It’s official. You’ve made it to the new year. High five to that. And how else can you start another successful year as a business owner than to sit down and get into a good book about being one? As an entrepreneur, reading is one of the most essential tools you can use to gain the knowledge you need to unlock your true potential and improve your business.
Whether you’re looking for advice on how to achieve your goals or motivational words for when the going gets tough, these inspiring books will shed more light on the world of entrepreneurship and hopefully spur new ideas to grow your business.
How We Made It in Africa: Learn from the Stories of 25 Entrepreneurs Who’ve Built Thriving Businesses - Jaco Maritz
Compiled by Jaco Maritz, the CEO of the award-winning pan-African online business publication howwemadeitinafrica.com, the book is a collection of stories from 25 dynamic African entrepreneurs who’ve built flourishing businesses.
From tales about how to deal with failed business ventures, losing vast sums of money and balancing ambition with life and family, each business owner featured in the book shares the hurdles they overcame and recounts their journey honestly. How We Made It in Africa also provides insight into the landscape of starting a business in African markets and the continent’s business opportunities.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers – Ben Horowitz
Written by the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things details the experienced venture capitalist’s journey of founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies for decades. Drawing from his lifelong love of rap music, the well-respected Silicon Valley entrepreneur shares valuable business lessons using lyrics from his favourite songs.
From how to cultivate and sustain a CEO mentality to keeping it real about what it actually takes to run a company, Horowitz tells it straight about anything and everything to do with building a tech start-up. The book also details his hard-earned rise in a humorous way and is invaluable reading to all entrepreneurs, whether you’ve been on your grind for a while or are just starting out.
Learn from other business owners making their mark. Read Two is Better than One: The Partners Behind Eastern Temptations.
The Economy On Your Doorstep – Ayabonga Cawe
A thought-provoking book that deals with the wider issues in the South African economy, The Economy On Your Doorstep tries to provide tangible solutions to the real problems causing the country’s slow economic growth. Written by writer, academic, broadcaster and development economist Ayabonga Cawe, the book goes beyond the numbers to try to explain how policy and economic “actions” actually affect the lives of ordinary people.
Going into important research into how to shift the country’s economic policies, the book suggests how the country can move towards a fully inclusive economy that benefits all South Africans, from major and small business owners to consumers, and is a must-read.
Career Forward: Strategies From Women Who’ve Made It – Grace Puma & Christiana Smith Shi
Former PepsiCo COO Grace Puma and former Nike president of consumer direct Christiana Smith Shi wrote this book to challenge negative stereotypes around women following their dreams. They also share their secrets to success as individuals who have often been marginalised. Drawing on their decades of experience reaching the top of Fortune 500 companies, Career Forward discusses how to maximise your career, build a leadership identity, and how to a full life in and out of work.
The book also encourages taking every opportunity to boost networks and connections and actively working to broaden your skills. It will also inspire you to focus on the future and remain committed to your goals and ambitions.
Need even more inspiration? Read 25 Free Podcasts to Motivate You as an Entrepreneur.
The Little Black Book for Entrepreneurs – Matthew Black
The Little Black Book for Entrepreneurs is an essential addition to your reading list for this year. Want advice on how to bring your business idea to life? Respected writer Matthew Black’s book is full of practical exercises made to help you build your own venture. With advice on finding ideas that work to real-life examples of how to implement the strategies, the book is ideal if you’re looking for fresh and energising ideas on how to build your business for success.
Reading is exceptionally valuable to building your own great business. So, as you set your goals for the year, gaining new knowledge from a great book can push you to reflect on how you performed previously and give you new strategies on how to tackle the challenges you face daily. Finding out that you’re not the only entrepreneur who almost lost their mind (multiple times) is also a bonus.