19 Insightful Books To Read For Business Owners
19 Insightful Books To Read For Business Owners
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
There are a lot of books on business, but how to decide which books to read or listen to? Attention is a valuable resource so we need to use it wisely. The answer depends on where you are in life and business. In any case, we want to make your life easier – so we compiled a list of 19 amazing books to read for business owners.
There is one common denominator between the books we’ve chosen, they focus on people and performance.
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1. Principles – Ray Dalio
Principles by Ray Dalio is a great look inside the mind of a man that was ahead of his time for integrating technology into the work environment to leverage its decision-making potential.
2. Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink
As a Navy SEAL, Jocko understands what life is like under some of the most extreme conditions. If a guy like him is telling you the only way through is to hike up your pants and take ownership over things that happen around you, that is worth listening to.
3. The Innovators – Walter Isaacson
Technology has taken humanity leaps and bounds forward into a world of unimaginable connectivity and power. How did this all evolve? Walter Isaacson takes a look at the story of how it came to exist the way it does today.
4. 12 Rules for Life – Jordan B Peterson
A framework for living a fulfilling life. This book by Jordan B Peterson has a ton of great wisdom and his ideas are well thought out. Originally he posted an answer to Quora that was the foundation for this book.
5. Start with Why – Simon Sinek
Everyone should get to a point where they fundamentally know why they are doing everything in life. Whether as an individual or business, Simon Sinek takes a dive into why it is important and how we learn to communicate with others.
6. The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins
Has there been a moment when you thought of something, then immediately started talking yourself out of it? Well, Mel Robbins book is all on how to interrupt that habit and start moving forward with the 5 Second Rule.
7. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Another book about the Why of life. Although this book takes a look at finding a personal legend, as an allegory that follows a man on a mission to fulfill his personal legend
8. #AskGaryVee – Gary Vaynerchuk
For many that know me, I respect Gary Vaynerchuck to the fullest and love diving into what he is thinking about. This is a great read, different from some of the others where he spends time diving into select questions that really helps the reader get a three-dimensional look at how he thinks as a businessman.
9. Tattoos on the Heart – Gregory Boyle
Never give up on people. That is the story of Greg Boyle, taking ex-gang members and giving them jobs to provides structure and a coach that is willing to start where they are.
10. Charlie Munger – The Complete Investor
Warren Buffett said Charlie Munger is the smartest man he knows. A great read to understand what makes Charlie, Warrens right hand and business partner.
11. Street Smarts – Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham
One book that is multidimensional for business builders is Street Smarts. These two men share their wisdom with people using tangible examples from the real world to illustrate their thoughts on building businesses.
12. The Obstacle Is the Way – Ryan Holiday
Another great book for understanding the challenges that business owners will inevitably be faced with. His approach is to lean into the challenges because that is the only way to get where you want to go.
13. Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy has many keen insights on human behavior and building brands. One of my favorite things about David Ogilvy is that he only works on products he would use himself.
14. The Firm – Duff McDonald
A look at the Mckinsey Company and its evolution. A great look into how this company positioned itself as a go-to company to solve the biggest problems businesses face.
15. The Snowball – Alice Schroeder
Warren Buffett is all about the long game. This book dives into his life story to see that a kid from Omaha, who had a curious nature amassed one of the most valuable companies in the world. Interesting to learn that Berkshire Hathaway started out as a textile company.
16. Wait (The Art and Science of Delay) – Frank Partnoy
This book looks at the art and science behind making decisions. Knowing when to delay an answer to gather more information is a big part of building a business.
17. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
In the modern business world, being lean is essential. This book dives into the ideas behind a Minimum Viable Product and iterative development to give businesses a chance to succeed.
18. Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
In this book, Gladwell takes a look at what it takes to get an idea to the tipping point. By understanding the way people are wired, and knowing which people to engage during the lifecycle of anything is a key to success.
19. Benjamin Franklin – Walter Isaacson
Another Walter Isaacson book – this biography of Benjamin Franklin is a great reminder that people are capable of anything. Going from a printer, to postmaster, to founding father and inventor. Ben Franklin is an inspiration that we are capable of more than what others might only think of us.
These books have taught the team and myself to take ownership over what is going around us in life – to seek things that provide real value, build honest and caring relationships, understand why we exist and how to navigate life.
Most importantly, to understand that not everything is known and understood – we are going to be wrong, imagination is what sparks innovation, and we should have courage.
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