A lot of people dream of creating their own business. Not a lot of people act on it.
The thoughts around startup costs, the time commitment and the competition swirl in their heads until they are completely paralyzed. To combat the small business paralysis, I believe the budding entrepreneur should start off with an inspirational book. It's a low-cost way (or no-cost way with the library) to take the first important step on your entrepreneurial journey.
The following five books have helped me to strengthen my small business muscle and truly challenge myself in ways I've never been challenged before. I’m hopeful these books will help you create a business that makes you proud and in the end, you'll be able to provide a product or service that truly helps people.
Here are 5 books that have inspired the entrepreneur inside of me and helped me start my first business:
Will it Fly? by Pat Flynn
What’s it about? The online entrepreneur, Pat Flynn, guides us down the runway to see if our business idea will fly. And even if you don't have the makings of a great idea just yet, Pat takes you through a series of exercises that help your next business idea come to fruition.
Why I enjoyed it? This is not a book you simply only read. It is a book that requires your full participation through a series of exercises, mind maps and online courses. It helped me to validate my business and bring it to life.
4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
What’s it about? Tim Ferriss inspires his readers by revealing that you don't need to wait until you're in your 60's to enjoy the life of retirement. You can have it today by managing your time more efficiently and starting your own profitable business.
Why I enjoyed it? Tim's advice on making the most of your day helped me to take advantage of the time I do have outside of work and family life to grow my business. He also helped me to realize there is a way out of “email hell”!
Platform by Michael Hyatt
What’s it about? This is an excellent step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to say and sell anything and be noticed. Michael provides countless strategies for growing your following and providing value to your customers.
Why I enjoyed it? A huge part of winning in the online business world is creating helpful and inspirational content that people truly enjoy. Platform enlightened me on how to create compelling content. It also helped me learn how to take advantage of social media and the importance of growing a tribe.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
What’s it about? In 1937, Dale Carnegie wrote this people-skills focused book that has truly stood the test of time. The lessons on how to make people like you, how to handle difficult people and how to win people over to your way of thinking are just as relevant today as they were when Dale wrote the original book.
Why I enjoyed it? This book taught me important life skills that translate across all facets of my life including my journey with entrepreneurship. When you're just getting started as a business owner, people-skills and treating people the way they should be treated is crucial. When you're just starting out, you're looking for people to give you chance through partnerships, advice or even as your first customer. How to Win Friends and Influence People has been a strong guide for me both personally and professionally.
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
What’s it about? Jeff Olson explains that life can be lived exponentially – both positively and negatively. With small, positive and daily changes, you can live a life of abundance and happiness. On the opposite end of the spectrum, negative daily habits can lead to an exponentially difficult life. The Slight Edge helps you understand the importance of making smart daily decisions so you're on a positive trajectory toward success.
Why I enjoyed it? The Slight Edge guided me through the importance of writing down goals that give me daily improvement. Outside of my health, family and financial goals, the book also helped me to set entrepreneurial goals as well. One of those goals was to create a blog that provides people with a source of inspiration and financial empowerment. I hope you're enjoying the results of that goal!
What books have inspired you as an entrepreneur?