5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

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The best books for entrepreneurs.

Can you think of a book that shaped your career path? Was it something you read as a child, a book you read in college or one you found after you were already working in the business industry?

We all have those books that touch us deeply and have the ability to influence the path our lives take. There have been several books that have changed my views about how to be a professional, how to be a better person and even how to interact with others. In fact, when I think about it, I can't help but wonder what path my life might have taken if I hadn't read them. The most recent landmark book I've read was "Will Work For Shoes". It's a book about how to be a better writer and what it takes to make a career writing "chic lit" or light-hearted adult fiction targeted toward women. Although it wouldn't appeal to anyone who was trying get a novel published, it was memorable for me.

When you are feeling stuck in a rut or have been out of work for a while and need some new ideas, maybe you should pick up a book and get inspired.

Business Insider asked some of the most successful entrepreneurs what books shaped their careers. Then, they compiled a list of the 21 most mentioned books. I was so impressed by the list, I just had to share my favorite books on the list. Although not all of the books were about business, they all are ones that can teach you to think differently and ones that will leave a mark on you no matter where you are in your career.

Here are the top 5 books every entrepreneur should read:

  • "Reality Check" by Guy Kawasaki - This book is an easy read. Each chapter is formatted like a blog post, so it's easy to pick up and just read a chapter at a time. According to the cover, it is an irreverent guide to outsmarting, out managing and out marketing your competition. Each chapter gives insight into the nature of competition and encourages the reader to be a little bit better at the things they are already doing well.
  • "Peak" by Chip Conley - Although the reviews were slightly mixed on this one, most people polled agreed that this book had sound advice for leveraging crises for the better. It provides a look at the hierarchy of needs in the business world and takes things step by step
  • "Transparency" by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, James O'toole and Patricia Ward Biederman - On the jacket, the book says that it discusses how leaders create a culture of candor. The book deals with how to have and manage hard conversations. It shows how leaders can create a culture that will allow them and others to be more transparent about why they do the things they do and helps them use the information to grow beyond the first idea.
  • "Switch: How To Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath - This is a great book about managing change and how to identify things that need to be changed. The primary message of the book is to look at what is working and do more of it.
  • "Blink" by Malcom Gladwell - I thought this book was phenomenal. Even though Business Insider placed it last on their list, I just had to include it. This book explores the notion that almost any decision, even the really, really big ones, can be made in about 30 seconds. Gladwell brings some scientific evidence to the theory that we should trust our first snap decision. According to him, our first assessment is often the most honest and accurate. It's when we stop to second and third guess ourselves that the issues become obscured.

Have you read any of these books? What books were the most influential for you? Please share your favorites in the comments.

By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for BusinessWorkForceBlog and Nexxt. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.


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  • Sarah Miller
    Sarah Miller
    thanks for the list, i'll find this from my favorite bookstore. i'd also like to share this site, http://www.surajsodha.com/business/must-read-business-books/, it provided me a good list of books too.
  • John S
    John S
    I would recommend Peter Church's book Added Value-the life stories of Indian business leaders. Amazing insight on some truly inspirational people. You should read this book not only because it was fantastically insightful and interesting in relation to the individuals but also gives the reader an incredibly helpful view of the mindset of the business leaders. The book is an excellent primer for anyone seeking to do business.

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