Three Books Every Leader Should Read / Inspiring Stories & Entrepreneurs

Three Books Every Leader Should Read / Inspiring Stories & Entrepreneurs

I’ve read some really great books over the past couple of months. In this video, I share three that I think are great ones for every entrepreneur or leader.

  1. How I Build This by Guy Raz. You may know about Guy because he is an award-winning journalist and host of the incredible podcast called How I Built This. I was so excited to hear he wrote this book because I’m a fan of his work and love the podcast. What’s cool about the book is that he takes some of the most interesting interviews and stories from his podcast and turned them into a book. So it’s perfect for someone who doesn’t listen to podcasts, but wants to hear all the interesting stories and lessons. Although why are you not listening to podcasts? 😉If you love hearing stories about how founders start and grow their businesses, you’ll love this book. Guy shares some of the common themes he’s identified in what makes a great founder after interviewing over 200 highly successful entrepreneurs. He shares the story of Whitney Wolf Herd, the founder of the popular dating app Bumble. Prior to starting Bumble, she was with Tinder, but ended up having a horrible experience and  exit. In fact, she said she’d never be part of that kind of business again. So hearing her journey on how she ended up starting yet another dating app is really inspiring. Another one of my favorite stories is Stacy Madison and Marc Andrus, the founders of Stacy’s Pita Chips. Selling pita chips was not their original brilliant idea. They actually had a sandwich cart, but because they listened to their customers and got creative, they’ve built an incredible brand and business.What I love so much about the book is how inspiring it is. We learn about normal, everyday people that simply had an idea. We all have ideas, but not everyone is courageous enough to start. These people have fascinating stories. They gave themselves permission to start. To try. They didn’t have everything figured out and all the answers. They had no idea the journey they were about to embark on. They all dealt with challenges and obstacles along the way, but no matter what they just kept going. They figured it out. They were innovative, creative, and resilient. They believed in their idea, themselves, their team, and their customers. There are so many great lessons to learn in this book. I really enjoyed it.


  1. Think Like a Billionaire by James Altucher. Well look at that. I guess I’m sticking to my  theme of podcasters. I’m a big fan of The James Altucher Show. He’s written a few different books over the years including Choose Yourself and Reinvent Yourself. There’s a little theme happening there. This book is similar to How I Built This in that James shares some of his most popular interviews of extremely successful people. For example, one of my favorite entrepreneurs Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. I just love hearing her. Not only does she have an incredible story about building Spanx, she’s just a really cool, down to earth human. She cares so much about giving back and helping others be successful. He also talks to Damon John, founder of FUBU, and of course one of the sharks on Shark Tank. It’s really cool to hear directly from successful people about all the challenges and triumphs they went through to get to where they are today. He also interviewed Peter Thiel, Ev Williams, and Tony Robbins among other impressive entrepreneurs. After each interview James shared a few of his favorite takeaways from each interview. This is a fun book to listen to because you get to hear the actual interviews of each of these people.   


  1.  Rising Strong by Brene Brown – Ok, so I hate to admit this, but this is the first Brene Brown book I’ve read. Which is crazy because I’ve been a huge fan of hers for years. Like many people, I discovered her through her famous TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability. She’s a research professor at University of Houston. She’s spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. I don’t know why it took me so long to read one of her books considering I think she’s so fabulous, but I am really glad I finally did. The reason I love her work and this book Rising Strong is how vulnerable she is. She shares so many incredible stories throughout her life that help us understand the importance of emotion, the power of rising up after when we fall. As leaders, we need to be resilient. We need to be self-aware and help others do the same. It’s important for us to provide space for our team to share their ideas and let them be vulnerable at times.One of the most powerful takeaways from the book is her rising strong process. It’s three parts. First, we reckon. We recognize our emotions and get curious about why we’re feeling then. Then we rumble. We get honest about the stories we’ve made up about our struggles and what we need to do to change. And then we wage a revolution. We write a new ending to our story based on what we’ve learned about ourselves and our emotions. We get to create a story where we are brave and courageous, which ultimately helps us live a more fulfilling and satisfying life. I just love Brene Brown and this book is really powerful.

I really enjoyed all three of these books and think that any leader who reads them will receive a lot of value. One of the best things about reading great books is their power to transform the way we think. To shed light on certain things going on in our lives. 

Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear what you got out of them so comment and let me know. And if you have any great book recommendations share those as well. I’m always looking for great books to read.