Is reading important for entrepreneurs?

For about the same amount of money you spend on dinner in a restaurant, you can buy a book. Stuffed with all of the knowledge from an entrepreneur’s real-life experiences.

Is reading important for entrepreneurs?
Photo by Road Trip with Raj / Unsplash

One of the first things every school teacher tries to engrave in your head is the importance of reading. It is good for your imagination, it helps with your spelling, it stimulates your imagination, etc. Even though all of these are true, today I would like to focus on something totally different.

Reading as an entrepreneur

If you are an entrepreneur or you have ambitions to become one, let's face it, you do not know much. Depending on your background you might not know much about finances, law, marketing, or product development. Some people have mentors who can teach them about these principles. Mostly this is not the case though.

Some of us may opt to go to a college and do a short course in entrepreneurship or do an online course. Only to realize that most of the time you are feeling frustrated and you can use about 15% of the things that they are trying to teach you. A watered-down program taught by a person that is not an entrepreneur is not worth your money.

“And learning, for Musk, is simply the process of “downloading data and algorithms into your brain.”3 Among his many frustrations with formal classroom learning is the “ridiculously slow download speed” of sitting in a classroom while a teacher explains something, and to this day, most of what he knows he’s learned through reading.”-Tim Urban, The Elon Musk Blog Series: Wait But Why

Books are an investment.

I would like to argue that the highest return on investment you can get is by reading a book.

Walk into any reputable bookshop, or do a quick internet search, and you can find hundreds of books written by successful entrepreneurs. For about the same amount of money you spend on dinner in a restaurant, you buy a book about an entrepreneur and read all about their mistakes, successes, and tips and tricks.

Just imagine how much money you can save by avoiding costly mistakes they have already made, just by investing a small amount of money.

Read at least a chapter a day

There is always a book at my bedside. I have learned a lot of skills and tricks.

However, one of the biggest things you probably pick up is the mindset. Mindset is probably the biggest factor in most entrepreneurs' success.

You learn how to think like an entrepreneur. Ask the questions an entrepreneur would ask. You see opportunities around you that only an entrepreneur would see. Just because you have immersed yourself into that world by reading a lot about it.

What should I be reading?

If I were you, I would start with biographies and autobiographies and steer clear of the "self-help" books.


We'll because most (not all) traditional self-help books are often written by people who can't really help themselves.

Final Chapter

If you are not reading already, you are making a mistake. Or let me put it this way, you will make loads of unnecessary mistakes. Mistakes that could have been avoided, if you read about them earlier.

If you look up to Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos - do a quick google search and find a book written by them or off them. And start reading!

If you are an avid reader, I want to encourage you to keep on reading, but also to take action. It is of no use if you know all of the principles in the world, but you do not apply them.

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