10 Best Business Books for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

If you are thinking about or in the process of starting your own business, there are some fantastic books out there to help you along the way. See our top picks below:

Inspiring Reads

1. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries

Endorsed by leaders such as Sheryl Sandburg, COO of Facebook

Worried about those statistics that tell you how many startups fail? In his book “The Lean Startup”, Eric Ries explains how many of these failures could be prevented. This new approach is changing the way companies are built and products are launched. The book focuses on a methodology that fosters efficiency and creativity. Inspired by tools of lean manufacturing, he is able to shift a company’s direction with more agility and less disruption. “This book will teach you how to adapt”.

2. The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

Shaped in a self-help book sort of way, this book will drag you from the 9 to 5 grind and inspire you to live the life of a successful entrepreneur. He will teach you how to outsource tasks overseas, eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours, and the difference between absolute and relative income. This book is for the overworked employee and the entrepreneur stuck in their own business.

3. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street – John Brooks

Praised by Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft

Written by a long-time contributor of the “New Yorker”, this is an exciting read that focuses on how some of the most iconic companies were defined by a particular moment in time. The book takes readers on a journey of twelve organizations from wall street to main street with all the juicy details in between. Some include Ford Motor Company, Xerox, and General Electric.

4. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail – Clayton M. Christensen

Recommended to CNN by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Looking for a book to take you to the next level? This book, written by a Harvard Professor takes you through why companies who seemingly are doing everything right, still end up losing market share or disappear all together. Focusing on “disruptive technology” he tells the reader how to avoid a similar fate through case studies of company products like the Honda Super Club and Inte’s 8088 processor.

5. Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets – George Stalk Jr. and Thomas M. Hout

Suggested by Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Time is money and it is one of those things you never have enough of. In this book, consultants George Stalk Jr. and Thomas M. Hout describe how some companies use time to gain an advantage over the competition. They provide detailed examples from companies like Federal Express, Ford, Honda, Wal-Mart, and Citicorp.

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

If the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella says it’s good, so do we

Building a business from the ground up is not easy, and you’ll face numerous challenges and opportunities. This is an insightful and inspiring book written by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who breaks down the problems and solutions that affect entrepreneurs. The book takes readers on a journey from dealing with hiring friends to developing a CEO mentality and knowing the right time to cash in on your company.

7. Rework – Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson

A favorite of Mark Cuban, ‘Shark Tank investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks

This book isn’t your typical, conservative, and boring business guideline. This book shows you how to succeed in business in a way that is better, faster and easier. Bringing it back down to the bare minimum of what you really need to start a business. Don’t staff up, don’t be a workaholic, don’t waste time on paperwork, in fact, you don’t even need an office. What you need is to take action, learn to be more productive, and gain exposure without going broke.

The Classics:

8. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

If you are in business and you haven’t heard of this book, you might be living under a rock. This book will change the way you think with true and realistic life illustrations. Originally written by an American Author in 1937, this book has withstood the test of time and is one of the best-selling books of all time.

9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

First published in 1989 as a self-help book, it became an instant success as people took notice and started to evaluate their own lives. This book teaches readers how to live life effectively and efficiently by making simple adjustments that create big changes.

10. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras

This book is just that, “Built to Last” is a ground-breaking book that shatters myths and provides practical insights to individuals looking to build landmark companies. Utilizing their six years of research at Stanford University, the authors take a close look at 18 exceptional organizations with an average of nearly 100 years each. They study each company from start up to today, examining their competition, challenges, and successes along the way.