Looking for an inspirational read? Motivation to keep pushing your business forward? I’ve created a list of some of my favorite books that put a spotlight on entrepreneur journeys, how to grow your business, and innovative ways of thinking that will get you fired up about building your business empire. It’s important to read about other successful business owners to remember that they, too, had to start at the bottom before working their way to the top. I’ll be updating this as I continue to read new books, so be sure to bookmark this page and revisit for new recommendations! Ahead, you’ll find the best books that every entrepreneur must-have on their shelf.
The Secret to Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity
by Scott Alexander
Are you a rhino or a cow? What the heck does that even mean?!
Every entrepreneur and business owner needs this book in their life. It takes goal-setting, big ambition, and risk-taking into a fresh perspective. Charge forward in your business with this quick read to put a new fire in your step. For extra rhinoceros-momentum and motivation in your life, grab this book today so you can get started working towards your big ideas with a fierce tenacity.
The Glitter Plan
How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand
by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor
Part memoir, part business manual– this book gives readers the inside story of Juicy Couture, one of the most iconic brands of our times.
I’m always reading memoirs about successful entrepreneurs– it’s great to learn how they started, especially since no one starts at the top. It takes a specific level of creativity, boot-strapping, and grit to rise to the top. Often times, you’ll find successful business owners actually had to fail a few times in business to fine-tune the path to business success. The founders of Juicy Couture are no exception.
With optimism and fearlessness, in this book, the founders go behind-the-scenes of the rise of the famed brand they built on only $200 that grew to be a brand that is a big part of pop culture. Fashion entrepreneurs and business readers alike will instantly get hooked on this story– I highly recommend!
By Invitation Only
How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop
by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
Follow the founders of Gilt Group, who disrupted the retail industry by creating a luxury flash-sale site, Gilt Group. In the book they share with readers the monumental day the website went live, “We had created a Web site that could potentially change the rules of retail…If shopping was traditionally a slow, leisurely activity…it would now be competitive, addictive, urgent, thrilling…not just easier, but so much more fun.”
The co-founders go through the ideation, starting points, and the ins and outs of production and hiring to build the business out to launch. Gilt was no exception to entrepreneurship and business launching, it was no walk in the park.
I love this book for its honesty and insight into how these women overcame obstacles to fulfill their business dreams. It’s inspiring, and a great read for any and all business owners that want insight to how an industry disruptor was built.
Do Cool Sh*t
Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After
by Miki Agrawal
I’ll be honest: I bought this book because of the title. Who doesn’t want to do cool sh*t?! I was pleasantly pleased that the book ended up being as fun and inspiring as I had hoped.
This memoir goes behind the scenes with entrepreneur Miki Agrawal as she pursues building her business and taking leaps of faith that get her out of her comfort zone. She built a gluten-free pizza business, despite her lack of experience in the restaurant industry, and it was backed by a huge executive of Zappos.
Throughout the book, the fearless business owner shows you how to start a business, fund it on a shoestring budget, gather the perfect group of people to brainstorm a business plan, test a product for quality, get great (free) press coverage, and more—all while living life to the fullest without the “what if I had…” in the back of her mind. She goes for it, and it’s a fun journey to follow. A quick read that will keep you on your toes!
When to Jump
If the Job You Have Isn’t the Life You Want
by Mike Lewis
Every aspiring entrepreneur hits a point in their life when they question their day job, and start dreaming of where they want to be instead. Risks are calculated, “what ifs,” timing and processes involved. How does one decide when to take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneur and author, Mike Lewis, walks readers through his journey of leaving a highly coveted corporate job to going all in on entrepreneurship- and the best formula to get there yourself, The Jump Curve.
Lewis features entrepreneurs across a variety of industries and interesting career paths so that you can get a taste of different mindsets and experiences. A perk of this book is as a busy entrepreneur, you can read each story in bite-sized chunks without getting “behind.” A chapter here and there will get you inspired. I highly, highly recommend this read even if you have already made the jump into starting your own business.
How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams
by Jaclyn Johnson
The founder and CEO behind Create & Cultivate, the fastest growing online platform and conference for millennial women in business, takes readers behind the scenes in her book, Work Party, to share her journey building her successful empire.
As an entrepreneur experiencing both the highest highs and lowest lows of building your own business, I think it’s critical to read about other founders’ experiences. It’s good to know we all experience the rollercoaster in some way, shape or form; and to know we’re not alone on the journey.
For reassurance that every entrepreneur experiences highs and lows, and that we all have to start somewhere, this is a great read to see how Jaclyn built her empire and came out on top.
You Are a Badass:
How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living an Awesome Life
by Jen Sincero
We all need someone to hype us up, and Jen Sincero is not only awesome at that, but she will light that fire that will motivate you to crank up your badassery to a new level. In her book (and entire badass series, for that matter), Sincero makes you realize just how badass you are. Looking to stay motivated as you go after your big dreams and aspirations? Read this book, trust me on this one.
Never Split the Difference Negotiating As if Your Life Depended On It
by Chris Voss
My brother (who is also an entrepreneur) recommended this book, and one day I received an Amazon package on my doorstep with it enclosed.
I was surprised to find it wasn’t from my brother, it was from a friend that is extremely supportive and looking out for me. How awesome is that?!
I’m so thankful for this recommendation and gift, because it takes negotiation skills to the next level.
Written by a former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, the book gets you inside his head so you can master the art of negotiating like it’s your job. No matter where you’re at as an entrepreneur, you have to be able to sell your services and yourself as a brand to get anywhere– and negotiation is a part of this song and dance.
Pick up this book or request it as a gift: the next person you negotiate with won’t realize the competitive edge you have on them!
The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth
If you love research and unique insight into how and why people become wildly successful, this one’s for you. The celebrated researcher and developer, Duckworth, dives into impressive success stories to find the common denominator. There’s no question that both passion and long-term perseverance are major factors when it comes to building a business that grows and lasts.
Throughout the reader’s journey, Duckworth shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.
The stories and epiphanies she has on entrepreneurship is a page-turner! I highly recommend for any aspiring entrepreneur or current business owner that needs a little reminder that it takes good ol’ grit to keep that business moving-forward.
The Purpose Driven Life
What on Earth am I Here For?
by Rick Warren
Before you were born, God created you with a purpose in mind.
As an entrepreneur, you probably have a deep passion for what you’re building as a business. Entrepreneurship is too challenging to just pick it up on a whim and “just for fun” without a deeper meaning. There has to be a drive and a big “why” behind it. There’s a value you’re bringing to the table.
If you’re looking to understand the meaning and purpose behind your life and the big picture– pick up this book today and you’ll start working even more intentionally!
Rich Dad Poor Dad
What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money- That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
If you’re looking to have your money work for you, this is the book. There’s a reason why Rich Dad Poor Dad has been on the bestseller’s list for decades– it’s lessons are clear, and have proven to age well as the message is still relevant to today’s economy.
For those looking to be on the rich side of things rather than working hard to stay at a low income, grab your copy and get started with a “rich dad” mentality.
the Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life
by Hal Elrod
To everyone that has ever said, “I am not a morning person,” this book is about to change your life. I swear I wasn’t even past the first chapter and I was already blown away by the author’s perspective on life and how waking up earlier affected his success outcome.
Miracle Morning will get you fired up and on an overall healthier path to achieve your goals.
Even better? It’s a quick read you can knock out and start implementing right away. A must-read!
hi there, I'm blaire!
I’m an expert at marketing & entrepreneurship, and completely obsessed with helping business owners transform their dreams into booming success stories. Sometimes it just takes an extra set of hands and another person’s perspective to make the business magic happen. Contact me today and let's talk shop!