The Best Books to Read If You Want to Start a Business

These days, it seems like there is no cut-and-dry path to the perfect career, and unfortunately, that sentiment goes double when it comes to starting a business. Whether you’re establishing yourself in an industry or making a career pivot all together, starting a business is a process that takes a long time and requires a lot of patience. 

For those with entrepreneurial ambition, the amount of potential avenues to go down can seem endless, and without the gift of lived experience, it can be very hard to determine the best place to start. Help narrow all of those potential avenues and choose the most productive path with these 12 insightful books about starting a business! 

 

Cara Alwill Leyba

Girl Code

It's no secret that starting a business is stressful, and when you bear the brunt of at-home responsibilities as well as raising kids, keeping yourself sane can seem almost impossible. Female entrepreneurs and CEOs need different tactics than men in business in order to maintain their sanity and peace of mind. Girl Code is a testament to the strength of female entrepreneurs and the kind of support they need in order to achieve success and maintain their happiness.

Greg McKeown

Essentialism

OK, this book is not about business per se, but it is a fantastic resource for those who would like to learn more about prioritization. Learning to prioritize is an essential skill for those that want to start a business. It allows you to set aside the aspects of your entrepreneurial pursuits that can wait and give more attention to the things that need immediate attention. Hello, productivity!

Pat Flynn

Will it Fly

Among all of the books recommended to budding entrepreneurs on the internet, Pat Flynn’s Will it Fly always makes the cut. In our busier-than-ever working lives and access to the best versions of everyone’s lives on social media, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re lagging behind in the race to self-fulfillment. Will it Fly reminds entrepreneurs to breathe and ensure you’re putting forth the most well-developed idea.

Arianna Huffington

Thrive

Let's be honest, the relentless hustle and never-ending grind we have ascribed to starting a business isn't totally realistic, and it definitely doesn't work for everybody! Arianna Huffington has famously pushed back against that widely-accepted belief and offers a different perspective in her book Thrive. Learn how to launch your career while also maintaining healthy sleep, graciousness, and the space to honor your inner wisdom and follow the entrepreneurial path that works best for you.

Chris Guillebeau

$100 Startup

This is one of those books that I would not recommend reading before bed. Not because it’s scary, but because it will make your mind race! If you have an inkling of a business idea but you aren’t sure how to turn that idea into a marketable business, read the $100 Startup and you’ll get one step closer to going at it alone.

Paul Jarvis

The Company of One

Don’t get swept up in the idea that your business needs to be bigger than you want it to be in order to be successful. Paul Jarvis argues the contrary in The Company of One, in which he encourages entrepreneurs to worry about being their own bosses first, as opposed to rapidly scaling their businesses. Not only is this book great for the budding entrepreneur, it’s also a great resource for introverts that want to go at it alone.

Claudia Azula Altucher

Become an Idea Machine

Claudia Altucher's book, Become an Idea Machine, will teach you everything you need to know about taking your incredible ideas and running with them. In a world where content is a commodity, ideas are like fuel and an invaluable asset for building a brand, growing a business, or starting a business. Learn how to flex your idea muscle every day and become a productivity machine.

Miki Agrawal

Disrupt-Her: A Manifesto for the Modern Woman

If self-help is a genre you struggle to get into, then maybe this intersectional manifesto on modern feminism and entrepreneurship by THINX co-founder Miki Agrawal will be right up your alley! Miki has dealt with everything — from sexism in the workplace to internal sabotage — and has come out on the other side triumphant. Find out how she learned to deal with the stressors women often face as they come up in the professional world and heed her call to action: push through.

Bobby Herrera

The Gift of Struggle

It seems odd to put a book on this list with "struggle" in the name, but Bobby Herrera’s collection of stories about leadership encourages those with entrepreneurial dreams to embrace their weaknesses and become effective leaders themselves. Don’t give in to conventional thinking that says we shouldn’t share our struggles and learn to lead with vulnerability.

Chris Guillebeau

Side Hustle

Is there a greater buzzword in our day and age than side hustle? Probably not. But Chris Guillebeau’s book about transforming your passion into a business is a great resource for those that want to take their side hustle to the next level. If you need some inspiration and sound advice, look no further!

Otegha Uwagba

Little Black Book

Don’t let this unassuming book fool you, it is packed with essential information about managing your money and writing contracts — the nitty gritty aspects of starting a business that no one talks about! The next time you have an afternoon free, power through this wealth of knowledge and emerge a more confident budding businesswoman.

Fiona Humberstone

How to Style Your Brand

Another important aspect of starting a business is branding! It’s so subjective, and for many, it can be so difficult to even know where to start. Those obstacles, however, do not make branding any less important. Figure out how to discover your brand and master an aesthetic that embodies the unique qualities of your business.

 

  • Laura Colby

    Love this collection!! I’d also recommend “Freelance and Business and Stuff” by Jen and Amy Hood. I just recently launched a branding and design studio with my business partner and this book was so helpful for us! https://10kv.studio