March 1, 2021
4 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs in 2021

Whether you’re a rookie startup founder or a veteran CEO, every entrepreneur still has a lot to learn. If you’re searching for sources of knowledge and inspiration in 2021, we’ve got you covered. Here are four empowering books to help you kickstart your business this year:

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers” by Ben Horowitz (Harper Business, 2014)

Author Ben Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most esteemed entrepreneurs, is the cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz. In the pages of this book, Horowitz offers real-world, straightforward advice on how to build and run a startup—including tackling the toughest problems you will encounter along the way. These are lessons you simply can’t learn in business school, and Horowitz serves them up with his unique brand of humor, humility and brutal honesty.

“The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer” by Jeffrey K. Liker (McGraw-Hill Education, 2nd Edition, 2020)

Originally published in 2004, the second edition of this bestselling guide to Toyota’s successful philosophy and production system was just released last year. The process knowledge and management principles served up in this book are invaluable for business leaders in any industry. The second edition has been updated with new frameworks for driving innovation and quality in your business. Author Jeffrey K. Liker takes the reader on a deep dive of Toyota’s revolutionary processes and explains how to apply these techniques to drive profitability for your business.

“Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork” by Dan Sullivan & Dr. Benjamin Hardy (Hay House Business, 2020)

If you feel like you’re killing yourself trying to single-handedly grow your business, this book is for you. In “Who Not How,” expert entrepreneurial coach Dan Sullivan and co-author Dr. Hardy explain how to execute your big ideas by building a team of trusted people who can help you get it done. We’ve trained ourselves to ask, “How can I do this?” when Sullivan says we should be asking “Who can do this for me?” When you try to do it all on your own, you are limiting your potential. It may seem simple, but shifting to this teamwork mindset involves retraining your brain.

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins (Harper Business 2001)

We know what you’re thinking: This book was published 20 years ago. How could it still apply to business in 2021? Trust us. “Good to Great” is an enduring classic with timeless lessons on business development, leadership and culture.  During a multi-year research study, author Jim Collins and his team explored a single, incredibly complex question: “What common characteristics are shared by companies that made the change from good to great?” He reveals the answer in the pages of this enlightening book. 

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to reach beyond your own beliefs, ideas and experiences and explore other perspectives. We should constantly be learning and seeking out inspiration from others. The easiest way to do that is to read a book. Don’t have time to read? The vast majority of business books are available in audio form. Even the busiest entrepreneurs can listen while they’re on the move.  

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