4 Must-Read Books for the Budding Entrepreneur in All of Us


Starting your own business can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own. Books for budding entrepreneurs can offer valuable advice and are a great way to learn from those who have excelled before you.

Learn how to think big, grow your business, and build your dreams from some of today’s top leaders, thinkers, and coaches. These four books will empower the next generation of entrepreneurs:

Make No Small Plans: Lessons on Thinking Big, Chasing Dreams, and Building Community.

Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal, and Jeremy Schwartz are the founders of the acclaimed Summit event series. In their new book, Make No Small Plans, they discuss the hard lessons they learned along the way and show that anyone can think big and accomplish the impossible. 

Bisnow, Leve, Rosenthal, and Schwartz write, “If there’s one bedrock conviction underlying our book and everything we do, it’s that the world needs more big thinking–and needs it right now. It needs more seekers, dreamers, risk-takers, and doers. Don’t wait for the ‘right’ moment to take that leap; if you do, it might never come. We need people dreaming crazy ideas and pushing past their reservations.” 

Zero to IPO: Over $1Trillion of Actionable Advice from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs.

Frederic Kerrest has done it all–he is Okta’s cofounder and Executive Vice Chairman, a podcast host, and the author of the new book, Zero to IPO.  Kerrest’s playbook details all the steps you’ll need to take to go from zero to IPO to beyond by narrating insights from his own experiences launching and growing Okta into the billion-dollar software company it is today. He also gathers and pens the advice of some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley including Marc Andreessen, Eric Yuan (Zoom), Julia Hartz (Eventbrite), and dozens of other luminaries. This is a must-read guide for entrepreneurs and small business owners hoping to grow their companies.

Kerrest writes, “We tend to think of successful startups as businesses that were bound to succeed while failed companies were doomed from the start. That’s not how it works. In this book, you are going to hear what really makes the difference. For some, it will dissuade you from pursuing your idea. Better now than later. But if you are not dissuaded–if you are ready to withstand years of “eating glass,” of doubt, instability, and stress while facing only a slim chance of success–then welcome to the real world of entrepreneurship.”

The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment 

Marshall Goldsmith is a world-renowned executive coach and the New York Times bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. His latest book, The Earned Life, helps readers discover the steps to earning their path to fulfillment and living without regrets. Packed with illuminating stories from Goldsmith’s legendary career as a coach to some of the world’s highest-achieving leaders, this book is a road map for ambitious people seeking a higher purpose.

Goldsmith says, “We are living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort we make in each moment align with an overarching purpose in our lives, regardless of the eventual outcome. In the end, an earned life doesn’t include a trophy ceremony. The reward of living an earned life is being engaged in the process of constantly earning such a life.”

If you’re a fan or just looking for additional sage advice, Goldsmith was a recent guest on my podcast and shared some deep and personal insights about living a life with no regrets and seeking your own higher purpose. You can listen to it here.

Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making 

Tony Fadell is known for being the man who led the teams that created the iPod, iPhone and Nest Learning Thermostat. In his new book, Build, Fadell shares the journey of transforming an idea into an iconic and indispensable product. This book is full of personal stories, practical advice, and fascinating insights into some of the most impactful products and people of the 20th century.

Fadell writes, “The archetypal entrepreneur is a twenty-year-old kid who lucks into a brilliant idea in their mom’s basement and watches it turn into a thriving company overnight. In reality, most successful entrepreneurs are in their late thirties and forties. There’s a reason why investors prefer to back second-time entrepreneurs even if they failed the first time around. It’s because these founders spent their twenties screwing up and learning. They learn, trial by fire.”

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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