Having been inspired to become a young entrepreneur, you’ve no doubt already started your journey of learning and self-discovery. There is so much out there for young entrepreneurs to learn! At times you probably feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of text out there aimed at people like you: young, hungry, and ready for action. A quick search on Amazon shows a result of over 10,000 titles under the topic “entrepreneur books” alone. Then you have websites, webinars, in-person classes, coaches, mentors, seminars, “tool-kits,” etc. Where do you begin? How do you move forward?
The answers to those two questions are deeply personal. It’ll likely take you some amount of trial and error to create your own unique entrepreneurial learning path. Some methods will resonate with you, others won’t, and that’s fine.
Of course, there are the most famous entrepreneurial books, such as “Who Moved My Cheese?”, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” and the perennial classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Those books are all givens. Everyone reads them, even non-entrepreneurs. And no one is telling you not to read those, but a smart young entrepreneur is always willing to learn something new and different.
When you’re ready to dig deeper and think outside the box with some reading that your competition might not even think of, check out these 5 titles.
1. Peter Thiel, “Zero to One”
Peter Thiel was the first investor of Facebook, so he might have a few good ideas for young entrepreneurs. He’s known as a “risk-taker” and an “intellectual,” so reading his 2014 book can only help you boost your entrepreneurial acumen. In this book, he’ll teach you how to think about creation and moving the world forward, rather than reinventing the wheel. Whatever your area of business or expertise, Thiel is here to motivate you to think for yourself and make the world better with your new, innovative ideas.
2. Frank Bettger, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling”
Written in the late 1940s, Frank Bettger’s book is considered by many successful entrepreneurs to be a classic on par with Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” In fact, the book was written after Carnegie suggested the idea to Bettger. A book on business can’t really ask for a better pedigree than that, can it? In his book, he opens up about his personal failings and how they helped him develop step-by-step programs to success. If you love learning from other entrepreneur’s mistakes, this book should be part of your collection.
3. Robert Kiyosaki, “The Cashflow Quadrant”
You might recognize Robert Kiyosaki’s name from the super-famous book he wrote, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” And you probably already know that Kiyosaki has made a name for himself by offering business education. So yeah, the guy knows what he’s talking about. As a young entrepreneur, it helps to learn about Kiyosaki’s four ways of making more money with less work, and this book is here to break it all down for you.
4. Evan Carmichael, “Your One Word”
Evan Carmichael is a modern-day force of nature already taking the world by storm. All young entrepreneurs should know his name and read this 2016 book. When you feel all over the place, lost, without a center, Carmichael’s book is there to help you find that one word that will keep you inspired and drive your purpose. Described as “inspiring and enlightening,” this is a book young entrepreneurs should have at their fingertips when they need a major motivation and morale boost.
5. Chris Hadfield, “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”
What, you’ve never done a spacewalk? Chris Hadfield has, and for most people, that’s inspiration enough to get out into the world and do something amazing. But as a young entrepreneur already motivated to set the world on fire, what can this book do for you? The secret is in learning how to prepare for the worst, something Hadfield needed in order to survive piloting planes, space shuttle missions, and stays on the International Space Station. If this guy can stay calm while holding on to the outside of a spacecraft in motion, then you should probably listen to what he has to say.
Whatever books you choose, make sure you take from them the advice that can help you succeed. You never know which words of wisdom will stick to your brain and change your life, so keep an open mind. Look through other sections of the library or bookstore besides personal development and business. Who inspires you? What do you love? Find books on those and see if you don’t learn a thing or two.
The Kantner Foundation offers college scholarships to young Florida entrepreneurs. Ready to learn more? Click here to see if you are eligible!