How would you answer the question, "What makes successful people so successful?"
Talent, wealth, skill, access all seem like the keys to the kingdom. And while these things do factor in, they pale in comparison to one main characteristic of successful entrepreneurs: Teachability.
The highest achieving entrepreneurs are only as consistently successful as they are because they are willing to keep learning. They jump at the opportunity to be students over and over again because they know their growth is dependent upon knowledge and its application.
That takes vision, humility, and quite a lot of study.
In my conversations and research of what resources today's entrepreneurs swear by, I found that the following 19 books are some of the most highly regarded materials when it comes to financial literacy, business/brand development, personal development, and spiritual guidance.
Not only do these books offer inspiring words, they provide resources, methods of practical application, and ways to measure your growth. So, at whatever point you find yourself on your entrepreneurial journey - from daydreaming about your big idea to planning your next venture - this list was made with you in mind! Happy reading!
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The wisdom of over 40 millionaires distilled into one book.
Read when: You need a glimpse into the proven life choices that will get you where you want to be.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! By Robert T. Kiyosaki
LaKisha Greenwade, Brand Strategist - Founder, @LuckiFit & @GlamTechUSA
"I have recommended this book to my nieces, nephews, mentees, colleagues, and even those with multiple degrees because it trains the mind to refute cultural norms of progression, cast down comfort, and accept responsibility for individual financial well being. I love that it also encourages entrepreneurship, multiple streams, of income, and the process to building a business that can transform a legacy."
Read when: You want to upgrade your mindset about your money and pass down crucial information.
The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, & Rhonda Joy McLean
Three executives created a "mentor in your pocket" to guide you into savvy leadership.
Read when: You're on the fast track to BOSS status and need Mother/Sister advice to stay sane, aligned, and effective.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work & What To Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
Victoria Jackson, Creative Consultant, Content Creator, Founder of Reinvented Marketing, @thecapitalV
"It highlights one of the most important truths about entrepreneurship: If it doesn't run without you, you have a glorified job, not a business. It's a must read for anyone attempting to move from the employee mindset to the entrepreneurial mindset by building a sustainable, scalable business model."
Read when: You're interested in studying the life cycle of new businesses.
Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Is your idea "sticky" enough to capture your audience? Grab this NYT bestseller to find out.
Read when: You want to evaluate a new idea or you want to refine your business/brand/ministry's message.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change
Don't like change? Get over it and find the opportunities within it with this bestseller.
Read when: You're ready to embrace change and master making it work to your advantage.
Successful Women Think Differently by Valorie Burton
Becca Bakre, Life Coach & Project Strategist of Becca Bakre Enterprises, LLC @beccabak
"I was serving as Director at a multi-million dollar non-profit, and although I was thriving and successful in the eyes of many, I felt very dissatisfied with my life and career path. This book gave me the courage to see my leaving the company not as moving backward but as a necessary step forward.
I am now the owner of a successful coaching business that gives me the freedom to use my talents and passion to lead other women into their God-given purpose."
Read when: You've decided to assess your habits, get rid of those that don't serve you and establish new, healthier ones.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Cut the noise. Cut the clutter. Cut the crap. Chase less. Get more.
Read when: You want to simplify, clarify, and breathe easier.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Need a sweet little kick in the pants to face your fear and live a big life? Here you go.
Read when: You're teetering, on the brink of going for it and need an "over-the-edge" pep talk.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
A cult classic tale following a little shepherd boy and his journey to wisdom, self-confidence, and realized dreams for the absolute WIN.
Read when: You're sick of traditional self-help books and want to follow along on a brave little boy's journey to dreams fulfilled.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Pressfield pulls no punches. Let's bust up the blockages and DO this work.
Read when: You want to understand why you get stuck creatively and how to get unstuck.
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How To Say No To Take Control Of Your LIfe by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Every great businesswoman has got to learn the weight of her yes and the power in her no. Start here.
Read when: You're ready to make the time to dig deep, be brutally honest, and take responsibility for your decisions.
You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Practical advice, sage wisdom, hilarious stories, powdered with a cuss word here and there. Jen Sincero serves you straight talk, no chaser.
Read when: You're feeling down on yourself and you're on the verge of giving up.
Don’t Dumb Down Your Greatness by Anthony Frasier
Whitney L. Barkley, M.S. Speakerazzi, CEO @whitneylbarkley
"[This book] is a testament that you can come from anything to create realities beyond your biggest imagination for your life and career. [It's] impactful because while you may be wildly skilled and talented, there is a level of personal development that is necessary in the areas of goal setting, Impostor syndrome, and discipline to heighten your potential and create the best set-up for current and future success."
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Anaston Jeni, Self-care Coach @anastonjeni
"Regardless of what phase of life you're in, you can identify with [this book's] principles. It's great for anyone on a journey of self-discovery and self-mastery. Applying The Four Agreements will change your perspective on life & open you up to a new level of freedom."
Believe Bigger: Discover the Path to Your Life Purpose by Marshawn E. Daniels
Regret, hurt, and disappointment can stifle our journeys forward. Marshawn E. Daniels teaches how to use the past to find your purpose and believe the absolute best.
Read when: You're not quite sure what to do or where to go but you feel called to elevate.
7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
Success encompasses principles beyond just having a business plan.
Read when: You want to implement practical steps toward a life well-lived.
The 40-Day Soul Fast by Dr. Cindy Trimm
Authenticity will take you far.
Read when: Life doesn't feel quite as honest as you'd like and you're ready to do the internal work to be your truest self.
The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions In The Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst
Learn to stop doing too much for the wrong people with this read.
Read when: You're sick and tired of being sick and tired and want to learn healthier ways of planning and living out your best life.
Featured image by Shutterstock
Originally published on February 25, 2019