5 Books Every Sri Lankan Entrepreneur Should Read

5 Books Every Sri Lankan Entrepreneur Should Read

I didn’t come from a family of entrepreneurs.

So when I started my business in 2015, there was nobody to guide me.

Here’s the thing. When you’re starting your own business, you think you got it all figured out and you’re on top of the world. But soon you realize that you don’t know sh*t. That’s what happened to me. I realized that unless I have some guidance, I’m going to fail.

But there was one problem.

I didn’t know anyone who could guide me. That’s when I decided to get the best advice from people who are world class at entrepreneurship. I turned into books on entrepreneurship.

Whether you want to find a new idea, reach more customers, or simply get some kick in the butt to start your own business, these books can help you.

These are 5 books every Sri Lankan entrepreneur should read.

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

$100 startup

“You need a big investment to start a business.” If this is your excuse for not starting your business, this is the book you should read. Most of us think that you need millions to start a business and we have accepted this notion blindly without actually looking at the numbers. Sometimes, all it takes is $100 to start a business.

This book shows that transforming your idea into a business isn’t that difficult. Chris takes you through countless stories of people starting businesses with very little money. If you have no idea where to start, consider this book as a road map to turning your passion into a successful business.

“The money you have is enough. Chris makes it crystal clear: there are no excuses left.  START.  Start now, not later.  Hurry.”

Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author of The Bootstrapper’s Bible

Who should read this book?

  • Anybody who wants to turn their passion into a business
  • Anybody who is still in doubt whether to start a business
  • Anybody who needs some serious kick in the butt to start a business
  • Any non-believer who thinks that you need a lot of money to start a business
Buy this Book

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Start with why - jump.lk

Why are some people and companies more influential than others? That’s what Simon Sinek is answering in this bestseller.

It doesn’t matter if your product has the latest features. It doesn’t matter if you use the latest technology. It doesn’t matter if you have the best customer service in the industry. It definitely doesn’t matter if you got the BEST product in the market.

Customers pay attention to your WHY. Not to WHAT you sell or HOW you sell it.

If you want to build a company that is loved and treasured by your customers, you need to have a strong WHY. If customers believe in the reason for your existence, the success of your company is just a matter of time.

If you’re struggling to motivate and rally your employees and customers around your mission, this is the book you should read.

“Start with Why is one of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years. Simple and elegant, it shows us how leaders should lead.” –WILLIAM URY, coauthor of Getting to Yes

Who should read this book?

  • Anybody who is leading a team (entrepreneur, manager, CEO etc.)
  • Anybody who wants to rally people around your organization/movement
  • Anybody who is struggling to motivate their employees and customers
  • Anybody who is struggling to figure out the reason for their company’s existence 
Buy this Book

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

e-myth revisited

If there’s one book I can recommend to Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who are predominantly running their business alone, it’s this. The E-Myth Revisited.

When you finally leave your corporate job to start your business, you’re up in clouds. You’re excited and motivated. You think those long hours are a piece of cake.

But after some time, you realize that running your business is worse than working for someone else. You feel like your to-do list is a bottomless well. Your work hours stretch like chewing gum. Suddenly you’re working from 9 to 12 in the midnight!

This is a common problem every solopreneur face. Your business becomes another full-time job.

So how do you get out of this mess? The answer is in the word “systems.”

You need to start looking at your business like a big system. For each task you have to do, you need to create systems. Then you need to assign people. Most small businesses fail because the owner is not capable of converting it to a “real” business. A “real” business is a culmination of smooth systems.

“The must read classic on automation.” –Tim Ferriss, New York Times bestselling author of The 4 Hour Work Week

Who should read this book?

  • Anybody who is planning to start a small business
  • Anybody who is running a small business
  • Anybody who feels like there’s not enough time in the world
  • Anybody who is in the brink of closing down their small business
  • Anybody who is planning to expand their small business
Buy this Book

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The Lean startup

If you look at any recommended book list for entrepreneurs and startups, I can guarantee that this book is going to be in each one of them. They say this is the Bible of tech startups.  

Eric defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for a one person startup as well as a blue-chip company in Sri Lanka.

The key to successful startups is building, measuring and learning. The book takes you through this cycle, providing you examples as to how you can quickly test your assumptions by building MVPs (minimum viable products.)

Rather than wasting money and time in long development cycles to realize that customers don’t want your product, Eric gives you a game plan that you can run to figure out what customers actually need.

“This book should be mandatory reading for entrepreneurs, and the same goes for managers who want better entrepreneurial instincts. Ries’s book is loaded with fascinating stories—not to mention countless practical principles you’ll dearly wish you’d known five years ago.” —Dan Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick

Who should read this book?

  • Anybody who is building digital products (apps, software, websites)
  • Anybody who is working in tech companies
  • Anybody who wants to innovate within the corporate sector
  • Any manager, director, CEO who is building new products
Buy this Book

Zero to One: Note on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future

Zero to one

Are you dreaming of building a company like Google, Apple, AirBnB that will change the course of the history? Then this is where you should start.

Peter Thiel, a serial entrepreneur himself argues that if you’re following the footsteps of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, you’re going nowhere. The next global empire is not going to come if you’re replicating the entrepreneurs before you. What you need is innovative thinking that could move an industry from zero to one.

If you truly want to build something remarkable, your best bet is new thinking that’s innovative beyond the box. This book has the potential to shift your thinking where bold ideas are not mere ideas, but catalysts for a better future.

“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.”-  Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla

Who should read this book?

  • Anyone who wants to build a global empire
  • Anyone who wants to shift the way they think about business
  • Anyone who likes to think big
Buy this Book

Have you read any of these books? If you have, add a comment below and tell us what your favorite book is. Do you have any other recommendations? Add a comment below and let us know.

If you know anyone who is desperate to start their business in Sri Lanka, share this post with them. Click any share button on the post. 

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