If you’re considering starting your own business, you’ve probably done a lot of research on the ins and outs of the process and the skills you’ll need to succeed as an entrepreneur. But if you’re open to suggestions on what else to read, here are our top three recommended reads for people planning to launch a new enterprise.
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Before starting a business, it’s vital to have a handle on your own finances. This book’s a great read that helps you master your money.
As a business owner, your personal finances will be entwined with those of your business. If you want to get a business loan, for instance, many lenders will use your personal credit score to evaluate your application and may require you to personally guarantee the loan. They may even require your spouse to personally guarantee the loan with you. The reason lenders look at your personal finances is because your ability to manage your own finances will likely translate into you being able to manage the money for your budding business as well.
In his book, Ramsey, a well-known personal finance radio host and author, covers strategies to deal with and pay off any debt you have—from credit cards to auto loans to mortgages and more. He also outlines “baby steps” to save for an emergency fund and eventually for retirement. Both dealing with debt and saving for emergencies can take a lot of the anxiety and worry out of starting a business. And both of these strategies can also help improve your credit score, making it easier for you to get approved for financing for your business.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
The E-Myth Revisited is is one of the best selling business books of all time, and is considered one of the best books on entrepreneurship. The acclaim is justified: the book offers practical and actionable advice that any small business owner can use.
E-Myth stands for “entrepreneur myth”, which author Michael Gerber defines as the misguided belief that all entrepreneurs are noble or committed to larger-than-life ideals. Instead, Gerber says, most small businesses are not started by entrepreneurs, but by a normal individual who has a momentary entrepreneurial streak.
And many of these entrepreneurs, Gerber warns, operate under the fatal assumption that “if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work.” Gerber says this is the reason most small businesses fail. The rest of the book is devoted to helping entrepreneurs move past this assumption and set up practical systems and processes to make their businesses work for them.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Carnegie’s landmark self-help guide was originally published in 1936, but its advice remains timeless. After all, a large part of your role as a business owner will be interacting with people. Knowing how to talk to different employees, pitch investors or lenders and calm an unsatisfied client are essential skills you’ll need as an entrepreneur. If you want to master them, Carnegie's advice remains the best place to start.
The book is divided into four parts, starting with fundamental techniques for handling people, such as learning to praising others’ achievements or being empathetic. The final three sections offer concrete tips and advice on how to make people like you, how to win people to your way of thinking and how to change people without making them resent you. Even Warren Buffett, legendary investor and business owner, has credited this book with helping him become a better businessman.
This story originally appeared on ValuePenguin.