Every successful business owner will consistently tell you the same thing: to be successful, you need to read. From money management to marketing and self-improvement, books allow us to learn more readily from others how to set ourselves up for success. While the millionaires and billionaires of the world may have the luxury to set aside a few hours per day to read, new entrepreneurs need to prioritize their time and their reading selection. We at Drakkar Digital know what it’s like to be on a time-crunch while still yearning to get in our reading. That’s why we have put together 10 books, some new and some a little older, that will maximize the return on your reading investment. These books will help you develop your skills, overcome bad habits, and inspire you to reach of the stars.
Here are 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Be Reading Right Now:
The Pumpkin Plan
From the publisher: Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.
This is the exact situation Mike Michalowicz found himself in when he was trying to grow his first company. Although it was making steady money, there was never very much left over and he was chasing customers left and right, putting in twenty-eight-hour days, eight days a week. The punishing grind never let up. His company was alive but stunted, and he was barely breathing. That’s when he discovered an unlikely source of inspiration—pumpkin farmers.
After reading an article about a local farmer who had dedicated his life to growing giant pumpkins, Michalowicz realized the same process could apply to growing a business. He tested the Pumpkin Plan on his own company and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. First he did it for himself. Then for others. And now you. So what is the Pumpkin Plan?
- Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it.
- Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst.
- Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise.
Full of stories of other successful entrepreneurs, The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconventional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too
From the publisher: Four-time New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk offers new lessons and inspiration drawn from the experiences of dozens of influencers and entrepreneurs who rejected the predictable corporate path in favor of pursuing their dreams by building thriving businesses and extraordinary personal brands.
In his 2009 international bestseller Crush It, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was crucial to entrepreneurial success, In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what principles remain timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier—and not just financially—than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of the social media platforms, and their willingness to do whatever it took to make these tools work to their utmost potential. That’s what Crushing It! teaches readers to do.
In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.
Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint to living life on your own terms.
Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life
From the publisher: New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Broke and “Shark” on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank explores how grit, persistence, and good old-fashioned hard work are the backbone of every successful business and individual, and inspires readers to Rise & Grind their way the top.
Daymond John knows what it means to push yourself hard–and he also knows how spectacularly a killer work ethic can pay off. As a young man, he founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales.
Convenient though it might be to believe that you can shortcut your way to the top, says John, the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone around you. You’ve got to rise and grind every day.
In the anticipated follow-up to the bestselling The Power of Broke, Daymond takes an up close look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of individuals who have risen to the challenges in their lives and grinded their way to the very tops of their fields. Along the way, he also reveals how grit and persistence both helped him overcome the obstacles he has faced in life and ultimately fueled his success.
Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team
Now Find Your Why picks up where Start With Why left off. It shows you how to apply Simon Sinek’s powerful insights so that you can find more inspiration at work — and in turn inspire those around you.
I believe fulfillment is a right and not a privilege. We are all entitled to wake up in the morning inspired to go to work, feel safe when we’re there and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. Achieving that fulfillment starts with understanding exactly WHY we do what we do.
As Start With Why has spread around the world, countless readers have asked me the same question: How can I apply Start With Why to my career, team, company or nonprofit? Along with two of my colleagues, Peter Docker and David Mead, I created this hands-on, step-by-step guide to help you find your WHY.
With detailed exercises, illustrations, and action steps for every stage of the process, Find Your Why can help you address many important concerns, including:
* What if my WHY sounds just like my competitor’s?
* Can I have more than one WHY?
* If my work doesn’t match my WHY, what should I do?
* What if my team can’t agree on our WHY?
Whether you’ve just started your first job, are leading a team, or are CEO of your own company, the exercises in this book will help guide you on a path to long-term success and fulfillment, for both you and your colleagues.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
From the publisher: Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
• How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
• How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
• How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
• How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
• How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”
The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
• More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
• Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
• How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
• The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
“I want to rip out every page of this glorious book and hang them on my wall so that I can be surrounded by these incredible women all day long.”
—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers and Modern Lovers
Over 100 exceptional and influential women describe how they embraced their creative spirit, overcame adversity, and sparked a global movement of entrepreneurship. Media titans and ceramicists, hoteliers and tattoo artists, comedians and architects—taken together, these profiles paint a beautiful picture of what happens when we pursue our passions and dreams.
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism
For the first time, science and technology have taken charisma apart, figured it out and turned it into an applied science: In controlled laboratory experiments, researchers could raise or lower people’s level of charisma as if they were turning a dial.
What you’ll find here is practical magic: unique knowledge, drawn from a variety of sciences, revealing what charisma really is and how it works. You’ll get both the insights and the techniques you need to apply this knowledge. The world will become your lab, and every person you meet, a chance to experiment.
The Charisma Myth is a mix of fun stories, sound science, and practical tools. Cabane takes a hard scientific approach to a heretofore mystical topic, covering what charisma actually is, how it is learned, what its side effects are, and how to handle them.
The 48 Laws of Power
From the publisher: In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.
Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence (“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.
Outliers: The Story of Success
From the publisher: In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking
The truth is…We all experience the occasional negative thought. But if you always feel overwhelmed, then you need to closely examine how these thoughts are negatively impacting your lifestyle.
The solution is to practice specific mindfulness techniques that create more “space” in your mind to enjoy inner peace and happiness. With these habits, you’ll have the clarity to prioritize what’s most important in your life, what no longer serves your goals, and how you want to live on a daily basis. And that’s what you’ll learn in Declutter Your Mind.
The goal of this book is simple: We will teach you the habits, actions, and mindsets to clean up the mental clutter that’s holding you back from living a meaningful life.
You will learn:
** 4 Causes of Mental Clutter
** How to Reframe ALL Your Negative Thoughts
** 4 Strategies to Improve (or Eliminate) Bad Relationships
** The Importance of Decluttering the Distractions That Cause Anxiety
** A Simple Strategy to Discover What’s Important to YOU
** 400 Words That Help Identify YOUR Values
** The Benefit of Meditation and Focused Deep Breathing (and How to Do Both)
** How to Create Goals That Connect to Your Passions
Declutter Your Mind is full of exercises that will have an immediate, positive impact on your mindset. Instead of just telling you to do something, we provide practical, science-backed actions that can create real and lasting change if practiced regularly.
There’s much, much more!
This small selection is a great place to start with your reading. Remember, this is but a small collection of books in a sea of information. Open your mind, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, and above all, always be hungry to read more.