5 Books Every New Entrepreneur Should Read

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”
​- Vera Nazarian

My love for books goes back to the 5-year old me. In school, I used to love the library days in school. We were allowed to borrow only one book per week, but I usually finished them in one day. So, I remember forcing my friends to borrow the books that I wanted to read. And then I would swap with them so I can read more books than I could borrow.
Growing up, our family did not have enough money to buy a lot of books, so school library was the only way I could read as many books as I could.

​Books were my best friends as I was a very quiet child. Whenever we went to someone’s house, I somehow managed to find their books collection, and then you will find me sitting in a corner cuddled with a book, while other kids would be running around and playing. In fact, I tried to read as fast as I can so I can finish the book before it was time to go home. I truly believed in Ernest Hemingway’s quote, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

This love of books continued into adulthood and I found a life partner who loves reading as much as I do. And now, we have passed this love on to our son. The most valuable thing you can do for your kids is instill a love of reading at a very young age. If we are getting late for bed, and I tell my son that we won’t be reading tonight, my son actually gets really upset.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all”.
–Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

My interest in books has changed over time: starting with youth novels (oh Nancy Drew, how much I loved you), then fiction (I remember my obsession with Dan Brown), then literary classics (Margaret Atwood anytime), and biographies (Nelson Mandela my all-time favourite). But recently, my relationship with books has taken a new turn; I have developed a love for self-development books.

I believed self-development books were for losers – for those who cannot handle their own life – but I have now realized that what you read determines what you become. According to Tom Corley, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals”, poor people read for entertainment while rich people read for self-improvement. Hence, my shift to self-development books (an attempt to get rich.. hahaha). Jokes apart, I got exposed to self-development books when I started my business, and now I am almost obsessed with them.

In last 5 months, I have read many books to discover myself, to improve, to grow, and to learn. And even though there are tons of books that one can read, I wanted to bring my top 5 picks (from the ones I have read) for new entrepreneurs. I am not claiming that these are the best books out there. However, these are the ones I enjoyed, and they are good foundational books for starters.

In my future blogs, I will try to bring a detailed review on these books, but here is a short summary of the books.

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill

Think and Grow Rich was first published in 1937. Before reading it, I wondered if Hill’s principles would still apply 80 years later, and surprisingly enough, they do. This book is very popular among entrepreneurs – it is the most read book by entrepreneurs, and it has stood the test of time.

Napolean Hill outlines the 13 steps to success – Desire, Faith, Auto-Suggestion, Specialized Knowledge, Imagination, Organized Planning, Decision, Persistence, Masterminds, Sexual Attraction (yeah, you read that right), Subconscious Mind, The Brain, And The Sixth Sense.

Think and Grow Rich is definitely helpful for aspiring entrepreneurs, and to those who are going through tough times. But, if you are looking for a quick fix for your problems, this book is not for you. Napolean Hill’s principles dig deep into the crevices of human mind and he pushes you to change your way of thinking. It is all about the workings of human brain and how we can tap into the power of our brain to bring success and riches in our lives.

“Happy Pocket Full of Money” by David Cameron Gikandi

I have not read this book, and that is not for lack of trying. I did try to read it twice, but found it a hard read. I have done a lot of academic reading, but it was still very hard to get through the first few chapters of “Happy Pocket Full of Money”.

I am a very practical person who thinks in terms of scientific principles, and it is sometimes hard for me to understand abstract principles of Universe. So, I decided to listen to the audiobook.

According to Gikandi, money and time are illusions, and their value depends on the value we place on them (come to think of it, that is kind of true). He also digs into the concept of Quantum Physics, which could be way abstract for some people. However, it made sense to me because I have always loved science (simple black and white facts). On top of that, I have been interested in the world of Quantum physics since I started watching Big Bang Theory (thanks Sheldon). But to understand Quantum Physics, you really need to tell the skeptic inside you to stop thinking and take this amazing journey into your mind with Gikandi.

The book goes into images of mind, goal setting, creativity, cause and effect, success, desires, purpose, gratitude, consciousness, and the self.

Just like Think and Grow Rich, this is a great resource that will help you see the big picture, set goals, visualize, and stay consistent to achieve your goals. There are lots of concepts in this book that are very abstract, but overall it does present one with strategies to win the game of life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who can play along and put their skepticism aside for some time.

“Sublte Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson

This book is worth its value in gold for anyone who is ready to take on the life by its horns (mainly new entrepreneurs). As a new entrepreneur, we face many challenges; we go through ups and downs, we try to prove ourselves while fighting our fears and self-doubt. Manson helps us push through these struggles by pointing out that life is not a bed of roses, there are struggles and problems, we just need to choose which problems we are ready to face.

He tells us the way it is – no fluff, no sugar coating – the in-your-face harsh truth about life and its problems. This book is amazing for those who have just entered the world of personal development and are overwhelmed with the positive feel-good books. Mark Manson freely uses F-bombs to give the reader a reality check about life. Ultimately, the reader walks away with a realization that in order to change our behaviour, we need to understand our values and stop caring about everything else around us.

I loved his simple easy-to-grasp writing and tons of short examples and stories he uses throughout the book. I highly recommend this book for readers like me who find some of the above-mentioned books really hard to read. This is a good starting point to dig deep within you and discover yourself.

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

This is another book that was written more than 80 years ago and is the most sought-after self-help book. Just like Think and Grow Rich, it made me wonder whether the concepts still apply in today’s world, so I had to read it myself.

Yes, everything that Dale Carnegie talks about in this book still applies today, and it is probably because most of the concepts/tips provided by Dale Carnegie are very basic advice that we all are well aware of. For example, here are six ways to make people like you:

  • Become genuinely interested in other people
  • Smile
  • Remember a person’s name
  • Be a good listener
  • Talk in terms of other person’s interests
  • Make the other person feel important.

Most of us already know all these things and apply them in our relationships. However, the truth is we forget this basic advice when it comes to our business relationships because we focus on the benefit we intend to gain from the relation.

So, in my opinion, this book is worth reading if you are interested in what comes after the ampersand (“influence people”). And eventually some of the people whom you influenced might become your friends as well (lol). To conclude, If you are a new entrepreneur, you will be developing business relationships, and this book can really help you sharpen some of the skills required to build and maintain those relations.

If you don’t want to read the entire book, you can find a really good summary with a list of all the tips shared by Dale Carnegie here. Although I would recommend reading the book as it gives examples of how and where these tips have worked for others.

“The Breakthrough Experience” by Dr. John Demartini

I have become a big fan of Dr. John Demartini; I read all his blogs, listen to his podcasts, and watch his Facebook lives. He is easy to listen to and very inspiring. So, of course I had to read this book, and I am not overstating it when I say it is truly life changing.

The little scientist in me really enjoyed this book because it uses science and philosophy to explain most of the concepts. Dr. Demartini is a genius who is way ahead of his time; he talks about the duality of universe and how we can create a balance in our life by accepting both the positive and negative.

It is a great read for everyone, whether you are an entrepreneur (new or old) or not. Every chapter has questions and exercises at the end, which are designed to help the reader breakthrough the barriers they are facing in life. It also includes real life examples making it easier to relate to the concepts explained in the book.

Dr. John Demartini also has a 2-day seminar with the same name (I have not attended one), and the book is based on the seminar although the introduction to the book says it does not include everything from the seminar.

I have always questioned my true potential and this book really inspired me and helped me realize that I can achieve anything in life. I highly recommend reading this book, and I definitely plan to attend the seminar someday.

I would share more book reviews as I read more, but I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on any of these books if you have read them or you decide to read them.

​* I’m a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

5 Books Every New Entrepreneur Should Read