Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It is fraught with risk, uncertainty, rejection, and disappointment. However, it is equally liberating and potentially lucrative. A good support system is essential to prepare you to make the leap. Books on the entrepreneurial mindset are a critical piece in that support system to provide mentorship when a live person isn’t readily available.
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By Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is the first stop on anyone’s journey to self-actualization. It is the foundation of most motivational literature in circulation. Further, this book inspired dozens of the most influential motivational speakers in the past 70+ years.
Becoming an entrepreneur takes courage. You also need a slightly delusional expectation that you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Think and Grow Rich delivers both in spades.
The book delivers a series of stories from the most successful entrepreneurs in history. It explains that their mindset was the defining factor that separated them from the pack. However, you can read between the lines to discover a strong undertone of hard work and luck.
Think and Grow Rich is short and digestible enough to consume annually or quarterly – whenever you need a mindset tune-up.
Success comes when you least expect it, but frequent reminders that it may be around the next corner are helpful. Immerse yourself in this text and others like it to eliminate automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) that will sabotage your long-term vision.
2. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
By Robert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is an easy next step on inspiring your entrepreneurial journey. Of all books on the entrepreneurial mindset, this one makes the clearest comparison between entrepreneurship and your alternative.
The book contains two critically important lessons.
First, high income is not the same as wealth. You are a slave to the system if you are trading time for money. Financial freedom comes from putting your money to work, even if that means sacrificing a little today for freedom tomorrow.
Second, modern economic systems favor the wealthy, and ignorance is your only limitation. The good news is that information on how to access these benefits is more abundant than ever. This book is a good starting point, but hundreds of others and millions of resources on the internet will help you get there.
The most important first step in joining the wealthy is to decide that this is the path for you. You can then line up all the pieces to make it happen. Still, your decision to start is essential.
By George S. Clason
The Richest Man in Babylon is another classic book on the entrepreneurial mindset that shaped 90+ years of personal finance content.
Financial literacy is a prerequisite for accumulating wealth and success. Your relationship with money can hold you hostage, or it can liberate you to pursue your dreams and inspire others to reach new heights.
This book gives you the most basic and important financial lessons using tales of the ancient world.
Technology created a wonderous world for us. Innovation provides access to resources that were previously too expensive to reach or outright unreachable. Still, some of life’s most basic principles, including those surrounding money and wealth, are immovable.
George Clason wrote this book in 1926 so it has that vintage feeling, like Think and Grow Rich, which can be fun to read. However, it also takes a little bit of creativity to connect the concepts to your life.
By Austin Kleon
Steal Like and Artist is an eye-opening perspective on creativity. Nothing you will every undertake is completely original. However, every entrepreneur is on a creative journey that takes influence from those that came before, whether you consider yourself an artist or not.
An information economy thrives on ideas – good, bad, and indifferent. Ideas are abundant, but they are worthless without effective execution.
Your interpretation of the art of business dictates how you apply the science. Progress in business comes from the entrepreneurs with the courage and vision to try something new. Your competitors will steal this innovation if it produces great results and innovate on top of it to adapt to their systems.
This book gives you permission to take the best of what you see in the market and make it your own. It harkens back to the legendary quote, “Good artist copy; great artists steal,” which Steve Jobs used as justification for taking technology from Xerox PARC.
Above all else, Steal Like an Artist reframes your perspective as a business creative. It is easy to consume, but the impact on your life will be anything but trivial.
By Steven Pressfield
The War of Art contains sage advice from a legendary creator, bestselling novelist, Steven Pressfield. The journey he presents on the entrepreneur’s struggle hits so close to home that you will feel like it’s written just for you.
Your hotel business is your masterpiece. The experience creating this enterprise is full of success, failure, acceptance, rejection, joy, sorrow, and so much more. Above all else, fear is always present no matter how successful you become.
The way you handle all the entrepreneurial fears materially impacts your ability to move forward in a meaningful way.
Pressfield highlights the most common culprit for surfacing this fear – Resistance. Your brain protects you from disappointment by giving all the reasons to stop. You overcome this Resistance by first identifying it and, then, repositioning how you react to it.
Many books on the entrepreneurial mindset have a limited perspective on business. The artist’s point-of-view in this easy-to-read and quick-to-reference book helps reorient your passion.
The sequels are also worth reading:
- Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
- Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way
- The Artist’s Journey: The Wake of the Hero’s Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning
by John Warrillow
Built to Sell reveals the hard reality of transitioning from an entrepreneur to an owner. It first asks, then answers, the critical question, “If you disappeared today, would your business thrive or struggle to survive?”
Every entrepreneur struggles with control. Your vision and mission are so close to your heart that it’s difficult to hand the execution over to someone else without feeling completely exposed.
Like many books on the entrepreneurial mindset, this one takes you through a story to teach a variety of valuable lessons. It highlights many of the challenges that you likely face or will face as an entrepreneur, and it provides thoughtful mentorship to guide you to a helpful resolution.
Don’t let the title fool you. You may never want to sell your company. However, it can never grow enough to reach your grandest vision if it relies too much on you for daily operations.
Build your business to work for you, and you will have the freedom and flexibility to continue innovating as the creative entrepreneur you are.