10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Starting a new business or venture is one of the most challenging (and brave) things you can do. When you find yourself in unknown territory (and you will do) the following books are an essential source of guidance, wisdom and motivation.


The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene

Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded - or been victimised by - power.


How to Win Friends and Influence People by by Dale Carnegie

This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasises fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated.



Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday

You've seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don't know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me...



Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future by Blake Masters & Peter Thiel

A ground-breaking and thought-provoking book on innovation and what it takes for a new company to prosper, from the co-founder of one of the most successful tech start-ups in history


The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan - there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.


The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.


Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it's not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn't foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional.


Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg

Traction will teach you the nineteen channels you can use to build a customer base, and offers a three-step framework to figure out which ones will work best for your business. No matter how you apply them, the lessons and examples inTraction will help you create and sustain the growth your business desperately needs.


Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works by Ash Maurya

We live in an age of unparalleled opportunity for innovation. We’re building more products than ever before, but most of them fail—not because we can’t complete what we set out to build, but because we waste time, money, and effort building the wrong product.

What we need is a systematic process for quickly vetting product ideas and raising our odds of success. That’s the promise of Running Lean.


Startup Growth Engines: Case Studies of How Today's Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth by Sean Ellis

Today's fastest growing startups all share one thing in common: a new approach to how they grow. Using new a way of marketing, called growth hacking, these startups have grown to millions of users and created billions of dollars in value, all without using the traditional marketing playbook.

So how have companies like Uber, Square, Snapchat, Evernote, Hubspot, Github and Yelp grown? See for yourself in this ebook packed with the most in-depth case studies on exactly what strategies these companies used to unlock massive growth.


Got a recommendation?

Use the comments section below to share books that have really helped you on your journey towards entrepreneurship.


Ben Foster

About Me

I'm a software engineer and aspiring entrepreneur with 12+ years experience in the tech industry and have worked with startups and SMB’s in areas such as healthcare, recruitment and e-commerce (I even worked in enterprise, once). I founded my first startup Fabrik in 2011.

I now head up the engineering team at Checkout. If you're interested in working in an exciting and innovative fin-tech company, drop me a message.

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