Being self-employed and entrepreneurial has its own implications and tends to take a toll on the morale levels of these people when things don’t go as planned, which is most often the case. During times like these, a small vacation, a walk in the park and some time spent at the beach or with family and friends tend to work out for the best in your favor. This is also one of the reasons why it is recommended to have a mentor in your career.
But I believe that reading your idols’ work is also one way to stay motivated and bring you back on track, out from the dark that you go in. Entrepreneurs and the self-employed have to usually deal with a variety of people from different walks of life while on their venture and reading more could get you a fresher perspective and see life from an altogether point of view. Non-fiction books are made for the same purpose, to learn from the people whom you admire the most. The best of these books are the ones that usually exhibit grace under pressure and bleed truth.
There have been many cases of non-fiction books being hyped up for the point of excitement and that pinch of surprise, but the good books are the ones which aren’t dressed up for increasing their appeal. Reading works of non-fiction from the authors who have been on the same road you are on now would be a feather in your cap. Taking time to read their experiences would get you a better idea of how it’s done and could learn a thing or two from their mistakes and try and avoid them when in similar situation.
If you are an entrepreneur or self-employed and not inclined to reading, you are missing on an interesting part of life. There’s more to reading than you have ever imagined and making it a habit would reap you a lot of benefits in the long run. Here are 10 of the must read books for every entrepreneur and self-employed to have in their backpacks, downloaded to their e-readers or added to their Goodreads or Amazon wish list.
How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give Inby Jim Collins
Companies, no matter how beautifully they are dressed from the outside, are actually vulnerable and wobbly from the inside. One push is enough to bring the company crashing down in an instant. Under such conditions, some companies seem to be tenacious in their undertakings and nothing could bring them down. This book is all about how to adapt to fluctuating situations, embracing change and overcome setbacks. This is a must have book for every entrepreneur who wants to build a company that would never give in no matter how tougher the going gets.
Out of the crisis, published in the 1980’s still is one of the most recommended management books for entrepreneurs. The book teaches about making a management team flexible, open to new learning and embracing change as it comes. Failing to do so, the company ends up in a sad state. While the company gets affected, the people who worked ceaselessly for it and their jobs are put at risk with such actions and this book puts a shade of light on such management policies. Edwards Deming gives his 14 management principles to avoid such demise. A must read book on managerial and innovative plans for keeping the business healthy.
As quoted by Businessman and Investor Mark Cuban, “If given a chance of investing on someone who read Rework or one with an MBA, I would invest in Rework every time!” Such is the impact this book has on entrepreneurs worldwide. This book is also actively endorsed by Seth Godin as one of the must reads for entrepreneurs. This book should appeal to both managers and employees alike on making business plans and the need for speed in plan chalking. This book promotes the necessity of focus on one thing at a time and opposes the multi-tasking approach. Rework is a must read book for every entrepreneur and Seth Godin was quoted as saying, “Ignore this book at your own peril!”
This is one of the most prominently recommended books in the technology industry. The book teaches all the people in technology and business why things work and why they don’t. This book covers on important business and management principles and how not to get side shifted when there is a new disruptive technology on the blocks. It is no wonder that this was also recommended by Steve Jobs, Malcolm Gladwell and Mark Cuban for entrepreneurs. Filing to adopt to newer technology and business models is one of the reasons why businesses fail big is what this book put in a phrase is all about.
He is one of my personal favorite non-fiction authors out there. Humor, sensible and smart is what all his works are about and Choose Yourself! This book was self-published by James Altucher and is quite popular on the Amazon non-fiction list. When you decide to become an entrepreneur, there are two phases to it, one when you take the decision and the other when you act upon it. This book is all about the acting part and about taking responsibility. The book is all about finding yourselves and supporting yourself through the thick and thin of business world. Wanting success isn’t enough, being ready for the challenges, facing the setbacks and taking responsibility for your actions is all that this book preaches on with the author’s real life experiences.
Robert Greene is one of the most influential non-fiction book writers out there. Mastery is achieved by persistently working on being the better version of your yesterday. It is a big misconception among new entrepreneurs that people making the covers of magazines, giving TED talks are all due to a factor of luck or major investments from the start. The truth is that the mastery is achieved not by people who simply walk the path, but those who are committed to it long term. Robert Greene’s Mastery talks out to every entrepreneur and businessman and makes it a must have on everyone’s reading list.
The war of Art is a must have book for every entrepreneur and self-employed person who faces their biggest nemesis – Procrastination. Procrastinating is one of the biggest enemies of an entrepreneur and still somehow it makes way into their lives unwillingly. This book talks about all your obstacles towards achieving your goals and provides solutions to fix them one at a time. Being aware of who you are, what you want and what is stopping you from achieving it is all this book is about. Once you find the root cause of your problems you could take the necessary steps to overcome them.
Most time of our lives is spent feeling bad or sorry about the past and worrying about the future. Eckhart Tolle nails down these thoughts perfectly with this book. It is a must read for everyone who worries a lot and forgets to enjoy the most valuable – present. Being anchored in the present moment and relishing what is now is more important. People tend to worry more about what won’t make a difference in their lives and misuse the here and now. This is a must read for all who believe in the beauty of now.
This is an entirely different book compared to everything else mentioned in this list. This book is all about deconstructing everything that you’ve learned since you were a kid and re-constructing everything back from the ground up. Miguel Ruiz shows people how to live in this connected world with his book. Although the book is a bit philosophical, it contains the metaphysical aspect of life. Re-building new beliefs is everything this book is all about. The four agreements is a great read that puts a shade of light on many of the biggest misconceptions of life that everyone follows blindly since they were kids.
Malcolm Gladwell is one of the finest non-fiction author and his works have an inspirational side to it and simply make it a must read for every self-employed person. Malcolm Gladwell’s writing is credited with the ability to change the way people think. This book is all about going big after starting small. Going from a tiny idea to a big phenomenon and how things change to matter then is this entire book is about. Gladwell talks about going from a small idea stage to growing it big enough to stand in its own entity. This book takes note of how social media is impacting our current world and it inspects on how one man’s small, but unique idea could be grown into a full blown business by leveraging the use of social media. This is a must read for every entrepreneur in the present age of the social media.
What are a few of the best non-fiction books that you’ve read and believe would be of great use to your fellow entrepreneurs and self-employed friends? Don’t forget to share this collection of books for entrepreneurs with your friends. Also make this list more meaningful by suggesting atleast one in the comment section.
A Shouter whose articles got mentions from the likes of The New York Times, Kissmetrics and AllTopStories. He writes articles, novels and poems; spends most of his time reading everything he could get his hands on. Srikanth is currently pursuing his Masters from The University of Illinois and holds a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from the University of Mumbai. He is a programmer, a motivational writer and speaker.