The Short Reading List for Busy Entrepreneurs


Busy? Here’s a reading list that will make business success easy without being overwhelming.

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As an entrepreneur, you’re busy. There’s always a to-do list, and if you’re just starting, you likely do the jobs of 5 people. However, knowledge is key to success, so I put together a short reading list for busy entrepreneurs. These books have helped me and countless others in their entrepreneurial journeys.

As a bonus, Thomas Oppong writes in his article on that reading can change your brain and make you smarter. Plus, I think it allows you to learn from others’ experiences without making the mistakes they did. You can instead go straight for the winning strategies that the authors learned the hard way. Without further ado, here’s the list:

  • The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
  • The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris

Who will love it: Entrepreneurs who want to build a business that runs well without them; those looking to make passive income.

This book focuses on building your career around your life, not the other way around. The author gives suggestions on working where you want to, even if you have a corporate job, and how to strike out on your own.

He spends time discussing ways to automate your business and save money to spend more time living your life instead of sitting at a desk. Although I don’t mind working more than 4 hours a week, I like that it’s possible, and his approach is very unique, earning it a spot on the reading list for busy entrepreneurs.

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

Who will love it: Unconventional thinkers and people who don’t mind bootstrapping as they begin their business.

If you want a read that will remind you that anything is possible, this is the book for you. Motivational and creative, the author spends a lot of time telling other’s stories of success and then launching into thorough explanations of how you, too, can begin your own business. It’s inspiring and proves that it doesn’t take a lot of money to build something great.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Who will love it: Extroverts and the career-minded.

This book is not a list of productivity tips or how-to’s. Instead, it’s a read for those interested in developing strong connections with others, networking, and helping one another in business. For all you Type A personalities out there, it could seem like your time would be better spent researching new entrepreneur articles and apps. But, without emotional intelligence, and an awareness of how we affect others, we can’t get anywhere worth going. Take some time to read through this little book. It can make a world of difference as the authors discuss how to understand others and yourself better.

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Who will love it: those who want to focus on business growth.

I feel that this read should be taken with a grain of salt. One of Hill’s main points is that to become wealthy you need to want it and work hard. However, it’s important to remember that money doesn’t need to be the main focus of your life. Yes, making money takes a lot of time and effort, which this book points out well. But it’s also imperative to make time for loved ones and build a life with meaning. I haven’t yet read the entire book, but this is what I’ve gathered so far.

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You will be successful!

I’m convinced that, more than anything else, building a business is about determination and perseverance. Reading any of these books will aid you on your start-up journey, and help you embrace new thoughts and ideas. I hope this list inspires you to keep growing, stay motivated, and never give up.

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