Entrepreneurs Summit: 6 Books To Help Entrepreneurs Build Million Dollar Businesses

Here’s what some top black business owners say are must-reads

Image: Thinkstock
Image: Thinkstock

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit is a gathering of some of the best business minds in the country providing insights on basic and advanced business models for success. A common theme among several of this year’s Summit speakers is that reading is fundamental in order to learn, grow, and become bigger, better entrepreneur in some way. People, authors are often pivot points that foster personal growth. There are many great books out in the market today, some old, some new. Here are six that came out of this year’s conference that are a must read for business owners. These books provide inspiration, practical advice and tools needed to stay the course down the entrepreneurial path.

[Related: Change Your Mind About Money and You’ll Change Everything]

1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building A Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Horowitz shares the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fan, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating a CEO mentality.

2. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This motivational personal development and self-help book was inspired by a suggestion from steel magnate Andre Carnegie and based on his formula for making money. It outlines the 13 proven steps to success from years of research of men who achieved great wealth. The steps listed in the book are: 1. Desire 2. Faith 3. Autosuggestion; 4. Specialized Knowledge; 5. Imagination; 6. Organized Planning; 7. Decision ;8. Persistence; 9. Power of the Master Mind; 10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation; 11. The Subconscious Mind; 12. The Brain; and, 13. The Sixth Sense. Think And Grow Rich has been used by millions of business leaders around the world to create a concrete plan for success.

3. Outwitting The Devil: The Secret To Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill digs deep to reveal how fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy prevent us from realizing our personal goals. This one-time controversial book was written by Hill in 1938 following the publication of his classic bestseller, Think and Grow Rich. Hill believed that FEAR is the tool of a man-made devil. Self-confident faith in one’s self is both the man-made weapon which defeats this devil and the man-made tool which builds a triumphant life. And what’s more, he felt faith is the force of the universe that stands behind a man who does not believe in failure and defeat as being anything but temporary experiences.

4. Influence: The Power of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
This book provides clear step-by-step examples of behaviors that you can put to use daily to increase your influence. It explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Cialdini has over35 years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior which has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. Influence breaks down the six universal principles—which are reciprocity, commitment/consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity—and how to use them to become a skilled persuader.

5. Rework by Jason Fried
This bookshows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of “downsizing,” and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance. This books will show you how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counter-intuitive ideas.

6. Crossing The Chasm: Marketing And Selling Disruptive Products To Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey Moore
This has become the bible for bringing cutting-edge products to progressively larger markets. This revised and updated edition provides new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing, with special emphasis on the digital world. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm, knowing when to sacrifice for the advantage of being first until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The latest edition of this book offers examples of successes and failures, new strategies for marketing in the digital world.

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