Top 10 Business Books to Read to Become an Entrepreneur

Books capture our attention and take us into an imaginary lane where we can picture everything in our own way. The sensation and the gripping nature of books have a significant influence on our thoughts and minds. According to James Flynn, students who read score around 20 points higher on IQ tests than those who don’t. Then, if you wanted to start a business, wouldn’t it be a good idea to begin by reading some top business books first?

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Top 10 Business Books

Let us look at some of the best business books to read before starting a business.

  • The 7 Day Startup, by Dan Norris

This is one of the best business books of all time. It talks about developing a startup mindset and launching it in 7 days. The steps mentioned include ideating, developing a prototype, naming your business, setting up a landing page, marketing, setting value-based metrics, and finally launching the product for sale.

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  • Connect The Dots, by Rashmi Bansal

This is a book that aims to disprove the assumption that one has to go to B-school to set up a business. It’s a collection of 20 stories written in the form of a dialogue. The stories are divided into three sets. They are: Jugaad, Junoon, and Zubaan. Jugaad is about finding alternative ways to do things in a better way or making changes in the existing methodologies. Junoon is about people’s craze towards an idea that is their driving force helping them build significant businesses. Zubaan is about those people who were persistent, consistent and worked till they became successful. The book gives insights into these through short adventurous stories of various entrepreneurs and their ideas. 

  • The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen

This book deals with innovations and why market leaders fail to seize innovation opportunities. It talks about disruptive and sustaining technologies. It provides excellent insights into the reasons for the failure of big firms, the value of networks and the necessity for innovation, techniques to capture the market, etc. He also emphasizes the so-called “Buying Hierarchy” of the customers: functionality, reliability, convenience, and price. He says that a market can be captured when a company is open to disruptive technologies and takes calculated risks.

  • The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

This book starts with what a startup is, its goal, and how one can ensure that it is successful. Lean refers to speed and agility, and a start-up is an organization that tries to solve a problem and deliver a product that adds value to consumers. It consists of 4 phases: start, define, learn and experiment. The idea is to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as quickly as possible and check its performance in the market. Eric Ries says that being in the continuous development stage, a spiral strategy, can be followed for the exponential growth of the startup. 

  • The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino

This book deals with salesmanship and personal success skills in terms of mental and spiritual health. It is narrated in the form of a story in which a boy is given ten scrolls that teach him the art of being a great salesman. The book also consists of some excerpts from the scrolls and is left to the reader’s perception so that they can learn what they want from it. Values like embracing failure, being patient, mastering emotions, persistence, taking action, etc., are some of the learnings from the scrolls.

The book highlights the 13 most essential habits common among successful and wealthy people. It is a book on the “Law of Success Philosophy”. Napoleon Hill emphasizes daily practices and the power of the mind. He talks about immense faith, desire, autosuggestion, the Placebo effect, the power of imagination, planning, and knowledge gained via experience. He believes that great things come from great minds and focuses on mastering the mind before starting a business. 

  • Zero To One, by Peter Thiel:

The book opens the door to new perspectives. It talks about a guy who made $1.5 billion by 35. It talks about his thinking, his approaches to business, and the processes he used to build a successful startup. He highlights that the key is to focus on vertical progress and have a strong vision and commitment toward the goal. It gives five insights into building valuable businesses. The first one is to challenge the future by questioning yourself. The second one is to figure out the impact that past mistakes have on the current business strategy. The third one is to monopolies your business. The fourth one is about taking risks, and the fifth one is about honing your skills. 

  • The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau:

This book is about the various challenges one faces while building a start-up and how to overcome them. It talks about providing value to the consumer, strategic marketing, activities to be done post-sales, growing the business further, and evaluating it. The author emphasizes that passion and skill together are the driving forces of the growth of any business. The rating given to this book is 4.3/5.  

  • Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi:

This book talks about the importance of personal relationships and networking. It is essential to start or run a business because a business aims to work with and for the people. He compares relationships to muscles that keep growing as you sow loyalty and generosity. He also mentions that building a network isn’t enough; you also have to ask them for the right advice at the right time.

  •  Mastery, by Robert Greene:

This book is about the steps to be followed to gain mastery in a particular field. The first step is to identify the skill you want to master based on your gut feeling. The second step is to focus on learning rather than earning. The more you know now, the more money you can make later. The third step is to challenge yourself and test yourself on what you have learnt. A detailed description of the entire learning journey is highlighted in this book.  It was one of the best sellers in the New York Times.  

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Starting a business is a challenging task. It involves figuring out problems, coming up with solutions, analyzing the market, figuring out the right marketing strategy, knowing your consumers, ensuring scalability, reliability and convenience at a low price, being aware of competitors and many more. Reading top business books before starting up will help you develop the right mindset and know the challenges and ways to overcome them in your entrepreneurial journey.  

What is the Placebo effect?

The placebo effect tricks your mind into believing something even when it's not true. It's the same effect that shows miraculous medical progress in some individuals over others. This is solid proof of how strong our mind is and the kind of impact it has in our day-to-day lives. This is a form of medical treatment wherein the patient is unaware that what they are going through is a Placebo and not an actual treatment. Still, they get cured. The Placebo effect is not just about thinking positively. It's about developing a solid connection between the body and mind.

What are the ten scrolls of the “Greatest Salesman in the World” about?

The first scroll is about developing good habits like patience and resilience. The second one is to show others love and maintain good relationships. The third and fourth ones talk about perseverance and identifying your strengths. The fifth one talks about time management and the sixth, about mental strength. The seventh scroll focuses on being light-hearted and happy. The eighth one is about competing with yourself instead of others. The ninth one is to take action towards achieving your goal. Finally, the last one is about finding the right mentorship.

What is MVP?

Minimum Viable Product is a prototype released into the market to check its scope, demand, and place in the market. The prototype will have minimal features implemented. The main reason for releasing this product version is to get customer feedback to make changes to the product. It could be a consumable product, service or website. Examples of MVPs are demo videos, product designs, and landing pages.

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