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Reviews

Best Startup Business Books for Mindful People to Read in 2020

Best Overall

Pros

The Coaching Habit is an empowering book for all types of leaders. It’s quick, concise, and gets the point. Author Michael Bungay Stanier demystifies the term “coaching.” He brings it all down to a series of seven questions. The book includes full-page callouts with a fantastic overview for individuals new to coaching as well as those who are more seasoned. The content is straightforward and easy to digest with new habit-building tools that make it easier to bridge the gap between theory and real-life.

Cons

It’s an excellent read that you could finish in one sitting if you wanted to. One area that could be improved is that each of the seven questions Stanier uses has some research to back up the point. Unfortunately, the research doesn’t add a ton of value to the book. Apart from that, it’s uplifting and a great read.

Bottom Line

In today’s world, the most successful business leaders motivate and inspire. This book provides a scaffolding to help guide any leader through more meaningful interactions with their employees. By developing a solid coaching habit, managers can have more of an impact while working less. This book is ideal for anyone who leads or manages and wants to build a more engaged and resilient team.

Best Value

Pros

This New York Times bestseller delivers a new approach on how to build companies and launch products across the globe. The book gives an overview of the Lean method, which can be highly effective but takes time to execute well. Most startups fail. Eric Ries gives examples of how to avoid all those common mistakes startups make that wipe them out. Some of the best examples come from the author’s own experience and his company.

Cons

Throughout the book, Ries uses a lot of real-life startup stories. The problem with some of these is that the startups are so young, it might be too early to call them a success.

Bottom Line

This book is a startup phenomenon and is required reading for any startup founders. The Lean Startup is an excellent introduction to the Lean method and is worth buying. One of the biggest takeaways from the book is Eric’s explanation of the “Five Whys” method. It allows you to examine the problems within any business, which could save a lot of time and money in the long-term.

Honorable Mention

Pros

Atomic Habits is one of the most comprehensive and practical guides on breaking bad habits and creating new ones. The author states that all habits come from a four-step pattern: cue, craving, response, and reward. It’s a practical and useful book that distills a ton of information down into digestible points. It shows you how small, incremental, everyday routines add up to massive, positive change over time.

Cons

The book can get quite technical with the science behind habit-forming. This is both positive and negative, depending on your preference. If you want to get down to the science of why you behave a certain way, it’s a must-read.

Bottom Line

When it comes to changing our behavior, we all need to find a system that works for us. I highly recommend Atomic Habits as your first stop when you’re looking to learn about the science of habits. This book is for the athlete wanting to go pro, the overworked creative, the startup founder, and more. Everyone can benefit from breaking bad habits and building good ones.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

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Pros

The Coaching Habit is an empowering book for all types of leaders. It’s quick, concise, and gets the point. Author Michael Bungay Stanier demystifies the term “coaching.” He brings it all down to a series of seven questions. The book includes full-page callouts with a fantastic overview for individuals new to coaching as well as those who are more seasoned. The content is straightforward and easy to digest with new habit-building tools that make it easier to bridge the gap between theory and real-life.

Cons

It’s an excellent read that you could finish in one sitting if you wanted to. One area that could be improved is that each of the seven questions Stanier uses has some research to back up the point. Unfortunately, the research doesn’t add a ton of value to the book. Apart from that, it’s uplifting and a great read.

Bottom Line

In today’s world, the most successful business leaders motivate and inspire. This book provides a scaffolding to help guide any leader through more meaningful interactions with their employees. By developing a solid coaching habit, managers can have more of an impact while working less. This book is ideal for anyone who leads or manages and wants to build a more engaged and resilient team.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

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Pros

This New York Times bestseller delivers a new approach on how to build companies and launch products across the globe. The book gives an overview of the Lean method, which can be highly effective but takes time to execute well. Most startups fail. Eric Ries gives examples of how to avoid all those common mistakes startups make that wipe them out. Some of the best examples come from the author’s own experience and his company.

Cons

Throughout the book, Ries uses a lot of real-life startup stories. The problem with some of these is that the startups are so young, it might be too early to call them a success.

Bottom Line

This book is a startup phenomenon and is required reading for any startup founders. The Lean Startup is an excellent introduction to the Lean method and is worth buying. One of the biggest takeaways from the book is Eric’s explanation of the “Five Whys” method. It allows you to examine the problems within any business, which could save a lot of time and money in the long-term.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

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Pros

Atomic Habits is one of the most comprehensive and practical guides on breaking bad habits and creating new ones. The author states that all habits come from a four-step pattern: cue, craving, response, and reward. It’s a practical and useful book that distills a ton of information down into digestible points. It shows you how small, incremental, everyday routines add up to massive, positive change over time.

Cons

The book can get quite technical with the science behind habit-forming. This is both positive and negative, depending on your preference. If you want to get down to the science of why you behave a certain way, it’s a must-read.

Bottom Line

When it comes to changing our behavior, we all need to find a system that works for us. I highly recommend Atomic Habits as your first stop when you’re looking to learn about the science of habits. This book is for the athlete wanting to go pro, the overworked creative, the startup founder, and more. Everyone can benefit from breaking bad habits and building good ones.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

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Pros

Zero to One is a classic written by the entrepreneur and co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, Peter Thiel. Thiel takes an unconventional approach to building startups. He shows us that unconventional thinking is what we need to succeed. Through questioning conventional thinking, the book offers entrepreneurs many lessons

Cons

Some of the visual examples within the book appear alongside more basic concepts. I understand they are trying to lighten the text, but they aren’t always needed. At times, Thiel can have quite a narrow view of the world. Things aren’t always black or white, and this is important to remember when taking advice from the book.

Bottom Line

Zero to One is all about innovation and doing something different in business in a world full of clones. This concise book explores what makes a difference and how to build a company. If you want to build something remarkable and not ordinary, then this is a book for you.

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture by Ben Horowitz

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Pros

Ben Horowitz is a New York Times bestselling author and leading venture capitalist. The author combines lessons from history and modern organizational research in a book about culture—more specifically, the culture within a company. His target audience is CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to design their company culture actively and not accidentally create one. This book helps you to become the kind of leader you want to be, and others want to follow.

Cons

Although Horowtiz offers some useful pointers and a lot to think about, every company culture is different. Because of this, you will need to transfer his teachings to your own company and figure out how they apply to you directly.

Bottom Line

This book is helpful and gets you thinking. Horrowitz uses a no-nonsense and blunt approach with straightforward language to provide actionable advice. If you want to shape your company culture actively, then this is a must-read book.

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How to Start a Business Successfully

Roughly twenty percent of businesses fail in the first year. After five years, about half will succumb to failure. At ten years, just thirty-three percent of companies are still standing. While many different conditions cause failure, a lot of businesses tend to make similar mistakes.

Some of the biggest mistakes a startup can make are:

  • No market need
  • Ran out of cash 
  • Business model failure
  • Poor management team 
  • Lack of planning 
  • Wrong location 
  • Product problems

There is rarely one single reason a startup fails, but there is usually a pattern in any failure story.

So, how do you start a business successfully?

10 Steps to Starting a Business – incorporate.com

While there is no “sure thing” in business, there are ways to give yourself the best chance to succeed. Make sure you have financial cushioning, get the relevant experience, and know yourself. Assess the market and analyze your competition. For example, If you’re entering into the wellness market, stay on top of wellness trends to see where your business fits in the current climate.

Build a company culture and team that you inspire and motivate. When you keep it fresh and interesting, I find you get the biggest response. For me, outdoor team-building activities allow more communication and collaboration.

Final Thoughts: The Best Startup Business Books Review

There are a lot of different elements that contribute to a successful business. As entrepreneurs and business owners, books help us in so many ways. They can be a source of inspiration, provide new ways of thinking, and help us develop the necessary skills to succeed.

On a personal level, self-development in all areas of your life will only push you forward. Reading a book every month will boost your intellectual health and challenge your thinking. Your intellectual health is just one part of the wellness wheel.

The Key To Success is Constant Learning (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The key to success is constant learning. Some of the greatest mentors are no longer alive, like Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller. But, we have the opportunity to learn from them through their words. Reading also helps to improve memory, reduce stress, enhance empathy, and create stronger analytical thinking.

The most successful people in the world have written out every thought and lesson they’ve learned along the way. Reading is crucial if you want to be successful in business. Whatever industry you’re in, books can spark creative ideas and support you through trials and failures.

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