8 Books You Should Read for a Successful 2021

Who doesn’t need a dose of inspiration? These titles bring it.

Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide

Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 27, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Whether you emerged from it in the red or in the black, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. Some people are starting the hoping to shake things up, while others are just trying to stay afloat. No matter where you find yourself, times like these are great for personal development.

If you’re feeling a bit lost as the year begins, try hitting the books. Your first moves of 2021 should be a part of a strong overall mission, and the right book can provide the inspiration you need to develop one of your own. Here are some of the best to read for the coming year.

1. The New : Build a Lucrative Law Practice That You (and Your Clients) Love by Ali Katz

Law is an art, but it’s also a business. Ali Katz’s story of going from top of her class at Georgetown Law to generating more than $1 million in revenue annually in just three years is one that anyone — regardless of their field — could learn from. The New Law Business Model contains more inspiration and insight in just a few pages than most books do cover to cover, making it a must-buy for this year.

Related: 22 Successful Entrepreneurs Share What Inspires Them to Keep Going

2. Hackable: How to Do Application Security Right by Ted Harrington 

Going in back doors, finding exploits and generally making a mess of things — that’s what hackers do. In his new book, Hackable, Ted Harrington argues that companies need to take a similar approach to secure their systems. He shows just how important it is to think outside the box and be willing to push boundaries in potentially troublesome ways, whether the subject is application security or something else entirely. 

3. What They Didn’t Tell Me: How to Be a Resilient Leader and Build Teams You Can Trust by Jawad Ahsan

When Jawad Ahsan resolved to fight his way into the C-suite, he had no idea just what he’d be up against. After years of hard work, Ahsan finally made it to the top and wrote What They Didn’t Tell Me in order to share what he learned with others who are willing to do whatever it takes to be great leaders. 

Related: 3 Creative Quotes That Illustrate the Difference Between Imitation and Inspiration

4. A Fool’s Errand: Why Your Goals Are Falling Short and What You Can Do About It by Roy Cook

New Year’s resolutions famously end sooner than expected — but why? For those hoping to reach their goals this time around, A Fool’s Errand will prove a useful guide. Attaining your goals starts with defining your personal core values, and Roy Cook’s new book can help you do just that. 

5. Ghost: Why Perfect Women Shrink by Iona Holloway

Sometimes the most inspiring books are also the most painful to get through. In her debut memoir, Iona Holloway covers some of the most painful topics of career, perfectionism and womanhood in a beautiful and enlightening way. Ghost may not be an easy read, but it’s one that will inspire some meaningful reflection as soon as you pick it up.

6. F*ck the : Start at the Top (and Stay There) as a Feminine Entrepreneur by Mandy Cavanaugh

As provocative as its title suggests, F*ck the Glass Ceiling is a battle cry for women climbing the corporate ladder or leading their own businesses. Mandy Cavanaugh’s powerful voice can help men and women alike hone their masculine and feminine energy to be their most authentic self in business.

Related: 10 Positive Leadership Books to Motivate and Inspire You During Difficult Times

7. The Art of Alignment: A Practical Guide to Inclusive Leadership by Patty Beach

It’s not enough just to be inspired; you have to know how to inspire those around you as well. The Art of Alignment is a kind of inspiration how-to for leaders, explaining precisely what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to rallyiong a team or group around your causes. Once you get the inspiration you need, give back by inspiring others. Patty Beach can show you how. 

8. Coming Back: How to Win the Job You Want When You’ve Lost the Job You Need by Fawn Germer

If you’re among the hundreds of thousands of mid-career professionals who lost a job thanks to Covid-19, Fawn Germer wants you to know you’re not alone. She also wants you to get up, dust yourself off and go get the job you want. In Coming Back, Fermer gives older job seekers the guidance they need to upgrade their tech skills, rock social media and make themselves relevant in the new world of work.

There’s no one right way to be inspired, so cast a wide net. Reading a few of these books can open your eyes to just how dynamic and resilient the human spirit is — a powerful reminder as you kick off your year.

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