Whether you are working hard on a project or simply interested in venturing on your own sooner or later, the following 3 books will help you move forward. Although I graduated from a business school in entrepreneurship and spent most of my professional life working with startups or on my own projects, I learned a great deal from serial-entrepreneurs who shared precious advice, tips and tricks. With the books we’ll discuss today, you’ll understand better that entrepreneurship is more than just following common sense and hoping for the best; you’ll understand that there are actual proven step-by-step methodologies behind successful projects that can drastically increase your chances of success. I’ve read many business books these past years and this selection represents my top 3 readings. Check them out.
#1. THE LEAN STARTUP: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (by Eric Ries)
Did you know that about 9 over 10 entrepreneurial projects fail? And if you haven’t read “The Lean Startup”, you might join those deadly figures. Here’s what happens: founders usually don’t work with the proper methodology and simply follow what they think makes sense: they spend time building a product, then they look for client, oftentimes struggling to find them, putting their project at risk.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Ries shares a unique and revolutionary methodology that is changing the way we create products by setting up continuous experiments to quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. This will enable your projects to grow by helping you make better decisions and find the right direction faster; this in turn will lead to saving more time and money savings in the end. Although the methodology could look counter-intuitive or disruptive at first, it proves to be a solid basis for any serious entrepreneur.
As visionary entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly said, the Lean Startup methodology is not only reserved for business-centric projects:
“I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world’s great problems. It’s ultimately an answer to the question: How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t?”
#2. THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (by Tim Ferriss)
Whether your dream is to escape the rat race, experience high-end world travel, or earn a monthly income with few management hassles, The 4-Hour Workweek is a blueprint.
I’m not a fan of every chapter of this book, but I’m impressed by how Tim Ferriss has created a system that helped him free his time and travel the world. It has had some impact on my work and my lifestyle; this book is what finally encouraged me to go to live and travel in Latin America and Asia while continuing to do my work on the computer.
Several of my friends have also described this book as life changing. The 4-hour Workweek gives an innovative view on what work is and can be, and details how to design the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of by leveraging the power of the Internet.
Tim Ferriss shares his story and offers a step-by-step guide to replicate his system. The book also includes a lot of case studies, from artists to entrepreneurs, who have followed the same methodology. This book is especially interesting if the idea of digital nomadism attracts you.
#3. DELIVERING HAPPINESS: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose (by Tony Hsieh)
In this book, internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Tony Hsieh, today CEO of Zappos, shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life. You’ll understand Tony’s entrepreneurial mindset deeper: he has worked on many ventures from childhood, many failed, and two of them skyrocketed. In this book he details how a different kind of corporate culture can make a big difference in achieving remarkable results.
By focusing on company culture as the #1 priority, by applying research from the science of happiness to running a business, Tony Hsieh has succeeded in making Zappos the top shoe online retailer. He has also paved the way for a new breed of businesses to emerge: organizations that thrive by focusing on making clients, employees and partners happy before seeking profit. With this easy-to-read book, you’ll understand how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success, and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own. That’s it for this list. Do you recommend any other business books for the budding entrepreneur? I’d love to know what your favorite are.
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