14 of the most inspirational books for entrepreneurs

Diane Shawe M.Ed

A man is just the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes. Mahatma Gandhi

Can a book really inspire an entrepreneur?

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed
CEO of AVPT GLOBAL s.a.r.l

Every once in a while, you read a book that changes you — inspiring your career, clarifying your goals, challenging your thinking. The right book can give you the courage to start your business, the reality check that you’re not yet ready or the quiet affirmation that you’re not alone in your fears or ambitions. It can set you on your path to success.  I have chosen 14 books one of which includes my own. I hope you like them.

Who Moved My Cheese? is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money or a possession, health or spirital peace of mind. And the maze is where you look for what you want – the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in.

This profound book from bestselling author, Spencer Johnson, will show you how to anticipate change, adapt to change quickly, enjoy change and be ready to change quickly again and again. Discover the secret for yourself and learn how to deal with change, so that you suffer from less stress and enjoy more success in your work and in life.

Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.

Spencer Johnson Author Publisher: Vermilion; Reprinted Ed edition (4 Mar 1999)

Atlas Shruggedby Ayn Rand (Plume, 1999)

“To start a business, you just need to define a problem. But to wake up every day, no matter what, and DO that business, you need a reason. Ms. Rand taught me that focusing on a purpose is the best way to make a difference to my world.” — Jason Womack

Getting started in the hair extension business by Diane Shawe 2007

Diane Shawe Author getting started in the hair extension business
The first ebook to advise you on ‘What they don’t tell you about Getting started in the hair extension business’ by Diane Shawe. Whether you are a beginner, been in business for a few years or want to explore how you can increase your annual turnover, this is an book designed to help you prepare yourself. A book for students, mobile hairdressers, professional hairdressers, beauticians, any one considering starting up in the hair business, hair consultants and specialist technicians. Useful for schools and colleges, private training schools and anyone currently running a hair and beauty business.

Diane Shawe Author Publisher: PMM Group (UK) Ltd (18 May 2011)

Ogilvy on Advertisingby David Ogilvy (Vintage, 1985)

“I read [this book] when I was in college, studying marketing. It helped me to cement that this was the field for me and that at the end of the day, it’s all about creativity. Although at the time it refered to advertising, it’s actually applicable to all parts of the marketing mix. Ogilvy gives rules, but then breaks them. I love it!” — Jim Joseph

The Richest Man in Babylonby George Clason (Megalodon Entertainment, 2012)

“This was one of the first business books I read and it taught me that ‘saving’ money is equally as important as ‘making’ money. I’m now requiring my teenage children to read the book and report back to me on how it impacted them.” — Mark Kohler

The Leadership Challenge, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Jossey-Bass, 2012)

“This book was seminal for me early in my business career. It brought structure and insight to the at-the-time mysterious subject of leadership, and it addressed matters of both the head and heart.” — Mark Sanborn

The 4-Hour Workweekby Tim Ferriss (Harmony, 2007)

“This book helped me in two very distinct ways. First, it opened my eyes to how business can be sourced and conducted globally for even the smallest of businesses — the global economy isn’t limited to the big corporations anymore. Second, it was life changing because it made me, as an entrepreneur, ask deeper questions about what I want out of life, not just the business.”
Shari Alexander

Tribal Leadership, by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright (HarperBusiness, 2011)

“Despite conventional wisdom, research reveals that naturally forming small groups of people within organizations, and not leaders, drive success, quality and innovation. This book provides a great framework for companies to build a culture of success, quality and innovation.”
Ross Kimbarovsky

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu (Simon & Brown, 2013)

“I especially find this book to be helpful for businesses that are in the early stages of development as it teaches them to prepare for the many types of situations they may experience. As we all know, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome as an early-stage company is managing the element of the unknown. Strategy and preparation can, in many ways, guide a company and help mitigate future mistakes.” — Ryan Himmel

Thinking, Fast and Slowby Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Girouxby, 2013)
The Seven-Day Weekendby Ricardo Semler (Century, 2004)
The Logic of Scientific Discoveryby Karl Popper (Routledge, 2002)
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin (Harper Paperbacks, 2011)
Crush It!, by Gary Vaynerchuk (Harper Studio, 2009)
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

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  3. An inspirational and insightful book I came across recently is “Wiki Management” by author Rod Collins (http://www.wikimanagementbook.com). It outlines in great detail a revolutionary new way of managing businesses that focus on collaborative effort and learning, rather than an antiquated notion of boss-employee relationships. Companies such as Google and Amazon have adopted these practices and instead of suffering during the recession business has boomed! By outlining 5 disciplines and fifty management practices used by these mega companies this book will give you the tools needed for immediate results as well as the foundation for long term growth. It is a really eye opening read and will make you wonder why all businesses have not “seen the light”. A must have for motivated people in management positions.

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  7. Thank you for the recommendations. My best suggestion for women in business would be What’s Next? from Joy Chudacoff. One of those books that really makes you look within yourself and push forward in a positive way from there. Wonderfully, inspirational reading. http://whatsnextthebook.com/

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