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The 15 Best Business Biographies for Entrepreneurs
We can learn a lot for those that have been successful in business. If you want to reach your personal goals then it’s wise to get as much help as you can. This includes finding out how successful people obtained their wealth but also what mindset they had, along with their philosophy.
Thankfully for us, there are many great resources available that allow us to tap into that information. This includes books from entrepreneurs who have achieved things we can only dream of. We’ve found 15 of the best that have ever been written sure to provide you with a creative spark.
These books will inspire you and give you a motivational boost to go out there and smash your goals. They are brilliantly written by people who have had an in-depth look at each entrepreneur. Let’s get started with our list.
1. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life - Alice Schroeder
The book was written by Alice Schroeder, an insurance industry analyst, and gifted business writer. She was given unprecedented access to family and friends of Warren Buffett who had never written a memoir himself.
His life was very private compared to other celebrities, which made it even more fascinating. In the cutthroat world of business, Buffet is often seen as a nice guy who treated his investors as partners. He believed in honesty and integrity in business which made many want to partner with him.
Through his hard work and determination, Warren Buffet became one of the world’s richest men. His legacy will not only be his wealth but also his principles and ideas that have aided other people to better their lives. This book perfectly details his business philosophy.
2. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
In this book, Walter Isaacson writes about one of the most innovative entrepreneurs the United States has ever produced. The book talks about Steve Jobs’ creativity, passion, and intense personality and how a single person managed to revolutionize several industries. Based on over 40 interviews with Jobs and numerous friends, family, and competitors, Walter Isaacson captures the various ups and downs of the Apple CEO.
It showcases what he had to go through to achieve all that he did and how he became one of the richest people in the world. The book talks about how determination and persistence paved the way for his genius to shine.
3. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Ashlee Vance
This great book was written by technology journalist Ashley Vance about the life and achievements of the famous Elon Musk. It offers an insight into the life, struggles, and wins of the real-life Tony Stark.
The book describes Musk’s simple upbringing in South Africa and how he managed to make it in the USA. It talks about how the tech genius manages to incorporate his innovative technological ideas and come up with mind-shattering advancements.
From the creation of Tesla and the development of SpaceX, Musk is considered one of the greatest minds in the world. We see a close look at how he has dedicated most of his fortune and life to the development of a better, more exciting future.
4. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike - Phil Knight
This memoir describes the history of Nike from its founding as Blue Ribbon Sports into becoming one of the world’s most recognized brands. It details the amazing story of how Nike turned from a back street shop into a household name.
We read some of the challenges Phil Knight had to overcome to build the Nike Empire we know today. Learn how Knight, with just $50, created a company that began by importing high-quality low-cost athletic shoes from Japan and selling them from the trunk of his car. It’s a fascinating study of how to build a mega-brand with some great tips along the way.
5. Losing My Virginity - Richard Branson
If you believe that business doesn’t have to be all formal and that you can have fun while making a fortune, then this is a perfect book for you. Learn from the man himself, Richard Branson, how he managed to make several businesses thrive across a wide variety of industries. He has a habit of being told not to do something by experts, then managing to pull a rabbit out of his hat and make everything work.
Branson managed all this while still living an interesting life with various adventures along the way. We get to read about many of those moments in great detail such as his air balloon crash, battle with British Airways, and surviving a violent storm in Mexico. Much like his life, this book is a wild ride.
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6. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built - Duncan Clark
In this epic biography, we see how an English teacher from China, Jack Ma, managed to build one of the largest IPOs ever in the world, Alibaba. The e-commerce empire which hundreds of millions of Chinese people depend on was worth $25 billion by 2014, making Jack an icon in China. His business acumen led to him being courted and admired by various world leaders and CEO’s.
Learn how Duncan Clark first met Jack Ma in 1999 in an apartment where Alibaba was born. Get an inside look at how he was granted access to Jack’s life and ideas. Clark managed to give a compelling account of Alibaba’s rise while giving a fascinating insight into Ma.
7. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. - Ron Chernow
Learn about history’s first billionaire and how he managed to build a monopoly in the oil industry from this amazing biography about John. D Rockefeller, the man, the myth, the legend. Born to an oil salesman and a straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from humble origins to become the world’s richest man of his time.
Believed to have built his wealth doing everything from employing sketchy tactics and extreme pricing to espionage and wholescale corruption, the titan managed to dodge authorities for over 30 years. The book, however, tries to look at the real Rockerfeller and does a wonderful job humanizing him.
8. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon - Brad Stone
This book talks about how he managed to develop a corporate culture of relentless ambition and drive that led to the growth of Amazon as a company. Brad Stone was granted unprecedented access to both current and former Amazon employees as well as Bezos’ family members. We get to know how the company came to be, the struggles Bezos had to go through to build it, and the principles he employs to keep the company running at its optimum level.
He stands out for his restless pursuit for new markets and revolutionizing the retail industry. This book is a very good insight into how the company gambled on the Internet and won, forever changing the way we shop and read.
9. Bloomberg by Bloomberg - Michael R. Bloomberg
Written by Bloomberg himself, the book showcases the victories and frustrations he had to experience in his pursuit to grow the Bloomberg brand. Bloomberg is an online information service that thousands of investors cannot live without. This book talks about how the man rose from the ashes of being fired from Salomon Brothers in 1981.
He created something incredible with his payoff and the aid of a $30 million investment from Merrill Lynch. Since then the company has managed to surpass all competitors.
It details how he applied the concept of synergy and managed to build success upon success. By using a low-cost pricing strategy, he conquered even larger and diverse markets. Learn from Bloomberg how his managerial methods enabled him to build his empire.
10. Iacocca: An Autobiography - Lee Iacocca and William Novak
Lee Iacocca became a media celebrity by being able to bring the car company Chrysler back from the brink of collapse. Despite being the son of an Italian immigrant, Iacocca managed to rise spectacularly through the ranks of Ford Motor Company and become its president. Eight years later he left Ford under a dark cloud.
He managed to get even by leading Chrysler through a survival battle and bringing it back to its former glory. His gutsy nature and integrity are greatly adored by millions of Americans.
In his biography, we learn how Iacocca was vital in the revolution of the motor industry in the 1960s by creating the famous Mustang. He talks about how he managed to foster the rebirth of Chrysler from near bankruptcy to the repayment of its $1.2 billion loan.
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11. Rising To the Challenge: My Leadership Journey - Carly Fiorina
This brilliant bio talks about Carly Fiorina and the many challenges she has had to endure to reach where she is today. Fiorina talks about the lessons she learned from both her difficulties and successes, including being the CEO of Hewlett Packard.
Being an experienced pioneer in business, a leader, and a parent, she reveals how people are held back by systems that prevent their advancement. Many lack the chance to use their gifts to better their lives and improve their general lifestyle.
Her inspirational story shows how being diagnosed with breast cancer and the loss of a daughter almost broke her. Despite all this, she managed to see positive lessons from her tragedies and used them to grow. This book beautifully details that journey.
12. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company - Robert Iger
During his 15 years as Walt Disney’s CEO, Robert Iger was able to reinvent one of the world’s leading brands and inspire people to add a little magic to their lives. He became the CEO of the company in 2005 when the competition was higher than ever and technological advances were coming in fast. Iger believed in the concept that high-quality matters, that one should embrace technology instead of fighting it and people should think bigger.
Because of his efforts, Disney is the largest media company in the world proudly owning Pixar, Marvel, Lucas Films, and 21st Century Fox. He is considered one of the most innovative and successful CEOs in the modern era. The ideas in this book inspire confidence in everybody as they navigate their lives.
13. Sam Walton: Made In America - Sam Walton
This inspiring autobiography about Sam Walton talks about a hard-working and risk-taking entrepreneur. Through his hard work and determination, he managed to turn a single store into Walmart, the largest retailer in the world.
Sam Walton tells the story of his success in his own words. He shares how his candid, straight from the shoulder style and ideas led to the birth of Walmart and Sam’s Club. Get an idea of how to build your own company from the ground up with nothing but good old-fashioned elbow grease and determination by getting yourself a copy of this great book.
14. Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office - Zack O’Malley Greenburg
Jay-Z is considered one of the greatest musical masterminds of all time. This book talks about how a simple boy from New York managed to build an empire from the ground up.
Today Jay-Z is not only known for his musical prowess but also for his many business ventures. He invested in various industries like fashion, music, technology, top-shelf liquor, nightclubs, streaming services, and record labels. It’s a fascinating insight into how he managed to turn every situation into an opportunity to grow his empire.
15. Setting the Table - Danny Meyer
Are you thinking of going into the catering business? Learn how the then 27-year-old Danny Meyer started Union Square Café with only an idea and a hopeful investor. He is now the co-owner of a restaurant empire. Meyer used strong in-house relationships, as well as customer satisfaction to develop something special.
Danny’s story and ideas are sure to help you become more effective and productive while learning to appreciate a job well done. While maybe not the biggest name on this list, this book is highly rated for a reason as you’re going to have plenty of inspirational takeaways.