There’s no playbook for entrepreneurs. In fact, that’s kind of the whole point of entrepreneurship: You’re staking out on your own and forging a new path.
But it doesn’t hurt to have some guidance along the way. Fortunately, there are loads of books for entrepreneurs that you can turn to for insights and advice on nearly any topic related to starting and running your own business. From specific entrepreneurship books on topics such as sales and marketing to more general books about life, leadership and overcoming adversity, you can always be growing as a founder.
Here are eight must-read books for entrepreneurs, as chosen by the York IE team:
Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu
The best entrepreneurs are delegators. There’s so much to do at a startup, and one person can’t do it all. This book is a great reminder that letting go is the best way to get things done — and to feel good about it.
Five Frogs on a Log by Mark L. Feldman and Michael F. Spratt
This book is a simple how-to guide on change management and preparing for an acquisition. At the core, it reiterates the importance of communication, people as your number one asset, and preservation of culture if you want any hope at a successful merger or acquisition.
Touching the Dragon by James Hatch and Christian D’Andrea
This book is not directly related to startups and entrepreneurship, but it is an amazing glimpse into the life of a Navy Seal and the understanding of actions and consequences. It will give you a better understanding that the fight of servicemembers certainly does not end on the battlefield. A humbling read for anyone that puts things into perspective.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Clearly the title gives it away, but this book discusses the inevitable challenges of startups and company building. More importantly, it’s about how to overcome these challenges and work through failures. It’s an interesting glimpse into the famous venture capitalist’s leadership style.
Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
This book is all about mindset, which is so important to our everyday lives. It’s a great read for anyone looking to clear away negative energy, focus on what they can control and build strong relationships with the people they choose.
Lust for Life by Irving Stone
This is a biography of Vincent Van Gogh, which might sound odd, but who is more entrepreneurial than an artist? If you’re truly doing something special, it might not be recognized overnight. But if you persist and remain passionate, then you might just change the game entirely.
The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo
People usually become managers after they’ve demonstrated a certain level of expertise at their job, be it sales, development, marketing, whatever. But what about their expertise in actually being a manager? This book is a huge help for first-time managers who are thrown right into the deep end with little guidance on leading a team.
Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
Ziglar was a legend in sales, and he influenced countless young salespeople to think like seasoned veterans. Attitude is everything, and we can always control our attitude.