Whether you’re just starting out, or your a seasoned business owner you don’t want to miss out on this list of 12 business books for entrepreneurs. They’re bound to make a difference in your day-to-day operations.
It’s secret that I am a bit of a book nerd.
I regularly share my latest reads on Instagram Stories, post the occasional book review here on the blog and once I even documented how to make a fun pouch for your iPad/Kindle (a project that’s been pinned a ton!).
There’s no better way to spend a weekend than curled up with a good book. While I am a fan of fiction, you can find me ripping through a good business book more often than not. Reading is, and always will be, a part of my continuing education.
12 Business Books for Entrepreneurs
While entrepreneurs are the ultimate DIYers, some things should not be left to chance. Today I am sharing 12 of my favorite business books for busy entrepreneurs, each contains best practices that can vastly improve the way a business functions.
1.The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
I’ve shared this book on more than one occasion. It’s a good read on any level, but it’s my FAVORITE business book for entrepreneurs.
Coming from a gal that set a goal to read every book in the library as a child, rest assured that the selection of this book isn’t a one in twenty, but I’ve singled it out over hundreds of other business reads I’ve devoured in my lifetime.
But, don’t take my word for it…The One Thing has appeared on more than 400 best seller lists and reached number one on the NY Times list.
I recommend (i.e. assign it as homework) to all of my coaching clients.
2.Essentialism, by Greg McKeown
If you’re “running around like a chicken with its head cut off,” this book is for you. I love studying the art of doing less to get more (i.e. focus).
However in a world full of shiny things, keeping your eye on the prize can be difficult. This book provides actionable steps to calming the overwhelm.
I really enjoyed reading Essentialism and I’ve shared copies with so many friends.
3.The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
I first heard Brene Brown speak in the fall of 2010. She had just released The Gifts of Imperfection. I heard her speak, shook her hand and bought her book almost immediately.
I’ve read every book Brown has released since and while all of them are fantastic, this one was transformational for me.
Being a successful entrepreneur requires a thick skin. There will be people who will tell you you’re not good enough, you wont make it and there will simply be days that trigger self doubt. I love Brown’s 10 guideposts for wholehearted living.
4.Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller
I first stumbled upon Donald Miller through one of his memoirs, Blue Like Jazz. I will be honest, not a big fan of memoirs. I stuck it out and read the entire book in order to participate fully in book club. I am glad I did. In looking for more information about the author I came across first his podcast and then the book Building a StoryBrand.
I’ve spent more than twenty years working in public relations and marketing and this book made me think about marketing in a way I never, ever had before.
This one is a pick for its innovative approach to branding. While it has little to nothing to do with social media, I can’t think of a better book for any entrepreneur who’s looking to brand and share their story online.
5.You’re a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero
Okay. I could have just as easily included Jen Sincero’s first book, You’re a Badass on this list, but there’s a specific reason I included the follow up…
A majority of my clients (about 80%) are women. Women, whom I find constantly undervalue themselves. Ladies, it’s time to change up your money mindset. Not only are you worth more, you DESERVE more! I love the long-standing fears about money, making money and risking money this book conquers.
Having said that, I gave You’re a Badass at Making Money to a former boyfriend the day after I finished it…It’s a great read for anyone who struggles with doubts or fears, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?
If you’re looking to pull a bit of confidence in your daily routine, be sure to check out You’re a Badass as well. I liked it. My brother and his wife call it, life changing.
6.Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
When I recommend Jen Scincero’s, You’re a Badass books, I often get a little pushback based on the title. If the title of Jen’s books scare you, then everything about Gary Vaynerchuk will cause you to run for the hills. I have never heard (or read) a more foul mouthed business person…And yet, here I am recommending one of his books.
Why? Gary Vaynerchuk is unabashedly authentic. He makes no excuses for the way he is and barrels through life leaving success in his wake. If you’re business has anything at all to do with the internet or social media (and these days how can it not?!) Gary’s books are almost all a must read.
Crush It!, an earlier work, was the very first book I read about online start ups (Amazon tells me my first purchase was in February 2011) and shaped the entire way I looked at online entrepreneurship.
In Crushing It! He offers theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms.
I still flinch while listening to his podcast and honestly don’t tune in very often for that reason, but I’ve read every single one of his books.
7.The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod
Okay, so the full title of this book is, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8 a.m. Anyone who knows me well knows that I consider it a win if I am up, dressed and ready for the day by 8 a.m. so I was skeptical about this one when it was first recommended.
The truth is, I actually really love the wisdom shared within it’s cover. While I can’t say that I’ve implemented every one of Elrod’s SAVERS (six “ancient” best practices), I’d sure like to.
I can tell you that while I haven’t mastered it, there are people all over the world that practice The Miracle Morning. And, perhaps even more telling, with over 3.5K reviews on Amazon it maintains a 4.7 star rating.
8.Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy
Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can do through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Having said that, it should be no surprise that this book talks about completing your most challenging tasks first thing in the morning.
While I don’t necessarily agree (the task I hate most is cleaning the toilets, a necessity, but not necessarily the most important task for me to complete) Eat That Frog does teach how to organize each day so you can zero in on critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively.
It’s an easy read that’s well loved – current copies are at least a third edition.
9.The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau
This book originally caught my attention in an airport years ago…The headline alone makes you curious, doesn’t it?
The $100 Startup shares insight into the “new” economy – one where an MBA isn’t nearly as useful as “people skills” and it’s entirely possible to make something out of nothing. I enjoyed this less traditional take on business and found the entrepreneurial stories shared to be inspiring.
The real reason this book makes my list of best books for entrepreneurs though? It’s essential to understand the type of business environment you’re developing your company in, even if you’re rocking a more traditional route.
10.Your Best Year Ever, by Michael Hyatt
This one is a more recent read. I picked it up last summer to read while at the pool…Not exactly a light, summer novel, but Your Best Year Ever is one of the best business books for entrepreneurs I’ve read in the past year.
If I am being completely honest with you, I will tell you that it’s a rare year that I can say I actually met my New Year’s resolution. It’s likely you have a similar issue with BIG, long-term goals like the ones we make at the end of the year, that’s why a lot of gyms are empty by March.
If you really want to start meeting goals, consider reading Your Best Year Ever. It breaks goal setting down in a way that makes attaining your dreams achievable.
11.The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishen Lakhiani
Of all the books I am sharing on this list of 12 best business books for entrepreneurs, perhaps the hardest for me to get through was The Code of the Extraordinary Mind.
The first few chapters of the book were highly focused on the structure of the book and there were several business stories that didn’t resonate well with me. Having said that, I found the discussion on how our thinking is influenced by cultural and societal rules to be very helpful.
Everyone’s brain works a bit differently…I’ve included The Code of the Extraordinary Mind on this list because so many other entrepreneurs I respect and have worked with found it absolutely LIFE CHANGING.
12.The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, by Valerie Young
No. This list is not specific to women. Yes. I just included a title that’s targeted toward women.
Women and men alike will benefit from this discussion of imposter syndrome. People who suffer from imposter syndrome have difficulty recognizing their success. Despite overwhelming evidence of their abilities, impostors dismiss them as merely a matter of luck, timing or even outside help.
I love how The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women provides guidelines to make good business decisions based on life values, as opposed to fear of incompetence.