wanted to present a few of the entrepreneurial books I love. These are the best of the best I’ve found, full stop. I’ve “auditioned” many books in places like Barnes and Noble, with a cup of coffee and a comfy chair. Some books are so filled with wisdom or practical advice, I think to myself “I gotta buy this book!”

It’s my hope and eager expectation these books will put a fire under your bum, fill you with hope, and want to storm the battlements of the business world.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

Practical financial advice set to a narrative. Don’t be fooled by it’s publishing date of the 1920s, this book is filled with simple and timeless wisdom. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “pay yourself first” it very likely came from the influence of this slim book. I first heard about it from Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki, who appears later in this list. Jim Rohn, one of the top personal development speakers of the last century, also greatly advocated this book.

Whenever I have followed the principles of this book, I have had money to spare and invest, despite very different income levels. When I have not, I have struggled, and wondered where the hell all my money went.

Here are a few main principles outlined in the book, as described below. Do buy the book. The story makes it worth it.

1.) “A part of all you earn is YOURS to keep. “

2.) Control thy expenditures — make and keep a rational, easy to use budget. Easy and near automatic if you follow step one.

3.) Make thy gold mutiply — Invest wisely, and invest in what you know.

The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg

There is a serious education bubble and learning gap in our higher learning institutions at the time of writing. Not only is going to university massively expensive, but it far too often does not correlate to skills and true success in the rapidly changing economy. For a very long time, there was a social contract of “go to school, get good grades, get a solid job, and work your way up the ladder.” Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you know this societal promise is looking even more antiquated since the economy fell apart in 2008.

What then is the answer? Author Michael Ellsberg details the following answers:

-Find great mentors and teachers, connect with powerful and influential people, and build a world-class network.

-Every successful person needs to know about marketing, and how to teach yourself.

-Every successful person needs to know about sales, and how to teach yourself.

– Invest for success (the art of bootstrapping)

-Build the brand of you (or, to hell with resumes!)

-The entrepreneurial mindset versus the employee mindset — become the author of your own life.

He stresses continuing self education, building your own business, and gives ton of great resources and stories. while doing so. He introduces readers to the works and interviews with self-educated billionaires Phillip Ruffin and John Paul DeJoria, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and founding president Sean Parker, fashion designer Marc Ecko, and Pink Floyd lead guitarist David Gilmour. He also features marketing experts Eben Pagan, Frank Kern, and Joe Polish. Also making appearances are Seth Godin, Robert Kiyosaki, and Peter Thiel.

Losing my Virginity by Sir Richard Branson

For the record….I still want to be a mashup of Jimmy Page, Captain Picard, Valentino Rossi, and Sir Richard Branson when I grow up. This autobiography is what made me add Branson to the list.

The book describes Branson’s life and business ventures, most notably Virgin Music, and Virgin Airlines. More importantly, it gives the reader permission. Permission with the idea they can be who they are fundamentally, and still run a successful business. It gives the reader permission to NOT have things seemingly all together, and still have things go well. You learn as you go. It also gives the reader permission to write their own David vs Goliath story, as Branson had done with Virgin Airlines, which nearly went under due to British Airway’s sly competition.

N.B. Richard Branson shares my hate of men’s ties.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau, of The Art on Noncomformity fame, writes a very inspirational and practical book, on starting a bootstrapped business with as little as….you guessed it…$100. This book stands alone as a very specific roadmap to refining a business idea “finding the convergence point between what we’re excited about and what other people value,” developing a sales and marketing plan, and actually launching the damn thing. “You don’t need outside investment (of any kind), an MBA, or a 65-page business plan no one will ever read. You just need a product or service, a group of people willing to buy it, and a means of getting paid. “In the battle between planning and action, action wins,”

This is a book about freedom. The raison d’etre: “Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do. Imagine handing a letter to your boss: “Dear Boss, I’m writing to let you know that your services are no longer required. Thanks for everything, but I’ll be doing things my own way now.”

N.B. This book was sent to me by Amazon as a promo copy, on the book’s release. Thank you for the absolute goldmine this book is!

The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

This is one of the books that started it all for me. Tim Ferriss, a now notable “life hacker” describes building a business, which he then proceeds to burn out on, due to it’s massive demands. He then starts to automate his business to regain his life and sanity. Due to being able to delegate and outsource much of his business, he takes an extended vacation, revolutionizing what he thinks is possible about business and life. This book coined the term “lifestyle design.” This argues against the traditional “deferred” life plan in which people work grueling hours and take few vacations for decades and save money in order to relax after retirement.

Core to the business tenets in the book are:

  • Define your objectives. Decide what’s most important. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
  • Eliminate distractions to free up time. Learn to be effective, not efficient. Focus on the important 20% of stuff and ignore the 80% that isn’t. Learn to shunt aside interruptions, and learn to say “no”.
  • Automate your cash flow to increase income. Outsource where possible — hire a virtual assistant to handle menial tasks. Develop a business that can run on auto-pilot.
  • Liberate yourself from traditional expectations. Design your business/job to increase mobility. This could mean working from home, or it could mean taking mini-retirements in countries with favorable exchange rate
  • Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses. There are some things you will never like, or be good at. Build a team for the weak spots.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Ecker

This book focuses on the mindset and habits of being wealthy, and creating wealth rather than nuts and bolts business advice. The reason I love it is every great business or invention was first created in the mind before it became reality. Others have said that the best thing about becoming wealthy is the type of person you have to become to get there. This book focuses on the invisible that precedes the visible.

I love this book because I grew up with a pretty bad mental model of how money works, how rich folks got that way, and what type of people rich people are. Much of this came from my parents who always had a fair amount of resentment towards wealthy people, and in turn didn’t make a ton of money themselves. Some of my mindset began to change when I started working for country and beach clubs during high school and college. The people who were the nicest generally and tipped the best were the ones who had made millions.

Principles:

  1. Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe “Life happens to me.”
  2. Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.
  3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.
  4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.
  5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.
  6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.
  7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.
  8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.
  9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.
  10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.
  11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.
  12. Rich people think “both”. Poor people think “either/or”.
  13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
  14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.
  15. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.
  16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.
  17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.

Other selected quotes:

“Do you know the definition of an entrepreneur? The definition we use in our programs is ‘a person who solves problems for people at a profit’. That’s right, an entrepreneur is nothing more than a ‘problem solver.””

“ If your goal is to be comfortable, chances are you’ll never get rich. But if your goal is to be rich, chances are you’ll end up mighty comfortable”.

“You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you deliver according to the marketplace”.

“You likely replicate your parents way of thinking about money. If you hate rich people, you likely won’t become one. If you want to move to a higher level of life, you have to be willing to let go of some of your old ways of thinking and being and adopt new ones”.

“If you’re not doing as well as you’d like, all that means is there’s something you don’t know”.

The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

Last and possibly most important, this is the book started it ALL for me. The entire Rich Dad series is fantastic. The second book forms a fantastic foundation for all that follows. It’s far better than the first book, the more well known “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”

With a simple diagram, Kiyosaki, changed my view of business, money, and choices. E stands for Employee. This is where you work for a hourly or salary for a company. The government takes a bunch of money off the top before you even see it, and there is very little leverage in this area. (If you had to write a check to the IRS every 2 weeks instead of them withholding money from you, we’d have blood in the streets tomorrow.) The overall security is very low also. Some one call the shots, but the odds are , it’s not you.

S stand for self employed. These are often small businesses, solo doctors or lawyers. A small business owner has more freedom with leverage, but not much. Often the owner is there many hours a week, and just replaces the corporate job with a job at their own business.

The B quadrant stands for “big business” and these are often the large corporations that currently dominate the economic landscape. A LLC or C-type corporate have tax benefits and other advantages that the E & S areas don’t have. That’s the current way governments have written the rules of the game.

The I quadrant stands for Investor. Investors often invest in large publicly traded corporations. In the US, if you’re an Accredited Investor you can invest in certain classes of investments that the average joe is not allowed to. If this makes you mad…it should.

I hope you read at least one of these books if your intent is to start a business or become wealthy. They can help you learn invaluable lessons from those that have been there and done exactly that. Regarding good answers…Lavar Burton on Reading Rainbow was right. Take a look, it’s in a book. But don’t take my word for it……


About the Author

This article was written by Jason Channell, Digital Marketer. See more.