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Essentials for the Entrepreneur's Bookshelf

Have You Read These Modern Classics?


Essentials for the Entrepreneur's Bookshelf
Photo by the author

A few of the best books around for planning your business, making the most of your time, identifying market opportunities and much more!

The One Page Business Plan

You're aching to launch a business -- and don't want to pause for months of writing a business plan. An accessible primer on writing a business plan, The One Page Business Plan turns a daunting process into a series of simple action steps and worksheets. Whether you want to create a full-fledged business plan or you're entertaining the idea of starting up without one -- this is an essential book in planning and crystallizing your ideas. More on business plans.

Making Ideas Happen

You probably have lots of great ideas -- but what are you doing to actually put them into action, and hopefully create profitable enterprises and initiatives? Making Ideas Happen helps you get over the hump of thinking and daydreaming and into action. Inside you'll learn the key qualities that drive functional innovation within businesses, including the ability to execute, the ability to identify and work with powerful collaborators, and the ability to be a leader.

Graphic Design for Non Designers

Even if you never plan to design a thing, this is a great book to help you understand how design can support your business goals. If you've ever been flummoxed in trying to help a designer translate your ideas into visual form, check out Graphic Design for Non Designers and learn all about how logos, letterhead, brand identity and more is developed.

The 4-Hour Workweek

Being an entrepreneur allows you to experiment with how and where you work, and "lifestyle designer" extraordinare Tim Ferriss provides plenty of food for thought in this provocative bestseller. From managing your time better to outsourcing everything you find tedious or boring, Ferris offers a number of strategies for getting more done in your busy day. Read an interview with Tim Ferriss.

Business Model Generation

If you've ever hungered for a brass-tacks look at how successful businesses organize themselves, Business Model Generation is for you. It breaks down business models, marketing strategies and real-life examples into highly visual form, creating a page-turning primer on how to build a business that works.

The $100 Startup

The path to starting your own business and pursuing a life with more freedom and happiness has never been easier is the thesis of entrepreneur, blogger and writer Chris Guillebeau. WIth a blend of entrepreneurial profiles, tips and advice, this book is chock-full of inspiration to get out there and start making a profit.

The Dip

New projects are usually fun at first, but after a while can get boring, challenging and downright lonely. This downward trajectory is what author Seth Godin calls "The Dip" and his thesis is what really sets the superstars apart is their ability to know when to quit and when to plunge ahead. In this brief book, learn the difference. Read an interview with Seth Godin.

The Lean Startup

The ideas contained in this startup manual by Eric Ries have become something of a religion since its publication with its focus on constant innovation and customer feedback. Use it to master the concept of "minimum viable product" and how a cycle of "build-measure-learn" can help any business attain more customers and profit.

Escape from Cubicle Nation

A revolution is afoot out there -- people leaving the increasingly tenuous "security" of corporate life for the flexibility and hopefully greater rewards of the independent one. Pamela Slim's Escape from Cubicle Nation explores both the intricacies of taking the leap and the important steps to take before launching your own business.


A business is nothing without strategy -- and so this concise book from Harvard Business Essentials provides ideas on creating and implementing effective strategy in a wide range of businesses, including making the right hires, alignment of structures and resources, and how to execute action plans that get results.

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