Best Business Books for Beginner Entrepreneurs [Gift Guide 2019]
23 min read
You know those books that are so stuffed full of hidden gems that you’re highlighting lines and quoting stuff to everyone who will listen?
They’re the non-fiction business or personal development books that help push your life and business forward.
Those are usually the must-read books that you’d love to give a copy to any girl boss, creative or female entrepreneur that you know!
The ones who are either starting their own business online or just need some awesome inspiration to keep being their badass self!
I created my own list of these incredible books full of hidden gems and pages you’ll keep going back to.
This list holds the best business books for beginner entrepreneurs, and it’s a great gift guide for beginner entrepreneurs, bloggers or business owners you need to get a gift for with the holiday season!
If you’re looking for a gift for your favorite entrepreneur, you literally can’t go wrong with a book! Most entrepreneurs LOVE reading and learning as much as they can.
It’s vital to their success, too!
Grab ’em a book and maybe some slippers to curl up and read on those winter nights!
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This goes to help support and run The Success Mountain website and keep the free information flowing!
Best books for online entrepreneurs on social media:
Entrepreneurs who start a business or a blog online need to know about social media. Social media is the new marketing, and these are the best picks for entrepreneurs who need to read books on social media, building a brand, and creating value with your craft.
Branding is all about telling stories, and that’s what Donald Millers’ Building a Story Brand talks about. Learn how to tell stories that your customers can’t pass by, making your customer the hero, and you the guide. His Story Brand guidelines have helped me listen to my own stories that I already tell my customers, helping me refine my marketing message and telling the stories I want to portray to my customers, for them!
Crushing It! Is the companion book to the Crush It! Book by Gary. After publishing the first Crush It! Book, Gary had numerous entrepreneurs talk about their story and how they created their dreams online and make money by taking care of their customers by being an influencer. Entrepreneurs such as Amy Schmittauer (now Landino) who is the boss of Vlog Like A Boss, and Lewis Howes tell the story of how they started their online empires using the same methods that Gary Vaynerchuk teaches.
Best books on Productivity and Taking Action:
It’s difficult to find a productivity book that really shines through..but I’ve found the perfect books! These books are perfect for entrepreneurs who need to focus on productivity. They will skyrocket how you think about time, productivity, and how we can be happy with our lives while getting all the things done (and not hating our lives).
David Allen originally wrote this brilliant productivity book in 2001, and titled it Getting Things Done. The premise is to set up organized systems that make life easier, so you can spend more time being present in your life rather than feeling guilty for not being at work, and vice versa. If you ever have repeat thoughts of “Oh I have to pay that bill.” and then shortly after you say “Oh yeah, I can’t forget to pay that bill,” then the GTD method is for you! Never think about things twice again, free up brain space, and therefore, time!
Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule has, dramatically changed how I think of my own actions. Instead of getting ready to plan for something and taking action that won’t reach my goals, Grant claims that most people who don’t achieve their goals simply under-estimated the amount of action they need to take! He teaches you how to know, and how to plan to achieve your dreams in all areas of your life, not just business. I actually wrote a blog post about this book here!
Ah, Gary Keller and his ONE thing. Keller’s fluid writing has given fresh examples of finding the ONE thing that changes everything in your life. In every area of your life, personal and business, there is ONE thing that can change everything for you, causing a domino effect that exponentially increases your success rate. This one is a must-read!
Best books on Being an Entrepreneur and Starting a Business:
If you or your gift receiver are starting their business as a beginner, they’re an entrepreneur who has the drive and passions to push through hardships – but they may need some support in knowing what actions to take as a business owner. Or maybe they’ll need a mindset shift!
They’ll also need to know how to pivot as things change, and how to be a great leader. These are the perfect books for beginner entrepreneurs who just need a bit of support and a backbone to grow their business!
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is eerily similar to the 10X Rule by Grant Cardone (see above). The similarities lie at “think small, get small results. Think big, to win big.” But the differences are apparent and you will learn fundamental lessons of successful people by reading both books. Underestimating the amount of action and thinking you need to get where you want to go can cost you your dreams – you don’t want that!
Most businesses started today (especially online businesses) are stuck with attempting to start and run their businesses with very lean amounts of capital and struggle with determining their actual progress in business. The Lean Startup changes the game, teaching business owners how to test their vision and to adjust before their business fails.
Oh my. This is one of my absolute favorite books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of books. Darren Hardy inspires and motivates in The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster. Telling hilarious stories of his own journey to success, he outlines what you must do to succeed, what to expect while you’re on the entrepreneurial roller coaster, and how to deal with the ebbs and flows. I HIGHLY recommend this very short read book. Sometimes, the smallest books are the best ones!
Best books on How to Become Successful and Personal Growth:
It’s said often by successful people that to grow a successful business,, you need to improve yourself. That’s why every successful business owner is constantly learning and trying to improve their lives. So – if you want to be successful, you’ve got to become successful first! To become successful, you can focus on personal development and self improvement!
I HIGHLY recommend The Success Principles – it was written by the same person who wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul Books. When I was 16, I read this book (over 13 years ago, it completely changed my life. I have TWO copies and I often refer to it in my life. If you only get ONE book, it’s this one.
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is my absolute #1 book for success. Utilizing the principles will get you where you want in life. 100%. Guaranteed. If you’re looking for an out-right framework to follow to improve your life – this. Is. It. Follow the framework, work the principles, and the principles will work for you!
Psychologist Jordan Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life, is a #1 national and international bestseller, and uses “cutting-edge scientific research” and hilarious examples to explain why you just have 12 simple rules to follow in life. A review says, “One of the main themes of this book is: Personal change is possible. There’s no doubt you can be slightly better today than you were yesterday.”
“Your aim in life should be to achieve all of the wonderful things that are possible for you. There is no reason for you not to be earning twice as much as you are today, or even five or ten times as much. Your potential is practically limitless, if you could just learn how to utilize it.” Read my in-depth book summary, here!
This refreshing book comes with straightforward advice to stop BS-ing yourself, and move past self-imposed limitations. Using seven guidelines: I am willing. I am wired to win. I got this. I embrace the uncertainty. I am not my thoughts; I am what I do. I am relentless. I expect nothing and accept everything.”
Best books on Overcoming Adversity, Being Vulnerable, and Anxiety/Depression:
As a person who has had both anxiety and depression in my life, it’s difficult to become a successful entrepreneur while dealing with those at the same time. Therefore, if you’re struggling with some of these (or even just have some tendencies) reading a couple of books on those who are in the same boat can help immensely in helping you through it.
Especially the book Furiously Happy – which was full of hilarious stories by an author and blogger who has learned to find humor in her life. Don’t miss the story about the big giant metal chicken named Beyonce that was staring into her husbands office window!
Brene Brown, PhD and LMSW, transforms and inspires, teaching that vulnerability is at the core of many negative emotions, and why that’s a good thing. Daring Greatly is about courage, and how to utilize it to your full advantage. “But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena.”
An uplifting book by Jessica Honegger, who talks about fully showing up and empowering each other in the midst of adversity.
“Jessica is such an incredible example of what a leader in business should be. Not only because she’s had the courage to push herself to create a company from the ground up, but because she made her way down the road to success and then turned around and held a lantern up to light the way for the rest of us. This is a must-read for anyone who’s chasing big dreams on a road that feels unsteady!”
—Rachel Hollis, New York Times best-selling author of Girl, Wash Your Face
Jenny Lawson, popular blogger, shines in this book about being furiously happy. Jenny’s story of her giant metal rooster named Beyoncé will leave you in stitches, while simultaneously telling her story about crippling depression, anxiety, and how she’s getting through life one day at a time. Jenny inspires with this amazing book. Anyone with anxiety or depression needs to read this book.
“A cut-through-the-crap guide to quitting the self-destructive habits that undermine happiness and success.” “How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t is a straight-shooting approach to self-improvement for women, one that offers no-crap truth-telling about the most common self-destructive behaviors women tend to engage in.”
Best books for Creative Women Entrepreneurs:
Are you less analytical and more of a creative entrepreneur? These are the perfect book selections for creative entrepreneurs! These books, especially Girl Wash Your Face are written by incredible women who can help you through blocks you find yourself stuck in, like money mindset and past experiences in your life. They help you find your niche in the world, so you can make the biggest difference to your life and impact the world in a huge way.
Rachel Hollis, author of Girl Wash Your Face, uses her innocent and somewhat spiritual outlook on Iife to teach you all of the lies that she’s told herself over the years, and how she overcame those lies. Blogger turned author, she tells her stories in a personal blog story-telling format to help you get back to living joyfully, productively, and helps you kick your bum in the process.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love helps anyone who hopes to live life fully, be brave, be free, and curious as you grow in life. Gilbert is there with empathy, helping you face down fear, approach adversity with an inspirational outlook and embark on your big dreams in life. PopSugar says “A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life.”
Cara Alwill Leyba has used her Girl Code to teach the Macy’s and Kate Spade empires her “code”. Convincing you that women are powerful when supporting other women, and being open about fears, missteps and breakdowns will help you grow with your own crowd of women to celebrate your wins, eradicate jealousy and grow confidence with breakthroughs. Collaboration without competition is certainly the code here for female entrepreneurs, professional women, or side hustlers.
Best books on Habits & Routines:
Entrepreneurs and successful business people focus on how to efficiently work on their business and do all the things, without sacrificing too much of their personal life or happiness. Often, this includes having routines and habits, which are vital to your success as an entrepreneur! Backed by neuroscience, these books tell you not only how to really keep your habits, but why it’s so important to your success.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard The Power of Habit recommended. Many successful thought leaders swear that using habits and discipline is how you get to be successful and change our lives. Using the latest scientific research on habits, (like that habits don’t take 21 days – that’s a myth!) Charles Duhigg helps us understand human nature and it’s potential.
One of the best books I read in 2020 – if not THE best! James Clear started as a blogger and now has a #1 bestselling book teaching others how to habit hack their way to better lives. With atomic habits, you get to build your habits slowly and solidly, which makes for a better foundation for keeping them! Do not miss this one!
Best books on Being Creative and Writing:
“Without The Artist’s Way, there would have been no Eat, Pray, Love.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
Although The Artist’s Way isn’t new, it’s powerful lessons help you discover and develop the artist within you. Using a 12 week long program to help you explore your artistic self.
As one reviewer says, “I recommend this book to all people, even those who don’t think that they’re creative because really, when we allow our inner child to come out and play, we have much more joy in our lives and this will allow us to be creative in other areas in our personal and professional life.”
Best books on Happiness and Scientific Psychology of Personalities:
What if you don’t know what direction to go, or you’re worried that what you think is leading you to happiness just – doesn’t?
Look into these books by some incredible people who have studied and experimented on happiness, and how it can feel elusive, yet easy sometimes. If your ultimate goal for being an entrepreneur and having a business is to find freedom and happiness, you really need to check out these ones.
Christine Carter, PhD, is a happiness expert at US Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. After ending up in the hospital from extreme fatique and stress, she realized she would rather die than be as busy as she was. Filled with overwhelm and an impending stress death sentence, she decided something had to change. She outlines that sweet spot using psychology and practical tips to get back to loving the life you life, instead of floundering. This one is a must read!
Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Four Tendencies, where she found that all people fall into four categories which influence your habits and actions. Knowing your own personality will help you move forward and learn how to work with yourself rather than against it.
“The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you’ve ever thought…
- People can rely on me, but I can’t rely on myself.
- How can I help someone to follow good advice?
- People say I ask too many questions.
- How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or who keeps telling me what to do?”
Best books on Being a Millionaire, Successful, Rich and the Money Mindset:
You’ve heard of beginner entrepreneurs having to focus on a success mindset, but did you know that entrepreneurs also need to focus on a money mindset?
To become a successful entrepreneur and make the money you want, you need to reframe your mindset on money and what it means to be successful, even as a beginner.
I personally recommend The Millionaire Next Door – it completely changed my thoughts on what it means to be successful with money! Like for example, did you know the average American millionaire is a business owner that works in a blue collar job? Or that they don’t usually purchase houses brand new? Or have never bought a suit costing more than $200? It’s worth the read!
The Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Grazioski is #1 Best Seller in Personal Success and Spirituality category on Amazon! It’s #1 goal is to help you use success habits to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
“Dean Graziosi has the unique ability to take what others make so complicated and boil it down to a recipe for success that anyone can follow.” – Larry King
Jen Sincero inspires again with her witty humor and hilarious stories including llamas and going from horrifically broke to more money than she knew what to do with. Using the law of attraction and a fresh outlook on money mindset, Jen helps you overcome obstacles and come up with new strategies to help you bring in more money and change your outlook on earning and keeping it.
Mike Michalowicz, serial entrepreneur, inspires with his #1 Best Seller on Amazaon . Using 4 simple principles to simplify accounting and make sure your business not only grows, but thrives for long-term growth. “Michalowicz has the game-changing roadmap for any entrepreneur to make money they always dreamed of.”
I’ve owned this book ever since I was a teenager. Speaking of teenagers, T. Harv Eker, money thought leader, helps you master the inner game of wealth by uncovering your money blueprint, which was imprinted on you from your parents from a very young age. If your family ever said “money doesn’t grow on trees” or something similar, you need this book!
Millionaire Next Door Series
The idea of a millionaire is living in a big mansion with a fancy car and loads of cash floating around at all times. Would you be shocked to learn that most of the truly wealthy lives next door to you? Instead of Keeping Up with the Joneses, they utilize basic principles of bargain shopping, used cars, budgeting and avoid frivolous spending. For me, it was shocking to learn that most millionaires own their own businesses, live in an older house which they maintain, and most have never bought a suit over $200! Blingy just isn’t their thing. If you’ve ever wanted to be rich or be a millionaire (psh, everyone!) you should immediately read this stunning book, and it’s subsequent books, full of statistics and honest advice on what it’s really like to be a millionaire. I guarantee, you’ll be surprised.