Top 10 Essential Books for Entrepreneurs to Widen Their Skills

The world of business is constantly evolving to include newer verticals. Many people dream of becoming an entrepreneur, but only a few live the dream. The reason is: it’s not as easy as it seems. Doing what you love and having your startup is great until you run out of new ideas and run head-first into losses.

The most successful businesspeople are lifelong learners. Having or not having a degree in business does not guarantee your decision-making abilities and farsightedness. The more you cultivate your skills, the better you contribute to your company’s growth. 

Thankfully, the best books for entrepreneurs are available across the market, authored by accomplished businesspersons. There are so many publications available for those who want to start their own business that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. 

Here are the top 10 best books for starting a business.

1. Josh Kaufman’s “The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business”

Josh Kaufman has built a successful career by simplifying business fundamentals and making them relatable to people at all career stages. He discusses the fundamentals of commerce, advertising, communication, strategies, and many other topics in The Personal MBA.

The Personal MBA can assist entrepreneurs in grasping the difficult jargon they encounter. This book has to be on the checklist for budding entrepreneurs without a BBA or an MBA. 

2. Jason Fried’s “Rework”

Rework is a book that entrepreneurs will keep coming back to. This book is a motivator for people who have always wanted to make it on their own. It’s a brief overview of the basic principles an entrepreneur must always go by.

It is one of the best books for entrepreneurs that approach the idea of startups from an entirely new perspective. The book is a guide to endless possibilities by starting small, keeping it simple, and avoiding the wasteful practices that corporations are prone to.

3. Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses”

In the book, The Lean Startup, author and businessman Eric Ries talks about some unique startup approaches, mainly focused on self-assessment of business ideas before making significant investments in them. 

The book provides business owners with a mechanism to test their ideas repeatedly, adapt, and change before leaping into a hefty investment. The book broadens one’s ideas to analyzing probabilities over possibilities.

4. Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” 

Peter Thiel elaborates on the importance of companies bringing new goods or services into the market with this book. The reading illustrates how modern businesses are concentrating on developing new ideas or modernizing their current products to adapt to the market. 

The author challenges all budding entrepreneurs to transform the world from nothing to something with the help of 100% original ideas. He outlines some practical recommendations for entrepreneurs to take while launching a company and thinking of new business strategies. Zero to One does not offer the concepts of stereotypical services and products, instead demands newer innovations.

5. Timothy Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Workweek” 

Now, this is more of a lifestyle genre pick. The book is packed with helpful advice on how to build a lifestyle that involves success, wealth, and at the same time- well-being and peace. 

In essence, it is a book that incorporates the fundamentals of smart time management and gradual self-discovery. The book constantly challenges societal norms and focuses on simultaneously improving and simplifying life. Tim says roughly 20% of your work will provide 80% of your results. But that’s not all. There are more surprises on every page!

6. Ken Colwell’s “Starting a Business QuickStart Guide” 

Are you confident about starting independently but don’t know where to start? Well, Ken Colwell brings one of the best books for starting a business. 

The Starting a Business QuickStart Guide provides practical solutions to the frequently asked questions of aspiring entrepreneurs. Colwell guides readers through the fundamentals of appraising an idea’s worth and drafting your first strategic plan. With this book, you will learn about the different stages of planning, adapting, and implementing with practical examples and an enjoyable lookout on seemingly tedious tasks.

7. Charles Duhigg’s “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business” 

Author of New-york Times best-selling novel, “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg, comes back again with his second novel focusing on productivity in business and life. The anecdotes that come up every few pages give this book an added impetus.

Charles emphasizes the importance of setting up short and long-term goals using the ‘SMART’- “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound” way. He approaches concepts such as teamwork, commitment, and motivation in a new light. This book will teach you to draw a line of balance between the different dynamics of your personal and professional life.

8. Geoff Colvin’s “Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else”

Colvin takes another stance in a world where everyone is convinced that talent is in genes and comes naturally to a person. He believes that talent is not something a person is born with but is cultivable- a result of practice and dedicated efforts over the years.

He also suggests that readers start practicing as early as they can because nothing is more valuable than experience. This book is a game-changer for people who want to start cultivating their abilities but have no idea how and where to begin. 

9. Sahil Lavingia’s “The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less”

You don’t learn, then start. You start, then learn.” Nowadays, you don’t need a fancy degree or hefty funding to get yourself started in the business. Several startups are taking it on digitally- exploring the ideas of minimalism in terms of investment and maximizing their profits. 

This book is a perfect guide to learning about the fundamentals of business at the grassroots level. The book talks about how the market responds to quality over quantity and welcomes new ideas. Lavingia makes you believe in your ideas and pushes you to take the leap- only this time, you’re not afraid.

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10. Jen Jones’ “Intropreneur: Strategies to Build Your Business as an Introverted Entrepreneur” 

As an entrepreneur, one of the most challenging things to do is communicate effectively, build brand reach, and keep on networking. But what if you are an introvert? This aspect can be quite challenging for someone who has a lot on their mind but is shy to speak up when it’s time.

Jen helps you deal with the “Intropreneur” in you. The book is a guide to identifying the type of introvert you are, how to engage and build relationships with others without exhausting your energy level, and, most importantly, how and when to set boundaries. It works as a guide to find your strengths, work on them and achieve success. This is one of the best books for starting a business as an introvert.


Industry experts and experienced market analysts in the business industry have written many books on entrepreneurship sharing their experiences and tips with newbies. Some of the best books for entrepreneurs urge readers to upskill themselves, understand the updated market trends and models, and pave their way ahead without the fear of failure. 

If you want to build your entrepreneurship skills and are debating whether starting a business would be the right choice, check out upGrad’s Global Doctor of Business Administration program. Through this program, one can meet business professionals, get feedback, and develop their professional and interpersonal skills. Also, it helps develop your management and leadership abilities and is food for churning out fresh business ideas and approaches.

Q1. Is reading books important to start a business?

Many successful people would agree on developing the habit of reading books. Not only do they expand your horizon, but they also help in cultivating skills. Reading some of the best books for entrepreneurs can learn from others’ experiences, have an idea of what to do and what not to do, and work on their soft skills.

Q2. What are some best books to start a business?

Q3. Are there any books written on businesspeople of color?

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