Read Your Way to Leadership Success

The Best Self-Help Books for Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

If you're leading teams for the first time, or perhaps second-guessing some of the decisions you're making on a daily basis, it's hard to know where to look for unbiased advice.

I've read close to a hundred business self-help books (and counting), and I've taken lessons from every single one of them.

Some of them are old but definitely gold, while some are from the newer-school of leadership and entrepreneurship thinking.

Either way, I've found them to be very helpful on my own leadership journey, and a couple of these even kick-started me into starting and selling businesses. So, I can say from personal experience, these are some of the best self-help books for entrepreneurs.

Wherever you're at in your leadership journey, I hope you find some value in these business self-help books too.

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Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

I'm a huge fan of the art of negotiation and persuasion.

This book was one of the first I read on the subject, and it's packed with insight from Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator.

Voss reveals his nine key principles for high-stakes negotiation, and this book is a great go-to before any important discussion at home or in the boardroom.

I'd recommend this as one of the best self-help books for entrepreneurs who struggle with asking for what they want.

You Are a Badass, Jen Sincero

The mother lode.

I first read this book at a really low point in my life, when I was questioning what my next steps were.

I picked it up in an airport bookshop after chuckling at the bright yellow cover and ridiculous title. But actually, the cover is a pretty accurate reflection of the content: easy to read and straight to the point, with no shortage of laughs along the way.

It's single-handedly led to me following pretty much anything the author, Jen Sincero, has to say about anything, and my life has been more inspired for it!

Roll forward a few months from buying this book, and I'd co-founded a slick restaurant brand having never worked in the industry (unless you count a summer job at KFC after leaving school) and was well on the way to starting a successful business.

Was it all down to this book? Yes.

The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

Before you start your business, have you really thought through whether you're going about it the best way?

How do you even know what the best way is?

The Lean Startup has gained fame in the last decade for helping people to test their startup ideas without breaking the bank. It's definitely a great place for any aspiring entrepreneur to go and, for that reason, I'd rate it as one of the best self-help books for entrepreneurs.

If that idea that's been nagging you is about to become your new venture, read The Lean Startup first.

The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris

The book which gave Millennials a bad name and a great lifestyle.

Tim Ferris' book on how to maximise your time and your income, became a sensation when it was published and it definitely opened my eyes.

I'm not saying you should follow Ferris' concepts to the letter, but this book is inspiring to anyone looking to gain extra time in their day or lead more efficiently.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson

If you're sick of reading books that tell you to "live your dreams" or an "if you can dream it you can do it" narrative, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is for you.

Manson's book is one of the best self-help books for stressed-out business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to cut through the crap.

Influence, Robert B Cialdini

Another book that focuses on negotiation, persuasion, and how to influence people.

University Professor Cialdini outlines his six principles of influence and tells you how these are used by businesses we've been buying from our whole lives.

It's a must-read for anyone leading teams or building businesses and often recommended as one of the best self-help books for entrepreneurs.