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15 brilliant books to add to your small business bookshelf
Whether you’ve been a small business owner for a decade or you’re considering starting a business, you can never have enough information to help you through the ups and downs of being your own boss. That’s why we’ve created a list of 15 popular business-related books—some general, some money-related and some geared especially toward female entrepreneurs—that are worth adding to your small business bookshelf.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins—What are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? This book provides valuable insights into leadership, strategy and building a successful organization.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth—To go into business for yourself is to experience ups and downs all along the journey. It takes a combination of passion and long-term perseverance, or “grit,” to drive success. This book shows how grit—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.
Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need by the staff of Entrepreneur Media—This practical and timely guide from the staff of Entrepreneur magazine and Entrepreneur.com covers how to plan, market and maximize profits during your first three years in business.
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss—Ready to live more and work less? This book challenges traditional notions of work and productivity, offering strategies for increasing efficiency, automating processes and achieving a better work-life balance.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber—A business classic, this book explores the common myths and misconceptions about starting and running a small business. It offers insights into the importance of systems, processes and the role of the entrepreneur.
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin—A cult classic, this book focuses on the importance of standing out in a crowded marketplace. It encourages businesses to be remarkable, unique and provide exceptional value to their customers.
She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur by Carrie Green—The founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association offers valuable guidance to help you get clear on your business vision, create your brand, manage your time and focus, and move past fear and doubt.
Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, or Start Over in Your Career by Carla A. Harris—Invaluable for new entrepreneurs or anyone contemplating a career change, this book gives readers the tools they need to get unstuck, redirect momentum, position themselves, and get started managing their career or business.
The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki—This book provides guidance for entrepreneurs and small business owners on starting and launching a business. It covers topics such as pitching, raising capital and marketing.
The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman—The authors connected with the world’s leading psychologists to show how, by acting on our best instincts and daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of confidence.
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz—This book presents a cash management system for small businesses, emphasizing the importance of allocating profits first and managing expenses accordingly. It also provides actionable steps to improve financial health.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries—Inspired by lessons from “lean manufacturing,” this book provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups, in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg—An international bestseller, this book combines personal anecdotes, hard data and compelling research to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can—and how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek—This book emphasizes the importance of understanding and communicating the purpose behind your business—the “why.” It explores the concept of inspiring others by starting with the “why” rather than focusing solely on the “what” and “how.”
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk—Explore the power of personal branding and leveraging social media platforms to grow a business. This book provides strategies, case studies and practical tips for entrepreneurs in the digital age.
Remember, while reading books alone won’t guarantee your success, the right books can provide valuable insights, inspiration and strategies that you can apply to your small business—and perhaps even to your life outside the business. Here’s to happy and productive reading!