Evoking the right frame of mind; getting and staying motivated; learning to lead, grow, and innovate.Â These are all reasons we entrepreneurs read books.Â Amazon lists nearly 27,000 titles under Small Business and Entrepreneurship.Â Some are good, some not so much, and a few are outstanding.Â Classics like Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino, and Sun Tzu's The Art of War are just a few books which no entrepreneur's library would be complete without.Â Â We have a few more to add to that list, and here they are…
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk (2009)
Tony Hsieh, Zappos.com CEO puts it best in his back-cover review of this book, when he says, "Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those entrepreneurs who has discovered the secret to combining passion with business.Â He is always an inspiration and always entertaining.Â You owe it to yourself to read this book."
Released in October of last year, this book is perfect for today's entrepreneur.Â Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneurial pro and an Internet pro, who truly gets it when it comes to building a business in today's world.Â The book presents a fairly broad overview of the business climate right now, but then offers detailed information about how to leverage all the tools currently available to start and explode your business, offering a step-by-step blueprint of his own path to success.Â If his nearly 850,000 Twitter followers (@garyvee) and 40,000+ Facebook fans (or the fact that when you search "gary" in Google, only Gary, Indiana comes up above his site) are any indications, he knows what he's talking about.Â Get this book, and learn to turn your passion into profits, and Crush It!
Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison by Joe Calloway (2nd Edition – 2009)
No matter which category your company falls within, chances are, there are hundreds or even thousands of others trying to find success in the same niche.Â And each one realizes that price, service, and quality are important, so you need to find a way to go beyond the basics if you're going to rise to the top.Â This book tells you how to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by your customers, readers, or whoever you're trying to attract.Â Calloway says it's first a matter of making the decision to be extraordinary, then doing what it takes to make it happen.Â In these economic times, he says, many companies have had no choice but to make the decision.Â Crisis is an opportunity to rise above, and Category-of-One companies capitalize on those opportunities to show just how extraordinary they are, beating the competition and strengthening their own brand in the process.Â With plenty of case studies and interviews to support his instructions, Calloway shows us how any company can, with focus and discipline, become a Category of One.
Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. by Mitch Joel (2009)
President of Twist Image, a marketing firm that has produced work for Viagra, Fuze Beverages, and the Dairy Farmers of Canada, to name a few, Mitch Joel is considered a leading authority in the areas of digital media and blog marketing.Â What does Joel share in Six Pixels of Separation? Â A recent review says it all: "This is the first book to integrate digital marketing, social media, personal branding, and entrepreneurship in a clear, entertaining, and instructive manner that everyone can understand and apply."Â The book starts out by profiling Juan Mann and the Free Hug movement and applying it as an example of how viral marketing and "new media" can work in your business.Â From there, Joel does a great job of taking the confusion out of digital media and how to use it to effectively market to the millions of potential customers just waiting to hear your message.Â Plain and simple, if you want to grow your business in the digital age, buy this book.
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur by Sir Richard Branson (2008)
Sir Richard is quite possibly the most famous self-made man and entrepreneur of our times. His is a household name and most often linked to his beloved Virgin Airways. Can you believe that he has founded seven distinct billion-dollar organizations? This by itself is reason to pour yourself into this book and try and pick up on some of his golden touches, but when the style of delivery is as engaging and charismatic as the man himself, then this is sure to be a worthy read for you. Branson tells us how he has learned from some of the best world and business leaders and gives his view on the challenges facing the businessman within this uncertain economic future.
The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Life and Work by Ted Leonsis (2010)
Just released is Ted Leonsis's book of inspiration and hope for the future of business.Â A former AOL executive, Leonsis is now a full-time philanthropist who believes that a key to success in business and in life is actively pursuing happiness.Â His journey to the top is detailed in the first half of the book, telling the story of going from a lowly existence as a kid in Brooklyn, on to college, and eventually to the pinnacle of corporate success.Â The book is both inspirational and instructional, reassuring us that we can have success and happiness – that indeed, they go hand-in-hand – and then telling us how to go about it.Â Like most memorable business books, this one is as much about life as it is business, and it will keep you inspired in both.
These five books are obviously just a small sample of the hundreds of powerful books entrepreneurs can use to keep them focused and help start or grow a thriving business.Â Tell us about your favorites in the comments.Â Which book do you consider indispensable as an entrepreneur?