A new venture is usually the labor of love for a founder. Though the aspiring startup owner is emotionally attached to his/her undertaking, he/she is often naive about the challenges he/she will face in the future.
Before launching a new business, it is important to consider the nature of the market, the existing and future opportunities, the competitors, the potential sources of finance, and the marketing strategies. More often than not, budding entrepreneurs miss out on these factors and eventually realize that merely their passion and drive is insufficient to fuel the new business.
Real-world business stories and case studies have always been a source of inspiration for entrepreneurs, offering them the required domain knowledge and motivation to make their venture a success. If you dream of becoming a successful business owner, reading a few motivational books about founders and CEOs who have traversed the tricky entrepreneurial path will inspire you to stay on track, helping you establish your new venture.
Here are 6 books that you must invest in to kick start your entrepreneurial journey in the present competitive scenario.
1. Startups Demystified: Founders Share Strategies, Secrets, and Lessons Learned – Barbara Hou (2016)
This book shares the entrepreneurial journey of 70 young founders who started off when they were college students or young professionals. The author, Barbara Hou adds additional value to the book by sharing her personal journey towards making her start-up a success.
Hou gives her young readers a quick understanding of the challenges faced by the young business owners using specific examples and offers ways to overcome them.
This book celebrates the passion and the bravery of young entrepreneurs, making it an inspiring read for anyone who aspires to start his/her own venture.
2. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries (2011)
Published in the year 2011, The Lean Startup is one of the best books for would-be entrepreneurs looking for some motivation and valuable techniques to launch a successful business. Eric Ries effectively explains new-business concepts and terms, namely validated learning, continuous deployment, the Build-Measure-Feedback loop, the minimum value product (MVP), cohort analysis, lean management, and actionable metrics which can help an entrepreneur minimize the risks associated with starting a new business, improving the odds of the startup’s success.
This book is loaded with awe-inspiring entrepreneurial stories and practical principles, enabling inexperienced entrepreneurs to create and manage their startup while taking lessons from real-life successes and failures of others in the business world. This book is an essential read if you are planning to launch your business in the near future.
3. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future – Peter Thiel (2014)
Through this book, Peter Thiel offers a world of valuable business insights to all the budding entrepreneurs who are tinkering with creative startups ideas but have no idea how to go about it.
Zero to One is an interesting read in which the author lays a strong foundation for aspiring entrepreneurs and discusses several thought-provoking insights for technology start-ups.
Thiel shares that launching a successful business means going from zero to one (nothing to something) and monopoly in a particular market opens up newer market territories. Consequently, one of the most precious suggestions he gives to new entrepreneurs is that instead of competing and reliving the works of the past they must differentiate and build companies that create innovative things.
Peter Thiel is a distinguished entrepreneur and investor who started PayPal and has invested in various technology startups, namely Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, SpaceX, Airbnb, and others. This book lets new business owners get inside the mind of this shrewd business magnate to gain a fresh view of the startup world.
4. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future – Chris Guillebeau (2012)
Converting an idea into a successful business is easier said than done. Through the book, The $100 Startup, Chris shares concrete case studies of people who turned their passion into profits. This New York Times bestseller is a must-read for all entrepreneurs and solopreneurs as it shares examples and innovative tips on how to launch a successful business at a minimal cost and still get high returns.
This book motivates young entrepreneurs to do what they love, helping them overcome the common obstacles faced at the introductory phase of a business, namely lack of capital, knowledge, experience, and market demand. The author stresses upon various crucial points such as offering the customer what they want, connecting with them, and showing potential customers that you have or will offer what they desire.
If you want to convert your passion or hobby into a successful business, this book will offer you great insights on finding your target audience, building value for your customers, improving your market share, and boosting your bottom line.
5. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs – Grace Bonney (2016)
Grace Bonney is the founder of Design*Sponge, an interior designing and DIY blog, that shares ideas, projects, and resources, inspiring people across the globe. When she began writing this book, Grace traveled to several countries with her photographer Sasha Israel and interviewed over 100 creative women entrepreneurs who overcame adversities to break the glass ceiling.
Published in 2016, this book shares motivating interviews and stories of a diverse group of successful businesswomen, solopreneurs, artists, museum directors, and fashion designers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, and Nigeria.
The book acknowledges the challenges faced and the sacrifices made by these triumphant women in order to achieve their goals. If you are planning to forge your own path in the business world, this book will inspire you to stay committed to your vision and overcome the impediments that come your way.
6. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup – Noam Wasserman (2012)
Published in 2013, The Founder’s Dilemmas is a book that deserves a place on every entrepreneur’s bookshelf. This book is a rare combination of historical statistics, comprehensive research, and practical advice that is relevant to aspiring startup owners. True to its title, in this book Wasserman reflects upon the most common challenges faced by founders and effectively shares tips on how to overcome them.
The book explains the various phases of a startup’s lifecycle and addresses each phase with respect to the founder’s dilemmas. The author also offers guidelines for analyzing the challenging situations, enabling founders to make critical decisions in favor of their start-ups.
Regardless of whether you are a new business owner or considering being a founder, this book will maximize your chances of success, helping you launch a flourishing business.
Starting a new business is an exhilarating and nerve-racking experience at the same time. If you desire to launch a successful venture, the above-mentioned books will inspire, guide, and support you during your entrepreneurial journey.