10 Best Books for Entrepreneurs in 2020

The esteemed literary giant Dr. Seuss had these words to say about reading:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

In March 2020, the United States faced one of its biggest challenges. With businesses closing around America due to the coronavirus, entrepreneurs are facing a new normal. You might want to escape into a fiction book but this can be a valuable time to explore personal and business development.

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The right book won’t just calm your nerves, it can help you grow as well. This list contains books offering insight into business operations and how yours can thrive during…and after the quarantine.

1. No One's Listening and It's Your Fault: Get Your Message Heard During Organizational Transformations

By Pam Marmon 

With twenty five 5-star Amazon reviews, this book helps business owners stay effective not only during standard operations but as offices shut down. It will help leaders to keep their messaging clear and their brand top-of-mind during this crises. No One’s Listening and It’s Your Fault is an effective communications template for any small business owner.

2. Shtick to Business: What the Masters of Comedy Can Teach You about Breaking Rules, Being Fearless, and Building a Serious Career

By Peter McGraw

Pick up a book that will make business owners smile in addition to providing great information for entrepreneurs. Professor Peter McGraw's Shtick to Business explores the unique way comedy and commerce can work together and includes tidbits from comedy legends like Groucho Marx and Amy Poehler.

3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

By Cal Newport, Jeff Bottoms, et al.

“Deep work” is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task to help you master complicated information and produce better results. It’s even more important now for stressed business owners to concentrate on the strategies that will keep their business operating during the pandemic. Deep Work helps business owners avoid getting caught up in the wave of email and social media that can consume valuable time.

4. The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture

By Scott Belsky

Author Scott Belsky is an entrepreneur, head of product at Adobe, and advisor to many successful start-ups. His easy-to-digest book has three sections with over 100 insights. He includes how to achieve three business goals:

  • Endure the roller coaster of successes and failures by strengthening your resolve, embracing the long game, and short-circuiting your reward system to get to the finish line.
  • Optimize what’s working so you can improve the way you hire, better manage your team, and meet your customers’ needs.
  • Finish strong and avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs make so you can overcome resistance, exit gracefully, and continue onto you next creative endeavor with ease.

The Messy Middle is available in audiobook form, on Kindle, and as a hard-cover edition.

5. Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy

By Clate Mask and Scott Martineau

Conquer the Chaos was written to help small business owners make sense of the overwhelming demands of business. With engaging stories, quotes, and examples, Conquer the Chaos leads you through the six strategies you can incorporate to bring order to your business in times of chaos. The author outlines systems to leverage to help business owners free more time to continue enjoying your entrepreneurial journey. Order here.

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6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

By Stephen R. Covey

The author lays out seven habits that enable the most successful and entrepreneurial people to achieve their goals. Used on a daily basis, they can help craft a happy, well-balanced and successful life. It’s a well put together, simple, and easy to read book. The ideas are clear and the concepts presented are both profound and straightforward. If you’re not practicing these 7 habits, taking time during the pandemic to put them in place is a great strategy. Order now on Amazon.

7. ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever

By Jason Fried

Looking for a faster, better, and more natural way to succeed? ReWork outlines why business owners you do not need to be a workaholic to be successful. It encourages readers to believe in actions - not plans – and to rethink everything you thought you knew about strategy, customers, and getting things done. What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. You'll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more inspiring counterintuitive ideas.

8. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage

By Daymond John

FUBU founder and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With a $40 budget, Daymond had to strategize out-of-the-box ways to promote his products. He hatched an idea for a creative campaign that eventually launched the FUBU brand into a $6 billion dollar global phenomenon.

Daymond shows that, far from being a liability, broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur because it forces you to think more creatively, use resources more efficiently, and connect with customers. The Power of Broke is available on Daymond’s website which is chock full of other helpful information.

9. Winning Now, Winning Later: How Companies Can Succeed in the Short Term While Investing for the Long Term

By David M. Cote

Offering ten essential principles for winning both today and tomorrow, this book will help readers to determine long-term and short-term actions that can help a business move forward and determine where and how to invest in growth for maximum impact. Winning Now, Winning Later is a go-to guide for businessowners who want to transcend the daily grind and find sustainable success.

10. The Ride of a Lifetime

By Robert Iger

Iger's memoir gives an inside look at his experience as CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 2005 to 2020. He shares the lessons he's learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees--taking big risks in the face of historic disruption; inspiring the people who work for you; leading with fairness and communicating principles clearly.

His four leadership principles — optimism, courage, decisiveness, and fairness — apply to even the smallest businesses. And anecdotes about his friendship with Steve Jobs and his Star Wars obsession are interesting and enlightening.

According to Bill Gates, it's "one of the best business books I've read in several years."

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