What book/publication/resource has a wealth of information for new founders?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill is a classic in terms of getting clarity and focus on your goals and what you are trying to achieve. It is a fast and easy read, and conveys valuable ideas whether you are starting a business or advancing your career. There are things that may seem hokey (like “the ether”), but the underlying notions are incredibly valuable.
2. ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is one of the best books I’ve read that speaks to founders. It covers nearly all aspects of running a business, and uses both theory and anecdotes from Horowitz’s personal experience to clearly illustrate key lessons.
3. ‘Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business’ by Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh
‘Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business‘ by Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh is a great read for any new or aspiring entrepreneur. In addition to creating an entrepreneur aptitude test, the book outlines which areas you might be lacking in, as well as where your greatest strengths lie. One of the biggest obstacles for a new entrepreneur is how to best spend their time when there is so much to do. This book helps to focus your vision and energy.
4. ‘Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers’ by Tim Ferriss
Want to make fewer mistakes and learn from proven entrepreneurs? You should read “Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers” by Tim Ferriss. Warning: This is not a short book and will require a ton of time to read. However, it can also be used as a resource guide and you can easily skip around to find what interests you most.
5. ‘Rework’ by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
“Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talks about how new founders should use current business ideas, principles and standards, but only to an extent. You can plan and research things endlessly, but at some point in time you have to get to work and put things into action, especially for a founder at a new startup.
6. ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t’ by Jim Collins
While an older resource, the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins outlines what makes some companies go from good to great and sustain that success over the long term. This is a must read for every founder who wants to take their business to the next level. It points out what companies do and what they don’t do that makes a difference in their ultimate success.
7. ‘The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage’ by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner
“The Power of Broke” by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner is helpful in understanding what it means to operate on a lean basis, and why it helps to have less than you think you can survive on when starting your business. It sets a precedent for better spending as the business grows.
8. ‘The Organized Mind’ by Daniel J. Levitin
Written by a cognitive scientist and based on scientific research into how our brains work, “The Organized Mind” by Daniel J. Levitin is a treasure trove of insights into how we can work with our brain’s strengths and weaknesses. This lets us organize our work, home and social lives, so we have more time to be productive and, most importantly, enough time to spend doing the things we love.
9. ‘Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose’ by Tony Hsieh
“Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh studies the psychology and sociology of how corporate environment can change. In this book, Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and a pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos and more. The premise of the book is to show how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion and purpose, both in business and in life.
10. ‘Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less’ by Cameron Herold
“Double Double” by Cameron Herold is the bible for new founders tackling the challenges ahead of them. Succinctly covering everything from meeting rhythms to getting free PR to preparing for the emotional roller coaster of entrepreneurship, it’s a complete overview and guide to many of the common struggles that founders face.
11. ’80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More’ by Perry Marshall
“80/20 Sales and Marketing” by Perry Marshall was a life saver. It helped me zero in on the right 20% of our market, and where to cut waste and target the right opportunities. The subtitle, “The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More,” was true for me and my business.