I made the mistake in my career of too often reaching to books. I greatly enjoy reading but all too often in life, experience is much better. Actually doing things gives you so much more than reading about it, especially if you make mistakes and learn from them. We all too often get caught up in trying to read about so many subjects and analyzing things instead of just going for it. Avoid this if you're a budding entrepreneur, especially early on in your career. Once you've managed to get things under control and you're established in your field, it's great to read books. This helps you tweak things to get better. But first, you need the actual experience and people involved in your career path.
As I wrote in the title of this blog, first find a mentor. There is nothing more important in becoming a better entrepreneur than having a good mentor. It doesn't necessarily have to remain one mentor either. Find the right people to give you advice at the right stages in your career, be it one, or be it twenty people. Nothing is better than having a go-to person to discuss your issues with. Optimally, it's someone in the same industry but I've had mentors in my career who had nothing to do with the industry I ended up in. The first one was an eye doctor. It's simply someone who can give you outside advice and who has some background information on you and knows how you tick. The best advice I received at times in my life stung. My mentor simply happened to know my weaknesses and faults after which he slapped me in the face with them.
Further, start building a network. You need people to help you open doors, get introductions and so forth. If you come from money and mom & dad provide you with this, good for you. The rest of you, get to work. This is reality. No book will help get you in someone's office or help you close a deal. That's what you personally end up doing physically. Networks help. If you have spare time, go ahead and grab a book. If you don't, focus early on in your career on expanding your network and getting put in touch with the right people. Read the previous paragraph and have your mentor put you in touch with people if necessary. It's tedious at times but I can't count the number of occasions I've been helped out in my career by having someone in my network who put me in the right place at the right time. In hindsight, it even looks like you knew what you were doing! Sure, there's some luck to this process but you have to be out there, working at it all the time.