Inspiring Books for Startup Founders
The authors of these books all have the experience of starting a business from scratch and making it successful. They understand the challenges that you face and provide expert advice on how to overcome adversity and create a strong will to succeed.
Also Recommended: Check out our list of the best startup books.
1. ‘Start Something That Matters’ by Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie is the owner of TOMS shoes, a company that is known for its philanthropic work. It’s easy to get bogged down in making money and forget why you started your business in the first place. "Start Something That Matters” will inspire you to make a difference and be proud of what you do and still find success for your business.
2. ‘How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs’ by Guy Raz
Guy Raz is the host and creator of the podcast ‘How I Built This,’ and in the adapted book you'll get inspirational entrepreneur stories straight from the source. These entrepreneurs have all come from different backgrounds and created businesses in a variety of industries but what they all have in common is an unshakable determination to succeed.
3. ‘Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers’ by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferris has written a number of bestselling books, and in "Tools of Titans,” he provides an in-depth look at the habits and routines of some of the most successful people in the world. This book is a goldmine of information and will inspire you to change your own habits to find greater success.
4. ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ by Sheryl Sandberg
The world we live in has often been called "a man's world," but in "Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg asks why it can't be a woman's world as well. This book will inspire women and men to learn more about themselves for negotiation, mentorship, and building a satisfying career.
5. ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson
Learn about the man, the myth, and the legend in this biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson. This book is an in-depth look at not only his professional life but also his personal life based on over 40 interviews and the lessons that can be learned from both.
Looking for more book recommendations? We asked startup founders to share their favorite books on entrepreneurship, and here's what they said.
6. ‘A Paperboy's Fable: The 11 Principles of Success’ by Deep Patel
You don't need factual accounts of real-life people in order to be inspired, in fact, it is often the creative fiction of the world that can provide the best lessons. "A Paperboy's Fable” is a story that follows a young paperboy on his journey to becoming successful in more than just business and the 11 principles you can apply to achieve the same.
7. ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David Schwartz
David Schwarts turns the narrative of naturally talented individuals on its head and believes that anyone can achieve success if they think big. "The Magic of Thinking” is a classic for a reason and will inspire you to change your mindset so you can see all the opportunities available to you.
8. ‘Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action’ by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek has been challenging the status quo of leaders in the business world for years and in "Start with Why” he explains his philosophy. This book will inspire you to change the way you think about leadership and how you can use your power to influence those around you for good.
9. ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
In this timeless classic by Napoleon Hill, you'll learn that success is more than just making money. Think and Grow Rich” is a masterclass on how to use your mind to overcome any challenge and you'll get 13 key principles that show exactly how to do it.
10. ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ by Malcolm Gladwell
The stories of the most successful teams and individuals that have walked the planet are often told from a birds-eye view. In "Outliers,” Gladwell shines a light on the intricacies of what makes high achievers different from the rest and what background they've gone through to get there.
11. ‘FEAR LESS: An antidote to self-doubt’ by Tom Smyth
Tom Smyth started his career working in a burger restaurant and rose to fame as one of the UK's most successful businessmen. In "Fear Less,” he details his upbringing and how he used street psychology to overcome the challenges he grew up with, and he details how all those living in modern fear can overcome theirs.
12. ‘Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg
The real secret behind finding success as an entrepreneur is masting how you think and no one details that better than Charles Duhigg. In "Smarter Faster Better,” he provides an in-depth look into the science of productivity and how you can use eight key concepts to achieve your goals.
13. ‘Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive’ by Dorie Clark
The transition from the traditional way of working for employers is always progressing into a more entrepreneurial-focused world. Dorie Clark provides a guide on how to make that shift and become your own boss in "Entrepreneurial You.” This book will inspire you to take control of your career and create the life you want.
14. ‘Jump: Dare to Do What Scares You in Business and Life’ by Kim Perell
All it takes is one big move in order to shift your entire life in a new direction and Kim Perell knows that better than anyone. In "Jump,” she details her journey from being a broke college student to becoming a self-made millionaire and the biggest lesson she learned along the way: to always be willing to take risks.
15. ‘Choose Possibility: Take Risks and Thrive (Even When You Fail)’ by Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
What often holds entrepreneurs back from truly succeeding in business and life is the possibility of failure. In “Choose Possibility,” Sukhinder Singh Cassidy details how to take risks without the fear of failure holding you back. You'll get actionable advice on how to analyze, confront, navigate, and incorporate your challenges into your journey forward.
16. ‘Honor Thy Label: Dr. Bronner's Unconventional Journey to a Clean, Green, and Ethical Supply Chain’ by Gero Leson
Inspiration is so often viewed for the big momentous changes we see in people, but the truth is, it can come from anywhere. In "Honor Thy Label,” Leson shows how Dr. Bronner's simple soap company has made huge waves in the business world all from a simple label on the bottle. You'll be inspired to make a difference in your own way, no matter how big or small.
17. ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change’ by Stephen R. Covey
As one of the most read personal development books of all time, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is an inspirational journey no matter where you are from or what business you are in. You'll get actionable advice on how to change your habits and thinking along with practical worksheets and reflection questions that will help you stay on track.
18. ‘Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness’ by Steve Magness
Steve Magness is a well-known performance expert and executive coach, and in "Do Hard Things” he re-examines how the world perceives toughness. He teaches readers how to embrace their fear, their bodies, and their discomfort in order to find their true strength and power.
19. ‘The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit’ by Mel Robbins
Mel Robbins has long been a motivational speaker, and in "The High Five Habit,” she shares her simple yet effective technique for conquering your goals. Instead of high-fiving everyone else and cheering on their accomplishments, she teaches you how to cheer for yourself for a change.
20. ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie
Few books on this list have the esteem and acclaim that Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends & Influence People” has. First published in 1937, it remains one of the best books on how to build relationships and navigate the social world. You'll be inspired to make friends, improve your communication skills, and handle difficult situations.
21. ‘Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable’ by Seth Godin
Growing your business can often feel like the same repetitive tasks over and over again. In "Purple Cow,” Godin, a multiple bestselling author, teaches startup founders how to rethink their marketing and what insights it really says about their products.
22. ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear
In "Atomic Habits,” James Clear details how to make small changes in your life that will compound over time and lead to big results. You'll learn how to create good habits and break bad ones, all while understanding the science behind why we do what we do.
23. ‘Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too’ by Gary Vaynerchuk
A tornado of energy, Gary Vaynerchuk has become one of the most influential and well-known marketers in the world. In "Crushing It,” he teaches entrepreneurs how to build their personal brands and turn their passions into businesses. Just reading Gary's words will help inspire you to take action as soon as you put the book down.