9 Authors Who Influenced CEOs as Kids

Favorite Author Recommendations from 14 Entrepreneurs

Who is your favorite author that you would recommend to another entrepreneur? Why?

To help you find your next read, we asked book-loving entrepreneurs this question for their best recommendations. From Robert A. Caro to Barbara Corcoran to Time Ferriss, there are several authors and book recommendations that may help inspire you as an entrepreneur.

Here are 14 author recommendations from entrepreneurs:

  • Robert A. Caro
  • T. Harv Eker
  • MJ Demarco
  • James Clear 
  • Peter Thiel
  • Jocko Willink
  • Barbara Corcoran
  • Dave Ramsay
  • Susie Moore
  • Simon Sinek
  • Brené Brown
  • Phil Knight
  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • Tim Ferriss

Favorite Author Recommendations from 14 Entrepreneurs


Robert A. Caro

Robert A. Caro is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote four books in thirty years. Caro’s first book, Power Broker, profiles Robert Moses, a public municipal official who significantly shaped New York City through cunning political moves, world views, and relentless work ethic. Caro then devoted his next three books to Lyndon B. Johnson. These books go into the extremest of details – there have never been biography-based books as detailed as Caro’s – and the proof is in the length of these books (1,000+ pages, tiny print). But they’re epic reads for entrepreneurs. You’ll learn exactly how a couple of guys rose to power, stayed there, and shaped the world we live in as a result.

Brett Farmiloe, Terkel


T. Harv Eker

If you want to change your complete business mindset as an entrepreneur I recommend you read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv. Eker. When you just read the title it may seem the book is only about getting rich, but the book contains so much more. It changes your complete mindset as an entrepreneur, which will then result in getting better-paying customers and making more sales automatically.

Angie Makljenovic, She Can Blog


MJ Demarco

An author I would recommend to other entrepreneurs is MJ DeMarco. A personal favorite of mine is The Millionaire Fast Lane because it provides a refreshingly honest take on what it takes to be a young entrepreneur. DeMarco backs up all of his claims with quantitative data that helps illustrate why working for forty years and investing well isn’t always enough. Lots of entrepreneurial books don’t always practice what they preach in their advice, whereas this one not only makes authentic recommendations but leaves you with a blueprint for success. There is also an online forum connected to the book which is a great place for readers to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

Tom Mumford, Undergrads


James Clear

James Clear has a body of work that will resonate with most entrepreneurs. In his book Atomic Habits, Clear describes the concept of the accumulation of marginal gains. This concept involves making small improvements across all aspects of business in order to see game-changing results. The mentality Clear imparts of consistent, marginal improvement over time is valuable to everyone, and nobody more so than entrepreneurs.

Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel


Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel’s book Zero To One details how startups can succeed by starting small. He recommends having a target market in mind before launching your business that is very narrow in scope. Peter suggests always starting with a small market to dominate and expand into other markets after achieving business success. Achieving business success is sometimes hard when you have similar competitors in the market. The theme of Zero to One is to avoid competition and differentiate your product or service to the greatest extent possible. Avoiding competition and entering a market where you have a specific product or service that other entrepreneurs have not entered provides you with the ability to scale and grow.

Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching


Jocko Willink

In my opinion, Jocko Willink’s books are a must for both fresh and experienced entrepreneurs. He is brutally honest, inspiring, and gives great action tips that can be applied to any business. I especially recommend the book Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win that he wrote with his co-author Leif Babin. This book completely changed my view of ownership and responsibility for everything around me. The authors share their recollections of the war in Iraq and explain how war teaches you the most when things go wrong. They give examples of how to implement the SEAL unit principles in any leadership environment. In battle, in business, and in life, the book educates how teams should take complete ownership of any problem to get it solved. I found the narrative highly insightful and thought-provoking, and the authors’ experience is an excellent guide to the realities of the business world.

Tytus Golas, Tidio


Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran from “Shark Tank.” She’s very inspirational and offers great business lessons. She is also honest about her journey and how she has been able to achieve success. Her book, Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business, is a page-turner. Reading it is an incredible opportunity to learn about her story.

Sarah Pirrie, Healist Naturals


Dave Ramsay

Author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker — Dave Ramsay has written a number of prolific best-selling books that offer a goldmine of information for both seasoned and budding entrepreneurs. He has a rich background in personal finance and some of his best works include The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, and Smart Money Smart Kids. Aside from carefully taking his readers through important concepts in entrepreneurship and finance, Dave Ramsay ensures that his books are actionable and easy to follow, regardless of where you are in your journey.

Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io


Susie Moore 

There are many authors who tell you how to do things, but few explain what makes you decide to do them, and this is why Susie Moore is my favorite author. Unlike others, she covers the process behind our decisions, how fear results in the thoughts that hold us back, and what can be done to combat them.

Her book What if it Does Work Out? is an amazing read that describes how we can find the talents we possess, and then keep from letting our fear dictate our paths. By breaking down the process into understandable steps, she takes our fears about what has yet to happen, and instead, shows us the possibilities of our entrepreneurial talents once our thinking is changed.

Adelle Archer, Eterneva


Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is a powerful thought leader and his articulation around starting with why is one that transcends all industries and businesses. We actively revisit that concept and ideology as a reminder of why we’re building this organization.

Adam Mitchell, SponsorPulse


Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s books inspire leaders and those who want to be authentic in their work and lives to be vulnerable and honest. It challenges entrepreneurs to break down barriers to courage. Being courageous according to Brené means having tough conversations. If you’re going into a new business, you need to make sure you build a team you can be radically honest with. She also is a source of inspiration for girls and women as a leading female role model to aspire to.

Jennifer Pieniazek, Resume Now


Phil Knight

Shoe Dog is a book that I would recommend to any entrepreneur. It has become a new classic book for the industry and can be applied to all entrepreneurs in any industry. Phil Knight does a great job to include tips and tricks that anyone can apply, but in the end, success comes down to grit. How determined are you and passionate about your product? That is the question every entrepreneur should ask themselves.

Brandon Adcock, Nugenix


Malcolm Gladwell 

The author that I would immediately recommend to other entrepreneurs is Malcolm Gladwell – specifically his book Outliers: The Story of Success.  I discovered Gladwell’s books in the early 2010s, and they had a fundamental impact on my business career and the way that I viewed success, the perspective of others, and a number of topics related to the social sciences.

I believe that ‘Outliers’ is a must-read for any entrepreneur looking to explore the ingredients that form success, whether that be in business, sport, entertainment, or simply regular life. One topic that Gladwell highlights in this book is the concept of dedicating 10,000 hours to a skill or topic in order to become an expert in the field. Many people have probably heard of this concept, and this book serves as my favorite exploration into the subject. Outside of ‘Outliers’, Gladwell’s other books cover topics just as fulfillment, courage, and innovation, making them vital reads for any entrepreneur.

Teresha Aird, Offices.net


Tim Ferriss

Every book I have ever read by Tim Ferriss has been a ‘must-read’ for me, especially The 4-Hour Workweek. He breaks down complex ideas in clear and concise language – no fluff. His books are always practical and actionable. I love the way he writes and his perspectives on life. It inspires me to work harder at my goals in life.

Jennifer Schlette, KitchenSubstitute


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