You’ve probably already heard the stats on some of the world’s most successful CEOs and businesspeople and the amount of books they read. Bill Gates reportedly reads 50 books a year, Mark Cuban spends more than 3 hours a day with his head buried in a book, and Elon Musk famously responded to questions about how he learned to build rockets by saying, “I read books”.
Books are such a powerful and accessible resource for building knowledge, and every small business owner should prioritise reading time into their schedule. But we’re not going to just send you out into the wild with no idea where to start.
Instead, we’ve put together 10 of the best books that small business owners should have on their radar – have a look and happy reading!
1. The E-Myth Revisited
Author: Michael E Gerber
Why’s it so great? When you’re starting out with a small business venture, there seems to be an unlimited amount of information available out there. Unfortunately, it’s not all always going to be accurate. Author Michael Gerber unpacks the myths surrounding small businesses – in particular, that all small business owners are entrepreneurs, and that if someone has a technical understanding of what a business will offer, they will definitely see success.
As well as unpacking these myths, Gerber masterfully explains how to get around the associated problems, to create a fantastic foundational book every new small business owner should get their hands on.
Our favourite quote: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”
2. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
Author: Stephen R Covey
Why’s it so great? Although this book was first published in 1989, it still provides timeless insight that can really help you affect change in your own personal development. Filled with well-rounded advice on taking complete control of your life, this book has earned world-wide recognition and featured on book lists of many influential figures, including CEOs and presidents.
It doesn’t reference small business ownership directly, but the impact it can potentially make on your effectiveness will certainly be felt in your professional life.
Our favourite quote: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
3. Crush It!
Author: Gary Vaynerchuk
Why’s it so great? You’ve probably heard the saying that your passion is whatever keeps you up at night. But how do you turn that passion from simply a hobby into a profitable venture? Crush It! tackles both elements; discovering your calling and turning that into your day job.
This book is perfect for anyone who is itching to start a small business but isn’t sure what kind, wants to turn what they love to do into their source of income, or wants to see their current business begin to flourish.
Our favourite quote: “There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.”
4. Good to Great
Author: Jim Collins
Why’s it so great? A lot of books for small business owners focus on the beginning of the journey, but what about those who have already started out and want to learn how to do better? Good to Great talks about exactly what the title suggests; how a company can go from being good, to being great.
It’s a fantastic book for small business owners who aren’t satisfied with simply chugging along, but want to do something different, exciting, and beyond what their competitors are currently doing.
Our favourite quote: “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great … Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
5. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Author: Daniel H Pink
Why’s it so great? As a small business owner, knowing what motivates people is a pretty integral skill to have. In Drive, author Daniel H Pink suggests that everything you know about motivating people is wrong (a strong claim, we know). He talks about the traditional ‘carrot and stick’ method and how scientific research has proven this to be outdated and no longer effective.
It’s a great book to read if you want to better understand human behaviour, as well as motivating factors for both your employees and customers.
Our favourite quote: “The problem with making an extrinsic reward the only destination that matters is that some people will choose the quickest route there, even if it means taking the low road.”
6. How To Win Friends & Influence People
Author: Dale Carnegie
Why’s it so great? One of the most astounding things about this bestseller is that even though it was first published over 80 years ago, it’s still packed with plenty of relevant advice. It’s become a book synonymous with building business relationships and networking, and is a fantastic tool for small business owners.
A healthy self-esteem and ability to form strong relationships is definitely a part of being a successful business owner, and this book is perfect for that.
Our favourite quote: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
7. Getting Things Done
Author: David Allen
Why’s it so great? Productivity can seem like an elusive beast for small business owners, especially stress-free productivity like this book promises. But that’s exactly what David Allen delivers on, advice on how to improve efficiency by taking a more relaxed approach.
Great for any small business owners looking for a self-help book in productivity that is renowned for actually being effective.
Our favourite quote: “Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.”
8. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion & Purpose
Author: Tony Hsieh
Why’s it so great? Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has seen a lot of success in his professional life, from humble beginnings starting a worm farm through to operating a company that was eventually acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion. He shares those invaluable (and sometimes a little quirky) insights in his book Delivering Happiness.
This #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller should be on the bookcase of every small business owner wanting to increase their business acumen and take their company to new heights.
Our favourite quote: “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
Author: Gino Wickman
Why’s it so great? There are a lot of factors that small business owners can focus on to improve their business. In Traction, author Gino Wickman talks about how you can better lead your management team, in a way that’s simple, straightforward, and practical.
It’s a fantastic resource for learning how to better run your business in a way that’s stress-free and lucrative.
Our favourite quote: “Problems are like mushrooms: when it’s dark and rainy, they multiply. Under bright light, they diminish.”
10. Will it Fly?
Author: Pat Flynn
Why’s it so great? Maybe you’ve got a killer business idea that you’re sure is going to work. It can be tempting to get caught up in the excitement of it all and rush into the idea head first, but that doesn’t always end well. Will It Fly is all about helping you understand whether your business idea is going to fly or whether you should get back to the drawing board.
It’s the ideal book for anyone with a business idea they want to pursue.
Our favourite quote: “NASA has never launched a mission just because it ‘sounded like a good idea’, and neither should you.”
These books are jam-packed with fantastic insights, ideas and tips to transform your professional outlook. One of the best things you can do for your business, though, is making sure your online marketing is on point, with website content that gets your message across in the best possible way.
Shuttle Rocket’s team of small business web copywriters can get you on the right track; contact us today to find out more!