There are people, places, words, articles, and books that are able to change who we are. For good. And while meeting the right people, on the right place and time, and expecting for them to tell you the right words, is not something that you can control, reading the right articles and books is.
There is no single book that will make you a successful entrepreneur. Neither a set of them.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not only a matter of knowledge but also of action.
Counterintuitively, doing the right things at the right time will not guarantee you the success you strive for.
You will need a pinch of luck.
But luck is nothing more than being able to grasp an opportunity.
To do so, you need knowledge.
Here are the 6 books I believe will help you to become a successful entrepreneur.
1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs is more or less the icon of the modern entrepreneur. But it wasn’t always like that. Steve Jobs was adopted… but ok, I won’t spoil it for you. But I promise you that if you have even a small interest in technology and its development, you’ll have a good time reading the biography of Steve Jobs.
Reading the biography of a person that literally changed the world, won’t make you exactly like them, but we people are prone to recognize and incorporate the successful patterns of others. Thus, you may consciously or unconsciously implement one or other behavioral models.
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
2. Social Animal by Elliot Aronson
Speaking of behavior, people are social animals, and having a business is one of the most social actions that you may take. You are selling to people, you are working with people, you are creating products or services for people.
Knowing how people work, and what makes us tick is crucial knowledge for an entrepreneur. I really don’t believe that there is another psychological book so valuable and so easy to perceive as Social Animal by Elliot Aronson is. The author explains in the best possible way how our brain works, how, why, and since when we start to socialize. What mistakes could be made, and how to overcome them.
Social Animal by Elliot Aronson is a fundamental piece of work that is probably the best way to enter the world of social psychology.
3. Tribes by Seth Godin
Seth Godin, the author of Tribes, and a number of other masterpieces is a specific type of bracketologist. His sharp analytical mind and his pen are something that makes him stand out from the marketing crowd. A lot.
It is not rare for the author to start a trend in the marketing world. He isn’t dressing up his theories in academic words, but rather in words that are strong and still comprehensible. Which is making it a bit harder for the readers to see how fundamental his work is. And it really is fundamental.
Seth Godin’s Tribes is a book that is talking a lot about the niches. Again, in a sense that may not even make you think about niches, but rather about communities, forums… well, tribes.
The author has dedicated the whole book to the importance of taking care of the people that are really interested in what you are doing, or at least in the niche that you are striving to conquer.
Meaning that you need to really understand the people you are about to engage with. Which is more or less, developing the so-called buyer-persona. But again, all this is explained in an engaging and educating way.
Reading everything written by Seth Godin is worth your time.
Tribes: We need you to lead us
4. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
This book was written in the times when the internet was becoming what it is today. That was about twelve or thirteen years ago. Yet, it still is a valuable paper that you need to read in order to deeply understand the world we live in.
The author has dedicated his work to, as the title hints, the long tail of the sales that are possible thanks to the internet. He breaks up business models of such companies as Amazon and eBay in an unanticipated way. And having the knowledge of how the market and business of this size work, will definitely help you shape yours.
As an infinite source of ideas, The Long Tail is definitely one of the top books, you need to read if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More
5. Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
Aaah, Nassim Taleb! I honestly had a dilemma if I should recommend Black Swan or another of Taleb’s books. Namely, ‘Antifragile’.
I honestly believe that no matter how smart or knowledgeable you are, your world will be enlarged by either of those books. A lot. Not only business-wise. In fact, you have to be rather creative to be able to connect directly with what Taleb is saying to business. But yet, once you do it, you’ll be mesmerized by the erudition of the author, by the connections he is able to make, and by his writing skills and approach.
Even though I felt that ‘Antifragile’ was more interesting and more enlightening, I believe that you need to read the Black Swan first.
Nassim Taleb is more of a philosopher than a business guru. Although, he could pass for both.
I honestly recommend you to read every one of Taleb’s books, even if you are not interested in becoming an entrepreneur.
Do it for your own intellectual pleasure.
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a New Section: “On Robustness and Fragility” (Incerto) (2nd Edition)
6. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
The four-hour workweek is another bestseller. If you are about to read just one of the mentioned books, this is the one. The goal of becoming an entrepreneur is not to be self-employed. The goal is to hire other people to do your work, while you are either relaxing or managing them.
The 4-Hour Workweek of Timothy Ferriss is probably the most famous book, dedicated to, essentially, outsourcing and the ways that you can do so.
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Entrepreneurship is more action than thinking. Still, thinking is crucial. But to be able to think as a successful entrepreneur, you need to understand the way they do so. You need to know them. You need to read a lot. Knowledge is power.
Knowing what makes people tick, how does the market work, the fundamentals of marketing, and the crucial realization that most of the work you are about to do, can and should be outsourced, are the alphabet of entrepreneurship.
There are a lot of books that will revolutionize your mind in a way that the skill to become a successful entrepreneur will be the least that you will acquire. Yet, I believe that those listed are able to build a base that you won’t be able or willing to change for nothing else.
Don’t forget to apply the knowledge that you get, otherwise, it will be merely information. Also, don’t stop yourself from taking action, just because you haven’t read one or another books.
Conquer the world!
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