“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman
Reading is an essential piece to becoming a successful entrepreneur. While books don’t (and can’t) give you answers to all your questions, they are great reference points for working through inspiration, process, and implementation. If one takes the time to actively read and engage content by experimenting with principles, I guarantee that you will be a far better idea-maker. I owe several authors a deep debt of gratitude in helping me launch several startups over the years. In fact, it was the practical help that I received from these authors that inspired me to write a book to help others.
The life of an entrepreneur or startup is not easy. The following are five authors who have helped me move beyond what I thought I was capable of doing through their books. I hope you find them beneficial as well.
- Seth Godin – By far, Seth has been my greatest influence in getting my ideas off the ground and into the market. His no non-sense approach of “shipping” has changed the way I approach my life. Also, his positive reinforcement of the possibility of us becoming linchpins in our respective industries has spurred on courage and permission to be the best at what I do. Here are some of my favorite Seth Godin books: Linchpin, Tribes, and Purple Cow. Yes, I’m feel like a member in his cult.
- Eric Ries – He is the author of the recent book “The Lean StartUp: How Today’s Entrepreneur Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses”. I’ve been impacted by his approach starting lean with a minimal viable product (MVP), experimenting often, and pivoting when needed based on customer input. Simple. Practical. Great common sense.
- Jim Collins – He is the author of numerous books on leadership and business. Jim and his research team do a phenomenal job of identifying key indicators for creating greatness within a company or leader. His books have become, rightly so, standards to many.
- Patrick Lencioni – His most recent book “The Advantage” was a great read. I enjoyed his insights into the importance of internal culture to a company. Strategy is necessary, but without a strong culture, most companies will never thrive. Also, if you like The Advantage, you may want to pick up another book along similar lines called “Firms of Endearment” that recently came out.
- Jason Fried – His book “REWORK” is simply practical. Jason cuts through the clutter and moves people forward in a common sense kind of way. I love reading books from practitioners. Jason is the founder of 37Signals, a web-based collaboration app for companies.
There are tons of others books that have helped me along the way. I hope to share more of them in a future post. These five are just recent authors that have particularly helped me move my ideas forward.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?