Whether you’re new to the entrepreneurial world, or have been in the field most of your life, there is never a wrong time to improve.  From changing your mindset, or business approach, there are so many different aspects of being an entrepreneur that can be improve upon. There have been countless business books written over time, many of them selling millions of copies.  From marketing tips to how to communicate more effectively, all of these can be used to further your entrepreneurial career.

Here’s a list of 13 books that we think are some of the most essential business books that any entrepreneur or small business owner should have in their library.


1. How to Win Friends & Influence People [in the Digital Age] by Dale Carnegie


One of the only books that spans almost every recommendation list out there, Dale Carnegie’s best-selling novel has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.  The original was published in 1936, and was one of the first self-help books that became a bestseller.  Carnegie’s book counsels readers on the art of communication, and how to succeed in both your business and personal life.  The book got a reboot in 2011, with the title slightly edited, as seen above.  According to Dale’s site, the new edition, “outlines ways to strengthen your communication through social media sites, placing emphasis on building relationships with “friends,” client, colleagues, and customers”.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey


Another self-help book, Covey’s work has sold over 25 millions copies and over one million audiobooks.  Described on Covey’s site as helping people “solve personal and professional problems”, his book has influenced some of the most powerful people in the world.


3. Choose Yourself by James Altucher


James Altucher wrote this book as part auto-biography and part self-help book. He uses his own failed experiences in business to show how anyone can rise up from failure.  USA Today named this one of the best 12 business books.


4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


Napoleon Hill’s self-improvement book was highly inspired by the advice of Andrew Carnegie, who at one point was the richest man in the world.  Despite the title, the book focuses not only on how to increase your income but how to also succeed in any field of business.  With the unique outlook of an extremely successful business man, to say the least, it’s no wonder this book has sold over 100 million copies worldwide.


5. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss


This is one of the most talked about business books on the market, with it’s innovative approach to managing your personal and business lifestyle. Checkout this Forbes article about how much this book impacted an entrepreneur’s life.


6. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso


Sophia Amoruso’s entrepreneurial journey is an incredible story that is very definition of hustling.  Her first sale happened on eBay, which was a book she had stolen.  Now she is the CEO, and founder, of a successful fashion retail website (Nasty Gal) with over 400 employees.  Her book proves that anyone, no matter your demographic or what other people may say, can be successful.


7. Quiet by Susan Cain


Many introverts find themselves missing opportunities due to their less aggressive nature.  Our society has put introverts on the back burner. But Susan Cain has spoken out in defense of them. Citing introverts that have found success in her book, and opening up a discussion about why extroverts are favored, this book will be an inspiration to anyone.

8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz


Ben Horowitz shares his experiences with running his own company.  But this is business book is not another inspirational story of overnight success.  Horowitz’s story details exactly how hard it is to run a business, and the struggles he’s had to go through. Perfect for new and veteran entrepreneurs, as all levels of experiences will have to go through some difficulties.


9. Good to Great by Jim Collins


Jim Collin’s best-selling book offers “tangible frameworks for understanding why organizations succeed”, as described by this New York Times article.  It aims to help businesses transition from average companies to successful ones, and how some businesses fail to do this.

10. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries 


Eric Ries’s method of a “lean startup” has grown outside of Silicon Valley birthplace and spread around the world, mostly due to this best-selling book.  His approach teaches businesses how to minimize their expenses from marketing to product launches, and has become a revolutionary idea.


11. Rework by Jason Fried


Rework shares a simple and fast approach to business that is the perfect playbook for new entrepreneurs.  It can teach you how to be more productive and efficient in your field, and all of the ins-and-outs of starting a business.


12. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau 


Chris has focused on 50 different individuals who started a successful company, all from a modest investment.  He takes you through these individual’s entrepreneurial journey, and explains exactly how they dealt with each step of the way.


13. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman


The Personal MBA justifies why business school may just be a waste of your money.  With MBA costing around $100,000 some places, many people simply can’t afford it.  This book offers an alternative to business school and shares some valuable business lessons.


Did we miss one of your favorites? What are your go-to business books? Let us know in the comments below!

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