Want to level up your business? Turn the pages of these influential books and let their wisdom guide your entrepreneurial journey.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to embark on a lonely journey. That’s where business networking groups come in – so you can find your tribe and make all the professional connections you need. Another helpful way to learn the best lessons from those who’ve done it all? Books. Fuel your startup, grow your business, and make a great impact with nifty advice from the pros. Here, 10 entrepreneurs share with us the books that changed their lives (and their biz).
Best books recommended by entrepreneurs
1. Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate by Felicity Lawrence
As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly seeking ways to elevate our businesses, but it’s vital that we don’t overlook the hidden aspects of our respective industries. That’s why I highly recommend this. Lawrence’s exploration of the practices, processes, and shocking truths behind the food industry really changed the way I perceived business activities. Her book is relevant to all purpose-driven entrepreneurs who value the impact of their businesses on consumers and the planet. It urges us to probe deeper, fostering responsible businesses that consumers can trust.
– Jermaine Tan, 29, founder of Jammy’s Guiltless Pleasures
2. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks
It made me realise how much my childhood and upbringing affected my view of the world, and what I felt was possible for me. It’s an empowering and uplifting book that gave me the permission to create a business that works perfectly for the life I want to live (and now am living!). I’d recommend it to all entrepreneurs – whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for decades.
– Nina Mucalov, 43, founder of Nina Mucalov Photography
3. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
Entrepreneurial life can lack structure with different demands placed on you as a leader. Atomic Habits helped me to create habits based on owning my identity as an entrepreneur. It also helped create my own structure that works for me: ‘You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems’. Finally, it gave me the permission to say that this one small step I’ve taken for my business is enough to become a successful entrepreneur.
– Anna Lamb, 46, pricing strategist and consultant
4. The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day And Control Your Life by Craig Ballantyne
This is a quick and underrated read for any entrepreneur – especially those struggling with work-life balance. His simple but profound three-C strategy – control your mornings, conquer your afternoons, and concentrate on the things you love in the evenings – is a game-changer for anyone who feels like their days “slip away” from the get-go.
He also has an incredible countdown method for improving sleep – I won’t reveal the whole book, but I can say I’ve used it with clients for years now – and enacting positive action across all areas of your life, not just work. It’s a must-read that you’ll find yourself pulling off the shelf over and over again.
– Amanda Lim, 40, owner of Coach Amanda Lim
5. Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life by Roxie Nafousi
This book empowers us to envision company goals, share the vision with our team, and manifest aspirations. At Scent Journer, we aligned with our philosophy of mindful formulation and built a passionate team dedicated to creating products our consumers enjoy. “Manifest” played a crucial role in fostering a harmonious work environment, where each member contributes their best, bringing us closer to realising the company’s dreams and aspirations. This book’s insights are invaluable in driving entrepreneurial success and fulfilling our vision.
– Joyce Lian, 27, founder and creative director at Scent Journer
6. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
In the realm of entrepreneurship, this book stands out as an indispensable guide. The transformative masterpiece offers a fresh perspective on innovation and building successful startups. Thiel, a renowned entrepreneur and investor, shares invaluable insights on creating monopolies, fostering innovation, and achieving extraordinary growth.
“Zero to One” challenges conventional thinking, encouraging entrepreneurs to focus on creating revolutionary ideas that reshape industries. Thiel’s captivating narrative, brimming with real-world examples, forces readers to question and rethink their approach to business.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business leader, the book will undoubtedly ignite your entrepreneurial spirit, inspiring you to chart an uncharted course to exceptional success.
– Divya Chopra, 34, founder of The Plush Club
7. I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror And Change Your Life by Marisa Peer
Entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from Marisa Peer’s empowering book, which combines powerful insights and practical tools with the expertise of a skilled therapist and hypnotherapy techniques. The book fosters self-belief, resilience, and a growth mindset – vital traits for entrepreneurial success.
By addressing underlying fears and self-doubt, which often plague business leaders, Peer’s teachings enable entrepreneurs to conquer challenges with renewed confidence. This transformative read promotes mental clarity, emotional well-being, and improved decision-making abilities, making it an indispensable resource. As a rapid transformational therapy practitioner, I wholeheartedly recommend it for entrepreneurs seeking personal and professional growth. It’s a beacon of inspiration and empowerment on their journey to success.
– Fey Wong, founder of Humpty Dumpty Hypnotherapy
8. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
As someone who feels that the entrepreneur’s mindset is crucial for business success, I highly recommend this book. A personal growth mindset can empower entrepreneurs to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and continuously improve. By refining our cold brew coffee concentrates, Wake The Crew has seen tremendous growth since the first day. This growth perspective can shape decisions, actions, and resilience – in turn positively impacting anyone’s business trajectory.
– Ong Lee Ting, 26, co-founder of Wake The Crew
9. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
Jack, one of the awesome writers behind the Chicken Soup series I love, wrote the book The Success Principles. I was totally hooked by the story of how they got started as authors and how the chicken soup series became a worldwide sensation. It’s all about never giving up and going after your dreams. From the very beginning, the book had me hooked – particularly the first lesson. It’s something I keep telling my kids: take 100% responsibility for your life.
Jack’s tips on setting goals are pure gold. I’ve been using them for years, and they’ve made a real difference in both my personal and work life. This book is packed with fantastic life and business lessons. If you’re looking for inspiration and practical advice, it’s a must-read!
– Mangla Sachdev, 44, founder of Expat Business In A Bag
10. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
It offers a raw, honest perspective on the challenges of running a business, removing the glamour of entrepreneurship. This book can equip you with the skills to make fearless decisions amidst uncertainty – it’s vital in any entrepreneur’s journey.
The emphasis is on valuing your people – employees, freelancers, or contractors. It highlights the psychological strains of entrepreneurship, which made me prioritise self-care. The concept of ‘peacetime’ and ‘wartime’ CEOs also taught me to adapt my leadership approach to fit the situation, which was useful during the pandemic. This book truly prepares you for the trials and triumphs of entrepreneurship.
– Anna Ong, founder of What’s your Story Slam
Want more advice from business owners? Check out Launchpad, a networking platform that offers support and community for entrepreneurs.