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26 Business Books Inspiring High School Students In 2020

High school provides a lot of unique opportunities in the world of business. If you’ve heard that a business degree (or any degree for that matter) is required for business or entrepreneurship, these books will prove you wrong.

Great business success often sees its first flame in early adulthood. Developing a vision, a hunger for effort and success is invaluable during highschool. These books do a great job of revealing what the world is like outside of school, making them fascinating reads for many high schoolers.

This contribution was made by James Canzanella from Isolated Marketing Nights

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This is a great book for high school students as it talks about the big differences when it comes to working for money, and having money work for you. The book is also filled with stories that illustrate this, and they even come from kids are who are just starting to learn about money and business.

This contribution was made by Sarah Walter from The Whit Group

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Gripping and insightful, from the founder of a company every high school kid will know. Who doesn’t want to be like Phil Knight? It’s an inspirational story, but the book goes beyond that, teaching practical tips for building a business and developing a brand. And there’s the secret – how to market a brand that becomes instantly recognisable around the world. The combo of inspiration and information in this book make it fantastic for provoking high school students to get busy developing their own business.

This contribution was made by David Walter from Electrician Mentor

The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupping

This book contains valuable information I wish I had known before leaving school to embark on my career. This is not a it worked for, so it will work for you book. Squiggly Careers is very different from most of the business books I have encountered – It is all about the reader and their values, strengths, outlook, ambitions and confidence – and the real-life skill of how to connect with other people. It gives you the information and the techniques in how to make your first foray into employment and the subsequent years from you are on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder. This book should be mandatory for schools and put on the curriculum, it is that good!

This contribution was made by Stella Samuel from Brandnic

My First Business plan for Teens by Adam Lean

This is a small but very powerful book written for high school students (preferably teens). The book is a step-by-step guide making it very easy to follow and understand every aspect. Personally, I recommend this book since it is written in a simple language and in a very realistic manner.

This contribution was made by Mike Falahee from Marygrove Awning Co.

The proximity principle by Ken Coleman

This book is ideal for the renegades or rebellious types that don’t want to go down the typical career path, like me! This book avoids preaching the same old, traditional career advice you’ve heard over and over. This book is filled with heaps of great suggestions and ideas on how to get networking and enhance your career at any opportunity. This book will help show you how to be intentional, focused and genuine about the connections you make. Giving a fresh and original take on resumes and the job interview process Not only helpful but relatable. Ken tells stories that will strike a tone with most people, and the book is highly enjoyable from start to finish.

This contribution was made by Jason Hughes from Vegan Liftz

Heads Up Money by DK

If you are a high school student looking forward to getting business ideas then you need to try this book out. The book is one of the best if not the best in the market. It encompasses all aspects that need to be taken for a successful business. The book is also versatile in the sense that it gives guides in different ideas rather than concentrating on one thing. I hope this helps out!

This contribution was made by Mike Brodsky from Incremental Improvements

Incremental Improvements by Mike Brodsky

The author shares ideas and strategies for making improvements in many aspects of one’s life. For a high school student who is just beginning to learn about the business world, the book provides a great deal of practical information applicable in the classroom or in the workforce. While the book covers various topics, the concept of “incremental improvements” can be applied to many aspects of business and entrepreneurship, by taking various goals, and breaking them down into more manageable tasks and actions. The book includes lots of helpful ideas regarding business and personal development which the student can apply throughout high school and college, and in the professional work world.

This contribution was made by Liz Brown from Sleeping Lucid

The Teen Money Manual by Kara McGuire

I believe that being financially literate only comes with benefits and it’s best to start at a young age, McGuire’s book can help hone young adults to become more financially aware, disciplined, and prepared.

This contribution was made by Christian Antonoff from Oliver Wicks

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

This is the book that best interprets the entrepreneurial spirit of America. What is an idea, sprinkled with passion and baked in innovation? A success story in the making. The book explains how pursuing your ideas may lead you to build something great.

This contribution was made by Christian Antonoff from Oliver Wicks

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

It’s hard to be successful if you’re messy. Stephen Covey digs deep to analyze what makes people effective. The book is great for laying down the foundations of being a high-achiever.

This contribution was made by Christian Antonoff from Oliver Wicks

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Everyone wants to sell, but not everyone knows how. Companies need structure and rules to be effective, and Jim Collins explains how businesses can do that by achieving sustainability and endurance.

This contribution was made by Christian Antonoff from Oliver Wicks

What You Can Do, I Can Too by Helen Vallaeys

Helen Vallaeys gives what many young girls need: confidence. In the male-dominated business world, many women are discouraged from following their dreams. This book teaches young girls and future entrepreneurs that they can do anything by introducing them to different role models.

This contribution was made by Tim Seeley from TimothySeeley

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book impacted me at a time in my life that I was not sure about who I was. It helped me realize that I was not the center of the universe. Understanding the concept that to be interesting, be interested was a huge paradigm shift where the simple act of asking questions, gave those that I was talking to the feeling that they liked me. As a shy introverted person, this was huge in becoming more liked as well as gaining more friends.

This contribution was made by Daniel Ndukwu from KyLeads

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen

This is a book that I revisit every year because the lessons are so powerful.. It teaches that you don’t have to be an overnight success and instead, you should focus on doing simple tasks day in and day out so the effects compound. For example, if you want to get 1,000 customers, make it a point to email or reach out to 50 people every day and pitch your product. If you want to write a book, start by writing 500 words every day. The lesson is deceptively simple but powerful because most people give up before success has had a chance to manifest in their efforts. When you take a long term approach to business and life, the daily swings don’t affect you as much and prepare you for the inevitable success you’ll accomplish.

This contribution was made by Leia Kalani from Tropical Topics

Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Business is a constantly evolving and growing field. Gary Vaynerchuk dives into personal stories and examples of how to achieve success in the business world. These personal stories give fantastic practical advice on using available free platforms like social media, while also utilizing classic techniques. He perfectly blends old school and new school in a modern blueprint for business success. His advice is wider than just business success it also will help people to live better lives on their own terms.

This contribution was made by Bryan Mattimore from Growth Engine Innovation Agency

21 Days to a Big Idea by Bryan Mattimore

Inspired by a request from a Columbia Business School professor to help his MBA entrepreneurial students invent better ideas for their new ventures, 21 Days to a Big Idea leads the reader through a fun, easy-to-learn and apply process to invent and develop “the next big thing!” Research has shown that high school students, because the exercises are so simple, have no trouble learning and successfully applying the creative techniques in 21 Days to a Big Idea.

This contribution was made by Marissa Owens from Opportunity Business Loans

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky

One of the business books I would recommend to teenagers is The Quarter-Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky. Even though teens aren’t quite at the young adult stage yet, this is the book I wish someone had given me on my way to college. The book is about what it means to have purposeful work and it makes you think about why you and your work matters in the world. We all hit a point at some stage in our lives where we question why we’re doing what we’re doing because it’s not just about making money. It’s better to address those questions earlier and this book is a great resource to keep around in your library for those moments.

This contribution was made by Troy Buckholdt from CourseCareers

The Lean Career by Troy Buckholdt

The Lean Career shows high school students an alternative way to start their career outside of college. It gives a new model for finding and testing the best career for themselves without wasting money on tuition. A must-read for motivated, financially savvy teens.

This contribution was made by Leslie Shull from N/A

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Brene Brown’s research and look into our society and the work we all need to do to accept who we are, who we want to be, who we are surrounded by and what they need for us to be great is life-changing. Honestly, I have read it and I am about to read it again. I could probably read it 10 times and not get everything. She recognizes that we are all just people and this is so important in our world today where we tend to compare, compare, compare to everyone! We are just people. She also discusses the topic of loneliness and how the world is feeling lonely – even in the workplace. These are issues that are so easy to address and solve if we talk to each other. If our high school kids can figure this out going into college and then the workplace, they will be so far ahead of the game.

This contribution was made by Joshua Joseph from Motivosity

Never split the difference by Christopher Voss

Everyone hates to negotiate. well, maybe not everyone, but most people hate haggling over price at a car dealership. But the thing is, we negotiate everywhere and in some cases, in every conversation. This book is fantastic because it gives you actionable negotiation tactics that help you reach a win-win in all your conversations. It’s written by the lead hostage negotiator from the FBI so you already know it’s legit This book is great for anyone but is especially useful for people entering the business field. I think anyone could benefit from this book and it goes beyond just business and can be applied to your personal life as well!

This contribution was made by Ken Eulo from Smith and Eulo Law Firm

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing is a book focused on selling services rather than traditional products. With technology advancing and software replacing many manual tasks, the need to market services is growing by the day. This book prepares students for the future of marketing, as opposed to most traditional product marketing resources.

This contribution was made by Aaron Shields from The Cult Branding Company

Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf

I discovered this book after one of my clients told me he gave it to his teenage son. Young people are bombarded with what success looks like. This success is often either fake—only existing on social media—or it makes it appear as if it happened overnight. Chop Wood, Carry Water is a parable about what it takes to achieve greatness: it’s not about focusing on the end result, it’s about embracing the process it takes to get there.

This contribution was made by Melanie Musson from QuoteInspector

Make Your Bed By Admiral William H. McRaven

This book drives home the point that daily habits that seem insignificant actually develop your character and contribute to your drive and success. Admiral McRaven uses the lessons he learned in Navy SEALs training to illustrate how the basics can change the world. This book inspires hope in the reader that even if they fail once, they can continue and succeed.

This contribution was made by Norhanie Pangulima from Centriq

Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions into Pay by Kenrya Rankin

Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions into Pay by Kenrya Rankin: This book is about how to turn your business idea into an opportunity. The book covers determining what kind of company do you want to run, how to pick out a name and pricing products among other things. The book also contains stories of successful young entrepreneurs who offer their advice on how to be successful like them.

This contribution was made by Norhanie Pangulima from Centriq

How to Start Your Very Own Business by Julie Merberg

This book is good on giving advice in choosing a good location, branding, marketing, writing a business plan and what to do with all the money that you will earn. The best part of the book is the many stories about young adults who successfully started their own businesses.

This contribution was made by Norhanie Pangulima from Centriq

The New Totally Awesome Money Book for Kids by Arthur and Rose Bochner

This book teaches, the first part at least, is a few lessons about businesses in general. Some young adults may find this information interesting, but for others, the content may be more than they are looking for. The second part of the book includes a list of everyday skills that young adults need to run a business. And the last part of the books highlights some business ideas for young adults.

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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