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The Top 17 Books Every New Entrepreneur Must Read (Book Summaries included!)

Being an entrepreneur is not easy and when it comes to starting a business, having the opportunity to learn from the experience of others is a valuable asset that can be the difference between running a successful operation or being a sad statistic in small business history. In this article we will go over a list of 17 essential books that will be tremendously useful for entrepreneurs who have chosen to start a business recently. Let’s get started!



1- E-Myth Revisited

This book by Michael Gerber is a must read for anyone who is at the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey. Mr. Gerber talks about how important it is to work ON your business, and not just IN it by focusing on creating systems and delegating work so that it can run without you. The book explains the difference between a technician, an entrepreneur and a manager and talks about some of the most common mistakes and pitfalls new business owners encounter. The E-Myth Revisited contains invaluable lessons that have already saved thousands of businesses in real life. Here’s a quick summary published by Between The Lines:


2- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This is one of the classics. Stephen Covey’s book is one of the essential reads for anyone who wants to make sure the right things get done at the right time. It is a structured framework for personal development with applicable tools and insights entrepreneurs can use in their daily life.

Let’s take a quick look at the seven habits covered in the book:

1- Be Proactive
The first habit talks about taking control and responsibility of your life instead of seeing yourself as a victim of circumstances. It talks about the freedom of choice we have when confronted with the path we’ll choose for our lives, and whether that happens in a conscious or in a random way. It motivates us to ask ourselves things like “Let’s find a way to make it work” instead of thinking “There’s nothing to be done.”

2- Begin with the End in Mind
The second habit invites us to focus on clear and specific results, so we know what will be required to accomplish what we are looking for. The book encourages the reader to come up with personal mission statements to get a clearer idea of what’s needed to get there.

3- Put First Things First
Once you know what the goal is, Covey asks you to make a list of the things you need to get done to make this happen. What’s important here, is to have a clear idea of what needs to get done, and say no to things that don’t help you get there.

4- Think Win/Win
This section of the book talks about interpersonal relationships and challenges us to adopt an abundance mentality where all parties in an interaction can get a benefit as long as there’s good communication and flexibility.

5- Seek First to Understand… then to be Understood
Mr. Covey stresses the importance of listening in order to be able to communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings that will waste time and energy.

6- Synergize
This sections brings all the habits together to create more than what can usually be expected.

7- Sharpen the Saw
In this final section, Stephen Covey talks about the importance of growing as individuals in order to continue to grow as members of a community. He talks about the 4 dimensions of an individual that need to be renewed continuously which include the physical, the mental, the spiritual and the social/emotional.

Here’s a quick animated book summary by illacertus so you an lear more about the book:


3- The 80/20 Principle

This is perhaps one of the most under appreciated business books out there today. Richard Koch’s masterpiece invites us to question conventional wisdom in order to detect the few things that generate the most results. Whether in your business life or your personal life, if you take a detailed look you will be able to find imbalances between effort and reward and this is precisely what the book talks about. By retraining their mind to think within this framework, new entrepreneurs will be able to detect shortcuts to accelerate the growth of their business and their personal effectiveness. You can learn more about this amazing book in the following quick video summary made by FarFromAverage:


4- The 4-Hour Work Week

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss is one of the most useful and applicable books for entrepreneurs who are just getting started. It has valuable insights with clear and applicable tactics that focus on results. The book challenges the reader and invites you to accept the fact that reality is negotiable. Outside of “topics that require precision” such as science and law, in general terms rules are meant to be bent or broken but that doesn’t mean you need to be unethical. It only means you have to think different and choose to challenge the status quo.

Mr. Ferriss spends a good portion of the book talking about willpower and personal effectiveness. He explains that whenever you depend on willpower there is a risk of failure. Therefore, If you don’t want to slip, don’t go where it’s slippery. This is a simple way to avoid decision fatigue and use your mental resources to make the important decisions that matter most for your business and your personal life.

A fundamental tool to accomplish this is to focus on the essential by using the 80/20 rule, which in general terms states that usually 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So, by focusing on the vital few elements that create the biggest impact, our results can be multiplied both in business and personal life. Additionally, he explains the importance of cultivating optimism and how it’s a priceless asset that will help entrepreneurs move forward when things get tough.

The book also talks about garnering selective ignorance, by removing the amount of information you consume on a daily basis by focusing on a few important tasks and making sure they are accomplished instead of being overwhelmed all the time. In his opinion, doing less is the path of the productive. The book also shares a few practical tools to achieve this which include a clear definition of priorities, an explanation of Parkinson’s law, the 80/20 principle and the magic of imminent deadlines.

Overall, the book is divided in 4 main sections: Definition, Elimination, Automation, Liberation which are all included in the acronym DEAL.

The Definition section focuses on replacing self-defeating assumptions related to perceived needs, fears, the expectations of society and the real cost of achieving specific goals.

Elimination emphasizes the importance of forgetting about time management and learning to ignore what is unimportant in order to have more time available for important things. Instead of managing time, the book tells us to manage our willpower by having clear priorities and learning to say no and getting rid of distractions. In order to accomplish this the author proposes we use the 80/20 principle to identify a few important things that produce the most results with the least amount of effort while focusing on results instead of the amount of time that is spent working on a task.

The Automation section of the book focuses on putting cash flow on autopilot to generate income and fund the lifestyle you desire. This section talks about outsourcing, setting up systems that work without you and empowering others to make decisions without the need to ask you questions each and every single time.

The final section of the book is about Liberation and focuses on creating freedom of location in order to multiply the value of your income.

Without a question, entrepreneurs who are getting started will find valuable tools they can use to make better use of time and be more effective in business and in their personal life. Here’s a short video summary from FightMediocrity’s youtube channel where you’ll learn more about this popular book:


5- The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster

If you want to be an entrepreneur you have to be ready for a wild ride! This is a valuable book for entrepreneurs who are just getting started, who would like to get a better idea of the road and challenges ahead of them. As you probably already know, the road will not always be easy and knowing how to approach the biggest hurdles can save you countless hours of headaches and frustration. Here’s a great book summary published by Lyra Scotch that will give you a better idea of what you will get from this book:


6- The Art of the Start

This book by Guy Kawasaki was written as a guide for those who want to start off on the right foot. It covers important topics such as how to come up with a good business idea, how to lead a team, and how to go about working and growing your business. The main objective of the book is to help entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls so they can grow faster. Here’s a quick summary published by Book Video Club that will give you a better idea of what this book is all about:


7- The $100 startup

This is an actionable book with practical advice for entrepreneurs who want to get started on a low budget. If you consider that getting started is usually the most difficult part of being in business, this book is tremendously valuable. Here’s a quick video summary by Practical Psychology:


8- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

This classic book by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a must read for entrepreneurs who want to understand the dynamics of the global marketplace in order to generate sales and dominate a category. This quick video summary by OnePercentBetter will help you understand more about the core lessons in this valuable book:


9- How to Win Friends and Influence People

This is one of the classic books when it comes to smoothing things over in the field of human interaction. Although it was published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s ideas continue to be useful and relevant in today’s business environment. With more than 30 million copies sold worldwide, it is considered as the seventh most influential book in American history according to the a survey conducted by the Library of Congress. This book is particularly useful for entrepreneurs who are shy or those who find social interaction to be a challenging topic. Here’s a short video overview by Callibrain that will show you more about the contents of this masterpiece:


10- The Effective Executive

This book by Peter F. Drucker talks about the most important elements that make an executive effective and focuses on the most important habits and behaviors to accomplish it. In other words, what matters is “getting the right things done” instead of doing more unimportant things faster.

Some of the core lessons covered in the book include the following:

1- You can learn to be effective

2- You have to manage your energy and your time with precision

3- Seize Opportunities

4- Focus on outcomes

5- Build on Strengths

6- Ask the right questions

7- Make a clear plan

8- Prioritize effectively

9- Delegate and communicate openly

10- Challenge yourself and your team
The book is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs who what to get better at getting important things done and working with teams effectively. Here’s a short animated video summary by Callibrain that will tell you more about it:


11- Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

Harvey Mackay is a successful entrepreneur, fundraiser and motivational speaker who after buying a local envelope company and turning it into a $100 million business, chose to share some of his most valuable insights in this business classic that continues to be relevant today.

This book, commonly known as “Swim with the Sharks” is divided into four main sections: sales, management, negotiation and “quickies.”

Here’s one example of Mackay’s counterintuitive insights from the book’s section about sales: “Show me a guy who thinks he’s a self-made man and I’ll show you the easiest sell in the world” in his opinion, all you have to do is make him believe it was him who came up with the idea you are interested in, and the deal will close itself.

This is a useful and insightful book full of humor that will help entrepreneurs save years of trial and error by learning directly from one of the masters. Highly recommended!

Here’s a short clip by Crown Speakers Bureau where Harvey Mackay talks about overcoming obstacles. It’s a valuable lesson every entrepreneur needs to internalize in order to succeed:


12- Getting Things Done

David Allen’s system for getting things done is designed to help entrepreneurs who need a reliable way to accomplish their goals while remaining focused, present and effective. The first element of the system is capturing thoughts and ideas in a reliable repository. Find out the rest of the steps in this quick book summary published by Productivity Game:


13- Outliers

Malcolm Gladwell’s book is an exciting and well researched document that talks about the roles chance and luck play in success, and how it relates to hard work. In other words, it’s about the correlation between hard work and opportunity. Find out more about the key points of the book in this short video summary published by Know Thyself:


14- Business Model Generation

This is a handbook with visual representations of common business model patterns created by 470 people from 45 countries to help entrepreneurs who need to design the strategy for their business. Here’s a video summary by Phil Smy that will give you a better idea about the main lessons of the book:


15- Good to Great

Jim Collins’ book is a summary of best practices and patterns that have worked well for companies that went from being good companies to outstanding companies. It’s about understanding how entrepreneurs can learn from the best companies in the world to accelerate the growth of their own business. Here’s an insightful summary by Callibrain that will show you more about the core concepts of the book:


16- Flow

This insightful book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains how to get in the zone to multiply your results and enjoyment while achieving peak performance. This quick video summary published by The Journey will let you find out more about the main concepts covered in this book:


17- Thinking Fast and Slow

This book is a masterpiece about human irrationality and unpredictability and how it relates to the instinctive and logical modalities of the human brain. Filled with interesting and counterintuitive examples, this book by Daniel Kahneman will help entrepreneurs so they can understand their mind and the mind of their customers. This short video summary published by FightMediocrity’s youtube channel will explain the main concepts of the book:


What are your favorites books for entrepreneurs? Share them in the comments section so we can all learn from your experience. Also, please share this article on Facebook with your friends. Thank you!




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