Are you thinking of starting your own business? Or perhaps you’ve already taken the leap and are working hard to make things work? Well, here are the 6 best startup books to help you avoid fatal startup errors, and build the right foundations for a viable business that can support your personal dreams and goals. We strongly recommend these books for any aspiring or startup business owners.
No time to read all the books? Simply get our detailed infographic, text and audio summaries for all 6 books here!
In the meantime, here’s a quick overview of each book, with links to the individual book summaries.
1. THE E-MYTH REVISITED
In the United States, 80% of businesses fail within the first 5 years, and 80% of the survivors fail in the next 5 years. This book explains why small businesses fail, and how to overcome common mistakes in business, so you can build a successful and rewarding business that works.
The key idea of the book is this—your business is really an extension of who you are, and transforming your business starts with transforming yourself. It helps you to think deeper into your role and strengths/weaknesses as a business owner, define your real reasons and goals for building a business, and explains why/how you can build a business prototype that can be systematically scaled up over time. Read The E-Myth Revisited free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
2. THE BUSINESS COACH
Most entrepreneurs start a business for freedom, financial rewards and/or to pursue their passion, but find themselves struggling with profits and/or get trapped in their business. A successful business must be profitable and work without you—only then will you have the choice to sell the business, or keep it without being trapped in it. Otherwise, your business is no more than a job, and likely an underpaid one. This book covers a 6-part business success framework that has been proven in many industries across more than 50 countries. The idea is to align your business and life goals, master key aspects of your business, and develop systems to automate your operations and profits. Read The Business Coach free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
3. THE $100 STARTUP
You don’t need a huge investment or a big team to start a business. In fact, with technology, it’s now much faster, easier and cheaper to build a small business or a micro-business that can be run by even one person. This book provides a blueprint to help you start your own micro-business, which can coexist with whatever you’re currently doing, and/or eventually replace your traditional job. If you have no business experience, this is a great way to put your entrepreneurial skills to the test with minimal risks, while while building an income stream for yourself. Use this handy book to identify the ideal niche for yourself, and use the step-by-step guide to launch your business. Read The $100 Startup free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
4. ZERO TO ONE
Most entrepreneurs dream of owning a huge company like Paypal or Amazon. The question is, how can you get there as a startup? Well, if you want to make a huge impact and be a game-changer like Google, Facebook or Apple, then you must first think differently about business. And this book is exactly about that—challenging conventional views about business and daring you to uncover the truths behind widely-held (but incorrect) beliefs so you can create breakthroughs that fundamentally change the world. Read the Zero to One free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
Regardless of whether you’re considering a micro-business or an ambitious game-changer, you won’t survive long without cash. Most startups fail because they cannot get enough customers before they run out of money. This book helps you to understand different phases of startup growth, and explains what it means to focus your limited resources so you can have a viable product/service, a large enough market, and a way to reach your customers. Read the Traction free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
6. THE LEAN STARTUP
Any startup will involve some innovation. However, entrepreneurs often waste huge amounts of money, time, and energy on building products and ideas based on wrong or untested assumptions. By the time they realize their mistake, they’re stuck with a white elephant or have run out of money. This book is about developing new products or services successfully under conditions of uncertainty, so you can reduce wastage, increase your changes of a successful innovation, and adapting in face of changes. Learn how to systematically test your assumptions, refine your approach and accelerate only when you have a proven prototype that the market wants. Read The Lean Startup free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
These are our top 6 picks of best startup books. If you’re starting or just started your business, we strongly recommend reading all 6 books as they offer different but equally valuable perspectives.
Looking for book recommendations for other areas, topics or challenges? Check out our visual book map for the best books to read here.