11 Aspiring Entrepreneurs Share Lessons From Cherished Books

The paradox of reading books is that there is always something more pressing to do but rarely anything more rewarding.

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By Andrew Medal


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We all know the Warren Buffett philosophy about reading. I experienced firsthand the compounding positive effects reading has on the brain during a two year sprint, where I read 197 books. Since then, my relentless hunger for learning has been unleashed. I read constantly, sometimes multiple books simultaneously, and stay in a constant state of curiosity (which fuels my desire to learn more; just in case you couldn't connect the dots there).

A few months ago, I started a Facebook group for entrepreneurs to learn from each other. We have over 10k+ members, have discussions about problems we face, while providing solutions, and recently launched a podcast.

I recently posed the question, "What is your favorite book and the lesson you learned from it?" Here are some of the insightful responses:

1. Tony Jones says, Mastery, by Robert Greene. The Lesson: "This is one of the most detailed accounts of how we mature through the stages of mastery in any field."

2. Yudhistiro Trah Kusumonegoro Business Model Generation, by Alex Ostenwalder.

The Lesson: "Building business isn't just about delivering products or services to the customer. There are many intertwined components, and there is a way to model them, visually." I love this book. It has helped me with my own startups, in a very practical way. The Last Mile, which is a non-profit I volunteer with, uses this book to teach incarcerated inmates incarcerated how to build their own startups.

Related: How Reading Books Reduces Stress and Makes You Smarter at the Same Time

3. Samuel Rapetswa recommends, The Last Lecture, by Professor Randy Pausch.

"He didn't see his struggle with pancreatic cancer as special....He didn't see his struggle with pancreatic cancer as special. Almost 49,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every year, and every one of them has an equally sad story to tell about the diagnosis. His story was no different.

But unlike most people diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, Pausch was asked to give a lecture about his life and what it's meant to him so far in front of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University. He had to come up with something to knock their socks off, and he had only three to six months to live, according to his doctor. No pressure.

That day in the lecture hall, he gave his audience a peek into his childhood dreams. While his cancer diagnosis was just another statistic, his childhood dreams were something unique to him."

The Lesson: "No one has the same childhood dreams." This is a great lesson that we can all take to heart.

4. Anubhav Shankar says, The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene.

The Lesson: "Try picking up a bee to know the limitations of kindness." This is one of my personal favorites, and contains infinite lessons on each page flipped.

5. Brian Edward Fisher V says, The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett.

The Lesson: "The strength in numbers when you can teach and guide others that share your vision and believe in you." This is on my reading list.

6. Willard Wizzo Nyamunokora advises, How to Create the Next Facebook by Taulli Tom.

The Lesson: "It details everything from pitching to IPO, through the legal and financial aspects of business. I've read tons of books and nothing compares to this." I just purchased this on Amazon!

Related: 5 Books to Read Before Starting Your Business

7. J.j. Lagasca says, The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

The Lesson: "Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak." I love this book, and use the teachings in my daily life.

8. Brian Williams enjoyed, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

The Lesson: "An asset is something that puts money in your pocket, a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket. Your house is probably more of a liability than asset." I read this book when I was 16, and it helped me to understand some basic financing lessons.

9. Shaukat Kotwal explains that Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Karan Bansal, was eye opening.

The Lesson: "And if you chase something long enough, sooner or later you will get lucky. If you are really lucky then you will do it in five years, if you are moderately lucky then you will do it in 10 years, if you are terribly unlucky you will do it in 15 years."

10. Mark Buenafe Dalagan recommends The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.

The Lesson: "The book explains the power of compounding in one's life. Be it in business or personal. Since then, I have been so careful with the decisions and actions I am taking."

11. Natália Araujo shares People Over Profit: Break The System, Live With Purpose, Be More Successful by Dale Partridge.

The Lesson: "Belief #3, authenticity attracts, fight the lie and resist the urge to become someone else." In every area of my life, I fight to resist any sort of conformity. I agree with this lesson, and look forward to reading this book.

The love of reading is a passion I plan to pass onto my future children. Reading is a skill that takes practice and work, but has exponential returns.

Related: 5 Powerful Books That Changed the Direction of My Life

Andrew Medal

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Entrepreneur & Angel Investor

Andrew Medal is the founder of The Paper Chase, which is a bi-weekly newsletter. He is an entrepreneur and angel investor.

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