Successful business professionals often credit reading as a critical weapon in achieving success. In a survey, Fast Company found that the average number of books read by a CEO is 60 per year, or five books each month. While this fact may seem surprising, books are a great way to self-educate and learn about the skills you will need to develop to be successful.
If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, reading books is also a great way to learn about different business strategies and secrets from your successful predecessors. According to Entrepreneur, some of the world’s most influential business leaders, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg, dedicate a good portion of their free time to reading. In today’s society, reading books is also a great way to get ahead of your competition, particularly because most people are constantly on their phones and looking at social media.
Mark Zuckerberg talked about the importance of reading, “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.” Overall, reading can only be beneficial for you as it allows you to find answers to business problems, learn about new opportunities, make informed decisions and enhance your creativity.
Forcing yourself to take the time to read and actually finish books can be hard, but sometimes all it takes is just a good recommendation to get you started. Listed below are five essential books that everyone should add to their reading list, especially people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
1.The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger
“The ideas in this book strike me as universal. Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives” Robert Iger
In 2005, Robert Iger became the CEO of the Walt Disney Company during a time when the competition was intense, and technology was developing and changing extremely quickly. Iger had a vision that could be broken down into three clear ideas, which were to ” recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger—think global—and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets”. Now, Disney is the largest media company in the world and is valued at nearly five times more than it was when Iger took over the reins as CEO. In The Ride of a Lifetime, Iger shares the lessons that he learned along the way and dives into the principles that he believes are necessary to embrace if you want to become a true leader.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
“Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.”
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most influential personal development books of all time since its release in 1989. The book has transformed all different types of people’s lives for nearly three decades, whether that be presidents, CEOs, teachers, or parents. These 7 habits have been integrated by millions of people because they actually work. The seven habits Covey describes include Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win/Win, Seek First to Understand Then to Be Understood, Synergize and Sharpen the Saw. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey shares a principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems.
“Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.”
How to Win Friends & Influence People is a bestseller self-help book that has been a guide to helping people reach their maximum potential since its release in 1939. The book lays the groundwork for people to follow. These include the six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people over to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
“The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.”
The 4-Hour Workweek takes a different approach than many other business plans, in particular when it ditches the idea of retirement. Why save up your whole life by working terrible hours only to actually relax after you retire? Instead, this is a step-by-step guide to luxury design, about living a high-end life away from the rat race.
The book features stories such as how Tim went from making $ 40,000 per year working 80 hours a week to making $40,000 per month working only 4 hours per week. The author highlights principles from an Italian economist, the idea of mini-retirements, and lastly, practical tips and principles to have a successful life.
- The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
“If you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish—sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.”
The $100 Startup shares the experience of Chris Guillebeau, a man in his early thirties who has traveled to every country on earth without ever holding a “real job” or earning a normal paycheck. Instead, Guillebeau is known for turning his ideas into income which he uses to give back and continue his adventures.
In his book, he focuses on 50 case studies to show how people were able to use their personal passions to make money instead of using special designated skills. This easy-to-use guide offers transparency when it refers to the entrepreneurs’ costs when starting projects, what they made for a profit in their first few weeks and their key mistakes along the way.
If reading can be so beneficial to our success in business and in life, why doesn’t everyone do it? As Warren Buffet said, “Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it”. Having the discipline to develop a reading routine is difficult, but luckily these five books are a great place to start your reading and your journey to success!