What’s on a Successful Entrepreneur’s Booklist?

Books have been an essential vector of important knowledge for thousands of years.  While we don’t need racks of scrolls or banks of stone tablets these days, books are still a critical way to share wisdom.  Smart entrepreneurs always have time to read, and they are always on the lookout for useful new books.  Whether these are paperbacks placed on a favorite shelf or a digital library of e-books on a Kindle or iPad, every entrepreneur needs a library of their own.  What worthwhile books are on a successful entrepreneur’s bookshelf?
The 4-Hour Workweek
At this point it’s almost cliché to mention this particular book for entrepreneurs, but it’s simply too valuable to ignore.  No book before or since has so completely encapsulated the idea of “work smarter, not harder” for the modern business owner.  While every word is worth a read, if you’re just looking for business book summaries, the primary takeaway of the 4-Hour Workweek is to surround yourself with talented people, delegate your work and manage talent for best effect.  There’s a reason this book often tops Forbes lists and other entrepreneur-focused publications.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Another classic in the genre, 7 Habits is an essential manual for teaching yourself self-discipline.  The processes and morality behind the book stretches all the way back to great thinkers like Aristotle, and for good reason.  Your book summary entry for this one is an almost primal realization: your life is in your control, to do with as you will.  Once you understand this, you can put the tips and procedures listed in 7 Habits to use improving your position.

Digital Marketing Analytics
This book, by Chuck Hemann and Ken Burbary, is an incredibly detailed masterwork of modern digital analysis.  Today, you can’t run a business without an Internet presence.  The Internet calls for its own special brand of marketing, one that integrates with traditional marketing and combines classic strategies with modern technology.  That’s all common knowledge.  What Digital Marketing Analytics brings to the table is a detailed overview of how to use digital marketing data in a range of other ways.  Knowing your customers helps you anticipate and avoid potential problems, focus product launches more directly and generally make use of valuable data.  It’s all about using the resources you have in new and useful ways.  The book may be dense and difficult to read for the layman, but smart entrepreneurs make use of business book summaries to get the most out of books like this one.

The $100 Startup
One of the most-cited reasons failed entrepreneurs have for not owning their own businesses is the introductory cost.  Sure, starting a retail outlet has a huge cost, between leases, product stocks, employees and advertisement.  The Internet does away with most of that, and this book finishes the job.  The $100 Startup is all about ways to turn your hobbies and passions into profitable businesses.  One of the keys to the book is identifying new and unique demographics.  Forget the 18-30 white male.  Today, you can target very specific groups of people simply by operating the right kind of business.  Run a SEO tips blog and you can be sure your readers range all ages, genders and races, but they all have one thing in common.

A simple list this size can hardly hope to cover your entire library.  Entrepreneurs all have their own favorite books.  Explore these resources, read these books and discover what wisdom works best in your world.  Take advantage of business book summaries to “try before you buy,” so you never buy books you can’t use.


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