As the year comes to a close, we start to evaluate our successes and failures in the year and look forward to the future. If you’re thinking of starting your own business in the new year or have some time on your hands and are simply looking for some inspiration, here are 10 must read books we think every aspiring entrepreneur should read:
1. Make Your Mark
This one is a no brainer for the Leaders in Heels team! The Make Your Mark notebook was the result of lots of hard work by our founder Kasia Gospos and would make the perfect gift for a friend or family member who needs a bit of a push in the right direction. Filled with positive quotes, thoughts and assignments for the everyday woman (or man!) these are interactive books aimed to stimulate a new way of thinking and develop positive traits in your life and business.
2. Daring and Disruptive – Unleashing the Entrepreneur
There’s no doubt Lisa Messenger is a risk taker. Engaging and raw, this book is filled with stories of Lisa’s real experiences running her businesses – including a successful publishing company and the Renegade Collective magazine – while living life to the fullest. Filled with the fun and the failures, Daring and Disruptive is not just another feel good book blending Lisa’s personal stories with the important business lessons she has learned along the way – you won’t be able to put it down!
Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day, but imagine if you had an extra 30 hours a month to do whatever you please. Oh the things you would do! This is what author and entrepreneur Kate Christie tries to give you in her simple and practical 5 step guide to finding those elusive extra hours. Solution focused and with interviews from successful Australian women, including Natasha Stott Despoja, this is book will have you seeking out those hours across all aspects of your life!
4. The Lean Startup
Perfect for those wanting to start their own business, this book gives a scientific approach to creating and managing start ups from the very beginning and being flexible to the beast that is a new product or service. Author Ries tries to instil the ‘work smarter, not harder’ approach to new business and gives great tips for people to think about before they start their journey.
5. Wired for Life: Retrain your brain and thrive
Written by 2 female entrepreneurs, this book has helped many people create the business and life they want. Drawing on their own personal experiences with corporate and private clients, the authors reveals the 5 fears that will hold you back and how to overcome them through a three-step process for harnessing the power of your mind and creating the life you want. By understanding why you behave the way you do and the reasons behind your decisions, you will gain insight into how you can change your mind (and life) for the better.
Thinking about influential entrepreneurs, we could not forget this one on the list. Thrive is an honest account of Huffington’s journey to the top whilst juggling life, her family and beyond and describes her personal “wake up call” that a successful life is about more than just money and reputation. Learn what priorities you should be focussing on and get inspired.
7. Losing my Virginity
Another one at the top of the entrepreneur’s list is Richard Branson’s autobiography. Described as “a portrait of a productive, sane, balanced life, filled with rich and colorful stories” this book will reveal how Branson first began and how he manages to stay on top of his competition. A true risk taker in every sense – this book is an inspirational memoir that belongs on every entrepreneur’s bookshelves.
8. 4-Hour Work Week
This book is all about escaping the 9-to-5 lifestyle and freeing up your time while making money. #1 New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss will teach you how he is able to work a four hour week to make $40,000 a month. There is no need to wait until retirement anymore and Ferriss will show you how it’s all possible!
9. The $100 Startup
Another example of how you can take an idea and turn it into a reality on the cheap, Guillebeau presents 50 case studies of successful entrepreneurs who have built their businesses from a modest $100 (or in some cases less!) and how they did it to live the life they really wanted. Highlighting that often you don’t need that university education or investor behind the scenes, this book will teach you the most valuable lessons learned from those who’ve already done it.
10. Design Your Life
“This book is more than words, more than images. It’s about inspiring ideas to life. It’s about proving the impossible possible,’ – Vince Frost”.
All about inspiring others using design principles, it’s a bit different to the usual but the messages and principles Frost presents are relevant to any person looking for guidance. Littered with motivational quotes, informative interviews with other successful people and personal anecdotes, Frost will have you looking at your life a little differently, and that’s a good thing.
Do you have a favourite book that inspires you? Tell us the title in the comments below and how it has helped you!
Siân Edwards is a Sydney-based communications professional with experience working in public relations, media and marketing roles in both the private and public sector. With an endless thirst for knowledge, particularly in the areas of digital marketing and social media, Sian is a true believer of ‘lifelong learning’. When she’s not working in the corporate world, she is out and about exploring Sydney and beyond for her popular food and travel blog and building on her skills as a freelance writer and editor.
Photo credit: azrasta