10 Essential Books and Online Resources for Entrepreneurs : Eprenz 2021 Recommendation

By David Wagstaff, Founder of Eprenz and the Entrepreneurs Network.

One of the most frequent questions that Entrepreneurs Network, Eprenz receives is, “Are there books, podcasts, or content that we can recommend for aspiring or accomplished entrepreneurs?”

Many of these must-have books and resources may not be new suggestions, but they offer important insights into the fundamental entrepreneurial challenges that many business owners face. These content recommendations are applicable to all entrepreneurs who are aspiring to have a scalable and investable business.

10 Books, Webinars, and Podcast that Inspire Entrepreneurs to Succeed

It is an extensive list as it covers how to design a business model, a tool for smart equity allocation, step-by-step startup guides, and other foundational elements for entrepreneurs success.

1. Startup: A show about what it’s really like to start a business by Gimlet Media

Podcast

Season one of the podcast contains excellent takeaways for entrepreneurs just getting started in a new endeavor. Gimlet Media’s founder and the podcast’s host, Alex Blumberg, brings a fun energy to the story as he covers topics which span multiple challenges including raising capital, finding a co-founder, sharing equity, pivots, and naming a startup. What makes Startup truly compelling is that the listener goes on a journey with Alex as he uncovers both the excited and frustrating elements of building a business. It is a genuine story that gives insight into the true entrepreneurial journey.

2. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

This book is now over 10-years old and there are multiple versions in the series for entrepreneurs. Pick the one that you prefer, but they all help lay out the fundamentals of rapidly thinking about the basic elements of your business models.

I love that it is simplified to ‘one page’ where you can see how everything fits together.The author’s recommend use of post-it notes is still a suggestion I use frequently.

This read is particularly compelling if you are creating an innovative company or business model, it is likely to evolve multiple times as you get all the components in place from pricing to ideal customer, value proposition, and business partners.

3. Slicing the Pie by Mike Moyer

Online Equity Calculator

A common challenge entrepreneurs face when they are starting is how to fairly share the equity in the business, i.e., equity allocation. It is impossible to know exactly what each team member will contribute to the business on day one. The business will inevitably change over time while team members join and exit the business.

The Slicing Pie equity model allows for a dynamic method where equity is shared based on contribution over time. Like any system, it is imperfect but the framework of trying to treat people fairly based on their contribution makes a lot of sense and is more logical than dividing it at the start of the business or after the business is ready for sale.

The core concept here is setting up a system where you compensate people with equity based on their investment of time or capital from the businesses’ inception.

4. Talking to Human by Frank Rimalovski and Giff Constable

Book

Learning key challenges faced by your prospective customers while trying to find what customers want is critical in the early stage of your startup.

It is easy to ask ineffective questions like, “What do you think of my business idea?”

The answer will leave you little value. People are inclined to be positive and tell you what they think you want to hear.

The book teaches you how it is far more powerful to ask questions like “How do you solve this business challenge?”.

5. Hooked By Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover

Book

The book carries powerful insights on how to create a product or service that engages your customers and has them return for more.

Hooked is how to create your product and service as part of the daily habit for customers.

6. Angel Investing by David S. Rose

Book

David is an active angel investor with New York Angels and other groups and lays out how to think about angel investing from the investor’s perspective.

If you are in the process of raising angel capital, I recommend this book to understand Angel Investors.

If you are an investor, the book will help you understand how to improve your probability of a solid return on your investment.

7. Crush it!: Why Now is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion and its updated version Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Book

Gary motivates many people through his focused passion and enthusiasm. This book is great if you want the motivation to pursue your passion and turn it into a business.

It tells a bit of his story and is a great read if you want motivation to get started in pursuing your dreams.

8. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, By Steve Blank and Bob Dorf

Book

The startup owner's manual

As the name implies, if you are seeking a step-by-step guide on how to build a business, this book has a wealth of information.

It can almost be used like a cookbook where you can look up or reference specific topics.

This is one of the best books for entrepreneurs and startups as it’s appropriate for founders who wish to build a profitable scalable startup.

9. Entrepreneurship Bootcamp with Christos Kritikos

Webinar

This webinar provides a solid foundation on how to build your business and think about your business model. Altogether, there are about 5 hours of content. It’s appropriate for any business owner thinking about their business model and how to build a scalable and investable business.

10. Raising Capital and Angel Investors by David Wagstaff

Webinar

In this one-hour webinar for entrepreneurs, you learn the basics of how to fund your business and raise capital for your business from angel investors including where to find angel investors. For entrepreneurs with solid business ideas, at least the start of a good team, and demonstrated traction, this webinar lays out how to find angel investors and how to create a winning pitch deck.

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