take some time this back-to-school season to give yourself a little bit of schooling. You may be able to bring something new and useful to your business as a result of it.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.