Steve Jobs once said, “…People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” And Jobs was right. For aspiring young business professionals, anything can be achieved with the right mindset. And to have the right mindset, they need to have the proper support, foundation, and resources. Reading the best business books for entreprenuers can give you various perspectives from successful professionals people around the globe. 

Whether you’re a 20-year-old graduate or a 30-year-old newbie entrepreneur, here are the top business books for beginners to help you on your journey. 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

People can’t easily shun bad habits. In the world of business, bad habits have a detrimental impact on your operations. For instance, taking long breaks can delay some tasks at hand. Pulling an all-nighter after work to party can leave you tired and unproductive the next day.

However, these are normal. But Charles Duhigg said that it’s pretty much easy to change bad habits. How? By changing the routine. 

The Power of Habit talks about how one can veer from the bad routine by having enough willpower. It may be easier said than done. But in this book, Duhigg encapsulates how habits are formulated scientifically and how a three-step process will change your life. 

According to Duhigg, habits work in three ways: cue, routine, and reward. He teaches you how to ditch a habit by omitting the second step — routine. 

As young business professionals, it can be challenging to get rid of bad habits, especially when entering into a new chapter of your life. This book will help you maintain a stable mental and physical wellbeing to manage your undertakings well.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Not everyone dreams of becoming rich. But for those who do, might be stuck in limbo on how to achieve success. But there is one thing we know for sure. We can’t be at the pinnacle of the wealth we’ve always dreamed of without the right mindset. 

Whether it be happiness, authentic relationships, promotions, or money, if we control our minds, we control our fate as well. Hill believes that to grasp wealth and success, we must flip the switch and be success conscious as well. 

This book can be a great way to give you the perfect head start when establishing your business by putting you into the right state of mind. Here’s a favorite quote from this book.

“When you begin to think and grow rich, you will observe that riches begin with a state of mind, with definiteness of purpose, with little or no hard work. You, and every other person, ought to be interested in knowing how to acquire that state of mind which will attract riches. Observe very closely, as soon as you master the principles of this philosophy, and begin to follow the instructions for applying those principles, your financial status will begin to improve, and everything you touch will begin to transmute itself into an asset for your benefit. Impossible? Not at all!”

Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.”

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The most quintessential way to know how to run a startup is to read a business book about how to run a startup. And The Lean Startup is the archetype of a business startup guide.

Eric Ries puts in all his experiences as an entrepreneur. He also throws in some case studies that will help startup business owners handle the struggles from the start.

In today’s technologically advanced world, businesses are quickly innovating products and services faster than lightning. That said, startups should be able to cope with the fast-changing trends. 

The conventional way of running SMBs is by implementing standard procedures based on studies and scientific methods. However, this might not work in innovative organizations. 

This book teaches startup business owners and managers how to be more critical when it comes to decision-making. Plus, these principles, systematic techniques, and scientific methods aren’t only applicable to startups as the title suggests. Any large corporation can benefit from these tips and tricks as well. 

Never Get a Real Job by Scott Gerber

There are more than a handful of business books for beginners that you can choose from. They offer the same tips under the guise of different paperback covers.

What makes ‘Never Get a Real Job’ stand out is its straight-to-the-point, no-BS practical tips on how to run a startup. Of course, these are time-tested methods from real entrepreneurs in the business sector. 

The book encourages up-and-coming entrepreneurs to venture into business or die trying! While working for cold CEOs and apple-polishing supervisors might be the most convenient route after college, nothing could be more fulfilling than starting your own company. 

Let me give you five takeaways from this book: 

  • Don’t think it’s all rainbows and butterflies when starting a business. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride, and it’s best to accept the inevitable. 
  • Avoid writing a business plan that seems like it’s ready for a book publisher. Shorter business plans will allow for a more achievable action. And when I say short, Gerber means a one-paragraph business plan. 
  • Prepare to be the boss of your own time. The book talks about how working for THE boss will enslave you, while being your own boss means more time and freedom. 
  • The reason why some people transform from rags to riches is that they utilize everything they have and grow from there. For instance, if you’re in the restaurant business and you have mad interpersonal skills (even though you can’t cook), take the time to approach customers and ask them how their food was. Be passionate and go beyond the surface-level service that everyone is so complacent of.
  • Facebook isn’t the only marketing channel these days. Outdoor advertising still works and will always work, especially if your target market doesn’t have an online presence. 

PS. This was the first business book I read and the book that led to me quitting my job to one day find Penji. Thanks, Scott for your friendship.

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Never Eat Alone is an excellent guide to how young business professionals can master the complex web of networking. Ferrazzi digs deeper into the real essence and goal of networking — genuine relationships.

If you foster relationships right from the start, in a genuine and nonbusiness kind of way, you’ll gain affinity. Take advantage of relationships as these will repay you someday. 

In this book, newbie entrepreneurs, graduates, and yuppies will learn how to value a person by investing time and effort. 

The gist of the book all boils down to three lessons: 

Lesson #1: Relationships are the most critical thing in business. Without an excellent business-customer relationship, you’ll never get people’s approval. Learn to nurture it. Always be at anyone’s beck and call. 

Lesson #2: Grow your network as early as possible. You can find famous people’s successful networking stories online, but first-hand examples are better like my old man. He is the amiable kind — the one who always gets surrounded by people for his jolly disposition. 

Now that he’s 62, be it a minor or major business favor, all he has to do is ask someone, and it’s done in an instant.

Always build your network the best, genuine way possible. Sooner or later, the people you meet along the way will return the favor. 

Lesson #3: Quality over quantity. When you spend time with partners, suppliers, clients, colleagues, show authenticity. Don’t spend time with them for the business’s sake; be open and honest and it will return a hundred fold. 

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This was one of the first business books I read as a young professional. Establishing a startup from scratch can be daunting, let alone managing people from all walks of life.

In this book, Carnegie talks about the professional and proper way of dealing with issues, arguments, and the like. He enumerates 30 concise principles that focus on relationship development rather than criticism. 

For instance, he mentions the various techniques in handling people. By not criticizing or complaining and giving sincere appreciation, you can be well on your way to becoming the best boss.

Secondly, he teaches how you can make people like you by listening more often, showing interest, and showing they’re important.

Thirdly, he talks about how you can win people by being friendly, showing respect, and displaying sympathy. 

Last but not least, he offers tips on how you can change people without offending or antagonizing them.

Note Taking

These business books are merely guidelines for beginners. You’ll learn a great deal when you mix and match a book or two. However, always remember that the best teacher in life is and will always be — experience.

With that said I recommend a specific strategy that can help you get through these books faster.

Let’s face it, we business folk DO NOT have the time to read thousands of pages. So, just skim. Read the chapters that make the most sense to you. Write notes inside of your notepad or notes on your phone. Then, once you have the cliff notes, she them with a friend. That way they can take what you learned from that book, without actually reading the entire book itself.

You can sign up for the Mind Club here where you will in fact have access to all of the books our members read.