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Top 10 Best Books for Entrepreneurs

February 8th, 2009 by shawn · 28 Comments


I’ve always read, voraciously. Many hours of my childhood were spent reading everything from the Charlie Brown Cyclopedia to Mad Magazine to Hardy Boys novels – and I still spent a great deal of time reading what others have written, either for knowledge or entertainment purposes. And sometimes, I read something I’ve read before – for inspiration.

entrepreneurWe all need inspiration at various seasons in our lives, especially when things aren’t going as well as we’d expected. Sometime we just need to separate ourselves from what we have to do and be reminded that others have “been there” and emerged as successes.

All of us also need instruction (or advice) as we search for success. Most of us don’t have a “mentor” who can actually guide us and assist us in the pursuit of our dreams – but fortunately there is a wealth of counseling and instruction in the form of books!

So where can you and I find inspiration and advice, as entrepreneurs, telecommuters, office workers, or dreamers – who are aiming for “something” better in the future? Here is a list of (most of) the best books I’ve found for people like you and I…

How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis – This is both entertaining and full of very good advice on many aspects of business and wealth. Felix Dennis founded Maxim magazine (among others) and tells his story here.

Failing Forward by John Maxwell – The anecdotes in this book will come to mind long after you read this book. It contains stories of many people who failed (some repeatedly) yet persevered and became successful in the end.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – If you’ve never read this, you need to. This is a classic text and useful on so many levels – not just for “business”.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – Many people were never taught how to handle money, by their school nor by their parents. This little book will make up for many of the lessons you need to know. This is another classic.

Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell – A purely inspirational text that you’ll remember long after you’ve read it. Another classic text (actually it was a speech that was given many many times). [Read it for free]

Anyone Can Do It by Richard Bannatyne – A success story that will inspire anyone who has the entrepreneurial spirit within them.

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss – This is a great book that not only has some humor but has tons of practical advice to help you become more productive. I think some of the ideas found here are essential.

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith – This is a very easy read, but the author packs a lot of good stuff into his few points. You can read this in a couple hours, and will probably want to re-visit it many times after.


A Million Bucks by 30 by Alan Corey
– This is a fun story to read. Alan Corey had the goal of becoming a millionaire within eight years and this is how he did it!


The Secrets of Wealth by Fabio Marciano

- A great read; again, this will educate you on how to handle money (and accumulate it).

There are a few more books in this vein that I’ve read and benefited from, but the books listed above are probably my top ten.

Here are also a couple of helpful links:

10 Pearls of Wisdom Taken From My Reading and Experience as an Entrepreneur

Top 5 Movies for a Young Entrepreneur

If you have any other recommendations (your personal favorites), please share them in the comments!

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    28 Comments

    Comment by Greg Watson
    2009-02-11 17:19:45

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Comment by owain
    2009-02-12 13:07:03

    I couldn’t see “Think and grow rich” by Napolean Hill in there. It’s probably my favourite book about motivation and attitude ever written. Great list though. I have read most but not all of them. I might check out some of the one’s I have missed. Great idea for a post.

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    Comment by shawn
    2009-02-15 15:05:56

    Yes – that is one of the many I’ve read and I remember liking it a lot. In fact there are probably another dozen books I could also recommend, but I wanted to keep the list down to a reasonable amount. But Napolean Hill’s stuff is classic – definitely.

     
     
    Comment by Thomas
    2009-02-13 05:48:51

    Thanks for the list, I’m a big fan of the “Art of War” so many of the principles relate to day to day life (not just war)

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    Comment by shawn
    2009-02-15 15:06:52

    You know, that’s one of those books I’ve heard a LOT about but never read. I need to finally read it. Thanks for the recommendation…

     
     
    2009-02-21 13:06:23

    It is refreshing to see the art of learning being practiced in our day. Seems learn time has been replaced with video games and reality TV

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    Comment by Clyde
    2009-02-21 15:42:04

    I’ve read a good portion of these books and I can tell you from experience that when you’re trying to get started in business you are not interested in moral books like “The Richest Man In Babylon.” You want get down to it, tell me like it is and encouragement books that give you useful tips. If you’re in HS, Babylon may give you a good start on theory.

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    Comment by rose martin
    2009-02-22 15:19:03

    I’ve read some of the books you mentioned and they are definitely great. Let me add the Rich Dad series too coz they’re great for entrepreneurs like us.

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    Comment by randi
    2009-02-24 01:14:54

    yes those books are really good but i have only read about two of them, must move down the rest too
    thanks

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    Comment by matematik
    2009-02-26 00:47:01

    Thanks for the list, I’m a big fan of the “Art of War” so many of the principles relate to day to day life (not just war)

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    Comment by urt
    2009-03-01 14:55:42

    nice list you have got there, books really help us to know things better
    specially these two books helped me a lot to carry on mu business effectively
    How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis
    The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

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    Comment by Stu
    2009-03-10 00:31:01

    I’m with Thomas – Art of War is awesome!

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    2009-03-14 21:56:12

    Thanks for the list. I appreciate it. Bookmarked.

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    Comment by Chat
    2009-03-20 09:18:09

    Yes – that is one of the many I’ve read and I remember liking it a lot. In fact there are probably another dozen books I could also recommend, but I wanted to keep the list down to a reasonable amount. But Napolean Hill’s stuff is classic – definitely.

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    Comment by Roseli A. Bakar
    2009-03-26 19:30:10

    I’m voting for the problogger book by Darren Rowse.

    It inspired me to make money !!

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    Comment by Mickey
    2009-04-06 00:24:49

    Another good one is Winning by Jack Welch who had a very successful career at GE. This book goes into the art of getting things done thru people which is a must to have success. How to manage, motivate and build a good team of people.

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    Comment by freesportscontest
    2009-04-08 19:11:18

    seems like a great list , i have read ‘ the 4-hour work week ‘ and it is pretty solid read. will be sure to check out a couple of the others listed. thanks for sharing.

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    Comment by Mr. Google Cash
    2009-04-11 01:05:09

    Good recommendations on the books, I actually just recently started picking up some business related books. Just got done reading the 4 Hour Work Week since everyone raves about it – eh, I thought it was good, but not “GREAT!”

    Anyways, good article.. I think I’m going to pick-up “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis next, you’re the second place to drop that name and say it’s excellent.

    Great blog here!

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    Comment by Jimmy
    2009-04-11 22:41:06

    The best book in that list is The Richest Man in Babylon by far.

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    2009-04-16 07:09:59

    it is refreshing to see the art of learning being practiced in our day.

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    Comment by Michael
    2009-04-17 18:33:41

    Agreed, Art of War is an excellent choice.

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    Comment by BMB
    2009-04-18 01:51:56

    This is a great list. Have already read Ferris. Will have to check out the rest at the library. Crossing my fingers for audio books!

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    Comment by JohnKhoo
    2009-04-21 13:56:00

    Out of those 10 books, I only read “The Secrets of Wealth” by Fabio Marciano. It is good, and i have learned knowledge on money management.

    By the way, i also found a book that is worth reading too that i would like to recommend others to read. It is “Multiple streams of income” by Robert Allen. It is really a great book. Just to share.

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    Comment by Husen KAR
    2009-04-23 23:22:37

    thanks for this post

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    2009-04-27 13:33:44

    I think in these sad economic times entrepreneurship could bring a sigh of relief for many. thanks for prpogating this idea and providing this great list.

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    Comment by linda moodbell
    2009-05-08 03:26:00

    yes those books are really good but i have only read about two of them, must move down the rest too
    thanks
    Lindamoodbell

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    Comment by Sourav
    2009-05-08 06:24:59

    I’m currently reading “The Secrets of Wealth” and I like it.

    Thanks

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    Comment by Farmington, UT
    2009-06-11 18:20:21

    yes yes yes! Couldn’t agree more with some of those choices – especially Carnegie’s! It has some invaluable insights that have been tremendously helpful in real estate, as well as your life at large.

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