How should entrepreneurs choose the books they read.

Shashank Shekhar
Nov 18, 2018 · 4 min read
Image credits — James Trevino

As an entrepreneur, I read books which are relevant to my current personal and professional situation.

I believe entrepreneurs should read books which help or add value in their current situations rather than choosing the bestsellers from the market.

5 books I chose and read in the past few months have covered different topics which have helped me grow personally and professionally.

The Power of Habit — Why we do what we do and how to change.

I had some habits I wanted to get rid off. This book is rich with examples of individuals, scientists, and companies developing a deep understanding of habits and using it to their advantages.

This book not only helped me build some good habits but has also significantly helped me in understanding my customer’s habits and mold our products and services accordingly.

Deep Work — One of the most valuable skills is becoming increasingly rare.

‘Deep Work’ is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.

As a single founder and the only full-time employee in my startup, I have to switch between different tasks — blogging, marketing, lead acquisition, digital marketing, website building, sales, and whatnot.

I ended up being distracted and not being able to deliver quality work in either of the areas. Reading this book has greatly impacted my work and I have been able to do more by staying focused and engrossed in my work.

Amazon’s story — How was the trillion dollars empire built?

I run an art based company and my goal is to make art more accessible by letting our customers personalize the art they buy from us. I was facing challenges in managing supply and demand.

I thought it’d be best if I read about Amazon and yes it has helped me understand the different dynamics of running a marketplace, manage operations, seamlessly integrate supply and demand and what not!

Shoe Dog — The story of Nike.

Nike in its initial days of inception worked closely with athletes, former athletes and coaches to

  • Understand their target market better
  • Get their initial customers
  • Improve their products with feedback from the sports community

This book has helped me understand the importance of working closely with the community you wish to target and constantly learn and improve from their feedback.

I am doing just that in Stoned Santa. I make it a point to interact with artists of all age groups, styles, and experiences. This has helped me understand their problems, perspectives and I am constantly using their input to make Stoned Santa better.

I have a personal goal of interacting with our first 10,000 customers. 2800 down, 7200 more to go.

Sprint — Solve big problems and test ideas in just 5 days.

As an early stage startup, we have to run a lot of experiments. I often found myself confused and irritated because of the low efficiencies we had in our marketing experiments.

This book helped me break down my experiments into small little parts and helped me focus on things that matter the most. This book is rich with examples of famous companies using this strategy to test and run experiments before launching their products/services in the market.

Thanks to this book, I am able to run 4 new experiments every month which has helped me fail fast and add different Sales channels for my company.

I strongly feel entrepreneurs should analyze their situations and pick up books which can help them improve in those identified areas.

I am still learning to read more, but I make it a point to pick books which help me in key areas where I need improvement.

Meet my baby — Stoned Santa.