One of the most common saying you hear when you embark on a a professional venture is that if you follow your passion the money and fame will follow. But there is a huge admonition to that, argues Newport, an author and professor.
For most people, he says mastery of a certain skill can lead to finding your passion, since the mastery of this skill can open new doors and allow you to progress in your career. It does not mean you give up on your dreams but rather find a bridge to connect your dreams with reality by making yourself valuable in the market place.
You are what you read, and if your goal is to build a massively successful company where you call the shots, you might want to start with the following books covering all aspects of entrepreneurship from starting a business, recruiting the right staff and marketing to competitors, business expansion and change management.
Consider that Warren Buffett believes the greatest investment he ever made to be The Intelligent Investor, written by his mentor Benjamin Graham. As Buffet put it, “of all the investments I ever made it was the best.” As the name suggests, the book lays out the foundation of value investing. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is another widely acclaimed book that every entrepreneur must read. It’s also a favourite of Charlie O’Donnell, a partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. He says: I don’t know any book that sums up the entrepreneurial passion and spirit better than “The Fountainhead”: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
Every Individual running a business will second with the thought that running a business efficiently is not an easy job and the book, The Hard Things About The Hard Things: Building a business when there are no easy ways by Ben Horowitz fantastically summarises the hardships faced by the entrepreneurs. It provides an honest, straightforward and practical approach that makes it one of the inspiring and best business books. Combine it with two other books — Billion Dollar Lessons and Good to Great. Billion Dollar Lessons: What you can learn from the most inexcusable business failures of the last 25 years by Paul B. Carroll which gives an insight to the painful failures of some of the big businesses in the past. It is a great book that can help future CEOs to keep them conservative and intact with reality. Whereas, Good to Great by Jim C. Collins explains how good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness. Michael Port – Author and Marketing Consultant says, “If you read Good to Great by Jim Collins, it talks about great leaders deal with reality. They don’t make stuff up. They don’t pretend things are one way when they’re actually another way.”
In business, you are who you hire.
According to The Economist, “the single biggest problem in business today is unsuccessful hiring”.
The hiring mistakes cost a company $1.5 million on an average every year and uncountable wasted hours. The book – Who: The A method of hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street provides statistics based on 1,300 hours of interviews with 300 CEOs presenting exceptional methods of hiring. Whether you are a director of a company looking for a new CEO or the owner of a small enterprise hunting for the right candidates to grow your company this book will teach you how to: avoid common “voodoo hiring” methods, ask the right interview questions, evaluate the required set of skills and recruit the right candidate to obtain optimal success.
Understanding the market and competition is equally important for a business. 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate them at your own risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout provides valuable key lessons in understanding and succeeding to take the best decisions in the global marketplace. Purple Cow: Transform your business by Being Remarkable by Seth Goldin is yet another classic read on marketing that explains how to create remarkable product as well as market it in a remarkable manner. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is entirely about competing where there is the least amount of competition. It teaches you how successful businesses focus on being different, about carving out a new space for themselves. This book will help with marketing and every other part of business life.
Lastly, Leading Change by Dr. John Kotter offers a practical approach to an organised means of leading, not accepting or managing, change. This book will encourage you to make a commitment to leap into the future as well as help yourself and others develop leadership skills.
All the books mentioned above are proven timeless classics that have effectively changed many entrepreneurs lives. Which of these books does the entrepreneur in you desire to explore?
Here is the complete list of top 10 must-read books for every aspiring entrepreneur:
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (Author), Jason Zweig (Author), Warren E. Buffett (Collaborator)
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (Author), Leonard Peikoff (Afterword)
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (Author)
- Billion Dollar Lessons by Paul B. Carroll (Author), Chunka Mui (Author)
- Good to Great by Jim Collins (Author)
- Who by Geoff Smart (Author), Randy Street (Author)
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries (Author), Jack Trout (Author)
- Purple Cow by Seth Godin (Author)
- Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim (Author), Renée Mauborgne (Author)
- Leading Change by John P. Kotter (Author)