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7 Entrepreneurs Share the Book That Changed Their Lives & Might Do the Magic for You These books turned out to be life-changing for them; maybe they will do the same to you

By Priyadarshini Patwa

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


There are good ideas and then there are great ideas. To find the great ones you need to look out and find that one thing that pushes you to achieve the best. One of the best ways to achieve it is through learning from other people's experience. Look around there are tons of stories and perspectives that will introduce you to a new world altogether.

Be it a fiction book, non-fiction, an autobiography, the source can be anything but it is all about finding that one opportunity. Books are the best source to start your venture, change your approach towards life. So check out these books that turned out to be life-changing for these entrepreneurs and made them achieve their dreams not just professionally but even personally.

1. 'The Intention Economy by David Searls' - Subrat Parida, CEO& Founder, Racetrack AI

Searls this book was a real an eye-opener for Subrat Parida. It laid the foundation for how a pull-based the economy should work and challenged the very basic ideas of why advertising has become the necessary evil.

"Such an economy as Searls postulates grows around buyers, not sellers. It is based on the simple fact that the buyers come ready-made, one doesn't really need advertising to get to them," said Parida.

Another important thing which this book made him realise that the kind of heavy spends that we do to make the customer aware of what they want is in a way redundant. The focus can instead be more on how to position ourselves as the best option available.

2. "The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear' and 'Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks' - Tarika Jain, Partner & Head of Business, Ncircle tech, A ProtoTech Solutions Franchise

Tarika Jain started Ncircle with her husband Varun Bhartiya in 2012. Throughout their journey, they have been inspired by great reads like "The Way of The Shepherd', "Rich Dad, Poor Dad', "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', "Innovator's Dilemma', "What got you here won't get you there. However, "The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level', personally stands out for Jain. The book inspired her to overcome her fears during one of the most critical phases of a working woman's life; pregnancy

"I was pregnant with my first kid in 2017 when I read this book. It found me at a time when I was riddled with doubts and inhibitions. Doubts about how projects and deliveries would fare without me at the helm. Inhibitions about spending time away from work, because I believed entrepreneurs weren't supposed to take time off. The book spoke directly to me. It helped me feel like I deserved to be happy. My husband and I had put in years of hard work to build a successful enterprise, and we deserved to take a moment and welcome the new member of our family. Even as I learned to let go of my fear of delegation, it taught me how to maximise my potential. I was able to recognise areas of strength and focus on them while bringing in new team members to take over where I was weak," said Jain.

Earlier this year she went through the same journey again when they brought their youngest into the world. This time, neither fear nor doubt stood in the way of the success of projects, or her time with her family. The book has set Jain on a path to professional and personal success.

3. 'Screw it, let's do it by Richard Branson' - Sanil Sachar, Co-Founder Huddle

Picking 'Screw It, Let's do it by Richard Branson without a doubt came naturally to Sanil Sachar. The book is a literal depiction of the mindset of every entrepreneur. There are struggle and success but most importantly with the anecdotes in place, there is enjoyment through the hardships.

"I have read this book multiple times and first read it when I was 15, and it shaped my thought process with the fundamental principle that in order to be good at what you do, you need to do what you love, and forget whether it loves you while you're embarking on this journey. The different experiences Richard Branson has gone through have shaped Virgin as the institution it is, and it's clear that time and the companies he set up weren't always kind to him but it was the passion to learn that led to his contribution," said Sanchar.

A must-read, from whichever page you start from. In every venture, it's the passion this book amplifies, that I look to infuse in each second I am fortunate to be an entrepreneur.

4. 'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams' and 'Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins' - Malini Agarwal, Founder and Creative Director MissMalini Entertainment

There are so many books that have inspired Malini Agarwal. But the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins top the list. She loves their writing style and has taken a great deal of inspiration from them.

"Stream of consciousness and deep-diving into the emotions that rule me. What I love most about these books is how they open up the theatre of the mind and encourage you to stretch your imagination... And of course some wonderful notes on love! In Still Life with Woodpecker there is a poignant prologue with this paragraph that has stayed with me always," said Agarwal.

5. 'The One Thing by Keller Gary' - Ankit Mehrotra, Founder and CEO, Dineout

The first year of Ankit Mehrotra's entrepreneurial journey was undoubtedly the toughest part of his life. Moving back to India from the UK, starting up at a young age and convincing the initial set of business restaurateurs & business partners to sign up for an "emerging' food tech platform - it's quite taxing for a 27-year-old.

As a hustler, it's easy to get sucked into the grind and lose perspective on your life and business goals if you're unsure about who you are and what makes you successful.

"Around this time, I stumbled across "The One Thing' by Keller Gary at the Hatchards Bookstore on Piccadilly in London. It helped me analyse myself in a new light, taught me Time management principles I still swear by and gave me the clarity to ignore distractions and power through," Mehrotra.

6. 'Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi' - Deepshikha Kumar, Founder and Managing Partner of SpeakIn

Looking for establishing and managing some of the most important business relationships? The Book, "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi is an excellent pick recommends Deepshikha Kumar.

"Never eat alone: life is all about people, this resonated beautifully with me when I started the journey at SpeakIn. Networking happens in 360 degrees. It's not just developing relationships with people who are at a higher or equal position as you which can add value to you personally and professionally, rather it is with people with lower positions as well. These relationships can be used to open up new doors and opportunities, achieve great success and reach your goals," said Kumar.

Additionally, this is critical especially for working women who are mostly multitasking and want to raise family alongside managing all tasks that life demands. Thereby creating an ecosystem of support around you. Right from business mentors to social support to managing home. They are all critical, she adds.

7. 'The Secret by Rhonda Byrne' - Masumi Mewawalla, Designer and Founder of Pink Peacock Couture and Emblaze

Calling it the ladder to all the success in her life until this date is the book The Secret. This was one of the early books that Masumi Mewawalla read and it has changed the way she perceived things in a very positive manner.

The book is based on the law of attraction, where a positive mindset and thoughts can change a person's life directly. Good attracts good, positive attracts positive, like attracts like. We always get what we think, and work towards it. The first step to achieving anything in life is thinking about what we want, which is the base, while the next is working towards it.

"The quote from the book that I like the most is, "There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change'," said Mewawalla.

Priyadarshini Patwa

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Former Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosted an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handled the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and was also responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

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