Bill Gates reportedly reads 50 books a year. Mark Cuban reads at least three hours every day. Elon Musk admits that he learned much of what he knows from reading books. These business moguls don’t read for entertainment. Rather, their success stems from what they read: it gives them a marked advantage in terms of education, self-improvement and entrepreneurial success.
Here are four powerful books we think are must-reads for entrepreneurs.
The War of Art (Pressfield, Stephen; 192 pages)
How do creative people—artists, writers and entrepreneurs—recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition? How do they achieve the highest level of creative discipline and success? In The War of Art, author Stephen Pressfield takes on the naysayer within each of us. His succinct, engaging, and practical guide identifies the enemy we must all face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe and pinpoints how to realize our full potential.
The Achievement Habit (HarperBusiness; 288 pages)
Entrepreneurs, like many people, want to improve the human condition and solve problems. The challenge for many, however, is that they may not be looking at the right problem. Don’t despair, though; there are ways to gain confidence to do what you’ve always wanted and overcome the obstacles that limit your potential.
In The Achievement Habit, Dr. Bernie Roth presents a simple questioning process that identifies the real problem. He draws principles of design thinking to help readers realize the power for positive change. Co-founder of the d.school at Stanford University, Roth distills his three decades of experience working with individuals and organizations: his book lays out clear steps to move from idea to business.
The Obstacle is the Way (Portfolio; 224 pages)
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” This maxim is the central premise of The Obstacle is the Way. Our success or failure, posits author Ryan Holiday, depends on the manner in which we handle hurdles and obstacles. Entrepreneurs face challenges in a number of different spheres—technological, regulatory and competitive environments in a constant state of flux. Using case examples from history, Holiday profiles individuals who have triumphed in the fact of deep setbacks and personal challenges.
The Lean Startup (Currency; 336 pages)
Whether a heading a one-person shop or a Fortune 500 company, entrepreneurs share one key thing in common: a mission to move beyond uncertainty to discover the successful path to a sustainable business. Every business’s agility and ultimate success depend on lean thinking, innovation and execution. In The Lean Startup, author Eric Ries shows you how to bootstrap your business and keep it lean for maximum effectiveness. You must continuously adapt and learn. Chock full of case studies, this book lays out a hands-on process for becoming a more adaptable company.
These are just some of the must-read books for entrepreneurs; there are countless others. A daily commitment to reading and a lifelong commitment to learning are what distinguish a hobbyist from a successful entrepreneur.
Have an opinion or a go-to book? Let us know what’s on your recommended reading list by dropping us a comment. Lift Legal would love to hear from you.