Once upon a time, I sat in a cubical, miserable and anxious.

There was a time I would have done anything to find a nice office job that would give me evenings and weekends off. And then I got that job and soon I realized it wasn’t for me. I found myself counting the minutes from the minute I sat at my desk and dreading vacations because I knew I would have to come back to that cubical, at 7am sharp.

I didn’t always dream of being an entrepreneur. I thought the business world was for extroverts who would work day and night, sacrifice anything for a profit. I was wrong! Venturing on my own, actually, with a partner, was the best thing I ever did! I quit my office job and started a video and photography company with my partner by initially investing in one camera, one tripod, and one computer. Although being an entrepreneur can be scary and volatile, it has given me so much happiness, pride, and peace of mind.  I no longer care what day of the week it is or despair when my vacation comes to an end.

From the start of my journey until now, I turn to books to get inspiration and advice from those that have achieved way more than I have.  Although there are many books I can list that are fantastic for any entrepreneur starting out or deep in the game, I believe the books listed below are the best books for startups.  

RELATED: 5 Entrepreneurial Traits All Successful Business People Have

None of these books are “how-to” books that will walk you through operating any specific type of business. They are thought provoking books that will inspire and motivate you to pursue your dreams.

1. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco 

mj demarco, the fastlane millionaire, business books, entrepreneursThis book is not about making millions fast but about creating freedom fast. Freedom to spend your time as you please. Reading this book led me to really understand the importance of developing wealth and managing money well. DeMarco has a very casual voice in the book that might berate you at times for making stupid financial decisions (like choosing to buy an expensive car over investing money), but the casual tone makes the book easy to read and easy to understand. I highly recommend this book, which you can purchase on Amazon below, to anybody who wants to start investing, is stuck in a job they hate, or are about to start their business. It will change the way you view money and encourage you to perceiver through tough times when nobody arounds you understands why you work 14 hours a day.

 

2. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau 

chris guillebeau, business books, the $100 startup, entrepreneursThere has never been a better time to start a business with very little. The $100 Startup will make you a believer that magic can happen with very little capital when starting out. The book has various examples of businesses that started out with very little money and became successful ventures. It will for sure spark up a new idea for a business or reignite an old flame you thought was too difficult to pursue. The sweet spot, according to the book, is at the intersection of something you’re passionate about and something people are willing to pay for. At that point, you will find a successful business that you will be happy to run.

3. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

At the heart of any business is marketing. And to understand marketing well, you need to read Contagious. This book explores why some ideas and products catch on why others fizzle. It’s a fantastic read, especially if you don’t have the budget for a marketing department (which is always the case for any business starting out). Outside of even reading for business, this is just a fun, fascinating book to read.

4. The Power of Broke by Daymond John

Do you hate that you’re broke? Don’t. There’s power in that, according to Daymond John. The Shark Tank star and uber-successful businessman will give the motivation you need to look at your broke-ness as an asset instead of a liability. He has first hand experience he shares in this New York Best Seller book that’s incredibly inspiring! 

5. Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela 

Nelson Mandela, long walk to freedomI know this is not a business or money book, but it is hands down my favorite book ever! Nelson Mandela’s auto biography is all about perseverance and staying committed to your goals. No other book I have read has made me more focused on what I want to do in life, what I want to dedicate my life to. One of the greatest assists to have as an entrepreneur is the will to carry on and weather the storm. Prepare yourself for that battle by feeding your soul, your mind with books like Long Walk To Freedom.

There you have it! Those are my 5 best books for startups. I am always eager to hear what book recommendations others have for entrepreneurs. Comment below with your favorites!

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Author

Roman Debotch is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of blackexcellence.com. Through the platform that is Black Excellence, she has been able to marry her passion for story telling with her passion for issues affecting the black community. Roman earned her B.A. in Film and TV Studies and ventured into the world of video production after college. She produced music, corporate, and event videos for years before co-founding BlackExcellence.com. Since then, she has been working as a contributor to the platform as well as continuing her video production business. The very limited time Roman is away from either writing or shooting a video, she can be found hiking or enjoying one of Southern California's beautiful beaches.

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