5 Books That Paved My Path to Entrepreneurial Success Here are the five books that have greatly influenced my entrepreneurial mindset and approach.

By Roy Dekel

Key Takeaways

  • Five books that offer valuable lessons for entrepreneurs on the art of negotiation, the importance of risk-taking, the science of habit formation, the roadmap to successful app development and the power of small-scale innovation.
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The journey of entrepreneurship is a path laden with challenges, triumphs and endless learning. In my voyage through the entrepreneurial seas, books have been my lighthouses — guiding, educating and inspiring me. They're not just collections of words, but repositories of wisdom.

Here, I want to share five books that have profoundly influenced my entrepreneurial mindset and approach. These are not just reads; they're experiences that have shaped my journey, offering lessons that extend far beyond the pages.

Related: 10 Inspirational Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read More Than Once

1. Mastering negotiations with Never Split the Difference

Chris Voss's Never Split the Difference isn't just a book; it's a gateway into the mind of an FBI hostage negotiator. Voss imparts negotiation strategies that radically changed my approach to business dealings.

His emphasis on emotional intelligence and understanding the psychology of one's opponent was enlightening. The concept of "tactical empathy" resonated with me profoundly, teaching me to listen actively and use my insights to influence negotiations positively.

Most importantly, this book is more than just about making deals; it's about understanding the human element in business and using it to create win-win situations. The techniques presented are practical and can be applied in various aspects of entrepreneurship, from sales to conflict resolution.

2. Embracing risk with Skin in the Game

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Skin in the Game is a philosophical treatise that challenges conventional business wisdom. Taleb argues that having a personal stake in one's ventures is key to understanding and managing risk.

This book shifted my perspective on accountability and decision-making. It's about the moral and practical implications of taking risks and the importance of facing the consequences of one's decisions. Adopting this principle transformed how I approach business risks, leading to more ethical and sustainable practices.

Taleb's insights on asymmetry, randomness and the unpredictability of life are particularly relevant for entrepreneurs navigating the often volatile business landscape. It's a must-read for those who want to understand the nuances of risk-taking and make decisions that align with long-term business viability.

3. Building habit-forming products with Hook

Nir Eyal's Hook offers a fascinating look into the psychology of why some products captivate users while others don't. The "Hook Model," which Eyal introduces, is a game-changer for product development.

It taught me to create products that not only attract users but also turn them into loyal customers. The model's four components — trigger, action, reward and investment — have become a cornerstone in my approach to product design.

Eyal's insights into consumer behavior and habit formation are invaluable, especially in today's highly competitive markets. Applying these principles, I've been able to design products that effectively engage users and encourage repeat usage.

For entrepreneurs in the digital age, understanding and implementing Eyal's model is crucial for building products that stand out.

Related: How to Use Human Psychology to Crush Your Sales Goals

4. The roadmap to a billion dollar app in How to Build a Billion Dollar App

George Berkowski's How to Build a Billion Dollar App is a practical guide that demystifies the journey of creating a successful mobile app. Drawing from his experience with Hailo, Berkowski provides a comprehensive roadmap for app development.

The book was a beacon for me during my tech ventures, offering in-depth insights on every aspect of app development — from ideation and funding to team building and scaling. The real-world examples and practical advice are invaluable, especially for entrepreneurs in the fast-paced world of tech startups.

Berkowski's step-by-step approach simplifies the complex process of app development, making it accessible to anyone with a great idea and the drive to bring it to life. His work is a testament to the fact that with the right approach, dedication and understanding of the market, creating a successful app is achievable.

5. Cultivating innovation with Little Bets

Peter Sims' Little Bets is about embracing experimentation and learning from small failures to achieve big successes. This concept revolutionized my approach to innovation and problem-solving.

Sims advocates for making small, manageable bets or actions to test ideas and learn quickly from the results. This approach encouraged me to embrace failure as a part of the entrepreneurial process, seeing it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Moreover, adopting the "little bets" philosophy has fostered a culture of creativity and resilience in my ventures. It's particularly relevant in today's fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, where adaptability and quick learning are key to success.

To illustrate how this approach can lead to significant breakthroughs, the book offers examples from a wide range of industries. For entrepreneurs, embracing the "little bets" mindset can be the difference between stagnation and growth.

Throughout my journey, these five books have been more than guides; they have been catalysts. Each one, from Never Split the Difference to Little Bets, provided unique insights that enriched my business acumen and personal growth.

They taught me the art of negotiation, the importance of risk-taking, the science of habit formation, the roadmap to successful app development and the power of small-scale innovation.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, these books are invaluable resources. They offer not just strategies and tips, but real-life lessons and inspiration. Reading them is like having a conversation with some of the brightest minds in business and innovation.

They're not just recommended reads; they're essential companions on your path to entrepreneurial success.

Related: 8 Inspiring Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Roy Dekel

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of SetSchedule

Roy Dekel is the CEO of SetSchedule, an American software company specializing in big data and AI technologies. Preceding SetSchedule, Roy sold billions in financial products and prior to trends, institutionalized the buy and hold residential lifestyle model managing a lofty residential portfolio.

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