Bolster your confidence and gain business ideas for the new year from these eight authors.
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January 1, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The year 2020 was full of challenges, but the coming year brings with it the possibility to start anew. With the Covid-19 vaccine in the early stages of deployment, a return to normalcy is hopefully around the corner.
Still, 2021 is full of uncertainties. Forecasting has become next to impossible, and business leaders will need to be on their “A” game if they want to come out on top. By reading some top entrepreneurial insight now, you can prepare yourself for the challenges of tomorrow. Here are some of the best books to boost your entrepreneurship in 2021.
1. Becoming MindStrong: The Truth About Health, Fitness, and the Bullsh*t That’s Holding You Back by Rachel Freiman
Being a great entrepreneur isn’t an occupation; it’s a mindset. You need to be completely on it if you want to compete, and Rachel Freiman’s new book can help you get there. Becoming MindStrong: The Truth About Health, Fitness, and the Bullsh*t That’s Holding You Back is a guide to adopting the holistic lifestyle necessary for successful entrepreneurship, from mental to physical to emotional well-being. No book is a quick fix, and this one asks a lot of the reader, but the payoff is well worth the cost of admission.
2. Sharper Image Success: Business Lessons from America‘s Gadget Guy by Richard Thalheimer
Sometimes, the best advice you can get is a success story to model your own after. Sharper Image Success: Business Lessons from America’s Gadget Guy is the often funny, always engaging story of Richard Thalheimer’s rise from idealistic 20-something to head of one of the world’s most successful gadget companies. Rising to the top doesn’t have to be a cutthroat, dog-eat-dog venture: Thalheimer’s story is one full of joy and goodwill — a useful template for entrepreneurs everywhere to follow.
3. Unsliced: How to Stay Whole in the Pizzeria Industry by Mike Bausch
Okay, so your business may not have many obvious similarities to a pizzeria. Mike Bausch is here to show reading entrepreneurs everywhere that the lessons he learned slicing pies go far beyond the kitchen. Unsliced: How to Stay Whole in the Pizzeria Industry looks into how the fast-paced, high-stakes environment of a pizzeria is an excellent metaphor for the world of business today, teaching some key insights all maverick entrepreneurs should know along the way.
4. Love is Free. Guac is Extra.: How Vulnerability, Curiosity, and Empowerment Built An Unstoppable Team by Monty Moran
The title probably gives it away here: Monty Moran made his name as the co-CEO that took Chipotle from a few regional restaurants to an international phenomenon and in a style all his own. Love is Free. Guac is Extra.: How Vulnerability, Empowerment, and Curiosity Built an Unstoppable Team details the immense amount of care it took to achieve this feat, starting with the 20,000-plus conversations Moran had with Chipotle employees in order to get a sense of what their company culture should look like. He may not be a conventional CEO, but that’s exactly why his book is a must-read for entrepreneurs in the coming year.
5. Game of Sales: Lessons Learned Working at Adobe, Amazon, Google, and IBM by David Perry
David Perry’s resume speaks for itself. If careers at four of the world’s most successful tech companies don’t qualify someone to share their expertise, nothing does. Game of Sales: Lessons Learned Working at Adobe, Amazon, Google, and IBM explains how sales isn’t some magic phenomenon, but a game to be played by those best-equipped to play it. No company is going to make it through 2021 without a strong sales portfolio, and this book is a good way to start building one.
6. Come Back to Bed: Attract More Foot Traffic and Make People Fall in Love with Your Store by Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn
Come Back to Bed: Attract More Foot Traffic and Make People Fall in Love with Your Store may have an attention-grabbing title, but its contents are as substantive and insightful as any. Authors Quinn and Kinsley are stating the obvious here: the rules of retail have changed and won’t be going back anytime soon. The answers they give for how to navigate these new waters, however, are as heterodox as the title. The coming year is going to look a lot different from the last, so drawing upon outside-the-box thinking will be a must for getting ahead.
7. Assemble the Tribe: Believe in Your Value. Find Belonging. Be Different. by Leah J M Dean
There’s no easy way to be a woman entrepreneur, and no one knows that better than Leah J M Dean. Assemble the Tribe: Believe in Your Value. Find Belonging. Be Different. is a battle cry for every woman who’s ever felt isolated, outmatched or unassisted in the business world. Creating strong entrepreneurial alliances will be key for staying resilient in the future, and this book will help you do so.
8. Pinot Rocks: A Winding Journey Through Intense Elegance by Michael Browne
Following your passion, living your dreams and choosing adventure are all key elements of good entrepreneurship, and all things that author Michael Browne is a true expert on. Pinot Rocks: A Winding Journey Through Intense Elegance is one part memoir of decadent living and another part genuine guide to making your life what you want it to be. Isn’t that something all entrepreneurs could use a refresher on for next year?
No one knows what 2021 has in store, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing now. By reading the right books, you’ll have the knowledge you need to face anything next year throws your way.