It can be intimidating to start a new business. Especially when you learn that many startups fail within the first year or two, so let’s explore five of the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Each of these books can improve your odds for success. They address common mistakes, best practices, and other helpful tips to give you an unfair advantage. So, rather than spending your time trying to learn everything from scratch, you can confidently apply proven strategies to build a great business.

1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup Book Cover
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of over-committing to an idea without first confirming that it has potential. They assume they know what people want and immediately set out to build a product or service. Unfortunately, this approach almost always results in a lot of wasted time, energy, and money.

The Lean Startup provides a framework for identifying and addressing early assumptions. It can help you reduce risk, save time, and build something that people want to buy, which increases your odds of establishing a sustainable business.

It’s a classic book amongst startup founders and is easily one of the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs to read today.

The Lean Startup is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

2. The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

The Mom Test Book Cover
The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

One of the best ways to improve a business idea is through early conversations with potential customers. However, many entrepreneurs don’t understand how to manage this process. As a result, they often backfire by attracting blind encouragement from well-meaning and supportive people, which leads them down the wrong path.

The Mom Test explains how to properly talk with potential customers. It can help you ask the right questions in the right way, to gather honest and useful information to move your idea in the right direction. It’s a must-read book for aspiring entrepreneurs that want to maximize their odds for success.

The Mom Test is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

3. Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller

Marketing Made Simple Book Cover
Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller

A new business can fail even if it creates a truly great product or service. That’s because it’s not enough just to build something that people want. We must also develop an effective way to attract prospects and convert them into customers.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs assume their product is an exception. They believe the idea is so good that it will just sell itself. But this approach almost always fails, and when it does, it can cause a business to collapse even before it truly gets started.

Marketing Made Simple can help you build an effective sales funnel. It addresses the three stages of building customer relationships. And it explains how to produce the five marketing components needed to attract and convert customers.

Marketing Made Simple is available from Amazon and Apple Books. You can learn more by reviewing my Marketing Made Simple book summary

4. Traction by Gabriel Weinberg And Justin Mares

Traction Book Cover
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares

The most common reason why a business fails is due to a lack of customers. So, even before you build your product or service, it’s essential to be thinking about how you will attract potential customers. It can make or break everything.

Traction explores 19 proven marketing channels. But even more important than that, it explains how to select and execute the best marketing opportunities for your business. That way, you can spend your time and energy where it will be most effective.

This book is the perfect companion to Marketing Made Simple because it can help you draw more customers into your sales funnel. Together they can help you solve the common challenge of attracting and converting customers.

Traction is available from Amazon and Apple Books. You can learn more by reviewing my Traction book summary.

5. Start At The End by Matt Wallaert

Start At The End Book Cover
Start At The End by Matt Wallaert

Many products fail to create an impact in the world. Even those that sell well can end up buried in a closet instead of being used as intended. And this lack of engagement can affect customer satisfaction, product reviews, and word-of-mouth referrals.

Start At The End is about how to build things that create change. It guides you through the process of clarifying how you want customers to use your product or service. And it provides tips for how to design it to achieve the desired impact.

Start At The End is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

Beyond The Best Books For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Are you ready to tackle other business topics? Check out the best digital marketing books, the best product management books, or the best entrepreneur books.

You can also subscribe to The Rick Kettner YouTube Channel or The Rick Kettner Podcast to get updates about future book summaries and reading lists.

Rick Kettner

Rick is an avid reader and lifelong entrepreneur. He co-founded popular online music education platforms including Drumeo, Pianote, and Guitareo. He now spends much of his time sharing tips on business strategy, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

View all posts