What are some good business books you should read? Here are our must-read business books of all time.
The best entrepreneur books might be what you need if you’re just entering the business world or you’re looking for a beginner’s guide to business. Maybe you’re an experienced management professional trying to find the best books. If you are looking for books on how to run a small business, perhaps you are looking for the best ones.
You can become a whip-smart entrepreneur by reading great business books. We read a lot of business books here at High Income Source, and this curated list represents our best choices.
Top 10 Business Books to Read
We began by looking at the top business books as a whole. These books may be known to you because they are classics. The following business books have all been popular – must-reads:
How to Win Friends and Influence People
It is a classic for anyone who wants to make friends and influence people. It’s about people that make the difference in ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. The Dale Carnegie system can be used to win friends, influence people, and connect with employees and colleagues.
This is Marketing
The book This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You See was written by the veteran marketer Seth Godin. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional marketer or not to realize that marketing is everywhere. In his book, Seth Godin explains the paradigm shift in marketing, from trying to force your message down the throat of unwilling consumers to focusing your marketing efforts on targeting “people like us”. Amazon has this Seth Godin book.
Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World will help you get the job done right. Rather than multitasking. With Deep Work, you’ll learn how to dig in and get stuff done by applying research and common sense. Getting and staying focused on your goals is easy with Deep Work.
The Innovators Dilemma
When you are facing disruption, you need a solid guide to help you pivot. Clayton M. Christensen authored the book When New Technologies Make Great Firms Fail: The Innovator’s Dilemma. In his book, Christensen teaches you how to listen to the voice of the customer so that you can make the right investments.
First Break All the Rules
You’ll have to break some rules if you want to be the best founder you can be. Marcus Buckingham’s Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently is based on a Gallup Organization study that looked at what the world’s best managers did differently.
The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout, published in 1989, is considered one of the classic marketing books. Even if you don’t do anything else in marketing, you should learn how to position your brand in the customer’s mind. Numerous case studies and insightful analyses are presented by Ries and Trout. You should read Positioning for tips on breakthrough advertising.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
The Silicon Valley entrepreneurial community considers Ben Horowitz an icon of success. This book is based on Horowitz’s popular blog and provides strategies for starting and running a business. He shares some of his best advice on how to fire employees (even friends) and deal with competitors, as well as how to develop a CEO mindset.
Robert Cialdini is most often mentioned as the master of persuasion and influence. Cialdini provides an understanding of the psychology behind persuasion and marketing by clarifying the six principles of persuasion the way a logical approach should be used.
Good to Great
Ever wonder why some businesses succeed and others don’t? It is Jim Collins’ book, Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, that answers this question. Good to Great was originally published in 2001, but its main lesson has remained relevant over time – discipline. The insights offered by the author are still relevant, even if some of the companies listed weren’t able to sustain greatness.
Built to Last
Building to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras is the result of six years of research into what makes visionary companies successful. An analysis of 18 established and growing companies (‘visionaries’) was carried out, and the authors compared these firms to a counterpart in their niche or industry. We bet you didn’t know that the term “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” was first used by Jim Collins in Built to Last.
Best business books for beginners
New graduates, new managers, or new entrepreneurs will find the books on the following list helpful. Many of these lessons are timeless, so they belong on the list.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition remains true today as it did 30 years ago. This might seem like a self-help book, but every successful entrepreneur has self-discipline and good habits at the core of their success. This book is available on Amazon and on the Franklin Covey website for those who want to acquire the habits of highly effective people.
Getting Things Done
In 2001, David Allen published Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and started a productivity movement that changed the way we work. Staying relaxed and putting everything into a system are key principles that guide the 2015 reprint of Getting Things Done.
Effectiveness is different from efficiency. By challenging work culture norms and our assumptions, Timothy Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek is a compelling read. The book helps you build a lifestyle so you can get away from mind-numbing work and live the life you love. This updated 4-Hour Workweek includes 100 additional pages of case studies, tips, and templates by Tim Ferriss.
The New One Minute Manager
A parable of a young man searching for a good manager that still seems relevant as it did when first published in 1981, The New One Minute Manager tells the story of a young man searching for a good manager. This book, with fewer than 100 pages, is an exemplar of the idea that short management moments can yield big results.
Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is one of the few books that qualify as classics. 1937 was the first year of publication. Despite some doubts about Hill’s abilities, this book is frequently listed as one of the best business books for beginners. You can sometimes find the book for free online, but it can also be found on Amazon.
Made to Stick
Which messages spread and which don’t? A marketing message that doesn’t fly around the world in a viral wave stands out from one that falls flat. By Chip and Dan Heath, Made to Stick presents the anatomy of ideas that stick and explains how to make ideas more stick. You will become a better marketer by understanding viral content.
Laws of Marketing
A few things work and there are others that don’t, and I can’t find any rhyme or reason for this. There are 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing that you can utilize for breakthrough advertising in Al Ries and Jack Trout’s book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. The key ideas in this book, written in 2009, are to be first, be patient, be humble and not to get caught up in the specifics.
Having learned something in school or practicing it for many years does not make it true today. Managing your world properly starts with seeing it for what it is. Jason Fried’s book Rework illustrates that principle. Entrepreneur Jason Fried offers advice like stop glamorizing startups, hustles, and workaholic behavior. Instead, differentiate yourself by being simple. In this management book, one of the key messages is that not all pieces of advice are applicable to all situations. Stay focused on what you’re doing.
Dare to Lead
Lead with courage: Brave work. Conversations that can be challenging. The New York Times best seller Whole Hearts by Bréne Brown is for a good reason. Brene Brown has made authenticity and vulnerability a hallmark of today’s work environment. Through his research, personal stories, and practical advice, Brown utilizes vulnerability as a strength.
The Psychology of Selling
There are many different ways to sell something. A classic, however, is The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy. The sales process will be outlined in an easy manner and fantastic techniques will be discussed to improve your sales presentation and close more sales.
Best management books
Best Management Books
Success for successful individuals depends on inspiring action. Investing in employee engagement and encouraging a team’s best performance are two things great managers and leaders do. There are various management books on this list that provide powerful insights and new ideas on how to make powerful decisions.
Start With Why
Everyone is inspired by great leaders. It is much easier to communicate your why to others when you understand it. Your team won’t be able to manage your business effectively if you don’t have a burning desire for it. How great leaders motivate people to take action can be learned from Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action.
Blue Ocean Strategy
The book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, written by management specialist Irene S. Mauborgne and Chan Kim, came out in 2014. Blue Ocean Strategy updated its case studies and examples for the new, expanded edition. The book includes new content that looks at the key challenges and issues managers face when implementing blue ocean strategies.
You’re busy, but aren’t getting anything done? Greg Mckeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less should be on your reading list. Essentialism can be thought of as minimalism. A better life can be achieved by simplifying your belongings to what really matters. The less you do, the better you do it. Essentialism can be thought of as a productivity technique that focuses on finding out what is essential and removing everything else.
‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell is a book about how people make decisions without thinking about them. In general, Gladwell says that people choose one of two ways to decide: either a conscious approach or an unconscious approach, where their brains make a decision in a matter of seconds. Our hunches or instincts lead us to these conclusions. The focus of Malcolm Gladwell’s book is describing how these strategies develop and how they can be reliably utilized.
Leaders Eat Last
As a leader, you want to help people thrive and find meaning in their work, not just manage numbers. It seems that many managers have lost sight of this fundamental truth. Sinek explains for us where we’ve gone wrong and challenges us to take action by becoming real leaders who can make a positive difference.
Is it exhausting to react to problems all the time? It’s a must-read if you dare to stop the madness and prevent that which will rob you of your time and sanity. Upstream thinking is hindered by problems blindness, lack of ownership, and tunneling, according to Dan Heath.
Never Split the Difference
An important skill in management is the ability to resolve conflicts and negotiate. Christopher Voss, the top FBI negotiator, shares his insights into how to negotiate as if your life depended on it in Never Split the Difference. In this book, you’ll discover nine effective principles, counter-intuitive tactics, and strategies that you can use to increase your persuasiveness professionally and personally.
The Power of Habit
Does management require a skill or a talent? According to Charles Duhigg‘s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, this is a matter of habit. A new habit can be formed by understanding the characteristics of habits and understanding their influences. Individual habits aren’t the only factor. A company’s habits have to do with how they are implemented. Understanding the science and psychology of habits is a great way to understand social psychology.
Read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, to get a sense of your position on management. Despite its negative and positive reception, this book generated responses on all ends of the spectrum.
Most likely, you will create, develop, and sell products as a manager. The book Hooked: Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal is an excellent resource for managers who want to gain a deeper understanding of customer journeys. The advice in this book will help you to design for a lasting relationship with the user instead of designing one-off experiences.
Best Entrepreneur Books and Startup Books
Taking the leap toward entrepreneurship is what you decided to do. There’s no need to worry. To help entrepreneurs and new businesses get started, here are the best books to read. You will also receive assistance in building a business.
The Art of the Start 2.0
It is an unvarnished look at what startup founders should keep in mind when starting a business, written by legendary entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki. There are also sections on branding, recruiting, and fundraising in the book.
The E-Myth Revisited
In his updated version of his original groundbreaking book, Michael Gerber shares why most small businesses don’t succeed. Based on the E-myth, founders and co-founders assess the most common problems they face. Using the “why” process, Michael Gerber helps small business owners to share their passion and mission with their team members.
Zero to One
Thiel and Masters argue that monopolies may be the key to survival as more and more businesses emerge, in their book Zero to One: Notes on Start-Ups, or How to Build the Future. Startups should think for themselves instead of getting sucked into culture and movements, Thiel and Masters advise.
Escape From Cubicle Nation
You’re thinking of quitting your job? Pamela Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur will help you become a successful entrepreneur. The book covers topics such as determining whether you are ready to lead your own company, putting together a team of advisors, and breaking free from a corporate job.
The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan
Business Plan (StartUp Series) by Tim Berry demonstrates how to create a plan that grows with your business as you do. This book outlines how to establish and implement a plan that helps you gain total control, increase profits, raise capital, run successful businesses, and remain competitive.
A classic in the field of entrepreneurship, Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup describes how entrepreneurs create remarkable businesses through continuous innovation. Entrepreneurs can test their vision, adapt, and adjust their products or services using Lean Startup. It is more important than ever before for companies to innovate, a role that Eric Ries plays in establishing a successful, lean startup.
The $100 Startup
To start your own business, you do not need a lot of money. You’ll learn how to connect your skills and interests with what people want and how to analyze prices and positioning to make the most money by Chris Guillebeau in The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.
In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must have grit; perseverance in the face of rejections, difficulties, and obstacles. An essay by Angela Duckworth shows entrepreneurs that starting and building a successful business doesn’t require a genius.
Start Your Own Business
Entrepreneur Magazine’s editorial staff and Rieva Lesonsky have written the premier book for freelancers, The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need. You will find this book helpful if you are in your first three years of independence. Learn about everything from testing ideas to Facebook ads.
The Thank You Economy
Its like the B-side song, but it should have been more successful, of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Thank You Economy. Gary Vaynerchuk was less famous than everyone else in 2009 when this article was written. Thank You Economy is a customer-first strategy any entrepreneur can implement. Entrepreneurs need to read this book because it gives real-life, practical advice.
Entrepreneurs can use these books to get valuable advice on a business plan that can help them succeed.
Best books on how to run a small business
You can easily start your own company. Being disciplined and committed is essential to running it. List of the top small business books.
Built to Sell
Your dream is to work on your business and not in it, but how? John Warrillow shows you how to build a business that will survive without you in Built to Sell. As a parable, the book tells a story. Alex struggles to sell his advertising agency. The young entrepreneur turns to Ted, an old friend and entrepreneur, who helps him transform his company.
J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes
Business owners who are interested in understanding taxes should read J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2021: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line by Barbara Weltman. In the end, it is not just about how much revenue you generate, but how much of it you keep to turn into big profits.
Simple Numbers 2.0
Investing in you is more important than investing in the stock market. A Play by Play Analysis for Pure Growth by Greg Crabtree explains how to generate big profits with Simple Numbers 2.0. Greg Crabtree shares some advice in this book on how to use data in order to maximize return on investment.
Fix This Next
Michael Michalowicz says owners are facing their biggest problem because they do not know what it is. It lays out a simple model for identifying problem areas and helps you focus on the most critical things your company needs now.
Legal Forms for Starting and Running a Small Business
Its a great book that contains all the documents you’ll need to manage and run your small business: 65 Essential Agreements, Contracts, Leases, and Letters by Fred S. Steingold. Every document comes with step-by-step, plain-English instructions.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
A new book, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Don’t, by Robert T. Kiyosaki explains how the wealthy teach their children assets rather than debt, and how they build assets instead of debt. This book shares tips on the importance of financial literacy, which is a necessary skill for any owner.
By using the “pay yourself first” philosophy, Mike Michalowicz shows you how to make your business more profitable.
You shouldn’t be dragged down by negative people. This book will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to extraordinary results.
Best Business Biographies
Leadership inspires everyone. Our favorite and most used companies started as visions. We’ve selected the best biographics of all time. We aim to provide value with each of these books. You should spend time understanding how these people went on to become great leaders.
It is Barbara Corcoran and Bruce Littlefield’s shark tales that will inspire everyone to take action. Corcoran started her real estate business in New York after failing 22 jobs. A common-sense guide to using lemons as lemonade.
The Everything Store
Author Brad Stone tells the story of Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon in his book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Jeff Bezos launched his online bookstore in July of 1995. It wasn’t enough for him. Amazon is described in The Everything Store as he realises his vision to become the most customer-centric business in the world.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Elon Musk, the controversial entrepreneur, is the focus of this deep dive. More than forty hours of interviews provide the background to Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, written by Ashlee Vance.
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
Steve Jobs remains just as popular today as he was in the 1980s. Walter Isaacson offers a frank and unvarnished biography of Steve Jobs after conducting hundreds of interviews with friends, family members, and associates.
Empire State of Mind
A biography of Jay Z that explains how he started out as a rapper before becoming a business superstar. From street corner to corner office: Jay Z’s journey from street corner to corner office is told in Empire State of Mind by Zack O’Malley Greenburg from the perspective of his classmates, friends, and the people who encouraged him to pursue music.
Business the Bill Gates Way
Despite what you may believe, a good biography of Bill Gates is hard to come by. Des Dearlove’s Business the Bill Gates Way: 10 Secrets of the World’s Richest Business Leader was chosen as our book of choice. The strategies presented here are applicable to any career and the lessons are universal.
Nike has become one of the most iconic brands in the world today. How did that happen? Nike’s founder, Phil Knight, explains how he grew the company from a $50 loan from his father to its current size by telling the story of how he built a shoe empire using that money.
Warren Buffett on Business
Success with common sense is synonymous with the name Warren Buffett. A handbook on managing and operating a business based on the principles of Warren Buffett. Entrepreneur Warren Buffett prior to becoming a billionaire. Throughout the course, you will learn about how Buffett’s values and personality influence corporate governance. These include patience, perseverance, admitting mistakes, value investing, and humor.
Losing My Virginity
This book is about how Richard Branson made a fortune by doing business his way–and how he survived, had fun and survived. A book in which the author outlines his traits as a daring, adventurous, go-with-the-flow entrepreneur and what lessons you can apply to your own business.
Grinding it Out
A business can be started at any age. It is the personal story of the man behind McDonald’s meteoric growth telling the story of how Ray Kroc grinded it out and made it a success.
Our list is now complete. Bill Gates called John Brooks’ Business Adventures the best business book ever. If we had more room, we would have included other classics.
How Do You Choose a Business Book?
It is not always the factors you think will influence whether a book is good or not. There are more to successful people than big-name authors and books about famous people. Small business owners and startup entrepreneurs are not always provided with enough practical advice in such books. Here are some suggestions:
The business book category is broad, covering everything from Wall Street finance to marketing techniques, to accounts of famous entrepreneurs. Select the type of book that best suits your needs.
Skills gaps – You don’t have to be an expert at everything. But you need to have a basic understanding of leadership, marketing, finance, and management. Find and fill the gaps in your knowledge.
What inspires you? I love books because they inspire and motivate me in so many ways.
What’s The Solution If You Don’t Have Time To Read Business Books?
If you are an entrepreneur, you may be very busy and don’t have time to read business books. So what can you do?
I recently came across a product called MentorBox which makes a bold claim to help businessmen to read many books in a short period of time.
MentorBox subscriptions help to spread knowledge and information in a more efficient and effective way than reading whole books.
With book summaries from authors, they claim you can read twice as many books in half the time for just $7 a month.
You learn more about a book by reading a book summary written by its author. I think it’s a great idea. You hear directly from the authors and you get straight to the point.
Along with the “cheat sheet” with the book’s main ideas, you will also receive exercises to aid in memorizing the material and interviews with the authors.
You can pick through multiple nonfiction books in one month by watching video summaries and listening to audio summaries of them.
However, I suspect it is just a scam. So I did thorough research and wrote a detailed review of MentorBox. You may check out my MentorBox review here if you want to learn more.