There are many great books available on how to become a better entrepreneur. Unfortunately, most of them focus on the business side of things. So, let’s explore some of the best self-help books for entrepreneurs interested in improving themselves.

None of these books relate directly to the topic of business. Instead, they address areas for self-improvement that can help entrepreneurs be more effective in their role. That’s why I consider them to be the best self-help books for entrepreneurs to read.

Note, if you’re interested in other business-related topics like entrepreneurship, digital marketing, leadership, product management, or business strategy, I have reading lists that tackle those topics and several others as well.

1. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

So Good They Cant Ignore You Book Cover
So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Many entrepreneurs have the mistaken belief that the key to success and happiness is to “follow your passion.” Unfortunately, it’s rare to have an existing passion related to a valuable career or business opportunity. Instead, such passion is almost always a result of investing time and energy into mastering a valuable skill.

While successful people are often passionate about what they do, it’s incorrect to assume they started that way. Instead, passion usually develops over time as people invest in relevant skills and expertise. And, as a result of those efforts, they find meaning and purpose in applying their talents to create value in the world.

This book explains why skills trump passion when it comes to finding work that you’ll love. It makes a case for developing a “craftsman mindset” where you treat your career as an opportunity to acquire rare and valuable skills. By pursuing mastery in this way, you’ll unlock opportunities for greater autonomy, meaning, and purpose.

So, if you’re ready to develop the skills required to build passion and achieve success, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book. In my opinion, it’s one of the very best self-help books for entrepreneurs to read.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

2. Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Mindset Book Cover
Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

It’s easy to set artificial limitations on our abilities in life. One bad experience at an early age can cause us to believe that we lack natural capabilities in that area. For example, we might conclude that we’ll never be good at creative writing, public speaking, logical thinking, leading people, or other valuable skills.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking tends to be self-fulfilling. That’s because when we believe that we lack the natural ability for a specific skill, we develop a fixed mindset around what we can and cannot do. And then, we stop trying to improve in that area.

This book explains how to unlock your potential by maintaining a growth mindset. Rather than assuming our abilities are static and can never be changed, this approach recognizes that skills can be developed over time. Thus, switching from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can open new doors and new possibilities.

While entrepreneurs tend to have a growth mindset regarding business, it’s still very possible to maintain a fixed mindset around individual skills. For example, you might be very optimistic about your ability to master digital marketing, and at the same time, rule out the possibility of ever becoming an effective presenter or creative writer.

So, if you ever find yourself ruling out business opportunities or personal skills due to these kinds of self-limiting beliefs, I strongly recommend that you read this book. It’s also great if you simply want to foster a growth mindset in others around you.

Mindset is available from Amazon and Apple Books. If you want to learn more before picking up a copy, check out my Mindset book summary.

3. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits Book Cover
Atomic Habits by James Clear

There is a big difference between having ambitious dreams and putting in the work to achieve them. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs obsess about setting goals because they believe it’s the key to success. However, meaningful goals are unlikely to be achieved without a reliable system for consistent progress over time.

This book is about how to build great habits and break bad ones. It can help you establish the daily routines necessary to support your goals, dreams, or aspirations as an entrepreneur. When carefully selected, habits allow you to take on even the most ambitious goals through consistent daily action.

If you are struggling to turn your dreams into reality or you simply want to build positive habits over time, I urge you to pick up a copy of this book. While there are many great resources on the subject of habit change, this is my personal favorite.

Atomic Habits is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

4. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Essentialism Book Cover
Essentialism by Greg McKeown

We live in a time of incredible abundance. Yet never before have we had our attention pulled in so many directions. As a result, we’re continually trying to do too much in our personal lives, work lives, and social lives. And this leads us to feel both overwhelmed and under-satisfied at the same time.

This book is about how to gain satisfaction through the disciplined pursuit of less. It isn’t about being more efficient or more productive. Instead, it calls us to intentionally select the few activities or priorities that matter most while eliminating everything else. In short, it’s about how to “do less, but better.”

Of course, before you start eliminating things, it’s critical to clarify your intent or purpose. Just as a business needs to focus its resources on top priorities, each of us can benefit from being highly selective about where we spend our time.

If you feel like you are being spread too thin or your choices are being driven by the fear of missing out (FOMO), this may be the perfect book for you to read next.

Essentialism is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

5. Ultralearning by Scott H. Young

Ultralearning Book Cover
Ultralearning by Scott H. Young.

Life as an entrepreneur often requires that we learn new skills very quickly. Being able to craft a great sales pitch, participate in public speaking, or master a new marketing channel can open critical doors. And yet, acquiring such skills can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods.

This book is about how to acquire new skills and knowledge rapidly. It explains nine powerful principles that you can use to learn almost anything more effectively. These techniques have been applied by ultra-learners to develop valuable skills, acquire new knowledge, or simply become a better version of themselves.

If you have always wanted to take on a new skill but have been hesitant due to the time or effort it would take, this book is for you. It will transform how you think about learning and allow you to make faster progress than you ever thought possible.

Ultralearning is available from Amazon and Apple Books.

Beyond The Best Self Help Books For Entrepreneurs

Ready to explore other great books? Consider checking out the best productivity books, the best entrepreneur books, or the best digital marketing 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.

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