Perhaps you have your heart set on a certain type of business, but you don’t feel qualified enough to master it just yet. This is more common than you might think, and there’s great news: there are lots of excellent learning resources like free and paid books, podcasts, online courses, communities, and more.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to go back to university to fill in your knowledge and skill gaps – there’s plenty available to you this very second.
Justin Collier, founder of Alchemy Marketing, thinks that fear of a lack of knowledge should never hold you back.
The important thing to remember is that no entrepreneur knows exactly how all the pieces will fit together at the very beginning.
A business is always evolving. Entrepreneurship is about trying things out and finding your own success because you were willing fail more times than anyone else.
We’ve never lived in a time with more access to information and more access to the tools we need to succeed – don’t feel like not having the right education should hold you back.
Remember that every successful person started off just as unsure and just as anxious as you may feel right now.
Even if you feel well-versed in your entrepreneurial direction, there’s always more to learn, more insights to glean, and more perspectives to hear.
In fact, many of the most successful entrepreneurs have an unquenchable thirst for new knowledge and experiences. And some of them have created ways to share it with you.
In this chapter, you’ll get:
- A list of the best entrepreneur books to help you on your way
- Digital resources, like podcasts and online courses
- Resources and communities for women entrepreneurs
- Some entrepreneur quotes to keep your fire burning
Here we go.
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Best entrepreneur books
You probably know by now that there are a billion entrepreneurship books out there. Here’s a shortlist of some of the most popular – but by all means, keep exploring to find the ones that resonate the most with your personality and goals.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Something of a cult classic, it’s hard to pursue entrepreneurship without someone mentioning this book. It’s all about optimizing your time – personal and business practices that maximize your income and fulfillment while minimizing your stress and resources spent.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
We discussed the concept of the lean startup and building a minimal viable product (MVP) in Chapter 4. It uses a ‘continuous innovation’ model, where you’re constantly evaluating your biggest opportunities and shifting your goals and trajectory as needed to keep up with the evolution of your business and the market.
Platform: The Art and Science of Personal Branding by Cynthia Johnson
A thought leader in the digital marketing space, Cynthia Johnson lays out the keys to developing your personal brand, finding the right audience, and nurturing relationships with your follower base once you’ve got some momentum. A great book if you’re looking to build freelance or consulting business, as opposed to a more traditionally branded company.
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
In this top entrepreneurship book, best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk explores the ‘new era’ of business, where the top-performing brands aren’t the ones that constantly push out the most advertising – they’re the ones that prove that they really care about their customers. This social clout is massive in today’s hyper-competitive business landscape.
The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business by Elaine Pofeldt
There’s explosion in one-person businesses that are finding massive success. This book dives into this phenomenon, outlining ways for entrepreneurs to identify, build, grow, and reinvent the art and science of business. It’s packed full of knowledge and advice from millions of entrepreneurs who have done it firsthand.
[highlight]Pro tip: If reading isn’t your thing – or if you just want to maximize your commute to work or trip to run errands – get the audio version of the best entrepreneur books on Audible.[/highlight]
Book summary tools
You might be looking at the best entrepreneur books list and thinking, “How on Earth can I find time to read all of these?”
That’s a viable concern. There’s just too much good stuff out there.
Fortunately, there are some awesome tools that provide you with summaries of books. This can save you loads of time, as they deliver the little gold nuggets straight to you instead of you having to wade through the whole book to find them.
You can also use them as ‘previews’ of full books, to see which ones are the best use of your time to read cover-to-cover.
These tools cover a broad range of books, from New York Times best sellers to the old-school classics. Plus, you can get them in text and audio form to maximize your efficiency.
Take a look at these:
Similarly, you can check out the Fight Mediocrity YouTube channel for lots of book summaries under 10 minutes.
Digital resources for new entrepreneurs
Check out some of the best websites, podcasts, and education tools to keep learning and growing on your path to entrepreneurship.
Best entrepreneur podcasts
Whether you’re commuting to work, walking the dogs, or making breakfast, you can always pop on a podcast to hear interesting and motivating stories, get actionable advice, and peek into the brains of some of today’s most buzzworthy entrepreneurs.
Some of the best entrepreneur podcasts include:
I told you that he’s something of a cult phenomenon. In his podcast, Tim interviews everyone from actors to athletes to self-help gurus, deconstructing their success to deliver tactics and advice for listeners.
An award-winning podcast that features interviews with more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, including trending names like Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, and more.
It’s a ‘weekly digest’ for entrepreneurship, covering the week’s best, worst, most interesting, and most ridiculous stories in the industry.
Pat Flynn examines what it takes to stop trading time for money, helping listeners build businesses that generate passive income instead of working yourself to exhaustion every day.
Nathan Chan interviews some of the greatest minds in business today, so that entrepreneurs from all over the world can “stand on the shoulders of giants.”
Online courses and continued education resources
Find free and paid courses covering a huge range of topics through resources like:
- edX: Courses, programs, and degrees on a broad range of topics, from business and management to computer science to humanities
- Khan Academy: A free learning resource with more than 100,000 interactive exercises to put that new knowledge to use
- Alison: Free online courses from top names like Microsoft, Google, and Macmillan
- Coursera: An online learning portal that’s fueled by more than 100 educational partners, including top American universities
- OpenCulture: A collection of more than 150 free online courses, covering topics like entrepreneurship, marketing, technology, and more
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) made a great checklist for new entrepreneurs, to help keep you on course and make sure you’re covering the bases.
Resources for women entrepreneurs
For women, entrepreneurship can come with a unique set of challenges, like lower access to funding in comparison to male-owned businesses, gender discrimination, the ‘motherhood penalty,’ and limiting social expectations.
There are many organizations dedicated to leveling the playing field while giving women opportunities to receive the resources and support they need to get their businesses off the ground and into the sky.
Here are few to check out:
- 37 angels: A community of women investors that works to educate early stage investors and provide investment capital to new entrepreneurs.
- BOSS: An acronym for ‘Bringing Out Successful Sisters,’ BOSS is a network dedicated to nurturing personal and professional development of multicultural women.
- Female Founders Fund: An organization that provides investment capital for female-founded tech companies.
- Tory Burch Foundation: Provides empowerment for women entrepreneurship via education programs, fellowship, and capital through opportunities like grants and loans.
- The SBA’s Women’s Business Resources and initiatives, including more than 100 local Women’s Business Centers across the U.S.
- The European Commission’s resources for women entrepreneurs in europe.
Don’t you just love a good inspirational quote? Here’s some juice to keep you motivated through the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneur quotes about mindset
- “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs
- “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey
- “One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.” – Jeff Bezos
- “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
– Mary Kay Ash
Entrepreneur quotes about failure
- “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
- “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston
- “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
- “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” – Jessica Herrin
Entrepreneur quotes about skills and knowledge
- “Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey.” – Jo Malone
- “One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticism.” – Arianna Huffington
- “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn
- “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” – Adam Osborne
Entrepreneur quotes about challenges
- “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had – every day I’m learning something new.”
– Richard Branson
- “Being a woman in business doesn’t come without challenges. My advice? Surround yourself with other supportive women that encourage you, share ideas, and get you motivated.” – Jessica Alba
- “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” – Sara Blakely
There’s no better time than now
Alas, our time together has come to an end. Hopefully, you’re brimming with excitement, inspiration, and tons of new knowledge to help you get out there and build something amazing.
Throughout this ebook, we’ve discussed:
- The definition of entrepreneurship, and how it all boils down to your mindset and perseverance
- How to self-assess if you’re cut out for entrepreneurship, and how to marry your interests and passions with viable and profitable business ideas
- How to validate your business idea so that you don’t sink all your resources into it before you even know if it’s lucrative
- How to choose the right business model for your situation, resources, and goals
- Considerations for getting your business up and running, like initial legal issues and ongoing business operations like marketing and managing a team
- Options to fund your business, from bootstrapping to crowdsourcing to securing venture capital
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that the first step is often one of the hardest.
It can be easy to make a never-ending list of excuses for why now isn’t a good time – you have a big project at work, you’re too tired, you don’t know enough about business to start one yourself…
But there’s truly no better time than now. I mean right now.
Write down a list of three steps you’ll take this week to bring your new business to life. If you need some help, education, or good ol’ moral support, you know where to find us.