Six entrepreneurs share their best books for start-up success


Most people have an unforgettable book that has influenced their lives in some way, inspired them to succeed, or helped them overcome personal challenges, and entrepreneurs are no different. Here six company founders share the titles that helped them on their startup journey.

Inspired by a resilience

Sami Benchekroun is co-founder and CEO of Morressier, a provider of virtual conference software and platform for early-stage research. The long way, the autobiography of the legendary French sailor Bernard Moitessier, was instrumental in founding the company and became the inspiration for the company’s name.

Moitessier is best known for withdrawing from the Golden Cup race, a solo circumnavigation of the world. Although he was in the lead, he realized that victory was not the means to his personal fulfillment.

Benchekroun says: “I was inspired by his resilience, his self-confidence and his dedication to his goals in the face of the hardship and isolation that accompanied him throughout his journey. Although starting a business is very different from sailing around the world, I see many parallels in this tenacity and willingness to risk everything; two qualities that every entrepreneur needs in order to be successful. “

Unleash creativity

Katrina Borissova came up with the idea for her natural and vegan soap brand Little Danube on the day the UK was banned after being from. was inspired Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

“Creativity was something I could never identify with because I never saw myself as a creative person,” she says. “But after a few pages it was clear to me that I had lost the childlike joy of trying things out and starting new.”

The book includes interviews with artists, scientists, and politicians about their own experiences and meaning, and provides a framework that Borissova believes can help anyone find their purpose.

“At that time I was unemployed, in the middle of a pandemic, and I felt that I could never be as resourceful as I could be,” says Borissova. “This book has helped me overcome my personal barriers, stimulate my creativity and build Little Danube from scratch.”

Practice creates masters

First read Tom Maxwell, CEO of the Twisted-USA, LLC group Outlier: The success story by Malcolm Gladwell, a few years ago and still picks it up again and again, especially when he wants to review his path so far.

He says: “I’ve always been interested in the mechanisms of success, what creates success, what drives successful people and how to create success. Gladwell’s book provides several examples of successful people and the factors that contribute to their success. I find it useful when I want to analyze what I’ve done and not what I’m going to do. “

A recurring feature in the book is the “10,000 Hour Rule,” which says that in order to be an expert in any skill, one must have practiced it for 10,000 hours, a trait demonstrated in all of Gladwell’s success stories .

“It doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s a vital part of it, especially for those who like me have had no other head start in life, such as influential parents or family wealth,” says Maxwell. “When you understand your strengths and weaknesses and the external factors that can help or hinder you, I believe that success is more in your control.”

Learn to scale

Starting and scaling a business is an important goal that often seems insurmountable. What helped Jennifer Quigley-Jones, founder of influencer marketing agency Digital Voices, through this hurdle was The lean startup by Eric Reis.

“Reis explains how smart companies often develop when they test a minimum viable product and pivot until they find a scalable model or product offering,” says Quigley-Jones. “In the beginning, Digital Voices offered too broad a range of services and the book showed me that I need to change that and also think smarter about pans and specialization, which has resulted in much faster growth. Without specialization, we would not be able to scale or produce our offer. “

The power of self-confidence

Cheney Hamilton launched Find your Flex, a platform for those looking for flexible job opportunities after their own flexible work application was denied after the birth of their second child. She was inspired by The children of the earth Series by Jean Auel to help her reinforce her motives for starting the company.

The books tell the story of a girl who grows up to be a woman, overcomes hatred, prejudice, linguistic and cultural barriers and attains a status of her own, as well as a career in medicine that takes place at the beginning of humanity.

Hamilton, who first read the books as a teenager, says, “You are a big part of the belief that anything is possible. This young woman fights for everything that has been given to her and that convinced me that I can also achieve what I want. Your fighting spirit is so relatable, and that is exactly what we are doing now by fighting for parents and people who need flexible working hours and making them the norm. “

Share to inspire

Show your work von Austin Kleon inspired Alex Young, founder and CEO of the immersive training startup Virti, to share some of his business processes with other startup founders.

“One of the best things a founder can do is share their corporate trips, warts, and everything else through blogs, podcasts, and videos to help other budding entrepreneurs as best they can,” he says. Getting up and promoting yourself can be a challenge, and some founders hesitate to share too much for fear that someone will steal their ideas or intellectual property.

Kleon says: “I have found that exchanging ideas in this way is crucial in order to build my network and my credibility with various target groups and interest groups, all of which contribute to the success of Virti.”

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