Highly Recommended Business Success Books

I generally read 1-2 books a month to continue to expand my education and to be able to better support my clients.  Over time, I have not only compiled a nice library, but have also donated many of these books to local charities.  There are a handful of books that are extremely useful and well written.  I’ve only included the best of the best business success book recommendations here.

Business Planning

E-Myth Mastery by Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber is one of my favorite business success authors.  He started 20-30 years ago with The E-Myth, and 20 years later re-wrote the book with The E-Myth Revisited to include all his learning from his workshops and coaching.  His basic premise is to help you get “on” your business rather than “in” your business.  That means leveraging products and building a powerful, efficient team (and not doing it all yourself, no matter how smart you are).  All new business startup entrepreneurs should read The E-Myth Revisited before getting started.  E-Myth Mastery is a compilation of all his years of experience AND a huge amount of online tools, checklists and documents you can use to get your business running very smoothly and efficiently.

Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson

I call this the entrepreneurial marketing bible.  He covers all topics of marketing and is spot on with his advice.  This book is a bit like getting a marketing MBA for small businesses.  It’s not your college marketing textbook written for a grad looking to work for a big company, it’s get down and dirty marketing copy, strategies and tactics to optimize your budget and get results.  A must have for any small business owner.

Sales

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

My dad was a truly inspirational man.  He was an electrical engineer and when my little brother died of a congenital heart disease, my dad dedicated his life to contributing to human cardiovascular health.  He started his own business and was highly successful for 20 plus years.  He gave me this book when I was 12 and he told me “If you can learn to sell, you can be successful in any business, as long as your heart is in the right place.”  I read this book and was amazed at how simple the principles of sales success were presented.  I then started my own babysitting and yard cleanup business and overcame my fear of rejection and learned to just go for it.  Og masterfully tells a story during biblical times and weaves in sales success secrets that will pay dividends for you for the rest of your life.

Classic Wealth Success

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This is the quintessential business and life success book.  I wish all books were written in this way.  What I mean by that is that Napoleon met with and studied the wealthiest men on the planet for 20 years before starting to write this book.  He was truly an expert and had dedicated his life to this effort.  Yes, the tone is a bit sexist and even shockingly non-cosmopolitan at times, but that was how it was in the 1930’s.  Fortunately we continue to evolve in viewing all people as equals and beautiful souls on this planet.  Back to the good parts of the book … There is one pure and powerful message woven throughout the book.  It’s up to you to find it, and accelerate your own trajectory to success.  He covers the main thoughts, behaviors and habits of highly successful people.  Enjoy.

Tax Strategies & Entities

Lower Your Taxes Big Time by Sandy Botkin

This is a very important subject for business owners.  We work hard for our money, and we want to keep as much as possible.  Sandy is highly qualified on the subject, having experience as a CPA and former IRS investigator.  When I went to college and took accounting, I seemed to doze off every class … I thought I would fall asleep every other page with a book on accounting and tax strategy!  Fortunately, Sandy is quite entertaining and the subject matter is very easy to understand.  I particularly liked how he explained how I could have my annual corporate meetings on tropical islands and write off the whole trip!  Highly recommended reading.

Leadership & Team

Bringing Out the Best in People by Alan Loy McGinnis

Good leadership is rare and very important for business success.  This author points out the paradox of helping others succeed, thereby enjoying your life more.  He says “Helping other people grow can become life’s greatest joy”.  I liked this book because it is clear, has specific examples and is easy to read.  You may end up reading it over and over as I have.  He also covers common pitfalls of poor leaders and how to avoid them.  Enjoy your life more, get to know your team and what motivates them.  Create a safe environment for learning and being human (which includes making mistakes and learning from them) where your whole team can communicate honestly with compassion and continuously move towards your commitment to excellence.

Efficiency, Automation & Streamlining Operations

The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Tim is truly crazy.  That’s what I like about him.  I read his book when it first came out in 2007 and still listen to his podcasts and interviews to this day.  Only a crazy man would think of a 4 hour workweek.  I highly advise that you not only read this book, but do every exercise he recommends.  In order to get quantum leap shifts in your results, profitability and quality of life, you will have to think and behave quite differently.  That’s what you’ll get out of reading this book.  See ya on the beach.

Customer Service

I have not yet read these books, but I have been advised by several business mentors to read books on Disney’s customer service and how they treat their employees.  One common success secret that all successful companies have is that they treat their customers and employees very well.  Click on the following link to see a few recommendations:

Disney University Customer Service Books