Are you looking for timeless resources for running a successful business? Or Are you an entrepreneur?
Books are your best friend, as the old generation says! By looking through the life stories and struggles of now-successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, you can learn how to grow your idea into an equally big success in the world.
In this blog, we have personally curated a list of the top 25+ business books of all time to help you dive deep into some important aspects of running a successful business without having to take full-fledged MBA courses or digging a hole in your pocket.
This list has books from all over the world, timeless classics, and modern-day bestsellers. Every aspiring entrepreneur and businessman will find each one of these valuable, insightful, and knowledgeable.
So sit back, take your time, and let’s upskill!
- 1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- 2. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- 3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- 4. The Personal MBA by John Kaufman
- 5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
- 6. Getting Things Done by David Allen
- 7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- 8. Lean In – Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
- 9. The Power Of Broke by Daymond John
- 10. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- 11. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- 12. The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
- 13. The Start-Up J Curve by Howard Love
- 14. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
- 15. The Ten-Day MBA by Steven Silbiger
- 16. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
- 17. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- 18. Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc
- 19. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
- 20. The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden
- 21. Getting Past NO: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury
- 22. What I Wish When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig
- 23. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
- 24. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- 25. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- 26. The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber
1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The basic idea of this book is to develop MVP or minimum viable product which helps startups take test runs, validate the market value of the product, analyze the need or popularity, and to receive feedback from early adopters.
The book also teaches how to track our growth and progress, all while accepting hurdles and failures and overcoming them head-on. Instead of being stuck to an idea, startup owners should keep iterating and improvising their ideas to fit the target audience’s needs.
Lastly, the book teaches how to keep climbing the ladder of success and defining sustainable goals such as reduction in waste, increased efficiency, work-life balance, and value deliverables to customers.
2. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
One of the best business books of all time, this entire book has been fueled by ONE question, ‘Why are some people more influential than others?’
Surely, the question has crossed all our minds. Simon says that leaders think, act and talk in a way quite opposite to normal people. This concept is called the ‘Golden Circle’ which discusses how leaders communicate their ‘WHYs’ more effectively and how we can do it too. Simon argues that it is important for an organization to focus on ‘WHY’, ‘WHAT’, and ‘HOW’, all together and not just focus on any one of these aspects.
Another major concept discussed in this book is ‘the law of diffusion of innovation’. Here, Simon discusses the importance of focusing on acquiring early adopters and not focusing on the whole crowd. Early adopters are a great source of receiving honest feedback and allow you to make necessary changes to help fuel your business.
Thus, Start With Why by Simon Sinek is one of the top-rated management best business books you can lay your hands on.
3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Written by Chris Guillebeau, this is one of the best business books of all time because it answers a question that every middle-class person has, ‘How to start a startup with less money?’
This is an excellent book for anyone who feels unmotivated due to a lack of funds. The book talks about 50 different successful entrepreneurs who started with only a few bucks in their bank accounts but are now making more than $50,000. Chris Guillebeau does an excellent job at motivating you to move forward without focusing on the money or the HOW. The idea is there, the passion is following, and obstacles will crumble away.
In addition, the book discusses the practical side of starting your own money, using the resources that a freely available, keeping costs as low as they can get, and focusing on your target customers. The book is based on research of 1500 entrepreneurs who started their businesses with very less funds.
Thus, the book teaches you how to cut costs, stay flexible, upgrade your products, and build an online presence all under a budget!
4. The Personal MBA by John Kaufman
One of the best business books 2023 rated by Goodreads, The Personal MBA is a popular book discussing the principles of business.
Divided into 2 sections, the book is a guide for people who want to learn the aspects of running a business without going to a posh business school.
The first section discusses the theoretical aspects such as marketing, finance, management, and operations. These are the basics of understanding business slang. The second section takes a deep dive into targeted aspects of business such as strategy, leadership, negotiation, decision-making, communication, etc.
The book explains everything in extremely simplistic language, gives real-life examples and analogies, and provides Kaufman’s practical advice on understanding all things business. Value creation, differentiation, cash flow, profit-loss ratio, and balance sheets are other topics covered in detail for the readers to comprehend the topics with ease.
Thus, its knowledge and accessibility make it a popular and loved book in the industry, making it a magnificent resource.
5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Struggling to inculcate good everyday habits? James has an answer and a bestselling one!
The Bookstagram community has bought this book to one of the highest rankings as one of the best business books of all time. James offers a wide range of psychological logic behind habit creation and how one can really pick up habits that can turn your life around. The book revolves around finding out WHY bad habits die hard and offering strategic methods to stop them.
The book is a how-to guide for new businessmen, aspiring entrepreneurs, MBA students, and anyone wanting to change their daily habits and align them with their career goals.
The book also consists of interesting stories from people around the world who have used James’ strategies and succeeded in building good habits. These people are renowned people including business tycoons, gold medalists, speakers, and more. These stories provide a real-life basis to his audience making them believe that it is in fact attainable.
Let’s develop habits that do die hard, but the good kind.
6. Getting Things Done by David Allen
Struggling with productivity? Here’s your answer!
We all are people or know people who are perfectionists yet procrastinate till the last hour. Why does this happen though? The main causes are stress and over-working, David Allen provides a detailed analysis of how stress is the major cause of burnout during working hours and leads to unproductivity and distracted minds.
In this book, you will learn about how to transfer your working pattern to suit your personal productivity levels, and destressing in order to organize and rewire your brain in a better and healthier way. David makes us understand the power of a distressed and relaxed mind and its impact on our day-to-day productivity.
Thus, Gettings Things Done is undoubtedly one of the best business books 2023 and should get on your TBR list right away.
7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
We introverts can not say enough about how difficult it is to make friends. Let’s change that, shall we?
Although it seems much easier for extroverts to make friends with anyone and everyone, it is equally important to maintain these friendships.
How to win friends is one of the best business books for people wanting to be influencing others and an essential read for entrepreneurs. Although the self-help genre is picking its pace only recently, written in 1936, this book is an absolute classic.
Strategies in the book include navigating conversations depending on the relationship you have with the person, improving your influential skills, specific actions to take with different personality types, and how small gestural pays off. A standout point in the book is taking small moments to think of others, such as wishes on their birthday, especially if it’s coming from someone outside of your close circle.
It has sold over 30 million copies and it is thus considered a bestseller of all time. Dale gives advice and suggestions on how to make people easily like you by building your mannerisms and positivity provides tips on building persuasive skills, and helps you become a good leader of your team.
What are you waiting for? Read this book and be the most agreeable person in the room.
8. Lean In – Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Struggling with workplace equality? This book works like a magic spell!
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook, is a corporate woman and has hands-on experience navigating her professional life in the cutting-edge startup business world.
This book has hit #1 on the charts for international bestsellers and has to be on the top of the list for entrepreneurship best business books worldwide. Not only does it teach about mentorship and leading your organization efficiently but also bits of advice on work-life balance and what a true partnership means in both personal and professional areas of your life.
The book reeks of feminism and how women should go about seeking equality in the workplace, making it one of our personal favorites as well.
Want to learn about feminist-friendly workplaces? Add it to your TBR right away!
9. The Power Of Broke by Daymond John
Dreaming of starting your own business but are broke? This book will change your mindset.
Daymond John is a shark tank star and a well-known personality in the business industry. In this book, he teaches his audience how to build an empire from scratch, use relationships to your leverage, free tools and tactics, and much more to build a successful business all under a limited budget.
This book is the true epitome of how knowledge and talent can take you all over the world, and not money and only that. John teaches us how being broke when starting your career makes you more resilient, and creative, and forces you to use your intelligence to its fullest.
One of the top-rated entrepreneurship best business books on Goodreads, this book will change your mindset and make you take all your problems as opportunities to leverage.
Look no more, grab it now!
10. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Are you struggling to tap into the right mindset to achieve success? This book is exactly what you are looking for!
A self-help book published during the great depression in 1937, Think and Grow Rich is an absolute classic whose methods are considered binding even today.
The central theme of this book is finding what is the common factor among achievers and instilling the same in yourself. Hill researched over 40 millionaires and concluded that all of them thrived from obstacles. The desire to have something better, the fake it till you make it concept, and embracing the biggest of your failures in order to achieve the biggest of success is what the book revolves around.
Hill discovered the ‘Philosophy of Achievement’ which basically is the 13 principles that he believes are necessary to be successful in life. They are as follows –
- Desire to get what you want and deserve
- Having faith in your own abilities
- Manifestation and rewiring your subconscious mind into attracting positivity from the universe
- Visualizing your goals in great specificity
- Organized planning
- Utilizing your specific knowledge
- Decision-making abilities
- Being surrounded by like-minded people
- The ability to redirect sexual energy into productivity and creativity
- Utilizing the power of your subconscious mind
- Utilizing the full potential of your brain
- Believing in your intuitions and gut
It stresses the need to revamp your mindset, set goals and manifest luck through what you think of yourself. Owned by major entrepreneurs from Bill Gates to Saudi Arabian royalty, this book is an indispensable must-read for any business owner and will be of great assistance to turn your life around.
11. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Are you indecisive? Do you want to independently make faster decisions? Read this book!
Daniel is a psychologist and a Nobel prize-winning economist who developed two systems, the book revolves around them, called Intuition thinking and slow thinking. These two systems work together and influence our decision-making, problem-solving, and critical-thinking abilities.
Confirmation bias, heurism, and anchoring are a few other important aspects that are discussed deeply in the book. Overall, the book guides you to make better decisions quickly.
It’s one of the best business books 2023 edition and will help you make better choices both personally and professionally.
12. The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
Moms always lie!
The love parents have for their kids is unconditional which is why if you ask your mom about your business idea, she will say it’s flabbergasting, even when it’s the most basic thing on the planet. Go try it!
This is the central idea of this book. The Moms Test is a book that teaches you how to ask for genuine and honest feedback, who to ask, and how to interact with customers.
The book emphasizes how to avoid assumptions and false feedback, actively listen to your target audience and ask the right questions.
The book is a perfect match for product managers, entrepreneurs, content creators, and anyone wanting to better their products through customer feedback.
13. The Start-Up J Curve by Howard Love
A lot many startups fail, it’s no surprise.
The book’s central idea is iterating your original idea, an underrated concept that Love is focused on. One of the best business books of all time, The Start-up J Curve is a book about the growth curve.
It includes crucial business concepts such as –
- The Formation or Creation Stage – In this stage, the entrepreneur begins to formulate an idea, research the market, and lay the groundwork. He must find a gap in the market and develop a product or service to bridge that gap.
- Next is the Big Launch – It focuses on building the product or service, calculating potential risks and faults, gaining early adopters, etc.
- The Scaling Phase – This is marked by the hike in sales and positive customer feedback. Entrepreneurs focus on enhancing their business and upgrading their products or service.
Overall, the book is your how-to guide in understanding the core methods of running and scaling your business.
14. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Written by Benjamin Graham, also known as the ‘father of value investing’, this book is a business classic.
The book focuses on investing with calculated risks and is a practical guide to investing in real-life situations. Graham says that an intelligent investor is someone who has the ability to make far-sighted investing decisions instead of giving in on temporary market fluctuations.
It also additional covers crucial topics such as diversification, risk-taking, and psychological pitfalls and overcoming them instead of making hay-way and emotional decisions in this profession.
One of the entrepreneurship best business books in the investor’s market, it is a timeless guide and serves true to its content even today.
15. The Ten-Day MBA by Steven Silbiger
No time for a full-fledged MBA degree? We got you covered!
This book is a compilation of all the concepts taught during a traditional MBA program. Topics such as accounting, finance, operations, management, marketing, and more are discussed in detail allowing you to take your time understanding each concept.
The book contains both theoretical and real-life examples for you to understand the basic applications of these concepts in day-to-day life. It compiles lessons from top-rated business schools all around the world like HARVARD, Oxford, Standford, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, and many more.
Although it can not completely replace an MBA degree, it is very insightful if you want to upskill, start as a beginner, or are just interested in reading some best business books of all time.
16. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Like hearing a YES every time you ask a question? Here’s how!
Robert is a social psychologist and in this book provides numerous examples of how to persuade people to get them to say YES. The book walks us through several principles of persuasion and is one of the best business books 2023 edition.
The first principle is reciprocity. It means that people are more likely to give you what they want if they think they owe you or if they are likely to return the favors.
Another important principle is scarcity. People are more likely to get something that they think is rare and limited and a luxury. This is exactly the reason why companies and brands run ‘limited-time sales’ to hike up their sales.
Consistency is yet another crucial principle to persuade people. If you are consistent, show up all the time, and are aligned with the beliefs of your brand even in the future, people are more likely to believe you and trust you.
Thus, the book has several persuasion techniques and principles that will help you understand the topic and the psychology behind human behavior in depth.
17. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers have been popularized by the concept of the 10,000-hour rule. What does it mean? Research says that for achieving mastery in any subject, one needs to learn and practice it for at least 10,000 hours with intention.
However, it has been later discovered that this is merely a concept to become an expert in the subject, and not to start. Thus, the book reeked of controversy and is in the top lists of entrepreneurship best business books.
Gladwell additionally discusses how to solve real-life problems and get through hardships in a practical way using common sense and experience. He also says that this practical intelligence is much more important than academic grades, a concept we all agree on too.
Overall, Outliers is a thought-provoking, educational, and book based on practicality that helps readers question traditional methods of climbing the ladder of success and encourages them to find their own path through life.
18. Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc
The man who turned McDonald’s into one of the most profitable food chains in India and the world, Ray Kroc in this book shares his personal journey to becoming a millionaire.
Let’s see how!
In Grinding it Out, rated amongst the top entrepreneurship best business books, Ray shares his life before McDonald’s, being a milkshake mixer salesperson. He then goes about sharing the incident of meeting the McDonald brothers and pitching them the idea to turn this concept into a franchise. This became the turning point in his life.
Kroc shared with his audience his two cents, emphasizing hard work, persistence, and dreaming big. He says that McDonald’s bloomed out of great detail to every tiny thing such as bathroom and sanitation, flavor, the infamous logo design, and much more which made him one of the most influential powers in the industry today.
Overall, Grinding it Out is an insightful read and gives a structural view of how millionaires think and act. It acts as a guide to help you become a millionaire too.
19. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
My personal favorite on the list and one of the most real-life experiences books out there, this book will change your mindset forever!
When it first launched, the book was all over the internet for its engaging title and cover, however, the insides are as great as the outside! The book focuses on what really matters in life and how to create your own reality, how to let go of things that do not matter, and stop wasting your time on overthinking.
Mark suggests that we should stop wasting our time on irrelevant and temporary things such as social media, materialistic things, etc. But majorly, he discusses how to rise above other people’s opinions and do what you truly enjoy in life.
The title clearly reflects Mark’s writing style, as he is not a try-hard person making the fanciest of work. He writes quite plainly for the sake of getting his words and opinions out there, thus making this book one of the best business books 2023 and a people’s favorite.
20. The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden
Are you struggling with staying motivated? Do you also lack productivity? This book is a lifesaver.
Jeff believes that the traditional methods of staying motivated have now worn out and he shares a new perspective on staying motivated every day. He also says that motivation comes from success and is not the key to success.
Most people wait for sprints of motivation to come to them and only work during those limited hours to achieve their dream life. But don’t you think this eventually limits you? We think yes!
Jeff argues that instead of waiting along for motivation to strike, one must develop a daily routine, instill good and deliberate habits, and value discipline. He also suggests that instead of depending on external rewards after getting the job done, one must focus on internal satisfaction as it is more sustainable in the long run.
Thus, this is on top of the list of management best business books and will help you do a life makeover effectively.
21. Getting Past NO: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury
If you struggle with negotiation skills, this book will guide you like no other!
Ury is a well-known negotiation expert in the industry and in this book, he spills all the chai! The book revolves around the concept of saying NO, but positively. It means that you not only reject the offer but also put a counteroffer for space for further negotiation. This is the basic trick to keeping the negotiation moving forward and not reaching a dead end early on.
Overall, it’s a great resource to upskill your negotiation skills and learn to use them in real-life scenarios, especially difficult ones.
22. What I Wish When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig
Ready to jumpstart your career? Read this first!
Tina is a Stanford University professor and in this book, she shares the valuable advice she gives to all her students there, it is like an older sibling sharing their experience to save you from diving deep in the wrong oceans.
Tina emphasizes the importance of calculated risks, trying out new things, and listening to your heart. All along the book are curated examples and advice on aspects like work-life balance, work ethic, and building a strong network in your 20s.
Thus, this book is one among the top lists of entrepreneurship best business books and will feel like a friend in your hour of need.
23. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple story with a powerful message. The book, Who Moved My Cheese, is only 96 pages long and contains four mice to share their wisdom. The storyline goes over the four different personalities and how they can affect one’s business. This book will enlighten all business people on themselves and the choices they make in life.
It will also teach you how to become flexible in life to move confidently towards your goals.
24. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Lacking financial knowledge as a younger person can hurt your chances to be successful and that’s something people like Robert Kiyosaki were aware of.
His book covers all things finance and what you need to know to avoid the rat race and yes, those dreaded 9-5 jobs. He advises aspiring entrepreneurs how to make dreams come true by overcoming the obstacles of taking over the school’s job placement system and unrealistic perceptions about wealth.
25. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
In his book Zero to One, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel reveals his thoughts on how startups can move from being a commodity or copycat company to one that creates sustainable technology by focusing on creating new things.
He also explained how to build companies that create new things. Drawing on everything he’s learned directly as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir and then as an investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and Elon Musk’s Space X.
26. The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber is a book about misconceptions related to starting a business and becoming a successful entrepreneur. It breaks down myths and walks you through the real-life steps of having a business today. One of the major points from the book addresses the difference between working on your business and working in your business.
You’ll also be informed on how the go-to advice of someone that’s been in business for years can doom your venture from the start. If you’re looking for straightforward advice about self-executing on your idea, this book is for you.
What are the top 5 business books every entrepreneur should read?
1. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
2. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
4. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
5. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Which business books should I read first?
You can start with who moved my cheese. Who Moved My Cheese, is only 96 pages long and contains four mice to share their wisdom with a powerful message.
Why should entrepreneurs read these books?
These books provide valuable insights and strategies that can help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, develop leadership skills, and achieve success. They offer practical advice and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Are these books suitable for beginners in business?
Yes, these books are suitable for both beginners and experienced entrepreneurs. They offer valuable insights and strategies that can benefit anyone looking to grow their business.
Can these books be applied to any type of business?
Yes, the concepts and strategies presented in these books can be applied to any type of business, regardless of the industry or niche.
Can these books be found in e-book or audiobook formats?
Yes, all of these books are widely available in e-book and audiobook formats, making them accessible to readers who prefer these formats over traditional print books.
We hope that you found this curated list of the best business books valuable. Reading is a powerful and resourceful tool that will help increase your leadership skills, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. Whether you are a beginner or an established businessman, these books will prove insightful and will help you grow. Let us know your favorites in the comments section below.