There has been explosion in popularity of websites and apps like Blinkist credited with being an online haunt of the most successful and boasting 11 million users worldwide). This much is evident: getting places in business requires a broad knowledge of the world. With that in mind, here are some suggestions of books to read if you’re bursting into the entrepreneurial race to become the ‘next big thing’.
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
Many people going into business concern themselves with key questions. What am I going to do? How will I get there? When will I reach my goal? Simon Sinek – leadership expert and motivational speaker – outlines in his now-classic book what the best leaders in history have done differently. They’ve started with ‘Why?’ instead.
From Dr Martin Luther King Jr to modern technology demagogue Steve Jobs, Sinek delves deep into the attitudes and approaches taken by key figures in society. Once he’s done that, he synthesises what really makes them successful. Easy to navigate and inspirational to boot, this is a must read for those wishing to make a difference. Engage yourself not only in the means to achieve material gain but also evaluating the influence of your inner purpose.
Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World – David Epstein
Challenging long-held beliefs about what it takes to enjoy success, Epstein has created an engaging and un-put-downable guide to examining what it takes to excel. His explorations of the careers of scientists and sportspeople alike make this a book for people of all interests and backgrounds.
Using analysis of research as a basis, Epstein examines the idea that early specialisation and constant practise is not actually the method for reaching the pinnacle of a particular field. He uses prompting questions about the benefits of generalising your skillset and ‘cultivating inefficiency’ in order to succeed. Epstein’s book has an anecdotal tone that both amuses and intrigues which makes for a great book to turning your thinking on its head.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven R. Covey
Almost the epitome of all self-help and self-promotion, Covey has started a revolution in numbered lists that engage readers to explore topics in further detail…like this article, or this 5 must have apps for international students. Anecdotal evidence is paired with more substantial research in a well-balanced manner. This guide to success in business – but also more broadly, life – is, as a result, not only enlightening but enjoyable.
Originally released in 1989 – the year of Cher’s If I could turn back time – the truths are still evident and relevant today. Following the steps laid out in this now iconic non-fiction, one can see how addictive the results can be. From self-belief, to reflection, to clarification of goals Covey doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But that’s the beauty of this book. It makes so much sense, that it becomes almost frustrating when you realise how straightforward success can be. Want to become the next icon in business? Develop these habits and you just might!
Think and grow rich – Napoleon Hill
The title may seem a little direct, but Napoleon Hill has struck the heart of why a lot of students go into business: the sweet temptation of ‘making it big’. Over more than two decades and 500 interviews with a range of extremely wealthy businessmen and -women, Hill delved deep to uncover the secrets of gaining and maintaining wealth. With a few more steps than Covey, Hill touches upon the importance of visualisation and mental attitudes to establishing a successful business (a topic that will be covered in more depth on iSTUDENTglobal in a special World Mental Health Day article on October 15th).
Few would believe this text was first published in 1937, and yet a lot of its truths still resonate in modern society. If anything, this is a book for those who feel they are eons ahead of their time…as well as learning a few tips, you can be just as inspired by Hill’s forward thinking and acumen from almost a century ago.
She Means Business – Carrie Green
It’s 2019 people…we couldn’t have an inclusive entrepreneurial book list without at least one book written by a woman. And this is a corker! Green encapsulates the spirit of the most recent wave of feminists in her book from 2016. She encourages and even challenges those women who aspire to greatness in the world of business to jump in with both feet and take the plunge.
Personable, practical and honest advice is delivered with conviction as Green has first-hand experience of the results. Quotes from the ‘greats’ are juxtaposed gently with answers for those niggling doubts – the ‘What ifs?’. The chapters are well titled to reflect the challenges faced by modern women, too. By addressing common fears, Green succeeds in creating confidence and building a strong relationship with her audience. You almost wind up feeling like you’ve not only gained knowledge, but an ally in the entrepreneurship game too.
For more on her work to support women in business, check out Carrie Green’s other project https://femaleentrepreneurassociation.com