From the top · 6 September 2017

The ten best books for entrepreneurs every ambitious founder needs to read 

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 25JAN13 - Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, Facebook, USA; Young Global Leader Alumnus gives a statement during the session 'Women in Economic Decision-making' at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2013. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo Michael Wuertenberg
We’ve considered what each different kind of entrepreneur needs on their bookshelf

To help readers tap into some of the greatest business minds, we’ve brought together ten of the best books for entrepreneurs that continue to inspire and educate future generations of business leaders.

  1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

The E-Myth Revisited

Michael E. Gerber

For the first-time founder

In the E-Myth Revisited, Michael E. Gerber addresses the most common misconceptions around starting a business. An essential starting point for new founders.

One of Gerber’s central strategies is to organise a small business in a similar way to a franchise– fine tuning a concept that could be easily duplicated and easily run itself.

The author stresses the importance of working on your business, not in it, and offers readers a frank account of the entrepreneurial world’s harsh reality. 

  1. Bill Gates: A Biography

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Michael B. Becraft

Lessons from the top

Michael B. Becraft’s account of Bill Gates’ rise to the top covers the Microsoft founder’s college drop-out days to the transformation of personal computing and philanthropy that define his career.

The biography is considered an unbiased account with balanced criticism of Gates’ failings, sometimes questioning his management style, and covers his personal rivalry with Apple’s Steve Jobs.

As one of the most influential business leaders of the 21st Century, Bill Gates: A biography covers essential aspects of intellectual property, innovation and success.

  1. Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead

Lean In

Sheryl Sandberg

The tech guru

When elected in 2012 to sit on Facebook’s board of directors, Sheryl Sandberg was the first woman to serve the social media giant at executive level.

She was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the same year, and is reported to be worth over $1.5bn.

Lean In tackles the lack of female figures in positions of business leadership. The book recounts anecdotes from successful and influential women to highlight the case for feminism in business.

Although criticised by The Guardian as an “infantilising and reactionary guide for ambitious women”, Lean In sold over 140,000 copies in its first week and continues to be a best-seller.

  1. How To Get Rich

How To Get Rich

Felix Dennis

The money-making manual

In How To Get Rich, maverick publisher Felix Dennis offers a lesson in “the surprisingly simple art of collecting money which already has your name on it”.

The book explores Dennis’ strong conviction that making money is a skill learnt through application and motivation. Its author reflects on his unlikely success as an entrepreneur to give a ruthless account of what it takes to make a business venture as profitable and enduring as possible.

  1. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

Yvon Chouinard

Yvon_Chouinard_by_Tom_Frost
Yvon Chouinard

For the adventurous entrepreneur

More than anyone else on our list, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard brought his sense of adventure and moral responsibility into the heart of his business.

Through his pioneering use of organic cotton and recycled materials, he built Patagonia into a popular outdoor clothing brand that retained its expertise but offered everyday consumers something they wanted to wear.

Let My People Go Surfing is Chouinard’s own account of Patagonia’s journey. It covers, as the title suggests, his unexpected rise as head of a global company, and details his blueprint for sustainable business that connects with consumers and promotes positive global change.

Read on to discover the final five of our best books for entrepreneurs

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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