Best Startup Books for Entrepreneurs in 2024
Are you in need of some business inspiration? Maybe you’re a budding business owner looking for the next best step to take your company to the next level.
Well, books written by those who made it in this world always help us, and we’re sure they will help you, too. That’s why we put together this list of the best startup books that will inspire you on your journey to becoming a millionaire.
Consider the areas of knowledge you can unlock once you begin to pick the minds of well-known industry tycoons and self-starter billionaires. The books we list here will help you unleash your possibilities.
These books will be your mentors, your guides, and your trusted companions on your startup journey. But don’t just read them – LEARN from them and apply that knowledge in real life!
Let’s get into it.
Top 5 Best Startup Books You Need to Read Before 2024
1. THE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS STARTUP ACTION GUIDE: LESSONS AND MISTAKES FROM AN ENTREPRENEUR ON BUILDING THE FUTURE, STARTING BUSINESSES, AND LEADING FOR CHANGE
Such a long title, but such an amazing book! It easily found its place at the top of our best startup books list – and for a good reason!
This is not your typical startup book. It’s more like having a seasoned entrepreneur as your personal mentor, and Husam S. AlSaleh is great at that. This book covers everything from shaping your initial idea to setting up a business.
AlSaleh’s writing style is conversational and relatable. He draws from personal experiences, sharing real stories of success and failure. His word flow allows readers to get fully immersed in his dialogue and truly capture the valuable message.
The book is very practical as it delves into the nitty-gritty of business development, from finding the perfect opportunity to creating a competitive advantage, building the right product or service for your audience, and gaining traction.
It’s basically like a roadmap to success!
One of the standout features of this book is the emphasis on creating a strategic framework. AlSaleh encourages readers to define the problem they aim to solve, and then build their business decisions around that core need.
The book does have its quirks, including the inclusion of lengthy URLs within the text and sometimes distracting footnotes. Other than that, we’re sure “The Successful Business Startup Action Guide” will help you immensely, just like it helped us!
What we like
- Practical advice
- Engaging and easy to relate
- Personal anecdotes
What we don’t like
- Over-reliance on references can overshadow original insights
“The Successful Business Startup Action Guide” by Husam S. AlSaleh is our top recommendation for anyone looking to start their own business. Read it, and you won’t regret it!
“Burn the Boats: Toss Plan B Overboard and Unleash Your Full Potential” by famous entrepreneur Matt Higgins is another book that will inspire your journey.
Higgins is a former high school dropout who went on to become a prominent figure on the infamous Shark Tank and joined the faculty of Harvard Business School. In this read, he shares his life’s blueprint with unfiltered honesty and passion.
Burning the boats is an age-old strategy. Throughout history, leaders like Sun Tzu and Julius Caesar have used it. In essence, it’s really a high-stakes gamble, a commitment to win or perish, and it’s the sheer desperation that often propels individuals to achieve victory.
Are you willing to take the risk?
Higgins expertly weaves together research, historical examples, and numerous case studies, including Scarlett Johansson and NFL Coach Rex Ryan. He argues that merely considering a Plan B can diminish the likelihood of ever realizing Plan A.
That’s his main point, but we will leave the details for you to read. We will only tell you that “Burn the Boats” will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to business decisions and life in general.
What we like
- Very motivational
- Full of historical examples
- Interesting read
What we don’t like
- Risky advice
If you’re a risk taker, “Burn the Boats” is something you HAVE TO read. Make sure to only take calculated risks, though!
Yes, you can make a $100 startup work. And if you don’t believe us – better read this book! But you need to be passionate about your idea.
At the heart of “The $100 Startup” is the idea that anyone can turn their passions into profits. You don’t need an MBA, a complex business plan, or a team of employees. What you do need is a product or service that springs from what you love, a market willing to pay, and a way to get paid.
Guillebeau invites you into the world of ‘solopreneurship,’ where ordinary folks like you and me transform their passions into thriving micro-businesses. So you won’t learn how to make millions, but you will learn how to make enough money doing what you love.
Chris himself is a testament to the power of this approach. He’s gone from being a high school dropout to a successful entrepreneur and sought-after speaker, all without a traditional job or a steady paycheck.
Guillebeau introduces you to 1,500 individuals who took the leap and built businesses generating $50,000 or more in revenue, often starting with as little as $100. He then delves into the stories of the 50 most captivating cases.
It’s a very interesting read about embracing freedom.
What we like
- Practical guidance
- More than 50 real-world examples
- Full of motivational quotes
What we don’t like
- Limited scope with primary focus on micro-businesses
If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, you might not find groundbreaking insights here. But if you’re someone ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, “The $100 Startup” is a must-read.
Despite the book’s title, this is not just for developers. It’s for every self-funded startup out there.
It skips the topics commonly associated with venture-backed enterprises, like pitching to investors and securing large sums of money. Instead, it’s tailored for individuals who don’t have a multi-million-dollar investor fund sitting in their bank account, aren’t planning to relocate to startup meccas, and aren’t willing to work themselves to the bone for minimal pay.
You will find “Start Small, Stay Small” to be very insightful if you’re a small business owner. This may especially be the case if you’re interested in maintaining your small business for longevity and quality.
The book delves into practical and actionable advice that can be a game-changer for small businesses. It covers essential topics such as building mailing lists and employing first-tier marketing strategies.
This book is a perfect reminder that not every startup has to follow the same playbook as Amazon, Google, or Twitter to succeed.
What we like
- Step-by-step guidance
- Relevant strategies that work
- Actionable insights
What we don’t like
- Not for those who want to make rapid and huge progress
If you’re looking for a guide that’s all about starting small, staying small, and making it big on your own terms, read this book.
5. STEVE JOBS
“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson is one of the most inspiring and most popular startup books of all time. If you haven’t read this yet, now is the perfect time to catch up.
There is a reason this book is so popular, and that reason goes beyond being a simple biography. It’s a rich source of lessons on innovation, character, leadership, and values. That’s because Steve Jobs didn’t just think outside the box; he redefined the box itself.
What’s particularly remarkable about this biography is the level of access Isaacson had. Jobs cooperated with the author, offering an unfiltered look into his life and the people he worked with. Nothing was off-limits, and this openness resulted in a candid portrayal that left no stone unturned.
The narrative is filled with anecdotes and insights from Jobs’ friends, adversaries, and colleagues. With knowledge like this at your fingertips, you can truly harness your inner businessperson and learn how to leverage your industry.
If you want to be the next Steve Jobs, first learn about him!
What we like
- Comprehensive portrait of one of the most influential startup leaders ever
- High level of insight into Steve Jobs’ life
- Valuable life lessons
What we don’t like
- Lengthy read
Steve Jobs’ legacy lives on, and this book will motivate you to create your own success.
Are Business Books Worth Reading?
Yes, business books are worth reading and there are many reasons that you should read them. Most importantly, they will offer knowledge, insights, and practical wisdom that can be transformative for your career.
The motivation business books give you is ridiculous. Whether it’s a book on leadership, entrepreneurship, or innovation, you’re bound to find a business book that reflects your needs and provides you with relevant and valuable information.
Business books are like having a mentor or coach at your fingertips. They allow you to tap into the minds of some of the most successful people in the business world.
They also help you stay current in a rapidly changing business landscape. Because let’s be honest – everything is changing too fast these days and sometimes it’s hard to catch up. If you’re a business owner, you know what we’re talking about.
So what skills will you improve by reading the best startup books? So many of them!
Reading business books hones leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. These books provide valuable insights into effective communication, time management, and financial literacy. They inspire creativity and innovation, offering lessons in networking and emotional intelligence.
If you don’t believe us, try reading just one of the books from our list. You will see a DRASTIC change in how you perceive things.
Can I Become an Entrepreneur by Reading Books?
Can you become an entrepreneur by reading books alone? The unequivocal answer is yes. However, the key lies in applying what you learn from books to practice.
You can’t just read a bunch of books and start a business. You need to get your feet in the water and take action. But books will help you, and they will guide you on your way to success.
The path to entrepreneurship is far from smooth. Many books present real-world case studies, illustrating how other entrepreneurs have tackled and surmounted similar obstacles. The stories of their struggles, setbacks, and ultimate triumphs can provide the motivation you need in a moment.
Successful entrepreneurs are lifelong learners. The knowledge you get from books is very valuable and that’s why we recommend that you never stop reading, even if you make it in the industry!
There is always knowledge to be learned and a different way of looking at things that just may unlock another door to success for you.
How Many Books Do CEOs Read a Day?
Some sources suggest that CEOs read an average of 60 books per year, while others suggest around 52 books per year. This means they read almost one book per week, or 4-5 books per month.
The number of books a CEO might read in a day depends on various factors, most importantly the speed of reading (are they just trying to skim through or really absorb the knowledge), length, and complexity of books, and available time for reading.
Although it’s not as common these days, some of the most successful business leaders in history were reading a book a day, or even more. That’s A LOT!
And even if there’s no fixed number, it’s common for CEOs and successful business leaders to prioritize reading as a part of their daily routine. This reading habit allows them to stay informed, gain insights, and continue learning, which can be a crucial factor in their success.
Does Elon Musk Read A Lot?
For most of us in the startup industry, Elon Musk is one of the biggest inspirations. And even though he hasn’t written his own book yet, he is known to be an avid reader.
At the peak ofhis reading habits, Musk was reported to have devoured not one, but two books a day. Yes, you read that right—two books daily. And to be fair, he had to, as he had really ambitious goals of revolutionizing electric cars and colonizing Mars.
Musk’s choice of reading material is as diverse as his ventures. He immerses himself in science fiction (which, believe it or not, is where he draws a lot of inspiration from), engineering, biographies, and countless other genres.
So, does Elon Musk read a lot? Undoubtedly. His reading habit isn’t just a pastime; it’s a vital tool to stay at the top of the game.
How do other startup leaders compare to Elon Musk when it comes to reading habits? Let’s take a look.
Compared to Elon Musk, Warren Buffett dedicates five to six hours every day to reading. His appetite for knowledge took the form of five newspapers and a staggering 500 pages of corporate reports.
Bill Gates averages about 50 books a year, and Mark Zuckerberg makes it a point to read at least one book every two weeks.
If you’re looking for some business inspiration, we know that these best startup books are sure to help you. They helped us!
“The Successful Business Startup Action Guide” is rich in real stories of success and failure, providing actionable advice to shape your initial idea, create a competitive edge, and gain traction. Burn the Boats” is a motivational manifesto, reminding you that sometimes, taking calculated risks is the key to unlocking your true potential.
“The $100 Startup” reinforces the idea that you don’t need a massive budget to succeed in business. “Start Small, Stay Small” caters to self-funded startups, providing actionable insights to help small businesses thrive without the need for enormous capital or relentless work hours.
“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson is a classic that transcends mere biography. It’s a profound source of lessons on innovation, leadership, and values.
Enjoy these reads and let us know if you have any other amazing startup book recommendations!