5 Must-Read Biographies For Your Entrepreneurial Soul

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Life as an entrepreneur can be pretty hectic, especially if you’re just starting out. Between long hours and coffee, there’s hardly any room for personal interests and hobbies. Nevertheless, it is important to take a break and dedicate some of your time towards your personal life, especially healthy activities such as exercise, reading, and spending time with your loved ones. In the long run, taking care of your personal health and development is as important as taking care of your company.

Not convinced yet? Then let us tell you that some of the world’s most successful business men also believe in this concept. So, what’s the second common thing among these famous personalities? Well, most of them are avid readers. Bill Gates, for example, reads one book per week while Mark Zuckerberg goes for one every two weeks. Mark Cuban, on the other hand, spends more than three hours every day on reading, while Warren Buffett has been known to dedicate 80% of his day to books!

While we don’t suggest you keep your nose buried in a book, but life is about stories. So, take inspiration from these successful people and uncover some secrets of entrepreneurship by reading about their life experiences and journey to success. (Who knows you might find some inspiration for your business and someday be on a cover of your biography for someone else to read too!)

What’s more? Good biographies not only serve to inspire and educate us, but are also a tool for relaxation and an excellent source of distraction (from your own life), so that you can get back to work with a fresh mind.

Related: 15 Best Personal Finance Books You Should Be Reading to Up Your Money Game!

Here, we list down 5 biographies which we hope to not only entertain and educate, but also stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in you:

1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Image Source: Bookurve

The first on our list is Elon Musk. The guy who managed to innovate and upset the status quo in two different industries – automotive (with his company Tesla) and space exploration (with SpaceX). Add that to his early entrepreneurial days as co-founder of Zip2 and PayPal, and you have an engaging read.

In addition to Musk himself, author Ashlee Vance interviewed many people for the book. The result is a wonderfully amalgamated account of different points of views.

You can buy the book here.

Related: Thinking of Starting a Business? These 5 Money Tips Will Come in Handy

2. The Airbnb Story by Leigh Gallagher

Image Source: Kinokuniya

Stories about successful start-ups usually make for engaging reads, especially when they involve the ones who manage to “disrupt” an entire industry. This investigative book is a remarkable behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of Airbnb.

From originally being just a whacky idea of the co-founders, the online lodging platform company is now the largest provider of accommodations in the world. Author Leigh Gallagher balances the autobiography well, with an in-depth look at both the successes and controversies the company has faced. Furthermore, it manages to demonstrate how the sharing economy can be a force for emotional connection.

You can buy the book here.

Related: 5 Interesting Malaysian Startups to Look Out For

3. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark

This book follows the story of Jack Ma, his humble beginnings as an English teacher and how he transformed himself to become the founder of the second largest internet company in the world. Alibaba’s IPO in 2014 was the world’s largest at $25 billion.

The CEO of WPP gave a great review of this book, quite ironically, on Amazon, Alibaba’s rival site: “Anybody who thinks the Chinese just copy or steals technology from the West should read this book and think again”.

You can buy the book online here.

Related: 5 Superb Bookstores in Malaysia Everyone Needs to Check Out!

4. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

Image Source: Bookurve

While the three books discussed above are second and even third-hand retellings, it is always refreshing to hear the story first-hand; yep directly from Richard Branson. Losing My Virginity is a compelling autobiography from the Virgin Group founder. From the airline business, to music, retail, and financial services, Branson has become an iconic business tycoon in the last 25 years.

Here, you will gain insights into his personal life as well as his business successes and the lessons he’s learned along the way. It is a memoir, motivational business guide, and inspiring life story all packed into one book!

You can buy the book here.

Related: 7 Ways You Can Get Funding for Your Business in Malaysia

5. Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella

Image Source: kinokuniya

Our last featured book is another autobiography, this time from the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. The book chronicles Nadella’s fascinating childhood in India to his current role at Microsoft. It is here where he leads some of the most significant changes of the digital era.

We are currently experiencing a wave of disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. Throughout the pages of Hit Refresh, apart from his personal life, we also get to read Nadella’s thoughts on these scientific developments.

You can buy the book here.

Related: 5 Social Media Tips To Help Grow Your Business

How many have you read? Let us know who and what you inspires you the most in the comments below!

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