Being second and third-time founders, we know that taking action is the single most important factor for success. However, to make the most from it, we need direction.
This is where theoretical knowledge comes in. Many entrepreneurs faced the challenges you're about to undergo and publish books that offer helpful insights. This is exactly why we compiled a list with the 25+ best audiobooks for entrepreneurs.
Consider downloading the following books and transform your boring commute or lunch break into a value-packed activity.
Best audiobooks for entrepreneurs & startup founders
The vibrant world of startups has a large number of interesting topics. When it comes to the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs in early-stage companies, start by listening to the following:
1. The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup is about understanding the needs of your customers and adjusting quickly. The book focuses on the importance of testing your product in environments of extreme uncertainty and adapting based on customer feedback. The author breaks the main idea into easily digestible chapters with personal examples, making it easy to understand and apply.
2. Good to Great
Good to Great examines the performance of 28 companies over a 30-year period to discover what makes a business truly successful. The book includes a useful (and practical) model that helps companies transition from "good to great" and doubles down on the importance of discipline in all areas of life. If your startup is currently underperforming due to a lack of productivity or bad habits, this book is a must!
3. Zero to One
In his book, Peter Thiel shares ideas and offers actionable advice for tech startups, based on his experiences from Paypal, Palantir, and Facebook. The book analyses the importance of innovation and the steps entrepreneurs need to follow to build successful products. Many founders find it one of the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs, as it delves into:
- The reasons why entrepreneurs should question conventional wisdom
- Why companies need to embrace monopoly
- How to capture value for a new business
4. Founders at Work
Founders at Work is a collection of interviews that explore the success principles of the world's most successful startups. The author makes casual conversations with a diverse group of popular founders and touches upon the excitement and challenges of building your own business. While it can be a bit too technical at parts, it offers useful tips and actionable advice for entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts.
Audiobook is only available on Youtube as a 20-minute summary.
Rework explains why starting a business is not as intimidating and risky as people tend to think. It explores the psychological barriers of entrepreneurs and offers a refreshing approach to business, based on the author's 20-year journey with Basecamp.
Best audiobooks on leadership
Developing your soft skills and leadership mentality should be on the top of your list. The following books will help you get there faster:
6. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best self-help audiobooks available. Despite its unflattering title, the book is packed with practical advice that will improve your communication skills and make you a better leader. Aside from their use in business environments, the main takeaways apply in private life as well, making it one of the best personal development audiobooks of all time.
7. How to Win at the Sport of Business
Mark Cuban's no-nonsense approach to business is perfect for young entrepreneurs with limited experience. In his book, the legendary investor gives helpful tips and recommendations based on his personal experience. Due to the many examples and references to his private life, the book acts both as an autobiography and a motivational push for success. While the advice may seem somewhat generic at parts, there are many valuable insights that help entrepreneurs develop their critical thinking.
Listen on Audible.
8. Extreme Ownership
In their book, Navy SEAL veterans Jocko Willink and Leif Babin discuss what it takes to lead and win in life. The two authors deconstruct battlefield advice into easily digestible business tips that help founders become better leaders. Among others, the book touches upon the importance of personal responsibility, learning how to perform under pressure, and tips to manage risk.
9. Start With Why
Start with why is one of the best startup audiobooks available. In short, the author describes how people and organizations need to first get to their "why" before the "how" and "what" become attainable. If you want to learn how you can define your why in under 5 minutes, check the following video:
Best books on creativity and innovation
The best business books on Audible are often related to the ability to think outside of the box. This entails idea generation, strategies to make more money, and the ability to differentiate yourself from the crowd. If you are facing any of these issues, consider listening to the following audiobooks.
10. The Art of Creative Thinking
Drawing on an extraordinary range of reference points, The Art of Creative Thinking helps uninspired entrepreneurs "unlock" their creativity by looking at things differently. The book contains a collection of short stories related to creative thinkers, and relevant quotes to ponder on. The goal of this book is to help people realize that creative thinking is not a professional direction but a way of relating to life.
Listen on Audible.
11. Purple Cow
Purple Cow is an excellent reference to the importance of innovation in business. Written by bestselling author and marketing expert Seth Godin, the book argues that traditional marketing is no longer relevant. According to him, the only way to differentiate your company from its competition is by creating something unique and original - hence the title of the book.
Listen on Audible.
12. The Innovator's Dilemma
The Innovator's Dilemma is considered to be one of the best books for creative thinking. Aside from addressing common challenges of innovative thinkers, the book discusses the importance of disruptive technologies, the necessity to adapt depending on technology progress, and how to achieve long-term success.
Listen on Audible.
13. Tribe of Mentors
Best selling author and researcher Tim Ferriss hosts casual conversations with world-class performers to discover their secrets to success. In a series of pre-determined questions, the author tries to decode mindset patterns, helping readers build better and more consistent habits.
Listen on Audible.
14. TED Talks - The Official Guide to Public Speaking
Ever wanted to talk like a TED speaker? Public speaking is a very important, yet often overlooked skill in an entrepreneur's toolbox. Among others, this short guide touches upon the following:
- How to practice conscious body language and tone of voice
- How to use your personal strengths to enrich your speech
- How to deliver your idea in the best possible way
The main idea of this book is that anyone who has an idea worth sharing can do so through a powerful talk. The only thing that truly matters is having something worth saying.
15. Say Anything to Anyone, Anywhere
This is an excellent book for entrepreneurs and founders that work in international environments. The book explains how culture and tradition can often lead to miscommunication and what you can do to prevent or resolve it. After listening to the audiobook, you will know how to build better business relationships with clients, partners, investors, and stakeholders, through small adjustments in your behavior.
16. Rich Dad Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki's book is a classic for entrepreneurs and investors worldwide. The book talks about a young man with two fathers - one who became a victim of his wrong choices, and one who achieved wealth by going his own way. By talking about his life experiences, the author shares the lessons he learned on wealth generation and shares practical models to help you get started.
17. 12 Rules for Life - An Antidote to Chaos
Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life helps entrepreneurs navigate the chaotic world of startups. Founders struggling with the hard and brutal reality of survival can extract lots of gems from the book, which they can then apply in business-related situations. To get a better idea of the contents and how these apply to entrepreneurs, make sure you check this article.
18. Can't Hurt Me - Master Your Mind and Define the Odds
Apart from being a best-selling author, David Goggins is known as the toughest person on earth! In Can't Hurt Me, he talks about his life and explains how everyone has the capacity to perform better. To illustrate his point, he shares a model known as "The 40% Rule", which helps people from all walks of life, including entrepreneurs, to reach their full potential.
Listen on Audible.
Best books on productivity
Are you struggling with time management and work efficiency? Most of us do! The books listed below will help you build better systems and improve your decision-making process.
19. The 4-Hour Work Week
Tim Ferriss's most popular book introduces the idea of automation and outsourcing in business situations. It is one of the first books that delve into the "hacks" of maximizing productivity and makes the idea of a wealthy lifestyle more attainable. It is also one of the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs that are looking for ways to optimize their workflow.
20. Thinking Fast & Slow
Thinking Fast And Slow illustrates how the right and left hemispheres of your brain are constantly fighting over control of your actions and behaviors. Through a series of exercises, the book explains how this leads to memory problems, poor decision-making, and impaired judgment. While the audiobook may sound a little complex in parts, it is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to respond in the best possible way.
21. The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 Principle, also known as the Pareto principle, helps entrepreneurs understand where they need to focus their attention. In essence, the book explains that roughly 80% of effects (or outputs) come from 20% of the causes (or inputs). Through a series of revelations and practical steps, the book aims to increase the productivity of startup founders and entrepreneurs.
22. The One Thing
The One Thing explains how entrepreneurs can achieve more by focusing on less and unveils the often-overlooked dangers of multitasking. Through a series of personal experiences and inspiring stories, the author helps readers focus on what matters most and make better decisions. Apart from being one of the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs, this book is also a guide for a more productive life.
Listen on Audible.
23. Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits is one of the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs in 2020. The concept is simple: Tiny behavior changes lead to better daily habits which, in turn, lead to big changes. The author explains that changing your life is not about making big, drastic changes, but rather a matter of recognizing faulty behavior and building habit consistency. To achieve this, the book offers a step-by-step blueprint that is easy to follow.
24. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers insight into behavior patterns that improve both personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Rather than focusing on altering the outward manifestations of your behavior and attitudes, it aims to adapt your inner core, character, and motives.
25. Tools of Titans
Similar to Tribe of Mentors, Tools Of Titans is a massive collection of everything Tim Ferriss has learned from interviewing over 200 athletes, investors, and entrepreneurs regarding health, wealth, and wisdom. This book focuses more on the tools they use to streamline processes and improve their life.
Listen on Audible.
You should now have enough audiobook ideas to keep yourself busy. We plan to regularly update this list, so make sure you bookmark this article for future reference. If there is any book that you believe should be part of the list with the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs, make sure to let us know.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you are looking for more information with regards to the top business audiobooks, then make sure you check out the Q&A section below. We regularly update this section to add the most relevant questions and answers, making sure you always get the latest book recommendations.
What are the top audio books for entrepreneurs to offer as a gift?
With the holiday season coming up, you might want to give a more personalized gift to your entrepreneurial friends. In this case, there are many different books you can choose from. However, not all will offer unique insights, as non-fiction is often repetitive. In our opinion, one of the best audiobooks to give as a gift is the autobiography of Mark Cuban, How to Win at the Sport of Business audiobook.
What are the best audiobooks on business-related soft skills?
The ability to build up a strong network is very important for entrepreneurs. Especially in situations of social distancing, the way we communicate in business-related settings has changed completely. Therefore, if you are looking to download the best audiobooks for personal development, start from Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
What are the best audio books for entrepreneurs of minority groups?
In later years, there is a tendency for minority-focused subgroups that promote entrepreneurship among the younger crowd. Aside from focusing on those that may otherwise go overlooked, these organizations also offer special grants and funding to minorities with great business ideas. But are there any audiobooks to help you get inspired if you belong to a minority? In our opinion, this is a wrongly formulated question. Entrepreneurship should not be divided based on race, gender, and nationality; the whole concept of entrepreneurship is the celebration of new ideas, whoever they may come from. Therefore, innovation wouldn’t be possible unless we are open to all aspects of modern business.
How did we select the best business audiobooks?
The selection process comes as a result of our long experience in the sector, and by carefully researching opinions of other entrepreneurs on the web. While the list may look slightly different from person to person, the books we shared above are considered to be classics, meaning that they offer timeless advice to those starting out in business.
What are the best audiobooks for starting a business in the Covid-19 season?
The COVID-19 lockdowns have certainly had a toll on most businesses, whether you were selling products or services. While there are not many audiobooks specifically discussing the topic, we have found that the longer-form podcasts of Gary Vaynerchuck offer a lot of useful advice. You can check Gary’s Youtube channel here. Our guess is that his podcasts will become your best audiobooks for commute in 2020.
What are the best audiobooks for small business owners?
While most of the books above can help small business owners improve their operations and systems, we do believe that a certain type of information can be applied better than others. For us, those are all of Tim Ferriss’s podcasts and audiobooks, which are by many considered to be the best books for entrepreneurs in 2020. More specifically, one of the best audiobooks for entrepreneurs in 2020 is his decade-long bestseller “The 4-Hour Work Week”.