Jumpstart Your Entrepreneurial Journey with Top 40 Business Books for Beginners in 2023
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If you want to start your own business but don’t want to go to business school, there is another way. Many successful CEOs have never been to college, but they are some of the smartest people in their business or industry. You can learn everything you need to know about starting a business by reading the words of people who have done it before. This is a more grassroots way to learn.
Some of the books on our list are true case studies, while others are written like stories. But they are all powerful and inspiring, and any one of them would be a great addition to your nightstand. Read on to find out which of the best business books for beginners you should pick if you want to get ideas for your next business venture.
What is Business?
The term business refers to a commercial, industrial, or professional organization or entity. Organization of economic production (of products or services) is the purpose of a business. Businesses may be for-profit entities or non-profit organizations with a charitable mission or a commitment to advancing a social cause. Companies range in size and scope from sole proprietorships to multinational conglomerates. The business also refers to the efforts and activities individuals undertake to produce and sell products and services for a profit.
Specific Age to Start a Business
Even though there is no set age to start a business, most people do so when they have enough money to make an investment and can handle a loss if something goes wrong. You can start a business whenever you want, but before you do, you need to plan everything out well. It might look like a simple task, but it takes a lot more work from people.
Old-age and Business
Even though getting older makes people less productive, we think it’s still a good time to start a business. In fact, many others do the same thing. First, they work and earn money. Then, they save it and use it to start a small or large business. The most important thing to remember is that running a business takes a lot of time, and when you’re older you have a lot more of it. It will not only keep you busy, but it will also help you become self-sufficient and make you feel good about yourself.
Advantages of Starting a Business
Even though the business has a lot of problems, the rewards it gives in return are also very high. Let’s talk about some of the good things about it.
1: Financial benefits
The best thing about owning a business is that it brings in a lot of money. Sometimes it takes a while, but the money is worth the wait.
When it comes to business, flexibility, and freedom go hand in hand. You don’t have to answer to anyone, so you can work as long as you want and set your own hours.
3: Sense of independence
This is one of the main reasons why people choose to start their own business instead of getting a regular job. In a regular job, you work under someone’s supervision, which limits your freedom. But when you own your own business, you can do whatever you want.
4: Doing things your own way
It gives you a sense of freedom because you don’t have to answer to anyone. You can do things the way you want and change deadlines, so it’s also flexible.
5: Sense of responsibility
It helps when you own a business and have to figure out everything on your own. It also makes you more responsible than you were before.
6: Enhanced analytical skills
All the time spent planning over years or months helps people get better at being analytical.
7: Money management
When you work in business, you learn how to spend your money wisely.
8: Effective work schedule
The business helps people become more productive at work, which makes their work more efficient.
9: Communication skills
In business, you need more and more people to know about your product or service. To do this, you need to be good at communicating so that you can convince the other person to buy your product.
10: An eye for innovation
Innovation is everything in business. More opportunities will come your way the more creative you are.
Best Business Books for Beginners
1. The Lean Startup By Eric Ries
The core of the new company. This book is a big deal for being so new. It’s how new businesses get started: at first, they focus on learning instead of making plans. That means designing and building as little as possible up front, spending as little as possible, assuming you don’t really understand the product or customer yet, and focusing on a high rate of learning instead of trying to maximize profits right away. It’s a book that was written in response to a revolution in agile software practices and lean manufacturing practices, but it explains and guides this revolution so well that it’s like the Bible of the modern startup.
2. Startup from the Ground Up by Cynthia Kocialski
Kocialski is a good writer, and her book is helpful for anyone who wants to start a new business but doesn’t know where to start. The book has information that can help you turn your business idea into a real business. You will learn how to turn your idea for a service or product into a workable business model. You will also learn how to get funding and find and hire a good team. Grab this book and read everything the author says if you want to build a successful business instead of just a job.
3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
The $100 Startup is a book I liked reading both for its own sake and because it taught me something. Guillebeau makes a strong case for creative thinking and shows how you can (and should) use your natural talent or a hobby you’ve loved for a long time to build a successful business. He tells interesting stories about entrepreneurs who started businesses by accident but were so passionate about them that they were able to make more than $50,000 with very small budgets (often $100 or less). If you want to build a small business that lets you live a life of adventure, meaning, and purpose that doesn’t depend on where you live, this book will point you in the right direction.
4. The Business Start-Up Kit by Steven D. Strauss
Steven D. Strauss, small business columnist for USAToday.com and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on small businesses, certainly knows his game. In this book, Strauss offers a compendium of valuable information to benefit every aspiring founder who wants to start and succeed in business. He explains what works and what doesn’t work in start-ups and offers ample tips and guidance on, among other things, picking a business and why one’s passion is important.
5. Generating Product Ideas By Artiom Dashinsky
Looking to start your own business? Inspired by businesses and entrepreneurs who have done very well, but don’t know where to start? Anyone who wants to start a new business should read Artiom Dashinsky’s book. And it’s especially helpful for people who don’t know how to come up with good business ideas.
Each section is based on 17 ways the author has found to come up with business ideas that can make money.
The book also helps people who want to start their own business but have too many ideas and need a way to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Overall, it’s one of the best business books for people who are just starting out and want to come up with good ideas for products.
6. Start Your Own Business by Rieva Lesonsky
Who better than Rieva Leonsky and the editors of Entrepreneur magazine would know what it takes to start a business? This book has a tagline that says, “The only start-up book you’ll ever need.” It is thorough because it wants to live up to that claim. The book is now in its fourth edition and has sold more than 200,000 copies. It is widely considered to be the best book for people who want to start their own businesses.
7. Your Brain And Business: The Neuroscience Of Great Leaders By Srinivasan S. Pillay
You might not think that a book by a Harvard psychiatrist and brain researcher would be a good choice for a list of the best business books for beginners. But we don’t agree! This book by Dr. Srinivasan S. Pillay looks at how neuroscience can teach us interesting things about management, making decisions, and even office politics.
Even though it’s a bit long, this book gives us useful tips and scientific evidence for building good relationships not just at work but in all parts of our lives.
8. Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a worldwide best-seller, and there’s a good reason why it’s at the top of our list of the best business books for beginners.
The book is a passionate defense of how important it is to learn about money. It’s about the author’s real-life experiences with two men he calls “fathers.” First, his biological dad (the poor dad) and second, the father of a close friend as he was growing up (rich dad) (rich dad).
Rich Dad, Poor Dad came out for the first time in 1997. It has quickly become a must-read, especially for people who are interested in money and business but haven’t learned much about them from their families or schools.
9. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl
There are a lot of things you can’t worry about without going crazy. To be a good leader, you need to know what’s important in life, figure out how to deal with chaos, and learn how to handle problems with grace. This short but powerful book shows how the Auschwitz concentration camp can teach us important lessons about perspective and freedom.
10. Good to Great by Jim Collins
Jim Collins started writing Good to Great because he wanted to know why some businesses succeed and others fail. He put together a group to study the best companies that have been around for more than 15 years and have done well.
In his book, Collins talks about what makes someone great. He talks about “Level 5 Leaders” and “A Culture of Discipline,” among other things. It’s well-written, well-researched, and full of useful tips for running a successful business.
11. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Today, Nike may be a well-known brand all over the world, but it took a lot of hard work to get there. In his book Shoe Dog, Nike co-founder Phil Knight talks about how he started his business with $50 borrowed from a friend after he graduated from business school.
Knight’s memoir shows how funny, friendly, and true to himself he is. It also explains how he came to choose the unconventional path of an entrepreneur’s life. Readers will learn about Knight in a way they have never done before. They will be moved by his story and able to start their own businesses because of his hard-won advice.
12. The Four Hour Workweek By Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Workweek is a self-help book meant to help people who are tired of their boring jobs imagine a better future. Even though the book is controversial, it has been a big hit, especially in the digital marketing and tech worlds.
Why did people care so much about the book? First, Tim Ferris, who started a company, talks about how he went from having an average income and a long work week to having a six-figure income and a lot of free time. A very interesting idea! But the book is more than just an entrepreneur’s thoughts. Tim talks about the tips and tricks he used to get things done and reach his goals.
13. Rework By Jason Fried & David Heinemeir
This is one of the best business books for people who are just starting out. It tells you how to run a business in the easiest way possible. It also tells the readers that if they want to do well, they should forget or ignore their competitors. This book is great for people who are just starting out because it gives them advice and tips.
14. “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham
Benjamin Graham, who is known as the “father of value investing,” wrote “The Intelligent Investor” in 1949. It gives real-world financial advice to both individuals and businesses that want to get richer. This book doesn’t give you rules that will make you a millionaire, but it does encourage you to set practical goals and see the success of any size as a win.
15. Will It Fly? by Thomas K. McKnight
One of the hardest things for people who want to start their own business to figure out before they do it is whether or not their new business idea will fly. Will the idea for a business take off or fail? McKnight gives you a 44-point checklist based on his vast experience with business launches to help you figure out how good your new business ideas are. His book will help you with everything from figuring out how you feel about yourself to making a plan for your business. In the end, you should have a clear picture of how likely you are to succeed.
16. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz is a very successful businessman in Silicon Valley. Horowitz pulls back the curtain in The Hard Thing About Hard Things to show what it’s really like to lead a successful business through hard times.
Horowitz’s book has important business advice wrapped up in his no-nonsense writing style and a few references to his life as a rap fanatic. It’s a must-read for both new and experienced traders, but it’s especially helpful for those moving into tough times with difficult obstacles.
17. The Little Red Book Of Selling By Jeffrey Gitomer
The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer is last but not least. This book, which came out for the first time in 2004, is a good way to remind salespeople that the product or service they are selling isn’t everything. In interactions with potential customers, what really matters is the salesperson and how well they can get along with others.
Gitomer uses psychological research and his many years of experience in sales to come up with rules for how to be a good salesperson. These things are:
- Putting money into ways to motivate yourself
- Making a good business impression
- Using humor as a way to get people interested and win them over
Everyone who sells a product or service needs to read it.
18. Ideas On Demand: A Crash Course On Creativity. Bust Creativity Blocks, 10x Your Ideas, And Become An Idea Machine. (10x Impact) By Miliind Harrdas
In this interesting work by Miliind Harrdas, which has a long title, creativity is the name of the game. The author tells you a lot about how to come up with good ideas for your business. The book is for business owners and people who work in jobs or fields that require them to come up with new ideas often.
The book is full of references to other sources of information and draws on the author’s many years of experience and research. Each chapter has examples of exercises and ways to do things that the reader can try.
19. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
One of the first problems that entrepreneurs have to deal with is how to find and keep that feeling of inspiration that moves other people. Simon Sinek has been on a mission to find out what makes some organizations innovative and influential and to find a way to help you feel more inspired at work.
Sinek shows in Start with Why how leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs were able to be successful because they knew their “why.” He makes a framework called the Golden Circle that lets you use the same steps to build a business that inspires other people.
20. “Drive” by Daniel Pink
The first step to understanding and achieving happiness is to figure out what makes people (and you) tick. This book is great because it focuses on “inner motivation,” which is especially important when you are just starting out in business. At first, the money might not be there, but independence, mastery, and satisfaction can be even stronger motivators for you and your team.
21. Deep Work by Cal Newport
Computer science is taught at Georgetown University by Professor Cal Newport. He came up with the term “deep work” and explains how perks like open offices and distractions like social media make it hard to do good work.
In his book “Deep Work,” Cal Newport talks about how distractions make it hard to work well. He ends with a few memorable stories that show how important it is to make a better workspace in a world full of distractions. He also gives surprising advice, like the fact that boredom can be a good thing.
22. “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For” by Roy Spence
To build a business and make your life better, you need to know your purpose in the world. This book tells you not only why it’s so important to know what your work really means, but also how to find your purpose (notice I didn’t say “your passion”).
23. Little Red Book Of Selling By Jeffrey Gitomer
Whether you’re trying to sell a product or service to a customer or an idea, you have to remember the power of persuasion. This book is a great way to learn how to talk to customers and win them over. This book will also be helpful for new people who want to get into industrial trade.
24. Atomic Habits by James Clear
In the beginning, it can be hard to stay motivated, and nothing can stand in the way of your success like bad habits.
Author and business owner James Clear thinks that you’re not the problem. Instead, it’s how you do things. In Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Break Bad Habits and Build Good Ones, Clear gives you a proven system you can use every day to make better decisions, build better habits, and get over a lack of willpower.
If you set up the right conditions for success, you won’t have to find motivation every day. Clear break down complicated ideas into simple, doable steps, and he shows you how to master the small steps that lead to good habits and big results in the long run.
25. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
This is the first self-help book ever written. I think that every high school graduate should read this before they walk across the stage to get their diploma. There is no reading list in the world that will help you if you can’t understand people, build them up, and get them to like you.
26. Think And Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill’s self-help business book, written in 1937, shares the author’s belief that all you need to get rich is a strong desire to achieve and find a purpose.
This book is about so much more than just following your dreams from a romantic point of view. The book Think and Grow Rich is based on interviews with more than 300 self-made millionaires from the 1930s. It looks at the things that these business leaders had in common and gives readers a simple way to try to copy their drive and determination. Because of this, it’s a great book to read if you want to start your own business that does well.
It’s one of the best business books for people who are just starting out and want to learn how to run a business well.
27. Outliers, The Story Of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most famous, best-selling, and well-reviewed non-fiction writers in the world. It’s no surprise that one of his books made it onto our list of the best business books for beginners.
Why the book Outliers? It’s a very fun and interesting book to read. It’s interesting and doesn’t have a lot of the business jargon and fake sincerity you usually find in business books.
Outliers disprove the idea, found in many business books, that hard work and determination are the only keys to business or financial success. Instead, it looks at how people’s backgrounds, personalities, and experiences shape the way their lives turn out. It also looks at how some very interesting people have dealt with problems and setbacks.
28. Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss
People in the business world often call Million Dollar Consulting the consultant’s bible. Alan Weiss has been called the “Rock Star of Consulting” because of his book. If you want to get into the C-suite, this is the book for you. The book talks about how to set up your office, write proposals, and delegate work. It also talks about how to network well and set prices.
29. “Good to Great” by Jim Collins
This is the one book I’ve read that has helped me learn the most about business. From hiring to leadership humility to technology to the Stockdale Paradox, you will take a lot of notes and be a better leader after reading this book.
30. Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die By Chip Heath And Dan Heath
Chip and Dan Heath, who are brothers, wrote Made to Stick. This book is the result of more than a decade of research into why some ideas work and others don’t. At first glance, the answer might seem clear. But this book, which was inspired by some of Malcolm Gladwell’s work, shows how many layers of input and outside factors are needed for an idea to become “sticky.”
31. This Is Marketing By Seth Godin
Seth Godin has written dozens of books that have been big hits all over the world. This is Marketing is a book by a self-proclaimed marketing expert that breaks down the knowledge and experience he has gained as a leader and visionary in the field.
This is the kind of book you might want to read a little at a time before bed, rather than try to finish in one afternoon. But this very personal and inspiring book still has a lot to teach and entertain.
32. The Business Planning Guide by David H. Bangs Jr.
The Business Planning Guide is one of those realistic guidebooks that can be a reassuring voice of experience when starting a new business. Bangs Jr. is a former banker and business owner. He uses his vast experience to give expert advice on how to start a new business, such as how to analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and current market conditions. Some people think that this book is an important “compass” and “map” for anyone who wants to start their own business.
33. Profit First By Mike Michalowicz
This is a very interesting book for people who own small businesses or are having trouble with money.
The idea behind Mike Michaelowicz’s book is pretty simple. Your company’s finances can change if you change the way most businesses usually make money.
Tens of thousands of business owners have read Profit First and told other business owners to read it. Mike is funny and tells real-life stories to make his points. He also has a lot of useful advice and suggestions. This is not your usual dull business book.
34. Zero To One By Peter Thiel
In the past few years, Peter Thiel has become known as a controversial and well-known person. But there is no doubt about his business sense or his ability to make money.
In Zero to One, Thiel tries to explain in a short way how to start a new business and run it well. He talks about how to set up a new business to succeed based on the lessons he’s learned from investing for decades.
Thiel supports the idea that the biggest companies all have one thing in common: they offer a unique product or service. This is especially true in the tech industry, where things change quickly.
It’s a simple message, but hearing it from an investor like Thiel makes it more powerful.
35. “Tell to Win” by Peter Guber
This is a new book that talks about why stories are important and how they can help you sell your ideas and persuade other people. No matter how good your ideas are, nothing will happen if you can’t sell them. About two years ago, I read this book, and it has helped me more than any other book. The story is very important not only for marketing and sales in business but also for leadership and personal growth.
36. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People By Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey’s book came out in 1989 and has sold millions of copies and been translated many times. The book is based on a simple idea: that successful people have certain traits or habits that everyone shares and that can be copied. Starting with the first habit, “be proactive,” the author gives a strong push to move from a model of being dependent to a model of being independent, and then to a model of being interdependent.
This book is about business, but it also has a lot to say about philosophy. It is full of ideas and advice about how to think and work mindfully and build the life we want.
37. The Art Of The Start 2.0: The Time-tested, Battle-hardened Guide For Anyone Starting Anything By Guy Kawasaki
This second edition of Guy Kawaski’s important work has made it even more well-known. It’s easy to understand why! In this book, Kawasaki talks about the chances that technology gives us. He helps readers get rid of some of the common ideas about business, like how important it is to have a solid business plan.
Equal parts This is one of the best business books for people who are just starting out and want to make a splash with a new business idea. It gives a lot of advice on how to take advantage of new business tools like online marketing and crowdsourcing.
38. The Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson
Wilkerson’s story about how she had to work from home because of her own life is both inspiring and educational. If you want to start a business from home or online, this book is for you. The book has charts and tables that make it easy to understand how to find your target market, make effective marketing plans, and build your brand. This is a good book for people who work in “soft” services, like online marketers, consultants, and other service providers.
39. Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
This book is for you if you are currently working for a company and secretly wish you could start your own business and be your own boss. This book is also for you if you just quit your big company job to start your own business. Pamela Slim clearly explains everything you need to know about starting a business, from how to get clients to how to get insurance, before and soon after you take the plunge. She gives good advice and motivation that will re-energize you and make you more determined to leave your cubicle job for good.
40. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist and best-selling author. In his book Blink, he uses what he knows about neuroscience and psychology to look at how we think without thinking. When decisions are made in the blink of an eye, they don’t seem as easy as they are.
Even though decisions can be made quickly, they are based on very complicated ways of thinking. In Blink, Gladwell talks to a lot of different experts on how people make decisions, like a tennis coach who can predict a mistake before a player’s racket hits the ball and an antique expert who can spot a “fake” in less than a second.
Gladwell says that the best decision-makers aren’t the ones who give the decision the most thought, but the ones who have mastered the art of “thin-slicing.” This is a way to quickly pick out the few important factors from a large number of variables.
We hope this long list of the best business books for beginners was helpful to you. Don’t forget that some of the most successful business people in the world read up to three books a week. People who are successful can teach us a valuable lesson: they want to keep learning and broadening their horizons. This is something we can all do.
Taking in the wise words of others can teach you how to deal with problems when you start your own business. Talking to other people in business is a great way to learn, of course. But it’s not often that we get to hear the collected wisdom of people we look up to, which often comes from their whole lives. Most importantly, reading lets us slowly learn from the lessons and experiences of others and use that knowledge to do well in our own business ventures.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What degree is best for business owners?
With an MBA, bachelor’s, associate’s, or master’s degree in a related field, you can build a strong foundation for your career that will help you earn as much as possible. Academic programs can also help you learn how to get along with other people, which is a key skill for running a business.
Do business books really help?
Sales and Marketing Executives International says that people who read at least seven business books a year make more money. In fact, they make 2.3 times more than people who only read one book a year. Reading seems to be one of the most important things that most successful people do.
Is it worth reading business books?
Business books show you how someone else overcame the same problems you are facing. They can show you tricks and give you new ideas. They can show you new ways to live or think, give you a new perspective, or give you the motivation you need.
Can I learn business on my own?
You can learn the basics of business and how to be an entrepreneur on your own, through online resources, by going to school and taking business-related classes, or by working in a real business setting.
Can you teach yourself business?
MBA programs don’t have a monopoly on advanced business knowledge. You can teach yourself everything you need to know to be successful in life and at work. The Personal MBA is a list of the best business books that have been researched for more than ten years and thousands of hours.
What should I study to become an entrepreneur?
Most entrepreneurs start out with a bachelor’s degree in business or entrepreneurship. They then go to an MBA program to improve their skills.
Can I learn business without a degree?
Most of the time, you don’t need a certain degree to start your own business. Real-world work experience is a great way to learn the skills you need to run a business well. Still, going to college can help you learn important soft skills that you can use in your new job.
What is the most valuable skill in business?
Complex problem-solving is still the most valued skill, and skills like working with others, managing people, and critical thinking have kept their value over the past five years. But when you look more closely, you find big surprises.
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