If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, then reading needs to be a crucial part of your journey.
There are so many books out there written by brilliant minds that came before, eager to pass along their knowledge. Especially when you’re young, the amount you can learn from some of the books out there on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to self-development can be quite impactful. So much so, that the lessons learned will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Whether you want to start your own company, or just be successful independently, here are eight books you should absolutely read before entering the real world:
1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
A classic by every measure, Think and Grow Rich is the quintessential guidebook for anyone looking to improve themselves in pursuit of both financial satisfaction and personal contentment. The biggest takeaway from this book is Hill’s instructions for manifesting your desires. He explains the importance of actually writing down (on paper) what it is you want for yourself, and then reading that desire out loud to yourself every night and every morning. By reading your desire, you will “place it firmly in your subconscious.”
2. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Arguably the greatest book ever written on the subject of networking, How To Win Friends and Influence People highlights the importance of forging genuine relationships with people in the name of doing better business. “People want to do business with friends,” Carnegie shares. He goes on to explain how to cultivate these relationships in one’s life, and the benefits of doing so. A very influential book for the business world, and one that positively redefines what it means to be “successful.”
3. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
There is nothing more foundational on the road to achievement than positive, daily habits. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been cited by just about every business leader as being a pivotal read on their own journey. Here, you’ll find strategies and explanations for why it’s the small things, done habitually day by day, that end up manifesting the largest wins in life. And not only that, but Covey does a wonderful job of breaking down why aiming for the big reward at the end can often times end up distracting you from what needs to be done first—right here, right now.
4. Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money: 50 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them by Kevin O’Leary
Financial literacy is a crucial part of being successful, and few books break down the subject with the simplicity of O’Leary’s Cold Hard Truth. Here you will find stories from O’Leary’s own journey to becoming an extraordinarily successful business-minded creative thinker, and his own strategies for retaining and growing personal wealth. This is a fantastic starting point for learning about what it means to be “financially free.”
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Another excellent entry point into the world of financial freedom, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a blend between narrative and actionable advice. The book’s entire goal is to show the reader the value of saving, and how a little bit of money put away each week or month can end up amounting to a fortune over time. Furthermore, it demolishes the thought that in order to become rich, you need a high-paying salary. Instead, it’s far more about having good habits with your finances.
6. Mastery by Robert Greene
What does it take to be a master? In Greene’s book, Mastery, he curates the experiences of some of the world’s most brilliant minds, including Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, and more. He shares their behaviors, their work habits, and what they did differently than allowed them to become such pivotal influences in their respective fields. But most of all, this book shows the rigorous hard work required in order to master one’s craft.
7. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
What does the journey of being an entrepreneur really look like? There are few memoirs that capture the trials and tribulations more vividly than Branson’s memoir, Losing My Virginity. From a mail order catalog to a booming record label, airplane fleet, and more, Branson’s adventures to becoming one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time are both exhilarating and empowering. The biggest takeaway, however, is to remember to not be afraid even when the future seems grim. Some of Branson’s greatest successes came in the midst of what anyone else would have deemed chaos destined for failure.
8. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Made famous for its explanation of the “10,000 hours rule,” Outliers is a book that helps put greatness in perspective. Gladwell’s theory is that in order for someone to truly become “great” at what they do, they must amass 10,000 hours of quality practice—approximately ten years of deliberate study. Combining stories of everything from how the Beatles became the greatest rock band in history, for example, to how certain software developers become billionaires amidst heavy competition, Gladwell’s final note resounds in the name of focus: if you want to become a leader in your industry, then distraction from your goal is the enemy.
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