Consider yourself lucky to be a young entrepreneur at a time when you have a world of knowledge at your fingertips. From Google to podcasts, anything and everything you could ever want to know about entrepreneurship is right there. It may seem like books are quaint, old-fashioned notions that have no relevance in modern entrepreneurship, especially for a teen like you.
However, books are worth considering as you further your entrepreneurial education. Not everything can be learned online. Books are easy to reference, highlight, take with you, and even share. Rumor has it Warren Buffet reads for up to six hours per day. (Remember: you can also listen to books!)
Reading is also good for your focus, mental health, and memory – all things you need as a young entrepreneur. If you’re going to read anyway, why not choose books that can help you along your entrepreneurial journey? Not every book we list here is specifically about business or building a startup. But all of them can help you be your best self, which in turn will help you be the best young entrepreneur you can be.
1. HIGH GROWTH HANDBOOK, by Elad Gil
This book promises to help startup entrepreneurs grow their businesses “from 10 to 10,000 people.” While that may be a lot for a high schooler like you, there’s always value in advice. Think of this book as a blueprint for how to scale your business – now or in the future.
2. THE CEO’S DIGITAL MARKETING PLAYBOOK, by Thomas J. Donohoe
Marketing is a huge part of building your business, but it can seem like a lot of work. Where do you get started? How do you use your social media skills to sell your product or service? This book can help you make sense of what it means to market your business online, even if you were born with a smartphone in your hands.
3. ATOMIC HABITS, by James Clear
Those of you familiar with our blog will recall how often we emphasize habits for young entrepreneurs. Breaking bad habits, developing good habits for the morning, the evening, and starting a business. This is a good book to read while you’re still young and learning important life skills.
4. HIGH PERFORMANCE HABITS, by Brendon Burchard
Speaking of good habits, does it ever seem to you like some people are just naturally good at life? Maybe they were born with the dispositions to go with the flow or create positive energy all around them. Then again, maybe these are learned habits. Check out this book and see if there’s anything in your life that you can change for the better.
5. THE CONFIDENCE CODE, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Who couldn’t use a confidence boost? No matter how good you feel about yourself, everyone needs a little pep talk now and then. If you’re a teen entrepreneur, and especially if you’re a female entrepreneur, you need to truly believe in yourself if you want to be successful.
6. BUILDING A STORY BRAND, by Donald Miller
What is your brand? What can it do for you? How do you leverage your brand in business? Everything you need to know about branding is right here. Whether creating a brand for your new small business or presenting yourself to colleges and scholarship foundations, learn how to be the very best at it.
7. JO MALONE: MY STORY, by Jo Malone
Why not learn from the best? Jo Malone went from a high school dropout to one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Reading a story like hers will help you stay inspired, motivated, and energized to conquer the world with your ideas!
8. CROSSING THE CHASM, by Geoffrey A. Moore
We know that “disruptor” is a term that gets thrown around a lot when referring to Gen Z and the growing population of young entrepreneurs. This book is for you “disruptors” looking to overthrow traditions, revolutionize modern ways of life, and blaze a new trail into the future. Because no matter how awesome your idea is, you’ll still need to sell it to people who aren’t comfortable with change.
9. ONE LIFE TO LEAD, by Russell Benaroya
Now is the perfect time to learn how to take control of your life and point yourself in the direction of maximum success and happiness. This book promises to teach you how to become a leader – not only in business but in every area of your life. As you start planning for college and beyond, take some advice on how to make the best choices you can.
10. HOW TO BE AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS, by Maria Hatzistefanis
Spoiler alert: there’s no such thing as an “overnight success.” In this memoir of building her company Rodial for over 18 years, Hatzistefanis shares insight on everything young entrepreneurs need to know to get started: working hard, creating a strong team, building a brand, and believing in yourself. This book is like having a mentor who shares all her secrets of success with you.
11. SUPER FOUNDERS: WHAT DATA REVEALS ABOUT BILLION-DOLLAR STARTUPS, by Ali Tamaseb
Those of you who are data-driven will love this book. This author spent a truly epic amount of time collecting and analyzing data on some of the biggest, most successful entrepreneurs ever. How they got started. What qualities they have in common. What their startups looked like. And more! Here’s all this data collected into a readable (and actionable) story format for high-achieving young entrepreneurs like you.
Even if you don’t have time to read all these books, they’re worth skimming. You never know what piece of advice will jump out at you and stick in your mind. That very same piece of advice can help you stay motivated and energized, as well as help you make the best decisions you can. At a time in your life when you’re still learning and growing, reading advice, tips, and strategies from those who’ve been there (and done the research) can only help you!
Click here to learn how the Kantner Foundation helps young entrepreneurs by offering college scholarships to Florida high school students.