There are many great books out there for any entrepreneur to read. But I chose 10 specific books for teenage entrepreneurs. The books fit with 10 different topics for you to study before you become an entrepreneur. They are also for young and teenage entrepreneurs that are already on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur. The 10 topics are clarity, economy, enemy, inspiration, strategy, playing hurt, long-term thinking, systems and duplication, and innovation. So with that being said, let’s get right into it.
Top 10 Topics and Books for Teenage Entrepreneurs
The number 10 book is Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker. He has a lot of great books you should read. If you study Peter Drucker, you will learn a ton about hiring firing, marketing, strategy, and advertising. I don't agree with everything he believes in. But he has a lot of great insight that will help you think and be creative. He covers that in the book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Book #9, Sam Walton Made in America, is a book on systems and duplication. It's the story of Sam Walton. When I talk to teenage entrepreneurs, Sam Walton is the one I say to study. There was nothing special about him. 1962 was the year of discount super stores. K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and Target all started at that time. In the first five years, K-Mart opened 250 stores and Wal-Mart only opened nine. Fast forward to today. K-Mart is essentially out of business and Wal-Mart has 2.2 million employees worldwide. Sam Walton has four kids. Each of them are worth a minimum of $40 billion today. If Sam Walton was alive today he would be worth $160 billion - two-and-a-half times Bill Gates' net worth. So you want to study Sam Walton because there's nothing special about the guy. He wasn't an absolute genius. He was a simple, hardworking guy that always looked for ways to make his business better. I considered putting this book in the top five, but it's number nine on the list.
For discipline I chose The Lean Startup. I chose this as one of the best books for teenage entrepreneurs because when you're young and looking at business, you think about what it would be like to get money from your parents or an investor. You think if somebody gave you a quarter million dollars, then you could start your business. And you haven't yet tasted the idea of making your money. Now if you're truly an entrepreneur watching this, and you're 13-years old, I guarantee you've made some kind of money. You've sold cookies, t-shirts or something. But if you became an accidental entrepreneur by watching videos like this, you need to learn these concepts and how to stay lean. When you stay lean, you will keep doubling your money. So the book The Lean Startup teaches you how to stay very disciplined.
For playing hurt, I chose the book, The Obstacle is the Way. It's a great book by Ryan Holiday. In the book he explains the concept of stoicism. Stoicism is a philosophy born from cynicism. You've heard of the word, "cynic." That word comes from cynicism. Cynicism used to be a philosophy where people sat around and said, "Nothing good's going to happen." One of the cynicism members named Seneca essentially said, "I just can't listen to this crap anymore." He then started stoicism. The first major leader in the world that picked up stoicism and took it to a whole different level was Marcus Aurelius who wrote the book Meditations. Aurelius was the emperor of Rome for seven years. Everyone loved him. In the book, The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday takes the concept of stoicism and explains it in today's world of business. He explains that challenges are going to happen, but the obstacle is the way. I recommend this as one of the top books for teenage entrepreneurs because a lot of times when young entrepreneurs face one challenge or issue, they get distracted. They think, "This isn't for me. I can't do it." The reality is that the obstacles are never going to stop. The moment you identify that and know obstacles are a part of life, you'll look at them in a completely different way. So Ryan Holiday's book The Obstacle is the Way is number six.
Listen in here for my thoughts on why Blue Ocean Strategy is the best book for young entrepreneurs to read to learn about strategy. This matters because if you get strategy down, you'll have an edge on everybody else.
For inspiration, I chose the book, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. It's written by an author who chased him down and said, "You're either going to let me come and interview you, or if you don't, I'm going to write about you based on what other people say about you. Or, I can come and interview you and I can tell you what other people told me about you and then you can verify it and give me your version of the story." And Elon agreed. It's a phenomenal book that tells the good, bad and ugly of Elon Musk. It gets into how he was raised, the books he read growing up, and why he was turned on by certain things. It's a very good book to read as a source of inspiration.
#3: ENEMY: Outwitting the Devil
I was kind of conflicted on what book to recommend on economy. After considering the different options, I decided the best book for teenage entrepreneurs on economy is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It's a big book. You can read it or get the audio version. It will change the way you view every single thing. After reading it, you'll look at the economy, the people you work with, your friends, family, parents and teachers in a completely different way.
The number one thing you need to get is clarity. I put this as number one, because when you're in school, you don't really know what you want out of life. Everybody tells you how you should live and what you need to do to succeed. People tell you you need to go to college and get a degree, because if you do, you'll be successful. What I'm going to recommend is a complete 180 of what everyone else recommends. I'm doing that intentionally. I'm giving you a completely opposite argument because I know you're not hearing it. If you're surrounded by people teaching you capitalism, you need to study socialism and communism to know the opposite. If everyone around you are Democrats, I want you to study the other side so that you can see things from both sides. Because if you only take one argument, you're naïve. So in the book I'm recommending for clarity is Drop Out and Get Schooled. I literally just published it last week. We've already gotten thousands of emails about the book. It's created a lot of heat and controversy not just in America, but around the world. It's a short, simple book to read.
Drop Out and Get Schooled answers the following questions for you:
#1 is Why do we go to college in the first place? #2: Who should go to college and who shouldn't? #3: Can I succeed and do great things without college? #4: Why does tuition and textbooks cost as much as they do? #5: How colleges have simply become a big, tax-free business. #6: Are the subjects taught in college sufficient for life or do we need an upgrade? This book is specifically dedicated to all the teenage entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs who are somewhat conflicted and confused.
My Challenge To You
The moment you read this book, I challenge you to give it to people who disagree with it so you can hear their argument. I challenge you to read it first, and then go to every single one of your teachers and say, "Have you read this book yet? It's causing a ton of havoc. I need you to read it and give me feedback, because I'm truly thinking about dropping out of college or not going to college after high school. Should I, or should I not?" And let them give you their argument. Let your parents give you their argument. Now some of you may say, "Pat, you chose your own book as first place?" I did. The reason I did was because everything in life comes down to clarity. A person can be very innovative, systematic and duplicatable, have a lot of discipline and long-term thinking, but still not have clarity. And the sooner you get clarity, the sooner you have an edge on everybody else. So these are my top 10 books for teenage entrepreneurs. The challenge that I want to give you is the moment you finish any one of the books, post a review on Amazon. Do this no matter which book you read. Just make it a habit because you can always go back and see what books you read and what you thought about them. Amazon makes it easy for you to read all of your reviews. The moment you finish the book and post a review, send me a Snap. My Snap is betdavid19. Send me a snap and let me know what you got out of the book and we'll take it from there.