The 17 Best Books on Entrepreneurship

Are you starting a business? Read any of these books on this to learn what you need for entrepreneurial success!

Published Categorized as Business

When starting a new business it can really feel like you are out on your own, having to deal with clients or customers as well as the impending fear of business failure, losing money, and costing people jobs.

The combination can stir a hurricane of anxieties and confusion, but don’t worry you aren’t alone!

Even if you don’t have friends in the industry, these books can really help in the same way.

The authors of these books have been through the ringer themselves and are here to pass on their advice to you.

The Best Books on Entrepreneurship

Check out our list to find the inspiration you need today!

1. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

Based purely on the title, this is the ideal book for someone starting a small business.

Gerber, a successful businessman, takes you on the journey of most businesses, from entrepreneurial infancy to franchising success. 

Gerber dispels the myths around entrepreneurship, the fatal assumption that we can run a business we feel we understand, as well as providing us with the solutions that successful small businesses undertake to reach success.

Gerber is himself a small business consultant, the wisdom we receive from him and his experience is invaluable, and this recent revisiting has updated his award-winning book for the modern day.

2. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses [By ER]-[Paperback]

In this top-selling book, Eric Ries helps us understand why most startups fail, and presents a new approach to business that takes from Reis’ experience in manufacturing.

His approach allows you to constantly test how your business is doing in real time, and measure progress without ‘vanity metrics’ allowing you to view your business without biased data.

Reis applies a scientific approach to the world of business and entrepreneurship, an approach many could learn from.

3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

By Chris Guillebeau $100 Startup

This manifesto from Chris Guillebeau presents a new way of looking at making money that favors the entrepreneurial spirit that is more common in the modern world.

Chris suggests we can not only work more efficiently through starting our own business but it can also greatly improve our quality of life.

If you need the inspiration and motivation to take that first step in entrepreneurship, then this is the book you need today!

4. Crossing The Chasm, 3rd Edition, by Geoffrey Moore

Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers (Collins Business Essentials)

If you are into the business and marketing world already and want a book that can provide you with a specialized look at bringing a product to a mainstream audience and larger market, this is the bible and Moore is your God.

Geoffrey really helps provide a plan with good research for bringing products to the mainstream, and this 3rd edition focuses on the successes and failures of the more modern strategies as well as how Moore’s own theories play in the modern business world.

5. Zero To IPO by Frederic Kerrest

Zero to IPO: Over $1 Trillion of Actionable Advice from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs

For a more ‘throw the net’ approach to advice from those who succeed in the entrepreneurial world, this book is worth looking into.

Hosted by Frederic Kerrest, the Wall Street Journal bestseller discusses everything in the entrepreneurial world with those who have made it what it is today.

With advice from the creators of stuff like Zoom, Netflix, Eventbrite, all those who have succeeded have been interviewed by Kerrest, and he has provided the unique and priceless looks at the world of business in this useful and invaluable book.

6. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

In the modern world of business products, the hot topic is ‘virality’. In a world where what is vogue is on top, Berger seeks to understand why this is and the science behind making something popular or viral.

Berger presents 6 fundamental principles which drive virality, and help us understand what actually makes things popular en masse.

Specific and actionable techniques are presented by Berger to get your products popping, advertisements razor sharp, this book is useful for many many industries but is fundamental to understanding modern business.

7. Friction by Jeff Rosenblum and Jordan Berg

Friction: Passion Brands in the Age of Disruption

Almost in direct conversation with the previously mentioned book, Berg and Rosenblum focus on how stalwart brands can survive when losing a market share to startups that utilize virality and contagion to market their product.

Friction argues that brands don’t need to follow what works in the moment but should focus on a system which unlocks unprecedented growth through engaging audiences breeding loyalty in customers and how corporations should separate themselves from legacy business models to create a passion brand that dominates the market.

8. Hook Point by Brendan Kane

Hook Point: How to Stand Out in a 3-Second World

This is another great entrepreneurial book that focuses on how to survive in the modern world that surrounds us.

Like the endeavors of the previous book, Hook Point seeks to show the most effective strategies to remain relevant and innovative in the world of micro-attention.

Kane is an out-of-the-box thinker who has lots of experience in the world of micro attention and presents tools for communication online as well as off and how entrepreneurs can remain afloat in a world of clickbait that can fuel brand awareness and growth in a way that creates legacy and not viral moments.

9. Built to Sell by John Warrillow

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow (28-Feb-2013) Paperback

Warrillow presents some of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs and how to fix them, one of those being trapped by a business when you want to sell what you have grown.

Having a business that relies too heavily on your input can seriously decrease its value in the long run and put off potential investors.

Warrrilow teaches us this lesson, like Jesus, through a business parable, taking a different approach to his contemporaries Warrwillow introduces a fictional story to encase his lesson.

If you are already a fan of fiction, this is a great book that teaches lots of business lessons in a slightly different way than many may prefer.

10. Buy Then Build by Walker Deibel

Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game

In this book Walker Deibel tackles the startup game with a different approach, he takes the method of acquisition over startup, showing how this small change to your mindset might just change your results in the world of entrepreneurship.

Deibel presents a way to use ownership as a path to financial success rather than selling.

Deibel presents business secrets that will help you outsmart most of the startup world, helping you get the best start on your way to a sustainable business model.

11. Here’s The Deal by Joel Ankney

Here's The Deal: Everything You Wish a Lawyer Would Tell You About Buying a Small Business

If you are interested in acquisitional entrepreneurship rather than the startup game, in addition to Deibel’s book, this is potentially all you need to understand the actual processes, obstacles, and shortcuts in the act of buying a small business.

Learn what a normal purchase looks like, the process each party goes through as well as the common legal issues.

All this information comes from a business lawyer with years of experience, Ankey provides all kinds of advice from how to save on legal fees to what the paperwork looks like – invaluable advice from the top.

12. Deep Dive by Rich Howarth

Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action

One of the biggest mistakes made by those who are entering into entrepreneurship is that they don’t go into it with a plan or strategy, which is pretty common.

It can be daunting when you face starting your own business, or even buying a startup.

This is where Rich Howarth comes in, he presents a dissection of the entrepreneurship failures and the entrepreneurship successes.

From investigating this binary he can present some effective and actionable ways to approach strategy.

While the book was written a little while ago, Howarth’s revelations remain relevant to this day.

13. Female Entrepreneur’s Playbook by Patricia Wooster and Cindy Zuelsdorf

Female Entrepreneur's Playbook: Secret Strategies From 20+ Women for Building a Business You Love and Getting Paid for It

Starting a business from the ground up is hard enough, and for no good reason, it can be made harder for women than men.

If you are looking for advice from those in the same position as yourself, this can be a great inspiration and support to female entrepreneurs.

This book is great for those who are looking to get started on the journey of building their own business, as well as those women who need that initial inspiration to get going in the world of entrepreneurship.

Each chapter comes from a different woman in business who delivers their own story as well as their secrets to success.

14. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank

The Four Steps to the Epiphany

This is the book that coined what you may have heard termed the ‘lean startup revolution’.

Blank offers what is now a tried and tested four-step plan to success with any product a business is selling—a plan which helps uncover flaws and correct them.

The book is packed with concrete examples of not only what you should be doing but how the exact advice you are getting has helped others previously.

In essence, Blank presents a viewpoint that startups are not smaller businesses, startups actually seek out new business models while larger companies attempt to execute their own.

15. Angel Investing by Joe Wallin and Pete Baltaxe

Angel Investing: Start to Finish

This modern take on investing and entrepreneurship is an unmissable diagram on how to miss out on the expensive mistakes that many make.

Mistakes that the authors have made before and have corrected, providing you with experiential accounts of how to succeed in the world of investing and entrepreneurship.

The book shows how to see investments from a lead investor’s point of view when evaluating a deal, how lawyers approach them as well as how to keep perspective, the absence of which leads to the most mistakes in the industry.

The book provides invaluable advice on how to think as well as work.

16. The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz

The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field

The advice in the book comes from Mike’s own experience of failing to grow his first company, he was putting in too much work, too many hours, with little return.

But after being inspired by pumpkin farmers he has learned from his mistakes through a new approach that he shares in the book.

From reading about pumpkin farmers he learned that wasting time on the wrong ideas as well as failing plans eventually leads to holistic failure and that instead we should cast off the failures without mercy and focus only on the winners, just like farmers.

17. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)

The Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller, having been cited by Steve Jobs, Malcolm Gladwell, and Jeff Bezos to name a few.

What Clayton presents is a revolutionary look at how business is done and the approaches which underpin company failure.

The change he presents is to abandon traditional business practices, the pressure on managers to do this rather than CEO, and the inevitable irrelevant that occurs when businesses refuse to do this.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are so many different approaches to the world of entrepreneurship.

These books are great as we can learn from the mistakes of those who have made it and hopefully make the right decisions ourselves.

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