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30 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal the Books That Changed Their Lives

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This article was originally published on June 13, 2018.

Good ideas don't exist in a vacuum. Getting a chance to learn about other people's lives and points of view, whether from a novel or autobiography, can help people, including entrepreneurs, change their perspective and also lead to unexpected opportunities. Books can inspire someone to launch a startup, pivot to a new business model or even alter a life approach.

Check out the books that, according to 30 entrepreneurs, could change the way you think about the world.

Related: The 25 Essential Books for Every Entrepreneur's Library

Name: Gavin Armstrong
Company: Lucky Iron Fish
Book: Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business Book by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia. It raises interesting questions about how the private sector should be spending their money and how they should be earning their money. It all depends on the age and stage of your company and what commitment and obligation you should have to giving back.

Because we started from day one with the objective to have a social impact embedded throughout our supply chain, we were able to weave that into all of our actions and our entire process. And as we grow, that culture and value grows with us.

Read more about Armstrong: This CEO Has Helped Thousands and He's Just Getting Started

Name: Ryan Holmes
Company: Hootsuite
Book: The Long Walk: The True Story Of A Trek To Freedom is one of the most amazing, heroic stories of this or any other time. It tells the story of author Slavomir Rawicz, a Polish soldier who is imprisoned by the Soviets after World War II. To gain his freedom, Rawicz goes on a remarkable journey through the frozen Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, the Himalayan Mountains and to India. The Long Walk is about everyday human struggle, overcoming obstacles and achieving the impossible. That's why I keep 10 copies on my desk to give away at any moment.

Read more about Holmes: How Following His Heart Led This Entrepreneur to Start a Multi-Billion Dollar Company

Name: Julia Hartz
Company: Eventbrite
Book: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte. It outlines the current issues around self-worth and approach to time but also gender roles and pursuit of work-life balance. I was so moved by the book -- which is chock-full of supporting data points and useful reflections -- that we had the author join the company to talk about her book via Google Hangouts.

Read more about Hartz: The Day This Eventbrite Co-Founder Learned When to Speak Up

Name: Jeff Chapin
Company: Casper
Book: The Tower and the Bridge. A professor of mine in college wrote it, David P. Billington. When I started college, I was headed down the path of becoming a chemist. I'd always wanted to wear a lab coat and work in a lab. But when I read this book in my first year of college for a class about structural art -- essentially, the beauty found in architecture and engineering -- it was so captivating I switched majors and pursued a civil engineering degree focused on structures. To this day, it's still a reference for me in my work, even though I've switched from structures to products and work on a much smaller physical scale.

Read more about Chapin: Behind a $100 Million Mattress Startup, Casper Co-Founder Shares Advice on Finding Success as an Entrepreneur

Name: Jessica Dilullo Herrin
Company: Stella & Dot
Book: Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. It's one of the knowledge sources that affirmed for me that a positive mind is a powerful thing -- not just for yourself but also for your team and the people around you. A positive mind isn't something where you figure out how to have it and you're set for good. It's like personal hygiene; you've got to keep it up every day.

Name: Melissa Ben-Ishay
Company: Baked by Melissa
Book: I recently read Keith Richards' biography, followed by Mick Jagger's. I found them interesting because it's like I read the same story from different perspectives. It was great to see how two people experienced the same exact thing and still have different perspectives -- and they're both right. It was an eye-opening thing for me. In life, there are things you know and things you don't know, and for everything else, there are the doors of perception.

Name: Dave Rusenko
Company: Weebly
Book: My recent favorite book is The Rickover Effect by Theodore Rockwell about the nuclear bomb. He's a very controversial personality. He was ahead of his time as far as management goes, and he had some really interesting thoughts on how to run an effective organization. It's more than a story. He provides compelling anecdotes and thoughts on how to get the best out of people.

Read more about Rusenko: Weebly's Founder Explains the Richard Branson Moment That Changed How He Ran His Company

Name: Josh Reeves
Company: Gusto
Book: The Monk and The Riddle by Randy Komisar, a professor of mine at Stanford. The book is........

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