Just walk-in to any bookstore, and you will find a massive selection of self-help books designed to inspire the novice entrepreneur on the road to financial success. The trouble is that selecting the best literature which will actually keep you interested and motivated can be very difficult, at best. As you begin your journey into being your own boss, here are four of the most informative and inspirational how-to guides ever published.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
This is not only informative, but also filled with hilarious accomplishments and bits of wisdom by the author. This is one of those books that focusses on improving time management, but the examples that Ferriss provides really make you think. In one of his stories, he discusses how he successfully trained and won the national Chinese kickboxing championship in only 30 days. But this guide for the novice entrepreneur also provides concrete examples of websites, autoresponders, income generators, and personal assistant services that can turn your life from an 80-hour per week schedule into the seemingly elusive goal of having only a “4-Hour Workweek”.
Ferriss teaches you to think outside the box and quit living the traditional nine-to-five business day, which is rarely very productive in the first place. One of the most valuable pieces of wisdom that the author offers is that each aspiring business mogul is made up of the combinations of traits of the five people with whom we spend the most time. If these people are not making us better and stronger, then they are usually making us weaker and less productive. Ferriss is all about cutting the negative influences out of our life, no matter how politically incorrect they may seem.
First Things First by Stephen Covey
This is a follow-up book to the critically acclaimed “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” another of the must-read books for the budding entrepreneur. In First Things First, Covey also addresses time management, but in a slightly different way than Ferriss. Covey helps you to understand the importance of doing only tasks that are of the utmost importance rather than focusing on finishing more trivial tasks on your daily to-do list.
While Ferriss expounds on the successful art of delegating to as many subordinates as possible, Covey teaches us how to best select the few chores that we actually need to accomplish first. Those who read both of these books often go back a second and a third time simply because they are both so chock full of useful tidbits of insightful data that it is nearly impossible to catch them all on the first read.
Choose Yourself by James Altucher
Sometimes, the entrepreneur can be his own worst enemy, usually without his even knowing it. Altucher’s publication talks about the two most critical moments in any business owner’s professional life: That first moment when we finally decide to take the leap and start our own business, and that second moment when we finally decide to be ultimately responsible for our own success or failure. Altucher gives real life examples of some of the ridiculous self-sabotage that he has committed against his own success in the past, often leaving you yelling at the pages in frustration and anger.
This is one of those books that we can all relate to, because we have all been our own worst enemy at one time or another. But ultimately, every entrepreneur has to reach that point in their professional career when we finally decide to stop blaming the world for our misfortunes and take action. Altucher demonstrates how to do this beautifully.
Think and Grow Rich by Dale Carnegie
There are many, many other books that can help motivate, encourage, and inspire. One of the oldest, and most treasured publications ever written is Dale Carnegie’s Think and Grow Rich published in 1937. Since most of us who are just starting our own business are knee-deep in the Internet and digital technology, much of the wording in this book can seem somewhat antiquated and behind-the-times. But the message still rings true.
There are certain key traits and characteristics that all successful business owners possess. And Carnegie spent over 20 years interviewing the world’s biggest leaders in business and industry of his generation to determine what these attributes are. Remember, 1937 was the age of the Industrial revolution, of Rockefeller, Edison, Morgan, and Ford. The information included in Think and Grow Rich transcends time, making it one of the best books ever written for the newly aspired entrepreneur.
Obviously, there are many other fantastic books that we could have included on this list. What are some of your favorites?