Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

Whether you need to know how to pitch, get funding, or create an effective company culture, there’s a book written by experts who have spent much of their lives helping businesses thrive. 


‘The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It’ by Michael E. Gerber

Though it was originally published in 1986, the New York Times best seller “The E-Myth” is one book you’ll hear about frequently in today’s entrepreneurial world. Its relevance withstands economic changes, thanks to Gerber’s expertise in business consulting — Inc. magazine has called him the No. 1 small-business guru.


‘Profitable Partnerships: Improve Your Franchise Relationships and Change Your Life’ by Greg Nathan

As the CEO of a franchise business, Lineberger said it’s common for franchisees to rely heavily on corporate leadership during startup, but once they are running smoothly, they stop seeing value in the relationship. “It doesn’t matter if you’re McDonald’s or Subway or Water’s Edge, you go through this evolution as a franchisee where you can start to resent the corporate mothership if you don’t get back on track,” he said.


‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss

Ferriss’ book is a popular choice in self-help, particularly for career success and time management. He puts practicality behind the saying, “Work smarter, not harder,” by explaining how he cut his hours from 80 to four per week and earned more money.


‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike’ by Phil Knight

Another book recommended by Trout is “Shoe Dog,” which tells the story of Nike’s creator, Phil Knight, who was CEO of the company from 1964 to 2004.

After he graduated business school, Knight borrowed money from his father to sell shoes out of the trunk of his car. His success in building a company with a market capitalization of more than $125 billion set a precedent for startups, sneaker culture, and brand power. 


‘This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See’ by Seth Godin

Adii Pienaar, the vice president of the marketing company CM Commerce, said he found this book fascinating because it explains marketing in terms of finding like-minded people. “It really gets into storytelling and how to think about building a brand in a business and not necessarily trying to be everything for everyone,” he said.