12 Books All Entrepreneurs Need to Read in 2019

12 Books All Entrepreneurs Need to Read in 2019 main image

Whether you’re a big reader or not, the importance of digesting a good book can’t be underestimated. According to brain coach Jim Kwik, most CEOs and executives are reading four to five books a month – a colossal jump from the average person who only reads three books a year.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of books we think all entrepreneurs need in their life in 2019.

Shark Tales, by Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran, by Jacqueline Zaccor via flickr/wikimedia commons

If we’re putting together a list of inspiring books written by female entrepreneurs, it’d be impossible not to include Shark Tank investor and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran’s book.

Shark Tales tells her story from penniless waitress to successful entrepreneur – giving advice for those hoping to follow a similar trail.

Mistakes I Made at Work, by Jessica Bacal​

Succeeding as an entrepreneur is tricky; it’s not all inspirational realizations, and the journey will include a lot of setbacks and screw-ups along the way.

In this book, high-achieving women from all walks of life describe their biggest stumbles and how they picked themselves back up again. Time to break through that glass ceiling!

Lost and Founder, by Rand Fishkin

CEO and co-founder of SEOmoz, Rand Fishkin’s book is said to offer a fresh look at a tech start-up CEO’s life. And although CEO’s can make it look effortless, it’s not always plain sailing. 

Fishkin shines a spotlight on the joys and hardships of battling for success in the start-up world. His advice is applicable to businesses of any kind, regardless of their size or industry.

Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk by Andrew Kelly via flickr/wikimedia commons

The importance of brand building is imperative for entrepreneurs, and Gary Vaynerchuk, master of social media and brand building, promises to show you the way.

Regardless of your industry, building influence will change your business for the better, and Vaynerchuk’s book will teach you how to navigate all social media platforms and use them to maximize profits while creating a vibrant personal brand.

Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

As one of the world’s leading experts on content marketing, MIT Sloan School of Management alumnus Joe Pulizzi demonstrates how to create information customers want to engage with.

The book takes you step-by-step through the process of developing stories that inform, entertain and compel customers to act without actually telling them to.

Epic Content Marketing will help you position your business as a trusted expert in its industry.

The Power of Broke, by Daymond John

Shark Tank star and Fubu founder, Daymond John tells how he went from humble beginnings to create a business from nothing and rise to fame.

John’s book teaches entrepreneurs how to get scrappy when necessary and to leverage your resources for the better when trying to create a successful business on a limited budget.

Starting a business while broke pushes you to think creatively, use limited resources efficiently, and be innovative. He shows how intentionally placing resource constraints on himself helped him make the most of what he’s had. 

Smarter Faster Better, by Charles Duhigg

Duhigg’s book offers readers a new perspective on what being productive really means.

Rather than spending your time managing what you think, it shifts your focus to manage how you think. Duhigg gives you the tools to rewire your decision-making process to help transform your life.

He argues the traditional goal-setting model, which focuses primarily on big ambitions and ignoring our smaller decisions and easy goals, is flawed if you want to land the big change you want in life or business.

Harvard Business School alumnus Duhigg believes the companies that succeed have fine-tuned the act of achieving small goals, which all equate to bigger goals in the end.

The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

Eric Ries by betsyweber via flickr/wikimedia commons

Author and entrepreneur Eric Ries walks readers’ through his lean start-up approach, largely based around a stage of rapid idea validation before you invest heavily into an idea.

The Lean Startup will help you validate your business ideas and test your visions continuously, to adapt where necessary before real issues can arise.

You’ll find useful tools here for any business from a solopreneur working from their garage to a venture-backed project within a Fortune 500 company.

Zero to One, by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

The importance of innovation is renowned in the business world, and Zero to One takes a close look at its power.

PayPal founder and first Facebook investor Thiel demonstrates how new things can still be created. Thiel believes we’re living in an age of technological stagnation as everyone is blinded by shiny new gadgets and objects.

His theses in the book states the next generation of successful entrepreneurs won’t just update existing products but will create entirely new things. This business book will help you train yourself to be an innovator.

Hooked, by Nir Eyal

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nir Eyal – and Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus – studies how certain companies and individuals create products that continuously grab the public’s attention, while others launch new products that fall by the wayside.

Eyal’s Hook Model is a four-step process successful companies follow when creating their products, ensuring consumers come back again and again. We’re looking at you Facebook, Twitter and Candy Crush.

Traction, by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

When starting a business – especially as a first-timer – the journey to the finish line may not always be clear.

In Traction, authors Gabriel Weinberg (MIT Sloan School of Management alumnus) and Justin Mares detail their own experiences from building and selling multi-million-dollar companies and use this to teach other entrepreneurs how to acknowledge the right growth levers to grow their businesses quickly. 

Traction presents the idea that business success is directly related to how consistently you can acquire new customers for your product or service. Once you’ve unlocked your growth level, it makes everything easier.

The Culture Map, by Erin Meyer

Although we live in a global business world, cultures can still be very different. Companies and businesses have on occasion ruined their chances of breaking into particular local markets because they haven’t taken the time to understand the local culture.

INSEAD professor Erin Meyer’s book looks to tackle these cultural misunderstandings, which can lead to confusion and even the need to recall your product because of a culturally inappropriate decision.

The book raises awareness of cultural issues you might encounter when dealing with business far away from home.  

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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