It doesn’t matter if you’re a well-established entrepreneur or just starting out, being a leader requires a relentless commitment to bettering yourself. One of the best ways to achieve growth is by keeping yourself well informed. If you really think about it, books are a cheap investment with an unlimited return. They prepare you for when opportunity knocks, and they expose you to groundbreaking ideas that could just change the way your business works for the better.
Whatever you have planned for the remainder of your summer, challenge yourself to spending at least 30 minutes each day reading. After all, you can never learn enough. Your next major breakthrough just might be in one of these five books.
1. The Art of Startup Fundraising by Alejandro Cremades
Written by a true startup industry insider, The Art of Startup Fundraising offers a wealth of practical advice in layman’s terms for early stage and growth stage startups. This how-to book covers everything from analyzing capital needs, pinpointing the best investors, crafting powerful pitches, crowd-funding, and schmoozing in-person. Read it if you’re looking for a jargon-free advice about the ins and outs of raising startup capital from a guy who really knows his stuff.
2. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Research shows that a staggering 40% of our lives is habitual. In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Charles Duhigg, presents a framework for understanding how those habits work and how to change the ones that aren’t working for you. Duhigg illustrates his ideas by exploring stories like smoking addiction, sleepwalking, compulsive gambling and more. Published in 2014, this book made numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly.
3. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
Every entrepreneur has a bad day, week, or month. This book provides 32 interviews with founders from famous technology companies, such as PayPal and TripAdvisor, to ensure that you stay inspired. While there are no themes to organize the interviews many drive home important points, such as the importance of listening to customers, keeping your business model flexible, and not becoming discouraged when fundraising efforts fail. It’s a must-read if you’re looking for great insights from pioneering entrepreneurs who come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
4. The Road to Character by David Brooks
According to Brooks, there are resume virtues and eulogy virtues. And in today’s society resume virtues have taken over. It’s no wonder, then, that we live in the age of the self-absorbed entrepreneur. However, if entrepreneurs focus on building their character and developing humility, kindness and honesty, then they can organically build better relationships. As a result, success will grow naturally. Written for everyone—not just entrepreneurs—this book was named one of the Best Books Of The Year by The Economist and made it to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
5.Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance offers a wealth of information from leading psychologist, professor, and MacArthur Award winner, Angela Duckworth, about what it takes to achieve long-term goals. Years of research inform her conclusions, which she illustrates with short anecdotes about people who’ve overcome the odds thanks to their effort, or “grit.” Having been raised by Chinese immigrants herself, the author knows the power of perseverance from firsthand experience. A New York Times bestseller, this book is great inspiration for everyone striving to succeed.