Three Non-Typical Book Recommendations for the Entrepreneur

My Uncharacteristic Book Recommendations Whether you’re running a store-front business or an online enterprise, when the success of that business falls on your shoulders, then you’re most definitely an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are a special breed. Some come from families who seem to have that spirit in their genetic make-up – others find it when they realize they have dreams and ambitions that simply keep them energized day after day.

To my way of thinking the definition of an entrepreneur is difficult to pinpoint. There are bigger than life entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and then there’s the quiet entrepreneur that goes nameless to the general public but has a very dedicated list of followers due to the service they provide.

When I think of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, there are a few images that come to mind.

  • I picture someone who tends to have an overflowing number of ideas rattling around in their gray matter
  • I picture someone who is not afraid to stand alone and take chances, or what you could call calculated risks
  • I picture someone who seems to always be working and would never consider calculating what their pay per hour might be.
  • I picture someone who realizes they cannot do everything and the look to others for support, outsourcing, guidance, and training.

So when it comes to grabbing a good book they naturally have read the mainstays like “Good to Great”, “Built to Last”, and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. But they also venture into non-traditional territory to read books that will give them inspiration and creativeness from other’s life experiences. That’s where my three recommendations come from.

My Uncharacteristic Book Recommendations

1. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson M.D

This book is a short easy read but one you will find you read again and again. It is a must for anyone going through a changing situation and even better for the person who should go through a changing situation. It’s that kind of book that you’ll want to buy for someone else in your life.

The analogy of mice traversing a maze is as exquisite as their names, Sniff and Scurry, and Hem and Haw. This is a book will help you unleash a new outlook on any situation – it’s a true mind opener.

2. The Right Words at the Right Time by Marlo Thomas

This book is actually a compilation of stories or memories from many well-known individuals such as Diane Sawyer, Candice Bergen, Mel Brooks, Betty Ford, Paul Newman, Cal Ripken Jr., Dr. Sally Ride.

Each share a story of someone who told them the right words at the right time to help them set their own course or overcome an obstacle. If you subscribe to my newsletter this is the book I used to reference my story about what Serena Williams said to her sister Venus that helped turn her game around and catapult her to tennis stardom.

It’s a book that can be read a few short stories at a time say before bed and will come in handy whenever you are looking for a bit of motivation.

3.   Leap of Faith, Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor

Queen Noor is an American woman originally named Lisa Halaby. She was born into a wealthy family, raised in privilege, was a member of the first class at Princeton to accept women where she earned a degree in Architecture, and became the wife to King Hussein of Jordan. That is when her name was changed to Queen Noor.

I add this book to the list because of this woman’s strength of character. She was definitely outspoken, determined, grateful, and a purveyor of humanitarian rights. This certainly is not a business book, more a story about life and what you can make of it when you don’t sit still. (Something successful entrepreneurs don’t do).

What do you think of my recommendations? Will they be part of your growing library?

Marilyn Thompson


  1. I was given “Who Moved My Cheese?” when I was umming and arrghing about going self-employed. It’s a great little book 🙂

    Thanks for the other recommendations too!

  2. I haven’t read any of these books and I’m due to curl up with one in the near future. Who Moved My Cheese would probably be my first pick.

    Which one is your favorite?

    • Hi Bonnie,

      My favorite? Well that’s tough to say because –
      Who Moved My Cheese is a must-read for everyone
      Marlo Thomas’ book is a treasure of inspiration and you can read little snippets if time is short. Plus I simply love most of Marlo’s work, you’ll enjoy her comments regarding the right words from her dad in the introduction.
      Leap of Faith is a more serious look into a life, but a story told very well. That and I was a fan of their humanitarian efforts.

      I’d love to know what you think after you read them.

  3. Who Moved My Cheese is a wonderful book. I find myself going back to this for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’ve never read any of these books. I’ll have to check them out. The ‘who moved my cheese’ book has been on my list for a while.



  5. I am a sponge for knowledge! This information has already been typed into my soon to buy list. I think it is so important for every entrepreneur – new, advanced or thinking to become, to absorb every ounce of knowledge. Thank you for the recommendations!

  6. Thank you so much, Marilyn for these recommendations. I’m especially interested in reading the compilation by Marlo Thomas. I’m going to pass the information along to my husband since he is on the verge of starting a new business venture and would appreciate the inspiration.

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