If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, one proven way to do so is to be smarter than your competition. And one surefire way to be smarter than the competition is to read more than they do.
When I decided to get serious about my company 8 years ago, I knew that my existing skill set and knowledge were inadequate to manage and grow my company to the level I wanted to get it to. The company was crawling along, barely profitable and barely growing.
On the verge of selling my business, I decided instead to go ‘all in’ and learn as much as I could about the world of entrepreneurship, and started subscribing to entrepreneurship magazines. I then subscribed to as many entrepreneurship blogs as I could, and started building my library of entrepreneurship books (over 120 and counting now). I devoured everything I could about sales, marketing, leadership, business models, social entrepreneurship, you name it…
And then a funny thing happened… the more I read, the more my business succeeded. The blogs and books that I read are a constant source of inspiration, ideas, and practical advice. Because the world of entrepreneurship keeps changing, there’s always more reading to do. To this date, I still read an entrepreneurship book every 2 weeks and spend at least half an hour a day reading blogs. Reading constantly helps me always keep one step ahead of the competition.
So without further ado, here are my favourite blogs and books for entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy them!
TOP 10 ENTREPRENEUR BLOGS
I highly recommend you subscribe to each and every one of these blogs and make 1/2 hour of reading a part of your morning routine:
- Entrepreneur magazine: they offer over a dozen different newsletters you can subscribe to, by topic
- Inc. newsletters: Scroll over ‘Newsletters’ and select the newsletters you want to subscribe to
- Jill Konrath: One the internet’s best blogs for sales people
- Verne Harnish’s ‘Growth Guy’ blog: the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and Scaling up offers 2-3 excellent posts/week with advice on how to scale up and create a lasting business
- Stanford Social Innovation Review (Social Entrepreneurship category):
- Ashoka Blogs: a blog for and by innovators for the public
- Digital Marketer: hands-down the best blog on digital marketing in the known universe
- Acumen Blog: Acumen is one of the world’s largest social investment organizations; their blog is an excellent resource for those working in international development and/or poverty reduction
- QuickSprout: another excellent online resource for those interested in upping their online marketing game
- James Clear: not an entrepreneurship blog, per se, but James writes about ‘science-based ideas for mastering your habits and living a better life.’ And good habits are essential to being an effective, grounded entrepreneur!
TOP 10 BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Start building your entrepreneurship library with these 10 titles (they’re my favourite go-to books that I read again and again, of the more than 120 entrepreneurship books in my library):
- Scaling Up, Verne Harnish: the definitive guide to scaling a business
- The Automatic Customer, John Warrilow: fantastic book on creating a subsctiption business in any industry
- Business Model Generation, Alex Osterwalder and others: the seminal book that started the ‘Canvas’ approach to business planning
- The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, CK Pralahad: How to make a sustainable profitable business from servicing the poorest of the poor
- Looptail, Bruce Poon Tip: The story of G Adventures, one of the most successful adventure travel companies in the world. Packed full of great insights and ideas that have made their way into my own company’s operations
- Getting to Maybe, Frances Westley and Brenda Zimmerman: The bible of social innovation
- To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink: Fantastic insight into the psychology of sales
- The Entrepreneurship Rollercoaster, Darren Hardy: Great read and perspective on entrepreneurship, with practical tips, from the publisher of Success magazine
- Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh: Lessons on customer service from the founder of Zappos.com, widely considered to be one of the best customer service organizations in the world
- Start With Why, Simon Sinek: How to establish your company’s purpose and communicate it to the world