18 Important Business books every entrepreneur should read

18 Great Business books every entrepreneur should read

You might want to ask about great business books every entrepreneur should read. The answer to this question varies but I will share with you a few ones that will ensure you have a smooth ride.

Behind every successful entrepreneur is a list of books guiding them.

Your mind is your greatest asset.

It is the place where bright business ideas and strategies are born. To keep it fertile, you must feed it constantly.

It is however noted that 88 per cent of the world’s wealthiest personalities among their traits has one thing in common. They tend to read for at 30 minutes on a daily basis.

If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur who aspire to belong to these group of wealthy entrepreneurs, then reading is an invaluable skill you have to cultivate.

Books are valuable resources that propel us into new ways of thinking. It helps us to stay strong through tough times, and educate us on how to become successful men and women in business.

So, as an entrepreneur or wannabe entrepreneur, here are 18 of my favourite business and entrepreneurship books that every entrepreneur should consider reading in 2019 and beyond.

The Lean Startup

By Eric Ries

If you’re really serious about starting a business from scratch and building it into a success, this is the first book you should read, and always have on standby – because you’ll need it in the darkest and toughest days of the journey.

Contrary to the classic method of writing an elaborate business plan that is based on assumptions, projections, and estimates.

The Lean Startup reveals a practical and scientific method for testing business ideas so you can adapt and correct course before it’s too late.

This book will show you the way to build a product or service business that customers will value and pay for. And it’s not all theory.

Eric Ries shares several interesting stories that show just how the Lean Startup Methodology can produce results in real life. This is why it’s first on our list of great business books every entrepreneur should read

The 4-Hour Work Week

By Timothy Ferris

18 Important Business books every entrepreneur should read

This is one of the most radical books on entrepreneurship ever written. This book will stretch your imagination and help you see how much power and possibilities you have as an entrepreneur.

Working overtime and burning out due to stress is a real threat for many entrepreneurs. Tim Ferriss developed the ideas in this book while working 14 hours a day at his business.

Frustrated by the overwork and lack of free time, Ferriss took a 3-week sabbatical to Europe. During that time, he developed a streamlined system that allowed him to work only 4 hours a week and multiply his income at the same time.

As I said, the radical ideas in this book will fascinate you. The ideas may not be applicable in all situations, but they’re certainly worth a try which is why you have it listed among great business books every entrepreneur should read

The book has spent more than four years on The New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than 1,350,000 copies worldwide.


by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

This is one book that you cannot afford to read in a hurry. In today’s business ecosystem, Rework will show you the blueprint on how to succeed in business faster, better and easier.

Read it to discover why plans are essentially harmful, the reason you should avoid outside investors, and why you are better off disregarding the competition.

Rework is not your typical business book. It will show you a smarter, and faster methodology to succeed in your business venture.

This is one of the best books I’ve actually ever read about the subject of entrepreneurship. Which is why I listed it among the great business books every entrepreneur should read

The book dares “traditional” rules and provides simple, no-nonsense guidance for starting your own business or company. Like this:

The best way to get
there is through iterations. Stop imagining what’s going to work. Find out for

The Rules of Wealth

By Richard Templar

Important Business books every entrepreneur should read

This book is indeed a personal code for prosperity and plenty.

Some people seem to find money so easy. Easy to make, easy to hold on to, and easy to grow. While most people just find it easy to spend.

Making money and staying wealthy are totally different skills. This powerful book will show you some of the most important rules to follow if you want to make money, grow it, and keep it.

There are about 100 Rules in this book, each one is easy to remember and just makes sense. Although you may disagree with some of the rules, you will always see that the logic behind them makes so much sense.

This is the kind of book you want to keep on your bedside or in the bathroom (that’s where I keep mine). That way, all these rules will stay top of mind until they gradually seep into your daily habits.

Choose Yourself

By James Altucher

Business books every entrepreneur should read now and beyond

James Altucher’s Choose Yourself is a wakeup call to do away with traditional career paths,

which do not lead to success, nor happiness in today’s ecosystem.

And it critical for it to be among my all-time great business books every entrepreneur should read

It propels you to take the bull by its horn by building good habits, crafting your own career path and

making informed decision to choose yourself and take your life to the next level.

The Book for me can be summary in Three Sentences (according to James Altucher) as stated below

  • “The world is evolving. Nowadays, no one is coming to employ or hire you, to invest in your business enterprise, to sign you on a project, to pick you. It’s now up to you to make the most significant decision in your life: Choose Yourself”.
  • “No matter what you are building, be it a house or what have you, you must start by laying a solid foundation: by building physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health”.
  • “Success does not come by luck, but from continually expanding your frontiers in all direction—creatively, physically, financially, and spiritually. Ask yourself always, what can I improve? Is there anyone else who I can talk to? Where else can I look?”

Favourite Quote from the book:

“The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure”.

James Altucher

You Can Negotiate Anything

By Herb Cohen

Negotiation is a powerful tool in the hands of the entrepreneur who understands the art and knows how to use it.

In business, negotiation happens every day. It’s impossible to avoid.

There will be many situations as you build your business that will require negotiations with prospects, customers, employees, business partners, investors, bank managers, suppliers, contractors, consultants, tax authorities, your spouse and children.

With its helpful and sensible approach, this book shows that negotiating is a process you can understand and predict – and most importantly, that it’s a practical skill you can learn and improve upon.

As Herb Cohen puts it, “life is one big negotiating table and, like it or not, you must negotiate.”

Herb Cohen

This book made this list of great business books every entrepreneur should read because every entrepreneur is always at the verge of negotiating.

The Power of Habit

By Charles Duhigg

Habits make us who we are, and will determine how successful (or not) we eventually become in life and business. Without the right habits,

it’s difficult, if not impossible, to succeed in business.

But habits can be tricky because most people cannot explain why they have certain unhealthy habits,

and no matter how hard they try, they just can’t shake them off.

By analyzing how habits are formed and how they work within our brain,

this book reveals the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success.

By harnessing this new science, you can transform any business, community or life. Which is why this book entered the list of great business books every entrepreneur should read

You will find this book entertaining, enjoyable and fascinating, and you may never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way again.

Like A Virgin

By Richard Branson

Important Business books every entrepreneur should read

Richard Branson is an iconic entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, a multinational conglomerate that controls more than 400 companies.

His business interests range from space travel to airlines and entertainment.

But despite his huge responsibilities, it’s hard to find an entrepreneur who is as relaxed and adventurous as Sir Richard.

In this book, Like A Virgin, Branson brings together some of his best advice, distilling the experiences and insights that have made him one of the world’s most recognized and respected business leaders.

Branson says he’s thankful that he never went to business school because if he had conformed to the conventional dos and don’ts of starting a business, he would have never started most of his companies.


By Robert Cialdini PhD.

This book is a classic and listed among great business books every entrepreneur should read because it focuses explicitly on the psychology of compliance,

and uncovers the factors that cause a person to say “yes” to another person’s request.

“Yes” is a magic word for entrepreneurs. It’s what we want to hear when we make sales, try to convince investors, suppliers and business partners.

Anybody who knows how to get other people to say “yes” is sure to get ahead in life and business.

This book is not about manipulation – which is getting people to do something that’s not in their favour.

This book will show you the secrets of persuasion, which is about getting people to do what’s in their favour but also benefits you.

If you’re going to sell anything, lead people or take on responsibilities that require you to influence the decisions and actions of others, then you surely should read this book.

The Compound Effect

By Darren Hardy

Important Business books every entrepreneur should read

All of us learned about compound interest in early school maths,

but this book will show you how the powerful phenomenon of compounding works in real life.

The Compound Effect is based on the principle that the little and often inconsequential decisions that you make every day can shape your destiny,

and lead you to success or disaster by default.

The scary thing about this phenomenon is that even if you’re not aware of it, it’s already taking a toll on your personal and entrepreneurial life.

In this book, you’ll see how simple bad habits like procrastination can have a shocking effect on your life in the long run.

Life runs on compound interest, and it’s really true that what you sow, you shall surely reap which is why I listed it among great business books every entrepreneur should read.

HBR’s On Strategy

By Harvard Business Review

Business books every entrepreneur should read

Success in business has a lot to do with strategy, especially when it comes to outdoing the competition and staying ahead.

This book is a compilation of the best works on business strategy published by the Harvard Business Review.

It contains 10 cornerstone articles on business strategy including the all-time bests from Michael E. Porter.

The book covers several interesting strategy topics such as competitive strategy, business models, building a company vision, Blue Ocean strategy, the Balanced Scorecard, turning strategy into great performance, resource allocation and prioritization.

These articles are timeless classics that will continue to shape business strategy today and into the future.

So, if you want to get into the head of the masters and become a strategic thinker, then you should definitely add this book to your all-time reading list.


By Jack Welch

Business books every entrepreneur should read

According to Warren Buffett, this is definitely one of the best books on management ever written.

Jack Welch had a sterling forty-year career at General Electric and he led the company to year-after-year success around the world, in multiple markets, against brutal competition.

During his leadership, GE’s market cap increased by $400 billion, making it the most valuable corporation in the world at that time.

His honest, be-the-best style of management became the gold standard in business, with his relentless focus on people, teamwork, and profits.

This book will teach you a lot of pragmatic principles about management, leadership and how to build a very successful company.

Very impressive book!

The 100 Laws of Business Success

By Brian Tracy

Why are some people more successful in business than others?

Why do some businesses flourish where others fail?

This book reveals a set of principles or “universal laws” that lie behind the success of business people everywhere, in every kind of enterprise, large and small.

In this book,

Brian Tracy breaks the 100 laws down into nine major categories:

Life, Success, Business, Leadership, Money, Economics, Selling, Negotiating, and Time Management.

And all of these are very important areas for any entrepreneur who wants to succeed in business.

The book is easy to read and easy to understand and presents a straightforward and eye-opening approach to how the world of business really works.

These laws are drawn from observation, investigation, and experience, and have foundations in science, nature, philosophy, and common sense.

Purple Cow!

By Seth Godin

The first thing I remember about this book is how provocative it felt the first time I read it.

It’s difficult not to agree with Seth’s argument that businesses that become successful are those that really stand out.

This book will teach you a lot of interesting things about branding, promoting and positioning your business.

We live in a very noisy world and entrepreneurs need to think of and find interesting ways to make their product, service or business remarkable.

Or as the author says, you’re either remarkable or you’re invisible.

So, it doesn’t really matter how innovative, powerful or revolutionary your product or service is.

If you cannot find a way to package and present it to the market in remarkable ways, that product is very likely to fail.

The book ends with a Ten Point Checklist that sets out how to create a remarkable product.

The Intelligent Investor

By Benjamin Graham

Every entrepreneur will naturally grow into an investor.

That’s because entrepreneurs need to learn and develop the knowledge and skills required to make money multiply and grow.

This book was written by Warren Buffett’s teacher and mentor, Benjamin Graham, who is considered the father of value investing.

Warren Buffett first read this book in 1950, at the age of nineteen.  And more than six decades later, this book remains a classic and you’ll always find it in the toolbox of the world’s most successful investors.

The investment philosophy in this book stresses the importance of investor psychology, minimal debt, buy-and-hold investing, fundamental analysis, concentrated diversification, buying within the margin of safety, activist investing, and contrarian mindsets.

Why Sell Tacos in Africa

By Paul Oberschneider

In 1992, with $400 in his pocket, Paul Oberschneider discovered the process of building a large scale business from scratch.

Over the next decade, he built a portfolio of businesses worth $200 million.

In this book, he shares the path he followed to build his business empire.

In this book, Paul shares his 16 top tips for entrepreneurial success, business ethics, successful real estate investment and building a startup.

The title of the book is actually a metaphor for discovering and pursuing business opportunities in places that other people least expect. Paul refers to these kinds of opportunities as “blue skies.”

Reading Paul’s journey from being terribly broke to achieving enviable success is that type of rags-to-riches story that will deeply inspire you to pursue your vision because anything you want is truly possible.

MBA Basics

By Tom Gorman

Great Business books every entrepreneur should read

You don’t need an MBA to start, grow and build a successful business. If you think going to business school will give you the guts and vision to become an entrepreneur, you may be under a bad spell.

However, an MBA curriculum contains a lot of powerful knowledge, principles, frameworks and techniques that will help you understand the structure, workings and metrics that help a business run successfully.

I read this book for the first time in 2008. It was one of my first “structured” introductions to the world of business, and it helped to significantly grow my understanding of the beautiful world of business.

The most fascinating thing about this book is how easy it is to read. It’s written in a very simple and friendly style that is free from all the jargon you would expect in an MBA-format book.

If you’re looking for a practical introduction to business, this is the book for you.

Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change

by Beth Comstock

Are you of the opinion that change happens very quickly?

I dislike to halt it to you, but for real it will not ever be this slow again.

That’s why Beth Comstock claims that traversing uncertainty is seen to be the bottom-line differentiator amid tomorrow’s successful and unsuccessful leaders.

The fact that progress has already gotten historically rapid speeds, Comstock’s experiences and guidance clamp gallons of water.

Using terms like “job crafting” and “total addressable problems,”

her honest storytelling craft will leave you reassessing every damn choice you have made to become more human and imaginative.

Now, over to you. Did I mention your favourite book? Are there any other book(s) you know should make this list. Kindly use the comment section to share your thought with me. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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