6. Awaken the Giant Within—Anthony Robbins
Tony Robbins, everybody! Contrary to popular belief, Robbins is more than an eccentric guru; his teachings give practical insight into the science behind tapping into our innate power as individuals. The book opens with a quote from Orison Swett Marden: “Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him,” setting the stage for deeply-informed counsel from an author who seems to sit down with you like a wise father. This selection utilizes a guided progression based partially on formula; however, when it comes to Tony Robbins, you know you can expect an introspective and spiritual journey that cuts right to the core of improving the human experience.
5. The Analects—Confucius
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Everyone is familiar with the name, Confucius, but very few have read him, first-hand. Your first thought might be, understandably, “How in the world could this possibly apply to business?” These are proverbs from a real-life master of philosophy. The ancient wisdom found in The Analects is not only useful for every area of personal achievement (including business), but it speaks to a depth of character and integrity that all entrepreneurs should strive for.
4. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin—Benjamin Franklin
Possibly the most veracious author of his time, Franklin wrote his autobiography over the course of many years, leaving behind a legacy to inspire future generations and society as a whole, which was a self-proclaimed goal of the book. He was an unrelentingly stubborn man who was immune to compromise when it came to self-betterment. The 18th-century work is a surprisingly easy read, due to Franklin’s concise and economical style of writing, and the stories and anecdotes from his own journey in life only add to the color of this essential autobiography.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—Stephen R. Covey
This compelling book outlines a unique approach to reinventing yourself from the inside, out by moving “from dependence, to independence, to interdependence”. It is a colorful and engaging read that clearly comes from an author with deep experience and understanding, illustrating, through the use of moving and sometimes shocking stories, how we can learn to win the internal, as well as the superficial, external battles that every entrepreneur inevitably must face. Though it is also a formulaic progression of self-improvement that you may not commit to wholeheartedly, these are principles from which we can all benefit.
2. The War of Art—Stephen Pressfield
There are self-improvement books, and then there is this book. In a class entirely of its own, The War of Art goes beyond the creative internal battles that we face; it reveals a clear path that will take you out of the swamp of mediocrity by confronting the roadblocks standing between you and your success. Pressfield proves herein some of the most powerful, applicable guidance and encouragement for ambitious professionals in every field.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People—Dale Carnegie
Remember in Back to the Future, when Biff went back in time to give his past-self the sports almanac, so that he could make a fortune by knowing the outcomes of sporting events, before they happened? This book is about as important as Biff’s almanac, except this book actually exists. The author, himself, remarked that he wished someone would’ve given him a book like this when he was starting out, due to its invaluable lessons on how to effectively deal with people in every capacity. If you haven’t found this gem already, then it needs to go straight to the top of your list.
To be sure, there are countless other books that could be added here, but the selections listed above are a strong start. If you are able to devote some time and energy to even one of these, their valuable lessons will quickly take you to the next level in your development as an entrepreneur.
If you like those book ideas, you’ll love these quotes from famous entrepreneurs:
17 Best Quotes from Famous Entrepreneurs
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.