There are thousands of books out there professing to hold the secrets to successful entrepreneurship. And the lists ranking and comparing them are ten a penny. In the end it all gets a bit repetitive. Which is why Zervant’s list of must-read entrepreneurship books has a bit of a twist.
But don’t worry! If you fancy being the next Branson or Gates (there’s room for more modest aspirations too), we’ve got it all covered.
What Are Today’s Best Business Minds Reading?
We put all the « how to get rich quick » guides to one side. What we really wanted to know is what modern business gurus read on their time off, to help get their creative juices flowing.
Why, you ask?
Well, as Ghandi said, « A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes ». Being a successful entrepreneur isn’t just about working hard, it’s about thinking outside the box and bringing a fresh approach to new problems (much like Zervant does with online invoicing!).
1. James Dyson
The man behind history’s biggest vacuum cleaning revolution is now worth £3.5 billion, and owns more land than the Queen! But what does he read when he’s not working on a new invention?
Sir James’ favourite book is The Seeds of Wealth by Henry Hobhouse. It details how sugar, tea, the potato, cotton, and the cocoa plant have shaped human history. A great insight into modern culture and the philosophy of change.
2. Richard Branson
Britain’s most famous entrepreneur started out with a record business based in a church. He now heads up Virgin group, which owns over 400 companies. What does he have to say about being an entrepreneur?
« There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration.
And as for a book that helped him along the way? Branson recommends the children’s adventure classic Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.
3. Arianna Huffington
If you’ve ever enjoyed reading an article on The Huffington Post then you have this woman to thank. She not only founded one of the internet’s biggest media outlets, she’s also the editor-in-chief.
Arianna’s choice is Catching the Big Fish by film director David Lynch. It describes his own personal method for capturing ideas and developing them, much of which he attributes to meditation.
4. Mark Zuckerberg
The brains behind everyone’s favourite social media site, which now boasts over 1 billion monthly users, Zuckerberg is the poster boy for modern day entrepreneurs. He’s known to be a fan of the classics, once even having recited Latin during a Facebook product conference.
So it comes as no surprise that his number one recommendation is Virgil’s epic poem about Aeneas’ adventures, The Aeneid.
5. Larry Page
Even if you haven’t heard the name, you’ll know the product. Larry Page is one of the co-founders of Google, and until recently the company’s CEO. So what book spurred this entrepreneur on to bigger and better things?
His recommendation is My Inventions by Nikola Tesla. An engaging, entertaining autobiography of the man responsible for inventing A/C current (which powers pretty much everything from computers to central heating). He also predicted the technology used in radio and mobile phones.
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