280 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs : Under30CEO 280 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs : Under30CEO
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280 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs

| October 17, 2011 | 31 Comments

This is a list of the top business books of all time, in no particular order. At Under30CEO we are firm believers that the secrets to success can be learned from others who have been successful before. Many of these authors have spent a lifetime learning the lessons in these books the hard way. Luckily for us, their wealth of knowledge is presented in the books below. There are no excuses–get reading…and please let us know what you think should have made the list in the comments!

  1. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Micalowicz

  2. ReWork by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

  3. Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

  4. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick

  5. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

  6. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau

  7. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout

  8. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

  9. The Parable of the Pipeline: How Anyone Can Build a Pipeline of Ongoing Residual Income in the New Economy by Burke Hedges

  10. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge

  11. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

  12. Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

  13. The Simplicity Survival Handbook by Bill Jensen

  14. The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield

  15. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

  16. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko

  17. Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies by Nikos Mourkogiannis

  18. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

  19. 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn

  20. Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t by Donald J. Trump and Robert Kiyosaki

  21. Upstarts: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success by Donna Fenn

  22. Today We Are Rich by Tim Sanders

  23. Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack by Donna Fenn

  24. Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke by Scott Gerber

  25. Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business by David Siteman Garland

  26. Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

  27. Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld & David Cohen

  28. Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

  29. Bargaining For Advantage by G. Richard Shell

  30. 3-D Negotiation by David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius

  31. The Intelligent Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy

  32. Illusions of Entrepreneurship by Scott A. Shane

  33. Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

  34. 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers

  35. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

  36. Your Money or Your Life by Joel Dominguez & Vicki Robin

  37. Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne

  38. Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter

  39. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution by Michael Hammer and James Champy

  40. The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott

  41. Practical Lessons in Leadership by Art Petty

  42. Green to Gold by Daniel Esty & Andrew Winston

  43. Seeing What’s Next by Clayton M. Christensen

  44. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

  45. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

  46. The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer

  47. Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham

  48. It’s Not About The Money by Brent Kessel

  49. Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt

  50. iCon: Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jeffery S. Young and William L. Simon

  51. The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowieki

  52. Freakanomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

  53. Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson

  54. Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

  55. Bankable Business Plans by Edward Rogoff

  56. The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison by Mike Wilson

  57. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

  58. Indispensable by Joe Calloway

  59. Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones

  60. Bringing Nothing To The Party: True Confessions of a New Media Whore by Paul Carr

  61. Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar H. Stein

  62. How to Make more Money than Your Parents by Nick Tart and Nick Scheidies

  63. 12: The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner & James Harter

  64. Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen

  65. Hiring Smart by Pierre Mornell

  66. Viral Loop From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Scott Penenberg

  67. Learning from the Future by Liam Fahey & Robert Randall

  68. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors by Michael E. Porter

  69. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  70. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson

  71. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

  72. Self-Directed Behavior by David L. Watson & Roland G. Tharp

  73. Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale

  74. The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn

  75. Magic of Thinking BIG by David J Schwartz

  76. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary Klein

  77. Smart Choices by John S. Hammond

  78. The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz

  79. Ethics for the Real World by Ronald Howard & Clinton Korver

  80. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

  81. UNmarketing by Scott Stratten

  82. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

  83. The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan by George Bradt

  84. The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig

  85. The Perfect Pitch by Jon Steel

  86. The Human Side of Enterprise by Douglas McGregor

  87. Acres of Diamonds by R.H. Conwell

  88. Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun

  89. The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself by John Jantsch

  90. The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence by Tom Peters

  91. The Perfect Pitch by Jon Steel

  92. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

  93. The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander

  94. Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun

  95. Results Without Authority by Tom Kendrick

  96. The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger Martin

  97. The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor

  98. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

  99. Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper

  100. How to Read a Financial Report by John A. Tracy

  101. Radical Leap by Steve Farber

  102. Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank

  103. The New Business Road Test by John Mullins

  104. How to Make Millions with Your Ideas by Dan Kennedy

  105. When You’re In A Traffic Jam I’m Playing Golf by Simon Thompson

  106. Pursuit of Happiness by Chris Gardner

  107. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

  108. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

  109. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

  110. The Human Side of Enterprise by Douglas McGregor

  111. The Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgn

  112. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done By Ram Charan

  113. The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

  114. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

  115. My Start-Up Life by Ben Casnocha

  116. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

  117. The Functions of the Executive by Chester I. Barnard

  118. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

  119. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

  120. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

  121. Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst

  122. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

  123. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

  124. Show Me The Numbers by Stephen Few

  125. From The Top 100 Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Steve Sattersten…

  126. Flow by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

  127. How to Be a Star at Work by Robert E. Kelley

  128. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

  129. The Power of Intuition by Gary Klein

  130. What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson

  131. Chasing Daylight by Eugene O’Kelly

  132. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

  133. The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem

  134. The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

  135. Leadership Is an Art by Max De Pree

  136. The Radical Leap by Steve Farber

  137. Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will by Tichy and Sherman

  138. Leading Change by John P. Kotter

  139. Questions of Character by Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.

  140. The Story Factor by Annette Simmons

  141. Never Give In! Speeches by Winston Churchill

  142. In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.

  143. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

  144. Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove

  145. Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

  146. Discovering the Soul of Service by Leonard Berry

  147. Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

  148. Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad

  149. Influence by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

  150. Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

  151. A New Brand World by Scott Bedbury with Stephen Fenichell

  152. Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

  153. Zag by Marty Neumeier

  154. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

  155. How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffrey J. Fox

  156. Why We Buy by Paco Underhill

  157. The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore

  158. Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan

  159. Financial Intelligence by Karen Berman and Joe Knight

  160. The Balanced Scorecard by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton

  161. Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming

  162. Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno

  163. Reengineering the Corporation by Michael Hammer and James Champy

  164. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

  165. The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack with Bo Burlingham

  166. First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

  167. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Buckingham and Clifton

  168. The Knowing-Doing Gap by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton

  169. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

  170. Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

  171. Titan by Ron Chernow

  172. My Years with General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.

  173. The HP Way by David Packard

  174. Personal History by Katharine Graham

  175. Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon

  176. Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton with John Huey

  177. The Republic of Tea by Mel Ziegler, Patricia Ziegler, and Bill Rosenzweig

  178. The Partnership Charter by David Gage

  179. Growing a Business by Paul Hawken

  180. Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson

  181. The Monk and the Riddle Randy Komisar with Kent Lineback

  182. McDonald’s: Behind the Arches by John F. Love

  183. American Steel by Richard Preston

  184. The Force by David Dorsey

  185. The Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

  186. When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein

  187. Moneyball by Michael Lewis

  188. Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

  189. The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley with Jonathan Littman

  190. Jump Start Your Business Brain by Doug Hall

  191. A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger Von Oech

  192. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

  193. The Age of Unreason by Charles Handy

  194. Out of Control by Kevin Kelly

  195. The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida

  196. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

  197. Driven by Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria

  198. To Engineer is Human by Henry Petroski

  199. The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

  200. The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

  201. Up the Organization by Robert Townsend

  202. Beyond the Core by Chris Zook

  203. Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

  204. What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan

  205. The Team Handbook by Peter Scholtes, Brian Joiner, and Barbara Streibel

  206. A Business and Its Belief by Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  207. Lucky or Smart? by Bo Peabody

  208. The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman

  209. Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko

  210. More Than You Know by Michael J. Mauboussin

  211. Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson

  212. Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

  213. Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur by Richard Branson

  214. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

  215. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin

  216. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

  217. The Dip: A Little Book That Tells Us When to Quit and When to Stick by Seth Godin

  218. Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin

  219. Survival is Not Enough: Zooming, Evolution and the Future of Your Company by Seth Godin

  220. Small is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas by Seth Godin

  221. Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync by Seth Godin

  222. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

  223. All Marketers are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin

  224. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin

  225. The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

  226. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

  227. Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not by Robert Kiyosaki

  228. Rich Dad’s Who Took My Money?: Why Slow Investors Lose and Fast Money Wins by Robert Kiyosaki

  229. Rich Woman: Take Charge of Your Money, Take Charge of Your Life by Kim Kiyosaki

  230. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Geber

  231. E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company by Michael E. Geber

  232. Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies by Michael E. Geber

  233. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

  234. Great By Choice: Uncertainty Chaos and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins

  235. How the Mighty Fail: and Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins

  236. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins

  237. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

  238. Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

  239. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

  240. Rules for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki

  241. How to Drive Your Competition Crazy by Guy Kawasaki

  242. The Macintosh Way by Guy Kawasaki

  243. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

  244. Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life by David Allen

  245. Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life by David Allen

  246. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

  247. Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service by Ken Blanchard

  248. Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time by Ken Blanchard

  249. The Secret: What Great Leaders Know — And Do by Ken Blanchard

  250. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

  251. Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy

  252. Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed by Brian Tracy

  253. The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success by Brian Tracy

  254. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

  255. The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen Covey

  256. Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey

  257. How to Succeed With People by Stephen Covey

  258. Bounce! The Path to True Confidence by Barry Moltz

  259. You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Own Business by Barry Moltz

  260. BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self Service World by Barry Moltz

  261. Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins

  262. Giant Steps : Author Of Awaken The Giant And Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

  263. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Tony Robbins

  264. The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John C. Maxwell

  265. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell

  266. How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell

  267. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John C. Maxwell

  268. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxwell

  269. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter Drucker

  270. Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker

  271. The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter Drucker

  272. Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive by Harvey B. Mackay

  273. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need by Harvey B. Mackay

  274. The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World by Harvey B. Mackay

  275. Pushing the Envelope All the Way to the Top by Harvey B. Mackay

  276. Fired Up!: How the Best of the Best Survived and Thrived After Getting the Boot by Harvey B. Mackay

  277. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar

  278. Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know by Zig Ziglar

  279. Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live by Zig Ziglar


  Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30CEO and is looking to help every young entrepreneur on the planet. Find him on Twitter @MattWilsontv. Inquire about the Under30CEO College Tour at info @ under30ceo.com

About the Author: Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO. After two years traveling and working from his laptop, Matt's official title became Adventurer in Residence, heading up Under30Media's travel company Under30Experiences. If Matt is around he will be easy to spot as his long luxurious hair is generally flowing freely in the breeze.

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