One of the major habits that are common amongst most of the successful Entrepreneurs is reading. Studies show that an average CEO reads about 52 books in a year. This means they read a book each week. With the kind of schedule that most of these CEOs have, it would be quite hard to find time for reading. But most of them create time for reading because they know they know how important it is for their growth. Reading helps you learn from the mistakes of those who did what you are doing right now a couple of years ago. So, if you don’t read, you’ll always think you are the first to face a particular challenge which is rarely the case
In this article, I will share with you the top 7 books that will help you take you to start and grow your startup/small business.
Book #1: Good to Great by Jim Collins
This book focuses on showing the difference between mediocre companies and great companies. In this book, Jim Collins shares details of the extensive research he did about hugely successful companies and those that failed to keep up the pace. If you want to know why the likes of Apple and Microsoft have been up there for over 4 decades, then you will need to check out this book.
Book #2: Start with Why by Simon Sinek
If you want to know how great leaders like Steve Jobs and Martin Lurther King Jr inspired others to take action, this is the book you need to check out. Simon Sinek emphasizes the fact that knowing your Why (purpose), will inspire you to make decisions that may not bring immediate results but build a resilient culture amongst your team. He talks about why most companies lose track when their founders (vision bearers) step aside. Start with Why is the kind of book you need to read if you want to build the right mindset for running a company and being a leader in general
Book #3: Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Just like the title, this book is meant for anyone who intends to start up a business and those already running one. Eric describes a startup as any venture whose results are uncertain. You could be a company worker who’s assigned to handle a project whose results are uncertain. That also falls under Eric’s definition of a startup. This book encourages startups to ship their products as early as possible to avoid wasting time building something that the market won’t buy. If you are running a startup, this book will help you know how best to build the minimum viable product that you can ship to the market. It will also help you know when to persevere and when to pivot from your original idea or strategy.
Book #4: The 7 habits of the most effective people by Steven Covey
The main focus of this book is productivity and how to prioritize tasks and events in your day to day life. In this book, Steven highlights the fact one can spend the whole day working without getting things done. So, if you have questions about how to be more productive as an entrepreneur, then this book will answer most of your questions
Book #5: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
This book shares knowledge about how successful people from different industries have been able to get where they are today. It contains over 100 interviews of people from different walks of life who shared their tips on how to be more productive. Grab yourself a copy of this book and learn from likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman
Book #6: Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill
This has been one of the best-selling books of all time. Napoleon Hill researched for over 20 years about how the great men of his days were able to make it to the top. Some of the most prominent names that Napoleon Hill researched are Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. He found out that these men had common habits that enabled them to make it up there.
Book #7: Steve Jobs by Robert Isaacson
Steve Jobs is a legendary CEO that every startup entrepreneur has at least something they can learn from him. This book covers over 40 interviews with Steve Jobs where he shared, his stories and what he thinks made him successful at Apple and the rest of the companies he was leading. The book also includes what his family members, friends, and competitors say about him.
Whether you are a new or experienced entrepreneur, there are a lot of lessons you will learn from the above books. You may choose to start with any of them based on which one picks your attention first. But one thing I will assure you is you won’t remain the same after reading any of the above books. Try as much as you can to be open-minded because some of the habits described in the books above may be completely new to you. Also remember, the best way to learn is through putting what you have learnt into action because information/knowledge can only turn into the experience when you take action.