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A reading list: Business wisdom for entrepreneurs – words Alexa Wang
As an entrepreneur entering the business world, you know that tough challenges await you but it’s all a learning curve. Undoubtedly, there will be some weeks when you’re feeling on top form, bursting with innovation, whilst there’ll be some weeks when you’re struggling for motivation — but do remember to go with the flow, these are the normal motions of business experienced by anyone launching their own start-up.
Gain more confidence and business insights by turning to some motivational reads. Here’s a handful of books by business experts to get you started. Take a look and see which title jumps out at you first?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Although you shouldn’t mirror your success to another entrepreneur, this read is perfect to understand how Ben Horowitz built his fortune from the ground up. You’ll learn more about his time co-founding the capital firm Andreesen Horowitz and running it, as well as selling, buying, managing and investing in other technology firms around the world.
From this read, you’ll receive practical advice and tips on a range of different corporate issues. This includes firing executives, putting your company on the market, poaching staff as well as clearing any misinterpretation from your staff members. Once you’ve read this one, you’ll be excited to hear that his second book What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture will be released in October 2019.
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
If you need to learn from someone who describes himself as his own boss, this book penned by Chris Guillebeau will do the job. The full title of this read is actually: The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More — so if you fancy living by those rebellious rules and make money at the same time, pick up this book on your next trip to the store.
Guillebeau doesn’t like to follow convention, or what we’re expected to do to please our parents. He advises that you no longer need to work nine-to-five to pay your mortgage, send your kids to school and book that trip abroad. You can set up and set sail on your own terms!
In this read, you’ll also discover some key insights from big players in business who started their company with $100 or less. Who knows, you might feature in v2 of this book!
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Daniel Lyons
You’ve probably heard of this one, but never got the chance to give it a read. The Los Angeles Times actually stated that this read was “the best book on the Silicon Valley”. Although it was released back in 2016, it’s just as relevant to its audience today and is heavily entertaining.
You might not learn a lot about how to launch a start-up, but it does cover the ups and downs of the authors work life which is incredibly interesting. Although we don’t give you any spoilers, on one Friday morning, he received a call from his boss who told him that his job no longer existed — this just shows the everchanging landscape of the corporate world and how you need to keep up with the times!
Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
If you enjoy learning from the top dogs in business, this book is actually penned by a PayPal co-founder who was also an early Facebook investor, Peter Thiel, with the help of COO Blake Masters. The book is a condensed and updated version of online notes taken by Masters for the CS183 class on startups taught by Thiel at Stanford University.
At its core, the book is all about optimism for the future and how innovation is key. It also discusses how we “live in an age of technological stagnations, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice” and that progression is key to success. Although the book has sold 2.5 million worldwide since its release in 2012, the original notes taken by Blake are available on his website here!
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
Although this book was released in 2001, the stories within it will be inspiring for all of time. Written by Jessica Livingston, the book is a collection of interviews with famous technology moguls which poses questions about their early entrepreneurial years and the challenges they faced.
We know you’re wondering which icons are featured in this read, and we don’t mind telling you! Expect to hear the tales of Steve Wozniak from Apple, Caterina Fake from Flickr, Mitch Kapor from Lotus, Max Levchin from PayPal and Sabeer Bhatia from Hotmail. Your mind will be blown away by their approach to business — from fleshing out an idea with their friends, capturing investors and building a multi-million-pound company.
You’re all set now! Be sure to pick up at least one book this week and make it your new business bible. Good luck!