Entrepreneurs are always looking for mentorship. Books can be great mentors. They are written by leading experts or are about them. The inspiration that one can garner from good books is immense.
Here are four must read books for all those aspiring to start their business:
1. Zero to One
Author: Peter Thiel
“Creative monopoly means new products that benefit everybody and sustainable profits for the creator. Competition means no profits for anybody, no meaningful differentiation, and a struggle for survival.” – Peter Thiel, Zero to One
Optimism is required as a budding entrepreneur. This book has a great amount of it coupled with some great advice. Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, in his book pushes an important concept: think for yourself. According to him, the world has reached a point of technological standstill where everyone is trying to better the same product or service and staying at 0. Rather, new inventions should be made by thinking for yourself so your company can go from 0 to 1.
Another concept covered in his book is that of a mini-monopoly. Before releasing your offering to the world, it needs to be established, accepted and made popular amongst a smaller community and niche market. One this small monopoly has been set, then only can you move on to the next level. Facebook would not be as famous if it hadn’t taken over the Harvard campus and if Zuckerberg hadn’t fixed the bug issues first.
This 200 page book certainly has the power to make you feel motivated to get started on your company right away!
2. Losing My Virginity
Author: Richard Branson
“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity
Richard Branson’s autobiography can make anyone believe that entrepreneurship is nothing but a fun, adventurous journey. His honesty about his personal life and humility about admitting that all the ideas were actually not his alone will leave you knowing him on a deeper level. He even admits that the name ‘Virgin’ was also coined by someone else!
Richard Branson has always explored avenues which have both fun and money involved. At the age of 16 and suffering from dyslexia, he found his calling as a businessman when he started his own school paper called ‘Student’. It survived until he realized that he was too dependent on the postal service. Moving on to his own music store, record label and then airlines industry, Richard Branson has always gone with his gut feeling.
His main motivation has not only been to have fun but also to prove the others wrong and show them that nothing is impossible. His biting adventure from surviving bankruptcy, opening businesses in exciting sectors to round the globe hot air balloon rides is extremely gripping.
This 600 page book certainly has the power to make you take calculated risks and just have fun!
3. The Obstacle is the Way
Author: Ryan Holiday
“It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence.” – Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle is the Way
Many entrepreneurs feel fear in the face of obstacles. This book will melt away all your fears by giving examples of leaders who have been overcoming obstacles all their life. It will make your adversities seem like speed breakers as you read about the mountains personalities like Amelia Earhart and Steve Jobs needed to overcome.
Each chapter covers a business principle and an eminent personality who used this principle. There are many things to learn from the book. Change in perception by asking yourself and others what you can do in a situation where you may feel helpless to practising effective stoicism are some of the tricks you will imbibe.
This short book certainly has the power to help you face your fears!
Author: Adam Grant
“Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.” – Adam Grant, Originals
A variety of thought provoking perspectives can be observed in this book by Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton University. His observations such as procrastination is the consequence of your brain’s need to improve the idea till the end is completely supported by Martin Luther King’s I Have Dream Speech and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Many such observations and learnings can be seen in his book. He believes that the status quo must continuously be challenged and improved. The world needs to improve.
He cites examples from politics, sports, business and entertainment. He teaches how to recognize a good idea and the fact that many ideas need to be executed in order to establish a business that is wildly successful.
This 300 page book certainly has the power to change your thought process!
These four books will help you face your fears, change your perception, take risks, have fun and get you motivated to start right away. Adding them to your library will be a definite value addition!
These 4 books can change your perspective towards handling your business. But a productive work space is essential for you to find your inspiration. Choose from shared office spaces across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.