In my experience, everyone has an operating system that guides how they do business and how they live. There are specifics on which you should concentrate if you want to succeed in business.
So that I can compare notes with other professionals and test out new approaches, I have done extensive research in this area. As a result, I’ve spent exactly one month, fifteen days, nine hours, and forty-three minutes listening to audiobooks.
In this blog, I’ll share my thoughts on 50 books that have been instrumental to me as a businessperson at various points in my life.
1. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits – Verne Harnish
This book is a classic; you’ve probably heard of it. The Rockefeller Habits provides a framework for facilitating open and honest dialogue within an organisation.
Everyone should be aware of the overall vision, the overarching strategy, and how they fit into the bigger picture. The habits rest on three foundational pillars:
It’s a great read that delves deeply into doing things right, creating a positive company culture, and finding talented new employees.
2. Shut Up and Listen! – Tilman Fertitta
Shut Up and Listen! has been described as a “leadership road map” by some. The author, Tilman Fertitta, is responsible for his hospitality brands’ meteoric rise. He has been dubbed “the world’s wealthiest restauranteur.”
While business may be booming right now, the author cautions readers not to relax their guard. There will always be roadblocks to your success, so you must remain vigilant and prepared.
3. The Toilet Paper Entrepeneur – Mike Michalowicz
The advice in this book is a “get real” approach to business.
It covers a wide range of topics, such as why writing a business plan is pointless, what three pieces of paper are essential for starting, running, and expanding a business, and how to stop procrastinating.
4. Clockwork – Mike Michalowicz
Mike Michalowicz provides in-depth instructions for making a business self-sufficient. It centres on improving productivity so that you can devote more time to the things that really matter to you as a business owner.
You should eventually be able to take a month off and leave your business to run itself. In August of 2022, I gave it a try, and it was exactly what I needed.
5. Hyper Sales Growth – Jack Daly
With over 30 years in the industry, Jack Daly is a true expert in sales. In this book, he discusses how to set yourself apart from the competition by developing a successful company culture, sales management, and sales processes.
6. Fanatical Prospecting – Jeb Blount
For those interested in learning more about the why and how of sales prospecting, Fanatical Prospecting is an excellent resource.
A lack of leads in the sales pipeline is a common cause of sales failure. This is usually the result of infrequent prospecting efforts. Using examples from actual situations, Jeb Blount explains his method.
7. The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone
Goals and actions are stressed throughout Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule. The idea is, set goals that are ten times more ambitious than you believe you are capable of achieving, and then perform actions that are ten times more strenuous than you believe are required.
One of the biggest mistakes people can make is not aiming high enough. It’s common to aim too low, fail to appreciate just how much work is involved in becoming a market leader, devote insufficient resources to the cause, and fail to account for unforeseen challenges.
8. How To Be a Productivity Ninja – Graham Allcott
I don’t think I need to tell you that maintaining productivity is difficult, what with the general decline in people’s ability to focus and the numerous distractions that come with working from home.
This book acknowledges that conventional methods of handling one’s time are inadequate in the modern world, especially with never-ending to-do lists.
To put things in perspective, reading this book has been a phenomenal experience for me. Keeping my cool and working more efficiently has helped me immensely.
9. This is Marketing – Seth Godin
Since my business focuses on marketing, I naturally speak extensively on the topic.
As the title suggests, Seth Godin’s book is all about getting people to notice your company.
He discusses the importance of trust, how to position yourself and your company, how to inspire others, and why traditional methods are ineffective today.
10. The 5AM Club – Robin Sharma
This book has been called “life-changing” by many, and I agree. The title of this book gives away the main theme, which is that getting up early can have profound effects on your productivity and mood.
If you want to learn how successful businesspeople begin their days, how to awaken with a sense of purpose, and how to make rising early a breeze, then this book is for you.
11. Traction – Gino Wickman
As a business owner, this book has profoundly influenced my outlook on life, leadership and business practise.
The concept is that everybody, regardless of position, uses an operating system. There is no one right way to do even the most basic of tasks, such as preparing for a meeting or taking notes
I’m not exaggerating when I say this book substantially impacted the way I organise my business and get work done. This book inspired me to create my own operating system.
12. Key Person of Influence – Daniel Priestley
Key Person of Influence is a term coined by Daniel Priestly to describe an individual who possesses significant sway in a particular industry and, as a result, is sought out by numerous potential clients/customers.
There are, according to Daniel Priestly’s method, “5Ps” that one must have in order to function as a Key Person of Influence. They are:
13. The 1-Page Marketing Plan – Allan Dib
As I’ve said before, marketing is my area of expertise, and as my company specialises in it, I know first-hand how crucial it is to the success of any business.
One page, divided into nine squares, is all you need to whip up a simple and effective marketing strategy with the help of this book. It’s an excellent strategy for boosting marketing efforts and making a noticeable difference.
14. Smarter Faster Better – Charles Duhigg
“Smarter, Faster, Better” is organised around eight central ideas, including motivation, goal-setting, focus, and decision-making.
Neuroscience discoveries, behavioural economic insights, and the wisdom of seasoned business leaders, airline pilots, and Broadway lyricists are all covered.
All of this data emphasises the various perspectives and lifestyle choices made by individuals. The book’s objective is to show us how to achieve our goals with less stress so that we can become smarter, faster, and better at everything we do.
15. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill investigated the affluent minds of more than 500 individuals to learn their secrets to success.
A 25-year devotee to his research, he now argues that anyone can reach their goals, make positive life changes, and become a member of the rich by following and mastering 13 simple steps.
Reading this book is a terrific way to get inside the head of a man who has dedicated his life to learning from and interviewing the wealthiest people in history. This will give you some insight into their journey to success and the steps you can take to replicate it.
16. Building a Storybrand – Donald Miller
This book is a fantastic resource for learning how to make using your product or service an exciting journey for your customers.
The book delves into the seven steps to effective storytelling and how to craft a clear message to captivate audiences and motivate them to take action.
One of the things I took away from the book was the importance of painting a picture for the customer of what they can expect to gain from buying your product or service.
17. Finding My Virginity – Richard Branson
To switch up my reading, I occasionally include a biography or autobiography, especially when the person is as accomplished as Sir Richard Branson. He broke records while building 12 companies worth billions of dollars, and he details the process in this book.
You’ll get some fascinating details about Sir Richard Branson’s life and career from this book. It’s inspiring to learn more about how far he went, how many rules he broke, and how committed he was to his vision as a business owner.
He had to start somewhere, and at some point, he was where you and I are now or hope to be in our own entrepreneurial journeys.
18. 24 Assets – Daniel Priestly
Some businesses, as we all know, experience meteoric growth. They have the ability to effortlessly recruit top-tier employees, win over consumers, and develop market-leading offerings. These businesses have the potential to stand out and expand rapidly.
Most businesses, however, lack such expertise. Despite their best efforts, many people’s hopes, plans, and endeavours ultimately fail.
This book is a fantastic resource for learning about a proven strategy for developing a successful enterprise. The goal is to make your company more robust and influential.
19. Built to Sell – John Warrillow
This book, like Clockwork, explores the common pitfall of entrepreneurs who create companies that are overly dependent on their leadership.
A fictional business owner named Alex seeks advice from Ted, a long-time family friend and successful entrepreneur.
This is a fantastic read that highlights the significance of ensuring your business can function without you present at all times.
20. Content Machine – Dan Norris
In this age, content is king. Have you heard that expression a million times already? That’s because it’s true! This book details an approach to content marketing that can be used to help build a 7-figure business.
It’s easy for me to tell you that content marketing is essential to the success of your company, but this book shows you in concrete terms just how much of a difference it can make.
21. Money – Rob Moore
Business success almost always hinges on financial stability. You, as the business owner, are financially liable for your business, your employees, and yourself.
For those who want to learn the ins and outs of the money game and achieve true financial independence, this book is for you.
22. Bookkeeping – Greg Shields
Hiring an internal bookkeeper was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made and I highly recommend it.
But this book is a fantastic resource for learning the basics of bookkeeping and getting a feel for the terminology commonly used in the field.
23. The Rise and Fall…and Rise Again – Gerald Ratner
Gerald Ratner was a renowned jeweller and one of the most successful retailers of his era, with a career spanning over 25 years. His life story and adventures are documented in this book.
24. Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
Within this book, you’ll find the wisdom Tony Hsieh has gained from his experiences in business and in life.
This quick read demonstrates how a company with a unique culture can serve as a powerful role model for success.
25. Management in 10 Words – Terry Leahy
The CEO of Tesco for 14 years was Sir Terry Leahy. He is now one of the most respected business leaders in the world thanks to the changes he made to the company and his no-nonsense management style.
In this book, he draws on his experience to outline the ten most important characteristics of successful managers.
This book is excellent and I think it would be helpful for any business owner or manager to read.
26. Predictable Success – Les McKeown
Every business owner dreams of surefire success, but few ever experience it. If you’re heading in the right direction, you have a much better shot at it.
This excellent book walks you through a simple procedure that can help you lead your company to consistent success.
27. Execution – Lawrence Bossidy & Ram Charan
Due to the rapid evolution of the business world, traditional rules no longer apply. This book delves into how to adapt to the shift and what essentials your business should have in place.
28. Top of Mind – John Hall
As the title of this book implies, there is usually one company that springs to mind when discussing a particular market.
For example, if you’re thinking about supermarkets, you might envision shops like Tesco, Asda, Aldi, etc. But the question is, how do businesses get there? How do they become the first ones people call?
This book explores the business benefits that can be reaped from gaining and maintaining the attention of your target audience.
29. Unshakeable – Tony Robbins & Peter Mallouk
This book is a collaboration between Tony Robbnis and Peter Mallouk, and it reveals the secrets to becoming “unshakeable.”
Achieving financial security and a calm state of mind is the focus of this book, which details steps to take and fundamentals to remember.
30. Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holiday
Brands like Instagram and Snapchat were relatively unknown ten years ago, but they are now worth billions of dollars. But consider this: have you ever seen an advertisement for those brands? No!
This book delves into the topic of growth hacking. It focuses on what it is, how it can help businesses, and how this method is replacing old ones.
31. The Advertising Effect – Adam Ferrier & Jennifer Fleming
Advertising is a great tool for persuasion and for providing genuine information about your company, product, or service to your target market.
In this book, Adam Ferrier discusses the methods used by some of the world’s most recognisable brands in their advertising campaigns.
32. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
To discover what your target market truly desires, read The Lean Startup.
It’s common for people to believe that their first idea is always the best one, and to put off making adjustments until it’s too late.
Because of the rapid evolution of consumer tastes, it is crucial that your company adapt as quickly as possible.
33. The Thank You Economy – Gary Vaynerchuk
Maintaining positive customer relations is crucial to the success of any business, as it increases the likelihood that customers will return.
In this book, Gary Vaynerchuk delves deep into what makes for a successful customer-business relationship.
34. The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz
It’s inevitable for businesspeople to think on a big scale; some might even say that we do so too quickly, but that’s what makes the magic happen. You will be motivated to make positive changes in your life after reading this book.
You have the power to alter your life’s trajectory through expansive thinking, regardless of whether you are currently running a business, contemplating doing so, or are content in your current position at work.
35. The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss
Timothy Ferris’ income increased from $40,000 per year working 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month working only four hours per week.
This book lays out the plan for doing so, complete with examples and helpful advice from his own experience as well as that of others.
36. Startup CEO – Matt Blumberg
Whether you’re a start-up CEO or the first CEO of a huge company, you’ll benefit greatly from reading this book.
There is no rulebook to follow when you’re the CEO. Since this is my first time this role, I find myself constantly researching, learning and reading up on new strategies for running my business.
Being the best CEO you can be is a goal you can work toward with the help of this book, which provides engaging and informative advice on how to achieve that goal.
37. Do More Faster – David G. Cohen & Brad Feld
This is the book to read if you want to know how to start a business. It teaches you how to do more in less time by emphasising staying on track, assembling a strong team, and attracting investors.
38. Epic Content Marketing – Joe Pulizzi
Another content marketing winner, this book outlines a step-by-step strategy for creating compelling content that entices customers. It also includes social media and SEO best practices.
39. Work Rules – Laszlo Bock
People and company culture are crucial to the success of any organisation. Since most of our waking hours are spent working, it’s important that our work environment be enjoyable and rewarding.
Laszlo Bock, formerly Google’s head of People, has been hailed as a visionary for the innovative ideas and insights he has brought to the company in terms of employee morale and productivity.
In this book, he offers valuable advice on how to treat employees in order to achieve business success.
Employee satisfaction is critical, especially now that recruitment is a candidates’ market. The happier my employees are, the more productive they will be and the better the results we will achieve together.
40. A Theory of Everything – Ken Wilber
Body, mind, soul, and spirit are all central to Ken Wilber’s intricate theories.
He then uses these concepts to solve practical issues, like those encountered in business.
41. The Everything Store – Brad Stone
Did you know that Amazon began by sending books through the post? This, however, was too small for Jeff Bezos.
This book follows Bezos on his journey to make Amazon the “everything store,” offering limitless options in a convenient way.
He took some risky chances but transformed online shopping forever. This is an amazing story about determination, motivation, and transformation.
42. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
It’s easy to fall into a mental rut, especially when the last few years of business have been so different from what we’re used to, with lockdown and the inability to speak to people in person.
Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People focuses on conversational style and how to make the most of life.
He concentrates on becoming a better speaker, which allows you to win new clients and increase your popularity, among other things. This book has the potential to transform your relationships and improve all of your interactions.
43. The New Rules of Marketing and PR – David Meerman Scott
There are always new trends in marketing and PR to take advantage of, and your company should not fall behind. This book is excellent for learning about current trends and observing successful case studies.
44. Giant Steps – Tony Robbins
This book is designed to serve as daily encouragement, offering small actions to help take giant steps with your quality of life over time.
As a business owner, I know all too well how easy it is to let my mind wander; therefore, having a daily page of simple things I can do to improve myself is extremely helpful.
45. Spiral Dynamics Integral – Don Edward Beck
If you’re a manager, business owner, strategist, or leader with an eye on the future and a desire to implement change, this book is for you. The goal is for people to stop clashing and start communicating to one another instead.
No matter what level position you’re in or what kind of personal life you lead, conflicts will arise. The secret, however, lies in knowing how to deal with it, and that is exactly what this book provides.
46. Simple. SEO for Small Businesses – Jonathan S. Richter
No matter how big or small a company is, SEO is essential. As a marketer, I am fortunate to be aware of this, but all too often, it is overlooked, which can have serious consequences for a company’s reach, success, and more.
This book is a great resource for those new to SEO, as it explains everything in clear detail.
47. Scrum – Jeff Sutherland
Scrum has revolutionised project management and is now widely adopted by businesses of all sizes.
Scrum’s co-creator, Jeff Sutherland, offers an in-depth explanation of the methodology and how it can work for everyone.
48. Zero to One – Peter Thiel & Blake Masters
This book offers a fresh perspective on the importance of creativity in shaping the future. Why the world has progressed to its current state is because people are constantly coming up with new ideas.
However, this is a result of creative thinking outside the norm. If you want to stand out from the crowd as a business leader and think for yourself, this is the book for you.
49. You’re Only as Good As Your Next One – Mike Medavoy & Josh Young
As someone whose professional life began in the film industry and whose interest in the medium has never waned, this book piqued my interest right away.
Mike Medavoy is a very well-known name in Hollywood, and his films have won multiple Academy Awards.
This memoir explores the business and interpersonal challenges of his time spent with major names in the industry. He provides an insightful look at cinema’s history, present, and potential future.
50. The Personal MBA Masterclass – Josh Kaufman
Investing in an MBA is a significant financial commitment and it’s tough to know whether it’s worth it.
The purpose of Josh Kaufman’s book is to teach people the fundamentals of running a successful business so that they can become more productive in their ventures.
This is a fantastic way to further your business education without breaking the bank.
Those are all fifty books I think would significantly improve your business strategy and outlook. I really hope you’ve found this helpful and that you get a chance to read at least a few of these fantastic books.
Again, thank you for reading this chapter of the Diary of an Entrepreneur. I must stress, I’m not trying to teach you anything. I’m just sharing my journey, and if it motivates you, then great – job done.
If you want to hear more about my entrepreneurial journey, check out the Diary of an Entrepreneur podcast on all available platforms – I talk all things business in terms of my OWN journey and experience. It’s not one to miss!
If you’d like to chat more business, feel free to get in touch with me here or you can email me directly at email@example.com.