Growing up with an iPod in one pocket and a cell phone in the other means that most Millennials won’t hesitate to grab at a new technology that makes life more convenient or efficient. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs are no exception: people who are starting their own businesses are notoriously tight on time and always looking for the next life-hack to buy them a few seconds wherever they can. Audiobooks and entrepreneurs make a beautiful pairing: how else can you study a new school of leadership theory while you drive to the office or cram in some cutting-edge marketing skills while you work out?
That doesn’t solve the issue of what to listen to, though. There are lots of business audio books out there, and picking the right one is an important move in maximizing your listening ROI. So what should today’s entrepreneurs listen to when it’s time to hone their professional skills? Our CEO Sanjay Singhal has created a list of the top nine audiobooks he’d recommend Millennial generation entrepreneurs add to their playlist:
1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
A true classic that has stood the test of time and offers some of the fundamental life education that has fallen through the cracks in modern curriculum. (Insert “kids these days” sentiment here.) Anyone, regardless of their career path, should give this a listen.
2. How To Get What You Want by Zig Ziglar
Another classic with back-to-basics motivational principles and a strong approach to goal-setting. Ziglar is a top-notch salesman and motivator and How To Get What You Want is full of his signature humor and expertly narrated by Ziglar himself.
3. One Thing You Need to Know by Marcus Buckingham
Good or bad leadership can be the deciding factor for even the most fool-proof business plans. Marcus Buckingham discusses one central idea for excelling in management and leadership positions (no, they’re not necessarily the same thing!) as well as individual success. This book provides a great starting point and a point of focus for anyone entering unknown territory in the workplace.
4. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Sandberg has made huge waves with her endeavors to get women to be more aggressive and take charge of their careers. Young women should read this and be empowered; young men should read it and be enlightened.
5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
Everyone hopes their new business venture will go viral, but you need more than a wing and a prayer to make it happen. Berger discusses why some things catch on like wildfire and others don’t, with lots of Gladwell-esque case studies and plenty of practical advice.
6. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schöberger and Kenneth Cukier
This is particularly topical and extremely relevant for modern business. Chances are, you’ll be using big data to make decisions or working for someone who does. Big Data looks at both the economic and social issues surrounding mass data collection and how it’s changing everything from business to education and politics.
7. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup will give new entrepreneurs a more realistic idea of how modern grassroots startups need to work in order to be successful. Gone are the days of a single job description for life; now, everyone has to wear multiple hats and have the flexibility and skills to change things up. Agility and having the confidence to move quickly is absolutely critical.
8. To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink
Daniel Pink is an expert (and maybe even a bit of a genius) when it comes to sales, and To Sell Is Human explains why everyone is a salesperson, even if they aren’t. If you want to get what you need from all your work and even personal relationships, Pink is the man to educate you on the social science and psychology behind it all.
9. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
If there is one single thing that you can do to increase your chances of success, building up self discipline and learning how to use force of habit to your benefit (instead of your detriment) is it. Consider it a brain-hack that will help you in every area of your life and give you a huge edge over your competitors.