Without the correct information or prior experience, it can be incredibly difficult to start a business. There are numerous bases to cover and each of these can become overwhelming in their own right. No matter what a person’s knowledge or experience level, there is always something to be gained from experts. One of the most effective ways to understand which steps to take and how to take them lies in the form of entrepreneurial audiobooks. Entrepreneurs with vast amounts of understanding for what makes an endeavor more likely to succeed have taken the time to put their thoughts into an easily digestible format which can be consumed by anyone with a busy schedule. From step-by-step guides to inspirational thoughts, entrepreneurial audiobooks are a wonderful way to consume some of the best industry expertise and further a personal goal. Julie Dirksen, a learning and strategy design consultant summed this up, “ Learning experiences are like journeys. The journey starts where the learning is now, and ends when the learner is successful. The end of the journey isn’t knowing more, it’s doing more. — Julie Dirksen, learning strategy and design consultant”
With the seemingly endless supply of these types of audiobooks, it begs the question, which of these are best or most impactful? We connected with ten different business experts to gain their opinions.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
Ashwin Sokke is the Co-founder of WOW Skin Science, a brand offering natural skin, hair, and body care products. They believe that this book written by Dale Carnegie is mandatory reading for anyone seeking to gain their footing in entrepreneurship.
“This book goes deeper than most as it deals with the reader on a personal level. Whether it’s a new undertaking or simply a small, professional move, the author demonstrates concrete ways to accomplish these things while taking into account who the reader is. Some books can be a bit cookie-cutter, where the author assumes everyone can do or be the same thing. This book deals with interacting with others on a personal level and how the reader’s behavior and words can positively influence any relationship.”
Ask for More
Peels specializes in pure CBD products. Their founder and CEO, Chris Hetherington, suggests the book written by Alexandra Carter as it offers insights on how to better negotiate regardless of the circumstances.
“As the founder or operator of a personal business, you’ll be expected to make every avenue of the company profitable and affordable. This is no small task and requires a silver tongue and a creative mind. Seeing as many people don’t have ample experience in this area, Carter offers a unique approach to going about it. She poses 10 questions throughout the book which should give the reader a solid foundation for how to swing negotiations in their favor. There’s very few skills more beneficial than being able to work things out in a way that benefits the company.”
Good to Great
Jim Collins book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” provides examples of companies that hold name recognition which have done enough to separate themselves from their competition. Elite HRT is a business providing hormone therapy via Telemedicine. Their founder, Michael Fischer, considers this book to be an incredible resource.
“There’s no better way to learn than by observing those who have been in a similar position and found success within it. This book takes readers through 11 different stories of companies who made success their middle name through their decision making and execution. The margin of error between a good and great company is razor thin and if you’re one of the people responsible for making this a reality for your business, you’d be wise to set aside time for this audiobook.”
The Lean Startup
Amanda E. Johnson is the CMO of TatBrow, an innovative eye brow product business. She advises reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries as it discusses how to better recognize the needs of customers and the best way to meet those needs.
“Ries writes from the perspective that most of the failures experienced by startups were avoidable. He uses this approach as a springboard to take his audience through the steps to cut the proverbial fat out of the launch and operations management processes and instead devoting full attention to a streamlined version of the company. The intended goal behind this is to make it easier for the business operators to make quick changes to the company in order to keep the ball rolling.”
The 4 Disciplines of Execution
Umamicart is a marketplace for Asian ingredients. Their CEO, Andrea Xu, believes that the book written by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling is an effective way to learn how to turn ideas into reality.
“One of the best endorsements I can give to this audiobook is how deep the authors went to uncover their four key points. What seems like an endless number of employee and company methods, including the U.S. Navy, were observed in order to boil down their successes into easily digestible objectives. This book is incredibly popular because the authors have simplified the steps necessary to travel the road to success. There’s no better way to learn about success than from those who have achieved it and this book provides just that.”
Think & Grow Rich
This book is one of the original how-tos for becoming the best version of oneself. Published in 1937, Napoleon Hill’s book handles personal success in a way that is so resounding, it has been continuously referenced since its publication. Network Capital is a business providing funding for mortgages, refinancing, and home loans. Their Co-founder and CEO, Tri Nguyen, suggests paying close attention to this book.
“The crowning gem atop this fabulous book is the source of the information. Some of the most influential people in American history were interviewed for the contents of the book from Edison, to Rockefeller and Ford. The book takes the reader through 13 steps which, when followed, should result in personal or professional achievement. Seeing as this book continues to be read nearly 90 years after it originally debuted, it’s safe to say there’s plenty to be gleaned from it.”
Dr. Robert Applebaum is the owner of Applebaum MD, a medical office offering plastic surgery. He considers the book by Chris Guillebeau to be a practical approach to getting a side hustle off the ground.
“For a variety of reasons, some people may not be able to simply walk away from their full-time job in order to pursue their passions. If you find yourself in this boat, Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau is just the book for you. It is a detailed guide to quickly bringing your idea for money making into existence. From finding customers to day-to-day management, everything here will provide the reader with applicable know how. Holding a job while pursuing a personal goal of making money is no easy feat and this audiobook will be a great aid to anyone seeking to do so.”
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Comrad Socks specializes in expression socks for men and women. Their CEO and Founder, Andrew Ferenci, advises listening to the book by Robert T. Kiyosaki as it demonstrates the difference in the qualities of rich and poor people and how this relates to building a business.
“Going through this audiobook will completely revolutionize how you think about and approach money in general but also while creating your own business. The reality is that those who have wealth think about it differently than those who live paycheck to paycheck. Investing instead of attempting to pile money in savings is one of the large distinctions. If you can understand a more effective way to work with money, starting a business becomes that much easier.”
Written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson, this audiobook takes a one-of-a-kind approach to starting a business as it deals with the mental process involved. Crown & Paw is a business providing unique pet portraits. Their CEO, Adam Reed, believes this book is a necessity for anyone trying to tame the beast of small business.
“The overarching theme of this book is that anyone, regardless of their place in life, can start a business of their own. The authors back up this claim with the evidence of new and accessible technology paired with the modern society we live in. Some may be daunted by the idea of starting a business and the book deals with this as well.”
The Everything Store
William Schumacher is the Founder and CEO of Uprising Food, a brand offering low-carb, gluten-free, superfood-packed keto chips and keto bread. He suggests the audiobook on the story of the founder of Amazon as it provides wonderful insight to what made the most valuable man alive.
“This audiobook goes further into the story of Bezos than I had ever been exposed to previously and this can be a fantastic source of both inspiration and information. Arguably, my biggest takeaway was how critical it was for Bezos to have a plan and to stick to it. It also covers the values that Bezos founded and operates the company on. While it is a story, it gives so much more than a great tale.”
Being a successful entrepreneur is something worth striving for no matter the hurdles encountered. The potential freedom that accompanies achieving success in this capacity is rivaled by very few other professions. That being said, there will be hurdles and bettering oneself with the aid of experts is wise. Indra Nooyi, the former chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, put it best, “The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you. That is a big lesson.”