Although the Joyfully Jobless Journey is unique to everyone who takes it, hearing the stories of others who have followed their entrepreneurial promptings can be inspiring and instructive. Here are five very different stories which are each worth a visit.

Winner Takes All by Christina Binkley is a well-written account of how modern Las Vegas was shaped by three very different entrepreneurial thinkers. You need not aspire to run a hospitality empire in order to enjoy this often dramatic true tale. Terrific storytelling because the story’s so good. Hyperion, 2009.

Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson shares lessons learned by this adventurous entrepreneur. Branson recalls both his hits and his misses and what he’s learned from both. Might save you making a few mistakes of your own if you pay attention to his advice. New York: Virgin Books, 2008.

Hershey by Michael D’Antonio is the fascinating story of Milton Hershey of chocolate fame who was also an ahead-of-his-time social entrepreneur. You’ll never look at a Hershey Kiss the same way again. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland is a story I can read again and again. Genuinely inspiring example of how a positive vision impacts positively. Strickland has changed thousands of lives through his innovative training programs. Here’s an entrepreneur who also understands why art matters. New York: Broadway, 2007.

Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus is the wildly inspiring story of the birth of micro-lending and the lives that were changed by helping  the poor create their own enterprises. Yunus’ story dramatically illustrates that when you begin by doing what you can, opportunities to do much more begin to unfold. New York: Public Affairs, 2003.

I dare say, all successful entrepreneurs have loved the story of their business. Because that’s what true entrepreneurs do: They tell stories that come to life in the form of their business. ~ Michael E. Gerber