Even people that hate their jobs with a passion do not leave their jobs. One of the reasons is that people don’t have the confidence, nor do they feel that starting a business is for people like them.
The following books speak to the potential that we all have inside of us to be our own boss. They ignite the spark. They make you ask:
What difference is my life making to this planet?
Am I really happy doing what I do every do for my employer?
Over the past few years I have read scores of management, business and self-help books and I have my favourites in each of these categories. But when it comes to starting a business, this is a niche category of its own. Whatever books you choose my main advice would be not to go for anything too old, even if the publisher claims it is updated. In my opinion, businesses, and society in general, have changed way too much for you to read anything that was written over 5 years ago. Believe me, I have read some of these classic, bestseller books about starting or running a small business and whilst they do have some nuggets of wisdom about people and behaviour, they are no longer worth the Amazon stars and accolades.
1 Job Escape Plan: The 7 Steps to Build a Home Business, Quit your Job & Enjoy the Freedom – 128 pages 2 hrs, 12 mins audio
Who doesn’t love a short book that quickly draws you in, gets to the point and is also available as an audio download. At just over 2 hours, this book quickly gets to the nub of what it is that stops employees from making that leap and gives straightforward, practical advice to starting a business in a very low-cost way while you are still working. And the interviews with the entrepreneurs are very useful, inspiring and insightful.
2 The Idea in You, How to Find it, Build it and Change your Life, Martin Amor and Alex Pellew – 256 pages, no audiobook as yet!]
I actually love this book, apart from the fact it doesn’t yet have an audio book (minor gripe). This is aimed at anyone who has ever, even for just a split second, thought that some crazy thought would make a good business idea. They really get into the psyche of what it is that stops us, and it is a great confidence builder to give you the boost you need to take the plunge, plus the list of resources at the back is invaluable. They also have a community website, for creators to help each other out.
3 The Lean StartUp, Eric Ries – 336 pages, 8hrs 43 mins audio
I first heard about this book when I went to Web Summit in 2015, where a speaker advised that this is a must-read if you are starting a business. The conventional approach to starting a business is to plan, plan, plan and then do. This book turns that conventional approach on its head and is a must for anyone developing a new product or service. Read this before you spend a single penny on your next-big-thing invention or fill in that dragon’s den application form.
If you only have time to read one book, I would say read the job escape plan because a) it’s the shortest and b) it tackles most of the key principles from the other two books that will actually get you doing something rather than thinking you can’t. That said, each book has something unique and is neither an especially long nor a difficult read.