7 Must-Read Books For Every Business Owner
Reading is part of the things that make a successful entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, finding the right and helpful books to read is a key requirement for success, and that is why I have compiled in this post some 7 seven books which is a must for you to read. If you really dream of going far in business, it is my believe that these books will contribute immensely in providing information, education and instructions you need to make your business dreams happen. You will be doing yourself a great favor by reading the books, really. I have also tried to add short summaries of each of the great books for your brief overview. This is to help you have an idea of the messages contained in the books. Enjoy!
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Drives Us. In this book, the author outlines reasons and importance of motivating employees. He talked how business owners can maintain good and happy employees. Below is a summary:
Based on studies done at MIT and other universities, higher pay and bonuses resulted in better performance ONLY if the task consisted of basic, mechanical skills. It worked for problems with a defined set of steps and a single answer. If the task involved cognitive skills, decision-making, creativity, or higher-order thinking, higher pay resulted in lower performance. As a supervisor, you should pay employees enough that they are not focused on meeting basic needs and feel that they are being paid fairly. If you don’t pay people enough, they won’t be motivated. Pink suggests that you should pay enough “to take the issue of money off the table.” To motivate employees who work beyond basic tasks, Pink argues that supporting employees in the following three areas will result in increased performance and satisfaction:
Autonomy — Our desire to be self-directed. It increases engagement over compliance.
Mastery — The urge to get better skills.
Purpose — The desire to do something that has meaning and is important. Businesses that only focus on profits without valuing purpose will end up with poor customer service and unhappy employees.”
- Think And Grow Rich (1937): this book talks about the power of thoughts and the brain. It elaborates on the state of mind of men. Here is a little summary”
“Think And Grow Rich is a state of mind. It exploits the power of thought to manifest strong desires and a definite purpose into reality. Turning your all-consuming obsession (definite purpose) into a reality is not an easy task. However, if the desire is strong and you’re willing to raise the stakes, you will win. The author projects the following formula:
Desire + Ideas + Plans + Massive Action = Success
Start with your goal. What do you really want? A better job? To succeed in your current career? To work for a business leader who inspires you? To achieve that goal, shifting your thinking from failure consciousness to success consciousness is the key. For this to happen, the question ‘how do I get a job?’ needs to change into ‘what can I give to a job?’, and ‘how do I get more dollars per hour?’ into ‘how do I give more energy, desire, focus?’ To get from where you are to where you want to be, the author highlights:
“Never quit. Never give up. Focus. Seek help. Make new connections. Take different approaches. Seek additional resources to help you improve your job search skills. Persist and find people who can help you to achieve your goals.”
- The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber: The E-Myth Revisited explains why 80% of businesses especially small businesses fail in their early years of establishment. It explains tips on how to make businesses survive and scale through time. Below is a summary;
“Another shockingly old book. Originally published as “The E Myth” in 1986 (that’s 30 years ago, btw), Michael Gerber revised and updated the book in 1995. The E-Myth Revisited has long sold over a million copies. You might know the common statistic that 80% of new businesses/startups fail and it’s exactly this phenomenon that Gerber digs into. He explains how running a business and getting technical work done are two different things and shows you how you can set up a company that depends much more on systems, than on people, and can basically be handed over to anyone with the right instructions.
Here are 3 lessons that’ll help your business survive adolescence:
Having great technical skills does not mean you know how to run a business.
Imagine your business as a nationwide franchise from day one, then build the first store.
The franchise approach makes sure you build a business based on systems, not people.
Read Also: 25 Ways to Brand Your Business
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: this book is based on the story of a young man, who beyond all odds, struggled to make an edge. This is a short summary from Bookbrowse:
“Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years – as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues – Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted. Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu: in this book, Sun Tzu gave some military strategies that surprisingly remains relevant till today . The strategies are not just meant for the battlefield, but also for businesses. He makes several recommendations, like being confidential about your plans, building a team etc. Below is a short summary.
“Sun Tzu recommends keeping your plans secret. If your enemy (i.e., your competitor) knows what you’re doing before you’ve actually done it, you’ll be easier to defeat. What might that mean for your business? You might not want to broadcast a game-changing new product or service until you’re ready to roll it out. Sun Tzu also recommends building a team full of talented people and training and treating them well – advice you can apply to your small business right now.” – Justin Reynolds.
- The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker: this book talks mainly about managerial techniques. Peter gives tips on how to successfully thrive as a leader
“To thrive as a leader, executives need to figure out how to get the right things done. For Drucker, effective executives have great time management skills. They’re also able to work productively while delegating tasks to the best people. Effective executives prioritize and make the right decisions at the right times. If that doesn’t sound like your managerial style, don’t sweat it—Drucker says effectiveness can be learned.”- Justin Reynolds
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Canegie: if you want to get someone to like you, then you need to read this book. It talks about winning friends over and having an influence of them . It also talks about the effects of criticizing. Below is a part Justin’s summary of the book
“Once a successful salesman, Carnegie eventually left his sales career and took up public speaking, and the advice from his seminars was compiled into this book. Read it and learn how to get people to like you, how to convince others that your reasoning is the right way of looking at an issue, and how to change folks without them hating you for it. One important takeaway from the book? If you want to change someone, avoid criticizing them. Criticism is often met with force; criticize someone and they’re likely to think worse of you and listen to you less.”
I hope that by now, you have decided already which of the books you would love to read first, if you haven’t, then make a choice now.
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