One of the best ways to hone your skills as an entrepreneur is to learn from others who have ventured down that path before and succeeded.
Every great entrepreneur needs to draw on experiences from others. Learning mistakes and hearing tips and tricks of the trade from other successful business leaders can go a long way in determining your own success.
Before you start a business, tech entrepreneur Brian Colpak suggests reading these five books. They will help any aspiring entrepreneur prepare for the challenges ahead and give you valuable insights into how others have succeeded.
1. The Innovator’s Dilemma
This 2011 book written by Clayton M. Christensen literally changed the way corporate America does business. Unlike some other books, The Innovator’s Dilemma is based on the radical idea that companies that are great can fail for the exact reason that everything they do is right.
The book describes how leaders in markets fail to follow new innovation in their business sectors, and how you as an entrepreneur can take advantage of this. It’s a book that’s lessons are applicable to business leaders of large companies and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.
It is a bestseller on lists published by Business Week, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.
2. Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!
Author Greg Crabtree makes a very important point: Numbers have to be your friend if you want to run a small business. You need to understand every financial reality of your endeavor because that allows you to make the best decisions.
This book is a down-and-dirty, nitty-gritty read that gets right to the point — how you can focus on the financial side of the business and build a company that’s profitable.
3. Ego Is the Enemy
A common mistake of entrepreneurs is they start believing in themselves a little too much. Yes, it takes a lot of confidence to succeed in business, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. But don’t let that confidence grow too much and get to your head.
Ryan Holiday’s book advises readers to rethink their goals by stepping back from time to time. It shows you how doing so can keep you humble and grounded, and in turn, allow you to build solid relationships that will be the key to your long-term success.
Brian Colpak says Ego Is the Enemy is one book that will surely last the test of time, as its principles have always, and will always, be applicable.
4. The Everything Store
Brad Stone’s book details the rise and success of Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos. Sure, you may never grow to heights as large as Bezos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn valuable lessons from him.
As complicated and complex as Amazon’s business model and entities are, they always go back to simple concepts. That’s one reason why the company has been so successful over the long haul.
Learn from Bezos and his interactions with some of his top lieutenants as you’re building your own business plan.
5. EQ Applied
This “Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence” by Justin Bariso is a great read for any aspiring entrepreneur. Leadership skills are driven by emotional intelligence, and all great entrepreneurs need to be great leaders.
Even if you’re going it alone, or your venture relies mostly on your own work, you’ll need to be able to lead yourself through the process.
The great part about this book is it will help you build emotional intelligence that will support you not only as a successful entrepreneur, but a good family member, parent, friend, and person.
About Brian Colpak
Brian Colpak is a tech entrepreneur and the founder of Continental Global. After spending most of his career in managerial positions, he founded and led a company that was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Massachusetts before starting his current company. These days his main focus is on an upcoming project in Dubai.