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“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” These words were spoken by Dr. Seuss and still hold true for all, but especially for entrepreneurs. There are multitudes of books out there that are inspirational and motivational which are engineered specifically for the entrepreneurial journey. However, not all motivational books were made equal. The very best motivational books not only contain helpful content and a positive message, but they also contain success stories that help and motivate the reader. We’ve put together our list (in no particular order!) of the top 20 books an entrepreneur should read when they need motivation.
This book teaches you that your productivity correlates directly to your ability to relax. When your mind is clear and your thoughts are organized, you are able to achieve higher levels of productivity. If you are feeling like you are in a mental rut, this book can motivate you to “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” to kickstart your life back on track.
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
Short and sweet, this book is incredibly inspiring. If applied, it could transform your life for the better. Ravikant wrote this book when his relationship was ending and his business was falling apart. He took from this terrible time the ability to truly love himself for who he is, and it has worked for the best.
Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone, a well-known entrepreneur, uses his story to inspire and motivate other entrepreneurs. In his book, his message is you must demand it, or it won’t happen at all. He believes in setting big goals for himself and consistently reaching while using people’s negativity to spur himself into action.
The Startup Of You by Reid Hoffman
Hoffman is the co-founder of Linkedin, so he definitely knows what he is talking about! He lays out why you need to manage your own career as if you were managing a startup. This book is worth the read if you are looking for motivation to take control of your future and career.
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
This book tells a parable that says that in order to thrive in an ever-changing environment, you must stop being afraid of what lies ahead. One of the takeaway lessons from this book is that nothing lasts forever, so you must constantly be moving towards change to improve.
Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuk
In this book, Vaynerchuk teaches you how to harness the power of the Internet to turn your interests into a profitable business. He wants to motivate you to get paid to do what you love by getting out of your comfort zone. If you need a little extra motivation to start realizing your dreams, this is the book for you!
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This book has started a movement that is transforming how new products are built and launched. Based on Ries’ time at his own startup, he tries to bring a systematic approach to measuring the progress of a startup. This book can help an entrepreneur understand and prepare for the journey of creating a startup through a scientific and intuitive approach.
Inside The Tornado by Geoffrey Moore
The second in a three-part marketing series, Inside the Tornado provides motivating guidelines for making your tech idea a reality. Moore talks about the early development of technology and the problems with the adoption of new ideas. If you are demoralized and feel that you are having trouble getting your idea embraced by the public, sit down and read this book for motivation.
The Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow
For those who are introverts, this book can help you “amplify your strengths and create success on your own terms.” Buelow teaches you how to use your unique gifts as an introvert to grow a solid business. However, this book doesn’t just get introverts. While there are helpful tips that apply to just introverts, there are marketing tips throughout the book that are useful for all.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
For a more light-hearted read, pick up this book by the founder of TheChicSite.com, Rachel Hollis. She helps readers to overcome feelings of being overwhelmed and embrace the life of joy they were truly meant to have. For the moms who are struggling with balancing being an entrepreneur and normal life, this book can help guide you through the rough patches. If you need a motivating kick to get your self-esteem back up, this is the book for you.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This is one of the best selling motivational books of all time. It takes the most common habits of wealthy and successful people and teaches you how to emulate them in your own life. Hill teaches you to believe in yourself, be stubborn, stick with your decisions, and to continually learn.
The $100 Startup by Chris Gillebeau
If you are feeling unmotivated due to lack of funds, Gillebeau’s The $100 Startup should be next on your reading list. In this book, he talks about 50 success stories of people who started with almost nothing in their bank accounts but now are making more than $50,000 a year. This book will help motivate you by getting you moving towards your goal without worrying about the financial aspect.
Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson
If you are the type of entrepreneur who is looking to act upon your dreams and get fast results but need the motivation to do it, then Rework is the book for you. They created a new system which motivates would-be entrepreneurs to get up and start moving forward towards their goals, which necessarily involves planning it all in advance. This type of book would be perfect for someone who likes to move quickly and learn on the fly.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Even though this was released in 1936, the advice in this book is timeless. Carnegie helps motivate you through getting you out of a mental rut by giving you new thoughts, visions, and ambitions. This book will teach you skills on how to make friends and increase your influence, along with how to value others and make them feel appreciated instead of manipulated.
The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz
Schwarz has long been regarded as one of the leading experts on motivation, and this book will do just that. What he teaches you can help you sell better, manage more effectively, and earn money, all while finding happiness and peace of mind.
The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
This book is based on the thought that you should sit down and figure out what it is you want to do and multiply the effort and time you think it will take to do it by ten. By not just shooting for average, but by expending this extra effort, you can reach loftier goals.
Give and Take by Adam M. Grant
If you are trying to find the motivation to continue to be a giver in your entrepreneurial path, then Give and Take should be next on your reading list. Grant discusses the reasons why we give or take and how you can give your power in conversations to influence people. Last, he teaches that givers won’t burn out if they are able to see how wide their impact is.
One Simple Idea by Stephen Key
Key motivates you to turn your ideas into products and companies. Even if you have to continuously come up with a great idea and never act on them, according to Key, you don’t have to. He believes you should “rent out” your idea by coming up with small changes and improvements to existing products and then licensing them with established companies, who are the ones who actually build and sell the product. If your problem is never executing your ideas, this book can give you the push to still make it a reality.
Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell
Maxwell breaks down the key qualities of a true leader, and teaches you how to apply that directly to your life. His lessons include how to hold yourself accountable, be more encouraging, and how to become better at confrontation. As your business grows, the yoke of leadership may become too heavy. This book will help you navigate.
The Dip by Seth Godin
Quitting doesn’t always mean that you failed, and this book can help motivate you when you are feeling stuck. Godin teaches that what sets real winners apart is their ability to escape from a dead end but still have the ability to stick through the rough patches when it really counts.