Business, Opinion

6 Books to Read Before Starting Your Business

Starting a business is no walk in the park; I have been there. Ben Horowitz of top American Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz summed the experience up perfectly when he said, “As a Startup CEO, I slept like a baby… I woke up every 2 hours and cried”.

Again, Starting a business is not for the faint of heart, but armed with the right knowledge and a can-do attitude the journey might be a bit less harrowing. Here a few books I believe will help you on your journey.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Reis

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs—in companies of all sizes—a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, by Noam Wasserman

Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas.

The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, by Guy Kawasaki

Guy understands the seismic changes in business over the last decade: Once-invulnerable market leaders are struggling. Many of the basics of getting established have become easier, cheaper, and more democratic. Business plans are no longer necessary. Social media has replaced PR and advertising as the key method of promotion. Crowdfunding is now a viable alternative to investors. The cloud makes basic infrastructure affordable for almost any new venture.

The Art of the Start 2.0 will show you how to effectively deploy all these new tools. And it will help you master the fundamental challenges that have not changed: building a strong team, creating an awesome product or service, and facing down your competition.

As Guy likes to say, “Entrepreneur is a state of mind, not a job title.” His book will help you make your crazy ideas stick, through an adventure that’s more art than science – the art of the start.

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, by Chris Guillebeau

“Thoughtful, funny, and compulsively readable, this guide shows how ordinary people can build solid livings, with independence and purpose, on their own terms.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project

Starting a Business QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Launching a Successful Small Business, Turning Your Vision into Reality, and Achieving Your Entrepreneurial Dream, by Ken Colwell

The most comprehensive guide ever developed for starting and growing a business.

Sourced from over twenty years of firsthand experience working with entrepreneurs, new ventures, and high-growth startups, author Ken Colwell, PHD, MBA has the answers.

In his comprehensive Starting a Business QuickStart Guide, Ken Colwell concisely presents the core fundamentals that all new entrepreneurs need to know to get started, find success, and live the life of their dreams.

Perfect For:
  • Would-Be Entrepreneurs With a Ton of Passion!
  • Entrepreneurial Students of All Ages!
  • Beginners with Zero Prior Experience!
  • Managers, Business Owners, and Decisions Makers Growing into a New Role!
You’ll Discover:
  • The Difference Between an Idea and an Opportunity!
  • What Makes an Entrepreneurial Opportunity Great!
  • The Very First Steps You Need To Take To Get Your Venture Off The Ground!
  • Pricing, Competition, Customer Identification, Marketing, and Distribution Demystified!
  • The REAL Components of an Entrepreneurial Mindset!
  • Exactly How To Craft Your Value Proposition!
  • How to Write a Comprehensive Business Plan!

Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money, by Pat Flynn

Stop rushing into businesses born from half-baked ideas, misguided theories, and other forms of self-delusion. A lack of proper validation kills more businesses than anything else. As Joel Barker says, ‘Speed is only useful if you re running in the right direction.’ Will It Fly? will help you make sure you are clear for takeoff.

It answers questions like:

  • Does your business idea have merit?
  • Will it succeed in the market you re trying to serve, or will it just be a waste of time and resources?
  • Is it a good idea for YOU?

In other words, will it fly?

Chock-full of practical suggestions you can apply to your business idea today, Will It Fly? combines action-based exercises, small-scale ‘litmus tests’, and real-world case studies with anecdotes from the author s personal experience of making money online, hosting successful podcasts, testing niche sites, and launching several online businesses.

This list is by no means exhaustive, there are literally thousands of books on the topic. By all means, seek them out and read them. Knowledge is power after all.

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