Life habits: Six books every entrepreneur should read

With the advancement of technology that comes in the form of gadgets that steal our time, it is almost impossible to read a page out of a book. What you should know is that most successful people in business read a lot, not for exams or leisure, but for knowledge.

The books in this article are not ranked in any particular order, what they have are nuggets of wisdom. If you are looking to expand your library these are great books to begin with. The list covers a wide range of books about life and business, pick the ones that will have the greatest impact in your life.

  1. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
Most people want to be wealthy and yet they have no idea of how to make this a reality. This master piece of literature by Thomas Stanley deconstructs how to be wealthy and how to sustain wealth. Thomas delves into the lives of people in society and unveils an unconventional truth. The truth according to most societies is that the wealthy drive luxury cars and live in upscale neighbourhoods. According to this book this is far from the truth, there is a difference between wealth and income. Those who drive luxury cars have a higher income but not wealth.

When one spends money on an expensive car or apartment he/she is not getting wealthier he/she is just living lavishly. This book defines wealth as what you accumulate and not what you spend, it goes further by spelling out the skill required in wealth creation like hard work, discipline and sheer dedication

To be wealthy, you must be frugal with your money rather than spend it on material things that immediately start depreciating as soon as you buy them. The bottom line is being a high income earner (living pay cheque to pay cheque) does not automatically lead to financial independence.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
For success in business, politics, family life or even making meaningful friendly relations, one must be a person of influence. Without being judgemental, the fact remains that the above aspects of life are almost everyone’s desire unless you are delusional and misguided about life. This is why Dale Carnegie’s book is a must read.

The book takes you through the thought process of people. It acknowledges that people are creatures of emotions and not logic who discriminate based on pride and vanity. Once one understands these core values of people, Carnegie’s advice is to shun criticism and try to understand why people do what they do.

By understanding why people do what they do, you have to be genuinely interested in other people by being a better listener than speaker. The basic element one must harbour to influence others is to make others feel important and appreciated at all times. You should get a copy to get more insight.

  1. 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
All of us want to be unique different from everyone else, exclusivity is everything choice is fundamental. Never more so when we strive to be not only dominant but also powerful. As far as this is concerned the book ‘48 Laws of Power’ comes in handy to satisfy this desire. The book has only been in existence for two decades since its inception yet its relevance is as clear today as it was a decade ago. The book highlights what elite leaders such as Julius Caesar stood for and against through history.

This book is mostly recommended for the political class. However, in this article I would like to recommend it for the business community and the last eight laws just serve the purpose. The laws may seem to be too aggressive but they will always give you a competitive advantage over other players and that is what brings dominance and power. For instance, ‘Law 48 Assume Formlessness’, emphasises the importance of quickly adapting to an ever changing business environment.

The Art of War is an ancient book written by a Chinese army commander over a millennium ago but is still relevant today both in war and business strategy. The book is like the ‘48 Laws of Power’. However, it is inclined towards weakening the enemy through treachery. One of the most formidable philosophies of Sun Tzu was ‘Pretend to be weak in front of your enemy so that you are underestimated’. Moral of the story - do not show your weakness to the enemy lest he uses it against you.

  1. Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins
If you do not know, Tony Robbins is one of the best and richest life coaches in the world. You might not get a chance to be in one of his sessions but reading this book will be of help. This book should be read by people who feel that money is rolling in and they have no idea what to do with it. To break down the book a little, it talks about how to secure your financial future in a remarkable fashion.

  1. The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
Reading this book will help you with a stuck situation or mental rock that makes you feel like life is passing you by. It is about building business models, specifically focussing on location independence. What this means is that with the right business model you could travel the world, have a good time and still make it big in business.

  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Procrastination is the number one killer of productivity and progress in any aspect of life. Charles Duhigg`s book will help you overcome this vice. The book digs deep into the science of creating habits and how to alter them to your personal gain. If you are struggling with bad habits and you want to adapt better ones, this is the book to read.  

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The Millionaire Next DoorHow to Win Friends and Influence People48 Laws of PowerThe Art of WarMoney Master the GameThe Four Hour Work WeekThe Power of HabitEntrepreneurshipMaking Money