10 Must-Read Books for Every Entrepreneur

Ever wondered which books the most successful entrepreneurs read? This post we'll uncover the 10 must-read books for entrepreneurs wanting to stay ahead.

10 Must-Read Books for Every Entrepreneur

To develop your business, you need to grow and expand your knowledge first as an entrepreneur. Books can help you by giving real-life advice to tackle challenges throughout your entrepreneurial journey. In this blog, we will mention the 10 best books for entrepreneurs to help with personal and professional life.

  1. The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson
  2. The $100 Startup by Chris Gillebeau
  3. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
  4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
  5. Rework by Jason Fried & David Hansson
  6. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  8. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
  9. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  10. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson

“People with the ability and the audacity to think big carve the path to greatness.”

― Kevin D. Johnson

The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs is written by the founder of a multimillion-dollar company, Johnson Media Inc. It is a must-read if you want to have success in your business since it gives advice in a practical and accessible way. It highlights the importance of developing how you think. This book teaches you 100 lessons in strategy, people, finance, marketing and leadership, together with the experiences of the author.

The $100 Startup by Chris Gillebeau

“Value is created when a person makes something useful and shares it with the world.”

― Chris Guillebeau

The author of this book is a natural-born entrepreneur. He has done personal research projects about how people were turning the smallest amount of capital into a massive return, became a travel and entrepreneurship blogger, published a book named “The Art of Non-Conformity”, and created a subscription service called “Travel Hacking Cartel”. He started this book after meeting 1,500 successful entrepreneurs around the world for 10 years. To be included in his book, they should meet 4 out of 6 criteria.

The 6 criteria are:

  1. Their business is built off a passion or hobby
  2. Their capital is less than $1,000
  3. They have at least $50,000 yearly net income
  4. The entrepreneur has less specialized skills to be more relatable
  5. They are able to show their financial records
  6. They have less than 5 employees

He then wrote 50 stories of the entrepreneurs who met the criteria. The stories he wrote were relatable to the readers and there were lots of lessons that can be learned from them.

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

“It is safer to search in the maze than to remain in a cheeseless situation”

― Spencer Johnson,

Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life is a useful yet entertaining and lighthearted book. The book contains 4 characters who live in a maze and are looking for cheese. Cheese is a metaphor for your wants in life, such as a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health and peace of mind. The challenge in looking for the cheese is that it keeps on moving and changing. With the character’s journey of looking for the cheese, lessons are to be discovered. This book is so important, especially now that our world is always changing.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

“You’re only poor if you give up. The most important thing is that you did something. Most people only talk and dream of getting rich. You’ve done something.”

― Robert T. Kiyosaki

The book is about Robert’s dad, who is the “poor dad”, and the father of his best friend, the “rich dad”. The stories about these 2 fathers teach lessons about money and investing, so this book can help with your financial education. Reading this book, you will find out harsh truths about wealth, such as how you don’t need to get a diploma, have a secure job and many more. This book will open your eyes to reality, which can help you have an open mind when building your business.

Rework by Jason Fried & David Hansson

“In business, too many people obsess over tools, software tricks, scaling issues, fancy office space, lavish furniture, and other frivolities instead of what really matters. And what really matters is how to actually get customers and make money.”

― by Jason Fried & David Hansson

If you’re tired of the typical and old business advice, such as those step-to-step guides, writing a business plan, and many other things, then this book is for you.  This book teaches you how you shouldn’t waste your time talking, instead, you should just start working. It lets you realize how the easy approach is better when doing business. After reading this book, you will be more productive and be able to do great things fast.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

“The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.”

― Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel was the cofounder of Paypal and Palantir Technologies and was the first person to invest in Facebook. The author tells about the importance of being unique and not focusing on copying someone you look up to. You can truly add value to your business if you can invent or create something that people do not know yet. This is perfect for entrepreneurs who are risk-takers and are creative.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

″Many people wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But people who end up with good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done.″

― Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Covey is well-known for his international bestseller self-improvement books. Everyone who needs advice for improving themselves goes to this author. If you want a book that talks about both your personal and professional life, then this is for you. Stephen Covey talks about how your character is built up by your habits. This book will teach you 7 habits that will help you to take control of your life, and overall improve every aspect of it.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.” — Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is a British American author, motivational speaker, and marketing consultant. He is also a founder of SinekPartners and a staff member of the RAND Corporation. His TED Talk on Youtube wherein he talked about this book is the third most viewed TED video of all time.  He mentioned that the greatest influential leaders had one thing in common. They all started with “why”, and this is the root of how great leaders are so inspirational and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. If you want to feel inspired and truly know your mission in your entrepreneurial life, then this book is perfect for you.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

“Perhaps the most important thing that I learned as an entrepreneur was to focus on what I needed to get right and stop worrying about all the things that I did wrong or might do wrong.”

― Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz, one of the most experienced and admired entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz.  Many people count on him when it comes to helping them run their businesses. It’s different how he wrote the book since he used his interest in rap songs to relate business lessons with lyrics from his favourite songs. The book includes his journey of starting from the bottom and earning his way to the top, the challenging way. He started from being a co-founder of an early cloud service provider Loudcloud to forming Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. If you want to know the hard truth, then go read this book.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

“I won’t just have a job; I’ll have a calling. I’ll challenge myself every day. When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.”

― Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth was a daughter of a scientist who was frequently discontent for not being so smart. She learned from her experience in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, how genius is not what makes you successful, but rather your passion and perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, she made her own character lab and tested this theory. In addition, she interviewed a lot of high achievers to prove it. Reading this book will truly make you feel motivated to pursue your dreams.


Overall, the books we mentioned are written by people who had real-life experiences that made them grow as well, and are now sharing with the world what they have learned. These lessons you will get after reading the books will truly make you feel more determined to give your best to your business.

At Zetl, our team loves to read books during our past-time since we always strive to improve ourselves, so we can give our best in our work and in turn make our clients satisfied. Zetl helps services businesses manage their monthly operating expenses by providing growth, payroll, and working capital financing.

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