10 Essential Books for Entrepreneurs

August 18, 2023

I love books and I cannot lie.

When I was a high school English teacher, I had an uncanny ability to spot readers from a mile away. Their articulate speech, compelling stories, and impressive writing skills made them stand out from the crowd. When you’re well-read, it shows – and in the best way possible.

And while I believe there’s so much room for learning outside of reading books, I will always be a proponent of reading more — whether you’re a kid or an adult. 

Disclaimer: I classify myself as a “normal person reader,” meaning I finish about two books a month. While I aspire to reach the 50 or 100 books per year milestone someday, my current pace suits my lifestyle. 

But I firmly believe that everyone can manage 10 books a year, which is a healthy and realistic reading goal.

Why Should I Read, Anyway?

  • Reading introduces you to perspectives and stories different from your own.

  • It slows down your pace, enabling you to hear your thoughts.

  • It empowers you to make smarter, wiser decisions.

To help you achieve your reading goals, I have curated a list of 10 books that have significantly influenced my journey as a small business owner. These books will help you stay sharp, even in the face of overwhelming challenges.

*Note: “Should” here means “I lovingly recommend.” This list is perfect for those who love reading or aspire to read more. If that’s not you, don’t stress! Continue doing your thing, and I’ll cheer you on either way.

You ready?

 Here are 10 books every entrepreneur *should read:

1.”This is Marketing” by Seth Godin

As a recent fan of Seth Godin, I regret not discovering his work sooner. Godin’s marketing acumen is brilliant, and he possesses an impressive ability to simplify complex concepts. This book is a must-read for all entrepreneurs since marketing is an integral part of entrepreneurship.

2.”Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller

Although I am not a die-hard Storybrand enthusiast, I cannot deny Donald Miller’s revolutionary approach to simplifying marketing fundamentals. He applies Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey—a framework many esteemed filmmakers and writers utilize—to business. This book is a great primer for deepening your understanding of marketing and messaging.

3.”Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

The wisdom imparted in this book compelled me to take control of my over-scheduled life. The gentle yet critical reminders in it are valuable for entrepreneurs like us who often fall prey to a never-ending list of “should dos.”

4.”Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight

I found this book intriguing not only for its behind-the-scenes insights but also for its emphasis on the importance of early years in business.

5.”I Will Teach You to be Rich” by Ramit Sethi

Out of all the books on finance I’ve read, this is my favorite. Sethi’s realistic and unconventional advice, such as questioning the wisdom of buying a home to build wealth, always comes to my rescue when I need to make sound financial decisions.

6.”Braving the Wilderness” by Brené Brown

Owning a small business can be lonely. Brené’s work, including this book, serves as a source of encouragement to keep going.

7.”Deep Work” by Cal Newport

For those who haven’t read any of Cal Newport’s works, “Deep Work” is a great starting point. His unique perspective and approach to managing work are highly beneficial, especially for those with restless minds.

8.”Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson

While not directly related to business, “Just Mercy” should be a must-read for all adults. As entrepreneurs, understanding and combating systemic discrimination is essential.

9.”The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Running a business stems from a deeper calling, which can often be obscured by day-to-day operations. Coelho’s “The Alchemist” serves as a gentle reminder of this purpose.

10.”Devotions” by Mary Oliver

A poetry book might seem out of place on a business book list, but trust me, it helps. Amidst the whirlwind of challenges that come with running a small business, Oliver’s poetry can ground you, bringing you back to the present moment.

That’s your book list!

Visit Amazon or Libby (the free digital library app) and grab your next book today. And of course, let me know how it goes!

Corrie

Work with me

share this post

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

I love books and I cannot lie.

When I was a high school English teacher, I had an uncanny ability to spot readers from a mile away. Their articulate speech, compelling stories, and impressive writing skills made them stand out from the crowd. When you’re well-read, it shows – and in the best way possible.

And while I believe there’s so much room for learning outside of reading books, I will always be a proponent of reading more — whether you’re a kid or an adult. 

Disclaimer: I classify myself as a “normal person reader,” meaning I finish about two books a month. While I aspire to reach the 50 or 100 books per year milestone someday, my current pace suits my lifestyle. 

But I firmly believe that everyone can manage 10 books a year, which is a healthy and realistic reading goal.

Why Should I Read, Anyway?

  • Reading introduces you to perspectives and stories different from your own.

  • It slows down your pace, enabling you to hear your thoughts.

  • It empowers you to make smarter, wiser decisions.

To help you achieve your reading goals, I have curated a list of 10 books that have significantly influenced my journey as a small business owner. These books will help you stay sharp, even in the face of overwhelming challenges.

*Note: “Should” here means “I lovingly recommend.” This list is perfect for those who love reading or aspire to read more. If that’s not you, don’t stress! Continue doing your thing, and I’ll cheer you on either way.

You ready?

 Here are 10 books every entrepreneur *should read:

1.”This is Marketing” by Seth Godin

As a recent fan of Seth Godin, I regret not discovering his work sooner. Godin’s marketing acumen is brilliant, and he possesses an impressive ability to simplify complex concepts. This book is a must-read for all entrepreneurs since marketing is an integral part of entrepreneurship.

2.”Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller

Although I am not a die-hard Storybrand enthusiast, I cannot deny Donald Miller’s revolutionary approach to simplifying marketing fundamentals. He applies Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey—a framework many esteemed filmmakers and writers utilize—to business. This book is a great primer for deepening your understanding of marketing and messaging.

3.”Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

The wisdom imparted in this book compelled me to take control of my over-scheduled life. The gentle yet critical reminders in it are valuable for entrepreneurs like us who often fall prey to a never-ending list of “should dos.”

4.”Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight

I found this book intriguing not only for its behind-the-scenes insights but also for its emphasis on the importance of early years in business.

5.”I Will Teach You to be Rich” by Ramit Sethi

Out of all the books on finance I’ve read, this is my favorite. Sethi’s realistic and unconventional advice, such as questioning the wisdom of buying a home to build wealth, always comes to my rescue when I need to make sound financial decisions.

6.”Braving the Wilderness” by Brené Brown

Owning a small business can be lonely. Brené’s work, including this book, serves as a source of encouragement to keep going.

7.”Deep Work” by Cal Newport

For those who haven’t read any of Cal Newport’s works, “Deep Work” is a great starting point. His unique perspective and approach to managing work are highly beneficial, especially for those with restless minds.

8.”Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson

While not directly related to business, “Just Mercy” should be a must-read for all adults. As entrepreneurs, understanding and combating systemic discrimination is essential.

9.”The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Running a business stems from a deeper calling, which can often be obscured by day-to-day operations. Coelho’s “The Alchemist” serves as a gentle reminder of this purpose.

10.”Devotions” by Mary Oliver

A poetry book might seem out of place on a business book list, but trust me, it helps. Amidst the whirlwind of challenges that come with running a small business, Oliver’s poetry can ground you, bringing you back to the present moment.

That’s your book list!

Visit Amazon or Libby (the free digital library app) and grab your next book today. And of course, let me know how it goes!

Corrie

Work with me

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

share this post

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