Books Every Aspiring Veteran, Minority, or Women Entrepreneur Should Read Before Starting a Business

Starting a business can be a daunting task, even more so as a woman, veteran, or minority. You can save yourself years of trial and error by learning from others mistakes before you start your own business, and these books can provide a lot of insight. The best way to do this is to read books written by successful entrepreneurs from diverse background who’ve paved the path for newer business owners to follow.

There are so many choices to make and challenges to overcome as an often-disadvantaged entrepreneur. Not all of the decisions made will be the right ones, but these books are some of the best to learn from. Not to mention, veteran and MWBE businesses have other challenges they face around equal access to funding, raising capital and more.

After reading this article, you’ll discover several of the best business books every aspiring veteran, women, or minority entrepreneur or small business-owner should read before starting their own venture. Many of them can be listened too as well, as these top business books are also on services such as Audible. Various services provide a multitude of books you can listen to, making it super easy to learn how to grow your business while you carry on with your daily activities.

1. Business Made Simple by Donald Miller

Donald Miller is a successful author and entrepreneur who’s built a multi-million dollar marketing company called StoryBrand. His most recent book, Business Made Simple, is a comprehensive guide to creating a profitable business and avoiding many of the common pitfalls new entrepreneurs fall into.

In Business Made Simple, Donald covers some important topics like managing a business, creating an attractive product and building the right team using people from all background, whether Black, Latina, White or any race – diversity is key to a great team. He also includes insights into how to best market your company’s products or services as well as how to grow your business’s profits. From company finances to leadership advice, Donald covers it all.

This book may be one of the most helpful resources for any entrepreneur who’s starting from the ground up or looking to grow a business of their own.

2. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Mike is a well known entrepreneur who has a lot to share with aspiring entrepreneurs. Profit First is a quick, easy read and a great option for anyone, including veterans or minority, who’s committed to starting a profitable business. In his book, he shares invaluable finance insights into how new businesses can thrive by following his profit-first approach.

The author encourages readers to look at money not as something that needs saving until the end of each month, but rather as a tool to help you make more money in the future. His approach is simple: every dollar that comes into your business should go towards one of these four things: salaries, marketing, rent or paying for office supplies and other relevant business expenses.

Profit First is full of inspirational stories from a diverse groups of businesses owners. There are examples and advice from women, people of color, the LGTBQ+ community and veterans among others. There are tips about how to make money with your business by strategically managing your business expenses to steadily grow your profits. Overall, this book is full of practical advice that’s both inspiring and easy to implement.

3. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Before writing Business Made Simple, Donald wrote the popular business book Building a StoryBrand. This was the first business book he published and has become one of his best-sellers.

This book will teach you exactly how to craft a meaningful story that connects you with your customers and potential clients, which is instrumental for every entrepreneur looking for success in business today. If you are an immigrant entpreuner, tell your story about how you got here and why you are starting. If you are a Black woman business owner, tell the story of your goals, target market, and what differentiates you. The is a great book about story telling.

Creating a story around your business is one of the most important things you can do to differentiate yourself from others in the same industry. This is an advantage that MWBE or veteran owned businesses have – often a “better” story. Donald’s book teaches readers how to build a story that people will remember and, more importantly, connect with on an emotional level.

Speaking of stories, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen is an excellent option for MWBE small business owners who want to become better storytellers. Improving your ability to tell stories is essential if you want to use content marketing to grow your small business.

This Audible book is listed on Amazon as a top seller in the internet and social media category. If you’re planning to use social media and digital marketing to grow your brand, this book should be classified as required reading.

This is the perfect read for anyone looking to build their own personal brand or business story from scratch. Someone who say is an immigrant, or that is a person of color who overcame barriers, or the gay community – they often can use that history to tell a better, more compelling business story. If you’re serious about your small business or thinking of starting one soon, this book is worth picking up.

4. Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Peter Thiel is the infamous co-creator of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. He is also openly gay, and maybe the most successful LGTBQ+ business owner. He’s also started and managed tech giants Clarium Capital and Palantir Technologies.

Blake Masters is a writer who worked with Peter Thiel for many years to distill his views on entrepreneurship into this book. Zero to One was first published in 2014, but remains relevant today as it tackles questions around how entrepreneurs can find success.

In Zero to One, Thiel argues that entrepreneurship is about creating something new out of nothing and then multiplying it across industries, geographies, technologies, and social classes. The book includes Peter’s views on everything from business cycles and economic freedom to education, global poverty, health care and climate change.

He offers up his own past successes, including as a LGTBQ business owner, and some of the more recent innovations that he believes represent a new era in entrepreneurship.

You’ll learn how to create your own opportunities, face the difficulties of doing so (especially as a gay women or man) in a world where competition is more fierce than ever before and build something that will last.

5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is a self-made millionaire who is a corporate executive, entrepreneur and author. He is also Japanese-American and a person of color. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a detailed guide for those venturing into the world of business. The book provides invaluable lessons on building an entrepreneurial mindset to help with decision-making in business ventures, and teaches you how this mental shift can make all the difference in your success as a future entrepreneur

Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad can help anyone who is new to entrepreneurship develop a mindset geared towards building up assets without wasting time, energy or finances on liabilities. It is a great example of an Asian business owner having tremendous success.

The attitude of Rich Dad, Poor Dad’s advice rings true for all entrepreneurs because it focuses on how personal values play into financial decisions. This is a must-read for all those who are setting out on the entrepreneurial path and wish to start making money with a value-driven business.

6. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development – Mike Weinberg

Published in 2017, Mike Weinberg’s New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development Audible book is a must-listen choice for those who want to increase their sales leads. With hundreds of five-star ratings, this essential business development book is one you’ll turn to on multiple occasions to improve the growth rate of your small business.

7. Custom Nation: Why Customization Is the Future of Business and How to Profit From It – Anthony Flynn and Tori Kamal

Although Custom Nation: Why Customization Is the Future of Business and How to Profit From It was published back in 2013, it’s still a top choice for small business owners who want to learn more about product customization and its impact on their companies. Understanding how customization and personalization are influencing the future of business is critical for entrepreneurs who want to tweak their business models for maximum success. Personalization, and story telling, is one of the key assets that a veteran, immigrant, or MWBE owned business has, as they often have overcome many barriers to start their business. Telling that story is critical.

With over five hours of listening time, this audible book offers enough engagement for those who want to improve their small business, without being so overwhelming you’ll regret downloading it.

8. Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide for Starting Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, E-Mail, and Cold Calling – Jeb Blount and Jeremy Arthur

If you want to learn how to improve your selling skills with the limited resources that women or minority owned businesses has available to them, understanding how to start sales conversations is critical. Authored by Jeb Blount and Jeremy Arthur, Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide for Starting Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, E-Mail, and Cold Calling, is a must-listen to book for those who want to improve their networking and lead generation abilities.

Published on Audible in June 2016, this book offers just over eight hours of listening time and is sure to leave you with a few sales generation nuggets of wisdom you can incorporate into your small business’ growth strategy.

9. The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino

For small business owners who want to get started with Audible books but don’t know where to start, The Greatest Salesman in the World is an excellent option. This short book offers just over two hours of listening pleasure and takes a different approach to sales training. -Og Mandino also came from an immigrant family that was Italian American.

Offering an intriguing story that will leave you questioning your approach to sales, The Greatest Salesman in the World has over a thousand positive reviews and is sure to become one of your favorite business development books.

Closing Thoughts

These are just a few of the books every aspiring entrepreneur, no matter your race, should read before starting their business. But these business books are some of the best for the minority, veteran, and LGTBQ community as well.

When you integrate these leading business books into your business development plans, you can pick up insights you can incorporate into your small business’ growth plans. If easier, listen to them as well, as there is no need to feel like you have to force yourself to read an entire book when you’re already busy.

Reading these will help you understand what it takes to be successful in today’s world and how to avoid making costly mistakes that could cost you your company, product or livelihood. So take some time this weekend and go get yourself one (or all) of the five books recommended in this post.

By Jon McNamara