I totally admit to having a ton of business books – with 90% of them in the “still have to read” category. As much as I love learning the information in them, I honestly just get bored and eventually decide I'd rather pick up the latest true crime book I've received in my last Amazon shipment.
However, there are a few books surrounding business topics that I've found to actually be gripping – even if merely from concept rather than great storytelling.
Below are five books I read that had a profound impact on my career as an entrepreneur. I've read every book on this list no less than twice. ;-)
My Business Top Five
by Michael Gerber
Hands down, the E-Myth Revisited book has been the single most influential book that I've read in my business career. Suggested by my partner in
While the first chapter was a bit hard to get through, once the book hits its groove, it becomes not only an explanation of the above, but also a manual for how to achieve it (making your business about selling your knowledge and not your time.)
by Seth Godin
Honestly, The Dip is based on a common sense principle. Deciding what you're willing to do and when you need to continue to forge on or when you need to quit, before the need to make that decision arises.
The book explains that quitting isn't a failure (in fact, it shows you why quitting can sometimes be the smart thing to do)… often the failure is in the reason behind the quitting – quitting because it got tough.) If your decision to quit (or keep going!) is based on facts laden with emotion, you may not be making a “good” decision. A book I wish I'd read at the beginning of my career.
Think Big and Kick Ass
by Donald Trump
First let me say that I'm not neccessarily a “Trump fan girl.” I have two books in my 100+ business books that were written by Donald Trump. This was the first one I'd ever bought. I certainly don't agree with everything the guy does and he definitely has an ego bigger than most. But this book had an impact on me.
It focuses on the various challenges Trump has faced in his “up and down” career and how he reacted to them. It felt candid. Three of the chapters – “Creating Luck,” “Revenge” and “Never Take Your Eye Off the Ball” were especially mindset changing or mindset reinforcing for me.
The Wal-Mart Effect
No matter what you may think of Wal-Mart as a corporation (good, bad… bully, victim) this book (whether you consider the “slant” biased or not) contained various lessons you could learn from the actions (or inactions) of one of the worlds most successful corporations.
It's no secret I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart. That said, for me the book served as both an education and a reminder of what happens when a company loses sight of its original goals and how slowly something with good intentions can morph as time goes by and goals evolve. It also reminds me how much collateral damage goals based solely on “more profit” can create.
100 Ways to Motivate Others
by Steven Chandler
I bought this book on a whim at an airport. I liked that the entire book is broken into bite sized chunks. Every “way” is its own mini-chapter. And I've got about half of those “ear marked” for quick reference.
I really identified with and appreciated #31 (stop cuddling up) and have made a conscious effort to always keep #40 (lead with language) in my mind when addressing problems internally. #11 (lead from the front) is one I am constantly pushing myself to get closer to. #32 (do the worst first) is one I've long struggled with as an admitted fan of procrastination, but I know the core principle is the ideal I want to reach.
Win Them All!
I think it's so imperative for an entrepreneur to read all these books that I'll be giving the set of five of them away in the inaugural edition of my newsletter – which will be sent out on June 6th, 2011. The winner will be chosen at random from the subscriber list.
All you have to do to enter is be subscribed to my newsletter before June 1st, 2011 and be a subscriber when the first edition comes out (I will be announcing the winner in the newsletter, along with details on claiming your prize!) So sign up for the newsletter now! Good luck!