Megha Dadarwal
11 Feb 2019 . 1 min read

How To Turn Ideas Into Income? (Advice From Successful People)

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best books for entrepreneurs best books for entrepreneurs

The goal is to make an income while making an impact. It’s no surprise that successful people read. These people who have accomplished what you’re working toward have written books to help you get there. Here's a list of books designed to help entrepreneurs reach their goals.

#1.The lean startup - Eric Ries

the lean startup

Goodreads - 4.6/5

The lean startup by Eric Ries is a book explaining how today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Eric explains a systematic, scientific way for business managers to get the information they need to make fast decisions in today’s changing world.

The book is divided into three parts covering vision, steer and accelerate.  Eric Ries uses real case studies from a wide range of different businesses to illustrate the principles he discusses.

Stand out about this book is that Eric Ries presents an upfront and realistic picture of how life in a startup can be. He says that entrepreneurs believe themselves into thinking that they have a perfect idea, not fully realising that sometimes the market has disproved their own notions.

If you have not yet read this book, read it, stop wasting time. Here are a few handpicked quotes from this great book.

“As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.”

“The more money, time, and creative energy that has been sunk into an idea, the harder it is to pivot.”

#2. The 4-hour workweek - Timothy Ferriss

the 4 hour work week

Goodreads - 3.86

4-Hour Workweek is a classic read for entrepreneurs and has a strong following of people who swear by it. Having sold millions of copies, translated into 35 languages and having spent more than 4 years on New York’s best seller books, it’s no surprise why it’s on our list.

The book is about creating an infrastructure so you cut your working time to only 4 hours a week and use the remaining time for self-growth and care. Tim’s insights about email, outsourcing, and business use take it to a new extreme.

There is a lot to take away from this book that can be put to use in your everyday scenario.

Tim suggests -

“Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities. You’ll just read unassociated e-mail and scramble your brain for the day.”

Another a great lesson he illustrates: ”For all four years of school, I had a policy. If I received anything less than an A on the first paper or non-multiple-choice in a given class, I would bring 2-3 hours of questions to the grader’s office hours and not leave until the other had answered them all or stopped out of exhaustion. This served two important purposes:

1. I learned exactly how the grader evaluated work, including his or her prejudices and pet peeves.

2. The grader would think long and hard about ever giving me less than an A. He or she would never consider giving me a bad grace without exceptional reasons for doing so, as he or she knew I’d come a’knocking for another three-hour visit. Learn to be difficult when it counts.”

From his experience, Tim shares his street-smart tips for simplifying your life, automating your work, being more effective with your email/communications, cutting down on interruptions, and using your time more efficiently and to really achieve something of meaning.

#3. Zero to one - Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

zero to one

Goodreads - 4.2/5

Another New York Times bestseller, Zero to one- Notes on Startups, How to Build the Future is a 2014 book by venture capitalist, PayPal co-founder, and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel along with Blake Masters. Peter Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal, held regular lectures at the University of Stanford in 2012. In cooperation with a student of this class, Blake Masters, Thiel took those class notes and published them as the book “Zero to One”.

Thiel writes: “that is what a startup has to do: question received ideas and rethink business from scratch.”

This book gives an inside look at Peter’s philosophy from his learning’s and mistakes from PayPal and his other ventures.

He shares “The best entrepreneurs know this: every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world; when you share your secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator.”

#4. The hard thing about hard things - Ben Horowitz

the hard things about hard things

Goodreads - 4.2/5

Ben Horowitz, Co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, sells the truth of his founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies while also giving essential advice and practical wisdom navigating the toughest business problems.

Here’s a book written by CEO’s for CEO’s. If you are one already or are aspiring to be one, look no further, because this book tells it straight. From firing friends to managing competitors, from cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to take a risk.

Words from a CEO “Great CEOs face the pain. They deal with the sleepless nights, the cold sweats, and what my friend the great Alfred Chuang (legendary co-founder and CEO of BEA Systems) calls “the torture.” Whenever I meet a successful CEO, I ask them how they did it. Mediocre CEOs point to their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense or a variety of other self-congratulatory explanations. Great CEOs tend to be remarkably consistent in their answers. They all say, “I didn’t quit.”

This book has enough matter to incite your inspirations “Until you make the effort to get to know someone or something, you don’t know anything.”

Note to self: It’s a good idea to ask, "what am I not doing?”

(Meanwhile Also Read About these 11 Women Entrepreneurs & Their Success Stories)

#5. The $100 Startup - Chris Guillebeau

the $100 startup

Goodreads - 3.82/5

Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur, author, blogger and speaker championing the cause of entrepreneurship. Chris sells ideas to turn small ideas and hobbies into a business. It includes many stories of accidental entrepreneurs. Many who had no previous experience in running a business but certainly had passion and an idea. Many journeys that start with a small idea, eventually leading to freedom along with independence and wealth.

In his book, Chris has included many planning tools to help build your business. Examples include Six Steps to Getting Started Right Now, the One-Page Partnership Agreement, and the Thirty-Nine-Step Product Launch Checklist. At the same time, he focuses on action being more important than planning.

"There's nothing wrong with planning, but you can spend a lifetime making a plan that never turns into action. In a battle between planning and action, action wins."

A few personal favourite bits of advice from this book:

"Most people want more of some things (love, money, attention) and less of other things (stress, anxiety, debt). Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve someone's life."

"You usually don't get paid for your hobby itself; you get paid for helping other people pursue the hobby or for something indirectly related to it."

#6. Think and grow rich - Napoleon Hill

think and grow rich

Goodreads - 4.2/5

Here’s a must read by Napoleon Hill. Based on 20 years of experience, he has written this timeless book for anyone and everyone who wants to succeed in life. The author covers so many topics densely and repeatedly. So much that it certainly leaves a permanent mark and brings about at least many small change in life. It was arguably the most widely circulated book of the 20th century on the topic of personal success.

If you’re wondering what you’re in for, here’s why this book makes you think, grow and prosper.

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”

To see defeat as an opportunity to improve: “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal. Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass”.

#7. The E myth- Michelle E Gerbe

the e myth

Goodreads - 3.9/5

The E-Myth Revisited explains why most small businesses fail and how to ensure yours isn’t among those by building a company that’s based on systems, and not on the work of a single individual. This book gives the reader a lesson on running a business with or without the best technical skills. It talks about how having good skills doesn’t necessarily mean a successful business.

Gerber talks about the franchise business. It tells you to imagine your business as a nationwide franchise from day one, then builds the first store.

The franchise approach makes sure you build a business based on systems, not people.

His experience as an entrepreneur has a lot of offer fellow entrepreneurs.

Constantly improving is the only way to be:

“Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.”

“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.”

#8. Rework - Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson


Goodreads - 3.9/5

Here’s a motivating and inspirational business and management book a little different than the rest. While it covers the business aspects very well, it doesn’t do it like others. The authors have stayed truly honest and upfront in their teachings about running a business. They advise to stay small and focus on the essential things in your niche. Rework shows you a better, easier way to succeed in your niche by telling you what to avoid and what to focus on.

Rework moves you to take a stand for something you believe in and then pick a fight with a necessity. The founders of basecamp also put emphasis on the importance of staying honest, personal and humble.

“Workaholics aren't heroes. They don't save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is home because she figured out a faster way”

The importance to lead and to be an original. ”Plus, if you’re a copycat, you can never keep up. You’re always in a passive position. You never lead; you always follow. You give birth to something that’s already behind the times—just a knockoff, an inferior version of the original. That’s no way to live”

#9. The 7 habits of highly effective people - Stephen R. Covey

the 7 habits of highly effective people

Goodreads - 4.1/5

Exactly what the title says this book is to give a direction to your life in a constructive and effective way. To summarise it for you, Stephen explains these 7 ways to be too highly effective.

Being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergise and sharpen the saw.

A must for pretty much everyone looking for a guideline to make their lives easier with help of this powerful personal development tool.

This book is a self-improvement book in a true sense. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

#10. Start with why - Simon Sinek

start with why

Goodreads - 4.1/5

Start With Why is Simon Sinek’s mission to help others do work, which inspires them, and uses real-world examples of great leaders to show you how they communicate and how you can adapt their mindset to inspire others yourself.

Out of all the learning’s there are, to take away from this book, here’s a few: If you want to inspire others, always communicate your why first. Excited employees are the best resource for any business. You don’t need sleazy sales tactics when you start with why.

Simon knows exactly what sells the most:

“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe."

"Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”

#11. The Achievement Habit’ - Dr. Bernard Roth

the achievement habit

Goodreads - 3.7/5

The Achievement Habit is written by Bernard Roth, an engineering professor and co-founder of Stanford's D School. The book is a half biography, half self-help book that uses the concepts of design thinking, awareness, and a bias to action to help you shape your life.

The Achievement Habit shows you that being an achiever isn’t necessarily innate, it’s something that you can actively learn by using the principles of design thinking to walk you through several, which will get you to jump right into the action.

He also speaks of realistic human relationships. “Getting to know someone can take somewhere around forever. People are always changing and evolving for both good and bad, and we are all capable of reinvention.”

And at last my favourite advice from this book:

“Let people see you as human. Be real. Ask yourself, Who would you rather see at your door, a friend or a door-to-door salesman?”

#12. The Obstacle is the Way' - Ryan Holiday

the obstacle is the way

Goodreads - 4.1/5

The obstacle is the way- helps you make your way through the struggles of life with a positive attitude and resilience.  It includes lessons from ancient heroes, former presidents, modern actors, athletes, and how they turned adversity into success.

He talks of channelling our perception in the direction most beneficial to us. “There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”

“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”

A change in perception can bring change in your life.

In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.

#13. 10X Rule’ - Grant Cardone

the 10x rule

Goodreads - 4.1/5

The book 10X Rule is based on 2 rules-

1) You should set targets for yourself that are 10X greater than what you believe you can achieve

2) You should take actions that are 10X greater than what you believe is necessary to achieve your goals.

The biggest mistake most people make in life is not aiming high enough. Dreaming big is where’s it all begins. Taking massive action is the only way to fulfil your true potential.

“Until you become completely obsessed with your mission, no one will take you seriously. Until the world understands that you're not going away—that you are 100 percent committed and have complete and utter conviction and will persist in pursuing your project—you will not get the attention you need and the support you want.”

“As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams or be used as a resource to accomplish someone else's.”

And a piece of advice we could use:

“You know, you don't need to grow old to die. I was dying at the age of 20 as a result of no direction and no purpose.”

Hopefully, this list helps you with the necessary push to put your ideas into action. Tell us in the comments below what are the books you would recommend which are not included in this list. Also, which one would you read starting now! Don’t wait more.

Also, did you knew that Women Are Born Entrepreneurs as per Omnify Founder Kabandi Saikia

Megha Dadarwal
22, Dentist, passionate yogi who loves dogs and beaches.

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  • A*****
    Do add "how women rise".
  • L*****
    Would also recommeneld Hooked. Any more suggestions ladies?
  • A*****
    Hi, it's really a good collection. I have read few of the books.
  • D*****
    Heyy Megha it's really very nice to read this...
  • L*****
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