Summer is the perfect time to pick up a book that will entertain you and also teach you something about running your small business. There’s no shortage of books focused on entrepreneurship, so where do you begin? To help you narrow the field, we’re proud to present Hiscox’s shortlist for eleven books that should be on the reading list of every budding entrepreneur. If you’re continuously looking for opportunities to improve, one of the 10 important characteristics of an entrepreneur, this is the list for you. Pick one of these up for your next business trip, or better yet… your next vacation.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Let’s face it: No one goes into business for themselves with the hope of working 80 hours a week, yet many small business owners end up doing just that. This book shows how you can bring your business to the place you were aiming for when you started it: providing financial independence for you and your family without having to work every waking minute.
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Securing funding has stopped many small businesses before they’ve even started, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This book will take you through case studies of 50 businesses that were started with small investments, and will show that you don’t need a lot of money as long as you have passion for what you do.
Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
The original ‘Apple evangelist,’ Guy Kawasaki is the king of customer engagement. This book will provide you with suggestions about customer care that will put your business at the head of the pack, and keep you on the path toward success.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Published in 2013, Sandberg’s Lean In is an instant classic and required reading for anyone that seeks to understand the challenges women face in the corporate world. This smartly written and deeply engaging books helped start a national conversation on women’s progress and leadership in business.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
First published in 1937 and still relevant and revered today, this classic motivational book uses basic techniques to help you focus on what you want in life, and how to achieve it. Drawing on the experiences of over forty millionaires, Hill distilled their experiences down to the clear principles that give some people the edge that makes all the difference.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This classic book has become an industry unto itself, including seminars, courses and more books. Since it was first published in 1936, it has consistently been a bestseller and is often viewed as the classic self-help book. This book will change the way you deal with people in the best way possible.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Innovation is the engine that drives entrepreneurial success, and this book looks at innovation in a whole new way. This book encourages agility and adaptation, and shows you how to constantly test your vision to make the continuous adjustments that today’s marketplace demands.
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Rework takes a new approach to entrepreneurship, focusing on the actual work rather than the trappings and details that can absorb so much time and energy. This book will help you power through the excuses that get in your way, and get on with your business.
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
This classic has turned into a series of books, many of which are devoted to specific types of businesses: The E-Myth Veterinarian, The E-Myth Attorney, The E-Myth Chiropractor, and so on. The original book, The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, is a classic that defines the difference between being an entrepreneur and being a business owner, and how to be both.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
A purple cow is unique, original, exciting, unforgettable and unbelievable. This book will help you move out of the ‘me-too’ doldrums to make your product, and your company, truly stand out from the crowd.
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
This book is not about traditional economics; rather, it is about incentives. Using case studies, the authors explore how people get what they need or want. Totally unlike your college econ textbook, this is a really fun read. If this read leaves in you in the mood for more case studies, definitely check out the American Courage Index.