25 Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business a Success
Looking for the best books for entrepreneurs in 2023? Overcome your business obstacles today by discovering our list of 25 must-read entrepreneurship books!
Launching a business can feel like an act of rebellion against more traditional professional paths, but that doesn't mean entrepreneurs and small business owners must do it alone. Books for entrepreneurs are a fundamental way to learn from seasoned experts and get help guiding your business to success.
These 25 best entrepreneur books come highly recommended by financial experts, reviewers, and top CEOs to reinvigorate long-time business owners and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs!
It’s been said that CEOs read an average of 5 books per month. Mark Cuban attributes most of his success to the simple habit of reading — a lot. If you can extract even one good idea from a book, it is worth your time.
Some excellent entrepreneur books include Traction by Gino Wickman, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, and Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim.
No time to read all 25 entrepreneur books on our list? Join 14 million others and download the Headway app to browse our informative summaries of the best entrepreneur books available!
1. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
This entrepreneur book teaches the reader how to break free from the shackles of a 9-to-5 job by combining your passion and skills into your own micro business. You can start this business for $100 or less, and turn it into a full-time income-generating machine, thanks to the power of the internet.
The $100 Startup is filled with key principles that will help you figure out exactly what it is that you must do to live your life the way you want. The best part about it is that it doesn’t get lost in generalities which might not give you the insight you need.
2. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth Revisited explains why 80% of small businesses fail and how to ensure that yours isn’t among those by building a company based on systems and not the work of a single individual. Gerber asks readers to imagine their business as a nationwide franchise from day one and then build the first store.
If you want to know how to grow your business productively, Michael Gerber has the answer for you. His sharp insight from personal experience helps the reader deconstruct all the myths regarding the way one should work when it comes to business.
3. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
Crush It is the perfect blueprint to turn your passion into your profession. Vaynerchuk gives you the tools to turn yourself into a brand, leverage social media, produce great content, and above all else, reap the financial benefits from every part.
This book gives you valuable insight into how you can turn your interests into a successful business just by making use of the power of the internet. Crush It walks you through a journey of entrepreneurship, mapping out a world where social media and the various other technical aspects of a business are critically important elements to success.
4. Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
Blue Ocean Strategy is recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. Mauborgne and Kim argue that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. It presents a systematic approach to eliminating competition and outlines principles and tools any organization can use to create and capture its own “blue oceans”.
This strategy is about creating and capturing uncontested market space. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.
5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People is a must-read entrepreneur book for anyone looking to study business psychology. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to be directly dealing with people on a daily basis. Whether that’s speaking with clients, internal staff, agents, contractors, or potential investors – that’s a lot of conversations with a lot of different people. And while it might seem trivial, the “art” of good conversation is, in fact, a difficult skill to learn.
Carnegie’s book teaches readers how to communicate depending on the relationships they have. Small gestures go a long way to building relationships as an entrepreneur.
6. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
All entrepreneurs know that if they use the wrong words to talk about their product, nobody will buy it. When marketers and business owners struggle to connect effectively with their customers, it can cost them and their companies millions in lost revenue.
In a world filled with constant, on-demand distractions, it has become near-impossible for business owners to effectively cut through the noise to reach their customers, something Donald Miller knows first-hand. In this book, Miller shares the proven system he has created to help you engage and truly influence customers.
7. Rework by Jason Fried
Rework shows entrepreneurs-to-be that you need less than you think to start a business. You don't need to be a workaholic. You don't need to staff up. You don't need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don't even need an office. Those are all just excuses.
This book outlines how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and several more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you. With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own.
8. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Start With Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way—and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
9. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
SPIN Selling is an essential entrepreneurial book for anyone looking for guidance in selling or managing a sales force. This book serves as an impressive document of the sales success of SPIN, which stands for situation, problem, implication, and need-payoff.
Rackham, who has advised leading companies such as IBM and Honeywell, delivers the first book to specifically examine selling high-value products and services. By following his simple, practical, and easy-to-apply techniques of SPIN, readers will be able to dramatically increase their sales volume from major accounts.
10. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
Losing My Virginity details Richard Branson’s meteoric rise to success and digs into what made him the entrepreneur he is today. If you are interested in reading an entrepreneur’s autobiography, Losing My Virginity is the perfect fit for you.
Branson outlines how his unusual approach to business has brought him the success many might have doubted; whenever someone said, “don’t do it”, he would do it. This book is filled with major lessons like “always look out for the next thing but take it one adventure at a time” and “the number one skill you should practice is creativity”. Branson’s autobiography will keep you going, even when things seem impossible to deal with.
11. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less recognizes how hectic the life of an entrepreneur is. To make your business a success, you have to learn a new skill set, monitor the competition, speak to clients, read endless books, learn to negotiate, manage, and sell your product, all while balancing a personal life. There is simply not enough time to fit all of that in sustainably, which is why entrepreneurs must learn how to prioritize their time…
McKeown’s book encourages you to do just that! Step back and think about what it is you are spending your time on. What are your strengths? What areas can you delegate to other members of your team? Essentialism argues that less is often more, a concept that all entrepreneurs can learn from.
12. Arise Awake by Rashmi Bansal
This inspirational entrepreneur book details the journey of six Indian entrepreneurs and the lessons they learned on their paths to success.
Arise Awake acts as an encouraging guide to not give up if your first business idea fails. It reveals how experience is vital to making your next venture succeed, and determination combined with thinking outside of the box will help you start your business even when it seems impossible to do! Bansal further emphasizes the importance of paying attention to serendipitous experiences as they are great sources for your entrepreneurial desires to flourish.
13. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey
EntreLeadership provides readers with a path to becoming a great leader in your company by identifying the necessary management and entrepreneurial skills.
We have all heard of a successful business that started in a garage or in a rather normal place. This informative guide gives you access to that exact kind of story — from just a card table to a multimillion-dollar company. The advice in this book will get you through the toughest of times for both businesses and their leaders.
14. Business Adventures by John Brooks
Business Adventures teaches readers how to run a company, invest in the stock market, change jobs, and several other aspects of entrepreneurship through sharing experiences that big companies and their leaders have had over the last century.
Making use of stories about Wall Street, John Brooks has put together a report that looks at the history of some of the biggest disasters that have taken place on the American market. Is history bound to repeat itself if people don’t learn from their mistakes?
15. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
Business Model Generation is a practical guide that teaches readers how to start their own company by explaining the details of matching your customer’s needs with your product’s capabilities, managing finances, and everything else involved in the planning stages of entrepreneurship.
This book makes use of practical examples that will help anyone in terms of improving their business models, regardless of their approach.
16. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
Moore’s book has been called a “bible” for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets. It is now revised and updated as the 3rd edition with new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing.
Crossing the Chasm outlines something Moore calls the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, which begins with innovators, then moves to early adopters, then the early majority, late majority, and laggards. There is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.
17. The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
The Innovators Dilemma is a bestselling classic on disruptive innovation and is a must-read for managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs alike.
Christensen’s work is cited by the world’s best-known thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwell. The book shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right and still lose market leadership. Christensen argues that no matter the industry, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices.
Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, The Innovator’s Dilemma gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation!
18. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
There's no doubt that owning a business requires entrepreneurs to make several challenging decisions in a single day. Smarter Faster Better harnesses insights from the latest research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics to streamline decision-making and goal-setting processes.
Real productivity relies on managing how we think, identifying goals, constructing teams, and making decisions. This book explores eight concepts that are critical to increasing productivity.
19. An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang
Named the 2021 Best in Business Book Award winner by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, An Ugly Truth explores how Facebook became one of the most successful companies out of Silicon Valley as well as why it has descended into a period of heightened criticism as it evolved into a "data-mining machine" in recent years.
For better or worse, Facebook, now Meta, is a company worth watching and understanding if you're an aspiring entrepreneur.
20. Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark
After a year of economic uncertainty, the insights included in Clark's Entrepreneurial You resonate now more than ever. The book outlines how to make money doing what you love and shares advice on how to build your brand, monetize your expertise, and extend your reach online.
The pandemic reinforced the fact that life is extraordinarily unpredictable, and developing multiple revenue streams in your business is necessary to guard against unpredictable disruptions and protect your downside.
21. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup is on every must-read list for entrepreneurs and business owners. This book offers a way for entrepreneurs to test their vision continuously and to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful start-ups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.
22. Traction by Gino Wickman
Traction offers comfort for readers who are familiar with the common frustrations of business ownership, such as personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. The book outlines Wickman’s system for strengthening six key components of a business.
Wickman argues that far too many entrepreneurs don’t end up getting what they want from their own businesses. This book asks a critical question that all leaders must face at one point in their entrepreneurial journey: Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you?
23. Starting a Business QuickStart Guide by Ken Colwell
For aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners, Starting a Business QuickStart Guide offers practical and actionable advice. Colwell walks readers through the basics of understanding the value of an idea to creating your first business plan.
Readers who purchase the book will also receive tools like a business plan checklist and a business taxation cheat sheet.
24. In-N-Out Burger by Stacy Perman
In-N-Out Burger follows the history of this beloved food chain, starting in its early days following World War II, and maps the business's journey to becoming a cultural institution. Perman describes how its owners were able to harness a unique competitive edge and achieve profitability, all while building a loyal customer base.
If you have dreams of turning your small business into a big one, this story will both inspire you and arm you with invaluable insider tips.
25. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson
Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues, Walter Isaacson created a riveting story of the roller-coaster life of a creative entrepreneur. The book covers how Jobs’ passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
At a time when the world was seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, Jobs stood as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. This is a must-read book for all entrepreneurs.
Download Headway to Explore the Best Books for Entrepreneurs
Finding the time to read entire books may be hard to fit into your busy schedule. However, the knowledge an entrepreneur can garner from these reads is invaluable. Books can help stimulate your creativity and open new trains of thought. They might even help you come up with your next great idea!
There’s a simple solution — Headway. It’s an app that makes learning on the go easy. You can find concise summaries of the top entrepreneur books to help launch your company to the next level of success without spending all your time reading!
What should I read as an entrepreneur?
Our list of 25 must-read entrepreneur books is a great place to start! One of the most popular books recommended for entrepreneurs to read is The Lean Startup by Eric Reis.
Do entrepreneurs read a lot?
The common thread that weaves through all rich entrepreneurs is that they read. A lot. From Warren Buffet to Elon Musk to Jack Ma and every other entrepreneur in between, reading is not only a hobby but a daily habit.
Do entrepreneur books help?
In short, yes! Books encourage self-educating, self-improvement, and success. Entrepreneurs read books to reveal marketing secrets, get advice on business strategies, develop critical skills, and get new business ideas and motivation.