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Read These 10 Business Books to Be a Better Entrepreneur in the Year Ahead

John Rampton

Founder at Due.com
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast.He is founder of payments company Due.com, and was recently named number three on "Top 50 Online Influencers in the World" by Entrepreneur magazine, as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. John currently advises several companies in the bay area. He enjoys helping people and is always online to chat @johnrampton.

There’s no time like the present to create a better version of yourself and your business. To do so, look for guidance from those entrepreneurs who have been through it and have the knowledge and experience to generate success. A good place to start is with the latest business books directed at entrepreneurs. Your first thought might be, “Who has time to read?” Now, you can either read more books or work smarter, not harder with audiobook versions to enjoy during the commute, plane flights or treadmill time. Plus, when you get an Audible 30-day free trial, you can enjoy some of these for free!

Here are 10 business books for entrepreneurs designed for your success in the year ahead:

  1. The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time by Allen Gannett

Gannett is a big data entrepreneur who shares the science behind creativity. Using his own experiences, stories about other successful entrepreneurs, and new research on the creative process, Gannett shows how the process can be replicated and used for commercial success in all types of industries and endeavors. Specifically, his four laws of creative success are valuable takeaways to apply to your goal for greater innovation in business this year.  

  1. Growth IQ by Tiffani Bova

Determining your startup’s strategic direction can be one of the most challenging aspects of entrepreneurship, yet very necessary for success. In her Wall Street Journal bestselling book, innovation strategist and entrepreneur, Tiffani Bova maps out 10 strategic growth paths that most often are used to chart a course toward success even in the face of rapid change and increasing competitive pressure. There are more than 30 business stories used to underpin the strategic growth paths she uses to help show entrepreneurs how they can be applied to their businesses.

  1. WTF?! (Willing to Fail): How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success by Brian Scudamore and Roy H. Williams

If you’re already an entrepreneur, then you are well aware of the ups and downs that make this path both exhilarating and scary often at the same time. Written by serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT JUNK?, Brian Scudamore relates his own experiences with fear, vision, failure and success that spans more than 30 years. The book’s wisdom, advice and humor are directed at providing inspiring, action-oriented steps to jumpstart your year toward tackling fear and jumping into what you want to accomplish in business and life.  



  1. Thirst by Scott Harrison

There’s nothing more inspiring than the perspective of how others have tackled challenges — in this case, a significant social issue — and made a real difference. This New York Times bestseller tells the story of Scott Harrison, who couldn’t find real purpose in his life until he walked away from everything he knew, hit the reset button, and went on a journey of self-discovery. This journey led him to West Africa, where he found himself and his calling: a non-profit designed to bring clean water to more people around the world. In sharing the barriers he faced, the lessons provide an inspirational guide for fellow entrepreneurs to approach social causes in their own businesses, taking a chance on improving life for others. For all entrepreneurs, regardless of their background, it’s a story about how it’s never too late to make a positive change.

  1. Giftology by John Ruhlin

As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and the laser focus on developing a business that we forget to take the time to practice actions that are more about others than ourselves. In this uniquely themed book, Ruhlin says the secret of success is in giving, and doing so without ulterior motives. It’s the act of being generous that can make you attractive to other people and will help draw in those people who will willingly help you in return. He relies on his own stories and those of others to illustrate how you can resolve to give more gifts to the right people in a way that creates and nurtures mutually beneficial relationships. 

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

With a title like “Atomic Habits,” it may seem like you may have to undertake some massive changes to create results. However, the author, known as an expert in habit formation, notes that it’s the small changes that lead to explosive life transformations over time. Breaking bad habits and establishing good ones is possible through setting more practical, actionable steps toward the eventual thing or behavior you want to change. There’s no better time to read a book about results-oriented changes than the start of the year when you are examining what goals you want to achieve. To help you stay focused, the book uses numerous examples of artists, comedians, physicians and even Olympic medalists who share how they’ve changed their habits for the better and transformed in the process.  

  1. The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

Being an entrepreneur is more than developing strategy; it’s also about creating an environment and a culture that motivates, unifies and engages the talent that implements and achieves that strategy. Named as one of the best books by Bloomberg and Library Journal, Coyle looks at organizations like the San Antonio Spurs and the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six to understand how they work from the inside out. He illustrates how to build a cohesive culture through examples like Zappos and shares other stories of why other organizations’ attempts at culture didn’t work. The book provides context and actionable steps for recreating these types of successful cultures in your own enterprise.

  1. Performance Partnerships: The Checkered Past, Changing Present & Exciting Future of Affiliate Marketing by Robert Glazer

Although some entrepreneurs understand the value of affiliate marketing, others may have shied away from it. However, affiliate marketing is still alive and well, providing a significant impact through its performance-focused, pay-only model. As a leader in affiliate marketing for over 10 years, Glazer shares his insights from specific experiences, campaigns and programs that have delivered quantifiable results within the digital marketing environment. His book guides you through the process of creating and managing your own affiliate marketing program, making it ideal as you roll out your marketing efforts in 2019.


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  1. American Entrepreneur by Willie Robertson and William Doyle

This book includes the stories of 400 Americans who took risks, leveraged innovation and had the vision to create something extraordinary. Written by one of the stars and entrepreneurs behind the “Duck Dynasty” series and Duck Commander business, the book offers a motivating way to look at how you want to achieve similar success as an entrepreneur. Starting with the Native Americans and George Washington and covering the mega-entrepreneurs of the industrial revolution, Robertson touches on the characteristics, strategies, overall environment and visionary insights that led to such incredible change in America throughout the ages. The lessons are benchmarks for how to do the same and make your own mark on the country and the world.

  1. Ninja Future by Gary Shapiro

As the head of the Consumer Technology Association, this author has his finger firmly on the pulse of what is happening in technology and innovation, as well as the factors impacting how society evolves in response. As part of this environment, your entrepreneurial success depends on the ability to understand how innovations like blockchains, the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles may be used and how they will drive change across other aspects of business. Shapiro uses lessons from the martial arts mindset and applies them to business with specific steps to practice and adapt to your own business.  

Listen up!

These 10 audiobooks are a must-have for any entrepreneur seeking to make their move in 2019 through a different perspective, actionable insights and a renewed level of passion to be the change.

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