Whether you have just completed your MBA or you’re a high school dropout tired of working as a shelf-stocker at Wal-Mart, you may see starting your own business as a way up or a way toward a better life.

To make it happen, you need inspiration.

Newbie or wannabe entrepreneurs need guidance, direction, fresh ideas and a sense of belief in themselves. The best way to get all of the above is by reading books. It’s better than endless slogging through internet articles and material – or even videos – because a book delivers an in-depth punch like no other medium. Books require you to focus and absorb critical knowledge in a profound way.

Here are some book suggestions for aspiring entrepreneurs:

The $100 Startup

Author Chris Guillebeau gives vibrant examples of how real people scraped together what was literally little more than spare change and used it to launch a new and profitable business. These examples truly impart the sense of hope that anyone can realize their dream of self-employment, self-determination and being financially secure while not needing to be ruled by a boss or trapped in some miserable office cubical.


Guy Kawasaki is something of a legend among entrepreneur hopefuls. This book is just one example of why he has earned his status. He does that by showing how new business owners can win the unstoppable loyalty of a customer base that will buy, keep buying and eagerly come back for more.

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

The fact that author Martha Beck is the life coach for none other than Oprah Winfrey – and not exactly an entrepreneur in her own right – should not dissuade aspiring entrepreneurs from picking up this book to charge up their inner sense of drive and determination to succeed at a fulfilling business idea. This book works by encouraging the reader to take a deep dive into one’s inner motivations so that one can gain clarity on such basic questions as: “Why am I here?” Gaining that such inner knowing is a powerful underpinning for having what it takes to make a startup enterprise successful.

Fire Starter Sessions

This book by Danielle LaPorte provides a kind of “grab-you-and-shake-you-by-the-shoulders” motivational jolt that will get you off your seat and have you powering ahead to win your freedom by starting a successful, cash-generating business. She encourages entrepreneurs to place “generosity” at the center of a business plan and to have a sense of “do-it-today” urgency about getting things done.