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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

The Best Small Business Books

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on The Best Small Business Books

To celebrate Carol Roth’s newest book in support of small business and capitalism, The War on Small Business, we thought we would ask the incredible CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, advisors, experts and entrepreneurs for their top book recommendation that all small business owners should read today, after more than a year of uncertainty. Their answers are presented below, in no particular order.

You may notice the same book listed more than one time, but I included the book descriptions, as well as the book attribution, in each contributor’s own words separately, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

To pick up Carol’s book or any of the ones mentioned here, Carol suggests checking out Bookshop.org, or similar sites that fulfill your books locally from independent, small business bookstores!

1. The War on Small Business

Carol Roth’s new book, The War on Small Business, is a must-read for anyone concerned about the backbone of the worldwide economy and the future of economic freedom. From the US’s exportation of capitalism & importation of central planning, to the market interference of central banks, to small businesses being deemed “non-essential” during COVID, this book covers critical ground on the historic consolidation and centralization of power and why it is a red flag for prosperity and free choice.
Thanks to: Carol Roth, Author of The War on Small Business.

2. Twenty Won!

Twenty Won is an anthology of 21 female business owners and nonprofit leaders sharing stories of business resilience during the 2020 global crisis. In an unprecedented year, 21 women pivoted and persevered for success in 2021. These strong, determined women had the drive to start (and re-start) their businesses, they kept their established businesses afloat, and they raised awareness and funds for their nonprofit organizations... all during the year of COVID-19.
Thanks to: Kelli Komondor of K2 Creative, LLC.

3. Your Next Five Moves

"Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art" by Patrick Bet-David is remarkably well-written with incredible strategies and actionable tactics and how to implement them in your business. The book gives clarity on what you want and who you want to be.

Small business owners should read this book even after more than a year of uncertainty because the author explained the growth tactics for good and bad times. I believe that this book is really a gem for any entrepreneur who is committed to reaching their full potential.
Thanks to: CJ Xia of Boster Biological Technology.

4. What’s Money Gotta Do With It?

Author Daymond John is an amazing influential voice for founders who don’t have a ton of money to get their small business started. In his bestselling The Power of Broke, he discusses how being broke and on a tight budget can motivate you to achieve great things—as long as you’re hungry for success.
Thanks to: Zondra Wilson of Blu Skin Care, LLC.

5. "Mapping Innovation"

"Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age" by Greg Satell is a great resource for entrepreneurs; it provides a detailed history of disruption through innovation. It is a simple and engaging read that goes deep into the major disruptors of our time and how they got to be who they are. Satell explains the different models of innovation and gives useful tips to future disruptors on how to approach developing an idea from a problem solving perspective.
Thanks to: Ashwin Sokke of WOW Skin Science.

6. Are You Not Taken Seriously?

Harvard Business School Professor Laura Huang knows how! In "EDGE - Turning Adversity into Advantage", you'll learn how to harness your personality, strengths, even your weaknesses to create your own edge - Enrich, Delight, Guide, Effort.

Huang made Elon Musk think twice and stopped him from throwing her out of his office! Recognize that others will have their own perceptions about us, right or wrong. Learn how to use them in your favor. Create your own edge and open doors WIDE for yourself!
Thanks to: Jean Chow of MsBizWiz.

7. When You Feel Overwhelmed

This is a book about writing that's really a book about life. "Bird by Bird" is written by Anne Lamott, and it's one of those books I come back to again and again. Especially when overwhelmed.
Thanks to: Patrick Ortman of PluckStudio.

8. Customer Experience Above All

A book that our team has recently started diving into (and wish we had done earlier) is "Never Lose A Customer Again," by Joey Coleman. This book outlines how to improve your customer experience in that critical first 100 days of signing on a new client. This is not about the customer "funnel." Instead, it is an examination of the psychological journey the customer takes once they have signed on to work with you. This maximization of the customer experience should be a focus for every brand.
Thanks to: Matt Erickson of National Positions.

9. Radical Simplicity

It’s a book written by a former CEO of DHL, Ken Allen. Ken shares his hands-on experience of transforming a failing company into a global success story. The book inspires me to keep moving forward in developing my business and reminds me to keep focused on the Northern Star, instead of digging myself into routine operations.
Thanks to: Frank Hausman of Home Air Advisor.

10. The Book the Leaders Model

Why not read the book that virtually every business leader has read? It's listed on top 10 books that billionaires read. All the gurus have built their businesses from the principles in this book. In fact, this book invented the coaching industry.

What book?

"The E-Myth Revisited" by my good friend Michael E. Gerber.

If you want to really grow your business to massive new levels, and you want to get out of having to do everything yourself, then get this book.
Thanks to: Chris Goegan of Engineered Growth Systems.

11. Lean Isn't Just for Factories

My one recommendation for any small business owner is "The Toyota Way" by Jeffrey Liker.

This book is a staple in large manufacturing operations but doesn't get nearly enough attention from small business owners and entrepreneurs.

The management principles described in "The Toyota Way" of decreasing waste, improving efficiency and built-in quality are universal regardless of whether you're in manufacturing, retail, software or service.
Thanks to: Andrea Ahern of Mid Florida Material Handling.

12. "Never Split The Difference"

All business owners need to know how to negotiate. Whatever your business is, there is always negotiation going on whether you realize it or not. "Never Split The Difference" by Chris Voss is the best book I've ever read on teaching how to negotiate in business.
Thanks to: Erik Wright of New Horizon Home Buyers.

13. Profit First by Michalowicz

If you run a business, you need to read this book.

Did you know that most businesses aren’t profitable?

At first glance, you’re going to shake your head and say, That’s not me. My business makes money.

But are you profitable?

Does your business pay you a salary? And dividends? After already paying your taxes? With money left over for emergency savings? 

Michalowicz teaches you a new accounting formula, a super easy one where you calculate your profit first.
Thanks to: Lily Ugbaja of Finding Balance Mom.

14. The Go-Giver Gave Me So Much!

I love many books and learned from them all, but the best one for me is called The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg & John David Mann. It takes a strong business idea and in such a simple way, transforms your thinking about how to grow a business and scale it properly.
It includes The 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success:

The Law of Value
The Law of Compensation
The Law of Influence
The Law of Authenticity- The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself (My favorite)
The Law of Receptivity
Thanks to: Roberta Perry of ScrubzBody Skin Care Products.

15. Conquering Adversity

There is a hero inside each of us waiting to be discovered and unleashed. Conquering Adversity: Six Strategies to Move You and Your Team Through Tough Times, by Christopher Novak, is the ideal inspiration for these challenging times. You can read it in under an hour but its impact will last a lifetime. Real-world, practical insights that help us move forward with purpose and passion amid even the most tragic circumstances. You will grow personally and professionally. Written by my dad.
Thanks to: Ryan Novak of Chocolate Pizza Company.

16. It's a Classic for a Reason!

There are many books about innovation and how to stay ahead as a business owner (ESPECIALLY after such a hectic year full of uncertainty), but one of my all-time favorites is Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker. While it may not necessarily be a new book, the age-old concepts and principles laid out stand the test of time and are applicable even today.
Thanks to: Eric Kim of LA Tutors 123.

17. Dive Deeper

We can read all the 'How To' and self-help books we can get our paws on, but if you're not working on yourself internally, your efforts could be futile. I find it challenging to stay interested in self-help books, but I'm about 7 days into Mastin Kipp's Claim Your Power: A 40-Day Journey to Dissolve the Hidden Blocks That Keep You Stuck and Finally Thrive in Your Life's Unique Purpose, and I'm loving it. It's all about figuring out what's holding you back so you can achieve greatness.
Thanks to: Sophie Bowman of ConvertYourFollowers.com.

18. Learn How to SOAR

I recommend the book Working Moms: How We Do 'It', by Rojan Robotham. This book encourages working moms to use the SOAR technique to succeed in business. This requires working moms/entrepreneurs to leverage support, organize their lives, aspire to accomplish goals, and to be resilient. This book is unique because it is a collection of real-life stories about successful women entrepreneurs and how they have found happiness at work and home using the SOAR technique.
Thanks to: Annette Harris of Harris Financial Coaching.

19. Creativity is a Secret Weapon

John Cleese mentioned this book in a keynote I attended years ago, and I now have a dog-eared copy. It's called Hare Brain Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton, and it's a deep dive into giving your creative mind more freedom. Every small business owner has dealt with adversity in the past year, and those with active imaginations and healthy curiosity will make it through. This book makes the argument that we all need to trust our unconscious and results will follow.
Thanks to: Rosemary ONeill of Crowdstack.

20. Leading Beyond a Crisis

My partner Claire Chandler & I wrote "Leading Beyond a Crisis: a conversation about what's next" to not only provide context to Covid, but to give every leader the tools they need to look at what's next. Whether that crisis is local to you, your immediate surroundings, national or international, it is how you respond that defines whether you will survive & thrive or not.

At the end of each chapter, we ask a vital question & give you space to write your own responses.

To your success!
Thanks to: Ben Baker of Your Brand Marketing.

21. Drive by Daniel H. Pink

Author Daniel Pink claims in this book that the key to high success and satisfaction—at work, education, and at home—is the human need to guide our own lives, learn and build new things, and do well for ourselves and our environment. It's an excellent book for refocusing your industry and personal interests.
Thanks to: Daniel Foley of Litta.

22. Think And Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill's 1937 novel, one of the best-selling self-help novels of all time, aims to challenge readers to better their lives—and their businesses—through constructive thought. It's a "success" classic that any entrepreneur should read.

Book Author: Napolean Hill
Thanks to: Sasha Quail of Claims UK.

23. The E-Myth Revisited

Michael Gerber debunks the misconceptions about launching a corporation by taking you through the stages of a company's life cycle. This book will assist you in growing the company in a predictable and efficient manner.

Author: Michael Gerber
Thanks to: Jeff Cooper of Messagely.

24. Best Biz Book You Never Read

This one is easy.

AntiFragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It’s a crucial read. It is the quintessential must-read book on how to make effective difficult decisions. Especially when facing a once in the lifetime event, such as the pandemic or when you have to decide between two very different paths to take, this book will give you an easy methodology to make the right decision. I personally use it every single day.
Thanks to: Matt Hallisy of The Sales Cheat Code.

25. Steve Jobs

This book is focused on over forty interviews with iconic billionaire Steve Jobs completed over the course of two years, as well as interviews with over a hundred family members, associates, rivals, opponents, and colleagues. On every tab, there are lessons to be learned.

Author: Walter Isaacson
Thanks to: Naomi Bishop of Surfky.

26. Rich Dad Poor Dad

The #1 Personal Finance book of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad, tells a story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two fathers—his biological father and the father of his best friend, his rich father—and how both men influenced his views on money and investment. The book debunks the idea that becoming wealthy requires a large salary and describes the distinction between working for money and making money work for you.

Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki
Thanks to: Amber Morland of WinCope.

27. Speak and Get Results

We've also seen "naturals," people who can speak out in any market environment and make it happen. At the weekly staff meeting, they get the budget accepted, win the big account, and get the group's support. People believe– and act– after the "naturals" have finished speaking. “Speak and Get Results,” now fully rewritten and modified, teaches you how to be a natural communicator who gets the results you expect.

Author: Sandy Linver
Thanks to: Andrew Smith of CozySeating.

28. CONNECT! (On Team Building)

After a year of isolation & a tough presidential election, there’s a decline in civility that threatens our productivity and causes organizations to lose efficiency and money. Communicating and interacting with colleagues at work has never been more important. CONNECT! by Barry Moline has case studies of successful organizations & the methods everyone can immediately implement to build great teams. The key is sharing personal stories, and getting to know each other better, which builds trust.
Thanks to: Barry Moline of BJM Solutions.

29. Crush It!

Will you have a passion that you wish you could devote the whole day to? Is there a compulsion that keeps you awake at night? Now is the ideal time to pursue your passions and make a living doing so. CRUSH IT! is a game where you have to push yourself to the limit. Gary Vaynerchuk teaches you how to use the strength of the Internet to transform your personal passions into real companies in Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion.

Author: Gary Vaynerchuk
Thanks to: Todd Perry of Outdoor Gadget Review.

30. Entrepreneurship + Leadership

To run a successful small business, a unique mixture of leadership and entrepreneurship is required. The book Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey provides a lot of insight into the balance of entrepreneurship and leadership needed in order to leader a small business and out-compete your competitors.
Thanks to: Devin Miller of Miller IP Law.

31. Success. It's Not Complicated.

John Lee Dumas' book, The Common Path, to Uncommon Success, is a fantastic book that all coaches, consultants and speakers should read. It shows John's blueprint for using content to build a community and monetize that community. Be it through podcast, blog post, websites or social media, you can share your thought leadership, build your community and make money doing it.
Thanks to: Ramon Ray of SmartHustle.com.

32. My Top Recommendation

The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf is my top recommendation for all small business owners. The Startup Owner's Manual can be used as a guide to help you launch and scale your company. It's one of the best entrepreneurship books you'll ever read. The book will show you how to identify the best market for your products. If you already have a target market in mind, it will teach you how to find the best product for it.
Thanks to: Adam Garcia of The Stock Dork.

33. Mind Your Business

My top book recommendation that all business owners must-read is Mind Your Business by Ilana Griffo. If you want to start a company from the ground up and make it profitable, Mind Your Business will show you how. It is one of the best books on starting a business that I've read in a very long time. You'll discover how Ilana Griffo transformed her passion into a side hustle, then into a six-figure company.
Thanks to: Lacy Summers of Crush the PM Exam.

34. A CEO Only Does 3 Things

As an entrepreneur who has tried doing everything myself far too often, I found A CEO Only Does 3 Things to be an incredibly impactful book because it helped me to focus more on the things I should be doing and less on the things I should be delegating. It does a great job of helping us to identify the things that only we can do, versus all the things we falsely believe that only we can do, and it outlines exactly how to execute that evolution so we can scale far beyond where we are now.
Thanks to: Jeremy Knauff of Spartan Media.

35. Good To Great

My top recommendation would be Good to Great by Jim Collins. What distinguishes a good business from a great business? Well, Collins has an answer based on his extensive research. He compiled a list of main factors that contributed to elite companies' performance. For example, he found out that encouraging individuals who are the best at what they do is a high priority. Collins discusses how you can effectively integrate this or other factors into your business.
Thanks to: Anna Lind of Cryptoradar.

36. A Must Read

My top book recommendation that all small business owners need to read today is Built to Last by James Collins and Jerry Porras. The subtitle of this book is "Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. Over the course of six years, Collins and Porras researched 18 profitable businesses. They discovered the steps each company took to grow from a small business to a large corporation. You will achieve success by imitating businesses. The main takeaway is to avoid reinventing the wheel.
Thanks to: Peter Schoeman of The Dog Adventure.

37. Best Book Recommendation

"How to Win Friends and Influence Others" is a book by Dale Carnegie that I highly recommend for small business owners because good relationships are the backbone of a successful business. It has aided me in improving some facets of my interpersonal relationships and experiences. You'll learn how to improve your professional and personal relationships while also boosting your self-esteem.
Thanks to: Bram Jansen of vpnAlert.

38. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Bio

Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story called "Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography," based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious competitiveness.
Thanks to: Alex Claro of Credit Donkey.

39. The Art of Stress-Free Success

Small business owners understand better than most how difficult it is to find and sustain high production levels. I highly recommend David Allen's book "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Success," in which he reveals the secret of increased productivity: the ability to relax. He also lays out a system that can assist you in achieving your goals.
Thanks to: Nabil Mounem of Have Websites.

40. The Richest Man In Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason is one of the best books I've ever read. It's amazing how it's able to make complicated economic models feel really easy. It's helped me throughout my career as a kitchen designer.
Thanks to: Emily Perez of Kitchen Infinity.

41. Can't Hurt Me

Joe Goggins is amazing. He has persevered so much that it really puts life and the world of business in perspective. After I read the book, I was very motivated and ready to take on more projects.
Thanks to: Joseph Scaduto of Floor Shields.

42. The Intelligent Investor

This book is awesome. It really tells you how to tailor emotion and invest progressively in a way that earns positive and passive income.
Thanks to: Jeremy Douglas of Paradigm Concrete Finishes.

43. The Art of the Start

My top book recommendation is The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki. Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki revised his classic by including some new business lessons. Kawasaki provides both practical guidance and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The most important lesson Kawasaki teaches is that becoming an entrepreneur is a mindset, not a working title. Since you will need to adjust your thinking for business success, this book is a great place to start your quest for business knowledge.
Thanks to: Tanner Arnold of Revelation Machinery.

44. The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam

When it comes to starting a company, knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. Few business books, on the other hand, advise you what not to do. This book describes some of the most common pitfalls that business owners face. It looks at business partnerships including associates, hires, and investors in particular. The first step in creating a good company is to understand what can go wrong. The Founder's Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman will assist you in recognizing potential mistakes.
Thanks to: Jake Smith of Absolute Reg.

45. Company of One by Paul Jarvis

My top book recommendation that all small business owners need to read is Company of One by Paul Jarvis. He discusses the advantages of staying small for companies and staying freelance for individuals. Small business owners and freelancers, he points out, have much more flexibility than employees. Jarvis also makes a compelling argument for not scaling up and being too tall. Instead, he advises entrepreneurs to keep it easy by remaining small.
Thanks to: Ben Rose of Trainer Academy.

46. Digital Minimalism

The ability to concentrate is one of the most important characteristics of a good entrepreneur. Many companies fail because their creators are unable to concentrate in today's world of distractions. Newport looks at people who are focused and turns their abilities into a strategy. He proposes a technology theory that can assist entrepreneurs in focusing and completing tasks.
Thanks to: Hamza Usmani of Haro Responder.

47. How I Built This by Guy Raz

My favorite small business book recommendation has to be ‘How I Built This’ by Guy Raz. It offers stories, insights and anecdotes from some of the world’s most inspirational entrepreneurs and founders. It tells the story of how these successful entrepreneurs started their own company, the steps and hurdles they encountered, and the key lessons they have learned. This book was a pleasure to read and has helped me on my small business journey with its words of wisdom and encouragement.
Thanks to: Jonny Baker of The Photographers Passport.

48. Hand in Hand

What goes hand in hand with success? When you ponder that question, many responses may come to mind. In reading a John Maxwell classic, How Successful People Think, lately, he says thinking goes hand in hand with success. Possibility thinking, focused thinking, and more play a part in our success. What type of thinking do you need to practice more of in order to achieve what you desire this year? Find someone to walk hand in hand with you as you strive to master your thinking.
Thanks to: Royce Gomez-King of Your Startup Coach.

49. Deep Work by Cal Newport

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (2016) by Cal Newport is more important now than ever. Remote work has made it easier than ever to get distracted at work, whether it’s through the plethora of messaging applications and project management systems we use in the virtual office to stay connected or distractions in the home. Deep Work helps business people in creative fields learn to thrive in our increasingly distracted world.
Thanks to: Yuvi Alpert of Noémie.

50. “The Lean Startup” - Eric Reis

“The Lean Startup” by Eric Reis should be read by every student, current entrepreneur, or aspiring business owner. Anyone, in any field, can benefit from the principles of agile, lean iteration and how important it is to fail fast. You have to keep trying and keep pushing forward, even when you fail. Everyone is going to fail often, no matter what industry you’re in, but if you embrace that inevitability and understand how to learn from your mistakes, you’ll find a path to success!
Thanks to: Vincent Bradley of Proper Wild.

51. "The One Thing"

The book that I would recommend is "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. This is a great book for anyone who is overwhelmed by their amount of work and needs help with organization and prioritization. The authors make a compelling case on how no one can achieve anything if they focus on too many things at the same time. Creating a structure that you can adapt and follow is far more productive than saying yes to everything and ultimately not getting anything done.
Thanks to: Dr. Robert Applebaum of Applebaum MD.

52. "Innovation and Its Enemies"

"Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies" by Calestous Juma is one of the best inspirational business books I've ever read. The author provides a detailed 600-page historical analysis of how valuable innovation in tech and business has been to our society since the beginning of our existence. Juma dives in deep to explore how technological advancements are born and their impact in the long term while describing the notion of controversy and pushback innovation receives.
Thanks to: Kelli Lane of Genexa.

53. “The Obstacle is the Way”

One of my favorite authors is Ryan Holiday; the man is a marketing genius. A book that I always go back to and that holds its value even in the current rapidly changing business world is “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. The book explores The Ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism, which is built on the idea of turning obstacles into opportunities. This concept is relevant when it comes to entrepreneurship especially in the oversaturated e-commerce market.
Thanks to: Brandon Monaghan of Miracle Brand.

54. Raving Fans

Written as a parable designed to illustrate why the key to greatness in business is developing "raving fans," this book, by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, is an informative and fun read. The premise is that "satisfied" customers just aren't good enough anymore. It's so common for small business owners to focus on satisfying customers and then feel that was all that was required to complete the job, but in a nutshell, customer satisfaction is not a very lofty goal - and mere satisfaction doesn't keep customers coming back.
Thanks to: Sam Shepler of Testimonial Hero.

55. How to Win Friends & Influence

If I had to choose only one top business book to recommend, I would unquestionably go for "How to win friends & influence people" by Dale Carnegie. The main reason being that doing business always comes down to people. Therefore, for an entrepreneur, it is by far the greatest skill to understand people's needs. Carnegie's book is a veritable Book-of-all-books when it comes to understanding your customers. It's a time-checked, ageless masterpiece that provides valuable insight.
Thanks to: Stefan Smulders of Expandi.

56. Helping Increase Profit

I recommend "Pricing Creativity" by Blair Enns. For small agencies and service-led businesses, this is THE book to show how to increase your prices to clients in a way that is fair and achievable. Charging more (sometimes a lot more) follows from better understanding value and fairness, principles which are covered in the book. In some of the examples, businesses charge 50% more, more than doubling their margin within a year.
Thanks to: Ben Foster of The SEO Works.

57. Team of Rivals

Although, not strictly advertised as a business book. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is a remarkable study of leadership, diplomacy and man management. I learned more from this book on how to manage my team and face challenges head on than other books specializing specifically in business. Anyone looking to manage a team, anxieties and any inter-team struggles should read this book!
Thanks to: Ben Harper of Meet Hugo.

58. Fanatical Prospecting

Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling by Jeb Blount is a fantastic read designed to give business owners, salespeople and top executives the knowledge they need to open the lucrative conversations that creates new relationships and ultimately more business opportunities.

A must for any modern business owner or entrepreneur!
Thanks to: Anna Morrish of Quibble.

59. War Time Leadership

I was fortunate enough to discover a book that totally changed the way I lead our organization.

About two months ago I read the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The authors discuss how leaders must take ownership of everything around them and their environment in order to achieve their objectives.

That goes for your subordinates, your coworkers and even your superiors, no matter in the business world or in military life.
Thanks to: Bryan Clayton of GreenPal.

60. High Output Management

You will probably receive a lot of recommendations for Andrew Grove's "High Output Management." They are all absolutely correct. This book is nothing less than a condensed MBA in operations, telling managers what they need to do and how to do it. It is really no fun to read, as you are made aware of all of your shortcomings as a manager. When your business gets to a size of some complexity, this book is invaluable. Most definitely not a touchy-feely type of get motivated guide.
Thanks to: George Willison of Wymans Best, Inc.

61. Trust Me, I'm Lying

According to Ryan Holiday's book, TRUST ME, I'M LYING, fake news exists on websites and became a problem during the Obama Era. Holiday claims bloggers don't check the accuracy of their facts. The Trump Era made popular the phrase "Fake News." Since Holiday's report brings to light the problem of trust on websites, entrepreneurs must make sure they back up their claims. Google itself is cracking down on this lack of credible reporting with its E-A-T criteria.
Thanks to: Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging.

62. Gratitude Infusion Antidote!

After more than a year of uncertainty and fear, I have come to realize that the antidote is GRATITUDE! As an entrepreneur, I have learned to shift into gratitude to elevate my personal and business relationships. I read Gratitude Infusion: Workplace Strategies for a Thriving Organizational Culture. This book, by Kerry Wekelo, shares mindful strategies that infuse gratitude, empathy, and communication into all aspects of your life and organization.
Thanks to: Lori Lite of Actualize Consulting.

63. Leaders Eat Last

Small business owners should read "Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't" by Simon Sinek. A year of uncertainty has likely made a lot of employees anxious about their jobs, but you can still bring the best in them by empowering them. With a supportive mentality and empathy, you can develop deep trust and commitment from your people.
Thanks to: David Cusick of House Method.

64. "It Takes What It Takes"

"It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life" by Trevor Moawad is a book that has transformed my life in regards to brain control and how to go after and achieve what you set your mind to. Trevor is a coach to the most successful athletes, business owners, and military personnel in the world. His teachings focus on the mind and how to succeed through remaining positive, managing negativity, valuable tips on perseverance, and how to maintain a focused mind.
Thanks to: Dr. Blake Livingood of Livingood Daily.

65. Grit

I recommend small business owners to read "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth. Running a business is not easy, but with passion, perseverance, and persistence, you'll eventually get the results that you want. Your ability to reach excellent achievements is not limited to your talent.
Thanks to: Elliot Reimers of Rave Reviews.

66. Spiritual Laws Of Success

Deepak Chopra’s: The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success is my recommended read. It’s thought provoking and redirects our attention to appreciate life in terms of good health, healthy relationships, and a sense of purpose and fulfilment, rather than wealth in terms of money and material possessions. In times of uncertainty, this book gives a different perspective on living and achieving success. By understanding ourselves and these spiritual laws, we can create success and happiness.
Thanks to: Nicola Bleu of Your Creative Aura.

67. “Good to Great” by Jim Collins

I recommend “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. As a former Amazon employee, I’ve seen how effective its economic structure is. Jeff Bezos rearranged the company after Collins presented the advice to make long-term decisions instead of focusing on short-term gains. This logic of success is detailed in “Good to Great,” and it’s a helpful guide for businesses looking to build momentum and capitalize on it.
Thanks to: Guna Kakulapati of CureSkin.

68. Higher Is Waiting For You

My top book recommendation for small business owners is “Higher Is Waiting” by Tyler Perry. This book gives you new vision and allows you to see that every obstacle was really just a building block to help you manifest the higher that is waiting for you.
Thanks to: Erma Williams of The Pomade Shop.

69. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

A memoir by the founder of Nike shoe company. It is more like a conversation you have with your close friend in a weekend trip. How he transformed his life from college, how he embraced the challenges and survived by holding strong to his belief in the idea of shoe business. It definitely makes you feel motivated and to trust in your purpose now more than ever. Keep it handy, especially if you’re starting a business and wanting to make it grow. One of the best business books I have ever read.
Thanks to: Mudassir Ahmed of Blogging Explained.

70. What is a Purple Cow?

Small business owners must read “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. In a COVID world, it is more important than ever to make your marketing dollars count! It’s a short 160 pages and a very easy read. The book discusses the concept of a “Purple Cow” and what it means. Just a quick teaser on the book - if you would rather market to a person that will tell 100 people about your product/service vs. a hermit that won’t sing your praises to anyone, then this is the book for you!
Thanks to: Larry Chatt of Island Real Estate Vacations.

71. The Power of Resilience

Business owners should read "The Survivors Club" by Ben Sherwood. He recounts true stories of unremarkable people who faced extraordinary life and death scenarios. Not only did they survive, but they displayed incredible foresight and leadership. The underlying tone of the book is how resilient humans are and how perseverance is a trait that can literally save your life and metaphorically your business! In light of what COVID-19 did to the world, I think it's the perfect book for 2021.
Thanks to: Sean Duane, LCSW of Neuroscience Research Institute.

72. The One Thing Book!!!!

The best book hands down for small business is The One Thing by Gary Keller! This book is the first book that I picked up as a business owner and an entrepreneur! I was approached by several other business owners and they proposed a book club to meet weekly. We were supposed to read a chapter a week and recap together! Unfortunately, this book I could not set down! It covers everything from making priorities, setting goals, and time management! This book turned us into a podcast!
Thanks to: Brad Loyet of Brofessional Development.

73. Influence by Robert Cialdini

If there was one book entrepreneurs should read, it would definitely be Influence by Robert Cialdini.
As an expert, Cialdini spent 35 years researching behavior and what compels people to alter their actions. In this book, he describes the results of his research and displays 6 main principles to help you convince anyone. Convincing customers to purchase your product is a vital part of any business and learning his techniques will enable you to do exactly that.
Thanks to: Steve Benson of Badger Maps.

74. Character Is Paramount

"Good to Great" by Jim Collins is a fantastic read for its application to the real world. The best takeaway for me was his concept of "First Who, Then What" which discusses how getting the right team is paramount. Everything is trainable except character. A motivated "good" person with character can be trained to do almost anything of value for the company, whereas you can throw money, benefits, and perks to an unmotivated person and nothing "good" will happen.
Thanks to: Austin Jewell of Capitol Improvements Roofing.

75. You Won't regret reading it!

Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet is a concise 24-step guide on everything you must know as a young entrepreneur including market segmentation, creating personas, calculating the total addressable market, charting competition, devising a business model, pricing framework, cost of Customer Acquisition, and Minimum Viable Business Product. It helps one decide if the business plan is worth pursuing and if yes, how?
Thanks to: Mark Condon of Shotkit.

76. Built to Last by Jim Collins

Throughout the book, Collins provides excellent examples of businesses that are doing things correctly and incorrectly. When I first started reading it, it occurred to me that there was no need for me, as a small business owner, to reinvent the wheel when it came to creating my own successful company. I can apply the best traits of larger successful companies to my own company, minus the mistakes of those who didn't make the cut, if I only recognize the best traits of larger successful companies.
Thanks to: Nicole Graham of Womenio.

77. When Times Get Tough

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. The book is my go-to recommendation for small business owners facing extreme competitive or market conditions, like 2020. Horowitz lays out the process of becoming a "war-time" CEO. He mixes advice with the story of his own experience managing through the crash of 2001 and executing the improbable turnaround of Opsware, eventually becoming the software division of Hewlett Packard. It's a valuable guidebook from someone who has been there.
Thanks to: Rich Edwards of Mindspan Systems.

78. Good to Great: Classic!

A mentor suggested I read Good to Great by Jim Collins and it's one of those books that you'll dog-ear pages, highlight text, and keep on the shelf for reference. How can good, mediocre, or even bad companies turn around and achieve greatness? This is one of those books you'll want to loan a friend, gift, or reread every year or two. It's a no-brainer any entrepreneur or business owner should pick up if you haven't already.
Thanks to: Ilir Salihi of Gold IRA Secrets.

79. Habits Can Make or Break You

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a must-read for small business owners, as daily habits are critical to success. What resonated with me the most was the idea that we should make new habits “satisfying”. I thought this was a great way of framing how emotion really drives our actions and how to tap into that. Focusing on what’s satisfying about the work you do (or want to do) can be applied to your big picture thinking and small scale tasks, as well as really simplifying your decision-making.
Thanks to: Andrew Nix of Hunter Valley Painting.

80. Hire Well For Business Success

It’s difficult to understand the importance of hiring the right people until you get it wrong. Who: A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart & Randy Street is critical for entrepreneurs. The key takeaway for me was knowing what the outcome of a role should be. The job description tells you what actions must be taken, but you should also know what you expect to be achieved through doing those tasks. This is useful for hiring in general, but especially for creating new roles within your organization.
Thanks to: Michelle Ebbin of Jettproof.

81. Consistency Produces Success

The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber is a perfect example of what entrepreneurs don’t want, but desperately need. There’s no magic wand, the answer to success is ‘consistency’, as boring as that may be. Create processes and systems that are consistent, work with staff who perform consistently, and you will get (fairly predictable) results. It’s not exciting or revolutionary, but consistency creates a framework that builds value and trust, and that is the books’ key message.
Thanks to: Tom Rigby of Park Master Oz.

82. The Company for One

“Company of One” by Paul Jarvis shows a different approach to running a business. It focuses on building a profitable business as a solo entrepreneur instead of dealing with issues such as raising money, building a team, and scaling operations. The core idea is, by staying small one can enjoy the freedom that comes with running a business instead of building your “own hamster wheel”.
Thanks to: Hays Bailey of Sheqsy.

83. Start with Why

Starting a business purely to earn money is unlikely to become a pleasant experience. If money is your main motivation, you will struggle to stay motivated and perceive daily challenges as a burden. Your employees and customers alike will notice this quickly. “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek explains the reasons why your business should follow a bigger goal. It also shares stories behind successful companies focused on why.
Thanks to: Amit Raj of Amit Digital Marketing.

84. Must Read Small Business Book

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp- This book provides a handy guide on how small business owners can tap into their creative side so as to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic business environment. Creativity fuels innovation and improvisation, which are both critical skills the small business owner needs now more than ever.
Thanks to: Carol Tompkins of AccountsPortal.

85. Presentation Zen

The one business book to read is Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. As we return to the workplace, the way leadership delivers a traditional presentation will not return to 'normal' methods. Presenters have the rare opportunity to capture their audience's attention and deliver an effective, meaningful message. Presentation Zen provides insight into how to deliver an effective presentation and tips for making the talk rather than the slides the center of focus.
Thanks to: Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.

86. Get Traction

Most small businesses fail because they can't get eyes on their work. Attention is the rarest commodity these days. “Traction” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares is a highly actionable approach to growing your business in a time of high competition for attention. It starts by identifying your channel and pushes you to double down on it until the growth falls off. Then, you rinse and repeat with the next channel. 10/10 highly recommended.
Thanks to: Peter Bell of Which Login.

87. Emotional Intelligence

Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee is a wonderfully informative book for any leader, especially in the midst of the pandemic, because it focuses on developing emotional intelligence. While working from home, it’s more important than ever to be emotionally in tune with your employees and to inspire loyalty in your team.
Thanks to: Bill Glaser of Outstanding Foods.

88. Content Marketing Rules

Everybody Writes: Your go to guide to creating ridiculously good content by Ann Handley.

Handley argues in an online world everyone is a writer, so you need to learn how to create compelling content that attracts/retains people's attention. She provides practical tips and easy grammar/usage rules that are valuable. Whether you are working with a big brand, SMB or startup, these are best practices that will make your writing better. Great advice we can all benefit from now more than ever.
Thanks to: Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls.

89. All Giants Were Once Small

Every entrepreneur and small business owner should read "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. The book is a memoir of the first two decades of Nike. This entertaining read covers all of the growing pains and close calls that almost ended the now-iconic shoe company. Knight and his group of renegades always found a way to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This book is a phenomenal reminder of the power of perseverance and that all giant companies began as small start-ups.
Thanks to: Ryne Lambert of Sell My House In Wisconsin.

90. The Client is the Hero

I'm a StoryBrand convert! The premise of Donald Miller's 'Building a StoryBrand' is that people don't buy the best product. They buy the product that they understand the fastest. He provides a story-based framework in which the customer is the hero with a problem to solve. Your product/service is the guide that provides a plan to avoid failure/reach success. It's so simple! Tell a clear and compelling story that gives your potential customers faith that your offering will bring them success.
Thanks to: Linda Mueller of The Expat Partner Coach LLC.

91. Start From Zero

From "Start From Zero" by Dane Maxwell you can learn all you need on how to start a business with no reserves, no idea, no experience, and even no confidence. The book is entirely focused on the methodology instead of prerequisites. It’s the ultimate guide to ensuring success and isn’t based on prerequisites such as money, but purely on skills you can acquire easily as you go.
Thanks to: Peter Thaleikis of Startup Name Check.

92. Startup For Cheap

My book recommendation would be the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau because it really highlights the importance and possibility of building a company without spending a ton of money. While the $100 budget might be lower than what most will ultimately spend, I found incredible value in focusing on doing things cheaply so as to extend my company's runway. This book provides real-life examples of ways to iterate on your product with very small budgets and shows how to maintain that process.
Thanks to: Quinn Osha of Topmarq.

93. Show Your Work by Astin Kleon

My recommendation for the top small business book is “Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered” by Astin Kleon. The author showed readers how to unlock their creativity by stealing from the community. This particular book takes you to the next step, where your work will get seen. “Show Your Work” is an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of entrepreneur in the digital age.
Thanks to: Mia Green of Findthisbest .

94. Work on Your Business

I would recommend "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It" by Michael E. Gerber.

Even though it's an old book, the principles still work, like 'Work on the business, not work in the business' & 'Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results predictably.'

We continue to use these timeless business principles on our business.
Thanks to: Jenny Chua of The World Management Pte Ltd.

95. Profit First Saved My Company

The only way to succeed as a small business owner is to manage cash flow, which means taking profit first!
Profit First is a book written by Mike Michalowicz that teaches you how to manage your money to empower you and not drain your bank account.

You're setting up separate accounts for income, profit, expenses, and taxes. With Profit First, you know exactly where every dollar goes so it doesn't get sucked away into "unexpected" costs or taxes. This book changed my life!
Thanks to: Jan Koch of Virtual Summit Mastery.

96. The 2000 Y/O Business Book

In "Letters from a Stoic", we get a first hand glance into dialogue between Lucius Seneca and Lucilius, a high profile politician of the times. The letters discuss anything from death to taxes and everything in between. The only constant theme is the teachings of the four virtues of stoicism.

While this isn't a business book by definition, each of the four virtues taught, namely; wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation, are all values that can be utilized effectively in the workplace.
Thanks to: Michele Dees of Guinea Pig Owner.

97. The 4-Hour Workweek

When I was debating if I should start my blog, a colleague, who knew about my desire to leave the corporate world, gifted The 4-Hour Workweek written by Timothy Ferriss to me as a Christmas gift.

Shortly after reading it, I was ready to take the leap. The book helped me see opportunities where I hadn't seen them previously. Given the leaps of faith that business owners are going to need to make in 2021, it goes without saying that this book will help you achieve the results you want!
Thanks to: Mollie Newton of PetMeTwice.

98. Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill's 1937 self-help classic remains one of the best-selling self-help books of all time, challenging people to change their lives—and their businesses—through constructive thought. It is a "success" classic that any entrepreneur can read. The book delves into the therapeutic influence of thinking and the brain in the pursuit of financial and personal fulfillment by career advancement.
Thanks to: Mike Chappell of Formspal.

99. Succeed in a 1-person Business

The pandemic has motivated many people to start their own businesses and required existing business owners to pivot. Solopreneur Success by Sue Allen Clayton covers the nuts-and-bolts of running a one-person business. It also discusses emotional issues such as imposter syndrome and dealing with failure, as well as practical issues such as managing home/life balance and overcoming overwhelm. This book covers areas of running a business that are normally not talked about and are critical for success.
Thanks to: Sue Allen Clayton of Solopreneur Academy.

100. Learning from Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's 'The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success' was very inspiring to me.

'The Rock' has done it all - from professional football to professional wrestling, and now as an actor and entrepreneur. His story is inspiring, uplifting, and much can be learned from his journey.

Dwayne's book is candid about his ups-&-downs, explains the importance of family, his determination to succeed, and everything in between.

A must-read for entrepreneurs who are determined to succeed!
Thanks to: Thomas Paddock of Home Gym Review.

101. Crush Your Goals in 12 Weeks

Imagine having your own kick-in-the-butt business coach within 188 easy-to-follow pages in Bounce-Up by MJ Callaway. Your coach outlines a simplified system that helps you pinpoint your goals, then shows you how to reverse engineer the outcomes with tactics and strategies. Plus you get goal-focused templates, real-world examples and a success-guided action plan. After a year of unpredictable events, you need this book with a consistent method that keeps you focused, accelerates your results and up-levels your business.
Thanks to: Mj Callaway of Mj Callaway Training + Dev.

102. Atomic Habits

"Atomic Habits" by James Clear is a fantastic book to learn about how to build habits the right way. My productivity has increased tenfold thanks to this book. Building habits that last is not only rewarding from a personal level but professionally, as well.
Thanks to: Nathan Liao of CMA Exam Academy.

103. Millionaire Next Door

I recommend "Millionaire Next Door" by William D. Danko and Thomas J. Stanley. The book is a bit dated with regard to the numbers now, but it talks about how most millionaires are really made and how they live. Spoiler: they don’t buy yachts and private jets.
Thanks to: Ray Blakney of Live Lingua.

104. A Guide to the Good Life

I recommend "A Guide to the Good Life", by William B. Irvine. It translates stoicism in a way that can be understood by the modern man. I'm a huge fan of stoicism, as it can be used to improve the quality of our lives in a short amount of time. At the end of the day, the quality of my life today (access to technology, medicine, food) is probably 100x better than the lives of kings and queens just 300 years ago. There is a lot to appreciate, and this book discusses how to be happy.
Thanks to: Mark Zhang of Manta Sleep.

105. A New Earth

I recommend reading "A New Earth", by Ekhard Tolle. While not necessarily a business book, I highly recommend it to my fellow entrepreneurs. Everything you do and create ultimately comes from within, and this book goes a long way in understanding the ego, staying present, and how to better trust yourself and your instincts.
Thanks to: Greg Berry of Municibid.

106. We are All Salespeople

Even if we don't want to believe it or claim it, we are all salespeople- even if you aren't in sales. Parents sell their kids on chores, teachers sell students on homework. The "Way of the Wolf" by Jordan Belfort has taught me all the essential tactics for becoming the best salesperson possible - something Belfort says we all are anyway. Post COVID, it is important to get the industry back up and running and I am excited to use the information in Belfort's book to become a master salesperson.
Thanks to: Irina Gedarevich of eSEOspace.

107. Implement What You Read

I have built 6 companies between $5 million and $25 million in yearly revenue over 25 years. During that time, the bible for growing your business has been Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Vern Harnish. Vern was one of the founding members of The Entrepreneur Organization which now has 15,000 members and his book(s) have been a staple of EO. You don't need to read a ton of books. Just the best ones and really implement them.
Thanks to: Stephen Halasnik of Financing Solutions.

108. A Must-Have Book for Leaders

One of my favorite business books is Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. This book discusses the role of emotional intelligence in leadership. What stood out to me is that one of the most important jobs of a leader is to regulate the emotional atmosphere of the community. This means that emotions are contagious, and people look to their leaders to set the mood and emotional tone.
Thanks to: Tyler Forte of Felix Homes.

109. My Favorite Book for Business

My favorite book is called Shortcut Your Startup: Speed Up Success with Unconventional Advice from the Trenches, by Carter Milliken Reum and Courtney Reum. This book provided a tremendous amount of insight into entrepreneurship that helped me give my business a competitive edge. The unconventional nature of the advice given by these well-seasoned vets helped me understand major keys needed for scaling my business upwards and fairly quickly.
Thanks to: Gerald Lombardo of The Word Counter.

110. A Spark in Your Business

My favorite book this year is titled "Growth Engines" by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown. I really enjoyed this book because it provides a ton of actionable tips and advice on growth marketing. The book features a bunch of amazing case studies from top-tier companies like Uber, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and many more. If you want to see specific strategies that these companies used to grow their business, then this book is for you. It offers strategies for both early stages and later in development.
Thanks to: Kevin Miller of GR0.

111. My #1 Book Recommendation

“Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday is my top recommendation for any business owner to read. The author does a great job of showing why it’s so important to slow down and how that can actually help them make more progress. It’s a way to remain calm when situations don’t make it easy. Being still helps you avoid distractions and uncover new ideas or better ways of doing things.
Thanks to: Jeff Parke of Top Fitness Magazine.

112. My Favorite Business Book

Being a busy entrepreneur, it’s important to find time to read an inspiring and enlightening book. Topping my list of inspirational business books is The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen. This book invites you to look at all the different aspects of innovation through a critical lens. Steve Jobs also listed this book as one of his favorites. It has been heralded as one of the most useful and profound books ever written about innovation.
Thanks to: Darren Litt of Hiya Health.

113. Check Out "Chaos Monkeys"

I have read hundreds of business books, so clearly I love them, and it's really hard to choose the best one; however, a book called Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garefa Martinez is my favorite for a few reasons. It reads like a novel and is highly entertaining and amusing. It covers the technology sector through the 2000's and 2010's - when it grew from the wild west to maturity - and all the entrepreneurial things that happened at that time. But above all, it shares everything with transparency.
Thanks to: Oliver Walsh of ASYSTEM.

114. My #1 Book for Business

Being a female entrepreneur who is also an influencer, I loved reading Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. I loved the chapter “Don’t Ask Anyone to be Your Mentor”, as it helped me realize that getting a diverse view of the advice from both people, senior and junior, can be more effective than having one single go-to person for advice. After reading this book a few years ago, I still keep a diverse group of people around me whom I go to as sounding boards.
Thanks to: Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon.

115. Try Reading EntreLeadership

I really enjoyed reading EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. In the book, he’s very straightforward and to the point with a wealth of valuable knowledge, and as a busy entrepreneur, I appreciate that. This book showed me how to build an incredible group of team members who are passionate and dedicated. Each chapter sets a solid framework for the essential elements of running a business.
Thanks to: Brian Lim of INTO THE AM.

116. #ASKGARYVEE is a Must-Read

I just finished reading #ASKGARYVEE by Gary Vaynerchuk. In the book, Gary definitely brings some current and practical advice to the table and there’s some value there for sure. He’s out there grinding and some of his takes are making me rethink a few of my habits. Gary is an entrepreneur who had the foresight to go beyond traditional methods and use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to reach an untapped audience that continues to grow.
Thanks to: Joseph Giranda of CFR Rinkens.

117. Self-Employed Ecosystem

Self-Employed since age 14, Jeffrey Shaw knows what it takes to ride the roller coaster of uncertainty instead of letting it take you for a ride. In his new release, The Self-Employed Life, Shaw outlines the ecosystem for success for self-employed business owners. His holistic approach incorporates business and personal development strategies along with daily habits to create an environment that supports sustainable success.
Thanks to: Tami Belt of Blue Cube Marketing Solutions.

118. A Peachy Book

The top book we recommend to real estate investors starting a business is The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. Some takeaways from this book are to become comfortable with failure and to set doable, realistic goals. His story inspires us to keep going. He didn’t come from a perfect background, both financially and familially, but he has shown that you can achieve all that even with the struggles in front of him. This is a perfect read for those that may be underestimating their own capabilities.
Thanks to: Debbie Liu, Oscar Setiawan of Peachy Home Buyers.

119. Stand Out - The Nuclear Effect

One great business book for any business owner to read is Scott Olford's The Nuclear Effect. This book explains how you can introduce your business into any market as a thought leader and the go-to in your niche. It explains how to market to your audience in a way that keeps you top of mind in a relevant, omnipresent way to make you big fish in your audience's pond, effectively catapulting you to celebrity-status in your audience's eyes. The Nuclear Effect is a great book for anyone.
Thanks to: Luke Bratlie of Holmes Volvo Cars.

120. Get Assets To Grow Your Wealth

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason is one of the best books for small business owners and employees to read. It's a short book so it doesn't take much time, but it imparts great financial lessons through telling an interesting story. The book explains how you should learn through experience and people who know what they're doing, and grow your wealth by buying assets and things that return monthly income.
Thanks to: Samantha Odo of Precondo.

121. Tools of Titans

One book that I felt had a very palpable impact on me is called Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. The book is broken up into three sections – healthy, wealthy, and wise – and includes over 100 interviews with ultra successful people on what they did and continue to do to ensure success. This book is perfect because you can hop around to different interviews and take what you want from it.
Thanks to: Kate MacDonnell of Coffee Affection.

122. Start With Why

The book that has had the most lasting impact on me is called Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. As you can probably tell from the title, the book really hones in on the fact that all great businesses are founded for purposes other than just making money. Sinek goes into detail about how various companies (like Apple) inspire employees because of the leaders that inspire. If you're looking to be an inspirational leader, this is the book for you.
Thanks to: Tomasz Mlodzki of photoAiD.

123. Building Good Business Habits

I love Atomic Habits by James Clear. Not only is this book good for startups, it's good to keep you going as you build your business.

As you do the daily grind, you have to learn and unlearn habits. There are behaviors that could be detrimental to the business, while there are some that you and the team need to develop.

This book helps you with developing habits and routines, and works well with SOPs that you have designed for your business.
Thanks to: Sander Tamm of E-Student.

124. The Shoe Fits

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is a great business book. It provides more than just business advice, adding valuable quotes & input on life in general. In particular, the book offers insight on how to access situations, what to look for in others, and yourself. I adhere to one quote in particular: “When you see only problems, you do not see clearly.” I keep this in mind whenever I think a specific situation has no remedy. There are always solutions. It just takes thinking outside the box.
Thanks to: Katie Lyon of Allegiance Flag Supply.

125. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

My favorite business book has to be the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. This book is a roller coaster ride. You'll be hooked to each page and wonder what's going to happen next. Jobs are second to none when it comes to marketing.

This book truly explores the genius of the man and has important lessons for business owners. Steve Jobs is the embodiment of a true genius at work.
Thanks to: Alex Williams of Find This Best.

126. Building a StoryBrand

I'd recommend reading "Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen" by Donald Miller. This book helps you solidify what you do and who you serve. Many businesses have been forced to pivot this past year and sometimes priorities become fuzzy with the shift. This book outlines an actionable framework to create a crystal clear story for any business. It not only helps you better understand your brand, it makes it easier to share and explain your business to everyone else.
Thanks to: Jennifer Rogina of ClearPath Online.

127. Sell Like Crazy!

'Sell Like Crazy: How to Get as Many Clients, Customers and Sales As You Can Possibly Handle' by Sabri Suby

This book gives detailed instructions on how entrepreneurs can create sales funnels to generate a stream of qualified leads.

Each chapter is action-oriented with examples and tools you can immediately start using.

I've implemented the strategies in my business and seen phenomenal results.

The #1 book to understand how to get repeatable, profitable sales.
Thanks to: Nikita Agarwal of Milestone Localization.

128. Start With Why

Start with Why is a book written by Simon Sinek. Simon is one of the best motivational speakers of today’s world, with a massive following on social media. In this book ‘Start With Why’, he talks about the power of Why. He explains that it is essential to understand the reason behind every idea. Entrepreneurs can learn how to bring value to their business by reading this book. People should be able to understand the ‘Why’ behind your business idea to purchase your product or service.
Thanks to: Matt Bigach of Nexus HomeBuyers.

129. Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog is a book written by the Co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight. In this book, you’ll learn how Knight started with borrowed $50 and grew his business. But there’s more to the story; he also talks about his personal experiences throughout the journey. It shows the challenges an individual has to face to make it big. The reasons not to give up, the motivation to believe in your idea, the reason to fight for it until the very last moment, you’ll find it all in this book.
Thanks to: Scott Williams of MobileOfficeSales.

130. Asimov's Chronology of History

This book covers the history of humanity from the beginning through the 1980s when it was written. For business owners, having this expansive view can help in many ways. For example, you can recognize patterns in human behavior that occur repeatedly. You also finish this encyclopedia feeling smarter, and since it covers so much, you can hold meaningful conversations with more people about their interests. These connections can lead to new business, partnerships and other forms of serendipity.
Thanks to: Michael Alexis of tiny campfire.

131. Where's Waldo

Where's Waldo is usually thought of as a children's book, but it's surprisingly good for adults. You've probably heard of teams playing with Lego at work as a way to encourage creative thinking. Waldo or "I Spy" type books work in a similar way. While you are consciously doing a trivial task like hunting for hidden items in the images, your unconscious mind can work on bigger business problems. You might just have a "Eureka!" moment before you finish.
Thanks to: Jeremy Cross of Team Building NYC.

132. You are a Badass

"You can have excuses or you can have success; you can't have both.” You Are a Badass at Making Money – Jen Sincero.
Sincero opens your eyes to see money in a positive light. She helps you focus on what money CAN bring, which is anything you desire - the comfort of knowing you can pay the bills on time, or taking those yearly family vacations you've dreamt of. It's a remarkable book that's well worth the read to uncover what's holding you back from success and achieving what you deserve.
Thanks to: Marike Herzberg of Marike Designs - PresentationStudio.

133. No Five Easy Steps to Success

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, by Walter Isaacson. You'll only get anything out of it by working to understand a full, colorful and controversial life, chronicled at length. We all know the business Steve Jobs built. It is up to the reader to make connections between Steve’s approach and Apple’s success. You won’t learn about social media marketing or double-entry accounting, but you’ll learn something far more profound - what drove one of the most successful founders ever.
Thanks to: Tim Latham of ColleagueOne.

134. Profit First

I heard about Profit First by Mike Michalowicz initially at a zoom meeting within my industry. Lockdown afforded me time to reflect on my business, and as much as I knew I wanted to return to it – it’s not a business that can operate online anyway – I wanted to emerge financially wiser. The combination of someone explaining the nuances of the principles in person (albeit via Zoom) and reading the book properly helped me to see it as something I could work toward. And I am.
Thanks to: Sue Kennedy of Sue Kennedy Photography ltd.

135. Tech Book by Peter Diamandis

I really loved 'The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives' by Peter H. Diamandis.

Technology is the future and it can help small business owners push their product forward. Without adopting new tech, we won't stand a chance when competing against large organizations.

Peter does a great job of detailing how tech is making a difference and what we all need to do to compete against each other in a competitive manner.
Thanks to: James Idayi of Cloudzat.

136. #1 Pick for Entrepreneurs

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini is a must-read for any entrepreneur. The author focuses on the art of persuasion and how to apply it in business situations.
In his research, he claims that influence is based on six principles: reciprocity, commitment/consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity. This book is great for small business owners searching for ways to tap into the consumer mind and understand the psychology behind human behavior.
Thanks to: Catherine B of Wealth of Cents.

137. Starting a Business with $100

My recommendation is "The $100 Startup" by Chris Guillebeau. He focuses on 50 case studies from over 1500 individuals who built businesses from a very small initial investment. He describes how these entrepreneurs achieved success with their start-ups and provides many helpful templates and tips. The main philosophy besides starting small, is that you should do what you love and earn a living from that! Don't be afraid to make a profit from your passion.
Thanks to: Robert Brandl of Website Tool Tester.

138. Remote Work is a New Normal

I’m a huge fan of Basecamp and I recommend reading any of their books. My favorite is REMOTE - office not required. Before working remotely became the big hit it is today, the two founders of Basecamp came up with a playbook on how to make remote work function for an up and coming startup. The recent news of Basecamp changing some of its policies make this book an even interesting read - just to see how much has changed since the moment they launched the company.
Thanks to: Carsten Schaefer of Trust.

139. Grinding It Out

One of the most successful businessmen out there, Ray Kroc, shares his story in this book and how joining McDonald’s as a partner changed his life altogether. He has wonderfully narrated and portrayed the mistakes he made in his business decisions and personal life, how he converted these mistakes into success through determination and consistency in his decision-making. One must read it to take some motivation.
Thanks to: Jeff Johnson of Simple Home Buyers.

140. Have Trouble Focusing?

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life Kindle Edition by Nir Eyal

As entrepreneurs, we're constantly being bombarded with emails, texts, DMs, slack messages, phone calls, and fires to put out. The one characteristic that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett attributed their success to was the ability to focus. This book, Indistractable, provides a roadmap for entrepreneurs and business leaders to tame the distraction in their lives, and to be able to focus on what matters.
Thanks to: Adrian Mak of AdvisorSmith.

141. Thinking Fast and Slow

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman goes over the two systems found in the mind that can make and/or crush our sense to move ahead and achieve in life by thinking fast and slow. In there you will also find breakdowns of the various effects of each system on your mentality, success, and confidence. In particular, the book is an excellent guide on how to leverage emotional efficiency for success.
Thanks to: Swati Chalumuri of HearMeFolks.

142. Employees First, Profits Later

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh.

I bought this book on Audible and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. It is Tony himself who is reading the book in a voice that is very engaging and passionate about the subject. The book itself goes into detail about how looking after your staff first will bring more profit later. It goes into his own business story of Zappos and how he built it into a hugely successful company which he sold for $1.2bn in 2009.
Thanks to: Rick Hoskins of Filter King.

143. Good To Great

'Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't' by Jim Collins might be the best small business book ever written!

20 years later, Jim's points are still relevant, his advice is still effective, and his points are still bang on.

I read this book once a year and I learn something new each time. It's packed full of excellent insight into what really makes a great company and every business owner can learn from it!
Thanks to: Andy Michael of VPN Testing.

144. Top Book Recommendation

I am a food blogger. One book I recommend that everyone must read is as follows.
Title: "#GIRLBOSS" by Sophia Amoruso
Description: I like the fact that Sophia Amoruso started a company without even realizing it. Small things like having attention to detail, delivering the highest level of customer service, ensuring that customers are valued and appreciated. She cared less about what others thought about her. Her journey of starting a successful business from scratch is very inspiring.
Thanks to: Samiksha Sanket of Yummy Tummy Recipes.

145. Profit First

We've all seen it—companies with brilliant ideas and world-class leaders going belly up because they don't know how to manage the money. Profit First was written by Mike Michalowicz to prevent those situations by providing a simple yet flexible financial framework that prioritizes profit and accounts for the ways human psychology can get in the way of sticking to a good plan. Having successfully used the Profit First method for the last two years, I can say that it works!
Thanks to: Kate Scott.

146. Author Offers Business Secrets

Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a successful business? The secrets that seem so elusive to many are now available to all in Jackie Camacho-Ruiz’s book, "The Little Book of Business Secrets That Work!" With the exercises provided at the end of each secret, you’ll learn to apply them to your business and your life immediately.

Some of the secrets include:

> Create value from nothing

> Get the right people on board

> Get serious about service
Thanks to: Marie Lazzara of JJR Marketing.

147. Sharpen Your Articulation

“The New Articulate Executive” by Granville N. Toogood.

Business owners can quickly close a good deal when they articulately convey their thoughts and ideas to people effectively. The book effectively teaches amateur and experienced business leaders to deliver a more impact-filled speech that capture’s people’s attention and respect.
Thanks to: Stephen Light of Nolah Mattress.

148. An Oldie but a Goodie

I think that every small business owner should read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is an older book written in 1937 yet amazingly, it has managed to stay relevant and helpful in the intervening 84 years.
Thanks to: Chris Riley of USA Rx.

149. Speak and Get Results

Sandy Linver does an excellent job of breaking down the science of creating a speech or presentation that will get the audience to do just what you want them to do after you've finished.

In the book, there's a formula for this that every small business owner can use as a guide for their next sales meeting, client proposal, or whatever it is that you're talking about where you want actionable results in your company. This is one of the best business speaking books.
Thanks to: Tammi Avallone of FiveBarks.

150. Give Yourself a Nudge

In this book, Ralph Keeney emphasizes the importance of your decision-making skills (personal and professional life). Your decision-making competency will always pave your way to success as an entrepreneur and as an individual. From anecdotes and personal stories, Keeney was able to lay out practical steps, concepts, and tools that will strengthen and simplify your complex decision-making process. Applying each lesson from this book is not only feasible but also life-changing.
Thanks to: Daniela Baker of CreditDonkey.

151. You Are What You Risk

This book by Michele Wucker is a story compilation of risk takers around the world. It brings understanding on how to improve your risk-taking abilities through different tools, methods, and strategies. For entrepreneurs and business leaders, managing risks and strong decision-making skills is a must. If you don't know how to take risks, you won't survive the tooth and claw competition of the business industry. With the help of this book, it will allow you to re-examine and refine your risk literacy.
Thanks to: Matt Weidle of Buyer's Guide.

152. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

The most important takeaway from this book for me was how important it is for any small business owner to develop a personal brand. People, not companies, are the ones that make purchases. Gary goes into the why and how of building irresistible personal brands in great detail. This is without a doubt one of the strongest books for company owners who want to switch their offline revenues to the internet.
Thanks to: Alan Harder of AlanHarder.ca.

153. Will It Fly?

I’ve been running a content marketing business for several years now.

Recently, I was inspired to branch out into a different area entirely: vintage clothing. So, I downloaded Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn, Founder of Smart Passive Income.

This book is a dream for anybody who is thinking of exploring new areas. It contains a ton of useful exercises to help you get to the bottom of what you truly hope to achieve with your new business idea.
Thanks to: Kelly O'Hara of Copy Goals.

154. Deep Work by Cal Newport

Deep work is the crux of how to do more work in less time. The book focuses on distractions that new business owners can face and helps provide tips that can maximize your output while minimizing potential habits or actions that can take your focus away from work. If you are looking for boosting your productivity and want to incorporate smart work in your life, then this is the book for you.
Thanks to: Daniel Florido of Pixelstorm.

155. This Book Makes Profit Easy

Read 'Busting Loose From The Business Game' by Robert Scheinfeld. John Assaraf's foreword hints that its magic may delight (or disturb) business owners because it helps you realize secret, universal truths that help you step out of the biz matrix & master the game. Other books are insightful, but the challenging views in this one will actually make your heart, mind, and soul truly masterful at business. This book gives you the tools to make profitable business effortless.
Thanks to: Jason 'J-Ryze' Fonceca of Ryze.

156. Less = More

Essentialism, by Greg McKeown, is the only book that I have ever began re-reading immediately after finishing.

The contents hit me so hard that I immediately began implementing the author's suggestions into my personal and professional lives.

Gone were the days of trying to do it all. Gone were the days of believing that doing more meant better results.

Within days of implementing these changes, I learned that less equaled more. I started accomplishing more in less time.
Thanks to: Jonathan Patrick of JMP & Co.

157. Books Can Help You "Fly!"

"Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings … Before You Take the Leap" by Thomas K. McKnight.

The book helps you prepare for the challenge by offering a 44-point assessment that makes you aware of the type of business you are going to enter, whether you have the best audience and if they will love your product/service. By answering this checklist, you will realize whether your business idea is going on the right track or not.
Thanks to: Sara Cemin of Realiaproject.

158. Use What You Have

One book I continually return to is The E-Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber.

Gerber uses his book to demonstrate how to run your business without you. His intention is to have your business running so efficiently that you are now free to work on the business, not in it.

Using everyone from the least skilled employee to the most experienced, Gerber shows how the business can be operated efficiently with the labor available.
Thanks to: James Crawford of DealDrop.

159. Missing Cheese, Sudden Change

A must-read for today's changing world is the now classic "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson. This modern parable is a gold mine of invaluable lessons on facing and adapting to unexpected change. Two mice and two humans, in a maze, search for cheese. The difference between the way the mice and the humans value the cheese they find and later on deal with its eventual loss shows how an open and growth mindset enables the mice and one of the humans to successfully pivot amidst the change.
Thanks to: Stephan Baldwin of Assisted Living Center.

160. Whose T-shirt to Wear?

“It Worked for Me, In Life and Leadership” by Colin Powell. Colin Powell’s life is remarkable, he consistently carves his own path against traditional norms. A standout moment occurs when he asks the reader to consider whose t-shirt they want to wear. At a time when Colin Powell was approached by numerous companies to hold prestigious board positions, he had to consider whether he would promote another brand or if he would stand out on his own - a great self-reflection exercise.
Thanks to: Gerald Gangaram of Gerald Gangaram.

161. The 4-hour Work Week

Written by Tim Ferris, the book explores the idea of "lifestyle design"; how to structure your income streams to free up your time and location.

The book outlines transformative and actionable concepts for business owners including:
- How to start with the end goal in mind.
- Outsourcing, delegating, and automating effectively.
- Using the 80/20 principles for Continuous Improvement of the amount of income you get per hour.

All in all, the book is amongst the best ROIs I have had.
Thanks to: Ahmed Elnaggar of Set The Record Player.

162. Book Recommendation

Being an entrepreneur is always rewarding despite the occasional bumps in the road. The bumpy roads have taught me the value of the journey. If the road is smooth for you then it will be smooth for your competitors. That is why my top book recommendation is Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel. The next Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. They will take the bumpy road, escaping the competition altogether, to build a unique business.
Thanks to: Omid Semino of Diamond Mansion.

163. StoryBrand for the Win!

I'm a massage therapist with my own massage practice.

The book I frequently recommend to business owners is Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

It's incredibly important for us to take the load off our potential customer or client. I realized I might have had a cute site, but I needed to make sure the user experience made sense. We need to make our messaging clear and give everything we create easy-to-follow next steps.

This book changed the way I see everything in my business.
Thanks to: Brittany Herzberg of B Here Massage Therapy.

164. Best Book - The 5 AM CLUB

One of my favorite books is ‘The 5 AM CLUB’ by Robin Sharma. I guess this book helped me become a professional and disciplined individual. There are no words to describe how helpful it is. So, this is one book that every professional must read.
Thanks to: Eric Jones of Couture Candy.

165. Resilience and Heroism

The Hero Factor by Jeffrey Hayzlett objectively and succinctly defines heroism in an organizational leader. It highlights the importance of having clear, strong values, and encourages leaders to stand strong by them. Facing opposition related to profits and politics can be tough, but standing firm allows you to attract like-minded believers in principled decision-making. A company led by a heroic CEO positions itself to win in competitive environments.
Thanks to: Brian Pallas of Opportunity Network.

166. High Output Management

By Andrew S. Grove

As manager of a small team, I found the book to be full of very practical advice. It contains useful processes which are immediately applicable to my daily activities as a manager. Grove's main accomplishment in this book is the simplification of very complex organizational concepts and processes into simple steps that anyone can follow and manage. He lays out a dilemma, lists the pros and cons, and then makes a decision, for better or worse.
Thanks to: Richa Nathani of Dialed Labs.

167. The E-Myth Revisited

By Michael E. Gerber

If you're an entrepreneur, this is book will tell you how to get the full potential from your business. You may also learn you're not really an entrepreneur by the author's definition, but he gives you the process to get there. In reality, building a successful business isn't as simple as the book makes it sounds, but it's a great framework to force you to think about how to optimize your business strategy, management, and operations.
Thanks to: Cody Crawford of Low Offset.

168. Tools of Titans

By Timothy Ferriss

The content in this book is incredibly helpful not only in terms of the actual information, but what the information represents. It proves to the reader that those billionaires, icons, and legends are just people. They all had difficult childhoods, periods of massive failure, and times where they felt hopeless. It’s simply a matter of applying what will help you, ignoring what won't, and taking advice only from those who have a life you'd like to emulate.
Thanks to: Harry Morton of Lower Street.

169. This is Marketing, Seth Godin

There are numbers of books and resources with tactics on “how to” market and advertise. This book is different–it’s an insightful look at what modern marketing is and how entrepreneurs need to work out and develop businesses that will make an impact. For business owners with rapid-growing businesses or those just getting introduced, this book will help you reflect on what you’re creating and who you’re creating it for–once you’re clear on that, the marketing becomes much easier.
Thanks to: Salvador Ordorica of The Spanish Group LLC.

170. Traction: Get a Grip

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman is the book for problem-solving — the big things that can hinder your progress, such as frustration, suffering control of the business, and getting burned out. This book approves the “Entrepreneurial Operating System” to deal with frustration, burnout, identified problems. He suggests three ways to implement the EOS. It is full of tools and ways that will lead you and your business back on track, but it’s better about rules than a step-by-step plan.
Thanks to: Shiv Gupta of Incrementors Web Solutions.

171. Build Systems Not Headaches

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber explains why 80% of small businesses fail within 5 years. Just because you are good at car mechanics, hairdressing or flower arranging, doesn’t automatically make you good at running a business in those industries.

The solution is to adopt the mindset that your business is a nationwide franchise, like McDonalds, KFC or Domino’s and this amazing book teaches you how to do this. Build a thriving, profitable business that relies on systems, not on you.
Thanks to: Harvey Raybould of Freedom Via Property.

172. Gain Clarity Now

Perhaps my most gifted book of all time is David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” it couldn’t be more appropriate in times of overwhelm and confusion. We underestimate just how much stress we innocently yet voluntarily suffer through because of all the clutter we keep in our brains. David shows you how to get rid of the clutter and gain complete clarity.
Thanks to: Alphonso Cheponis of Straightline Consulting Group.

173. Courageous Cultures

Courageous Cultures by Karin Hurt and David Dye.

Becoming a courageous culture means building teams of micro innovators, problem solvers, and customer advocates working together. In our world of rapid change, a courageous culture is your competitive advantage. It ensures that your company is “sticky” for both customers and employees. In this book, you’ll learn practical tools to uncover, leverage, and scale the best ideas from every level of your organization.
Thanks to: Luisa Martin-Miller of Let's Grow Leaders.

174. The Tipping Point

There are lots of great books out there for small business owners but, the one that springs to mind for me is one which I read shortly before I launched my business. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is a treasure trove of inspiration for entrepreneurs, as well as providing some incredible insights into social behavior and what turns an idea into a trend. Especially useful for businesses who plan to sell products, this one is a must have for the aspiring business owner.
Thanks to: Paul McLaughlin of Chartered Surveyors in London.

175. Getting Things Done

Running a business can be really stressful and I often used to find that I would become so overwhelmed that I would end up being totally unproductive. David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity has really helped me to prioritize tasks and get on top of my business - and, more importantly, stay on top of it. For anybody who is feeling a bit frazzled after running their business for a while, this book is highly recommended.
Thanks to: Andrew Martins of LVbet.

176. Truth About Motivation

My choice would be Daniel H. Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. As a small business owner, this book has taught me a lot about myself and my business. Most importantly, it has inspired me to make some small changes to make a big difference to my business. I can thoroughly recommend this book to anybody who is starting out with their own business.
Thanks to: Aleksandra Gronostaj of CShark.

177. Good to Great

At the moment, I’m obsessed with ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap & Others Don’t. This book by Jim Collins gives you a peek into the practices of successful companies and gives some great insights on how this success can be achieved.
Thanks to: John Zack of Energy Casino.

178. Delivering Happiness

One of the books which has really stayed with me is Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh and I tend to dip into this one again and again. The reason this book is so great is that it delves into lessons in life and business and focuses on something which is really important to me and my business - delivering delight rather than just satisfaction.
Thanks to: Neal Taparia of Spider Solitaire Challenge.

179. The Power of No

My pick is The Power of No by James and Claudia Altucher. During lockdown, I rethought my priorities, and I turned to this book to help me prioritize better when it came to work and myself. The book has helped me diminish guilt if I need to step away from a challenging task, push a video call to the next day, or give colleagues a heads up about when projects can realistically be completed. The book really exemplifies that saying “No” when necessary is crucial for one’s well-being.
Thanks to: Jacob Edwards-Bytom of Made4Fighters.

180. Learn From the Most Impressive

Steve Jobs is an idol of mine and many other small business owners and entrepreneurs. His story and rise to success is simply incredible.

In his official biography written by Walter Isaacson, you learn all about Steve's journey, his incredible drive, and how he used innovation to push everything - his life and his business - forward.

This book is a must-read for any entrepreneur and business owner!
Thanks to: Piyush Yadav of Ask Any Difference.

181. Staying Lean

The best is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Ries had first hand experience with launching a startup and he has great insights on the best way to identify and approach your target market. I think one of the most interesting things about the book is that it's written from a place of experience. Many successful business owners have written about their success, but not many are willing to talk about failures, as well. This is a must read for anyone starting a business.
Thanks to: Chris Campbell of The Charming Bench Company.

182. Never Split the Difference

This book will alter your perspective on negotiations. Most of the time, we negotiate in order to get someone to agree with us, but this book takes a different approach. It delves deeply into the significance of the word "No." Saying "No" gives a person a sense of autonomy, which makes them more agreeable, and Chris Voss discusses how you can use this fact to advance your agenda.
Thanks to: Michael Knight of Incorporation Insight.

183. SVP Recommendation

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This book offers a great way to start a business, advising people to focus more on the customer than on the business. The business will grow, but only if business owners put more emphasis on giving than getting.
Thanks to: Jim Pendergast of AltLINE Sobanco.

184. The Lean Startup

Every new business owner should read “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. New businesses offer big growth opportunities for huge financial risks, Ries’ approach to lean innovation can help entrepreneurs develop big ideas while minimizing the risk.

My favorite part of the book is in the build-measure-learn feedback loop, which calls for businesses to build a minimum viable product (MVP), undergo rigorous testing, then adjust as needed along the way before too much time or money is invested.
Thanks to: Brian Dechesare of Breaking Into Wall Street.

185. High Performance Habits

High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

The goal of this book is to help you become a high performer both at work and on a personal level. It’s broken down into six key habits you need to master to achieve success. Each chapter provides an explanation of one habit, why it’s important, examples of how to master it, and self-reflection prompts to help you put your learning to use right away. This is a book that makes you stop, think, and reflect on yourself as you’re reading it.
Thanks to: Gabriel Dungan of ViscoSoft.

186. Turn Customers into Loyal Fans

Every small business owner should read The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes.

It indicates the importance of upselling, cross-selling, and turning first-time buyers into repeat customers. This, in turn, helps small business owners maximize their profit potential from the clients they already have.
Thanks to: Nikita Chen of LegitGrails.

187. Think of Self-Sufficiency

"Built to Sell" by John Warrillow is a great book for any entrepreneur who finds themselves working more than they want to. While obviously you need to dedicate a lot of hours in the building of your business, ideally you should craft it to be self-sufficient and even sellable. This book outlines that process in a way that aligns with my own philosophies while adding actionable advice.
Thanks to: Andrey Doichev of Inc and Go.

188. How Much Freedom You Give?

After a year of uncertainty, my one top book recommendation is Work Rules by Laszlo Bock. “If you're comfortable with the amount of freedom you've given your employees, you haven't gone far enough” is one phrase in the book that made me rethink how much freedom I should give as an entrepreneur. Let your employees choose their goals, how to approach a project or problem. When people think ideas are their own, they are more willing to pursue and achieve them.
Thanks to: Johannes Larsson of Financer.com.

189. Do What's Proven to Work

Name- The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

Author-Chris Guillebeau

This book is a must-read because it gives examples of how normal people have succeed in building online businesses. It also breaks down the steps they took to get there.

The value of this book lies in specificity. They don't just say you need to go for your dream; they give you a path that's proven to work and that's extracted from success stories across the globe.
Thanks to: Nikola Roza of SEO for the Poor and Determined.

190. Writing a Vision of Greatness

"An 8-Step Recipe for Writing a Vision of Greatness”
A quick read by Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, MI, but packed with utility. Coming out of the pandemic, it is critical to create a new vision aligned with our new normal; a vision that energizes people and illuminates the result that makes us happy with where we end up. Step by step, Ari leads the way through a powerful exercise that benefits every small business and the people they employ.
Thanks to: Kate McCrea of McCrea's Candies.

191. Destination: Success!

Are your days filled with juggling projects, staff, customers and your “day job”? Do you need help engaging your teams, staff and colleagues in various activities with your projects? Are you looking to increase the level of communication with staff, customers, management, vendors and business partners? Welcome to project management! The Project Roadmap by Mary Beth Imbarrato will guide you to your destination - a successful product deliverable. Learn how project management can work for you!
Thanks to: Mary Beth Imbarrato of MBI Consulting, LLC.

192. Think Infinitely

The book I recommend is a relatively new one by Simon Sinek called The Infinite Game. It's easy to get bogged down with negative thinking as an entrepreneur -- it can be a hard life! -- but this book ignites creative thinking and encourages focus not on the basic concept of "winning," but on playing the game. Truly an inspirational read as a business owner. I find myself picking it up often.
Thanks to: Kristen Bolig of SecurityNerd.

193. The Four Agreements

The book I recommend for all small business owners is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I recommend it for all humans actually. It crystallizes what to focus on in life, which is easily applied to business, and what to let go of, as anything extraneous will not serve you or your mission. It's a quick read that makes a lasting impact. It's a good one to revisit regularly, too.
Thanks to: Nick Drewe of Wethrift.

194. Only the Paranoid Survive

In Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove argues that in a crisis, the old way of doing things doesn’t work. Companies that adapt remain relevant. This is why entrepreneurs should be optimistic about building companies now, post-COVID. Industries are evolving faster than ever before, with new consumer trends to consider. Today’s entrepreneurs should sit, think about what the future will look like, and build a valuable company for that.
Thanks to: Phil Santoro of Wilbur Labs.

195. Profit First -Mike Michalowicz

If I could go back in time and read one book before I started my business, it would be this one. If you follow this book's strategy, it guarantees a profitable business from day one.
Thanks to: Galia Aharoni Schmidt, Esq. of Aharoni Business Law, PC.

196. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho is an inspirational fable that shows us how to persevere through adversity and uncertainty until we reach our goals.

The book tells the tale of Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd, who has a vision about a treasure he must recover in a distant land.

He embarks on a long and arduous journey across war-torn Africa, at times without food or shelter, to fulfill his quest.

Despite the many obstacles in his path, he never loses faith in himself or the universe.
Thanks to: Arthur Iinuma of ISBX.

197. THIS Book Changed My Mindset

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy was the best business book I have read years ago when I started out. The great thing about this book was that even though the author used to be a realtor like myself, his advice, case studies and actionable steps can really be used by anyone in any industry.

He uses a lot of real life experiences that were not even business related, which resonated with me because as a small business owner, your business decisions often affect your personal life, as well.
Thanks to: Nicky Taveras of DNTHome Buyers.

198. A Burning Desire!

“Think & Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill.

A masterpiece detailing the 13 most common habits of successful people. The first step is to have a “burning desire” to obtain your goal.

My favorite step is Persistence. When many people will throw in the towel at the first sign of opposition, willpower along with desire is needed to sustain our efforts. This past year of uncertainty brought on by a worldwide pandemic, tested our collective willpower & persistence.
Thanks to: Steve Groom of Maryland Home Buyers.

199. Help Understand Sustainability

In Doughnut Economics, Raworth breaks down the issues with what seem to be foundational economic frameworks today, and updates them in an entertaining but insightful fashion for the 21st century. The 'doughnut' model imagines a regenerative and redistributive economy that places human well-being at its center.

Entrepreneurs could stand to gain from extrapolating the frameworks Raworth has distilled for their businesses, to ensure they are in line with the modern consumer's tastes.
Thanks to: Jennifer Schultz of Outforia.

200. My Top Small Business Book Rec

My top small business book recommendation is First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Gallup Press. This is the best book to read, especially after more than a year of uncertainty, since this pandemic has made it more relatable than ever. It tells us that challenging the conventional and the usual is what makes a manager stand out and so what we did during this pandemic- essentially going outside of the norms, has brought everyone a step closer to greatness.
Thanks to: Andrew Raso of Online Marketing Gurus.

201. Want to Give Up? Read This!

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz: The book to read when you are in an uncertain situation, skeptical of your business’ future or when going through tough times. Ben Horowitz is a well-known startup investor and a seasoned entrepreneur. He talks about how business owners should not question themselves when going through hard times but to keep pushing and simply accepting that yes, being an entrepreneur will have its downs but that one will learn from these hardships the most.
Thanks to: Mike Heininger of Yodel.io.

202. Dispel Decision-making Myths

Why should small business owners read "Thinking, Fast and Slow," authored by Daniel Kahneman, one of the most influential psychologists?
1) It deciphers how we make decisions through two systems: system 1 is intuition; system 2 is logical;
2) This book explains where you could and couldn't trust your gut to make decisions;
3) Business is about serving the customer's needs. This book will have your perception of how people make buying decisions altered forever.
Thanks to: Hong Zhuang of zettasher.com.

203. This Will Never Work

The reason I loved "That Will Never Work" by Marc Randolph is that while it’s a narrative about the founding and forming of Netflix as we know it, it teaches many lessons about building a team, surviving tough environments, raising money, and changing to adapt to scale. It is an inspiring story with many excellent tips and lessons. It was a great pleasure just walking over to the nearest Square park after work to do a bit of reading and get some fresh air.
Thanks to: Brack Nelson of Incrementors Web Solutions.

204. The 4 Hour Workweek

Ferriss helps break the myth that you need to work the traditional 9-5 hours in order to be fully productive. The book talks about the 4-workweek system in which you have much more flexibility and one extra day off. According to Ferriss, employees are much more productive when they have additional motivation to work hard, as well as more time to rest. Through a number of insights, he shows evidence that businesses won’t suffer with a system like this at all.
Thanks to: Malte Scholz of Airfocus.

205. Leaders Eat Last

Great leaders often sacrifice a piece of their comfort to make a stimulating environment for others to thrive. Leading by example is important for people to adopt certain principles and Sinek shows this in a number of different examples. He specifically mentions examples of good leadership in the military and points out some of the core principles that can be transferred to the business setting.
Thanks to: Nick Chernets of Data for SEO.

206. You Don't Have to Climb Alone

A personal favorite that has helped me immensely while climbing the career ladder, is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. It explores human relationships and walks you through networking as a stepping-stone for success. It drives home the idea that through strong and positive relationships, you can climb higher than you would alone.

Moreover, there’s also some excellent advice on handling rejection and bypassing gatekeepers or other common obstacles.
Thanks to: Karl Hughes of Draft.dev.

207. Massive Business Growth Free

My favorite business book is Publicity Jumpstart by Michelle Lewis.

She defines publicity as the number one marketing strategy to get yourself seen as an online authority and thought leader in today's cluttered entrepreneurial space. And publicity is just as needed if you’re in the beginning stages of building a brand or have growth hacked your way to millions. What every CEO needs is an actionable strategy to get eyes on their business - and their message.
Thanks to: Kristin Marquet of Marquet Media, LLC.

208. The Art Of Connection!

My book recommendation for small business owners and entrepreneurs is "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. This book is a deep-dive into mastering the art of connecting with others and building strong relationships, and while it's not always recommended in a business context, it's incredibly important for entrepreneurs to know these skills.

Learning how to influence people and make long-lasting friendships will absolutely serve you well as you grow your small business.
Thanks to: Mike Nemeroff of Rush Order Tees.

209. Billionaire For a Teacher

It's not often you can peer into the mind of a billionaire, but Richard Branson's "Screw It, Let's Do It" allows you to do exactly that. As a small business owner, it's essential to absorb every ounce of information you can from experts who've done it before and succeeded. Whether those are life lessons, actionable tips, or simply mistakes to avoid, take it all in and apply it to your own endeavors.
Thanks to: Nathan Murphy of QuizBreaker.

210. Cut Out the Noise

I recommend "Deep Work" by Cal Newport for all small business owners. When you're running a company, how you manage your time is absolutely key to your success. It's important to cut out any and all distractions, and this book is about boosting your productivity to new heights by reducing the noise around you. If you can get the same amount of work done in far less time, you have the potential to achieve more in your business (and your life) than you ever could otherwise.
Thanks to: Kristaps Brencans of On The Map.

211. No Money, No Business Start?

The Power of Broke by Daymond John is a great read for budding entrepreneurs. His company, FUBU, was started with $40. It shows us that investment money that leads to some form of loss of control of your business is not needed through the stories of several entrepreneurs who built massively successful businesses out of nothing. It teaches us that being broke is not a valid reason for not chasing success.
Thanks to: Ralph Severson of Flooring Masters.

212. The Classic

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a classic book full of useful tips for anyone in a leadership or management role. I read it for the first time years ago at the recommendation of a mentor and I find myself continuously coming back to it over the years for a refresh. As a business owner, effective communication with clients and employees is paramount. This book really lays it out in an accessible and easy-to-follow way. It was written long ago but the messages still ring true.
Thanks to: Andrew Winters of Cohen & Winters.

213. Less is More

I really love the concept of The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. I am a big believer that you do not need to slave away for 12 hours a day in a high-strung environment in order to be successful. With the right tools, you can work for a shorter time and be just as, if not more, productive. I think this pandemic has reminded people of the importance of enjoying life and enjoying time with family, so knowing how to cut down on working hours is hugely important.
Thanks to: Vinay Amin of Eu Natural.

214. Best for Small Business Owners

The most impactful book in my business has been Go Giver by Bob Burg. Prior to reading that book, I had a distorted view of what it took to make sales, thinking it was all cold leads and hard pitches, and pressure. But Go Giver became a manifesto for the energetic game in sales and business. It's a parable that makes it super easy to read and teaches the lesson of being a go-giver instead of a go-getter to get ahead. It's my first recommendation to people looking to shift their views on business.
Thanks to: Jess A. O'Connell of Jess A. O'Connell.

215. Have You Found Your 'Why'?

The book that helped me get to where I am with my business is by Simon Sinek, and it's called "Finding your Why". Before reading this book, I would spin my wheels on what the copy on my website should read, and didn't have a clear vision or mission statement for my business. Simon Sinek teaches that people don't buy what you do, but they buy WHY you do it. Without this book, I would never be able to connect with my couples the way I do today. This book is an essential read for any entrepreneur.
Thanks to: Kelly Shoul of In Love and Adventure.

As always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

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Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth