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6 inspiring summer reads for entrepreneurs

From leadership skills to company culture, these titles will make you ditch your smartphone.
By Jessica Ekstrom |


Still looking for titles to complete your summer book list? I have compiled a book list that has helped with my company but also contains entertaining reads. So, go grab some lemonade, find a hammock and relax with a book (or Kindle) that will make you think differently about your business:



Related: 9 Brilliant Business Books You Can Read in an Afternoon



The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun: I am going to guess that your initial reaction when searching for books on business is not going to be picking up a book about a non-profit.


However, through his story Braun shows how he created his organization with the mind of a business (even firing volunteers at times). If you think only for-profit entrepreneurs can show best business practices, read this book and think again.


Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose,by Tony Hseih: If you want to be inspired to create an infectious company culture and have top of the line customer service, look no further. The CEO of Zappos walks you through his entrepreneurship journey, starting off with how he sold his first company to Microsoft for a casual $265 million before he built the empire that is Zappos.  




Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brandsby Marty Neumeier: This book inspired me to write about striving for different instead of more. Neumeier writes about finding the "white space" to fill instead of building off something that has already been done. 


Related: Must Reads for Leaders: 10 Invaluable Books for Moving Hearts and Minds



Reworkby Jason Fried: This was the first business book I ever read, but it is one that I reference the most. Rework is direct, and to the point with a new lesson in every chapter. From hiring, to firing, to ignoring competition: This is not a book you will read and pass to a friend. You will keep it in your office for reference later. 


Leading Imperfectly: The Value of Being Authentic for Leaders, Professionals, and Human Beings, by James Robilotta: Being a leader is not about doing everything right or "perfect." It is about the connections we build with others. As a business owner, you need to inspire a team of followers. Ribilotta shows how to have meaningful conversations and forces you to look inward as a leader. Plus, he's hilarious, so you'll also be entertained.  




Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Actionby Simon Sinek: Even though this is technically a "leadership" book, it also heavily influenced our marketing. We do not show customers what we sell, we show them why we sell it.


Once in a while, you come across a book that makes you see almost everything differently after you read it. This was that book for me. 




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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editors.


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