Table of contents
To start and grow a healthy, thriving small business, you need to make books a regular part of your diet. Here are 10 of the best business books that should be on every entrepreneur’s reading list:
1. Good to Great, by Jim Collins
Why does one company endure while another one fails? What things can you infuse into your company’s ethos from day one that will help you build a lasting business? Jim Collins and his research team set off to find out. Over five years, they studied 28 companies, pouring over data and interviews to identify the key determinants of success and failure.
2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
With over 25 million copies sold in 40 languages, this business book is a classic. Author Stephen R. Covey outlines a habit-based approach for finding and sticking to your “true north” in order to attain your goals.
3. The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss
Overwhelmed? Overworked? Timothy Ferriss’ mega-popular book, which spent more than four years on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list, could help. In it, he describes “lifestyle design” hacks and reframes to help you eliminate 50 percent of your work, make more money, and live the life you want.
4. The Essays of Warren Buffett, by Warren Buffett
One of modern history’s most successful investors, Warren Buffett provides his take on everything from basic business principles to aligning your interests with those of your investors.
5. The Four Steps to the Epiphany, by Steve Blank
This is one of the most influential business books in Silicon Valley. Industry leaders praise the book as an excellent framework to help entrepreneurs achieve “product/market fit.” It lays out a series of practical exercises to make sure you’re not making any faulty assumptions (that could later turn costly) and is packed with concrete examples of how to organize your sales and marketing strategies to ensure success.
6. The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen
This must-read is widely regarded as one of the most valuable business books of our time. Luminaries from Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos cite Clayton M. Christensen’s work as instrumental in shaping how they think about innovation and managing their companies.
7. Tribes, by Seth Godin
Marketing guru Seth Godin dives into why community is so important to a brand’s success. It’s human nature to organize around “tribes” (we’ve done it since the beginning of time). This book explains how to find opportunities to cultivate that sense of community around your business.
8. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
One of the first “self-help” books (and one of the best-selling books of all time), Think and Grow Rich was published during the Great Depression and still endures. Napoleon Hill interviewed “more than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known” (including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison) to suss out the universal building blocks required to amass a fortune. Then he lays out a six-step guide to applying those principles to your own life.
9. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport
A particularly relevant read given today’s incessant flurry of stimuli (email, social media, push notifications), this business book presents four “rules” for cultivating a deep work ethic.
10. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
To succeed in business, you need to know how to deal with people. This classic is a playbook for how to make people like you and then win them over to your way of thinking without causing resentment.