I'm fairly obsessed with reading. I read everything I can get my hands on. It's a habit that I developed early on. I used to be able to do one book per day but have since scaled it back to only two or three per week. As a prolific reader, I come across a large number of inspirational books that I would categorize as great.
However, as an entrepreneur, I've been acutely interested in the journey of others who've achieved fame in their own rights, and who've documented those journeys. I'm talking about the greats here. The likes of Og Mandino, James Altucher or Kamal Ravikant, all of whose work I've become mildly infatuated with.
When I think about the greatest inspirational books written for entrepreneurs, I think about people like that. There's a raw sense of honesty there. Of transparency. It's the personification of pain and remorse. It's the documentation of a life's journey that wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. It encompasses lessons learned. Growth. Honesty and understanding. The epitome of all things good and sound, noble and just.
While we all pick up books and read them, especially those of inspirational tales, we don't always connect with those books on a deeper level. But, my fascination here has been not just with books about business, but books about the so-called inner game. It's the fundamentals of having an astute mind, building character and of understanding how to deliver real value in the world.
Albert Einstein once said that you should strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. That's the core concept you'll find at the heart of most of these inspirational books. They each strive to deliver value by sharing deep insights into life and business, of helping to unlock doors and bridge the divide that separates our dreams from our reality. They encompass the bigger picture rather than any smaller parts. For example, authors on this list like Robert Cialdini don't teach you how to build a company, but will teach you the precursors for inking partnerships and landing contracts and closing sales by understanding the psychology and underlying power of persuasion. Og Mandino won't show you how to incorporate your business, but he will teach you the underlying tenets that are crucial for the entrepreneur to attain success at the highest level.
The word "best" can be careless. It's often subjective. But, there are metrics that help us gauge the results. Things like the number and authenticity of reviews, to the number of copies sold, awards won and the overall impact of a book can certainly help us gauge which ones would be the most inspirational to read.
However, as subjective as it might sound to refer to the best inspirational books, the truth is that many are looking for that proverbial light bulb to go if in their heads. We're too often stricken by emotions like fear and anxiety and stress, that we find it hard to stay focused. We digress and veer off on tangents and are plagued with numerous fears. I selected these books because they come from the heart and apply full circle toward the underlying concept of success, no matter what field you might be in. Read them. Study them. Learn from them and absorb their knowledge.
Related: 10 Ways to Stay Inspired for Life