Continuous learning is a key skill for entrepreneurs and as usual, I bring you another list of books. The last edition we looked at 10 books for startups. This time around we take a look at 10 books for entrepreneurs at various stages of the business process, even including those with just an idea. Please note that in making book lists we try to avoid duplication of recommendations so consider this to be a list of the best business books we haven’t covered in other lists thus far.
The book that popularized the 10000-hour rule; after 10000 hours you become a master. In this book, Malcolm Gladwell analyzes the structure of success. In Outliers, you will learn that it’s never been a question of talent versus hard work but rather the combination of the two that breeds success. This book also emphasizes the importance of timing in the success of ideas and people. Read this one to understand success.
Good is the enemy of great; a saying immortalized by this book. Good to great firstly posits that aiming for or being satisfied with good enough stops people and organizations from reaching for greatness. Collins puts forward the reasons that transformed many good companies into great companies. This one is for anyone but especially those who want to improve their business.
Gerber’s work is considered a business classic and rightly so. It’s focused on the idea of entrepreneurship and the challenges that new entrepreneurs face especially if they are transitioning from working for someone else where they likely handled one part of the business to handle the entirety of the business. It brilliantly captures the difficulties the new entrepreneur faces and how to overcome them.
This book discusses four ideas to help entrepreneurs make the most of their working hours in light of the developments that technology has brought to the business world. I’ve written about its importance before in light of the value of outsourcing to startups. It helps develop a new outlook on the business value chain and how we can rearrange our business processes. For the entrepreneur who struggles with making enough time for everything, this is a perfect read.
The innovator’s dilemma captures two important lessons; the effect of innovative disruption on businesses and the principles that lead to effectively capitalizing on said disruption. For businesses operating in environments that are most affected by innovative disruption. It offers insight on both successes and failures in innovative disruption. The book was cited by both Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos in the journeys of Apple and Amazon respectively.
The idea of emotional intelligence has been with us for many years now. Daniel Goleman captures the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence and how they can be used to enhance our relationships with others. Business is an exercising of dealing with people both inside and outside the organization. The successful organizations are those that best deal with others and finding common ground to address the needs of others.
The 7 habits have been a transformation tool of successful people in politics, business, and personal relationships. With some of the best ideas to date on leadership, time management and working with others. The book splits the 7 habits into 3 sections; personal leadership, leading others and continuous development. This one is for anyone at any stage of the business development process, even if it’s just an idea that’s not fully operational or the desire to be in business.
The result of a six-year research project conducted at the Stanford Graduate school of business where Collins and Porras studied 18 truly great companies in their respective fields and what made them successful. The companies are contrasted with their close competitors, not failures by any measure but companies that were just not as good as the main 18. The companies studied were also stories of sustained success lasting at least 50 years. Read this one if you’re wondering how to create a lasting business success regardless of the size of your operation.
Don’t let the title fool you, this book is not only for startups. The book looks at new ways that business is done and products are being launched. You can learn to launch a new product or product line in the lean startup approach. And Ries challenges ask to ask not if it can be built, but rather if it should be built. Read this book if you’re considering a new business, product or product line.
Ferrazzi tells a great story of his observation of the behaviors of the wealthy people he has come into contact with. His views on networking for business and how even the uninitiated can become expert networkers is a must for all people in business. Relationships are key in business, be it with suppliers, customers, partners, and even competitors. Keith Ferrazzi lays out an easy to follow practical framework for networking that can be used by anyone.
Grant Cardone’s approach could be summed up in one statement; there’s no such thing as too much. There’s a bit more to the book of course but Grant makes an excellent case for business life in the attention economy. We need to do more when it comes to marketing and selling in this day and age, not just more but better quality and more dynamic methods of communicating with our markets. Read this one if you’re thinking about starting or scaling up.