July 6, 2015


Summer Reading Lists for Aspiring Entrepreneurs - Sylvie McCracken

It's true that I have a 4 year Business degree but do you want me to let you in on a little secret…. I've learned FAR more about business in the few years I've been an entrepreneur and from devouring stacks of books than I ever did in college. Gasp. Shock. Horror.

It's true!

I'm a learning junkie and listening to audiobooks on audible is one of my fave ways of consuming content these (busy) days.   Even when I only have 15 minutes.  It all adds up to a crazy amount of learning (check out how many hours I “read” in March on audible- that was a little crazy). So much so that I have to renew my audible platinum membership every 6 months instead of yearly.

Summer Reading Lists for Aspiring Entrepreneurs - Sylvie McCracken


So you wanna be an Entrepreneur?  You better read, son!

My friend Leah recently asked me for some business book recommendations as she heads off on vacation, so I thought I'd share my list with you as well in case you're a fellow learning junkie. 🙂

I've separated them by category a bit although some of them overlap into a couple different categories.  These are books that would be great for someone brand new to business, as well as those of us that could use a refresher even if we've been in business for a little while.


Mindset is really where I would start if you're new to entrepreneurship. It really is half the battle.  If you ever find yourself asking “Who am I to…?”, these books should smack that right out of you.  Rinse and repeat as needed (we all need a reminder that we are worthy of success).  It can get a little woo woo in this area and I took a little convincing to go down this rabbit hole but it was so worth it.

My favorite mindset books are:

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks (seriously if you only read one in this section, make it this one)

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown  (also a great TED talk)

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

You can Heal your Life by Louise Hay

Get Rich Lucky Bitch (book but especially her bootcamp) by Denise Duffield-Thomas


Procrastination is something we all struggle with from time to time.  Are you procrastinating starting a business?  Procrastinating writing your next blog post or making an important call?  The mindset work will be a big help with this but for some more procrastination specific help, check out these books:

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy

Leveraging your time

I'm a HUGE fan of outsourcing and passive income.  If you're new to the idea or if I haven't managed to convince you quite yet, I'll let these guys do the convincing…

The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Feriss

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Competition (or lack thereof)

One of the concerns my clients often have is regarding the competition.   My thoughts on this are twofold.  I'd love to tell you to simply not worry about the “competition” or that there is no such thing, but I have a feeling you won't believe me 🙂 So, let me give you a couple other tips instead.

Focus on standing out from the crowd; infusing what makes you unique into everything you do; differentiating yourself.   Focus on making the competition irrelevant. You'll see what I mean when you read these books:

Start With Why by Simon Sinek (also a great TED talk)

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Memoirs of business rockstars that you admire

A little more lighthearted for your summer reading… I like to read memoirs of people I admire for inspiration.  In particular, I love reading about entrepreneurs with humble beginnings who really turned things around for themselves.

I'm partial to female entrepreneurs as you'll see from this starter list:

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

The Glitter Plan by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor (the Juicy Couture Story)

Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran

Improving your Habits

Little tweaks in our daily habits can really add up to astounding results.  Think about it.  A person that drinks 1 Coca-Cola per day that decides to switch that 1 glass to water without modifying a single other thing will likely see a vast improvement in their health and weight after a year, right?   We can translate that same tweak into our work habits as well, although I think the best habits to start with are things like sleep, exercise and eating well.  What does that have to do with business?  I don't know about you, but if I don't get my beauty sleep most weeknights I'm a wreck the next day and there'll be no blog post for you 🙂 Just moving my bed time back by 30 minutes and shutting off screen time an hour before that are some of the best things I've done for my biz.

Check out my two fave habit books here:

Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

I have tons of other books on my list to read soon or that I'm halfway through. I often share them on Instagram as I get through them.  Click here to connect with me there!

Now I want to hear from you! Have you read any of these books? Which was your fave? Which book would you recommend to a friend that was just starting out? Leave a comment below… 🙂

Summer Reading Lists for Aspiring Entrepreneurs - Sylvie McCracken

8 thoughts on “Summer Reading Lists for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  1. I totally dig your list. I haven’t read them all, but most of them. You’ve given me some new ones to go grab. Thanks Sylvie. My favourite at the moment is The Big Leap. Read it a while back and it has really stuck with me.

  2. Great list – adding some of these to my audible queue now. ! I would add MIllionaire fastlane for newbie inspiration. it was invaluable shifting me into gear. (p.s. I’m not shouting, but my comment seems to be in all caps.)

    1. Ah yes! You’ve mentioned it to me before. I haven’t read it yet but I’m gonna have to. (I don’t see any caps on my end! Weird. I’ll look into that). Thanks for stopping by!

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