5 Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read

As you dive into a new business venture, soaking up information from experts can be a huge help. There are hundreds of thousands of business books on the market, many of which will try to sell you their own methods for running a successful business. It can be difficult to find the best book in such a wide selection. To narrow it down, here are a few of the top business-centric books that entrepreneurs should read.

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz

Written by Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” helps entrepreneurs learn about the struggles of starting your own business, and how to overcome those struggles. The book dives into Horowitz’s own story, including his own failures, to help startup entrepreneurs problem-solve along the way. Polina Marinova of Fortune.com praises his ability to incorporate rap lyrics into his business lessons, too, which makes it unique from other books of its kind.

“Zero to One” by Peter Thiel

“Zero to One” is a closer look at the world of start-up companies, written by none other than Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, Palantir, Thiel Fellows and Clarium Capital. This book was originally designed to accompany Thiel’s start-up course at Stanford University, focusing on the influence of technology on modern-day start-ups.

“The Essays of Warren Buffett” by Warren Buffett and Lawrence A. Cunningham

American businessman Warren Buffett, with the help of editor Lawrence A. Cunningham, put together “The Essays of Warren Buffett.” This compilation of essays includes annual shareholder letters to investors, giving up-and-coming entrepreneurs a closer look at the way Buffett runs his business and applies academic business concepts. The book comes highly recommended by Marinova at Fortune, as well as by USA Today contributor Dan Dzombak.

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

A best-seller since its original publication in 1936, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” sheds light on classic, tried-and-true principles in the business world. According to Dan Dzombak, Warren Buffett took a course that utilized Dale Carnegie’s book as its textbook and was quoted as saying the course and book “changed [his] life.” The book focuses on leadership and claims that those destined for success have “technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”

“First, Break All the Rules” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

With a strong focus on statistics and studies, “First, Break All the Rules” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman is an Amazon best seller. The book consists of a study, focused on more than 80,000 business managers, that determines what qualities and characteristics make up a leader. The book focuses on multiple lessons and characteristics that start-up entrepreneurs can instill in their own businesses.

Starting your own business isn’t easy, but with books like the ones included on this list, you can learn from the best. Before you dive into your next business endeavor, pick up one or more of these books to help shape your small business.


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