9 books every entrepreneur should read in 2023

January 2, 2023
Joash Ojeyokan
September 2, 2022
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As an entrepreneur, it's important to constantly seek out new sources of knowledge and inspiration to help you grow your business. One way to do this is by reading books from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts.

In this blog post, we'll recommend 9 books that every entrepreneur should read in 2023. From practical guides on how to start and scale a business, to thought-provoking works that will challenge your assumptions and inspire new ideas, these books will provide valuable insights and valuable lessons for any entrepreneur.

"The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries

This book teaches entrepreneurs how to build and grow a startup by focusing on customer needs and iterating quickly. The book provides a framework for developing and growing successful businesses. The central idea of the book is that startups (and organizations of any size) should focus on creating a "minimum viable product" (MVP) and use customer feedback to iteratively improve and grow the product. The goal is to avoid the traditional "big launch" approach and instead focus on continuous innovation and learning through rapid experimentation.

The book also introduces the concept of "validated learning," which refers to using data and feedback from customers to validate or invalidate assumptions about the product and business model. By following the lean startup approach, businesses can be more agile and efficient in bringing new products to market and scaling their operations.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is a self-help book by Stephen R. Covey that outlines seven principles for personal and professional effectiveness. The seven habits are: 

- Be proactive: take responsibility for your actions and decisions.

- Begin with the end in mind: have a clear vision and plan for what you want to achieve.

- Put first things first: prioritize important tasks and manage your time effectively.

- Think win-win: seek mutually beneficial solutions in relationships and negotiations.

- Seek first to understand, then to be understood: listen to others actively and empathetically.

- Synergize: work effectively with others to achieve more than you could individually.

- Sharpen the saw: take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

The book emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility, integrity, and interdependence in achieving success and happiness.

"The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael E. Gerber

This book teaches entrepreneurs how to turn their businesses into scalable and sustainable enterprises. "The E-Myth Revisited" is a book by Michael E. Gerber that discusses the common pitfalls of small businesses and offers a framework for building a successful and scalable company. The "E-Myth" refers to the myth of the entrepreneurial personality, which suggests that anyone who starts a business is naturally inclined to be an entrepreneur. Gerber argues that this is not necessarily the case, and that many small business owners struggle because they are not trained or equipped to run a business.

The book identifies three key roles that must be fulfilled in any business: the technician (who does the work), the manager (who runs the business), and the entrepreneur (who envisions and innovates). Gerber advises small business owners to focus on the entrepreneurial role and delegate the technician and manager roles to others, in order to build a scalable and sustainable business.

The book also covers topics such as developing a business plan, building a team, and creating systems and processes to ensure the long-term success of the business.

"Good to Great" by Jim Collins

This book teaches entrepreneurs how to turn their businesses into great companies by focusing on the right things and making the right decisions. Jim Collins examines what sets successful companies apart from their competitors. Collins and his research team studied a group of companies that made the transition from good to great performance, and identified several key principles that these companies followed.

One key principle is the concept of the "hedgehog concept," which involves focusing on what the company does best and what drives its economic engine. Another principle is the importance of having the right people on the bus (and in the right seats), and the need to confront the "brutal facts" of the company's current reality in order to make necessary changes.

Other key principles include the need for a "Level 5" leader (a humble, yet ambitious leader) and the importance of a "culture of discipline" that encourages accountability and consistent execution. Collins also stresses the need for a "flywheel" approach to building momentum, rather than seeking quick fixes or relying on heroic leadership.

Good to Great provides a framework for companies to achieve sustained great performance.

"The 4-Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss

This book teaches entrepreneurs how to work smarter, not harder, and achieve more in less time. "The 4-Hour Work Week" is a self-help book by Timothy Ferriss that aims to help readers escape the 9-to-5 grind and achieve financial independence. The book suggests a number of strategies for increasing productivity and outsourcing or automating tasks, in order to free up more time for leisure and personal growth.

Some key concepts from the book include the idea of "lifestyle design," or the deliberate creation of a desired lifestyle, and the use of "virtual assistants" or freelancers to handle tasks and responsibilities. The book also discusses the importance of "defining your target market," or identifying your ideal customer, and the use of "automation and delegation" to streamline and scale your business.

The book encourages readers to rethink their approach to work and to pursue freedom and flexibility in their careers.

"The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen

"The Innovator's Dilemma" is a business book by Clayton M. Christensen that discusses the challenges that companies face when trying to adopt new technologies and business models. The central concept of the book is the "innovator's dilemma," which refers to the tendency of successful companies to miss out on new market opportunities because they are too focused on serving their existing customers.

Christensen argues that successful companies often struggle to adopt disruptive technologies (those that introduce a fundamentally new way of doing things) because they are too invested in their current business models and because the disruptive technology may not meet the needs of their current customers. As a result, smaller companies are often better positioned to take advantage of disruptive technologies and eventually overtake the larger, incumbent firms.

The book discusses a number of strategies that companies can use to avoid the innovator's dilemma and successfully navigate technological change, such as creating a separate organization to handle disruptive technologies and actively seeking out and listening to "voice of the customer" data.

"The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

This book teaches entrepreneurs how to think creatively and expansively in order to achieve their goals. Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander discusses how to reframe your thinking and approach challenges in a more positive and productive way. The book introduces a number of concepts and tools for shifting your perspective and expanding your sense of possibility, such as the "12 practices" for transforming your life and the "rules of possibility."

One key concept from the book is the idea of "framing," or the way that you interpret and make sense of your experiences. The authors argue that by changing the way you frame a situation, you can open up new possibilities and solutions. For example, rather than seeing a problem as a "failure," you might frame it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

"Start with Why" by Simon Sinek

This book teaches entrepreneurs how to inspire and lead others by starting with their purpose and values. Simon Sinek discusses the importance of understanding and communicating the purpose or "why" behind your actions and decisions. Sinek argues that the most successful leaders and organizations start with their purpose or belief (the "why") and work backwards to the "what" (the products or services they offer) and the "how" (the actions they take).

The book introduces the concept of the "Golden Circle," which consists of three elements: why (purpose or belief), how (the actions or behaviors that stem from the why), and what (the products or services). According to Sinek, the most successful companies are those that are able to clearly communicate their purpose or belief and inspire others to believe in it as well.

Overall, the book aims to help readers understand the power of purpose in driving success and to develop a more inspiring and impactful leadership style.

 "The Lean Entrepreneur" by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits

"The Lean Entrepreneur" is a business book by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits that discusses how to apply the principles of lean startup to entrepreneurship and innovation. The book introduces the concept of the "lean entrepreneur," or someone who uses a systematic and iterative approach to launching and growing a new venture.

The book covers a number of key concepts and tools for the lean entrepreneur, such as the "business model canvas" (a visual representation of a business's key components) and the "customer development" process (a structured approach to understanding and validating customer needs). The authors also discuss the importance of "pivoting" (making significant changes to the business model based on customer feedback) and "traction" (gaining a foothold in the market and growing the business).