5 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs

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Ah, reading. Such a lovely pastime. But if you’re an entrepreneur, chances are the last time you picked up a book it was mandatory reading for your Comp & World Lit class, and who the heck can even remember the last time you had room in your schedule to read for pleasure? Don’t despair, innovators! Reading can have both pleasure and purpose. In honor of Workbar’s Author Talks series, which kicked off this this week with a  launch party for author and angel investor Rick Webb’s new book Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing, we’ve listed five essential books for current or aspiring entrepreneurs to read.

  1.   The Lean Startup by Eric Ries: In this book, author Eric Ries defines a startup as “an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” And whether your startup is meeting in glossy board rooms or your mom’s basement (or somewhere in between), this book has invaluable insights on the right approach to a successful, sustainable business in a world with no guarantees.
  1. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Recommended by no less than the CEO of Patagonia himself, this book is a little less business focused than the others on this list. It takes a psychological approach to optimizing your experiences. Creativity, enjoyment, and total involvement with your life no longer need to be left up to chance.
  1. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh: Penned by the CEO of Zappos, this book focuses on building your company’s culture around happiness, a stark departure from how corporate culture traditionally works. From the inside out, culture defines your employees, your brand, and your customer base. It turns out focusing personal and professional satisfaction internally can also help you make money.
  1. Good to Great: If Eric Ries uses his book to define the “extreme uncertainty” of the startup world, author of Good to Great Jim Collins details a study attempting to pin down what exactly allows a company to have enduring success. Some companies are born with great DNA that allows them to maintain long term, consistent success. But what about the companies that start out as mediocre or less than mediocre? How can they transform inauspicious beginnings into an enterprise built to last?
  1. The Tipping Point: Whether or not you aspire to spawn the next great internet meme, the science of fads is a fascinating one, and author Malcolm Gladwell seeks to go beyond traditional explanations of crowd behavior and human irrationality. Borrowing terminology from the medical science community, Gladwell uses the concept of the “tipping point” in epidemics to describe what happens when something goes from small to huge at a rapid pace, proving that “going viral” is more than just a turn of phrase. And in a world of information overload, what is it that makes something stick?

Did we get your brain buzzing with literary curiosity yet? Take the momentum and run with it by popping out to your local bookstore and picking up a copy of each to peruse during commutes and rare moments of downtime. Better yet- share your favorite authors with us. What have you been reading lately? Know of any local authors with new, compelling books we should be bringing into our space for an Author Talks?  Author Talks is a Workbar original series of informal talks with local and national authors who are either self-published or partnered with a publisher. Authors will get the chance to answer questions about the topics presented in their books, as well as talk about the process of writing. Tweet us at @Workbar and let us know if you or someone you know would be a good author to feature!

 

About the Author: Ann Holland is a Space & Community Manager at Workbar. You may also address her as Potroast. Contact her on Twitter @SamuelEnderby  and on Instagram at @SamuelEnderby

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