Must Read Books for Every Entrepreneur

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I’d heard oodles about this book from friends and fellow bloggers. Now that I’ve delved into it myself, I understand why. Daring Greatly speaks volumes about vulnerability and shame and how these two things ultimately control our lives, from the way we parent to the way we love. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a book about vulnerability, or if it would be applicable to my life. Now I can say that I think it would be applicable to literally anyone who reads it. Brene Brown does an excellent job of sharing her research in ways that are easy to understand, fun to read, and deeply profound. There were many instances when I felt like she expressed things I knew, but never quite knew how to understand or verbalize. I think this book would be great for women or men — it’s definitely one of my new favorites! – Melyssa Griffin, Owner of The Nectar Collective (you can check out more of Melyssa’s must-reads here)

–> Get it here <–

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

This is a book I insist my clients read if they want me to help coach them as a business strategist. It’s a practical, easy guide that gives you the nuts and bolts of what it takes to have a successful business along with what not to do. My clients that have used and applied the material from Michael Gerber’s book all have successful businesses based on management systems that allow the owners to take a step back (like on seven to eight week vacations or five months off for maternity leave fully paid) while the business continues to profit. Michael Gerber’s book helps readers to what it takes to create a business that’s generating money day in day out and sometimes when you’re sleeping. – Denise Baron, Freelance Business Analyst & Public Relations Expert

–> Get it here <–

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau has tons of good advice for starting your own business, whether it’s location independence or creatively selling your art online. I especially loved the case studies and examples in the book and found them to be the most valuable. Chris contributes the methods and techniques for pricing, consulting, and finding your market, while the case studies provide real examples of what he’s talking about at work. I also love that his book is for the bootstrappers (like me) and he knows you don’t have to spend much money to get something good going. So if you’re trying to figure out just how to build a business with nothing but hard work, an idea, and a shit ton of passion, read this. I got plenty of good ideas from reading this book, and I recommend it to other creatives all the time. –

–> Get it here <–

Mariah even has a PDF straight from her notebook off all the notes from some of her favorite business books where she breaks down the most important bits and takeaways. Definitely worth a read! You can download it here!

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

Okay, full story: I was a big admirer of Sophia & her brand for a long time – Nasty Gal spoke to me and the type of person I am, I always think they have great social media marketing and they really know their audience. Sophia has made an empire out of being the weird girl. And as a weird girl myself, it was incredible to hear someone talk about finding success in a world that isn’t made for weirdos. One thing that really speaks to me from Girlboss is the concept of “the straight and narrow is not the only path to success”. After reading that, I realized that I don’t have to go the route that others do, I don’t need a business degree, because I know I have good instincts. It was incredible to be presented with someone who had never felt accepted and never felt like the world was meant for her. I’d never had a role model like that before. There aren’t a lot of people like Sophia in the business world (what we often think of as “successful” is the image of a straight white man in a power suit, not the goth girl in a leather jacket and six inch heels). Girlboss showed me that it’s okay to be unconventional, and that the traits that make me “weird” can also be the traits that I build my brand upon. – Christina Blok of Monthly Muse

–> Get it here <–

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

I read this when I was phenomenally overwhelmed, both in biz and in life, and it was the soothing permission slip I needed to just focus on one thing at a time. It taught me that putting proper energy into one important task or idea is not just more productive than being splintered in a hundred different directions, it’s essential to success and sanity. I recommend it to anyone who will listen. – Gemma King, Copy Editor and Writer at The Wellness Editor

–> Get it here <–

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos. I’m sure you heard or experienced firsthand how amazing Zappos’ customer service is. Tony is the heart behind that and shares his story through his book – Delivering Happiness. I read this book a couple years ago, but Tony’s story is so good it has stuck with me for so long. He shares his awesome story of becoming a millionaire early in life and realizing that just simply making money wasn’t fulfilling for him. He learned the importance of community and using that community to make an impact on the world, which he now does through Zappos. After reading this book, I realized how I want to run my own company culture to create a positive change. – Jessica Safko, Brand Stylist & Blogger at Love Plus Color (here’s Jessica’s full round up of must read books!)

–> Get it here <–

Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup

This book is a powerful tool for changing how you view money and how to transform your relationship with money to one that works and feels good. Whether we like it or not, money is something we deal with every single day and you want to be clear on where you are, where you wanna go and where you’ve been. – Ashley Beaudin, Founder of Fire & Wind Co. (check out more of her must reads for ladybosses)

–> Get it here <–

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

I picked this book up at the library because I thought it would be funny– and it is– but it is so much more! Not only is Adams a genius comedic artist, he understands business and personal development from a unique perspective. He shares how to learn from setbacks, how to channel your energy and resources to optimize the things you want to get done, and how to harness the power of intention and affirmation to advance your dreams. It’s packed with brilliant advice that’s applicable to anyone who wants to succeed, in business or anything else. I usually read through borrowed books, take away a few interesting nuggets, and then return them to the library… but this was one that demanded to be purchased and read again with highlighter in hand! – Toni Gatlin of Red Pen Travelers

–> Get it here <–

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Very practical and actionable ideas in this one! For example: when a task comes you, if you can do it in two minutes or less, train yourself to do it right then. Seems simple but it’s been a game changer for managing all those little tasks. He talks about how every undone task is a little incomplete circle of energy that creates a tiny pull on your attention. – Collin McRae Leix, Founder + Co-Owner of Little Hill Studio


–> Get it here <–


Incredible books every business owner should read.

Quitter by Jon Acuff

Quitter is a must read for anyone looking to close the gap between your day job and your dream job. This book was so practical. It will tell you the stuff you did not want to hear. For example, it helped me to take the leap and have a plan. So many people get hyped up, myself included, and just want to quit when that can actually do your future business a disservice. It also will give you hope that you CAN make it happen. It helps you to quit, smarter! – Jamie Samples of Yellow Barn Media

–> Get it here <–

Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal

I read this book when I was in a mental rut in my business. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore or why I was doing it, and I felt like I was lost in the next to step. Do Cool Sh*t made me want to get on a networking cruise and get over my moderate social anxiety and put myself out there and shout to the world everything that’s great about my business. – Kayla Salmon, Owner of October and Rum

–> Get it here <–

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This has been a wonderful read… A book I did not think I would enjoy but could not put down. I can relate to the author’s description of creative thoughts jumping in and out of our subconscious trying to find the artist that will bring the idea to life. By reading this book, I was able to forgive myself for the ideas that got away, realizing it was just not the right time. – Shannon Chomanczuk, Owner & Jewelry Designer at Emily and Eden

–> Get it here <–

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

My sister is about to embark on becoming a Zumba instructor and my mom and I were telling her that she would be great at it, and possibly so successful at it one day that she could do it as her main career. As I handed my book to my sister (slightly reluctantly, like a friend was leaving…), I pointed out the quote in what I believe is the first chapter: “Take 100 percent responsibility for your life.” It’s something I remind myself of often, if I’m not where I want to be… with work, my health, finances, family, friends, etc. Canfield’s book has so many wonderful chapters but I think that quote sets the tone and encourages the reader that you can always change your situation if you change your thinking and actions. He also emphasizes the importance of relationships and I try to always remember to put people and relationships first when it comes to increasing my business and making sure I’m on a fulfilling path. – Diana Kelly, Freelance Journalist, Editor, and Digital Strategist at

–> Get it here <–

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

I’m still in the early days of developing my blog and online business, as well as my writing career, but reading Amanda Palmer’s book helped me to solidify what it is I wanted and the kind of life I wanted to lead. The book is part memoir, part manifesto on the courage of asking for things and building a successful business. The Art of Asking spoke to me at a time when I was feeling lost and anxious about the world and everything ahead of me. It persuaded me that I needed to find my own path and do my own thing without worrying what other people thought. That I needed to reach out and ask people – there is no harm in asking after all. This book is a must read for all creatives and entrepreneurs because it speaks honestly about combining business and creativity, as well as finding the right way for you. It is inspiring, reassuring, and motivating. – Sophie Reid, Blogger at Sea, Earth, Sky

–> Get it here <–

Photo By: Kate Stutz Photography
  • BOOKS!! So many of these books are on my to-read list already + you’ve reminded me how vital they are 🙂

    • I know, it’s so easy to put off reading when you have #AllTheThings to do. But, every time I do make time to read, I walk away more inspired and also rejuvenated. I’m trying to make more of an effort to block out book time in my schedule!

  • I am LOVING #GIRLBOSS. I may have to add some of these others to my list.

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