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Starting your own business is a daring path. For most people, it would be a case of leaving the comfort zone of a conventional 9-5 and the stable monthly wage that comes with it.

Leaving your job to start a business is one thing, staying dogged through the whole course of running a business is another. On social media, being an entrepreneur or a creator comes with a lot of glamour. However, behind this glamour, there is a grueling and ugly backend that many don’t know about.

This is why you have to be well equipped before you start your own business. And trust me, there is no better way to prepare than to bury yourself in knowledge from those who have things figured out when it comes to entrepreneurship. Here are ten books that are must-reads for anyone about to start a business:

1. “Crush It!: Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion”

Gary Vaynerchuk is known by many for his large personality and passion for the hustle. In Crush It, he teaches how to build your brand online. He also tries to communicate a level of enthusiasm and passion for business to the reader. Other important aspects Gary touches on are family, hard work, and authenticity.

2. “Shoe Dog – A Memoir by the creator of Nike”

This book is written by Phil Knight, the founder of clothing and sports gear giants, Nike. He detailed an account of his long and challenging journey of building Nike. Besides this book being very inspirational, it also takes you on a roller coaster of emotions as you see the ups and downs involved in building an iconic global brand.

3. “The Lean Startup”

“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries should be a handbook for every budding entrepreneur. The book is a manual for what starting and running a business is about. With clear writing and ideas, the author outlines the strategies needed for a successful startup. If you want to build a business empire and not just a one-year wonder, then the Lean Startup is for you.

4. “The Alliance – Managing Talent in the Networked Age”

This New York Times bestseller is co-authored by Reid Hoffman (co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn), Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh. It is a must-read for business owners who would be looking to hire employees. The book gives you what you should know about employer-employee relationships. It also highlights important traits for business owners such as attracting, managing, and retaining the right staff.

5. “Think and Grow Rich”

Getting rich is one of the reasons for starting a business, if not even the major one. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is an inspirational book. This beautiful book documents real-life stories of some of the world’s most famous and successful businessmen. This includes names such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. It is a perfect read for you because it shows how many of these businessmen started off with nothing but dedication, became some of the world’s top scientists, investors, leaders, etc.

6. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

If there is one book that you must buy and distribute to every employee in your company, this is it. The author, Ben Horowitz, encourages the reader to ’embrace the struggle’ that comes with running a business.

7. “The 4-Hour Work Week”

“The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss details the author’s daily work routine and lifestyle as an over-worked employee whose reward lies in retirement. In this book, Tim shows how he switched from this kind of life to his dream lifestyle where he works only 4 hours a week. Tim teaches about the use of technology in business as well as automating and outsourcing tasks.

8. “Purple Cow”

Many businesses die because their products are like so much else on the market – quite forgettable. Seth Godin, in this book, seeks to help the reader change that by teaching how to provide constant value and last long as a business.

9. “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

The strength of every business owner is in their network. Dale Carnegie, in this book, offers valuable insight on connecting with the right people and forging power alliances.

10. “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”

In this book, Ramit Sethi writes about living a rich life, how to make money, and practical financial management advice. This personal finance book is for those who want to win big in life but do not have the financial knowledge on how to.

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