There is no single book that will, for every single person in the world, inspire, motivate or generate immense insight with just one reading. After all, every entrepreneur is different, with different takes on how they wish to run their business and how they wish to lead. However, here is a range of 5 books, from modern classics to substantial novels, that might pique your interest. You might just find the right one for you!
1. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE BY DALE CARNEGIE
Dubbed the 'grandfather of all people-skills book', this classic has been supporting everyone (from the rich and famous to the successful business leaders) for over 80 years and sold more than 15 million copies. The advice given is largely timeless with little being anachronic (despite it being from the 30s), with the techniques shared being natural, genuine and example driven. Examples of these techniques include 6 ways to get people to like you, 12 ways to encourage others to buy into your thinking and 9 ways to change people's minds without any resentment.
After all, no successful business functions in silo.
2. MADE TO STICK BY CHIP AND DAN HEATH
For new startups and any small businesses, getting your marketing messages out above the noise is critical. This book explores why some ideas thrive while others die, and how to improve the chances of worthy ideas through a series of interesting anecdotes and examples. The book is a terrific cross between great communication, apt marketing concepts, successful ideas, and even common sense, dissecting urban legends to ad campaigns to explain how a message resonates in the audience's mind.
The book demystifies the magic of what we remember and ideas that stick. Great for entrepreneurs looking to excite and create lasting impact!
3. THE EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE BY PETER F. DRUCKER
Forty years after its first publication, the book remains a classic on practices that are essential to business effectiveness and the ability to get things done. Drucker is widely acclaimed as 'The Father of Modern Management', and this book is a great starting point for his 38 other published books.
He, in this book, shares that effectiveness is a habit and stresses that habits can be learned through practice. He shares five habits that, once acquired, determine the effectiveness of an executive (both in work and life), and provides detail and substance to the habits laid out with examples that have well stood the test of time. Not just for corporate executives, this book is for knowledge workers and managers who are seeking to be effective and not just busy.
4. THE INNOVATORS BY WALTER ISSACSON
The book is about the history of computing and the people behind it; the story of pioneers, hackers, inventors and entrepreneurs. The book shares how their minds worked, and what made them creative, while maintaining a narrative of how they collaborated and why their ability to work as teams made them even more creative. The book tracks the stories in a linear perspective, covering people from Alan Turing to Steve Wozniak. This is a story of individuals with brilliant ideas.
Issacson, author of bestseller Steve Jobs (and another book that is often recommended to aspiring entrepreneurs), stresses that the innovations of the digital age were largely collaborative. A great and inspirational read!
5. SELLING THE WHEEL BY JEFF COX AND HOWARD STEVENS
A book that shares some of the most vital sales principles while maintaining humour and intrigue, translating complex theories into entertaining stories. In this guide masked as a humorous fable, a man (in ancient Egypt, no less) invents a technology that no one understands. He eventually overcomes many obstacles to create a profitable market for it, showing how a new technology moves from birth, to fast growth, to incremental growth, then to maturity. He also shares the different types of customers and salespeople, and the need for a tailored strategy.
Most entrepreneurs are surprised when they build something and the world does not beat a path to their door on its own — this novel, laden with techniques that will guide your business, is the gentlest way to get acquainted with selling. Hilarious and substantial!