You’re a start-up founder and your passion is running hot - but before you go making any wild decisions, take a step back and lap up some of the incredible information out there. Why not learn what made entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and, of course, Richard Branson so successful? And better yet, why not learn what didn’t work for your fellow entrepreneurial counterparts and avoid their mistakes? We’ve put together a list of books every start-up founder should read to fast track their success.
Thank you: Chapter One
by Daniel Flynn
Every single aspect of this book is out of the box, innovative and exciting. First off, when you purchase the book it’s a pay what you want model. If you think it’s worth $2 you only pay $2, if you think it’s worth $50 you pay $50 - even if you purchase it at a bricks and mortar retailer you pick your price. The second thing you’ll notice is Thank you: Chapter One is printed sideways. And the third is all profits from the book go to charity - and so far they’ve raised $1.4 million and sold more than 54k books. The book details Aussie start-up Thank you’s journey to success, and what a journey it has been. Getting knocked down dozens of times and still getting back up to build something the world’s never seen wasn’t an easy job for these four friends but they did it. If this book doesn’t propel your inspiration and determination, nothing will.
How to win friends and influence people
by Dale Carnegie
While it’s an oldie, it’s still a goodie. This book has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and gives anyone, not just entrepreneurs, major tips and tricks to increase popularity and overall people skills. To improve your interpersonal and leadership skills pick up a copy of How to win friends and influence people.
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business
by Paul Downs
Boss Life highlights the trials and tribulations of small business owner Paul Downs. He opened his New York custom furniture store in 1986 and hired his first staff member in 1987. In his 25+ years of owning a business he became an expert at creating an incredible team and workplace culture. This book takes the reader through his shortcoming and successes of building a thriving small business .
Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
by Bob Chapman
Author Bob Chapman is the CEO of manufacturing company Barry Wehmiller, a company worth $1.7 billion. Everybody Matters highlights his unique approach to leadership that personifies employee’s morale, loyalty, creativity and exceptional business performance. Yet again another must-read to build a great working culture and improve your leadership skills.
The Lean Startup
by Eric Ries
Working smarter not harder is aim of this book. The Lean Startup walks you through a methodology that will help you ensure your idea is viable and your business will remain sustainable. This books been given high praise from entrepreneurs who have been in the same position as you!
The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business
by Charles Duhigg
Duhigg’s book teaches you why habits exist and how they can be changed. And changing habits is an essential skill to create genuine cut-through with a product in today’s technology driven society. By understanding how to change people’s habits you have great power to penetrate the market.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
by David Meerman Scott
For anyone wanting to get a broad look into modern marketing The New Rules of Marketing and PR is essentially a bible. From raising visibility, communicating with buyers and increasing sales, this book offers many step-by-step guides and tactics. Be warned - it is big - but worth the read, especially if you’re looking to hire an agency to assist your marketing. It will give you a better understanding of what they’re doing and why!
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
by Joe Pulizzi
Inbound marketing is the name of the game in 2016 - and marketing guru Joe Pulizzi walks you through what that means in Epic Content Marketing. Understand how to tell stories that will compel customers to act, without actually telling them to do so. A must read if you want to create killer content that gets to the right people, at the right time.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley
No matter who you are, if you’re on social media, write emails for work or publish a blog, you’re a writer and you cannot escape it. Everybody Writes will help you to get your digital communication to reflect your true intentions, because sometimes our writing just doesn’t accurately reflect our personality, and it can be challenging to get a message across clearly. Word choice across all communication matters and Handley’s book will guide you in the right direction!
Start Something that Matters
by Blake Mycoskie
If you haven’t heard the TOMS story you MUST Blake Mysokie’s book. It details how Myoskie needed a break from his fourth start-up (yes, you read that right) so he decided to explore another culture. When he made it to Argentina he realised how many children needed shoes and from there the idea of TOMS was born. Learn how he developed the incredible company without any resources in Start Something that Matters.
Learning from our peers is often the best way to find a successful path. As a founder you have so many things to think of, including cashflow. Have you thought in detail about your start-up cashflow? If not, we’ve got an easy to absorb (strictly no eye-bleeding) cashflow spreadsheet for start-ups, that you can download instantly. Check it out!
Ps. Do you have any books we should add to the list? Let us know your recommendations and reasons in the comments below.