Small Business

The best summer reading list for entrepreneurs

Summer has arrived, and hopefully you’re getting some down time to relax by the beach (or the pool, or at least the back porch!). Whether you’re slapping on sunscreen in the Bahamas or nestling into your deck chair to enjoy the summer sunset after a busy day at the office, here are our top literary picks for business owners this summer.

Important lessons from familiar brands

Learn how these entrepreneurs turned their ideas into some of the world’s most renowned brands.

  • To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy: The incredible story of Pixar’s ascent to success.
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir from the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight: In this candid memoir, the Nike founder tells the story of how he created one of the most iconic brands in the world.
  • The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions… and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher: An exploration of the triumph and controversy behind one of the Silicon Valley’s top startup success stories.
  • Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock: The head of Google’s People Operations shares his secrets to creating a strong employee culture in your company.

Raising an entrepreneur

Do you see your child following in your footsteps?

  • The Making of a Young Entrepreneur: A Kid’s Guide to Developing the Mindset for Success by Gabrielle Jordan: The perfect book to read side-by-side, learn about the foundations for success, laid out in kid-friendly format.
  • Raising an Entrepreneur: 10 Rules for Nurturing Risk Takers, Problems Solvers, and Change Makers by Margot Machol Bisnow: This compilation of over 70 stories from the parents of some of the world’s top entrepreneurs shares how to harness your child’s imagination and drive.

Making the tough call

One of the hardest parts of owning a business is staying focused and managing through change.

  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: How everyday people have conceived of ideas that stuck, and the psychology behind choosing to change.
  • Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: How do we avoid agonizing for hours (or days!) over a single decision? Read this in-depth look at practical tactics to making the tough call.
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink: Transform yourself and your team with this motivation manual.

Get inspired

Even those without traditional business experience have stories of perseverance, fortitude, and beating the odds.

  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing: This harrowing tale of a 1914 expedition to Antarctica and the ship’s crew’s thrilling story of survival will leave you breathless and inspired.
  • Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden: Basketball coach John Wooden offers a collection of lessons and wisdom.
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth: Psychologist Angela Duckworth makes the case that achievement is not a product of talent, but of the drive to succeed.
  • Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr: The rich biography of a pioneering woman at the cusp of scientific discovery.

What books have been most helpful to you and your business? If you have a recommendation for a book to add to our reading list, we would love to hear it — share it with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter!

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