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2020 must-read list for entrepreneurs

By Winnie Makena | January 8th 2020

Successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common: the need for continued learning. In an effort to help you get to the next level, here are five recommendations for your 2020 book list. Some are well-known classics and some are newer to the canon, but all will elevate your desire for improvement.

 1. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

While most start-ups fail, a lot of those failures can be prevented. This classic offers a new approach that changes the way companies are created and products are launched. The Lean Startup doesn’t create elaborate business plans. Instead it offers entrepreneurs a way to continuously test their vision and adapt to their needs before it’s too late. Reis lays out a scientific approach to creating prosperous start-ups in an age where companies have to be exceptionally innovative to survive. This book is honest in addressing situations that are commonly faced by start-ups. The author’s intellectual curiosity and his pursuit of excellence are clear in his writing. Anyone who is thinking about innovation or product development can benefit from it.

 2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
by Ben Horowitz

The book is written by a legendary founder of Andreessen Horowitz, one of the best Silicon Valley venture capital firms. He goes through all the difficult situations that one will have to deal with in owning, running and growing a business, and illustrates them with great examples from running his own companies. Horowitz competently analyses the problems that leaders run into on a regular basis in this book. He covers everything from keeping a CEO mentality to knowing when it’s time to shut down.

3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero would like for you to care less about what others think of you, worry less about exactly how you’ll reach your goals, and surround yourself with supportive people and habits. Among topics like procrastination and gratitude, Sincero focuses on how your mindset impacts your reality, and how your value in others’ eyes is largely determined by how you value yourself. She says that having higher-value vibes can impact the way that money flows to and from you, and that you are responsible for how to react in given situations.

 4. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
by Chris Guillebeau

So many books have been written for entrepreneurs. This one really stands out because of the specific actionable information. It does not require any special training and it is a low financial risk. You will learn the inner workings of different businesses and Guillebeau also provides convenient checklists to go through alongside concrete examples. You will be inspired to stop procrastinating and start now.

He goes over 50 very interesting case studies of entrepreneurs who have created sustainable businesses with extremely low start-up costs often of $100 (Sh10,089) or less.

 5. Reinventing You
by Dorie Clark

At one point or another, most of us go through a drastic career change. Not simply a move up the corporate ladder or sidestep to a similar industry – a complete departure from one path onto another. Clark, a personal branding expert, provides a roadmap for making the switch. She invites us to assess our strengths and realise the unique contributions we can make. It’s a must-read for anyone going through a career change or contemplating one.

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