When it comes to building a business, knowledge truly is power.

And for the young entrepreneur in 2018, knowledge is all around.

Taking steps towards business success no longer starts in the classroom and ends with an MBE; today, enterprise education is accessible to all. Whether you prefer to peruse paperbacks or plug into podcasts, wisdom and advice is always within reach – which is a good thing, given that business doesn’t come with a manual (and degrees don’t come cheap).

In this blog, we have picked out four of the best business books that every aspiring entrepreneur should read. These resources will open your mind to new ways of thinking, provide possible solutions and actions, and help you turn your vision into a reality – just as those who have put pen to paper have theirs.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

One of the seminal self-help books, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold over 30 million copies worldwide since being published in 1936 – making it one of the bestselling books of all time. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is 82 years old; it has been updated several times to ensure it tackles modern-day matters such as success in the digital world. The book primarily deals with building good relationships with people in order to increase your popularity, win them over to your way of thinking and get them to do what you want them to do – including selling to people without selling to them. Whilst it won’t tell you how to run your business, it will tell you everything you need to know to improve your performance and win new customers and clients; in short, how to sit back and watch the profit roll in.

2. The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss

This cult book destroys old assumptions about business, including the idea that entrepreneurs have to work every hour of every day to stand any chance of succeeding. Disclaimer: it is very unlikely that any startup entrepreneur will only need to work for four hours a week on their business (and, as Ferriss notes, very few would choose to), however it does prove that you don’t need to become trapped in your business, and that you can pursue other passions as well as be successful. The 4-Hour Work Week is packed with action points to take away and apply to your life and work, including the fact that the “bank hours” we all tend to keep are not the most productive, and that since we reflect the five people we spend the most time with we should ensure they are making us stronger, not weaker. Oh, and he also presents a plan as to how to make an Aston Martin DB9 affordable. If you weren’t interested before, we bet you are now.

3. Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert T. Kiyosaki

Published in 2000, Rich Dad Poor Dad is the bestselling finance book of the 21st century. It advocates the importance of being financially literate, independent and intelligent by making money work hard for you rather than working hard to make money. Told through a series of parables based on Kiyosaki’s own life, it explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and teaches the reader how not to be a slave to money. Kiyosaki shows how wealth can be built through your own business so that you can control your own situation and decide how much you want to work, rather than getting stuck in the cycle of working to live.

4. #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is proof that there is no one-size-fits-all model for entrepreneurs. Despite having a history of petty theft, dumpster diving and no college degree, Amoruso has turned her company into one of the fastest growing retailers; an enterprise worth over $100 million. In #GIRLBOSS, she candidly shares how she built her business from the ground up, revealing what she learnt as she went along and showing how customer service is the key to everything. Less of a manual, more of a memoir, #GIRLBOSS presents an innovative and inspiring guide to modern-day business, proving the importance of playing to your strengths, learning from your mistakes and knowing when to break a few of the traditional rules.

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