Looking for books for your business? One of the things I’ve LEARNED is that there is TOO MUCH advice out there to consider.
Who are these people?
What do they know?
If you want to do something sensible, go through the list of books mentioned on this page.
1. Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest
This best-selling and popular guide teaches you how to get clients fast. The author explains in simple terms how to craft your ideal client profile. This can be used as your sales and marketing plan, and it can help your business grow exponentially. The concepts laid out in the book are easy to follow and to implement.
Starting out on your own, or hiring a pro (or both) can be daunting. Feel that you’ve got the edge on design? Try Val Head’s Let’s Go Digital. The guide teaches you how to substantially grow your business, reduce your workload, and increase revenue using technology.
2. Purple Cow
Author: Seth Godin
Purple Cow is one of the books for entrepreneurs that many successful business people can’t stop recommending if you want to enter the book world. This “remarkable” book makes your business products and services so different that they stand out and cut through the crowded marketplace. The book combines marketing, psychology, and creativity into a breathtaking story that teaches you how to master the most powerful business idea of the 21st century. A must-read if you want to land in the bookstores and on Amazon’s best-sellers lists.
3. The Dan Sullivan Question
- Quickly generates a list of questions to ask in meetings
- Great way to stimulate new ideas
- Imparts a great deal of practical ideas for your business
This book is written in an unusual style and may be a bit hard to understand, but it is worth the effort. It is essentially a collection of questions that leaders can ask to stimulate the thinking of their teams.
I was trying a little too hard to relate this book to everything else I was reading and not just sitting with it on its own merit. Once I reconnected with this approach, it made sense.
This book helps me focus on asking the right questions of the right people during meetings and conducting strategy sessions. It is a good book to read if you intend to use it to jumpstart new ideas by adding questions back onto your own meeting agenda.
4. The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice
- An amazing read for people who are interested in starting a business
- Ideal for entrepreneurs looking to reach a larger audience
- The best book for communicating effectively
- Will not be ideal for those looking to start an online business
- Might be a little bit expensive for some
By Brendon Burchard.
There's a right way and a wrong way to reach people online. The Millionaire Messenger will be a powerful lesson for anyone interested in that aspect of the business world.
This book will cover all the right and wrong things you can do to stand out on the Web.
5. The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field
- Best-selling book on measuring growth in your business
- Author is a successful entrepreneur who has helped hundreds of companies grow
- Actionable advice
- Great for small business owners who want to know how to better their business
- Might not be top choice for big business owners
- Some might find a few sections boring
This is an inspiring book and one of the best self-help books of our time. The author, Mike Michalowicz, talks about starting out from the bottom and shares his recipe for success when it comes to growing a business.
Michalowicz, the founder of ToiletPaperEntrepreneur, has been running his business for more than 10 years and has learned a lot of secrets. And he has shared them all in this amazing book for entrepreneurs.
He helps you find the right idea, from creating a plan to build your business, get funding, create customers, manage employees, and much more.
6. Overwhelming Odds
- Haven’t read anything like it
- Author is iconic
- Good points on why he chose to be an entrepreneur
- Tells you about how he failed his first time, but was successful in the second
- Implores the reader to play to his strengths but gives nothing on what that is for you
- Some of the story arcs and lessons he learned seemed to be brushed over or skimmed over
The Entrepreneurial Imperative by Fran Tarkenton with Rocky Wirtz
If you can get past the first few chapters about his childhood and family life, the book really gets good. Chances are you don’t know a lot about Fran Tarkenton’s background as a Minnesota Vikings quarterback, an NFL broadcaster, major league baseball player, and entrepreneur. The book includes both biographical information and business advice.
7. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
By Michael E. Gerber
This is an ideal book to read if you're an entrepreneur who has already established a successful small business. In this book, Michael E. Gerber does a great job of breaking down what it takes to run a business and how the role of the entrepreneur differs from the role of the manager.
As many new entrepreneurs quickly discover, there is a very important distinction between starting a business and being in business. It's also easy to discover that you may have inadvertently given up the one thing that will help your business succeed: control.
8. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches
EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches: This book is incredibly popular among new or aspiring entrepreneurs! If you are looking for advice, this book is outstanding. I recommend the hardback version because the paperback is not a great quality.
ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever: This book has been recommended to me by numerous successful startup CEOs. It is very straight forward and is a quick read. I have read this book cover to cover and it is definitely a must read.
Pitch Anything : An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal : This business book by Oren Klaff has been recommended to me by multiple people. I have read the reviews and the description of the book and it indicates that this book will help you to pitch anything! I plan on reading this book during my holidays.
9. Fight the Good Fight: A Mother's Legacy Lives On
- easy to read
- quick read
- a personal story of extreme courage
A woman named Coretta Scott King led a remarkable life. She was exceptionally intelligent, articulate, and active in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. The wife of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., she helped lead the movement to secure equal rights for African-Americans by creating charitable foundations and establishing scholarships and other programs for black students.
This book is about a powerful woman who made a difference in the world. She led by example. This true story of Coretta Scott King shows that more than a century after the Emancipation Proclamation, we still need to fight for our freedom.
She was a beautiful woman who made inspiring speeches in the movement to secure equal rights for African-Americans. Even after her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed, she continued to inspire the movement for black power.
You probably heard about the famous quote “if you get something done, let it go and move on to the next thing.” Well, this is exactly what everyone else does. In the business world at least, it’s really rare to see successful people spending hours and hours obsessing about their last project. That’s the approach tech companies such as Apple are taking.
Here’s the main idea Fried asks you to consider: it will allow you to build your business, your product, and your life the way the technology companies do.
According to his belief, great things move forward. The next project is always better than the last one, so don’t try to strive for perfection. Just get something workable out as soon as possible.
11. Steve Jobs
- It gives you a great insight in Apple’s success story
- Contains a few invaluable lessons that can help you in your business
- A bit hard to read
- It is not focused on starting a startup
The book is a biography about Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. It contains tons of valuable lessons about success, obstacles, and channeling creativity.
12. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5
Why it's so good:
13. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits
“Tony Hsieh is an author who thinks and acts entrepreneurially. As CEO of Zappos, he has built a place where the concepts and principles of entrepreneurship are put into practice every day…Delivering Happiness is a must-read for anyone who has a passion for business and a passion for life.”
—Tony Robbins, author, founder of Robbins Research International, and philanthropist.
“Delivering Happiness is as inspiring and insightful as it is funny and colorful. Tony Hsieh is completely authentic, and his passion for his company and his customers is contagious. He's given me the inspiration I need to take action on my own dreams.”
14. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Joshua proved to be the book of the year when it first came out back in 2000.
Ever since, it has sold millions of copies and has provided companies and individuals with priceless information on how to increase chances of success.
The book is split into three main parts which all lead to the overall goal.
15. Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
There are tons of reasons why this books deserves its rightful place at the top of this list. We call it a business bible because it covers nearly every aspect of starting, building and selling a company.
Note that this book has be released with too many editions to even count (you can find it as both a paperback and hardcover, and we are sure that in 2017 there will be a new version of this book). Let us give you a short but still significant list of content that you are going to find in this book:
- Founder's Toolkit … basic starting information that you should know and use when you start the journey of a successful entrepreneur
- How to Win as an Entrepreneur … as basic as the previous chapter, but not necessarily as important as the two other topics
- The 7 Steps to Business Success … a complete overview of potential solutions to the common problems of a business
- Business Models in a Plan … business models for simplicity, reliability, modularity and sustainability
- How to Get the Money to Grow Your Company … the future of loans, leases and the prevailing sources of funding
16. UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging
Title: UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.
Author: Scott Stratten
License: Copyright 2011
17. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living
(Hardcover, 232 pages)
This amazing book will teach you how you can easily become successful by starting a business that wouldn’t require you to quit your current day job. Full of inspiring stories of startup ventures such as Theme Forest and Etsy, you will learn how to find and target hidden opportunities in a growing marketplace.
18. Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
- Extremely helpful for anyone that has already hit a wall in their business or wants to take it to the next level
- Targeted at beginners who want to get going with an easy-to-understand step-by-step approach
This book is a must read for anyone who gets stuck in their own way while running their business. It’s one thing to have a passion for a certain area, but it’s another thing to have the knowledge to make it a sustainable business. Business is hard and if you don’t have the tools to survive in it you’re going to get crushed.
Carson left the corporate world in 2004 and started a new business completely built around his passion for independent artists. He is using his experience to help other entrepreneurs launch their own businesses in a way that makes sense in his book, Crush It!
19. Industry Transformers
Insights From the Top Gurus in Sales, Marketing and Business Strategy
In his first book about Strategic Selling, Andy Paul shared the insights he discovered from interviewing the business world’s most successful business leaders, sales and marketing gurus, and experts. You can see many of the same business icons, as well as many other high-profile names, in his newest book, Industry Transformers.
In the book, you’ll find advice on marketing, branding, sales, social media, and even public relations. And, many of the interviews are real gems of insight into the minds of high-profile industry leaders like Neil Blumenthal, Martha Stewart, Ted Rubin, Hernan Lopez, and Raina Kumra. Paul also shares the secrets of organizations like Jane Garrett, the Kitchen Table Society, Facebook, Nielsen, and many more. This is the perfect book for any entrepreneur who wishes to learn from the ultimate achievement of others in the business world.
20. If You Don't Have Big Breasts
- Very inspirational
- Just what female entrepreneurs need.
- Can come across as cliche
- Full of stories of the most successful women you know
This is one of the best and most inspirational books available for women who want to become entrepreneurs or just simply achieve more.
The book offers the reader stories of the lives of successful women and how they were able to make it where they are. It also teaches women how to handle and overcome discouragement, specifically through the relatable experiences of the author.
This book is well written. It's split up into easy-to-read chapters with full of storytelling chapters on the subject of overcoming adversity and embracing change. It also offers a lot of helpful advice for female entrepreneurs, specifically those in transition in their careers.
21. How To Win Friends and Influence People
- Awesome read
- A book that will help you lead others to your cause
- Since you are most likely an entrepreneur, this is a must read
The book covers the basic principles of dealing with other people. You will learn techniques by which the author aimed to help you achieve success in your personal, social, and business life. The 12 principles are:
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
22. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich
- Shows you how to make millions with common sense and breakthrough new strategies
- Teaches a formula to bypass your fears and find new opportunities and takes you on a compelling journey to financial freedom
- Educates you on how to create passive income and avoid the rat race forever
- Gives you successful use cases and how to make your business successful.
- Shows you that it doesn’t take a MBA degree to invest, borrow, and buy your way to wealth
There are tons of different marketing books out there, but this one really takes the cake. It’s really geared towards people who want to make money off of being an entrepreneur, and it tells you just that. It even tells you how to overcharge friends for appointments, and how to find and exploit your unique opportunity.
Many people suggest this book to new entrepreneurs as an eye-opener. It takes a lot to really grasp this book and even more to implement the strategies in it. It basically tells you that you don’t need to go to college or get a degree to make millions. All you need is the courage and willingness to take action.
23. Creating Your Own Destiny: How to Get Exactly What You Want Out of Life and Work
- Filled with valuable information
- Helpful in all areas of life
- Offers practical advice
- Includes actionable tips that you can take right away
- Goes deep into detail about his experiences
- Gives you a look into the mindset of an entrepreneur
Anyone who is in business and wants to be successful needs to read this book. It goes past the run-of-the-mill advice and offers a deep dive into the mind of a top entrepreneur. It’s filled with specific examples of how you can be successful at everything from hiring to providing outstanding customer service and even how to have relationships work for you.
24. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested
- This book will walk you through the most critical phases of starting any business
- It will help you come up with a great business idea and a must-have product
- It also offers excellent advice on the basics of building a business from scratch
- There are many stories included about how and when to accept failure and when to take risks
- Many stories where startups hit roadblocks and failed, and what the author recommends from those experiences
- It’s a must-read book for people who are eager to start their own business
- It’s written in a way that makes it tough for some readers to follow
- It’s better for motivated people who want to learn how to start their own business business rather than for beginners.
Most people would likely agree that entrepreneurship is not something that can be taught in school or learned from the big business gurus on television or YouTube.
But it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs who made it big.
In this classic book, Guy Kawasaki provides a step-by-step guide on how to build a successful company. He also offers in-depth insight on how to promote the business and how to measure its success.
25. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental
- Over 350 pages full of advice and strategies to help you achieve success and make you feel
- Includes the ‘Wheel of Life’ where you read one chapter at a time which corresponds to that part of your life
- Includes 21-day plan to help you be successful
- Includes tons of reference material and recommended reading
- Helps you create a vision for your life and life purpose
- Helps you accept yourself as you are and allows you to create a plan to become the best version of yourself
- Might be too positive for some
- Can feel preachy
- Some parts read like a self-help book
- Only one consistent style of formatting
If you have ever felt like you have no motivation and want to be inspired and motivated to start a business, then Tony Robbins’ self-help book Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! is your best bet.
In this book, Robbins shows you how to awaken your ‘inner being’. This is your power, confidence, motivation, and ability that is inside you. He provides you with numerous tips and tools on how to get motivated, how to change your thinking, and the benefits of continuous learning in life.
26. Who Moved My Cheese
An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
By: Spencer Johnson
What it’s about: You know the classic parable about the two mice and two little people who run into a maze looking for something to eat.
27. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't
'''Remember the OPPORTUNITY/THREAT matrix. Companies at the intersection of good and great have an excellent opportunity to become great. Look for that intersection.’'''
Author: Jim Collins
28. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts
- Really interesting read
- For both established business and new entrepreneurs
- Covers various aspects of Enchantment
- Full book summary available online
- You should bookmark this book to come back to it often
- The author professor Mark Smith is an authority on marketing
- There is a QR code on the cover of the book that lets you access bonus content
- It’s written by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School Professor
It’s a well-written book unlike most business books that are written by so-called experts these days that haven’t ever run their own business.
The book also features a useful index and a good table of contents. The format is simple and straightforward and the book is full of pictures, graphs, and charts.
29. Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup
- Insightful stories of success
- Readable for all audiences
- Beneficial to aspiring entrepreneurs
- Makes you think in a different way
Authors David Cohen and David Brown, both CEOs with successful startups under their belts, have created another classic and essential read for any entrepreneur. This particular book covers the lessons learned from past Techstars companies.
These real-world examples discuss some of the issues expecting startups deal with such as: developing the right product, defining metrics, developing a sound marketing plan, and getting the right investors on board. You'll also discover how a startup team can and should handle necessary pivots.
"Do More Faster" provides sophisticated and valuable insights into creating startups. It can be read by entrepreneurs and those in thought of starting their first venture.
30. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
- Straightforward tips that are easy to implement
- Boost your productivity and increase your effectiveness
- An effective way to manage work and life in a jam-packed world
- Get more done while relaxing more
Only for those with a strong attention to detail. Just getting organized will not cut it.
David Allen’s book changed lives, and it’s what every entrepreneur needs to read to get their business off the ground.
A book that has been recommended by Arianna Huffington, Martha Beck, and Michael Port, Getting Things Done is written by Allen who is a world renowned consultant, founder of a popular productivity software, and who is an expert on personal productivity. Even Steve Jobs praised the book as his favorite.
31. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Startups are a continuous process of experimentation. This book explains how to use continuous feedback to drive product development, test marketing assumptions, and learn whether to pivot or persevere.
Designed to be used by entrepreneurs, managers, and startup enthusiasts, The Lean Startup delivers a new framework for thinking about innovation. It aims to help both established companies and startups discover the “build-measure-learn” loop (the central concept here) and put it to use.
In essence, the book teaches startup-like techniques that build knowledge and avoid risk. The basic idea is that entrepreneurs should have the ability to test their vision continuously, using their customers and their products and even the market itself as their laboratory.
32. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
- Makes business feel personal again
- Brings new life to your career
If you are stuck in a rut right now, or if you are simply not yourself, this book will help you get back to your entrepreneurial roots. It will also give you a few challenges to ask yourself that might make you feel more ambitious.
Of course, nothing is easy. It’s not all fun and games. You could spend your whole life getting this book and there will be parts that you hate.
Yes, you will love this book. It might not be perfect for everyone, but it was perfect for you.
33. Unique Process Advisors
A sub-section of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors™ (NAPFA), UPA members provide a comprehensive array of advice, education and guidance for millions of consumers and those seeking to start or maintain a successful business.
Well on their way to providing more education to people and companies than all other personal financial advisors put together, UPA members have a deep commitment to actively practicing in their local communities as a way to ensure ongoing innovation, improvement, and delivery of the highest quality of service.
In addition to the 6,500+ members of NAPFA, UPA has a ~2,000-member strong banner of Certified Business Financial Planners™ (CBFPs). Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, UPA is the largest association of Fee-Only planners. Since 1992, it has been the leader in defining, defending, and promoting the value of financial advice for people and businesses, focusing on ethics, integrity, education, accountability and professionalism.
34. Never Get a "Real" Job: How to Dump Your Boss
By: Chris Guillebeau
This is a great motivational book for those looking to make a career and life change. In it, you will learn about the new rules of business, including how to build a network of people instead of job security. It also talks about ways to reduce your expenses and how to leverage inexpensive digital tools in order to keep your overhead low and start your own business.
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
35. Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
Author: Pamela Slim
This guide will help you decide whether the entrepreneurial path is for you with its practical advice on what to do if it is and what you need to consider if it isn’t.
It also shows you that you can do it alone or with a team, it can be temporary or permanent, and it doesn’t have to mean that you quit your day job.
36. Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel
- A great way to differentiate from competitors
- Increase sales
- Attract new customers
- Create a fantastic first impression
- Save money by not having to outsource
- Confidence that you made the right decision to go into business for yourself
- Ability to work for yourself rather than for someone else
- You won’t be able to show off your new office
- You should give yourself enough time to build your website and all your e-commerce processes
- You might want to build your website before you pick your product as this can be hard to do after it is complete
Building your own e-commerce website can be a difficult undertaking, especially if you’ve never done it before. An alternative to building your own website is to use an existing platform, such as those listed above, or to hire out a “web developer.”
Your decision to hire others depends on the size of the business you want your website to be and your own comfort level using the platforms provided. What you decide to do should be based on the benefits the solutions offer.
37. The Brand Called You: The Ultimate Brand-Building and Business Development Handbook to Transform Anyone into an Indispensable Personal Brand
No matter what type of business you own, it seems like there is a book for you to read to learn from the experts and kick serious butt!
Check out these suggestions to get on the fast track to success and learn from the entrepreneurs that have already made it. Read through these book summaries and start building your knowledge base.