All those successful entrepreneurs we have heard of, have a commitment to lifelong learning. It is a common trait found among the mega-minds of the entrepreneurial universe. So, with back-to-school season on all our minds, here’s a list of books that all entrepreneurs should read. Do give these books a good read, even if you are just thinking of starting something.
Gary Vaynerchuk takes the first place. The four-time New York Times bestselling author is a strongly opinionated, bombastic pundit of entrepreneurship. On the off chance that you have never watched him on YouTube, think Anthony Robbins meets Jack Dorsey. He has a huge following, and for good reason: He gets it. Gary Vaynerchuk offers new lessons and inspiration that he has drawn from the experiences of dozens of entrepreneurs who did not accept the predictable corporate path and pursued their dreams by building thriving businesses and extraordinary brands.
Tim Ferriss, the author of the blockbuster The 4-Hour Workweek, is sharing the ultimate compilation of tools, tactics, and habits to make your life better. You can learn and answer life’s most challenging questions from the short profiles of iconic entrepreneurs, elite athletes, artists, and billionaire investor. An online reviewer said it best: Think of this book as a massive collection of generally applicable mentor-ship advice from the worlds best and brightest.
John Doerr is a legend in the start-up world. John Doerr invested $11.8 million in a start-up that had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy, and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. Hence, when this person speaks, entrepreneurs should sit up and take notice. In Measure What Matters, Doer teaches us about using objectives and key results (OKR), a revolutionary approach to goal-setting, to make tough choices in business. Since then Doerr has introduced OKRs to more than fifty companies, helping tech giants and charities exceed all expectations.
In The Lean Start-up, Eric Ries laid out the practices of successful start-ups. He changed the world of entrepreneurship with his publication. Ries shares case studies of how Fortune 500 companies are leveraging the lean start-up method to drive innovation and keep costs down. he turns his attention to an entirely new group of organizations: established enterprises like iconic multinationals GE and Toyota, tech titans like Amazon and Facebook, and the next generation of Silicon Valley upstarts like Airbnb and Twilio. If you have ever wondered how you could apply start-up methodology to your business, even if it is not a high-growth digital start-up, this book is for you.
Everyone knows how a start-up story is supposed to go: A young, brilliant entrepreneur has a cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions, and becomes the envy of the technology world. In Lost & Founder, Rand Fishkin, the founder of $45 million a year Moz, offers a VIP backstage pass to founder life in the start-up world. Fishkin is funny and smart, but most of all, he is honest. In the media (like HBO’s Silicon Valley, ABC’s Shark Tank, and Amazon’s Start-up), entrepreneurs are often portrayed as rock stars, world changers, and heroes. This book shines a light on the dark side of that life, while at the same time highlighting the importance of soft skills when running a start-up.
The last book on the list is another crushingly honest exposé of start-up life. In this case, John Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Wall Street Journal, pulls back the curtain on the spectacular rise, massive fraud, and eventual fall of Elizabeth Holmes. It’s a full inside story of the breath-taking rise, and shocking collapse of Theranos; the multibillion-dollar biotech start-up. It’s a story of a prize-winning journalist, who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
Learning has no limit and boundaries. Get as much knowledge as you can but make sure to implement that knowledge in your practical life as well. Otherwise, all that learning will become futile.