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4 Books Your Timid Entrepreneurial Heart Wants You to Read Fearful about taking those first steps? Others have felt the same way. They've written whole books about it.

By Sarah Vermunt Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, your heart is filled with excitement and fear, probably in equal amounts. You want it all so bad, but you're afraid. I've been there.

Related: 5 Tips to Read 100 Books a Year

So, why not pick up a book and listen to someone else's advice and inspiration? These four books will help you find the courage to get out there and make your business happen.

1. Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Way to World Domination

by Hugh MacLeod

Hugh MacLeod, you had me at "evil plans." Or was it "world domination"? Either way, this book is pure gold. MacLeod dispenses advice for escaping the rat race in 41 short and punchy chapters, including, "Welcome to the Hunger," "Remember Who You Really Are," "Sleep Rough," "Avoid Dinosaurspeak" and "No, You Can't Have It All." Need I say more? Get this book.

2. The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

by Elle Luna

Elle Luna is a painter who found the guts to go for it. Her book is easily one of the most visually beautiful books I've ever read. It began as an online manifesto and quickly became a huge phenomenon. It's filled with Luna's own striking art, stories about her personal journey and a heartfelt rally cry for moving toward your calling. This means doing the things you must do, versus the things you've been taught to believe you should do. Unique. Gorgeous. Inspiring.

Related: 7 Must-Read Books for the Budding Entrepreneur

3. The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful and Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms

by Danielle LaPorte

OMG. Get this book. It was instrumental in helping me find the guts to start my own business, so it has a special place in my heart. Danielle LaPorte is equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass. A sampling of her edgy, contrarian business advice might include: Life balance is a myth; being well rounded is highly overrated; and what looks like fear might actually be excitement. This book is organized into 16 sections, and each one is a loving, inspired, no-nonsense call to action to get your s*** together and get started.

4. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

Gone are the days when you had to write up a 100-page business plan before launching a successful business. In fact, a clunky, cumbersome business plan is likely to prevent your biz from being successful. A simple, lean, clear start is often best. So, if you're serious about pulling together your ideas for your business, this book is incredibly helpful. If it's good enough for 3M, Deloitte and NASA, it might just be worth your giving it a whirl, too. Want to try it before buying the book? Check out the Business Model Canvas -- a free tool that helps you get the essence of your business plan down on one page.

Related: 12 Books on Every Aspect of Launching and Running a Business

Sarah Vermunt

Careergasm Founder

Sarah Vermunt is the founder of Careergasm. As a career coach, she helps people quit jobs they hate so they can do work they love.

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