What Are the Best Books on How to Start a Business?
Looking for the perfect book to guide you through starting a business? We’ve gathered 11 top recommendations from professionals like Marketing and Outreach Managers to Heads of Product. Discover their favorite books, from Start With Why by Simon Sinek to From Zero to One by Peter Thiel, and find the inspiration you need to launch your venture.
- Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
- The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
- Girl On Fire by Cara Leyba
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- Starting a Business All-in-One For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Bob Nelson
- Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months by Melinda F. Emerson
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
- Will It Fly? by Thomas K. McKnight
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- From Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
As someone who has started a marketing business, I highly recommend reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek. This book is all about understanding your “why”—the purpose and beliefs that drive you to do what you do.
Sinek argues that by starting with why, rather than just focusing on the what and how of your business, you can create a deeper connection with your customers and employees, and build a more sustainable and successful business.
I found this book to be incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking, and it helped me to clarify my own “why” and integrate it into my business strategy. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, Start with Why is definitely worth a read.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
This book offers a step-by-step guide on how to structure your time, prioritize tasks, and delegate responsibility so that you can maximize productivity while still achieving a healthy work-life balance.
It has valuable advice on how to free up time and energy to focus on bigger goals while still managing the day-to-day operations of your business. If you’re looking to start a business and need some practical advice on how to manage your work-life balance, then this book is for you.
The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Too many books on starting a business are filled with needlessly abstract ideas and advice that only applies if you think you’re starting the next trillion-dollar business. That’s why I like Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start so much. It is filled with practical and actionable advice that I can actually apply to my business.
It doesn’t shy away from high-level issues, but it gives concrete suggestions for creating and implementing a strategy for a new business. It was a great help to me when I started my newest entrepreneurial venture.
Girl On Fire by Cara Leyba
Girl On Fire: How to Choose Yourself, Burn the Rule Book, and Blaze Your Own Trail in Life by Cara Leyba changed my life. Growing up, all the entrepreneurs I saw were men, and that felt really discouraging.
I knew I wanted to take my passion for health and wellness and run my business, so I spent hours reading entrepreneurial books, specifically ones targeted at women. In this reading, several books focused on how to fit into a man’s world. While this information has certainly been useful, Girl On Fire showed me how to reshape the world.
I don’t have to change myself to be more like a conventional business executive but harness my power and strength, something that Leyba focuses on. Rather than trying to conform, this book encouraged me to listen to my intuition and find creative ways to create opportunities. Girl On Fire showed me how to bring my entire self to entrepreneurship and taught me I was capable. I just had to learn to accept that.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Starting a business can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. My favorite book on how to start a business is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This book is a game-changer for entrepreneurs as it offers a fresh and innovative approach to starting a business.
The Lean Startup is based on the idea of creating a business that is sustainable and scalable by continuously testing and validating assumptions. It emphasizes the importance of rapid experimentation, customer feedback, and a data-driven approach to building a successful business.
This approach has been adopted by many successful startups, including Dropbox and Airbnb. The book also offers practical advice on how to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to test your assumptions and how to pivot your business strategy if necessary. It stresses the importance of creating a culture of innovation and learning, rather than just focusing on growth and profits.
Starting a Business All-in-One For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Bob Nelson
Since starting a business is not a simple task, one has to consider many aspects, such as business plans, marketing strategies, legal considerations, HR and PR techniques, and so on.
Many get confused and either leave the idea or jump into entrepreneurship and fail. The book Starting a Business All-in-One For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Bob Nelson is a real gem for all those who need guidance about every step. In fact, this is a collection of five ideas in one book on how to start a new business.
The book is easy to digest, written in plain language so that anyone can consume it with no difficulty. Especially, I like the style which encourages you to take the plunge into the business world with confidence.
Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months by Melinda F. Emerson
I LOVED my time reading Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works by Melinda F. Emerson.
Melinda is another determined female who has made a life out of being successful. This book can help you move up the ranks in an organization and start that business you’ve wanted to launch for yourself. Inside this book, Melinda details so many elements of the process, from creating a marketing budget to selecting a logo, and so much more.
This book is only 272 pages, but it packs a big punch. Melinda has put together an amazing piece of work that can help you start your own business.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber is my favorite book on how to start a business because of the exemplary content it offers. Written in plain language, it demystifies many myths about starting a business.
Thus, it encourages people to take concrete steps to start a business and guides them on various business strategies. For many, it has proved to be a driving force, including me, and for others, it is a substantial source of inspiration. Though it was written 20 years ago, the content is still fresh, and that shows the credibility of the writer since doing successful business is all about predictive measures.
I would suggest this book to all those who don’t want to waste time learning through diversified online resources. They must stop at once and must read this book. It would suffice them.
Will It Fly? by Thomas K. McKnight
You may have a great idea for starting a successful business, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of what you’ll need, and that is why my favorite book is Thomas K. McKnight’s Will It Fly? Starting a business is not solely about a single idea; it is about having and acting upon certain attributes, and if you do not possess those or do not understand how to put them into play, then it is likely you will fail.
McKnight draws on his immense experience in launching businesses to create a detailed 44-point checklist that includes everything from probable customers to personal mindset, to an exit strategy, to determine if your idea has potential. “Will It Fly?” is my favorite book for starting a business because it is one of the few that helps you decide if you should make the leap in the first place, rather than doing so without taking everything you will need to know into account.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Phil Knight, a co-founder of Nike, describes starting his company with $50 he borrowed from a friend after business school in his book Shoe Dog. In his book, Knight discusses how he came to take the unorthodox road of the entrepreneur’s life and comes across as amusing, approachable, and candid.
Readers will learn more about Knight than ever before, become inspired by his adventure, and gain access to his grizzled business advice. The ability to perform your work properly is one thing; the ability to lead a group of people is quite another.
From Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Key ideas from this book are that if you aspire to be a successful entrepreneur, consider pursuing a strategy that involves building a business with a monopoly. This requires first forming a vision, which involves creating a unique category rather than simply copying existing ideas.
To achieve this, start by focusing on a small niche where you can offer a superior product or service that outperforms competitors. Once you establish a monopoly in that market, you can expand to other markets later.
It’s important to note that to succeed, you must challenge established conventions and take bold risks. Merely copying others’ ideas will not lead to success.
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