As an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do is soak up the wisdom that comes from others’ experiences and ideas. There are thousands of great books already out there about running a better business, some with lessons that can only be taught in a book.
Here are a few of the best options that have come out in recent years – all of which should be on your reading list for 2015:
The $100 Start-Up: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
Thriftiness is becoming a more and more important attribute for entrepreneurs. The $100 Start-Up by Chris Guillebeau shares the stories of a number of business owners who took this principle to the extreme, starting their companies with an investment of a hundred dollars or less. It’s highly recommended for anyone who doubts that you can go from almost nothing to huge success.
Bill Gates revealed his favorite business book in a piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal back in July – Business Adventures, something Warren Buffett recommended to him in 1991. It was long out of print, but soon after Gates revealed his love of the collection of 1960s New Yorker articles, a new edition was released. Many of the articles covering issues from fifty years ago still carry weight today, making this one of the most surprising books that will help your business going into 2015.
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
Google developed one of the most influential workplace environments in the past hundred years (if you aren’t already familiar with the way Google operates, this article should enlighten you). But how did the heads of Google go about developing that culture, and what did they learn along the way? How Google Works answers that question with insight that can benefit all business owners.
Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
Receiving criticism – positive or negative – is an important part of improving your business. Even so, it can be difficult to receive it graciously and make good use of it. Co-author Douglas Stone shares some of the science behind feedback in this Forbes interview, giving you a hint at the extensive wisdom that can be found in the complete book.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
These days, having a meaningful platform is almost as important as having a great product. But that said, there’s a lot of noise out there today being made by entrepreneurs who all share this same goal. Reading Platform will help you break this competition by carving out a place where you’ll be noticed and thrive by your target audience.
Mastery by Robert Greene
Learn from history to become a part of history. In this book, you’ll get the inside scoop on how some of the greats – including Charles Darwin, Henry Ford and Buckminster Fuller – mastered their crafts and became people that changed the world. It’s a great read that draws on some truly fascinating examples to develop lessons that are still relevant today.
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman
Do you know why you’re asked about your attention to detail in almost every job interview? Because you have to be attentive to be successful! Focus draws on research and case studies to show you exactly how you can sharpen your focus. It may not give you direct advice on how the business world works, but it will show you how being more mindful will help your company grow.
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Who here hasn’t been guilty of procrastination at one time or another? Business projects, product launches and even entire new ventures aren’t as successful as they could be, all because of procrastination. Straightforward and a speedy read, Rework is an excellent choice if the number one thing slowing you down is yourself.
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson
Richard Branson – founder of the Virgin Group that includes more than 400 companies – knows a thing or two about leadership, and he shares everything he has to tell in his most recent release. In writing The Virgin Way, Branson openly admits that he has never read a book about business, making this one of the most eclectic and insightful books on this list.
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
Another book by a famous entrepreneur, Thrive is worth a read if you’re less focused on amassing money and power and more concerned with self-improvement and personal well-being. It’s a great look at how business can be used to achieve more than wealth alone by a woman at the top of her business game.
Inspired by this list? Have another book you’d like to see added to it? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!