Leaders read. Successful entrepreneurs read. It’s one of the most common evening and morning habits of top startup founders and investors.
I actually have the pleasure of interviewing some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the DealMakers Podcast. One of the patterns that I recognize from those founders is their appetite for reading and finishing at least more than one book per month.
It’s not always convenient to read or haul around real books these days. Audiobooks can help you keep up and stay efficient. These ten will combine essential reading, inspirational thoughts and extra fuel to help you make the most of your venture.
1) How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie
This is absolutely must have material for all entrepreneurs. It’s not at all what you might think it is about. If you have put it off, grab a copy. Replay it regularly.
Carnegie used this material to create an amazing legacy and empower many investors over decades. It is the foundation of everything you want to accomplish. Especially, fundraising for your startup.
2) Fanatical Prospecting – Jeb Blunt
Without a doubt one of the best books I have read about selling. In my opinion, the best entrepreneurs are not the visionaries, but those that are able to master the art of storytelling. Jeb Blunt does a phenomenal job at explaining what is the process and how to build a powerful pipeline from the ground up.
Wether you are looking to raise funding or land clients, Fanatical Prospecting is a must to learn how to get leads from A to Z.
3) Think & Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
This book is single handedly responsible for probably the most entrepreneurial careers and startups ever. It is really the foundation of other famous works by Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki.
Your perception and how you think is everything. A real life changer. Also a good frequent reminder to think bigger and achieve more. You are capable of so much.
4) Tribes – Seth Godin
Being an entrepreneur or founder means being a leader. A leader needs a tribe and to know how to effectively lead that tribe. That’s what this book by Seth is all about. Figure out who your tribe is. Users, teams, and investors. Lead them well, and everything else will fall into place. Don’t let this opportunity you have go to waste by overlooking these important concepts.
5) Zero to One – Peter Thiel
A book by PayPal cofounder, founder of Palantir, and notable ex-Silicon Valley investor, now based in LA. Peter Thiel clearly knows a thing or two about startups. His book is the only thing he has ever Tweeted about. Just one single Tweet.
Zero to One talks about how to really create disruption and innovation, how he actually takes the opposite approach of most investors by focusing on fewer ventures and putting more into them, and what it really takes for investment funds to make it.
You may also enjoy checking out his pitch deck template for startup entrepreneurs (see it here).
6) Ego is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday
Success can kill you. More often your own ego will be the end of you and your business. That’s if your ego even lets you make it that far. Ego has destroyed the greatest investors and entrepreneurs throughout history. It has banished millions from from ever getting anywhere. It is probably the number one threat to your success.
We probably need a lot more on this subject. Learn the lessons of those that have become victims, and how to keep yours in check so you don’t sabotage yourself.
7) Before Happiness – Shawn Achor
A book by the author of The Happiness Advantage. Highlighting the five keys to achieving success, spreading happiness and sustaining positive change. Not nearly as fluffy as the title makes it sound.
This book has plenty of data and strategies to support your mission, from intentional thinking to building up your team, success mapping and more.
8) Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink
Extreme Ownership may begin by being an uncomfortable book for most people. Like Randy Hetrick, Jocko Willink was a Navy SEAL, turned business professional. The hard truth is that it’s all on us. It’s all up to us. Success or failure. A great book to help you master your destiny and become a great team leader.
9) The One Thing – Gary Keller
If you want to go big, and get more done, without going crazy, you’ll want to listen to this book by the founder of the largest and fastest growing real estate brokerage in the world. Check out Gary’s approach to extreme time management and how it can both simplify your life and help you get more accomplished.
10) Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
The World War II story of Louis Zamperini, who was transferred from grueling prison camp to prison camp as a POW. While not a business audiobook, the truth is that startup life can often feel like this. You’re flying high, trying to help others. Then you face challenges, and then you run into even greater challenges, and more. You’ve got to learn to keep your head up and get through it.
Fortunately, your journey probably won’t be anywhere nearly as tough as this. Though this should make you feel a lot better about your position and how easy you’ve got it. You can always watch the movie version too.