If you are self employed (or desire to be) then you probably already understand that for entrepreneurs, the learning and education never stops.

There are many jobs in this world that are mindless and do not require the worker for to ever change or better themselves.  You come in, you do what you need to do, and you clock out.  Nothing changes except the minutes until you can hit that punch clock.

This is not the case for an entrepreneur.  In order to succeed, you constantly need to be on top of things, doing something different, and figuring out ways in which you can outshine the competition.  It truly is survival of the fittest, or if you want to be even more harsh, survive or die.  It doesn't sound pleasant because it isn't--there is more competition than ever before in today's world, so you won't last long unless you can constantly better yourself.

And what better way to better oneself than through reading?  However, the self-help niche or general business genre of books is filled with a lot of crap.  A few years ago it was seen as a sort of gold rush, and a whole lot of poorly written titles with nothing new was thrown up onto the marketplace.

To help you avoid wasting that most powerful asset, time, this list has been put together.  All of the books here should deliver tremendous value for anyone looking to strike it out on their own.  They are listed in no particular order.

Think and Grow Rich ~ Napoleon Hill

This is perhaps the best known book in the history of the self help genre, and for good reason.  Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich shouldn't just be required reading for those who want to start their own business: it should flat out be necessary for every student in America to know this book inside and out.

Personally I recommend the 21st century edition, as the original manuscript can seem a bit dated at times.  The updated edition still retains all of the magic.

The Four Hour Work Week ~ Tim Ferriss

By now, you've probably already heard of this New York Times bestseller, and if you haven't, then you've heard of its two sister books.  It focuses in particular on the buildings of a business which can be automated.

Contrary to what you might gather from the name, the author isn't suggesting you get rich by working just four hours a week, but rather, you find ways to outsource that which is unimportant to you, allowing you to focus on other things.

CA$HVERTISING ~ Drew Eric Whitman

While really more of a marketing book than an entrepreneur book, this should still be on any sort of required reading list.  If you're an entrepreneur, then you need to become comfortable with self-promotion and marketing yourself.  The only way for that to happen is if you get good at it.  This is regarded by many as one of the best marketing books ever written.

The 10X Rule ~ Grant Cardone

If you want to start feeling pumped up right now, read this book.  And if you want that dosage doubled, listen to the audiobook.  Although it can be a bit redundant at times, it is very inspiring.  And sometimes drilling the point home is what we all need.

The Millionaire Fastlane ~ MJ DeMarco

Part of what makes The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco such an interesting read is that the author promotes himself as an "anti-guru".  In many ways, the book is an anti-self-help book, which should particularly pique the interest of those who feel that all of these types of books are the same.

This book specifically goes after many of the BS and feel-good tropes that litter this section of the bookstore.  Instead of just blindly encouraging you onward, it spends a good deal of time focused on what this is really all about: business, and the importance of creating an empire in which you retain control.

Choose Yourself ~ James Altucher

This is perhaps the newest-written title on this list, published only a couple years ago.  It's well-written, and the type of book you can easily sit down and not stop reading until finished.  As you might be able to gain from the title, it involves finding yourself in a time period where employers are quickly to cut jobs.

James Altucher believes that many of the jobs lost in the recent economic downturn aren't coming back, and that now more than ever is the time for people to start taking control of their own destiny.

CRUSH IT! ~ Gary Vaynerchuck

If you ever listen to business podcasts, you may have heard successful figures attribute their success to this book.  Read it and you'll understand why.

The ONE Thing ~ Gary Keller

In a world full of distractions and ways to get sidetracked, The ONE Thing focuses on doing what is necessary to achieve any goal- unwavering focus.  It also debunks productivity myths like multitasking, and discusses tricks like tasks magically taking up the time that is allotted to them.

The Millionaire Next Door ~ Thomas Stanley

While not as in-your-face and exciting as some of the other titles on this list, this is without a doubt one of the most important books that you will ever read.  Regardless of what success you ever achieve in business, you won't get far without smart money management, which is what this book preaches.

How To Win Friends and Influence People ~ Dale Carnegie

If you don't understand why this book is here, you probably shouldn't own your own business.  If you have already read this book, read it again.  It's one of those books you can never stop learning from.

How to Win Friends & Influence People
Amazon Price: $16.00 $4.97 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 17, 2015)