Entrepreneurship in the United States is increasing at a rapid clip, with NPR reporting that over one million more new business applications were filed in 2021 when compared to 2020. People are craving more freedom and flexibility in their lives and covid has accelerated the adoption of technologies that help facilitate that.
The ability to set your own schedule and work on the projects you deem important is a tempting proposition, but being your own boss can come with drawbacks. Over 80% of entrepreneurs and small business owners work past eight hours a day, and less than 50% of them make a profit in their first year or onwards.
Often the difference between a successful and failed entrepreneur lies in their preparation and expectations. Luckily for you, there are countless resources from legendary entrepreneurs that can prepare you for the leap. Here are five books that can make all the difference.
List of books
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The first step to entrepreneurship and ownership is the right frame of mind. That is why The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is first on the list.
The principles gained in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can be applied to any area of one’s life. Written in 2004 by Stephen R. Covey, the book explores how to develop an attainable standard of living that includes fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity. This fresh attitude allows readers to explore their inner self in order to be ready to seize new opportunities that come.
Your outlook sets the tone for what you build and create. Build on something solid, learn from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The $100 Startup
Your headspace is clear, and you are ready to create. What is next? What do you create? The answer is to build what you love, and leverage your passion.
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau details his journey of how he discovered his real passion and the ways he was able to monetize it.
Working doesn’t need to translate to a 9-5 that constantly drains your energy. Many people have heard the phrase “Do what you love”, but very few people know how to achieve that with limited resources. With $100, sometimes less, you can build your future. Use the money to develop skills or invest in tools and other resources to help you make money doing the things you love.
Chris Guillebeau provides several case studies. Each case study follows the principle that entrepreneurs must invest in themselves, and with only $100 can build livable wealth.
The $100 Startup is a must-have to understand how you can follow your passion to build a business and have fun along the way.
Start with Why
Next, you need to understand your purpose. Your purpose is the need you are filling in the market or the solution you are providing to the public.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek, since it hit the shelves in 2011, has been changing the perceptions of millions. Its purpose is to assist people in discovering the reason they work, and what they are working toward. Start with Why has revolutionized social media platforms like TikTok with its legendary stance on how to gain influence in today’s world.
Not only does Start with Why analyze the mission and goals of an organization, but it also explores what makes a great leader. According to Simon Sinek, prominent figures and leaders all have one thing in common, which is their ability to understand their why and help convey that narrative to the masses.
Define your why and you too can turn a small business into a dominant venture.
Founders at Work
You have your mindset, your passion, and your why. One of the final pieces you’ll need is a realistic expectation of what the early stages will be like. Founders at Work examines real-life scenarios and stories from founders of prominent tech companies, delving into the gritty early days that forged them into the leaders and companies we know today.
Through a collection of interviews, author Jessica Livingston asks critical questions. What went wrong? How did you fix it? One quote reads, “So despite the interview format, this is a how-to book. It is probably the single most valuable book a startup founder could read.”
Founders at Work is included at the top of Alexis Ohanian’s recommended books. It allows you to pick the mind of the greats. Learn from their mistakes and better anticipate solutions to the problems you’re likely to encounter.
The 4-Hour Workweek
The last element every entrepreneur needs is time. Prioritize and reclaim your time with The 4-Hour Workweek. Author Timothy Ferriss explains to readers how to effectively manage your time, eliminate stress, and spend your life doing the things you truly want to do.
There’s nothing that says you need to be the entrepreneur that sinks every waking hour into your work. With the proper tips and tricks, you can develop strategies that lessen your load and result in a manageable amount of time dedicated to working.
This book will teach you how to define your true goals, elminitate wasted time, free up your schedule via automation, and liberate yourself from location dependence.
The End Result
No matter how much preparation you put in for this journey, the road ahead will be tough. Long hours, dead ends and frustrations are bound to happen but at the end of the day, that is where you’ll find your most valuable lessons. Read these books to prepare yourself for this undertaking, and join the millions of others that have successfully turned this wisdom into the stepping stone to reach their dreams.