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30 Books You Must Read Before And As An Entrepreneur

Do you know how many books you’ve read during high school? It’s roughly 30 books. All the books you’ve read from primary school to university have served its purpose – to prepare you for employment. To prepare yourself for entrepreneurship, here is a list of recommended books that focus on what you need to succeed.

Why Do You Need to Read Books?

Over 80% of the rich people read books on education, career-related, or self-improvement. If these highly successful people who know the ins and outs of their businesses continue to read, then it follows that if you want to achieve their success, one of the things that need to be done is to read.

The biggest mistake of people who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur is to look for or think about the next big thing. Don’t get me wrong, people with entrepreneurial mindsets are constantly on the lookout for opportunities, but learning to think and act like an entrepreneur is far more important. You don’t study your lessons while taking an exam.

Attitude Versus Aptitude

When I compiled this list of recommended books to read, I listed all the books in alphabetical order with the intention of dividing it equally into two groups – books that prepare you to be an entrepreneur and other books to read as an entrepreneur. Imagine how surprised I was when after dividing, exactly 80% or 25 books fell under preparation, while the rest of the books are more related to skills.

Zig Ziglar said, “Success is 80% attitude, 20% aptitude.” True enough, most of the books here focus on attitude. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to understand how an entrepreneur thinks, and the habits of successful people.

Grow yourself and be prepared. The books here serve as a foundation for you to launch a successful startup.

Books to Prepare You for Entrepreneurship

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey


The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Gillebeau


Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins


Click Millionaires: Work Less, Live More with an Internet Business You Love by Scott Fox


The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy


Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell


The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber


The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs by Kevin Johnson


Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision, and Anger into Power, Action and Love by Susan Jeffers


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t by Jim Collins


The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino



The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz


The Law of Success: In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill


The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries


The New One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Johnson Spencer


The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale


Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach their Kids About Money that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki


The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason


The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn


See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar


The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha


Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Stone


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson


Books to Grow Your Business

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini


The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy


To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink



All the books are sorted alphabetically in their respective categories. There is no one book that is far more important than the others. If you think 30 books is a lot, there are actually much more books that have not been listed. People come from diverse backgrounds and situations. On which books you should start with is a matter of preference.

There are two things you need to remember when reading books. First, most personal development books are to be read one chapter at a time. At the end of each chapter, apply what you learned to form a habit. Second, you don’t have to read all these books before taking on an opportunity. Too much analysis leads to paralysis.

Formal education has prepared you to be an employee. Whether you go into entrepreneurship or not, personal development will equip you with the mindset and skills to take your career to a whole new level. Acquire the entrepreneurial mindset and open your mind to opportunities you never knew existed before.

What stops people from starting? It is the fear of failure. Granted that any enterprise comes with a risk, you can reduce the risk by learning from great minds. There is only one person who believes you can succeed, and that is you. How do you acquire that belief? Pick from the list and start the habit of reading.

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Robert Lee
Staff Writer: Robert U. Lee is a proud father, one of USANA Health Sciences' top directors, ELITE Trainer of XTRM 1-11 and the creator of Amazing Life Daily.

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Article Categories:
Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Leading Your Team · Marketing · Sales · Your Mindset

Staff Writer: Robert U. Lee is a proud father, one of USANA Health Sciences' top directors, ELITE Trainer of XTRM 1-11 and the creator of Amazing Life Daily.


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  • It was the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad that actually helped me take the leap to freelancing, then entrepreneurship. Then $100 Startup gave me the testimonies and gameplays to base my journey on, while 7 Habits really upped my game in how I approached life. Great list; I’ve read most of them. I would add T. Harv Eker, Secrets of a Millionaire Mind!

    Martine December 14, 2016 5:41 pm Reply
    • …That sounds like how pretty much every wedding in my family ends, but we don't need strangers.7:13 PM-O———————-L-L. That's pretty dysfunctional. You are kidding right? They don't have fights at weddings in Cali. It's much more civilized. That shit only happens in Philly, Detroit, Baltimore, DC and Atlanta.

      Christy March 9, 2017 2:41 am Reply
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  • This is a great list of books. I see so many books I would love to read. I’m really interested in reading “Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell” and “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Stone.” It’s so important to keep your eye on your goal and build a strong success mindset.

    Tempestt November 8, 2016 12:46 pm Reply
  • I wish I have the patience to read books. I get sleepy with just a flip or two of pages. But I must say, this set of books are really interesting. Especially to those who would love to be successful financially in life.

    Stargazer November 7, 2016 5:29 am Reply
  • All these books are real gems of wisdom and practical experience. They are great catalysts who transform perspectives and thoughts. My personal favorites are 7 Habits by Stephen Covey, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and The New One Minute Manager. A couple of others that I like are, What They Don’t teach in Harvard and The Autobiography of Lee Iacoca.

    Vyjay November 5, 2016 7:31 am Reply
  • Yes, I really agree to this that you’ll go far in business or in the workmanship that you’re currently in now when you read books and continue the art learning. The Rich and Poor Dad has been my favorite books of all times and other books of Robert Kyusaki which I obtain them very helpful. I likewise love the book of Chinkee Tan and John Maxwell. Some authors and book in your list are not familiar to me, but I believe they’re all interesting to read. I’ll certainly check them one by one, and would love to read it when I get the chance. Thank you so much for sharing about this one.


    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits November 4, 2016 2:05 pm Reply
  • I have read only a couple of them. But then business was never my interest. I read more travel magazines and books.
    I have read the reviews of some of them and I strongly feel they should be made textbooks for business studies in colleges.

    Indrani November 4, 2016 12:48 pm Reply
  • I’ve read 9 out of 30 of these books. I think that’s not too bad! The book that changed the way I see money is Rich Dad Poor Dad, which I read back in high school. I also have other collections such as The Millionaire Mind and some books from Trump. Although it’s not biblical truth, it widens your mind about the possibilities and new perspectives.

    Sam Coronado (@followyouroad) November 4, 2016 10:27 am Reply
  • Wow! Great list of business books! Whenever i have time left or if i am killing time while waiting for my kids to come out from Kumon, i stay for an hour in a bookstore near the institution. Its just across the street. I flip through business books and read for free.. am i bad? I always grab books by john maxwell and tony robbins. Lucky they got sample books displayed in a corner which is not sealed so i get to flip through the pages. One by one ive been investing on business books and you should see my reaction when i saw this list! Im smiling from ear to ear! I love this! 😀

    Mommy Queenelizabeth November 4, 2016 10:21 am Reply
  • What a wonderful insight! Indeed it’s a very important thing to maintain a reading habit! Not only do you learn various things, but the muscle-like brain also stays intrigued for life! i am definitely going to start reading some of these books from your list.

    Sriparna November 4, 2016 7:09 am Reply
  • I have been interested in books since my childhood days. I will admit that those books gave me an edge compared to my other classmates during my primary years. From this time, I am still doing my best to read books no matter how tough my schedule is at work. One of the examples you gave, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is one of those books that I have read as well from other blogs. Reading books give a lot of benefits and my goal is to finish at least one book a week. Your post definitely inspires me to find and read that book.

    Ana November 4, 2016 6:25 am Reply
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      Pink March 9, 2017 2:06 am Reply
  • I absolutely agree that anything that we do in life has something to do with our attitude. I had a hard time believing in myself before because I was negative. When I started being grateful, things have changed. I feel more content and hopeful.

    There are a lot of startups around the world. I know about this because I have tried to apply in tech startups. I read about HeyKuya here in our country. I like the concept but it got recently bought by YesBoss (Indonesia). I would like to have my own startup too maybe a chatbot. Haha. My friend and I have been thinking about building a startup which will focus on women. We have not thought of an innovating idea which others do not have yet.

    Great post again!

    Iza Abao November 4, 2016 5:10 am Reply
  • Great list, interesting titles. I’ve only read four on the list, and though I’m really not an “entrepreneur”, I thought I needed extra help as a freelancer. Never wrong to know more about certain things beyond what you do. I agree that self-help books should be taken in bite-sized portions. Trying to read through everything in one or two sittings just defeat the purpose of helping yourself improve, haha. Especially fond of “you don’t study your lessons while taking an exam”.

    Veeyah | The Indy Miss November 4, 2016 3:56 am Reply

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