There are way too many reasons to start a business – there is no wrong one or the right one. Presently, virtual jobs and freelancing careers are thriving and more people are looking to leave the 9-5 grind. People these days want to indulge in something which feeds their passion and can eventually culminate into a career which has both money and freedom.
However, this process takes time, but people are still taking that shot because ‘hope is a thing with feathers.’ The same formula applies to start one’s own business as well and being one’s own boss. But since everything in life requires advance preparation, so does a gigantic deal like a business – which involves investing time, energy and capital as well.
So, for people who are looking at a terrific business career or wish to start one in the future – we bring to you the list of best business books for beginners and seasoned entrepreneurs.
11 top business books of all time to make you a successful entrepreneur:
1) Good to Great
‘Good is the enemy of great,’ is the statement used by Jim Collins to set off the tone of this book. It is the product of the findings of his and his team’s research of over half a decade on the journey of companies from good to great.
The transformation from Good to Great is easier said than done. Jim Collins, in this book, gives a systematic approach about the same in 3 components:
(A) Process: Building up to achieving your Breakthrough.
(B) Phases: 3 Phases from Good to Great viz; Disciplined People, Disciplined Thought and Disciplined Action.
(C) Flywheel: An introspective process of figuring out how to take steps to achieve the desired results consistently until the breakthrough.
This book goes beyond conventional wisdom and clearly shows us why even companies with huge potential also dwindle in the long term. It is a must-read for managers and CEOs alike.
2) The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries was inspired by the lean manufacturing revolution developed at Toyota. It includes everything from making small batches to accelerating cycle times.
The Lean Startup is inherently a method for developing and managing startups because startups cannot take to standard business practices.
It is a fantastic read and teaches the right way to apply this methodology and helps prevent failure of a startup.
Related: Why startups fail? Top 9 reasons & how to avoid it
Since this method is used across the globe and is distinctive in nature, knowledge of the same is imperative for anyone looking to start a business.
3) Start With Why
British motivational speaker and TedX speaker Simon Sinek, in his riveting book, tell us about companies and leaders which stood out from the rest and the WHY behind it. Simon mentions in his book, “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.”
He emphasizes that every leader and company knows the HOW they do it and WHAT they do, yet, since the WHY is the reason for their existence, we should care about that first. Simon advocates the order must go from WHY to HOW and end with WHAT.
So, if you are starting a business, building a product or even leading a team – Do not forget to start with WHY as it is the easiest way to win both heart and minds of people and that’s what effective leaders do.
4) The Innovator’s Dilemma
Clayton’s work is cited by top leaders like Steve Jobs and Malcolm Gladwell.
In his bestselling book, he shows us how even the best of companies can do everything right yet lose market leadership.
This book by Harvard Professor Clayton has been considered revolutionary as he reveals the secret of leveraging disruptive technology through lessons and failures of successful companies.
Sharp, cogent, provocative, and one of the most impactful and top business books of all time -The Innovator’s Dilemma is the book you must lay your hands on!
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5) Outliers: The Story of Success
Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, who has other terrific books like ‘The Tipping Point,’ and ‘Blink,’ in this kitty, takes us on an intellectual journey via his ‘outliers’ – the bold, the brave and the brightest and what makes these star achievers different from others.
“It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
In this book, he tells the success stories of others using the device of back-to-back narratives, intertwining Bill Gates, Beatles, Titans of Silicon Valley and the massively successful New York Jews of the 20th century and more to present his argument in a logical manner.
This is one of the top business books of all time and more political than Gladwell’s previous work, almost like a manifesto for us all which urges us to rethink.
6) The Hard Thing About Hard Things
This book by Ben Horowitz is a brutally honest business book which ranks high among top business books of all time and is also recommended by great entrepreneurs across the world.
It cuts across the tough fact that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect business.’ Screw-ups are inevitable despite all the great ideas, planning and execution.
He unabashedly shoves it in our faces that entrepreneurship is all about enduring crazy highs and lows. Every entrepreneur must learn to fight daunting situations with equal gusto.
Straight and witty, he talks about his own experience of developing, managing, selling and buying of companies. He covers a wide array of topics from psychology to hiring-firing to drive his point home. Do get a copy of this amazing and one of the top business books of all time – get that hard thing (copy), eh?
7) Romancing the Balance Sheet
This book is primarily an informal view of managing a business efficiently. It also teaches us the power of action and decision-making in the longevity of a business.
The author emphasizes the importance of financial management and the balance sheet which can glue things together. An unorthodox view of balance analysis shows us how important financial management is in business!
It covers every issue effectively like efficient usage of capital money, marginal costing, leverage, and funds flow among others.
This book is a treat for people looking to learn good financial management.
8) The Black Swan
This astonishing book analyses the term Black swan, which is a catch-all phrase for “outliers” or wildly-unexpected processes and events. Unprecedented events like 9/11, the discovery of America, investment in Facebook or the rise of Google.
Therefore, a ‘Black Swan’ can be both a positive or a negative event which has massive consequences regardless.
Taleb, in his abrasive style of writing, does away with the delusions of control and reliability and discusses 2 major ideologies namely Mediocristan and Extremistan.
The regular people belong to the first category, while famous faces belong to the second one where there is a huge scope of expected events to take place. All in all, this book uplifts undervalued things, especially unpredictable events, and puts our perspective and beliefs to test.
Through slamming ideas, pushing the limits of logic and excessive argumentation was this book born; which will have you ‘shook’ but in a sound way and reigns among top business books of all time.
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9) The 4-Hour Workweek
The title of this book itself is an indication that it is hard to achieve, yet it is what almost all of us are striving for! It is inspirational as it offers you techniques to both have financial freedom and take out more time for yourself.
It also promotes living with a choice and having more lifestyle options at your disposal.
This book offers a one-stop solution to building a business that you want, push reset at the button of your lifestyle and eliminate all unnecessary hassles.
No matter how many good business books you read, this one book will always be among the go-to books for you for managing your time, energy and business.
10) In Search of Excellence
This book is based on a study of a staggering 43 best-run companies in America and their internal culture.
A bestselling book among the corporate crowd, it exhibits characteristics which revolve around nurturing and supporting employees.
It also seeks to promote the willingness to learn, acting with efficiency, speed, and expertise.
The core ideas presented by this book represent timeless management strategies put to test even today and provides a valuable insight into the days of early management theory.
11) Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill is considered to be one of the most illustrious authors in personal success literature. And, this book by him is widely considered to be a must-read to understand money-making practices.
It teaches you how to think in a way that your thoughts and beliefs are altered in a way to accumulate riches. It takes you on an adventurous ride which reveals the secrets of millionaires like Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and Andrew Carnegie.
Most importantly, this book teaches us to ‘think like the rich’ and that both success and failures are borne only out of one’s mind and has consistently been ranked among the top business books of all time ever since its publication.
Top Business Books of All Time: Conclusion
Business and roadblocks go hand-in-hand and you must prepare for it in a robust way or not at all. People guard your health with good medical insurance cover to ensure staying healthy.
A business is no different. Arm yourself with solid business knowledge with top business books of all time and be your own standalone Business Warrior!
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