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Richard Branson, English investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, wrote that there are 5 skills and abilities that successful entrepreneurs share. We’ve taken this list and scoured the internet to find the top books that you can read to develop and grow these skills and abilities. So, here we go…

A successful entrepreneur takes calculated risks.

“The luckiest people in business are those that are prepared to take the greatest risks. We can all create our own luck by taking the necessary risks to open the door to change, progression and success.”

  1. Never Bet the Farm: How Entrepreneurs Take Risks, Make Decisions – and How You Can, Too

Never Bet The Farm - A Book for Entrepreneurs to Take Risks

The two authors of Never Bet the Farm show that by preparing for setbacks and using a framework that can help reduce risks and simplify decision-making, entrepreneurs can increase their probability of success.

The book shows that preparation is key to reducing your chances of failure, whilst setting out frameworks to help you ensure any risks you take are calculated.

This book is also written by two successful entrepreneurs with a lot of experience, making it a really interesting read.

  1.  Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Smart Decisions

Smart Choices - A Book for Entrepreneurs to Make Better Decisions

The choices we make moment after moment determine all of our lives. Yet, we rarely learn how to make decisions effectively despite the majority of us needing to improve our decision-making skills.

The authors of Smart Choices layout a “straightforward, and flexible roadmap for making better and more impactful decisions, and offer the tools to achieve your goals in every aspect of your life.”

A successful entrepreneur learns from failure.

“Every successful entrepreneur has learned from failure. Nobody gets everything right the first time. Business is like a giant game of chess – you have to learn quickly from your mistakes. Successful entrepreneurs don’t fear failure; they learn from it and move on.”

  1. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure


A Book for Entrepreneurs to Deal with Failure

In this bestseller by Tim Harford (author of the Undercover Economist), the author really nails the point that trial and error is the best way to solve problems. This kind of rapid experimenting and adapting can solve some of the major issues of today, and it involves constant failure.

Before you get the book on Amazon, check out Harford’s TED talk on this subject.

  1. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Deal with Failure

In this brilliant book, Adams shows us how to invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket. While you laugh at his failures, you’ll discover some helpful ideas for your own path to personal victory.

A successful entrepreneur sees the bigger picture.

“When we began Virgin, I didn’t see it as an end in itself, a noun; I saw it as the beginning of a whole range of services, an adjective. Successful entrepreneurs take an idea and let it fly.”

  1. Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Think Big

Diandis, a New York Times bestselling author, has written a how-to guide for using exponential technologies, “moonshot thinking” and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while also positively impacting the lives of billions, this book promises a lot. A fantastic book that sparks many ideas when you are reading it, and it shows the power of thinking big.

  1. Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Think Big

Musk is one of the 21st century’s biggest and boldest thinkers. His extraordinary life and many business successes are a fascinating read. It is clear how his vision and big picture thinking drive his innovative creations and allow him to push boundaries.

A sucessful entrepreneur delegates wisely.

“To see the bigger picture, an entrepreneur needs to learn how to delegate effectively. It’s a fairy tale to think that you can do everything by yourself – it’s vital to the success of your business that you learn to hand off those things that you aren’t able to do well.”

  1. Work Less, Do More: The 14-Day Productivity Makeover (2nd Edition)

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Learn Delegation

This book by Jan Yager, Ph.D. is filled with suggestions on how to handle e-mail, deal with distractions and interruptions, as well as tips on prioritizing, delegating, conducting more effective meetings, multitasking, and mastering paperwork.  A total makeover in productivity that will allow you to regain control of your life whilst putting less pressure on yourself. Broken into 14 chapters with lots of exercises, this book develops and progresses your productivity skills.

This Forbes article discusses the key teachings of the book on delegation if you want a preview!

  1. Delegation & Supervision (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Learn Delegation

This pocket-sized guide discusses time-tested ways to boost the performance and productivity of your employees, including how to:

• Define work, assign it, and set measurable, targeted standards for performance
• Match skills to job requirements
• Use Management by Objectives to delegate longer-term tasks to trusted team members
• Monitor, control, and keep on top of projects with minimum effort
• Turn delegation into a teaching tool and build the confidence of your staff
• Provide useful feedback and elicit active participation
• Avoid reverse delegation
• Free up time for higher-level tasks only you can tackle
• And much more. Done right, delegation and supervision allow your employees to learn, grow, and become more capable. Your success will skyrocket as you increase the quality and quantity of results, and build the loyalty, involvement, and commitment of your people.

A successful entrepreneur communicates effectively.

“Communication makes the world go round. It facilitates human connections and allows us to learn, grow and progress. It’s not just about speaking or reading, but understanding what is being said – and in some cases what is not being said. I believe that communication is the most important skill any entrepreneur can possess.”

Here are four books that will boost your communication skills!

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Be Self-Aware

Understanding and recognizing one’s own and other peoples emotions is key to effective communication. It gives you the ability to control and manage yourself, whilst understanding others needs and interests. A definite must-read for any entrepreneur.

Previously, we wrote about how your start-up should connect with a deeper human need. Developing emotional intelligence is the first step to understanding your target market.

  1. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Be Talk Like a TED Talker

A self-explanatory title, this book by Carmine Gallo lets us in on the secrets of the TED stage – where we often see some of the most advanced and eloquent communicators of our age. TED is the new gold standard for public speaking, read all about how they do it in this guide.

  1. Verbal Judo, Second Edition: The Gentle Art of Persuasion

A Book for Entrepreneurs to Learn Communication

“The martial art of the mind and mouth” – this book gets your prepared for verbal transactions. If you want to engage more thoroughly through empathising, listen and speak with clarity, and to avoid conversational traps, then this book is for you. Develop your own strategies to communicate your way to the upper hand.


  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success 

Influence People as an Entrepreneur

HTWFAIP is a classic of people management literature. Dale Carnegie was one of the first to write a book of this kind, and it is so well written that you’ll find it hard to put down. There are clear methods for networking your way to the top, influencing others without them realising, and being able to express yourself in a way that makes people listen and endear towards you.


Thanks for reading! Have you got any other must-reads for entrepreneurs?






Categories: #Entrepreneurship

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