When I started my entrepreneurship journey, I really had no knowledge of how to start a business and even leverage social media to make it work. I just knew that social media was a medium being used to promote content more and more and it has become the easiest, safest and cheapest way to do so.
All I needed was to educate myself.
You see becoming an entrepreneur is NOT for everyone. Everyone wants to be their own boss but only a few will actually succeed. For some the journey will be very quick and for others it will be a very long one. I like to call the latter “the walk in the desert”! Every single entrepreneur I know had their “walk in the desert” before reaching success.
That is the reason why it is important to educate yourself. And to do so, you have 3 options in my opinion:
Find a course to teach you what you need to know to setup and run a business
Find a mentor if you can afford it, someone who is already where you want to be and ask to show you the exact step they used to get where they are at
Read books! As Warren Buffet says: “The more you learn, the more you earn”. Why try to figure out everything on your own when someone else already went through the journey you are about to start and already shared the mistakes they have made to fast track your success. This is the cheapest version of having a mentor and as a bonus you will get many mentors!
In 2017 I challenged myself to read two books per month and at the end of the year reached my goal, having read 24 books of personal development, business and marketing. How did I do it? Have you heard of Audiobooks?
I personally use Audible and listen to books when I commute, when I go to the gym or even in the evening before sleeping. I have never read so many books in my life than for the past 2 years! Today I am reading 3-4 books per month! It has become an addiction!
So for all of you who are looking for inspirations or answers to your questions, here is my Top 10 list of books I would recommend to every entrepreneur whether you are just getting started or already have some experience.
This is a great introduction book to learning how to manage your time and be productive on what matters.
Especially if you are interested in becoming a digital nomad and living a location independence lifestyle, you will learn different ways to delegate and automate your workload so that you can focus on what you are good at only.
The 4-Hour Work Week provides inspiring ideas to help you live a life leveraging the pareto principle. Work hard 20% of the time and do what you enjoy 80% of the time. It is NOT made for everyone but it is a great perspective on what becoming your own boss could be and the process to get there, without having that stereotypical image of an entrepreneur working 70-80 hours per week!
The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's being adopted around the world. It is changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Startup is about learning what your customers really want. It's about testing your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it's too late.
Think about it? Why go the traditional way: write a business plan that will take you weeks or even months, do a market study, find investors, find an office, build a team, create your product and service and then start marketing to push your offer to markets?
When you could just leverage Internet and social media to do all of that for FREE (almost) and within days or even weeks. Every single one of us today uses social media. This is the best medium to share your voice and receive an immediate feedback on the content that you post.
The lean startup approach really encourages testing your business idea and see if it work before even investing too much time and money in it.
If you are not making any money out of your project, you got no business.
As an entrepreneur, Napoleon Hill will be your number one source of inspiration. This man studied for years 500 millionaires in order to learn their habits and rituals that made them so successful and translated his notes into a series of books. His content remains relevant even up until today and you will just keep nodding your head as you read it or have many “aha” moments.
Every time I feel stuck Think And Grow Rich is my go to book to find some inspiration. I highly recommend it.
I know this book is not a business book per se. But if like me and most people in our society you have never been financially educated, Rich Dad Poor Dad will open your mind on the endless possibilities to create wealth and how to better manage your money. Robert Kiyosaki shares lessons he has learned from his “two dads”.
This book translates his point of view on why 'old' advice - get a good job, save money, get out of debt, invest for the long term, and diversify - is 'bad' advice and why you should rather focus on building a portfolio of assets that will create wealth for you so that you do not have to exchange the most precious thing every human being owns: time.
The Cashflow quadrant is mentioned in Rich Dad Poor Dad but not in details. Have you ever wondered how wealthy people have so much time to go golfing, shopping, brunching or are always on holidays? That is because they make their money work for them. Therefore they work less but earn more. How you may wonder? That is what the cashflow quadrant explains in details. Basically the quadrant breaks down 4 categories of people striving for the same thing, earn money but use different methods to earn it. Those categories are
Employee: You have a job and exchange your time against money
Self-employed - You own a job but still exchange your time against money
Business owner - You own a system that works for you and therefore exchange less of your time against money
Investor - Money works for you and you do not exchange your time against money
This book encourages anyone to become business owners and investors as the keys to wealth is found through business and investing. If you have no financial literacy, this book will help you a lot as it did for me!
This book is all about productivity! If you want to become a machine and transformed your days from busy days to productive days, The One Thing is for you. We have always been taught that multi-tasking means being productive. That is also one skill that many companies look for in their candidates once they go through their interview process.
But originally, multi-tasking comes from computers. When computers were built, they were programmed to process task very quickly. The more the technology advanced the faster the computers could process tasks quickly which made it look like they were processing one task but in the background they were processing a series of tasks in matter of seconds!
Unfortunately, we are not machines, and even though our brains are very powerful, we remain humans. The biggest issue we have is that we get distracted very easily whether it is colleague at work asking for advice, or your partner coming into the room when you are working to ask for a service or your phone buzzing every time you receive a notification.
We are bombarded by micro distractions all day long that affect our productivity.
The One Thing will provide you with helpful advice on how to focus on one thing only and in what environment you should be working to optimize your productivity.
Are you struggling with Marketing and selling your products or services? This book is for you. This is the bible of advertising. It will provide you with a toolbox of different advertising techniques you could apply for your own business. Cashvertising will teach you how the human psychology works and what words trigger people to take action and go from a prospect to a buyer. If you are struggling to understand how digital marketing works, this book is for you.
It is hard nowadays not to mention this book written by Gary Vaynerchuck. We live in a society nowadays that is driven by technology and social media. If you want to learn something, just go on social media, search for your topic and you will find the answers. This is how powerful the world we live in is. That also means that if you decide to use the technology we own the right way, you will be able to turn your passion into profit. And that is what is happening since a few years. People leverage social media to earn money and that has open doors to new social media careers such as: vloggers, social media marketers, social media influencers,etc…
What I like about Gary Vaynerchuck is how raw and authentic he is and his book is exactly the same. There is no better time than now to Crush It online. So if you are still thinking twice, ask yourself what is stopping you right now, remove it from the equation and start taking action if building a business out of your passion is really something you want to do.
This is the first book I read that changed my mind about building a business nowadays. We are often told that we need to focus 100% of our time into building our business if we really want it to work. And this book will tell you the exact opposite. As I mentioned earlier we are NOT all made to become entrepreneurs. It is really a lifestyle and you need to have a strong mindset. But there are ways to test the water before taking the jump and that is exactly what I did thanks to this book.
This book will teach you how to build your business as a side hustle. The approach is that you have to invest 10% of your time and money into building your business. And when you think about it, it does not look impossible. All you need is to setup a roadmap of the different steps you need to reach your goal and start working on it one step at a time. This is how I started my blog, then learned about affiliate marketing and managed to transform a passion into profit to finally take the leap and quit the corporate life in 2017.
So if you are working at the moment but have a business idea you would like to test out, The 10% Entrepreneur is for you.
And finally, the DOTCOM Secrets by Russell Brunson.
Over the past 10 years, Russell has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books, popularized the concept of sales funnels, and co-founded a software company called Clickfunnels that helps tens of thousands of entrepreneurs quickly get their message out to the marketplace.
To me, Russell is the definition of success in the digital marketing world. If you are struggling to put all the different pieces of a business into place, this book is like the bible of every online entrepreneurs. Russell really broke down everything you need to know with a step by step process to create, setup and scale up your business online. And the great news is that he offers this book for free. All you need to do is take care of the shipping cost.
These are my top 10 must read books for entrepreneurs as I believe they break down all the different aspects of running a business nowadays in the world we live in. Those will teach you
Set up a business
Market a business
Scale up a business
I hope that if you are just getting started or even are a bit more advanced, these books will help you on your path to success. As always if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me or even book a free strategy session call with me. I am always happy to help new entrepreneurs and network with like-minded people.
What about you? What would be the top 10 books that changed your life and that you would recommend to anyone starting their entrepreneurship journey today?
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