This is an Influencer post by Patrick Bet-David, founder of PHP Agency startups.

I cover the top 10 books I believe that every entrepreneur should read, and why.

10. The 33 Strategies of War

The number 10 book on my list is The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene. And I’ll tell you why. Some people ask, “Why do you talk about war? What does this have to do with entrepreneurship?

Think about running a business, as running a small tribe. When you’re an entrepreneur, you are running a very, very small country. And every direct competitor of yours has the goal of putting you out of business.

So you’ve got to have a mindset of a general, a warrior, a strategist, somebody that’s going to be thinking like the Alexander or Napoleon, so you know when someone’s maneuvering a certain way, and know how to respond to it. That’s what you’ll learn from this book.

9. The E Myth

The reason why The E Myth is a very, very important book to read is because it allows you as the person who calls themself the entrepreneur to realize that maybe you’re really not an entrepreneur. You think you’re an entrepreneur, but you’re not really an entrepreneur. Or, you are an entrepreneur, but you’re not paying attention to the other sides of the business which is the systems side. Because a lot of times the entrepreneur may be the visionary and not want to deal with all the minutia, and just want to go out there and do all this stuff, and they’re not really paying attention to systems and so you can’t really scale your business. He talks about that in the book.

8. Mastery

Many people in life will live 75 to 100 years and die, never having really mastered anything.

I respect people that take a certain small thing and they become masters at it.

The book, Mastery, by Robert Greene, does a very good job using stories to explain how you, yourself, can go from somebody who’s a novice at something to being great.

It explains why it’s worth sticking with something and pouring everything you have into it, even if it’s what others consider to be a boring industry. It’s a very, very important book.

7. Crucial Conversations

As an entrepreneur you will have a lot of conflicts you’ll have to face.

A lot of people don’t even want to deal with conflict. We’re afraid of conflict for many reasons.

The book, Crucial Conversations, has sold 2 million copies. It’s written by four consultants.

I like this book because you’re going to have to have tough conversations with vendors, with partners, with employees, with staff, with executives, with sales, with media, with many different people. How you go about doing it could cost you relationships, could cost you negative feedback, could cost you a person that doesn’t want to do business with you. It could cost you losing a good client. It could cost you many different things, so it’s a very, very important skill set.

6. Great Business Teams: Cracking the Code for Standout Performance

Number seven is a book that hasn’t done well. It hasn’t sold that many copies. I found it by pure luck. But it’s a really great book.

It’s a book by Howard Guttman called Great Business Teams: Cracking the Code for Standout Performance.

Don’t let this book cover, title, fool you. It’s an exceptional book.

It talks about how to hire people and how to hold them accountable. How to go through a performance review, how to do the one-on-one critiquing. How to create a culture. How to overcome people, to know how to deal with conflict and collaborate instead of compromise, instead of avoidance, instead of arguing.

It goes through every single thing. And one of the parts is accountability. It gives you a step-by-step process on how to hold your team members accountable.

5. Power vs. Force

The next one is a book I read 13 years ago. It was a book I couldn’t put down. It’s the book Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins. This book has been recommended by Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, many different people.

A lot of times in business you’ll try to force people to move. You’ll try to force people to do things. You’ll try to force things to happen in your business and you feel like you’re absolutely burning out because you’re forcing it. It explains how to go from force to power and influence. There’s a part in this book which explains the different level of consciousness.

4. Barbarians to Bureaucrats: Corporate Life Cycle Strategies

The book, Barbarians to Bureaucrats: Corporate Life Cycle Strategies is so phenomenal that I actually wanted to buy the rights to it.

In it, the author (Lawrence Miller) talks about what happens in societies, and what it takes to build a country. For example, there are warriors, barbarians, explores, builders, administrators, and so on. They all play a very important part in building countries — and businesses.

And understanding the roles that everyone plays, and how to relate to and work with them is crucial, when building a business.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Number three on the list is a classic. It’s the first book I ever read. When I was working at Bally Total Fitness, my sister said, “You need to read this book.” I did, and it totally changed the way that I viewed and treated people.

Your number one product isn’t software, or demo products, pharmaceuticals, or real estate. It’s not social media, marketing, or advertising. Your number one product is people. And if you don’t understand people, you’re going to have problems in business.

So, the #3 book is How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s a fascinating book. It’s a classic. Dale Carnegie. I don’t know how many copies have sold. The last number I read was 45 million. It’s one of those books that you need to read.

2. The Hypomanic Edge

The number two book on the list is an interesting book that was recommended to me by a good friend of mine Bryon. I like the way this guy thinks. And he’s somebody I can learn a lot from because of his brain. He said, “Pat, you’ve got to read this book.” I said, “What book?” He said, Hypomanic Edge.

When you read this book, you will look at hypomanic, manic, ADHD, bipolar, in a completely different way. All of us have somebody like that in our family. If you’re an entrepreneur some of you have been accused on some of these things. You may be happy one day, ticked off the next minute.

1. The Law of Success

I’ve read a lot of books, 1100 books, and this one is at the top of my list. It was a gift given to me by our friend, Phyllis Brown, who bought it for me. I set it aside and then 6 months later read the book. And I said, “Wait a minute, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life.” I’ve recommended it over and over and over again, and I’ve read it so many different times. The book is called The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill.

Napoleon Hill has written a lot of great books, but this one is at the top of my list. It talks about so many different things in life.

Here is a list of some of the different chapters:

  • Self Confidence
  • Initiative and Leadership
  • Imagination
  • Action
  • Enthusiasm
  • Self-Control
  • More Service than Paid For
  • Attractive Personality
  • Accurate Thought
  • Concentration (a really fantastic chapter)
  • Tolerance
  • Failure
  • Cooperation
  • Golden Rule

Here is the video:

Disclaimer: This is an Influencer post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of knowstartup and the editor(s).

About Author

Patrick Bet-David

Patrick Bet-David, founder of PHP Agency startups. In the past, he has been Field vice chairman at Transamerica Agency Network, Inc.

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