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If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you’re going to want to check out this list of 14 books that are a must-read in 2023. These books cover a range of topics that are essential for any entrepreneur, including marketing, sales, finance, and more. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for a while, these books will give you the insights and knowledge you need to take your business to the next level.
“The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz is one of my favorite business books to recommend. This guide deconstructs many of the romanticized myths around entrepreneur life and lays bare the tough situations that executives and founders are likely to encounter in the business world.
The book teaches how to be a resilient leader and gives actionable advice for facing common crises, challenges, and conflicts. This work also gives readers accurate expectations about founding or working for a startup and can help them better prepare to be great founders, managers, and employees.”
– Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
“Dale Carnegie is an icon in the area of business, marketing, and relationships. He became an expert in all these areas with his powerful book, How To Win Friends and Influence People. Although written decades ago, the book is timeless.
Carnegie clearly tells the secret to marketing success: Tell people how your product will make their lives better and you can name your price. Interestingly enough, his philosophy had a resurgence during the pandemic when people couldn’t afford to buy what they used to be able to afford. When you sell, don’t tell people why your product is so terrific. Tell people how their lives will improve by the purchase. Carnegie went on lecture tours delivering this simple message. Although the message may resonate today, Carnegie said it first in his iconic book “How To Win Friends and Influence People.””
– Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
“There are a lot of books that helped me create a successful business – but right now I want more purpose, and am extremely inspired by a short, sweet book called The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly. It’s a parable about how you give more purpose to your employees’ job, and help them improve their life. By laying out their dreams with them, and picking each one off to coach them into reality. Big and small, sensical and fantastical. I’ve just started creating an internal Dream program for that – and it’s already sparking a joyful, hopeful vibe. Onwards and upwards!”
– bibi lauri raven, BibiBuzz
“Many people mistakenly believe that they can manage risk by carefully analyzing data and making sound decisions. However, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains in this book, humans are far too biased and emotionally vulnerable to make reliable risk assessments. The only way to truly protect yourself from the potential for catastrophic loss is to have “Skin in the Game” — to have a personal stake in the outcome. This book is about how to apply this principle to your business and personal life to achieve greater success and satisfaction.”
– Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
“When it comes to business, marketing, and entrepreneurship books, there are countless titles out there that are worth reading. However, if I had to choose just one favorite, it would have to be “E-Myth Revisited,” by Michael Gerber. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to start or grow their own business.
In it, Gerber deconstructs the myth of the entrepreneurial “superhero” and provides a framework for sustainable and successful businesses. In particular, he argues that the key to success is not simply having a great idea; it’s also about having the systems and processes in place to make that idea a reality.”
– Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD
“High Output Management by Andrew Grove is my favorite entrepreneurship book. This book provides a very detailed guide for managers on every aspect of building and growing a business. The advice given is authentic, practical, and comprehensive. It goes into great detail, unlike some other books I’ve read. It addresses good times and tough times that a business will inevitably experience. It prepares a manager on what to expect and what their job should be.
There is rarely a guide that can be given to entrepreneurs that would be actually practical and useful, as every business is different, and every manager is unique. But, this book did a fantastic job. I have recommended this book to all of my managers as well for them to learn what management should be. It has been a great help for us.”
– Sylvia Kang, Mira
“Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (2013) is a behavioral economics book that focuses on the way people think and make decisions. He details two distinct thought systems that people use, one that is intuitive and the other logical. Understanding consumer thinking from a cognitive psychology perspective is one of the most important skills you can have as a marketer.”
– Adam Shlomi, SoFlo Tutors
“The book “We Should All Be Millionaires” by Rachel Rodgers is such an inspiration! It’s time to think and act like a millionaire. Take care of yourself, surround yourself with awesome people, and start thinking about a side hustle. This book is specifically geared toward women who suffer from imposter syndrome – persistently underestimating their value. With quotes from powerful women like Coco Chanel and Cardi B, this book drives home the point that “impossible is only impossible until you do it.”
– Suzanne Crest, Eos HR Consulting
“Without a doubt, my all-time favorite business classic is “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less” by Richard Koch. Essentially, this book posits that a mere 20% our daily efforts are responsible for 80% of the results we see. In other words, though we work tirelessly in our various endeavors, only a fraction of those efforts are directly responsible for the biggest gains that we see.
In turn, this insightful book stresses the importance of making better use of your time by focusing on the 20% that actually matters. By identifying what inputs matter most, cutting out extraneous efforts and zeroing in on high-yield activities, we can accomplish exponentially more with less time. For me, The 80/20 Principle completely transformed how I look at my everyday efforts and productivity. I’ve completely rearranged my normal workday since reading this book a few years ago.”
– John Ross, Test Prep Insight
“I am a B2B Marketing expert for over 10 years and have been working in global, industrial companies. The book which helped me most is “The 1-Page Marketing Plan” by Allan Dib. The book breaks down successful marketing into three phases. Before, during and after the purchase.
This easy-to-digest, yet powerful approach makes the book a very actionable guide. Further, Allan Dib includes a 1-Page plan in this book. This plan is filled step-by-step while you read the book. That means you have a marketing plan ready when finishing reading. A highly recommended book for all marketers who look for help on how to create a marketing plan that works.”
– Stephan Wenger, B2B Marketing World
“Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive, and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is an insightful read about coming up with great ideas. There is a lot of information out there about basic marketing techniques, marketing analysis, and the customer journey. However, it is important to recognize the significance of a good idea, whether it be a video concept or a slogan. This will affect all other aspects of your marketing strategy. Content marketing ideas need to be memorable and emotionally triggering – But how do make this happen? This book can help you out.”
– Drew Sherman, Carvaygo
“Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller outlines how to incorporate storytelling into your marketing approach. One of the main takeaways is positioning your customer as the hero (not you, the company). The customers are “Luke Skywalker”. You are “Yoda”. They are the main character and you are the guide. While they get the “glory”, they can’t overcome the obstacles in their way and reach their “destiny” without you. The book explains how to tap into the emotions of the hero before, during, and after their journey with a series of empathy statements.”
– Emily Sander, Next Level Coaching, LLC
“Social Media Pie written by Brenda Meller is an in-depth guide for LinkedIn for users from novice to advanced. The book highlights leveraging the tool for multiple mediums including personal and company branding, networking, sales/lead generation and recruiting. The author adapts the content highlighting features that we assume we know and other applicable uses of the platform in an easy to incorporate playbook. It is a staple in my business library and a book I share with any new members of my team – especially recruiters.”
– Tina Marie Wohlfield, TIMAWO, LLC
“I loved the book “Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish. The book “Scaling Up” says that if you want to scale your organization, you need four things in place – People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.
People: The focus is on determining the personal goals of the CEO and connecting them with the goals of the organization. Clearly writing the mission and vision of the company and sharing those with the team. And reiterating again those values in monthly meetings.
Strategy: The focus is on identifying the key differentiators, USP, and values.
Executive: Focus here is on building systems and processes to scale.
Cash: Focus here is to have a positive cash flow and ways to do that.”
– Boni Satani, Zestard Technologies
Want more entrepreneur book recommendations? Check out this blog post, too.
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