Building a business and improving yourself as a self-starter—these two facets of professional life have a surprising number of overlaps. You need to know how to dedicate your time and resources as well as how to interact with people. Each of these things is vital to success: misspent time means misused resources, and hacked off people can mean lost opportunities.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of information out there that speak to both groups. To help narrow down the best works in the field, we asked members from Young Entrepreneur Council:
What book have you read in the last year that you think speaks to entrepreneurs and self-starters alike?

 

These are their books of choice:

1. ‘Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do,’ by Chris Guillebeau

Bestselling entrepreneurial muse Chris Guillebeau has written another inspiring book, this one on how to find the intersection of joy, money, and flow in the quest for meaningful work. In “Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do,” Chris unveils secrets for how to find what you love to do so much it doesn’t feel like work, and his guidance applies to those launching businesses and those struggling to find the right place in an organization. – Alexandra Levit, PeopleResults

2. ‘David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,’ by Malcolm Gladwell

Entrepreneurs often face big challenges that may seem impossible to overcome. However, by looking at things from a different angle, one is often able to take a disadvantage and turn it into an advantage. In “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,” Malcolm Gladwell explains the art of “battling giants” through several stories that decode characteristics of successful underdogs across various ages, industries and contexts. – Terry Kim, NexGenT

3. ‘Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,’ by Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,’ by Brian Tracy, will teach you how to tackle the important—and what might be annoying—tasks first. Regardless of what kind of business you’re in, once the hardest steps are done, everything else in your business life will come a lot easier, because you already ate that frog. It’s a metaphor: You have to get rid of the big problems first. – Fabio Viviani, Fabio Viviani Hospitality LLC,

4. ‘The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability,’ by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman

The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability,” by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman, outlines above-the-line behaviors and below-the-line behaviors and the accountability premise: see it, own it., solve it, do it. This is a great system for results. It makes you stay above the line in your behaviors and it gives you a simple strategy for success. – Shalyn Dever, Chatter Buzz

5. ‘Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,’ by Gino Wickman

Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or even just a student, “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” by Gino Wickman, outlines core concepts that make it easier to understand running a business—or project, or life. High-level topics such as process, people, data and vision can be used in a lot of situations, including running businesses. A must-read for all new business owners. – Matt Murphy, Kids in the Game LLC

6. ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People,’ by Dale Carnegie

A key takeaway for entrepreneurs from “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie, is that the best way to develop strong business relationships is to proactively think of ways to help others. Instead of asking for this or that, try asking how you can help them. You’ll be amazed by how much you help yourself by constantly thinking of ways to help others. – Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

7. ‘Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time,’ by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time,” by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz will help you master the art of networking. Anyone looking to make steps in entrepreneurship or in life should know how to tap into their network for help and advice. Your network is your most valuable asset, and this book teaches you how to use it. – Matt Hunckler, Powderkeg

8. ‘ Rework,’ by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework,” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, speaks to both entrepreneurs and self-starters because it generally focuses on one thing: ways to do things better and, along those lines, thinking creatively about how to get stuff done. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

9. ‘ The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book),’ by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills isn’t a typical business book, but it’s a book that underpins success in life as a well-rounded person. It’s about the four agreements one should make with themselves. If you work on these agreements, you’ll be a much better entrepreneur or self-starter. – Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

10. ‘Choose Yourself!,’ by James Altucher

“When the world is crashing before your eyes, it’s on you to make the most influential decision in your life: Choose yourself.” James Altucher’s book taught me how to develop healthy daily habits of a successful entrepreneur, including emotional health (your relationships), spiritual health (meditation), mental health (creativity) and physical health (exercise and diet). – Matthew Capala, Search Decoder

11. ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life,’ by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life,” by Mark Manson, fits nicely into the business picture painted by staple reads such as “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins. The writing was direct, and it provided a perspective that informs all decisions. At its core, the message imparts a powerful argument for taking total responsibility for yourself and your choices. “With great responsibility comes great power.” – Jasnik Parmar, Lawn Guru

12. ‘Self-Discipline for Entrepreneurs: How to Develop and Maintain Self-Discipline as an Entrepreneur,’ by Martin Meadows

Self-Discipline for Entrepreneurs: How to Develop and Maintain Self-Discipline as an Entrepreneur,” by Martin Meadows, is an important book for entrepreneurs and self-starters because we could all use more self-discipline. You may think you are self-disciplined, but this book helps you to realize how you could be even better and more successful in how you approach your work. – Zach Binder, Ipseity, Inc

13. ‘Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers,’ by Timothy Ferriss

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers,” by Timothy Ferriss, a bible-thick collection of incredible wisdom, is my No. 1 most-gifted book of 2017. Anyone with the spirit to aim higher can benefit from the wisdom given by greats like Marc Andreessen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Naval Ravikant and more. The bite-sized chapters make it easy to digest, and the inspirational stories are more than enough to get you off the couch and onto the path toward greatness. – Peter Kozodoy, GEM Advertising

The answers above are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

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