The 37 Best Business Articles Every Entrepreneur Should Read
April 16, 2020
April 16, 2020
These 37 Business Articles Are Must-Reads for Any Entrepreneur
1. “50 Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur”
Do you have a feeling you might be an entrepreneur at heart? In “50 Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur,” published on Entrepreneur.com, John Rampton could point out the one—or many—things that makes you the perfect small business owner deep down inside.
Entrepreneurs and business owners have a certain kind of spirit and drive that keeps pushing them forward. Use this business article to find out if you possess the qualities of an entrepreneur yourself.
2. “The iEconomy”
If you’re a small business owner on the forefront of the tech industry, then the New York Times’ “The iEconomy” is one of the best compilations of business articles to read.
The articles in this Pulitzer Prize-winning series look closely at the constantly changing high-tech industry. As an entrepreneur in a tech-facing business, you might find that the iEconomy series has a unique outlook on how challenging it can be to keep up in the tech industry.
3. “‘Don’t Take It Personally’ Is Terrible Work Advice”
In this Harvard Business Review article, Duncan Coombe explains why small business owners and employees should take work personally.
This Harvard Business Review piece is one of the best business articles for entrepreneurs looking for advice on how to engage their employees, build a successful business, and take pride in their work.
4. “Why You Hate Work”
In the New York Times’ “Why You Hate Work,” Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath look into what the modern employee needs to be fulfilled while in the workplace.
If you’re wondering how you can make your employees happier at work, this is one of the best business articles to read. Schwartz and Porath dive deep into what motivates people—and what pushes them away.
Or if you’re one of those 9-to-5 employees who hates your job, this might be one of the best business articles to inspire you to take your career into your own hands.
5. “Think You’re Too Old to Be an Entrepreneur? Think Again”
Despite what you might have learned from “Silicon Valley” or “The Social Network,” not every entrepreneur is a 20-something male wearing a hoodie.
If you’re looking for business articles that will reassure you that you’re not too young to start your own business, then you’ve found one in this infographic. Entrepreneurs are of all ages and come from all walks of life, and Anna Vital’s infographic will convince you of that.
6. “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change”
“Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change,” by legendary economics scholar Clayton Christensen and business consultant Michael Overdorf, is one of the best business articles for entrepreneurs who need help getting a handle on change in their business.
Growing pains are an inevitable part of any successful small business. This article helps business owners identify when their companies desperately need a change or how to handle change when it’s thrown their way.
The Harvard Business Review has a handful of small business articles that have withstood the test of time, but “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change” is one of the best business articles to keep coming back to as you manage more and more employees.
7. “What Makes a Leader?”
Another one of the best business articles in the Harvard Business Review is “What Makes a Leader?” by Daniel Goleman.
Starting and growing your own business is one thing. Managing and leading your employees once you’ve gotten a few years of business experience under your belt can be a whole different skill set. If you need some advice on how to be a more effective leader of your small business, this is a great read.
8. “The Top 5 Reasons Why ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ Is Wrong”
You’ve heard it before—or maybe you’ve said it yourself: “The customer is always right.”
In his Huffington Post article, Alexander Kjerulf explains why “the customer is always right” shouldn’t be your motto as a small business owner. If you deal with customers in your day-to-day operations, this business article deserves your attention. You’ll not only realize why you might be treating your customers wrong, but you also might find that you’re making your employees worse-off along the way.
9. “Reclaim Your Creative Confidence”
While most of the Harvard Business Review’s business articles are tailored to the management side of things, “Reclaim Your Creative Confidence” is all about empowering the creative side in everyone.
Creativity is an important trait in a business leader—a recent IBM survey of chief executives around the world shows that it’s the most sought-after trait in a leader. But as a business owner trying to run a successful company, you might put your creative, “big picture” ideas on the back burner while you work through the operations of your business.
But it’s creativity and innovation that drive businesses and industries forward. So if you feel like you need to re-spark your creative spirit as an entrepreneur, “Reclaim your Creative Confidence” is one of the best business articles to read through.
10. “Richard Branson to Young Entrepreneurs: ‘Just Do It’”
In Oscar Raymundo’s Inc. article, famous entrepreneur Richard Branson explains why young wannabe entrepreneurs need to get over the inherent risk factor of starting a business.
You can sit on a great business idea for years, weighing the pros and cons of starting it. But according to Branson, a point in time comes when you have to just do it. If you fail, you fail—and hopefully, you learned something valuable for your next business venture along the way.
“His message was very clear: It takes guts but you have to just do it. Feel the fear, but do it anyway,” says Darko Jacimovic, who says Branson’s article gave him the confidence to start his business.—WhatToBecome.com. “Over the course of the years, I have realized that this advice helped me stop overthinking and pushed me to start working. Now that I reflect on my experience, I realize how such simple advice is incredibly important for young entrepreneurs.”
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s been poised to launch a small business for quite some time now, this is one of the best business articles to help you make the plunge.
11. “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?”
“Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?” will make you look closely into your skills as a business leader.
This Harvard Business Review article gives four traits of the best kinds of business owners—and they’re qualities that you’ve probably never thought of before. So if you’re looking for business articles that not only help you take a step back and look at how you are as a leader but also give you tangible steps to become a better one, this piece is for you.
12. “6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How to Recognize Them in Yourself and Change Them”
Have you noticed a lot of your employees don’t last long at your business? Or maybe you have a hard time finding customers who keep coming back?
You might be exhibiting one of the intolerable behaviors that Kathy Caprino identifies in “6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How to Recognize Them in Yourself and Change Them.” In this article, you’ll learn why your employees are always quitting, what habits drive your partners crazy, and why customers just don’t want to work with your business.
But it’s not all bad. This is one of the best business articles if you need very defined steps for how you can be better.
13. “Managing Oneself”
Peter Drucker’s “Managing Oneself” is a Harvard Business Review classic.
First published in 1999, this article teaches us what it means to develop ourselves and place ourselves in the best possible positions—not just for you, but for everyone. How can you make the greatest possible contribution to your business, to your organization, or to your community? This article will get you closer to figuring out what your fundamental strengths are, and how you can use them to perform better at anything you do.
14. “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid”
“Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid” is one of the most popular business articles around.
Because this article features an overwhelmingly accurate list by clinical social worker Amy Morin on what to avoid if you want to be a better leader. You might find that, without knowing it, you spend so much time and energy on thoughts and actions that will hold you back in the long run—like wasting time trying to prevent change or worrying about pleasing others.
This is one of the best business articles to figure out the things you do that are setting both you and your business back.
15. “How to Demotivate Your Best Employees”
Another one of the best business articles from Harvard Business Review? “How to Demotivate Your Best Employees.”
This article highlights the things that you think are motivating your best employees to be even better, but are actually discouraging them. The article looks at a study done on employee incentives at five commercial businesses—and you might be surprised by the results.
An “Employee of the Month” award program? Don’t do one. Read the article to learn why.
16. “Why Google Doesn’t Care About College Degrees”
This VentureBeat article gives you an inside look into how one of the most successful businesses in the world goes about hiring their employees. (Hint: It’s not about expertise—it’s about skill, talent, and grit.)
“It stresses that when every applicant is the best and brightest from a great school with a great GPA, does any of that really mean much anymore”? says Chane Steiner, CEO of Crediful. “People want to hire the best, but determining who that is has to be about more than a piece of paper. What are applicants capable of? The answer to that is likely not found on a college campus anymore. ”
So the next time you’re hiring for your small business, pull this piece up—it’s one of the best business articles to get you thinking about how you can get the best talent for your business.
17. “Managing the Family Business”
If you own or are a part of a family-owned business, then you know how downright complicated it can get. The best business owners can keep their personal and business life separate, but it gets tricky when the two are inherently connected.
If you’re looking for the best business articles specifically for family-owned businesses, then go straight to Harvard Business Review’s two-part series called “Managing the Family Business.”
18. “How Things Change”
While you might be surprised to find this one on a list of the best business articles, “How Things Change” is a worthy 30-second read for any entrepreneur who feels discouraged.
TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak summarizes the crazy journey of entrepreneurship in just three tweets from Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp.
19. “The Psychological Price Of Entrepreneurship”
Working a traditional 9 to 5 can have its stress, and the stress, worry, and fear that comes along with the make or break atmosphere of being an entrepreneur can be even more intense. Entrepreneur and investor Kumar Arora explains the psychological impact being an entrepreneur can have on a person from his first-hand experiences in his Forbes article “The Psychological Price Of Entrepreneurship.”
Starting and running your own business can be an isolating and physically and mentally exhausting process and it’s important to keep your mental wellbeing in mind. This advice from Arora is one of the best pieces to help you prepare for life as an entrepreneur.
20. “8 Mistakes First-Time Founders Make When Starting a Business”
When you’re just starting out it can be easy to fall into the same pitfalls many entrepreneurs fall into. But maybe with this article, you won’t have to.
Mitch Zuklie, the CEO of Orrick Law Firm, and a business and legal advisor wrote about the top mistakes he sees entrepreneurs make. He detailed the mistakes that include growing too fast, and ignoring sound advice, in an article for Entrepreneur Magazine.
21. “How to Hire the Right Person”
Finding the right people to fill out your new business can be hard and you want only the best. Compiled from more than 500 interviews, the article “How to Hire the Right Person” by Adam Bryant of The New York Times brings together some of the best hiring advice from CEO’s he’s interviewed.
From questions to setting Bryant breaks down some of the best advice he’s gotten over the years. Some of the advice includes walking candidates around the office, paying attention to what questions they ask, assigning them a take-home task, and more.
22. “A Study of 3,526 Companies Shows 1 Decision Makes Startups More Successful. Most Founders Do the Opposite”
The appeal of having a partner in business is strong. Some entrepreneurs feel more comfortable having someone to share the work of starting a business with, but research shows that might not give the company the best chances of survival.
Research from New York University and the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania found that companies with a solo CEO were actually more likely to succeed. A story from Inc. breaks down the method used to derive the findings, but it turns out going it alone might actually be an advantage.
23. “CEOs Share Their Best Advice for College Graduates”
This article rounds up some of the best advice CEOs had for college graduates this year, but most of it can also be applied to new entrepreneurs. Both recent grads and entrepreneurs are starting a new chapter in their careers and the advice in “CEOs Share Their Best Advice for College Graduates,” can be helpful to them both.
The ability to listen, have patience, and be flexible were all traits CEOs highlighted in their advice to students. After years of experience and earning the title “CEO” they’ve learned a thing or two that can be helpful to those looking to follow in their footsteps.
24. “7 Tips For Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs, According To A CEO”
This article is based on advice from CEO and founder of the woman-powered app Mogul, Tiffany Pham. It’s a compilation of advice from her book and interviews with Bustle. While her book offers far more insight into how she got to be where she is today, “7 Tips For Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs, According To A CEO,” gives a quick preview.
Pham’s advice is centered around her experiences and lessons she’s learned over the years that could help other female entrepreneurs. Her book is called “You Are a Mogul: How to Do the Impossible, Do It Yourself, and Do It Now.”
25. “Good Advice: Tips From Successful Small Business Owners”
This article from The Hartford highlights what CEOs wish they had known back when they were first starting out. That includes the importance of a good support system and mental health and trusting their employees enough to delegate to them.
It’s a roundup of advice from other business owners, “Good Advice: Tips From Successful Small Business Owners” could help you avoid a common pitfall before it happens.
26. “The Slow Death of Hollywood”
Sam Williamson, owner of the business Streaming Movies Right, says his favorite business article is “The Slow Death of Hollywood” by Matt Stoller. The article focuses on the monopoly that Netflix and other streaming platforms are trying to create, and how it will impact creatives and the film industry.
“It fascinated me when I read it at first because in my mind, the abundance of streaming options had previously seemed like a great move for filmmakers,” Williamson says. “But the way that Stoller lays it out reminds me that often convenience is created at the cost of ethics, and this certainly seems to be the case with the streaming industry. It reminds me to generally question everything I see in business, no matter how ‘good’ it seems at first.”
27. “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Own Business”
Seb Dean, managing director of the marketing and design agency Imaginaire Digital, says his favorite business article is “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Own Business” in Inc. Magazine.
Written by entrepreneur John Rampton, the article recounts mistakes Rampton made when he launched his business, and what he could have done to prevent them.
28. “3 of the Worst Ways Small Businesses Waste Money on Marketing”
This article is recommended by Kevin Knox, founder of the agency Caffeine Marketing.
The article, written by Donald Miller for the website BuildingAStoryBrand.com, recounts the mistakes Miller made when investing in marketing for his business, and how other entrepreneurs can avoid making the same mistakes.
29. “Protecting Your Valuable Trade Secrets, Proprietary, and Confidential Information”
This business article recommendation comes from Nick Galov, owner of the business Review42. he says this article, which was written by Richard Huford for the website Stout.com, helped him understand all the ways he needed to secure his business from hackers and cyberattacks.
“Although the article isn’t recent, the information is presented in a very clear way and based on some of the major legal acts,” says Galov. “As an IT expert, I appreciated the clarity of the article as I felt I honestly understood all of its main points. Of course, I needed more research afterward, but this article gave me a great starting point. ”
30. “10 Ways to Evaluate a Market”
Ben Mirecki, founder of CarPages.com, recommends Josh Kaufman’s article “10 Ways to Evaluate a Market.” The article is a checklist that’s helpful in identifying the overall attractiveness of a new market.
“When considering investing in other markets, I like to reflect on Josh’s article and tick off each of his criteria during my research,” Mirecki says. “I think, If I were to start a new business, this article would definitely be an integral part of my own commercial strategy. For this reason, it is definitely one of the best articles I’ve read and I would definitely advise it to entrepreneurs when considering starting a business.”
31. “Being a Successful Entrepreneur Isn’t Only About Having the Best Ideas”
This recommendation comes from Dawna Boone, owner of Valet Maids. The article, published in the Harvard Business Review by Andy Molinsky, explains how entrepreneurship is more about execution than ideas.
“Often times, having a great idea or concept is praised,” Boone says. “However, the execution is what matters in business and entrepreneurship. Ideas are the easy part; execution is the hard part.”
32. “How to Brainstorm Like a Googler”
Next up is a Fast Company article by Veronique Lafargue called “How to Brainstorm Like a Googler.”
The article comes recommended by Amanda L. Grossman, owner of Frugal Confessions.
“Our brains hold amazing power to push through any problems, create the next off-the-chart ideas, and to make business better. We just have to know HOW to access all that power,” says Grossman. “This article was eye-opening, and gave me an insider’s look into what Google’s brainstorming process looks like. Specifically, pay attention to the 10X idea, as well as building a prototype. We can do all of these things in our own businesses, even if it’s just one person doing the brainstorming.”
33. “What Is Strategy?”
This is another HBR article penned by Michael Porter that defines the difference between strategy and tactics. It comes recommended by Kevin Borders, CEO of Collage.com.
“‘What Is Strategy?‘ clearly defines the line between tactics and strategy, with strategy being a choice that you can’t have both ways, like high quality vs. low cost,” Borders sats. “The article has great examples of how failing to appreciate this difference has led to major blunders at large companies, and provides a mental framework for making successful strategic decisions at a company of any type and size.”
34. “1,000 True Fans”
“1000 True Fans,” an article penned by Kevin Kelly, is recommended by Ryan Hankins, a freelance copywriter. In the article, Kelly explains that to be a success, you don’t need millions of customers, just 1,000 true fans.
“The article does a great job of breaking down the math on the importance of building an audience and how that effect snowballs,” says Hankins.
35. “500+ Free Tools to Help You Bootstrap Your Startup”
“500+ Free Tools to Help You Bootstrap Your Startup” is an article published in Neatly.io and recommended by Annie Chopra, founder of She TheQueen. She says it has been the most important article she has received to help her grow her business.
“There are 500 tools on that article and they are divided in categories. Every and any time I need help figuring something out and know a tool could help I go back to this article. It has introduced me to endless ways which help me save time and manage my business because I don’t have to scroll on the play store for hours or go through articles to find recommendations,” Chopra says. “Moreover, it taught me that businesses need to be very tool-conscious. We usually have smaller teams which means finding the quickest way to do things and remembering that in today’s world there is a tool for all our problems. Definitely a lifesaver.”
36. “The Brand Called You”
“The article is my favorite for several reasons. It was the first time anyone talked about personal branding, which was a unique concept at the time. He thought it was as much about how you do it as what you do that impacts your success. It revolutionized the way people thought about jobs and their careers,” Marhsall says. “While Peters had no idea, when he wrote it, digital media and social networks were going to create a platform where everyone truly can be a brand—giving way to a whole new way people do business.”
37. “The Busy Trap”
Our last recommendation for the best business articles for entrepreneurs is “The Busy Trap,” an essay by Tim Kreider in the New York Times. The article comes recommended by Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com.
“As a business owner, I completely understand what it’s like to respond to the question (or talk to others that reply in kind) ‘How are you doing?’ with ‘I’m so busy!’ as a stock reply,” says Sweeney. “It’s a fascinating article because it’s applicable to everyone, especially entrepreneurs. They do have to stay busy to make sure their startup succeeds. But the important takeaway is that the busyness we fill our lives with must be purposeful and not consume all of who we are. Kreider notes, towards the end of the article, that while a few individuals *may* reflect upon their deathbeds that they wish they had worked harder, most will wish they had gotten another drink with a friend or spent more time with a loved one.”
Learn From the Best Business Articles
There you have it—the 37 business articles that every small business owner and entrepreneur should keep bookmarked. Sometimes good advice can be forgotten so make a point of writing down essential tips from your favorite articles and keeping them at your desk or in a running document. Entrepreneurship can be a difficult journey but with the right resources, including these articles, you can overcome roadblocks, level up your abilities, and plan for the future.