Top 8 Best-Selling Books on How to be an Entrepreneur

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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Books To Help You Become A Successful Entrepreneur

As your resident serial entrepreneur (read: I don’t sleep) I want to share the pile of books on how to be an entrepreneur that I am reading my way through in my ongoing quest for what makes my business ventures work.

There are a ton of books out there – some good, some great, and some I’d wished I’d never picked up.

What makes a good successful entrepreneur book in my opinion? Here is  the criteria that keeps me turning the pages:

  • Not boring. This may come as a surprise, but I have a sense of humor. It doesn’t have to be all fun and games, but keeping it fun helps.
  • Examples. Real world stories stay in your head WAY longer than “revenue streams increased by 10% when this theory was applied”. I nodded off too.
  • Clarity. There are ways to communicate that make complex ideas much easier to understand. Don’t jargon me to death and I’ll keep turning your pages.

Top 8 Books on How to be an Entrepreneur

1. The Dip, Seth Godin

I covered The Dip right here on 8 Women Dream and had a great experience with the concepts and ideas.

Successful Entrepreneur book: The Dip

Why do I recommend it? A cold bucket of water over your head to keep focus at 100%. Otherwise, just quit.

2. Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk

I just finished this book with relish.  I have much to share in the future about how and where I’ll be applying Gary’s suggestions for using new media to create and grow your passion.

Successful Entrepreneur: Crush It! book

Why do I recommend it? If new media doesn’t scare the crap out of you, this is a necessary read.

3. The Success Principles, Jack Canfield

I’ve know about Jack Canfield for quite a while, but it took Catherine (of 8 Women Dream)giving up her well loved, dog-eared copy for me to borrow to truly find out what an amazing blueprint this book can be to success of all kinds. I finally gave Catherine her copy back, but only AFTER I received mine from Amazon.

Successful Entrepreneur: Success Principles book

Why do I recommend it? This is my bible for business advice, success inspiration and just great dream focus.

4. The 4-hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss

I love Tim for introducing me to the term “New Rich.” The entrepreneurs who make it to run on its own, and check in on occasion so they can live their lives doing whatever drives their passion.

Successful Entrepreneur: 4-Hour Work Week book

Why do I recommend it? If you are at all interested in the world of virtual outsourcing and efficiency, some of the ideas in this book will blow your mind.

5. Book Yourself Solid, Michael Port

I love the way this book kicks off by explaining what it means to work with clients you love. Michael takes you on the ride to find out who your ideal clients are, how to keep them happy, and grow your business.

Successful Entrepreneur: Book Yourself Solid book

Why do I recommend it? Anyone who thinks the word “sales” is icky, but is open to changing their attitude

6. Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch

Most of the content that I read from John is incredible. His advice and make-it-work descriptions make it super easy to buckle down and get to applying the ideas to your day to day business.

Successful Entrepreneur: Duct Tape Marketing book

Why do I recommend it? If you appreciate practical knowledge and action steps, this is a great read.

7. The Answer, John Assaraf and Murray Smith

Holy crap. This book starts out with an amazing inspiration for accepting that you can have your dreams, then the real life, get-your-hands-dirty work begins. This gives you a clue with the time it took for me to read it: first half of book – 3 weeks, second half – 6 months.

Successful Entrepreneur: The Answer book

Why do I recommend it? This is an intense look what makes us tick in that gray matter, and the guts of finding out what you need to get your business going.

8. The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki

Some of the best advice I ever got was from Guy in the form of what makes a good PowerPoint presentation. But I digress. This was one of the first books I picked up after deciding to become a small business owner. Straightforward, no bull.

Successful Entrepreneur: The Art of the Start book

Why do I recommend it? If you are at all on the fence about starting a business, open this book up first.

You can tell from this list, I have already read of few of these books but I’m far from done. I’m looking forward to getting into the details of all these incredible resources in the coming months.

What’s your favorite book covering how to be an entrepreneur? How many times did you read it?

~ Heather


  • Heather Montgomery, CEO & serial entrepreneur

    Thanks for the book list ladies! Congrats on reading “Crush It!” Laurie – it kicks butt!

    Toni – that’s the other reason I love reading these books… finding out what I’ve been doing “right” or that I have been on target.

    Rem – you are the one who got me hooked on Michael Gerber years ago and started this quest. Thanks for that and so much more!

    Cath – Purple Cow is next on my Seth Godin list… which is long!

    Hugs for the support girls – H

  • Toni Schram

    Laurie has been loudly singing the praises of Gary Vay-ner-chuk’s book (from your last blog). He preaches the importance of honoring your authentic self. As you can see from the videos we’ve been making, we “intuitively” have been doing what he advocates.

    Love ya-


  • Laurie

    Thanks Heather, I really love the Crush It guy, Can I borrow that book? We should write How to get a nice butt while you are waiting to sell your ebook.
    Love, Laurie

  • Catherine Hughes, Editor & Chief

    Good to Great by Jim Collins
    This book addresses a single question: Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how

    Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie
    This book believes that creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organization quickly becomes a “giant hairball”–a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past–that exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity.

    Purple Cow by Seth Godin
    In his book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, Seth Godin says that the key to success is to find a way to stand out–to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins. He actually has a cow you can click on at this website: where you can read more.


  • Remy G

    I had to at first, cause I worked for him, but Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited is an awesome, easy to ready story of a woman named Sara who loved to bake pies – everyone loved her pies so they told her to open a pie shop. And from there, after she realizes she hates owning a business that makes pies, and all the joy is gone from her soul, do we get that owning a business and making the pies are two different skills – and if you are gonna be a pie maker AND an entrepreneur, you must figure out your strengths and passions – stick with those, develop those – and delegate or outsource the rest.

    In order for your pie shop to survive, Innovations in pie baking cannot take a back seat to becoming a self taught quickbooks expert. There just isnt enough time. Trust me, if after reading the first few chapters, if you cant see yourself in the book, you are either a big faker or a true entrepreneur – Or you are lying to yourself. No place really left to hide. :) Thanks for the list. LOVE Duct Tape Marketing!