Knowledge is power, as they say.
So, if you’re newly self-employed, you will want to soak up as much as you can about the challenges and advantages of working for yourself before you get into the swing of your new venture.
In the coming months and years, you will need to work on your sales skills, your approach to time management, and your understanding of business financials – three things that will be crucial in your new role.
You will also need to nurture a more positive mindset. It’s the only way you’ll develop the resilience you’ll need to succeed.
One relatively easy (and low-cost) way to achieve all the above – without investing in high-ticket courses or mentorship programmes – is to seek out some of the best business books on the market.
Reading about other people’s experiences and learning from their expertise will give you valuable insights into the world of entrepreneurship, not to mention introduce you to more effective approaches and spark new ideas that you can implement in your own organisation.
Here, we’ve provided short overviews of five of our favourite business books for new entrepreneurs. Happy reading!
1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek
Every new entrepreneur has their ‘why’, their reason for starting their own company in the first place. And as Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand more about the thoughts, acts, and behaviours of some of the world’s greatest leaders, and how they can replicate the habits and the positive mindsets of these influential personalities to inspire their own growth.
2. How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
First published back in 1936, Carnegie’s classic has shaped behavioural psychology as we know it. The principles of the book are based on the idea that you can change other people’s behaviour simply by changing your own. It’s something of a bible for new business owners who want to learn how to become more likeable; how to handle their relationships well; and how to win other people over without coming across as arrogant or intrusive.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
In a similar way to How to Win Friends, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People focuses on the importance of fine-tuning your own character to achieve sustained success, both in business and in life. It’s a fascinating deep-dive into how what and who we are shapes our reality – and it’s a brilliant book for new entrepreneurs who want to explore the benefits of interdependence, not just independence.
4. Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
Many of us have pre-conceived ideas about money; about how much we should earn, how hard we should work to earn it, and what this should mean for our quality of life. Rich Dad Poor Dad argues that entrepreneurs should spend time learning how money works, so they can make it work better for them. Expect interesting insights into how the rich stay rich, and the poor remain poor due to poor financial literacy and a tendency to invest in liabilities, not assets.
5. The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss
We all want to work smarter, not harder, don’t we? Perhaps one of the most useful business books of all time, Ferriss’ blueprint to escaping the 9 to 5 will introduce frameworks to help you improve your income, live more freely, and reconstruct your professional life so you work to live, not live to work. It’s packed full of practical tips that new entrepreneurs like you should take on board from day one. Ultimately, the advice in these pages will help you achieve a better work/life balance and prevent burnout, the real enemy of the self-employed, from taking hold at any stage in your career.