There are so many resources available to today's entrepreneur, it can be hard to know where to get started once you have an idea for a new business. We maintain a library of essential books and materials at our coworking space to help our members and visitors move from idea to execution, then from execution to growth. 

Here's the top three picks from the Commonwealth Coworking bookshelf for those who have an idea, but want to continue vetting that idea and build out a plan for success! I recommend reading them in the order listed. 
1.  The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Ferriss preaches lifestyle design - a process by which you decide what is really important to you and what you really want and then figure out how much it would cost. He explains how to craft a plan to achieve that income figure, primarily through online business models and automation. This book is both insightful and practical in that it walks the reader through the process of conceiving, planning, and launching an online business based on physical or digital products, step-by-step. Ferriss doesn't believe in trading your time for money (service products) because those businesses can never be fully automated and are limited in scalability.
2. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
Unless you are going to a bank for  loan, there is no need to write a fifty page business plan that is likely going to be obsolete as soon as you start collecting data, measuring, learning, and pivoting your business model. Osterwalder and Pigneur developed a genius business model planner - that fits on ONE PAGE. Absolutely essential for anyone thinking through their own business model before launch.

3. The Lean Start Up ​by Eric Ries

Ries believes that entrepreneurship can be taught, and therefore learned. He promotes a concept called "minimum viable product" and encourages entrepreneurs to market test their product before investing too much time and effort without any market validation. This is done by creating the minimum viable version and getting it to market for customer feedback as quickly as possible. Once the feedback is received, a cycle of "build, measure, learn" is launched where the product is iterated and improved in cycles, incorporating new customer feedback on each update until the product, and business, either works or fails. 

Do you have a favorite business book? Tell us about it in the comments! 

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