The power of books to change the course of an entrepreneurial journey is not lost on some of the world’s top business leaders.
From Boost Juice co-founder Janine Allis, to Huffington Post brainchild Ariana Huffington and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, these visionaries take life as an ongoing lesson and reading plays a fundamental role in it.
Speaking to StartupSmart in June, Allis encouraged all emerging entrepreneurs to read as many books as they can about people or businesses that inspire them.
“What you find is when you read about these really highly successful businesses is that everyone goes through tough times, everyone goes through failure,” she said.
So whether you’re a major entrepreneur in the making or have an idea you’d like to bring to the world, Inc.com has pulled together a list of 15 free titles you can start reading online right now.
Here’s three to get your started.
1. “4 Steps to A Happy Startup”
Created by the team at The Happy Startup School, this book provides emerging entrepreneurs with a guide to overcome the major barriers in their way, knowing that “nine out of 10 startups fail”.
The ebook covers the four core elements of building great businesses: passion, purpose, people and profits.
The Happy Startup School takes inspiration from companies like Zappos.com, Buffer and MailChimp, and the book is sprinkled with quotes like this.
“Money is a by-product of bigger, more meaning goals. Have fun, do good, and the money will come.” – Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.
2. “Getting from Employee 5 to 50”
Workable CEO Nikos Moriatakis says the company published this ebook to provide startups with critical information on headhunting.
The ebook covers everything from branding a company in a way that attracts both talent and customers, to interviewing strategies, writing job ads and knowing where to post the ads.
It also lists resources from around the web to equip startups with the tools they need to score the best talent.
“Your first five pretty much picked themselves but in getting from five to 50, you will need the best tools and analytics, and you will need to be systematic,” Moriatakis writes.
“We’ve thrown in ideas, tricks, talent hacks and real life examples from great companies. The result is a simple guide that offers some structure to your journey from five to 50.”
3. “50 Startup Founders Reveal Why Their Startups Failed”
AllTopStartups founder and author Thomas Oppong has written this ebook to help readers understand the “bitter truth about failure”.
Oppong covers insights from a wide range of startups, ranging from Nikki Durkin’s 99Dresses to anonymous sharing app Secret.
The book ends with 12 lessons for startups that are closing down.
“There are a ton of startups trying to make it, and a lot of them just don’t make the cut,” Oppong writes on Medium.
“Whether it’s poor budgeting, lack of excitement, or bad management, the onus is on the founders to explain what really happened.
“The good news for aspiring entrepreneurs is that, some founders open up about their failures and share their experiences with the public without hesitation.”