Successful people read, and they read a lot. Whether it’s to gain inspiration, learn something new, or broaden their perspectives, reading is essential to personal and professional development.
If you’re a young, aspiring entrepreneur, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by all the books you’re told you must read. Even if you have years of experience, new techniques and approaches are constantly being developed, and you need to stay on top. More importantly, you need to differentiate useful information from what is useless.
To get you started on your journey towards a successful business, try these reads.
#1: Good to Great - Jim Collins
George Cain, Alan Wurtzel, Cork Walgreen, Carl Reichardt - how many of these names ring a bell to you? These are the CEOs of Abbott Laboratories, Circuit City, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo respectively.
These leaders never aspired for fame, fortune, or power. They only had one goal - to produce extraordinary results - and this singlemindedness sets them apart from the rest. In Good to Great, Jim Collins explores this winning strategy and provides a framework for the production of sustained, great results.
#2: Leaders eat Last - Simon Sinek
A true leader goes beyond producing results - they nurture and protect their community with empathy, transparency, and trust. In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek details the vital role of leaders in all organizations and offers evidence-based guidelines on how to face obstacles ahead.
The critical factor here is remembering people are not abstract concepts, they are real human beings. When organizations are focused purely on profits, their company culture will be mismanaged, and they will suffer in the long term. Instead, Sinek proposes a new paradigm of leadership and management - one that allows our inherent humanity to thrive.
#3: 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management - Kevin Kruse
15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management is certainly one of the most widely recommended books to entrepreneurs - for good reason too. There are an overwhelming number of time management tips and tricks out there, and good advice tends to get lost in all the noise.
Kevin Kruse offers a solution with just 15 simple time management techniques. He argues that time is the most important asset we have. Once we start to view our time as the backbone of success, we can better organize ourselves, manage procrastination, and eliminate all our little time-wasting activities.
#4: The 4-Hour Workweek - Timothy Ferris
In The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferris presents a revolutionary new way of working. Convention currently dictates we spend most of our lives working hard in order to retire in our old age. Instead of succumbing to the daily grind and waiting for retirement, Ferris proposes distributing mini-retirements throughout life instead.
This unconventional strategy will help you objectively evaluate and optimize the way you use your time. The more effective you are at what you do, the quicker you can produce results, and the more time you have leftover for everything else.
#5: The Lean Startup - Eric Ries
How do you build a product that people will love and need? In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries draws a clear difference between products that create value, and those that are just waste. The amount of time you put into creating and perfecting something doesn’t matter if no one will actually use it.
On the other hand, if you figure out what exactly is the “right” thing to create, selling it won’t be a problem. Ries also argues the importance of a learning culture, as the only way to identify the right product is to build something simple, experiment with it, and learn from feedback.
If you spend just 15 minutes reading every day, you’d be able to get through these books in no time. However, just reading isn’t enough - real change requires real action. Check out actionable summaries for these books and more on Mentorist.