Becoming an entrepreneur can be a fun, exhilarating adventure. But sometimes, the enormity of the challenge of starting and leading a successful business can be overwhelming. In those moments, it’s important to have inspiration to propel you forward, or advice to give you clarity to your situation.
Luckily, some of the best business advice and inspiration is readily available to you at your local bookstore. If you’re a business owner, or plan to become one in the near or distant future, add these literary works to your must-read list:
1. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
Though Hill wrote this book in 1937, it continues to inspire successful entrepreneurs today. Business Insider reported “Think and Grow Rich” was a key source of inspiration for Daymond John, founder of FUBU and an investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. The book is a compilation of inspiring messages from some of history’s successful people, like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie.
“The main takeaway from that was goal-setting,” John said, according to Business Insider. “It was the fact that if you don’t set a specific goal, then how can you expect to hit it?”
2. “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath
Like most people, the Heath brothers have heard people lament change of any kind. People don’t like to move, to start a new diet, to begin a new system. But they do, and often, willingly. Why? In their Amazon.com review, they explained that it all comes down to the two systems we all have in our brains: our emotional one and our logical one.
When the two are in agreement, change comes easily. When out of sync, change is brutally hard. Through research, the brothers found that people who are able to make lasting changes all have similar game plans and strategies. These strategies have been applied successfully to a plethora of goals, whether they are personal ones, like weight loss, or globally important ones, like addressing child malnutrition.
“Switch” explains these game plans with the goal to help everyone make the lasting changes they want to in their lives, no matter what area of life they fall under.
3. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink
Using psychology and sociology, Pink shows readers the three main motivators that push people to pursue their passions, reported OnSIP, a real-time communicators provider. According to Pink, those three drivers are:
“Drive” will motivate you to do good and seek success not just in the world of business, but all aspects of life, The Balance noted.
4. “Lucky or Smart?” by Bo Peabody
Bo Peabody found success early on in life, having started five companies, each in separate industries, before his 30th birthday. Was he lucky – or smart? Peabody argues that he was both – lucky at times, and smart enough to realize when he was faced with a fortunate situation. He also notes that people can take control of their circumstances, essentially creating their own luck.
5. “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber
As you navigate your way through the world of entrepreneurship, you’ll undoubtedly encounter well-meaning advice. Perhaps some will be helpful. But often, these tips and tidbits are unsolicited, distracting or otherwise unhelpful. Gerber talks about some common pieces of advice and general assumptions many people have when embarking on their entrepreneurial journeys, LifeHack explained. He also gets into the typical timeline every business follows, from the first spark of an idea to a successful, functional business.
6. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini
In the business world, you’ll eventually need to persuade someone of something. You may believe that the relevance of that something (or its catchiness, uniqueness or another trait) is enough to do this. While these characteristics may help in persuading people, they are hardly the only, or even most important considerations to keep in mind. In fact, there’s a science behind bringing people to your mode of thought.
Cialdini conducted research on this science, both academic and first-hand, working as a car salesperson and in the insurance industry to observe environments where people are trying to convince customers of the merits of certain products, according to livemint.com. He shared what he learned and observed in “Influence”, helping marketing professionals everywhere change their approach to selling.
7. “Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way To Influence And Persuade”
More than three decades after “Influence” hit the shelves, Cialdini followed up with yet more advice on how to sway an opinion. The key? Set the scene first. Introduce the concept of what you’re about to say or sell subconsciously.