10 Books for the Aspiring Entrepreneur's Summer Reading List

Entrepreneurship isn't just about smarts and sweat. It's about the inspiration to stick it out from startup to sell-off. Use these books to motivate your journey and tickle your brain.

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By Peter Daisyme

HarperOne & Lioncrest Publishing

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Who would have thought that a worldwide pandemic would fuel startup growth? Yet November 2020 reporting from NPR shows a clear spike in entrepreneurial activity. Across almost all sectors, innovators are seizing the moment to launch new ideas, do good and earn profits in the process. Maybe you're one of them.

What better time of year to get a mind boost than early in the summer? Spend your upcoming vacation, staycation or long weekends with one or more of the following reads. They'll help you stay on track as you chase your dreams and make plenty of waves in the entrepreneurial pool.

1. Jake Kheel — Waking the Sleeping Giant: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Business to Save the Planet

Compartmentalizing environmental processes and decisions has been a mainstay among businesses for decades. However, for award-winning author and entrepreneur Jake Kheel, sustainability shouldn't be just a line item; it should be the backbone running through a corporation's body. Backed by wisdom culled from working with the Grupo Puntacana Foundation, Kheel presents a compelling argument that corporations are positioned to protect the planet in Waking the Sleeping Giant. Corporations simply need to understand how to move from making eco-friendly statements to becoming true leaders in the sustainable movement.

Related: 4 Tips for Taking Your Startup's Sustainability to the Next Level

2. Brett Helling — Gigworker: Independent Work and the State of the Gig Economy

The moonlighting hustle is real, and it's taking over the nation. Yet freelancers and independent contractors have few resources to turn to when it comes to figuring out how to succeed with side gigs. That's where Gigworker comes into the picture. As the builder of two popular gig economy websites, Helling is uniquely positioned to share valuable insights for making extra money systematically, and potentially building a unique career in the process. Use his tips and hacks to get your next big goal off the ground.

3. Eli Schwartz — Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy

According to Eli Schwartz, SEO needs to come out of the dark ages and into the light. A long-time technical authority, Product-Led SEO offers businesses a deeper look into leveraging SEO using modern techniques. Make no mistake: This isn't a how-to guide. It's an education into how to accurately and confidently make SEO decisions for any company. You want to refer to this work regularly as you develop your marketing solutions. It's time to forget everything you thought you knew about keywords and algorithms.

4. Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger — Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous, and Different

They're the rebels and pioneers of the business world: So-called rare breeds known for paving paths as unique as their personalities. Called a top career book by the New York Post, Rare Breed upends conventional thinking about what it means to be the face behind a brand. Learn the value of bucking trends from Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger's journeys. Disruption and swimming against currents has never been more needed. If you've ever felt like a misfit, this book will help you lean into your trailblazing side.

5. Justin Smith — Industrial Intelligence: The Executive's Guide for Making Informed Commercial Real Estate Decisions

You're a CEO. You want to scale. Just make sure you don't overlook the importance of geographic location. Unless you're totally online, you'll need a headquarters presence. Justin Smith will help you figure out how to find and leverage commercial real estate to your advantage. Before you sign another lease or put down a penny to buy an industrial building, flip through Industrial Intelligence. It's the playbook that could revolutionize how you feel about your headquarters, warehouse or store.

Related: Here Are Real Estate's Winners and Losers In the New Normal

6. Steven Cardinale -- Synaptic Alchemy: The Art & Science of Turning Ideas into Gold

Centuries ago, alchemists strove to turn basic materials into gold. Today, we chuckle at their folly. But the art of alchemy might not be ready for the record books. According to Synaptic Alchemy, alchemy can work, but gold isn't the end-game. Building successful businesses is. Cardinale shares what he calls "Prima Materia" -- or primary ingredients -- necessary to fuel innovation and spark alchemy for founders. The Synaptic Alchemy formula works like magic, but is surprisingly scientific at its root. Prepared to challenge everything you thought you knew about starting and scaling a company? Become an entrepreneurial alchemist.

7. Mikey Moran — Fearless Beauty: The Hair Business Blueprint

Mikey Moran wasn't a typical beauty business entrepreneur. His visionary approach to launching a beauty brand seemed radical. Yet like so many radical ideas, it worked brilliantly. This success catapulted the serial founder into global recognition, and encouraged him to advise other innovators on everything from inner resilience to consumer responsiveness. Though Fearless Beauty concentrates on giving industry tips for sprouting beauty-related organizations, its core principles apply across all sectors.

8. Scott Jarred — FutureHack!: How To Reach Your Full Financial Potential

Could you be 10 simple steps away from feeling more confident when it comes to money management and financial decisions? Scott Jarred is ready to walk you through the successful wealth strategies that have freed many entrepreneurs to live the lives they want. Learn the art of becoming an abundant thinker and find out how to beat back all the haters in FutureHack! When you're ready to join the ranks of world-class savers and investors, pull this book off your shelf.

Related: 5 Long-term Strategies To Create Wealth

9. Chris Duncan — You're Not Broken: 5 Steps to Become Superconscious and Activate Your Magic

Most people fall into the belief that they have to "fix" themselves, as if they're not enough as-is. They have to fix their mindsets. Fix their focuses. Fix their workflows. But what if fixing isn't the answer? You're Not Broken takes a fresh look at how to embark on a path of transformation by understanding the value of your perfect superconscious. Duncan outlines a five-step process to tapping into anyone's inner creativity to unleash natural genius — no fixes needed.

10. Don Wenner — Building an Elite Organization: The Blueprint to Scaling a High-Growth, High-Profit Business

When you find a system that works, you want to repeat it. As the founder of a highly successful real estate company, Don Wenner follows that rhythm. He believes hiring smart and moving forward systematically can help any organization reach for the stars. Throughout Building an Elite Organization, Wenner shares his path toward disciplined leadership based on proactivity and data. If your corporate goal is to move into first place in any category, Wenner's work is a must-read.
Peter Daisyme

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Co-founder of Hostt

Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Hostt, specializing in helping businesses host their website for free for life. Previously, he was co-founder of Pixloo, a company that helped people sell their homes online, which was acquired in 2012.

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