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Launching and scaling a successful recruitment business isn’t just about having vision and drive – it’s also about being guided by the lessons and experiences of other successful entrepreneurs.
Leaving behind the security of salaried employment is a major leap, and some well-chosen preparatory reading can be a great investment for any recruiter considering starting their own agency.
When it comes to choosing what to read, however, the options can be overwhelming.
From self-help pseudo-psychology to empty motivational books, there’s a lot of rubbish out there clogging the shelves.
But in among the waffle, there are a few books that pack a real punch – either for their ability to inspire potential entrepreneurs to follow their dreams, or for their detailed blueprints for business success.
With the holidays approaching and some rare downtime ahead, the Christmas break offers a good opportunity to put some time aside for self-improvement.
From four writers with different approaches, industries and advice, here are four books we encourage every would-be founder to read.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a classic book on the topic of wealth creation that has topped bestseller lists and sold millions of copies around the world since its release 20 years ago.
Whilst it’s come in for its fair share of criticism, the fundamental lessons of the book hold true, and still represent a compelling challenge to conventional notions that the way to ‘get rich’ is to work harder, get a better job, earn more and save more.
Instead, Kiyosaki encourages readers to explore and understand the mindset of the wealthy and successful, changing perceptions around money and how to create more of it.
For first-time entrepreneurs, it’s an eye-opener and a window into a new way of thinking about making money.
A flawed book? For sure.
Worth a read? Absolutely.
Likely to change your mind? We think so.
Key take-away:
The rich don’t exchange their time and labour directly for money – they invest in wealth-generating assets and businesses to create money for them.

The 4-hour Work Week – Tim Ferris

Tim Ferris is an archetypal modern entrepreneur, hustling hard in multiple different disciplines and making it difficult for the casual observer to see exactly where his wealth is coming from.

Once thing’s for sure – a chunk of it came from this record-breaking book.

Anchored in Tim’s early commercial success running an online supplements company and learning to outsource strategic aspects of his job to a remote team around the world, the book focuses on the ability of business ownership to free up founder time and radically increase quality of life.

There are strong parallels in recruitment – most of us know someone who’s built a successful agency, but is doomed to be the first in and last out every day to keep the heart beating.

Whether (like Tim) you finish up running a profitable international business from an endless string of gap-year style global travel adventures – working the legendary 4-hour work week – or stay closer to home, some of the core ideas of the book are bound to rub off.

Key take-away:
Strong operational processes and learning to delegate are critical for business owners to escape becoming ‘slaves to their own machine’

The Execution Factor – Kim Perell

A serial entrepreneur and serial start-up investor, Perell challenges the notion that you need a Harvard MBA to run a successful company.

Instead, she argues that everything is down to execution – the ability to actually deliver on good ideas or turn plans into action.
Where the first two books on our list focus more on mindsets and models, Perell’s book is packed with practical, actionable advice that empowers would-be business owners to have confidence in their skills and work ethic, and go out there and get things done.
In the world of recruitment, many ambitious founders are concerned that they don’t have something ‘new’ or ‘different’ enough to succeed – this book may (just) inspire those on the fence to back their abilities and trust their work ethic to succeed.
Key take-away:
Success in business isn’t down to having a unique dream, it’s about how well you bring your dream to life.

Rise & Grind – Daymond John

A long way from running a recruitment business (we admit), Daymond John founded clothing and lifestyle brand ‘FUBU’ from humble origins, going on to gross over $6bn in annual sales.

Where Perell advises that putting plans into action is the key to success, John delivers a powerful vote in favour of effort and resilience as the must-have factors.

Drawing on his own (extraordinary) rise to riches, John’s book is a highly inspiring reminder of the need to overcome the doubters, the setbacks, the ‘reasons not to’, and to use time wisely in building for the future.

Key take-away:
Time is the only thing we can’t get back – don’t put off chasing your dreams.
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