Reading Time: 6 minutes

Part of the fun of growing and scaling a start-up revolves around a constant cycle of trial and error–making mistakes, learning, iterating, and trying again. Yes, you read that correctly. We said fun. And while this process is totally normal and expected, it’s not always necessary. A gap in areas of knowledge surrounding common challenges that come with starting a business almost begs for missteps to happen. That’s why it’s crucial to educate yourself, particularly with stories and advice from others who’ve been in the exact same place of where you stand now. The hope is to learn from their mistakes and use that intel to make better decisions, saving you from encountering a few similar wrong turns along the way.

Want a good place to start? Here are 5 of the best books for start-ups that you might have missed during your research. 


1. The Rookie CEO

The Rookie CEO lets you learn from the experiences of others by following 9 new CEOs and documenting their every move. Read baffling, true stories that highlight the importance of creating a solid leadership team and how that drives the overall company culture. Not only do you get an inside look at how different philosophies and management styles can make or break a company, but the author leaves you with takeaways after every chapter. 

What Readers Are Saying 

You will learn from actual lessons about people who make the organization successful, what behaviors cross the line, what activities result in excellent and poor execution, and what successful leadership looks like.” – Scott B. Allan via Amazon 

Bill uses a framework of 9 CEO types and explains why someone would fall into one category or the other. He then expands on the skill set the newly minted CEO brings to the company and what skills they need to transition from their former hands-on role to a more managerial and strategic role.” -Josette Mandela via Amazon


2. Be Amazing or Go Home: Seven Customer Service Habits That Create Confidence with Everyone

Shep Hyken has practically become a household name for entrepreneurs in all industries. He’s written numerous New York Times bestsellers about winning at life and business and even created The Customer Focus, a training program that’s built to improve the customer experience. 

In “Be Amazing or Go Home,” Hyken uses the routines of awesome people to demonstrate simple things you can incorporate to upscale your business and personal life such as embracing authenticity, craving feedback, and turning misery into magic. 

What Readers Are Saying

The book is packed with what I’ll call “actionable motivation.” The author clearly holds those he works with to a high standard – but it’s abundantly clear that he does it for the right reasons. Not only does it make for good business, there’s a genuine personal interest in seeing his people become the best they can be.– Mattdbergman via Amazon

First, it offers clear guidance that an individual can apply right away to become a customer service superstar. Second, Shep’s conversational writing style makes the book easy to read and understand. It’s packed with practical suggestions and relatable examples. Finally, the book provides a framework customer service leaders can use to challenge their teams to reach even higher.” – Jeff Toister via Amazon


3. Clone Yourself: Build a Team that Understands Your Vision, Shares Your Passion, and Runs Your Business For You

As the founder of a company, it’s easy to become the sole ‘go-to’ person for nearly every aspect of the business. While this might seem like it makes sense, it’s a slippery slope that can quickly lead to being overwhelmed and bottlenecked tasks. It’s an all-too-common problem entrepreneurs face and author, Jeff Hilderman, aims to solve it. 

In his book, Hilderman provides a step-by-step guide to automating your business and building a dedicated, stellar team to support it. He believes that with the right people, who share your vision, anything is possible. 

What Readers Are Saying

… a 90-day plan to identify, nurture and release your clone or clones that frees you up to be the leader of your company. Great for the small business owner or a leader in a larger corporation. If you started a new venture, would the people who work with you follow you? They would if you cloned yourself as Jeff Hilderman advises.” – GVLchick29607 via Amazon

You’re going to learn everything on how to not only be a powerful leader from goal/strategy planning to time management and team building, but you will also learn how to create a compelling vision for your business which also includes your company culture that you want to instill into the fabric of your organization.” – PetrosE via Amazon


4. Startup for Everyone: Translating Tech Startup Concepts for Everyone Else Starting Stuff 

Casey Bankord noticed that a large portion of those inspired to start a business are often intimidated by their technical knowledge gap and abandon their dream without even trying. So, he set out to translate the methods of tech startup founders to ANYONE with “Startup for Everyone.”

Many startup concepts are tangential and can work for a myriad of ideas. Broken up into 4 sections, Bankord, covers each component of starting and growing a business. 

What Readers Are Saying

As a self-described entrepreneur who didn’t go to business school, this book is a major asset for me. Whether it’s for the ideas I’m currently executing or the ideas swimming around in my head still, Casey Bankord translated critical business concepts that I can apply today.” – Thomas A Bowman Jr via Amazon

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or you’re dreaming of starting your first side hustle, Startup for Everyone is for you! Casey’s track record, both in creating value himself and in helping others build businesses, informs each concept as he takes the most useful startup axioms and translates them for everyone to understand.” -Kevin via Amazon


5. Entrepreneurial Landmines: Side Step the Big Mistakes + Scale Up Your Business Now

Joe Buzzello and Tom Healy are both experienced at building and managing successful companies. Collectively, they’ve delivered thousands of keynote speeches and created value at executive levels for dozens of organizations. But it wasn’t until a serendipitous golf course meeting that they realized they both aimed to solve the same problem–to help entrepreneurs grow professionally and personally and scale faster. That’s what led to growth10, a virtual community, and a 24/7 support system to better bolster entrepreneurial journeys. 

What Readers Are Saying

“If you’re an entrepreneur who is just barely hanging in there and needs an actionable path to improve your business TODAY, then you have to read this book. This is the book that has single-handedly made my business more profitable than ever and has steered me away from making decisions that could have set off several landmines and put us under. The stories and examples that are told throughout are so relatable, it’s scary. I can guarantee that once you read this book you will have an entirely new perspective on how you should run your business and you’ll be fired up to make positive and actionable changes immediately.” – Kim Grennan

Entrepreneurial Landmines: Side Step the Big Stakes + Scale Up Your Business Now” is the latest product from Buzzello and Healy who co-wrote it in an effort to provide guidance to entrepreneurs at every level. Written in 5 sections, money, branding, strategy, marketing, and talent, this easily digestible book breaks down every component of running a business. It’s the Tony Robbins of startup books, with actionable insights and seasoned advice to boot. 


Start Reading, Start Upscaling

Joe Buzzello & Tom Healy
Author: Joe Buzzello & Tom Healy

Joe Buzzello & Tom Healy are the Co-Founders of growth10 and have a shared mission to help entrepreneurs grow faster and have a greater impact on the world.

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