The greatest lessons you’ll ever learn will most likely be from your own experience. But entrepreneurs can also learn a lot from the advice and experiences of others, as long as we allow ourselves to be teachable.

Consider the following four books your mentors and teachers as they reveal skills and lessons that can possibly shave years off your learning curve, and thousands of dollars from avoidable mistakes:

1. First Things First

first things first book

As entrepreneurs, you already know your most valuable asset is time, but not every entrepreneur knows how to properly use that time.

At first glance, First Things First may seem like just another productivity book but, as you’ll learn, true productivity is not about getting more things done in less time but rather doing things that matter with the time you have.

2. Built To Sell

built to sell book

You may have heard the advice “Have an exit strategy” when starting a business. But not many entrepreneurs have considered what it takes to actually sell a business.

In Built To Sell, John Warrillow presents a compelling case for entrepreneurs to approach their business from the perspective of selling it one day.

Not only is this book a must-read, but it’s also written like a story, which means you should have no problem following along — unlike other business books which can read more like text books.

3. Choose Yourself!

choose yourself book

Author James Altucher will most likely have you shaking your head in disbelief when you hear his story.

There are two pivotal moments for every entrepreneur. The first is when they choose to become an entrepreneur, and the second is when they take 100 percent responsibility for their success or failure. Choose Yourself! is about that second part — taking responsibility.

4. Mastery

Master robert green book

Too many entrepreneurs want to “fake it till they make it” instead of taking the time to develop the necessary skills it takes to succeed with their craft. It also acknowledges the fact that mastery is a process, which should alleviate entrepreneurs from the idea that greatness is either achieved quickly, or not at all.

It’s easy to look at a successful entrepreneur on the cover of a magazine, or a TED speaker on YouTube and think that the person has been blessed with luck, financing or superior genes.

But everyone walks the same path to “mastery.” And that path contains failure, setback and sometimes years of wandering.