5 Best Books for Young Entrepreneurs

Will Smith once said in an interview, “There have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There's no new problem you could have -- with your parents, with school, with a bully. There's no new problem that someone hasn't already had and written about it in a book.” The same applies when it comes to the problems of entrepreneurship -- there is nothing new under the sun. Somewhere, someone has encountered the same issues you are facing.

When you’re a young entrepreneur, it can be easy to feel that the world is against you, or you may just feel uneasy in the world. Everyone you interact with is older, or you imagine that you simply aren’t qualified to be a part of the industry. However, that simply isn’t true. If you feel that your peers lack respect for you because of your age, re-examine how you carry yourself and how you speak to them. If you feel you aren’t qualified, look at your knowledge base and passion, and compare it to that of others.

If you feel that you’re lost, read about others who have conquered the same hurdles as you are concerned about and how they came out ahead.

Searching for a book that speaks to your challenges in particular? Check out these 5 fantastic books that can help young entrepreneurs. In these pages, you’re sure to find inspiration, education and entertainment.

1. A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success

By Deep Patel

In A Paperboy’s Fable, Deep Patel tells the story of a paperboy who learns the ways of entrepreneurship from scratch, thereby providing the reader with a step-by-step guide to those core principles. The main character, Ty Chandler, is a 16-year-old working to earn money before he leaves for college. His story is presented over the course of 11 chapters, and each chapter focuses on a particular principle.

A serial entrepreneur and marketing influencer, Patel published the book when he was the same age as Ty, and the book is an excellent example of an entrepreneur who conquered his fear of strangers’ initial impressions to reach greatness. The book also includes interviews with 15 industry luminaries, such as General David Petraeus and Vine founder Rus Yusupov, to create a high-value resource for every young entrepreneur who isn’t feeling quite sure of him or herself.

2. Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After

By Miki Agrawal

If you’re not sure you can really make a career of something you love, read Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal. After founding a farm-to-table pizzeria at age 25, and finding success in bustling New York City, she now collaborates with Zappos’s founder Tony Hsieh to expand in to Las Vegas. She also recently founded THINX, a brand disrupting the feminine hygiene category, and works to relieve women’s sanitary needs around the world.

Do Cool Sh*t focuses on relationship building, using Agrawal’s personal experiences both as a young person and a female in a male-dominated space. The book walks the reader through Agrawal’s process of finding confidence, building the relationships that support her efforts, and inspiring herself and others, all while being a hilarious and fast read. If you’re feeling shy, this is the book for you.

3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

By Robert T. Kiyosaki

The younger you are, the more likely it is that your financial literacy and understanding of the complexities of running a business is incomplete. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki breaks down an enormous amount of basic financial information, such as investing, recording profits, cash flow, debt and starting and owning businesses. Best of all, he manages to do this without burning out or boring the reader.

The book is written as a set of parables, ostensibly based on Kiyosaki's life. He was able to sell his business—the first to offer nylon and Velcro “surfer wallets”—and was able to retire at age 47. Shortly after retiring, he wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which now holds the spot of the No. 1 personal-finance book of all time, as measured by Nielsen’s Bookscan.

4. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

By Adam Grant

Part of being a young entrepreneur is breaking the mold and disregarding norms when it comes to business and behaviors. You are in good company with Adam Grant’s book, Originals, which examines how leaders can combat groupthink, and how those who go against the grain move our society and technology further and faster.

The book tells a number of stories about unique individuals involved in business, politics, sports and entertainment, and describes how, by breaking norms, they were able to rise to the top. Originals also offers ideas on how to nurture productively irreverent thought patterns in others, thus creating a more creative and valuable team.

5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

In Grit, Angela Duckworth argues that it’s not intelligence or talent that makes for success, but a blend of passion and persistence. As the reader, you’ll travel through the first few days of West Point Military Academy, a day in the life of an inner-city teacher striving for excellence, and even a young finalist in a national spelling bee contest. You’ll experience the thoughts, doubts and ambitions of each person.

Grit is an excellent read for those who struggle with the feeling that they are not as intelligent or naturally talented as those they are competing or collaborating with. The book also includes guidance on how to learn grit and trigger lifelong interest, and how to know what the perfect amount of practice is for what you’re trying to achieve.

Searching for a book that speaks to your challenges in particular? Check out these 5 fantastic books that can help young entrepreneurs. In these pages, you’re sure to find inspiration, education and entertainment.