10 Books That Teach You How to Start a Business

Doing business can be daunting, especially for first-timers. Here are some books that can inspire and prepare you with insights on how to start your own business.

Beyond learning, there are books that can influence the way you think, see, and perceive things. Successful people like Bill Gates and former President Barrack Obama are known for being avid book readers. In fact, a study conducted by Business Insider India shows that a self-made millionaire studied around 1,200 wealthy people—only to find out that their common pastime was reading

Numbers also show that around 88% of the rich approximately spend at least 30 minutes on reading and self-education while around 63% listened to audiobooks. What’s more, around 85% of successful people read two or more self-improvement books per month.

With that, here are some helpful books that can inspire and teach you what you need to know about starting a business.

10 Books That Teach You How to Start a Business

10. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses is one of the must-read books you should have in your collection. Written by a business leader and a start-up founder, this book delves greatly into what start-up business owners should focus on—including reasons why they might fail.

Simply put, it works as a businessman’s quick guide to success and failure at the helm of a start-up. 

The book starts by identifying your biggest assumptions and explains how you can convert them into testable hypotheses. Overall, it will bring you insights into how you can navigate any circumstances so you can propel your new business to success. 

9. Will it Fly? by Pat Flynn

Written by Pat Flynn, a leader in online entrepreneurship and digital marketing, the book Will it Fly? shares personal learnings and insights from the author’s business journey—which he wants to impart to aspiring business owners.

Moreover, the book answers several important questions such as “Does your business have merit?”, “Will it succeed in your chosen market or are you just waiting for time and resources?”, “Is it a good idea”, and other questions that will make you think twice. 

The book is filled with anecdotes from the author’s personal experiences and advice that will make you think critically. It also contains action-based exercises and some litmus tests that will help you analyze the feasibility and profitability of your business ideas. 

8. Women Who Launch by Marlene Wagman-Geller

This ​​Pacific Book Awards 2018 finalist is filled with success stories of women who excelled in entrepreneurship, leadership, and activism. By learning more about the successful companies and organizations that each of them established, you will learn more about women empowerment and the impact they can have in the world of business. 

If you think that businesses can somewhat be discouraging—most especially in male-dominated industries and corporate setups—this book will definitely motivate you to keep going. More so, it also covers the obstacles that the featured successful women encountered and how they overcame them. 

7. The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman

The start of any business is the most crucial, especially as it dictates whether or not the company will thrive or fail. With that, it is important that you are careful and plan ahead—from establishing an effective business structure to forecasting and planning for the long run, among other factors.

The book The Founder’s Dilemmas focuses on all that, including how you can be proactive in the decisions that may create a negative impact on your business. By citing the stories of companies like Twitter, you can learn about ways how to power through challenges by being inspired by what they have gone through. 

6. Zero To One by Peter Thiel 

This book is a must-read, especially if you’re aiming to launch a brand that offers new solutions and products. Written by the owner of PayPal himself, the book walks you through his journey and takes inspiration from the knowledge he obtained before becoming the billionaire he is today.

Moreover, in this book, he emphasizes tips that you should know before jumping to conclusions and making important business decisions. That way, your concepts become more valuable and you are more prepared to gradually take your brand to the next step—hence moving from zero to one. 

5. Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months by Melinda F. Emerson

Success isn’t achieved overnight and it takes a lot of effort to get to the pinnacle of your goals and visions for the company you are establishing. With this book, you won’t have to feel pressured with dealing with everything all at once, as it encourages you to focus on different aspects gradually. 

As the title suggests, this book breaks down what you must do in 12 months. This includes reaching out to venture capitalists, planning your marketing strategies, and even investing in the best software without cluttering your mind in the process. By keeping in mind the questions that the book asks and taking notes on how you can fill your pipeline, you can gradually build your business up effectively. 

4. Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

As the saying goes, “From humble beginnings come great things.” Unlike other books that inspire you to push for the best so you can grow faster, this book does the exact opposite. How? By measuring your success on a scale where you can ask yourself at what size your business performs best. 

This book emphasizes that you don’t have to be consumed by pressure while aiming for success. Instead, this pushes you to enhance what you’re currently doing to provide your customers with the best services or products without the pressure of competing against the giants in your chosen industry.

That way, you can work on what works best for you and not follow in the footsteps of other big companies. 

3. Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crushing It comes as a follow-up book to Crush It, wherein he discusses the importance of having a personal brand. Through this sequel, Vaynerchuk focuses on how making a recognizable brand can help step up your game. That is the reason why he expounds on brand building in this book—which includes ways on how you can have great sales and reach your target market effectively. 

Aside from that, the book works as a guide on how you can establish a brand that resonates with what you are trying to convey—all while remaining true to your brand’s identity. What makes this book even more helpful is how it teaches you about the basic principles of good branding. That way, you can focus on it while developing your marketing strategies. 

2. Atomic Habits by James Clear 

Aside from being a philosophical book, this title is also a must-read for entrepreneurs. Overall, it encourages you to think about ways how you can change your daily routine and behavioral patterns to improve yourself. This makes it ideal for business owners since it can influence them to change the way they work. 

How? By making you think about how you’ll need a new system if you find it hard to stick to your habits. More so, it will also teach you ways how to boost your productivity and stay motivated. By changing your mindset on things and seeing how it correlates to human psychology, you can find ways to work more effectively and efficiently for the business you are about to build. 

1. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

The Art of the Start is an easy-to-follow guide aspiring business owners can follow. Here, Kawasaki lists down the important lessons that will make you realize how being an entrepreneur is a state of mind and not a job title. 

Here, he explains everything that you have to know—from getting the right people on board to writing a business plan and building your brand. Moreover, the book encourages you to push against all odds so your ideas can be transformed into action that will strengthen your brand. With two decades of experience, the author also uses this book to highlight how an entrepreneur’s goal should be focused on creating meaning and not just earning money. 

How Reading Can Help Broaden Your Knowledge

By taking bits and pieces from the knowledge that business experts have learned the hard way, it becomes easier to follow in their footsteps and find ways how to overcome personal struggles. Though the path of each business is paved with different hindrances, the solutions will all come from the entrepreneur who envisioned it to be. 

As books can not just provide knowledge but also inspiration, business-minded people like you can find it a great habit to read books and apply whatever they can to the businesses they run. That way, you can continue learning and finding ways to improve yourself and what you have created.

And since learning is an endless process, what can be better than picking up some books and gaining new knowledge about various factors through them?