How many of these classic entrepreneur books have you read? We’re about to find out.
The human mind behaves like a muscle. Like every muscle in the body, it develops and expands with frequent exercise. Learning is one of the best forms of exercise for the mind. It’s an investment in your life and future.
There is no investment on earth that pays more interest than an investment in knowledge because the lessons you learn from a good book will serve you for a lifetime with incredible results.
Every day, we consume all sorts of information: TV, radio, blogs, social media, gossip, noise etc. But how much of this information develops your mind and makes you a better entrepreneur? If you’re like most people, it’s less than 1 percent.
The books I’ll be sharing with you in this article are all-time classics and my personal favourites. A few of them were written more than 70 years ago and all of them have sold millions of copies across the world. These books hold the key to unlocking something great inside you.
If they worked for me, I see no reason why they shouldn’t work for you. And if one of your excuses is that you don’t have time to read, create time! What could be more important than a chance to change your life?
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad
This book is certainly one of my best all-time classics.
If you’re an entrepreneur, or want to become one, this is one book you just have to read.
Published more than a decade ago, the wisdom in this small but mind-blowing book still blows me away everytime I read it again.
The first time I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad was sometime in 2004. It was during a short vacation and I was visiting at my auntie’s. Bored out of my wits, I started digging around for something interesting to read or watch.
When I found this book, I actually thought it was a novel (because of the title). Little did I know I was about to learn some of the most interesting and transformative lessons of my life.
Like most people, I got the same advice that promised to lead me to a bright and secure future: “Go to school, Get good grades, and Get a secure job!”
This advice may have worked 30 years ago, but it doesn’t work so well nowadays.
These days, good grades no longer guarantee you’ll get a job, and of the few jobs that exist, very few can be called ‘secure’. You could get fired, laid off, ‘rationalized’ or made redundant at any time. This is the philosophy this book is built on.
In this book, the author, Robert Kiyosaki, shares his life experience with his two fathers – Poor Dad (his real father) and Rich Dad (his friend’s father).
While Poor Dad was a very intelligent man who had a ‘good’ government job, Rich Dad was an independent and highly successful entrepreneur. The lessons he learned from the lives of these two men changed his life forever.
Today, Robert Kiyosaki is not only an author of several best-selling books; he is also a very successful entrepreneur and celebrated millionaire.
I strongly recommend that you add this book to your library as soon as you can. You can buy it from a good bookstore in your area or directly from Amazon.com by following this link: Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
2. Think and Grow Rich
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” This is one of the most powerful quotes that I know and it came from this book.
The author, Napoleon Hill, is considered to have inspired more people to success than any other person in history.
“All achievement, all earned riches have their beginning in an idea.”
This book, which took Napoleon Hill about 25 years to write, analyses the experience of more than 500 of America’s richest men who began from scratch, with nothing, but became very successful entrepreneurs.
After studying these men to find out how they became very successful, Napoleon Hill came up with 13 Steps to Riches that led to their success.
Things like Desire, Imagination, Persistence and the Mastery of Procrastination are just a few of the steps that were common in the success stories of the 500+ rich people studied by Napoleon.
Though published over 70 years ago, the value in this book still amazes me. It contains lots of memorable quotes and truths that will keep you nodding in agreement until you finish the whole book. Most interesting is that the book contains many real life stories that make it such an interesting and engaging read.
This book has been republished several times and is usually a top book in the personal development section of any good bookstore. You could also buy a hardcover or an audiobook version on Amazon by following this link: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
3. How to Win Friends and Influence People
When this book was first published in 1937, Dale Carnegie never guessed it would become such a massive hit!
Today, this hugely popular book is an all-time international best-seller that has sold millions of copies across the world in over thirty different languages.
The first time I read this book was over a decade ago, in university. The next time I read it again was a few months ago, in June.
Since the first time I read it, the ‘tricks’ and lessons I learned from this book have always worked like magic until this day! It makes me wonder how little human nature has changed despite the huge advancements in today’s modern society.
As an entrepreneur, you definitely need to understand people.
The basic and practical techniques in this book will teach you how to influence people and get them on your side.
Whether you’re trying to attract customers, motivate employees or convince investors, knowing how to influence people will always be an advantage.
In this book, you will learn how to make friends quickly and easily, win people to your way of thinking and increase your ability to get things done.
You will also learn some useful techniques that will help you handle complaints, avoid arguments and keep your personal and business relationships smooth and pleasant.
Any bookshop that doesn’t sell this book should be shut down! Seriously! Like I said, it’s a hugely popular all-time classic. You could also buy the hardcover or audiobook version on Amazon by following this link: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
4. The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires
As you may have guessed, I got attracted to this book because of its catchy title.
I was suspicious at first because I have seen more than my fair share of books like this that promise a goldmine of information on the outside but turn out to be bland and empty inside.
Thankfully, this book did not disappoint. In fact, it was so good I had to read it again.
The author, Brian Tracy, is one of the most influential writers on personal development. Apart from this book, he has written several other books which have become bestsellers.
Some of them like Eat that Frog and The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success have also become my personal favourites.
The secrets to success that Brian Tracy shares in this book are simple and practical, yet very effective. Some of them will surprise you and a few will shock you.
You may already be applying some of the secrets in this book in your life. It’s also very likely that you’ve been missing out on most of them.
For me, reading this book really opened my eyes to some bad habits and negative mentality that were unconsciously at work in my life.
The importance of setting goals, continuous learning, self-discipline and building valuable relationships (networking) are just a few of the key lessons I learned from this book.
Throughout the book, there are instances and short stories of how some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs applied these secrets in their lives.
The 21 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires is surely one of my all-time classics and I definitely recommend that you read it soon. Any bookstore that’s worth its salt should have this book in stock.
You could also buy it on Amazon by following this link: The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires
5. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
This article would be incomplete without a book on leadership.
Entrepreneurs are leaders; it’s a huge part of what we do every day. We have to lead ourselves and the other groups of people who look up to us constantly for leadership: employees, customers, friends and family.
I just retrieved my copy of this book from my bookshelf. I have a habit of writing the date of purchase on the first page of any new book I buy.
This one says ‘January 2010’. It’s been four years since I read this book and running through the pages just reminds me of some important lessons I got from it.
According to this book, becoming a good leader depends on several factors. Some of these factors are: character, relationships, knowledge, intuition, experience and ability.
Throughout this book, the author tells the stories of some of the world’s greatest leaders who have led countries, companies, businesses, religious organisations and teams to achieve astounding success.
One of my favourite laws in this book is the Law of Process. This law states that ‘leadership is developed daily over time, and not in one day’.
The best leaders work tirelessly to build their skills and knowledge before they became successful. It doesn’t happen overnight. The book goes on to use Theodore Roosevelt, one of America’s greatest presidents as a classic example. Though he was sickly and timid as a child, Roosevelt grew to become a tough and powerful leader, both mentally and physically.
The author, John Maxwell, is a celebrated bestselling writer. The content of this book is indeed life changing and I consider myself fortunate to have read this book early in my life. Leadership is a skill we must always develop and use throughout our lives.
Again, I’m sure you’ll find this book in your local bookstore. If you prefer, you could buy a paperback or audiobook version on Amazon by following this link: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
When will you read these classic entrepreneur books?
After reading this article, you will most likely do one of two things: take action or procrastinate.
Taking action is a harder option compared to doing nothing at all or putting off action until later. I admit that reading a book nowadays can be hard. With all the distractions from phones, friends and social media, it’s getting increasingly difficult to focus long enough to finish a book.
What you have to understand is that by reading these books you will be making a huge investment in your life.
Like I said in the introductory part of this article, the life-changing lessons you learn from books will follow you forever. It’ll develop and significantly increase the way you think and act. With these changes, it shouldn’t be long before you start to see remarkable results in your life, business, career and relationships.
So, will you visit Amazon or your local bookstore to buy these books or will you just postpone until tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and never?
Whatever you decide, I strongly suggest that you read an article I wrote some time ago about the slow but deadly disease known as “Procrastination”. I am confident that after reading that article, you’ll be thoroughly shocked at what procrastination can really do to you.
If you know somebody who will benefit greatly from this article, please share it with them using the Facebook, Twitter and Google+ icons below.
To your success!
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