Best Business Books for Beginner Entrepreneurs [Gift Guide 2018]
15 min read
In this gift guide are my absolute must read books for girl bosses, creatives, and female entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who are either starting their own business online or are in the midst of running a business and need to learn more about a business topic will find at least one book here that they’d appreciate.
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:
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!
Gary Vaynerchuk is the online business world’s guru on all things social media. Gary knows how to fight his competition and hook his customers with his mad social media skills. Learning how to connect with your audience using social media is vital to any company’s success nowadays.
I also decided to put Crush It! By Gary Vaynerchuk because of his trailblazing expertise. Written before the Jab Jab Jab Right Hook book, but no less powerful, Gary shines in this book on teaching you how to cash in on your passion using online strategies and start making money.
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:
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:
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.
If you’re looking for a book on how to monetize the ideas that you have, using your passions and strengths to create a successful business, this is the book! Practical tips help you grow the career you’ve always desired.
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:
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.”
Romi Neustadt surprises and ignites laughter by helping the reader work on mindset, so that you can stop over-complicating and letting the voices in your head take over. Focusing on networking and marketing, you’ll feel more confident than ever to walk into a room and show up fully, without fear or hesitation.
Best books on Overcoming Adversity, Being Vulnerable, and Anxiety/Depression:
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.”
Jen Sincero will make you laugh while telling her stories, and uses the law of attraction to talk self-improvement, how to love what you’ve got, and use your skills to own your happiness in your life, career, and relationships.
Best books for Creative Women Entrepreneurs:
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.
Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley uses her personality to envelop you in a warm, cozy hug while helping you overcome overwhelm and calm your life, to be a better mom, wife, and business owner using lessons she’s learned along the way.
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:
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.
#1 Best Seller in Entrepreneurship on Amazon, The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod outlines the magic of personal development that helped him build a daily morning ritual that sets him up for waking up to his full potential with more energy, motivation and focus.
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:
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:
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.”
Tony Robbins changes the game with his book, Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook to help you master your mindset of true wealth so that you can fulfill your daily life with money back in your pocket.
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.