12 Challenging Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read in 2016

So yes, it is actually 2016, and if you’re anything like me it’s this time of year that makes me want to get my crap together for the coming year. The to-do lists start piling up and I’m scouring the internet for the best new goal setting technique. Out of that process came two solid goals I’ve been procrastinating on for the past several years (yes.. years): read more and write more.

These books cover areas I want to grow as an entrepreneur and hopefully inspire you and me to live an intentional growth filled 2016.

  1. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed 
    By: Carl Honore
    We always start the new year in such a rush. We create lists with a million goals and start making plans of all the great things we’re going to accomplish this next year without ever asking if this really adds value to our already hectic lives. I’m halfway through and to say it takes it’s time is an understatement. This book will challenge you to view your values and priorities in a new yet attentive light. http://amzn.com/0060750510
  2. Designing Products People Love: How Great Designers Create Successful Products
    by Scott Hurff
    This one is hot off the press. I couldn’t help myself and had to dive into the first few chapters. Let me just say this is not just for designers, but a must for anyone building a product. http://amzn.com/1491923679
  3. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich 
    by Timothy Ferriss
    I know. I know. It’s a classic and I should have read this already. It’s on my shelf ready to go. This is the book I’m looking forward to the most. If you’re like me and haven’t read this… Go read it. 
  4. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything 
    by Guy Kawasaki
    This is another book I consider a must for anyone looking to start a company, launch a product or think like an entrepreneur. I made it about halfway through the original, so I’m looking forward to a full reading of 2.0. http://amzn.com/1591847842
  5. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel 
    by Rolf Potts
    While most people probably wouldn’t consider this an essential on the entrepreneur’s book list, there is immeasurable value in expanding your view of the world. One of the best ways that I know how is to travel. This book comes highly recommended, and I am looking forward to the doors it will open. http://amzn.com/0812992180
  6. Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World 
    by Peter H. Diamandis
    I started this last fall and can’t believe I let myself get sidetracked from finishing. You can tell Peter knows his stuff and although he’s not afraid to dive into the details, he still provides a big, bright, bold picture of the future. http://amzn.com/1476709564
  7. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products 
    by Nir Eyal
    As creators, it’s our responsibility to be fully aware of the repercussions of our efforts. With that in mind, I know I find myself consistently being drawn toward certain apps and products. This doesn’t happen by accident and that can be exciting or scary. http://amzn.com/1591847788
  8. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children 
    by John Wood
    Another book I started last year and didn’t finish… And no fault of the book’s. It takes a good look at the things that really matter in life. Highly recommend. http://amzn.com/0061121088
  9. Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career
    by Jocelyn K. Glei
    I am in love with the 99U Book Series. Great thoughts by great leaders condensed into really actionable chapters. No matter how many times I read this, I can always pull something new from it depending on the stage in my life. http://amzn.com/1477800891
  10. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company 
    by Steve Blank
    If you’re in the startup community, I’m sure you’ve heard of Steve. His knowledge of starting a company always amazes me and this book provides a great look into his thought process. You’ll want to keep this one on your desk. http://amzn.com/0984999302
  11. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action 
    by Simon Sinek
    I have to admit I came across this book on accident while browsing on Amazon. But it caught my interest and I love the posture it takes on leading, so I’m excited to dive in and find out more. http://amzn.com/1591846447
  12. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future 
    by Peter Thiel
    This book has been sitting on my list since it came out. I’ve heard nothing but good things from folks who’ve read it, and I have no doubt it will prove to be a challenging yet actionable read.
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