YFS Magazine: Top 20 Best Books For Entrepreneurs Of 2015

What books should entrepreneurs read? Forget shuffling through the book store or your NOOK or Kindle app — we've removed the guess work.

What books should entrepreneurs read? Forget shuffling through the book store or your NOOK or Kindle app — we’ve removed the guess work. Our top picks include business classics to new releases and bestsellers, with a little something for everyone. From inspiration and customer development to productivity and fundamental small business lessons, here’s a look at twenty books you should be reading.

 

1. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control

Author: Walter Mischel. In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life–from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.

 

2. Life Is Good

Author: Bert Jacobs, John Jacobs. From Life is Good founders and brothers Bert and John Jacobs, this inspiring book of wisdom celebrates the power of optimism: the driving force behind their beloved, socially conscious clothing and lifestyle brand, now worth more than $100 million. Following the chronology of their personal and professional journeys, Bert and John share their unique ride—from their scrappy upbringing outside Boston to the unlikely runaway success of their business.

 

3. The Gratitude Diaries

Author: Janice Kaplan. On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade Editor-in-Chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next months will have less to do with the events that occur than her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers, she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.

 

4. Think and Grow Rich

Author: Napoleon Hill, Arthur R. Pell. In the original Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. In the updated version, Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D., a nationally known author, lecturer, and consultant in human resources management and an expert in applying Hill’s thought, deftly interweaves anecdotes of how contemporary millionaires and billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash, Dave Thomas, and Sir John Templeton, achieved their wealth.

 

5. Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action

Author: Ben Decker, Kelly Decker. Business communication sucks. At each meeting and presentation, we are inundated with information, leaving us thirsting for inspiration. Sure, we will check off an action item because we have to . . . but what if we were actually inspired to do something? What if we were so moved that we wanted to do it? Leaders must earn the license to lead. Not by expertise, authority, or title alone, but by influence. In Communicate to Influence, you will learn the secrets of the Decker Method―a framework that has been perfected over the past 36 years.

 

6. NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Author: NLP Comprehensive. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) has helped millions to overcome their fears, increase their confidence, and achieve greater success in their personal and professional lives and relationships. Now, from the company that created NLP: The New Technology of Achievement—one of the bestselling NLP books of all time—comes NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming. This user-friendly guide, written by three seasoned NLP Master Practitioners and coaches, leads you on a personal journey in using and applying NLP in everyday life. Through their real-life stories, you will experience the NLP strategies you need to achieve specific results in business and in life.

 

7. The Magic of Thinking Big

Author: David J. Schwartz. The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. He proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction—but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there.

 

8. How I Made My First Million on the Internet and How You Can Too!

Author: Ewen Chia. Born in 1973 in Singapore, Ewen Chia made his name and fortune on the Internet. Today he is one of the leading experts in Internet Marketing and is widely known as the “”World’s #1 Super Affiliate.”” Ewen is also highly in demand as a speaker who travels the globe sharing his Internet marketing expertise with budding entrepreneurs. In this comprehensive step-by-step guide to setting up a booming Internet business and raking in million-dollar profits, Ewen Chia demystifies marketing jargon and shares the tips and techniques that continue to net his online businesses a cool fortune.

 

9. The Introvert Entrepreneur

Author: Beth Buelow. Think you have to be loud and brash to be successful in business? Think again. The strengths and traits of the typical introvert lend themselves well to entrepreneurship, as well as “intrapreneurship” and a range of business roles. In The Introvert Entrepreneur, professional coach Beth Buelow shows readers how to harness their natural gifts (including curiosity, independence, and a love of research) and counteract their challenges (such as an aversion to networking and self-promotion).

 

10. Hardcore Inventing: Invent, Protect, Promote, and Profit from Your Ideas

Author: Robert Yonover, Ellie Crowe. From your initial idea through a captivating proposal, Hardcore Inventing is an easy-to-use, informational, and inspirational guide on how to turn your idea into a success. Robert Yonover uses his experiences from the world of inventing and promotion to take you through the invention process step-by-step.

 

Photo: © veles_studio, YFS Magazine
Photo: © veles_studio, YFS Magazine

11. Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

Author: Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler. From the coauthors of the New York Times bestseller Abundance comes their much anticipated follow-up: Bold—a radical, how-to guide for using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while also positively impacting the lives of billions. Bold unfolds in three parts. Part One focuses on the exponential technologies that are disrupting today’s Fortune 500 companies and enabling upstart entrepreneurs to go from “I’ve got an idea” to “I run a billion-dollar company” far faster than ever before.

 

12. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Author: Gary Keller, Jay Papasan. Gary Keller is chairman of the board and cofounder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., which holds the #1 position as the largest real estate company in the world. His New York Times bestselling books have sold more than 2,000,000 copies. In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to: cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, build momentum toward your goal, dial down the stress, overcome that overwhelmed feeling, revive your energy, stay on track, and master what matters to you. The ONE Thing aims to deliver extraordinary results in every area of your life— work, personal, family, and spiritual.

 

13. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

Photo: Carmine Gallo. Public speaking coach and bestselling author Carmine Gallo has broken down hundreds of TED talks and interviewed the most popular TED presenters, as well as the top researchers in the fields of psychology, communications, and neuroscience to reveal the nine secrets of all successful TED presentations. Gallo’s step-by-step method makes it possible for anyone to deliver a presentation that is engaging, persuasive, and memorable.

 

14. The Motivation Manifesto

Author: Brendon Burchard. The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power. World-renowned high performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear.

 

15. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Author: Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares. Traction will teach you the nineteen channels you can use to build a customer base, and how to pick the right ones for your business. It draws on inter-views with more than forty successful founders, including Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (reddit), Paul English (Kayak), and Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot). Weinberg and Mares know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; every startup faces unique challenges and will benefit from a blend of these nineteen traction channels. They offer a three-step framework (called Bullseye) to figure out which ones will work best for your business.

 

16. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Author: Eric Ries. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

 

17. The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Author: Bob Burg, John David Mann. Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a classic bestseller that brings to life the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.” Nearly a decade since its original publication, the term “go-giver” has become shorthand for a defining set of values embraced by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Today this timeless story continues to help its readers find fulfillment and greater success in business, in their personal lives and in their communities. This expanded edition includes the text of the original business parable, together with a foreword by Arianna Huffington, a new intro­duction, a discussion guide, and a Q&A with the authors.

 

18. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Author: Simon Sinek. Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty? In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

 

19. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Author: Timothy Ferriss. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

 

20. The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

Author: Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha. The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing of the past. Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to accelerate your career in today’s competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.

 

21. Bonus: The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

Author: Rick Warren. The most basic question everyone faces in life is Why am I here? What is my purpose? Living out the purpose you were created for moves you beyond mere survival and success to a life of significance—the life you were meant to live.

Need more recommendations? Checkout our Top 20 Startup, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Books of 2014.

 

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