It’s seen time and time again in every “Daily Routine” and “Tips for Success” article of every perceived successful person out there: reading. It goes without saying that, while much of entrepreneurship and its lessons are learned by doing, reading from the pros helps bolster your chance of success and gives you tips on how to handle hardships along the way. We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favourite must-reads for the entrepreneur, regardless if you’re a seasoned veteran or someone who’s still waiting to take the plunge.
#1 ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ by Dr. Robert Cialdini
I’ve always been a firm believer that some of the best things came out of the 80s- power dressing, The Breakfast Club, power ballads perfectly made for karaoke, and my boyfriend – this book is no exception. With millions of copies sold and translated into over 20 languages, this oldie is a goodie. Cialdini discusses how to influence people by addressing one simple question: what makes people say ‘yes’ to something? Answering this question is imperative to negotiating deals with investors, winning over clients, and building a strong customer base.
Backed by 35 years of research and a three year study on what causes people to change behaviour, Cialdini outlines the six universal principles of Influence: Reciprocity, Consistency, Likeability, Social Proof, Authority and Scarcity. He teaches you how to not only use them effectively to achieve your goals, but how to defend yourself from them when used by others.
#2 ‘100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living’ by Nigel Cumberland
A book that’s perfect to read no matter where you are in your path to entrepreneurship, it helps you “get your ass in gear” to being a better person in every area of your life. Cumberland has spent over 25 years working globally in the corporate sector and brilliantly allows the reader to explore how they define success before taking them through various exercises to develop the building blocks needed to be prosperous.
A perfect pocket-sized book, we recommend reading this during your tube commute, or doing an exercise during your morning and/or night routines to kick-start your day or wind-down at night. While some of the lessons are a little harder to swallow than others- the chapter on ‘Make Friends with Your Past’ almost felt like a personal attack that I would get from my small-town, Texan grandmother- the book as a whole pushes you to be a better person in every area of your life. Definitely encourage everyone on your team to start reading it, maybe even recommend it to your partner, and watch how you, the ones you’re closest to, and your career start soaring.
#3 ‘Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life’ by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
At 96 pages, this petite book packs a punch and makes for the perfect quick-read. Telling the stories of four different mice- Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw- Johnson discusses four different personality types and how they can affect one’s business and life. As the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is littered with many obstacles, this book provokes the reader to reflect on themselves, the choices they make, and how they react to situations, then how to amend or correct these to be more flexible, dynamic, and better able to cope with change so they may continue to confidently pursue their goals.
At the end of the book, the reader is prompted to map themselves between the four different personality types presented to see which they are most like. If the one you most resemble presents obstacles to your success, do something about it! As it pushes you to be more insightful and reflective into your actions, it’s the perfect book to read if you’re in need of some quick motivation or looking for guidance on how to get your sh*t together to create the career and life you want.
#4 ‘The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage’ by Daymond John
Written by Shark Tank star and FUBU founder Daymond John, the book discusses why having a tight budget when starting out as an entrepreneur may be your greatest competitive advantage. Those of us with a smaller budget may be scared to dip our toes into entrepreneurship, but limited amounts of cash combined with passion can push us to be more innovative and efficient, potentially pushing us ahead of trends.
As lean startups are becoming increasingly common, this book is a necessity for anyone looking to start one. Lean startups, as shown in this book, are more likely to be laser-focused, use their money more effectively, and connect with their customers in a more authentic way. We’ve got packages that are perfectly made for entrepreneurs on a budget so that you can use whatever money you have in the best way possible for your business- check out our services and pricing page for more information.
#5 ‘The Millionaire Fastlane’ by MJ DeMarco
Remember playing team sports when you were a teenager and your coach would give you an intense pep-talk during halftime that magically sparked your drive to finish the game and win? Take that and put it into a book on business mindset, minus the threat of running extra laps at the next practice. A mental reset is sometimes all we need to start succeeding.
Possibly my favourite thing about this book is the way that DeMarco cuts through the BS you often see in “millionaire” books. He debunks so many of the “wealth guru” myths and give clear, honest, no-nonsense advice that help you to make the best decisions in life and business. The book is also addictive- DeMarco is an excellent storyteller, leading through his experiences and the lessons he’s learned with such an ease. It’s difficult not to finish this book in one sitting.