104 Best Business Books of All Time for Entrepreneurs, Creatives, and Professionals to Read in 2021 (and Profit From)


We researched the best business books of 2021 (strategy, entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, finance, biographies, productivity, recruiting).

104 Best Business Books of All Time for Entrepreneurs, Creatives, and Professionals to Read in 2020 (and Profit From)

As an entrepreneur or a blogger, you know that you should be reading the best business books… and that you should be reading more than any other individual.

But the question is, where do you start?

There are a multitude of books on what you need to know about running a successful business.

The key is to choose and soak in the information from the right book.

Luckily, there are many books on all one needs to know about running a business.

In this article we have compiled a comprehensive overview of the best business books, including what they offer, so you know if they’re worth a read.

Enjoy!

Best Business Books of All Time To Grow Your Business

Here are some of the best business books around the world that could help propel your business forward.

They have been classified into 11 categories by topic, so that it is easier for you to find what you are looking for. They have been grouped into different groups for better understanding. Have a fantastic read!

  • Best Books for Entrepreneurship
  • Best Books for Self-Improvement
  • Best Books for Strategy
  • Best Biographies
  • Best Books for Marketing
  • Best Books for Productivity
  • Best Books to Learn Vision

Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs and Startups

Before you begin to check out these books on entrepreneurship, you must know that they are all excellent reads, and the numbering system should not deceive you.

Perish every thought that one of these books is superior and another inferior.

1. The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs – Kevin D. Johnson

Starting up a business and being successful in it are two different phenomena that have rocked and are still rocking the world of entrepreneurs to date. This Entrepreneurship book provides a practical approach to being a successful entrepreneur.

From the first page to the last, Kelvin D. Johnson concisely shows the path to success as an entrepreneur. In this book, Kelvin highlighted key lessons for thriving entrepreneurs:  

  • Don’t manage people; manage expectations.
  • Don’t waste time on people who can’t say yes.
  • You do not need money to create money.
  • Require criticism and disagreement in your company.
  • Being successful is not the goal – do it to add value to the market and solve problems.

These lessons above are just the tip of the iceberg as there are other business-oriented lessons given by Kelvin in this book. The experiences therein allow one to grow one’s entrepreneurship mind and sharpen one’s business skills.

This book also serves as a map to a successful entrepreneurial journey. It does this by offering Dos and Don’ts for budding entrepreneurs.

2. The Lean StartUp – Eric Ries

Over 50% of new business owners are bound to fail. However, these can be prevented if the perfect approach is embraced before and during startup.

This book guides corporate entities and Individuals using science-oriented experiments and ensures that they quickly know the wants of their customers. It also teaches the keys to entrepreneurial management.

The lean startup provides a storm-free entrepreneurial voyage by offering clarity to new and existing entrepreneurs and creating the pathway to making top-notch business decisions. 

This book is among the best-selling books because it teaches entrepreneurs how to use other mediums such as validated learning and actionable metrics to improve not only the quality of their business life, but also ensure that innovations do not go to waste.

In the lean startup, Ries outlined various key lessons vital to the success of any entrepreneur. He mentioned to:

  • Always think about the customers because they do not care how long it takes to build something, but how it tackles their pain points.  
  • Always take note of the boring stuff; they are essential.
  • Time and budget are useless if you build something that nobody wants.

These lessons and many more are available in this book for every beginner entrepreneur who wants to succeed where others fail.

3. The $100 Startup: Reinvent The Way You Make A Living, Do What You Love, And Create A New Future – Chris Guillebeau

When your job is oppressing, then something is wrong somewhere. The $100 startup shows you how to achieve a balanced work and life relationship. This one-time New York bestseller lights the pathway for attaining financial independence.

The $100 startup verifies that unique skill or business experience isn’t the prerequisite of a successful entrepreneur. It teaches that you only need to have some goods or services, a targeted market with individuals who are ready to pay for your products or services, and a way to receive payments.

Guillebeau showed many cases where individuals earned above fifty thousand dollars from investing a hundred dollars or even less.

As architects of your destinies, the $100 startup reveals that you are the only one who can effectively change your life, and it now only shows you how to make your business better, it also shows the mistakes to avoid.

Lessons given by Chris include but not limited to:

  • Don’t think or say that you are good for just one thing, try out other things.
  • When you are in dispute between your plans and your actions, always support your actions.
  • Don’t show a man the secrets to fish, sell him the fish.

The $100 startup shows you the fun way to do business, and it is the roadmap for beginner entrepreneurs who want to make money from the things they are passionate about.

4. Business Adventures – John Brooks

We start with a book Bill Gates considers to be the best business book he has read, according to the Best Wall Street Journal. It is, as the name suggests, an account of various defining moments in corporate life – the perfect picture of business adventures.

From the Xerox rise, the Texas Gulf situation, to the Edsel-Ford Motor Company crisis, lessons on running a business, investments and the stock market are drawn from real-life events.

By reading this book, you’ll learn about;

  • How not to launch a project, following the edsel-ford motors crisis.
  • The unpredictability of the three-day stock market fall and recovery in 1962.
  • How companies are defined by particular moments of extreme fall or victory.

5. Crossing The Chasm – Geoffrey A. Moore

Whenever a product is introduced into the market for the first time, there’s always a chance it will get lost anywhere between the early adopters and the pragmatists. This wide gap is what Moore refers to as ‘the chasm.’

There are also chances that it isn’t the first product of its kind to enter the market, and so competition which has been on the scene for a while might obscure this new product.

For a product to make it beyond this chasm and get to the market majority, the makers would have to follow several practical steps outlined in this book. Prominent among these steps is focusing on a specific niche of customers right from the start and building from there.

In this book, you’ll understand:

  • How to surmount the market chasm and get your product to the top.
  • How to build from scratch by focusing on a target niche for a while.
  • How to gain and maintain a position as the leader of your niche on the market scene.

6. Creativity, Inc. – Ed Catmull

This is the perfect book for a read on originality and creativity. Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar – the platform from which popular animation series such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Inside Out came to light – relates his experience with his company; the principles and techniques that had helped him bring it to its present heights.

One can’t help but wonder how Catmull managed to keep the wheel running over the years, consistently providing quality content for children, and how he kept up with the situation, which could well put a strain on a creative flow. He also talks about the creative process and all the steps he took to keep him afloat. This book is a must-read for creatives looking to grow a business off their talent.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of teamwork as opposed to an individual ‘great idea’.
  • Why communication in a company shouldn’t be based on rank.
  • That throwing in a bit of spontaneity from time to time is more effective than a long-term business plan.

7. Gettings Things Done – David Allen

Time management is an essential part of productivity and efficiency. If you manage time allotted well enough and completes given takes within the given time, it sure means getting things done faster and accelerating progression.

Unfortunately, as your business develops, tasks increase, and it becomes increasingly hard for the average human mind to keep up. David Allen offers a solution here; clearing the page so that your only focus will be to do what you have to do, and not spending time remembering them.

This book highlights the importance of organization and record-keeping for stress-free work life. Principles on how to do this are provided in the book.

You should read this book because:

  • It talks about the issue of time management, and how it can be addressed by recording tasks externally and breaking them down into workable items.
  • It advocates for external records of tasks and goals to keep the mind clear for an on-the-work action.
  • It shows how to cancel distractions while working on a project and maintain maximum concentration.

8. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

Duhigg brings into focus the science of human behavior and nature and its potential in this book. He believes that habit affects the way we interact, act, and exist in our personal, business, and communal lives.

He explores the reasons habits exist and how they can be altered, using information backed by science and real-life situations.

Duhigg explains habit in the form of three-step loops – cue, routine, and reward – and ways to strengthen and harness our greatest habit according to him… Willpower.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How habits are formed.
  • How to change or alter a habit by replacing one of the three-step loops.
  • Three ways to strengthen willpower and use it in our daily lives.

9. Zero To One: Notes On Startups, Or How To Build The Future – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

The key to a brighter future is the ability to understand that this world is filled with secrets. Peter Thiel shows the ways to harness the secrets of this world and use them to produce something magnificent.

Zero to One teaches mainly the importance of innovation. It explains that, for you, to find that hidden treasure, you must ask questions, think big, and think about the future.

If you want to startup an exceptional business that will blow your mind, I recommend that you read this book a couple of times. In this book Peter and Blake talked about how to:

  • Learn to be unique, doing what has already been done is taking the world from one back to the zero.
  • Learn to question the business norm.
  • A champion tomorrow will not waste his sweat in today’s market.

Zero to One encourages you to move from that point of zero ideas to an entrepreneur filled with concepts.

It teaches you that the world is filled with new ideas, and you should not follow the crowd into remodeling a product. Zero to One is the best business book to read for new and existing entrepreneurs.

10. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller

Ever heard of the phrase ‘less is more’? The expression is used to encourage a more minimalist approach in everything in order to be more effective. In businesses, you have to know what you need more of and what is required to be less. Enterprises need less on their plate to avoid stress, missed deadlines, declining health of employees, and less growth. On the other hand they need more productivity, better earnings, and peace of mind.

In this book, Gary Keller draws from his own experience of establishing his real estate business under the name of Keller Williams, and imparts how we can reduce the clutter and noise of our everyday life and achieve laser-like success without having to deprive ourselves of ‘me-time’ or family time. If you are an entrepreneur striving to achieve a more balanced life, this book is for you.

The key takeaways from this book include:

  • How to visualize your end goal and then work your way backwards to achieve it.
  • What are the seven factors that suck up most of our time 
  • The 03 Ps behind extraordinary success: purpose, priority, and productivity.

11. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy

Procrastination is what most entrepreneurs struggle with at different stages of their business. If you are looking to get things done with a snap of your finger, this book is for you. 

Eat That Frog! is more inspirational than strategic, and provides entrepreneurs the push they need towards the right direction. Brain Tracy will remind you of all the reasons you started your business in the first place, and you will emerge with a new sense of passion and desire for your business. Additionally, Brain takes you through some tactical approaches for battling indecisiveness and effective time management.

The key takeaways from this book are:

  • Work will never end, there will always be something that needs to be done. In this situation, it is important to focus on the ‘to do item’ that needs the most attention and strike it off the list.
  • How important it is to prioritize and get rid of the most challenging task of the day at the beginning.
  • What the four Ds of time management are and how to apply them to your venture.

12. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown

Contrary to the common perception, businesses are not a one-man army; it is not the right formula to apply to achieve the equation of success. As an entrepreneur, you should know that you will not be able to handle all aspects of your business; it is neither advisable nor practical.

Essentialism is about finding the absolutely essential things for your business and then ignoring and eliminating everything else from your radar. This allows businesses to work towards things that are actually important.

Greg McKeown shows how getting more done in less time is not the answer to entrepreneurial success, but it is rather, getting the right thing done at the right time.  

In this book, you will learn the following key aspects:

  • How to make wise decisions about where best to spend your time, energy, and investment.
  • How to optimize the operations and management processes of your business.
  • Ways of being able to put your finger on the unwise, unnecessary, and unproductive, and getting rid of all of them.

If you are someone who finds themselves overworked too often, or losing sight of what is important to you in the face of the demands of other people around you, this is just the right book for you!

13. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron – Bethany McLean

Starting a business for the first time means that there are higher chances of it failing. There are countless accounts of successful entrepreneurs who had experienced a lot of business failures during their initial years.

The Smartest Guys in the Room is an account of the demise of one of America’s much-loved enterprises called Enron, a services’ and energy company.

Bethany McLean brings forward the most comprehensive details about the Enron scandal, ten years after its occurrence in the 1990s.

Get first hand information from the leading men of the story: Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, and Jeff Skilling. According to McLean’s book, it all started with one simple question: How do we make some real money? 

In this book you will learn:

  • The factors the led to or contributed towards the fall of the Enron empire, and what you need to do to avoid the same from happening to your business.
  • What happens to the major stakeholders of a company after it dissolves and how they should deal with outcome of such a situation.
  • Why large enterprises stay relevant years after their failure.

14. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management – Roger Lowenstein

‘When Genius Failed’ is based on Long-Term Capital Management, America’s largest hedge fund. The book is an account of this hedge fund’s rise and fall.

For the most part, it is an account that is built on interviews conducted with former employees of Long-Term Capital Management that gives the reader first-hand information. 

Roger Lowenstein has shown how most of the hedge fund’s growth was due to debt. They borrowed 30 times more than their equity.

And like this, many other risks opened them up to huge exposure that led to the collapse of the hedge fund that led to the involvement of the American government to bail them out. 

The book has various lessons to learn from such as the fact that it is good to take risks but not so much that it gets difficult to get back up. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • Not getting too over-confident. 
  • Avoiding the use of excessive borrowing.
  • Not exposing yourself to big risks. 

15. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In ‘The Black Swan’ Taleb has helped the reader better understand improbable and unpredictable events that have consequences. He believes that we are unprepared for any future events because we rely on incomplete theories and limited models.

He calls these events the ‘black swan’ because he thinks we are too blind to see them, especially the experts like economists. 

Taleb in his book urges all entrepreneurs to create space for these black swans in their life.

By making way for events that occur by chance he wants us to experiment with them on our own.

He thinks not being prepared for unforeseen events is beneficial for the reader’s personal growth as entrepreneurs because it will help us deal with it through trial and error rather than top-down planning.  

Therefore, this ideology can help people with an entrepreneurial spirit in keeping things in perspective and looking at the world differently compared to how they have been conditioned to look at by the experts.

This phenomenon can help readers develop great business acumen.  

In this book, you will learn:

  • Nobody knows anything.
  • To keep things in perspective. 
  • Black swan events explain everything about the world but experts choose not to see it. 

16. Barbarians at the Gate – Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

‘Barbarians at the Gate’ is a business narrative penned down by two investigative journalists about the downfall of RJR Nabisco, an American conglomerate that sold tobacco and other food products. The book narrates how the CEO leveraged buyouts to increase his wealth without caring about the damage he does to companies and the employees that work for them. 

Even after losing a bid on a leveraged buyout deal, the CEO was still able to maintain a thriving career. The book, therefore, shows how greed for money can overpower you and that leadership is not something everyone can handle with honesty.

It displays the tactics of the upper management of RJR Nabisco to be extremely cut-throat and makes you grow conspicuous of the management in general.

It is intriguing and bizarre at the same time to find out the extent people would go to in order to make money and stay at the top.

Through RJR Nabisco’s example, the book teaches important lessons on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate governance as well. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • What a leveraged buyout is.
  • How power leads to corruption. 
  • What not to do being in the position of a leader.

17. Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant – W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

In ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ the authors have argued that cut-throat competition results in nothing but rivalry over profits.

Therefore, based on a study of 150 strategic moves, the authors think that long-lasting success does not come from battling competitors but by tapping on market spaces that have not been discovered yet which they refer to as ‘blue oceans’.

These moves of innovation make their rivals obsolete for almost a decade.   

This business book carves a whole new path to winning the future. It presents a systematic approach of removing irrelevant competition from the market and outlines ways in which any company can use to create and capture their ocean blues.

The authors have come up with strategies that can make you the competition for other businesses. 

The authors have proved all their arguments with several examples of companies that used an existing product but found a way to market these to previously untapped markets that eventually led them to become market leaders. 

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to run your business. 
  • How to make your competition irrelevant.
  • How to become a competition.

18. First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently – Jim Harter

First, Break All The Rules presents and compares the lifestyle of around eighty thousand managers to make the readers understand what makes them the world’s greatest managers; what makes them stand out from the crowd.

The selected managers belong to different professional and personal backgrounds so there is something to learn for everyone. However, the commonality that Jim Harter has found amongst all these managers is that they are not afraid to break the rules.

This does not mean that as individuals or entrepreneurs we start breaking rules left, right, and centre. In fact it means that one should never be afraid of doing something that needs to be done simply because it hasn’t been done before or the rule book says so.

Other unconventional philosophies about these managers are: they have favorites and less favorites, they believe in innate capabilities instead of learned skills, and they play on strengths instead of trying to rid themselves of weaknesses.

In this book, you will learn:

  • The workings of the CliftonStrengths assessment and access to the same so you can test your skills and get in terms with your top skills.
  • The findings of the most recent research on the subject.
  • What do do differently to be a great manager and hence a great leader.

19. The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business – Clayton M. Christensen

In ‘The Innovators Dilemma’, Christensen has explored how few businesses are successful while others fail. He has spoken about how new technology enters the market and yet those businesses fail who adapt to it.

His initial thought process was that businesses must adapt to new technologies to stay relevant.

But this proved to be false because not all the firms that adapted to the new inventions succeeded while not all the firms that ignored it failed. This is the dilemma that the book is focused on.

With the help of studies from different markets, Christensen has explained that firms have set technologies and when these new disruptive innovations come, they stick to their already existing technology because that is what is working for them currently. 

The book is a good read for those who want to expand their knowledge about the business world. It will help them get a better understanding of things that they might not understand otherwise. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • The impact of emerging technologies. 
  • Lessons of successes and failures of different companies.
  • What to do to be successful. 

Best Self-Improvement Books

Running a business can be both overwhelming and stressful.

These self-improvement books will help entrepreneurs develop a clear focus, adopt healthy habits, get rid of counterproductive elements of their routine, and fast-track their personal growth and professional success.

20. Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain – Peter Shankman

Most entrepreneurs experience the inability to focus or pay too much attention to a task at hand, during different phases of their startup journey.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or the more commonly known ADHD is a dysfunction causing irregular patterns of attention, emotions, information processing, and mostly impulse or hyperactive behavior.

A layman perspective is that people with ADHD would have to work their way around the disorder to live a normal life.

Peter Shankman shows how entrepreneurs can become successful because of having ADHD disorders; the dysfunction is constantly referred to in a positive light. Shankman is known for being highly energetic and coming up with a lot of different creative ideas, and in this book he passes its credit to his ADHD. 

In this book you will learn:

  • Getting easily distracted is a quality that some entrepreneurs have and they can capitalize on it to become successful.
  • ADHD brains work faster than an average brain and as an entrepreneur you can use it to your advantage.
  • How to hone the hyperactivity of your brain to get things done faster.
  • How getting external support from technological devices and apps can help you eliminate distractions.

21. How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie

This book by Dale Carnegie is one that has helped many people, especially entrepreneurs, in their journey of climbing the ladder of success.

It teaches the reader six ways in which people start liking you, twelve ways in which people start thinking in the way that you do, nine ways to change people without having them resent you, and much other advice that one would need in a lifetime. 

Even though it is a really old book, yet it is very relevant even today which will help you get your way without causing any trouble in this competitive modern age.

This book will guide you towards manipulating individuals in achieving your desired means through flattery and other verbal and mental tricks. It teaches you how to turn everything in your favor. 

Therefore, the book has been written keeping in mind the complex and competitive world out there where people need to know how to get what they want otherwise they will be crushed by other people instead. And in a cut-throat business world, this is the only tactic to keep thriving and surviving. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to manipulate people.
  • How to get your way under any circumstances.
  • Advice on personal and professional life. 

22. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

The purpose of every entrepreneurial venture is to make money. But after acquiring a vast amount of wealth, you need to be able to manage it well to stay wealthy.

Think and Grow Rich was first published in 1937 and since then Napoleon Hill has been known for his take on financial intelligence and growth at an individual level. 

Based on his years of research on the most influential and wealthy people, Napoleon Hill brings together his findings in this publication.

According to him, wealth is achieved from a state of mind in which at the first stage one has to simply step into the shoes of people with good fortune and think like them. Think and Grow Rich pays homage to the most instrumental people of its time. This includes people like Woodrow Wilson and F.W. Woolworth to name a few.

In this book you will learn the following key aspects:

  • How wealthy people maintain their status quo. 
  • How any individual, entrepreneur or not, can acquire wealth and learn to  build and maintain their wealthy status.
  • Napoleon Hill’s secret behind turning your business into a money making machine.

23. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen R. Covey with a Foreword by Jim Collins 

Published 25 years ago, this book still inspires people from all walks of life regardless of their professional interest or age. Leaders, entrepreneurs, and managers of big and small companies have the most to benefit from it. This is one of the very few books which will change your daily routine and practices. 

Stephen R. Covey forces the readers to live a life of purpose and lead a business with ambition; the foreword by Jim Collins is ever so compelling.

This book helps in figuring out what you are doing wrong in your life and steer the ship in the right direction. There is no facet of your life that this book does not touch.

In this book, you can learn and apply the following key aspects:

  • Business change presents tremendous opportunities. How to take advantage of these opportunities?
  • How take a comprehensive and bird eye perspective on both personal and professional problems in order to effectively work them out.
  • How to channel your inner intelligence and innate wisdom to create business and individual security.

24. Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System – and Themselves – Andrew Ross Sorkin

No enterprise no matter what size is immune to failure. Too Big to Fail brings forward the stories of some of the biggest companies as well as the men and women who were taught to be the most financially apt, to show how their thought process brought them to failure. 

Andrew Ross Sorkin shows how the failure was simply because these companies did not work to make themselves timeless.

The owners of these enterprises simply assumed that their business had reached a point of its life cycle where it would not fail. The thought itself was doomed to failure. 

In this book, you can learn and apply the following key aspects:

  • Understand what brought on such a large scale economic crisis and learn from the mistakes of the responsible players
  • Get to know the details of a crisis that are not known to the public 
  • Comprehend how individual motivating factors – such as greed or fear or even ego – may lead to a global or even a national disrupt in business and politics

25. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown

In ‘Daring Greatly’, the writer has primarily spoken about vulnerability. Entrepreneurs and humans in general, always tend to take it in a negative connotation.

However, Brown argues that vulnerability is the core of all the feelings not just bad ones like fear, anxiety, or shame but also good ones like joy, love, and passion. The would help entrepreneurs in developing a strong character.  

Since vulnerability is neither good nor bad, we all must accept it to be a part of us because embracing who we are makes us courageous.

She has written about it in a way that makes the reader want to face their vulnerability to make it go away. It makes the person brave who lives in a world where everyone wants to appear strong, confident, and like they know what they are doing.

The book also speaks about how the phenomenon can help the reader become good parents later on in life. This shows how modeling positive behavior can help those around you. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to embrace your vulnerability and how to channel its energy in all aspects of your life.
  • How to verbalize and manage your shame to make it go away. 
  • If you are vulnerable, it means you are strong.

26. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! – Robert T. Kiyosaki 

In this book Robert T. Kiyosaki explores the difference in lifestyles of the middle class and upper class and reveals how the upper class archives financial independence.

Rich Dad Poor Dad shows how in order to become truly financially independent, you need to ‘mind your own business’ which means focusing on the asset column instead of your income.

Robert T. Kiyosaki states that the gap in our academic system does not teach us how to become truly financially independent. It is a myth that you need to earn more or save more to invest more and become rich.

It is also a misconception that you need to specialize in just one skill. Knowing a little about a lot and the ability to learn fast would help you get to the top 5% of the global population.

The key learning outcomes from this book include:

  • Only 5% of the global population can be considered as truly rich. How to include yourself in that 5%.
  • The steps you need to take to achieve a 100% financial security.
  • How a “stop” works in a stock market.
  • You need more income options to achieve financial intelligence: Ordinary, portfolio, and passive income.
  • Why you need to pay yourself first.

Best Strategy Books

Great businesses are run by great minds. Every business needs a captain who can steer the organization in the right direction.

In this section, we have brought together business books that would enable your mind to take a holistic bird’s eye view of your business, and develop strategies that would reflect in its bottom line.

27. Traction: How any Start-up Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth – Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

The reason why most businesses fail is not because they do not have the right product, it is because they do not have enough customers for their right product.

Traction reveals how businesses are unable to gain momentum because of a lack of good customer base. It lays down specific and actionable strategies that businesses can implement in order to gain more customers.

The language that Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares use is simplistic so that more people can benefit from it.

By discussing all kinds of marketing channels from the most traditional to the highly advanced, the authors reveal which one of these would work best for your business given its size, stage, and dynamics. 

In this book you will learn the following key aspects:

  • When it comes to customer acquisition, what is the best channel for your business?
  • How to pay as much focus on acquiring the right customers as on building the right product.
  • The traction framework and how it has been applied by some of the well-renowned companies like Evernote, Reddit, and Wikipedia (Jimmy Wales) and the Lean Startup (Alexis Ohanian).

28. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Visionary Companies. It is important to understand what visionary companies are before you decide to read this book.

Companies who do not focus too much on making money, but have a bigger purpose to fulfill are considered to be visionary. They do not depend on an individual person or a singular idea. 

In this book, Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras have reviewed eighteen top tier companies like Hewlett-Packard, Colgate, and Boeing, and presented what they think makes them different.

The chosen eighteen enterprises are a mix of mid-size, small-size, and big-size companies, and they have been analyzed at all stages of their life cycle, from initiation to maturity. 

In this book you will learn:

  • Precise examples from unprecedented companies with practical strategies that you can go back and apply to your business 
  • Characteristics of a business that make it everlasting and ensure that the enterprise will withstand the test of time 
  • How having visionary leaders does not necessarily mean building a visionary company
  • What are Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) and why the top leading companies of the world focus on them

28. The Art of War – Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu wrote this classic book on military strategy almost twenty-five years ago but with time various civilizations adapted these teachings to politics, business, and everyday life.

However, it gained more popularity because of its business aspect because many famous people were inspired by its corporate and management strategies. 

The book focuses on strategy, positioning, planning, and leadership.

All these elements are essential for business owners and entrepreneurs who are in competition with their rivals for customers and market share. It is intriguing how a book written on war can be applied so accurately in business management. 

Winning a war and running a business smoothly, require a team effort. And so the book also gives suggestions on hiring the right team and the right people who would work hard to achieve the set objectives. 

‘The Art of War’ therefore, is a very insightful read that features how businesses can outsmart, outmaneuver, and out strategize their rivals to capture crucial sectors and emerge successfully. 

In this book, you will learn the following key aspects:

  • How to strategize against your competitor.
  • The importance of understanding your competitor’s strategy.
  • Business leadership and teamwork.

29. The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham

In this book, Graham has inspired people with his philosophy of ‘value investing’ which in simple terms means buying undervalued stocks of strong companies and holding them over a long period.

When it comes to investing in stocks, people tend to go with companies that have a favorable history but Benjamin Graham urges investors to analyze the long-term value of a stock by digging deep into a company’s financial statements. 

This book helps investing entrepreneurs to critically think, analyze, and then make a prudent decision with confidence.

It enables them to look beyond the share price and resist the urge to start buying when the stock market goes up or be worried when it goes down because contrary to popular belief, Graham advocates buying undervalued shares. 

Graham’s ideas, therefore, protect investors from being exposed to high risks and errors. It rather teaches them to play safe and develop long-term strategies because that is what intelligent investors do. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to become a long-term strategist. 
  • Value investing and its application in the stock market.
  • How to focus on safe and steady returns rather than big gambles.

30. In search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies – Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman

Every business needs a well thought out strategy in place, to run like a perfectly oiled machine. In search of Excellence reviews America’s top forty three enterprises, belonging to different sectors and selling various products, and presents their approach towards running a business. 

Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman maps out their insights on what made these companies successful.

The book is narrated in the setting of Japan’s industrial war against the mentioned top American companies. Instead of being a typical instrumental or strategic book, this one is written more in the style of an academic book.

In spite of being decades old, the ideas presented by the two authors are still applicable to the businesses of today. 

The common practice amongst all the discussed 43 companies was that they were all highly innovative.

This book will teach you exactly what makes a company innovative and what are some of the things you need to change in your business for it to count as innovative.

In this book you will learn:

  • The  McKinsey 7-S Framework.
  • The best management practices of companies like: Caterpillar, 3M, Dana Corporation, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, HP, IBM, P&G, and McDonald’s.
  • How to inculcate innovation with your organization.

31. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution – Michael Hammer and James A. Champy

Reengineering is when businesses rework their basic processes and related operations with the aim of achieving a drastic increase in their productivity.

Reengineering the Corporation is an account of how a significant level of savings was achieved by some of the leading enterprises of the globe, simply by applying the concept of reengineering.  

Michael Hammer and James A. Champy work together to show how reengineering, if correctly applied, can lead to efficiency in different aspects of your business: customer service, lead generation, and information technology.

By bringing down the time required to complete a task and adding flexibility, organizations are able to modernize and grow.

In this book you will learn the following key aspects:

  • Which of the commonly accepted reengineering notions should be rejected and why to reject them.
  • The tricks for the correct application of reengineering that Michael Hammer and James A. Champy have learned from their firsthand experience.
  • What you can learn from and apply about the leap of the leading companies of the world.
  • How company culture is also included as an imperative component in the redesign process.

32. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America – Lawrence A. Cunningham

As the name suggests, The Essays of Warren Buffett is a compilation of some of the letters that he wrote to the stakeholders of a multinational cooperation – Berkshire Hathaway.

Through these letters he explains how businesses can adopt practices that would allow them to remain stable and persistent.

This book is perfect if you are looking to make wise investment decisions based on strategies that are not redundant and are unheard of. Lawrence A.

Cunningham lays down the doctrine of investment that Warren Buffet has followed all his life, for the readers to learn from.

The intended target audience for this book is investors, entrepreneurs, and managers, but it can benefit individuals from all walks of time. The lessons put together by the author can benefit the businesses operating in the current environment as well.

In this book you will learn the following aspects:

  • An informal way of understanding investment and gaining financial intelligence
  • Business customs that ensure stability 
  • How ‘striking’ is a false term used for a success in any investment decision
  • Warren Buffett’s investment paradigm based on his letters to Berkshire Hathaway

33. Start With Why – Simon Sinek

Sinek believes that great leaders inspire others to take action by asking the Why, which is the reason or purpose, first before the What – the result or product, and the How – which is the process leading towards the result.

The Why seems to be the first reasonable point to begin; the asking of questions, the conversation which would set production in motion, and all the things that would follow it.

Knowing the Why, as this book says, will help reiterate the reason why the establishment exists and put all on deck back in focus.

Reading this book will help you understand:

  • The concept of the golden circle.
  • The relationship between the neocortex and the Why principle.
  • The three degrees of certainty as it relates to this principle.

Best Biographies of All Time

Learn directly from successful entrepreneurs who have experienced the highs and lows of entrepreneurship themselves.

Understand what would work best for your business from the experts of the field.

34. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Tony Hsieh

Zappos was a $1 billion company, in terms of its annual gross merchandise sales, before it was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion.

It ranked the highest amongst all the newly emerging companies in 2009 as declared by Fortune magazine’s annual ‘Best Companies to Work For.’ 

In this book, Tony shows the path that Zappos took to hit the $1 billion landmark within a decade.

For him it began from starting a worm farm and led to the initiation and failure of several small business ideas, before he finally landed on the idea of starting Zappos.

Understand some of the mistakes that Tony made and the challenges that he faced, in the initial years of Zappos and LinkExchange – an Internet advertising network – so that you can prevent the same or tackle them better.

In this book you will learn:

  • Why company culture should lie at the forefront of every business, big or small.
  • The importance of making customers the priority of every individual within your organization, regardless of their job role.
  • The situations that require you to pay some employees to quit.
  • The equation of profits, purpose, and passion. 

35. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It – Michael Gerber

As the name suggests the e-myth breaks the common entrepreneurial misconception which says that people who get an idea and initiate a business are the same who can run and manage the business and lead it to success.

Gerber pours in his years of experience and takes the reader through the life of a business, from ideation to growth and maturity, and shares how to ensure business productivity at each stage.

In this book you will learn:

  • The difference between working in your business and working on your business.
  • Whether or not franchising is the right option for your startup, and at which stage to consider franchising.
  • Which step of the life cycle of your business is the most crucial for it to thrive
  • Why is it important for your business to work without you?

36. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – Jeff Sutherland and J.J. Sutherland

Businesses can no longer run on a single approach; they need to adopt a more multidisciplinary process which means getting insights from both, within the industry as well as from other industries.

Jeff Sutherland and J.J. Sutherland highlight how they have learned from different fields over the years, to ensure Scrum is constantly learning and adapting. 

Scrum is the answer to most of the challenges that organizations face in today’s technological business operating environment.

When a problem is broken down into smaller, easily manageable pieces, it does not seem overwhelming. Scrum is a benchmark for businesses striving for technological excellence and entrepreneurial success.

In this book, you will learn:

  • The formula for effectively solving problems on an individual and team-level
  • The key to holding productivity and agility and tying them together
  • How to build teams that are lean, fast-paced, and cross-functional 
  • How to achieve the most groundbreaking and unprecedented success 

37. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder – Arianna Huffington

When we think about running a business, we picture long hours, sleepless nights, and juggling a lot of things at the same time. Arianna Huffington presents an entirely different scenario in this book.

After years of working on the Huffington Post, Arianna figured out what businesses need in the spur of a moment: employees that are well-rested, sleep and meditate, and take time out for themselves, and understand the concept of disconnecting with work every now and then.

A common misconception is that money and power are the only two fuels that the engine of your business needs. Thrive is a story which communicates that businesses are built on a three legged stool: Money, power, and sleep. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • The different components of sleep, and how it affects the human mental health and well-being
  • Why an ‘unplugging’ culture is important and how the absence of it can have deteriorating impact on your business
  • What is the balanced approach and how to adopt it while running a business 

38. Personal History – Katharine Graham

She is the woman behind the Washington Post, a person who birthed the now most widely circulated newspaper in Washington – Katharine Graham.

Drawing from her own experience, Graham walks the reader through the major political and personal challenges that she has faced during the early stages of the newspaper: the Watergate and Pentagon Papers scandals, and the death of her husband. 

Leading by example, breaking glass ceilings, and changing the dynamics of the social construct in that era, are only some of the achievements of Graham.

Dissecting all aspects of her life would help the readers understand how they can, in the current era, follow the example of a woman like Katharine.

The key learning points of this book include:

  • How to find and capitalize on your inner strength and capabilities
  • The importance of getting hands on experience in order to expand your learning curve
  • The impact of family dynamics on the journey of a future entrepreneur

39. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company – Robert Iger

When large companies make acquisitions, they aim to close on the lowest possible deal, and negotiate as much as they can. In this book, Robert Iger maps out his journey of leading major business acquisitions like Marvel, Lucasfilms (where Star Wars birthed from), Pixar, and the now known 21st Century Fox. 

His journey shows how he is willing to pay higher than the company’s worth for all of these acquisitions and bring up the content quality.

One may stop to wonder why he was willing to overpay but this book shows exactly how this strategy worked for Disney.

The idea of buying one of the biggest animation companies – Pixar – and the struggles he went through during the initial few years are described: negotiating with Steve Jobs, convincing him to be the co-founder of the company, and later, suffering from a terminal disease.

In this book you will learn:

  • The art of taking risky decisions quickly, yet in a well-weighted and calculated manner.
  • How to adapt and evolve your business in a rapidly changing technological environment.
  • Robert’s method of working with investors on the company’s future growth strategy.
  • How to work with various sets of skill and compartmentalize such that you know which one to apply.

40. My Life And Work – Henry Ford

You cannot talk about multinational automaker companies in the early 20th century without mentioning the Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford draws from his personal experience of starting and building a thriving business and details it in this book in collaboration with Samuel Crowther. 

How does a business impact the economy of the country? What Ford Motors Company did to overcome competition and assume technological innovations? These are all questions that are answered in My Life And Work.

In this book you will learn about:

  • The initial struggles of a newly started business venture.
  • Ford’s secret behind automobile manufacturing.
  • How to lower your cost of production and / or manufacturing.
  • Whether or not the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ aspect of your business is good for its bottom line, and if yes, then how.

41. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike – Phil Knight

Shoe Dog is an account of the success of Nike, which is narrated directly from one of the co-founders of the company.

Phil Knight shares his story of how he struggled to even start the business; all he had were fifty dollars, a clear end goal, and the conviction of materializing his dream as soon as he graduated. When his venture turned profitable within the first year, it translated into the brand slogan of Nike: Just Do It!

This is a story of taking risk, facing challenges head on, and forming the right relationships. According to Phil Knights, there is nothing that a business needs more than people who share its mission and values.

Such people rein on the power of their shared beliefs and vision, as well as their individual passion to build a brand like Nike.

In this book, the key aspects that you will learn include:

  • How to fast track your business from a small startup to a riveting profitable brand.
  • How being average is not enough to be a productive business; you need to be groundbreaking and unprecedented in what you do.

42. Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s – Ray Kroc

Businesses built by rigid entrepreneurs, who are unwilling to adapt to the rapidly evolving operating environments, fail quickly. Grinding It Out shows how being flexible helps in the accelerated growth of your company.

Unlike a typical self-made entrepreneur, Ray Kroc got into the entrepreneurial shoes at 52 years of age with his first McDonald’s franchise.

He believed in impacting people’s lives, and was successful in doing so by introducing the concept of food automation in the fast food franchising world. 

This book is highly inspirational and you will come out of reading this with a renewed spirit of entrepreneurship and a rekindled passion for your business. 

In this book, the key aspects that you will learn include:

  • Why entrepreneurs need to be highly persistent and flexible in their ways of doing business.
  • How to build a business that completely transforms people’s way of doing things.
  • How you can start and build a successful business regardless of any age or time period constraints as long as your stay timeless and relevant.
  • The tricks behind successful franchising and how it can help in the process of converting your startups to a global business empire.

43. How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets – Felix Dennis

How to Get Rich is the exact opposite of what you would call a typical motivational book. It does not teach deceptive marketing techniques or selling tips, but it educates individuals on how to truly hold on to their entrepreneurial spirit.

Felix Dennis expands on his experience of founding the business empire now known as Maxim magazine.

He explains how entrepreneurs are not people who should be getting too comfortable with regular paydays. He also shares the unpopular opinion that people regard ideas or great ideas more than they are actually worth.

Staying true to his image, Felix Dennis contradicts the most commonly accepted theories and ideas in this book. 

In this book, learn the following aspects:

  • The hidden truth to becoming one of the few wealthiest individuals.
  • Why ownership by the employees of any business, big or small, has become the need of the hour; it helps in building cross functional and lean teams. According to him, this might be the only important thing for any business.
  • What are the common benefits of having less experience and even lesser money at hand.

44. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Hardcover – Ashlee Vance

When we speak of revolutionary businesses, we think of enterprises who have made a positive difference in the lives of masses.

PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and SolarCity: these are all companies that revolutionized people’s way of living, their way of doing things. It is said that when you are doing something right, you make plenty of enemies along the way.

This is the reason why a lot of people started to resent Elon Musk’s as he reached new heights of innovation.

This book shows how despite being revolutionary, companies still have to face fierce competition, both globally and locally.

The inventions of Musk are compared to those of Thomas Edison, to show how both of them are highly similar to one another. The book also discussed how Musk laid the foundation of the sci-tech world of the future.

In this book, the key learning aspects are as follows:

  • How inventing and creating are two different things, and which one of them is the right option for your business.
  • The strategic progress of Musk from having a challenging childhood to becoming one of the top entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.

45. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life – Alice Schroeder 

The Snowball is an account of the life and working of Warren Buffet – the most respected American investor – and details his struggles, achievements, challenges, and experiences.

Alice Schroeder discloses words of wisdom directly from Warren Buffet, based on his years of knowledge and experience.

This biography is perfect for entrepreneurs who are looking for investment or aspiring to become a strategic investor as a part of their long term plan.

He earned his lifelong title – The Oracle of Omaha – because of his work ethics and professional lifestyle.

From his journey as an entrepreneur you can develop a strong business acumen, eagerness and passion, and deductive nature. From partnering up with his investors to emerging as an honest investor himself, there is a lot to adopt from Warren Buffet. 

In this book, the key learning aspects are as follows:

  • The two side of Warren Buffett – as an investor and as a man who has as much of a personal life as any other human.
  • The legacy he has left behind, which has to do with a lot more than just wealth.
  • How to be an entrepreneur and create an impact on the lives of people outside of your business and work life.

46. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup – John Carreyrou

If you are inspired by the life of Steve Jobs, here is the autobiography of a person considered to be his female version. Elizabeth Holmes is the founder and CEO of Theranos, a health tech company that was held privately. 

This is an account of an entrepreneur who funded and launched a technology with the aim of remodelling the medical world.

The only thing that got into her way was the technology itself; it did not fulfill its promise of adding efficiency to the process of testing blood.

In this book, John Carreyrou shows how the startup was unable to succeed. People’s lives were put in harm’s way and it led to the loss of their financial resources because of misdiagnosis and irrelevant treatment.

In this book, the key learning aspects are as follows:

  • Ambition helps businesses grow, but too much aspiration leads to the creation of a businesses that may negatively impact the lvies of people
  • The goal of any business should always be to create a positive impact above everything else 
  • How individual personal goals should be kept independent of professional goals

47. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success – William N. Thorndike

In this book, the author William Thorndike has analyzed and evaluated each of these eight business leader’s businesses and performances in great detail.

They are called outsiders because they did not belong to big business families yet they had the acumen to outperform everyone because they knew how to turn a penny around into big business ventures. 

The Outsiders is a book considered as an extremely interesting read because it narrates the intelligent minds of these people who knew how to allocate their resources into productive use.

They focused more on per-share value instead of earnings and sales growth because they fully understood that a firm’s cash flow determines its long-term value, not reported earnings. 

Due to their hard work and years of research and experience is what led these eight CEOs to success. Through this book, one can learn from their experience because it has eye-opening lessons in it.

In this book, you will learn the following key aspects:

  • Reasons for the eight CEOs’ success.
  • Important business strategies and their application in the real world. 
  • How to put resources into productive use. 

Best Marketing Books of All Time

Your business would not be profitable unless more people are aware about it.

This is the starting point of all marketing strategies. Expanding awareness means more reach and more customers for your product or service.

The books in this section will teach you advanced marketing strategies and creative ideas that you can directly implement in your business.

48. Guerrilla Marketing – Jay Conrad Levinson

The term Guerrilla Marketing was first introduced by Jay Conrad Levinson in this book published in 1983.

The Guerrilla Marketing strategies we see today, in which brands create disruptions in the lives of people by interrupting their routine life, were an unprecedented way of marketing that Levinson birthed. 

Jay Conrad Levinson explores the when, how, and why of new marketing strategies, explaining which companies should be adopting them as well as exactly when to use them.

Podcasting and market automation concepts are introduced in this book with Levinson’s secret tricks of how best to apply them to small and medium sized businesses. In case of freelance employees, this might also be a good management book for you.

In this book you will learn:

  • A new method of figuring out the market share of your company as well as how to capture a larger market share for your brand
  • How to leverage the potential of internet marketing strategies 
  • Precise ideas for marketing your brand which would really work well for the bottom line of your business 
  • How to increase the number of leads for your business, convert them into paying customers, and get repeat business from them

49. 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating Competition Free Content that Stands Out and Gets Results – Garrett Moon

As a vast amount of content inundates the internet and social media world, marketing professionals struggle to create a space for their brand. In order for the content of any brand to really stand out, it needs to be great and resonate well with the target audience.

Hence, marketers look for ways to achieve content marketing success. 10x Marketing Formula presents ways of doing just that.

Garrett Moon, the co-founder of CoSchedule which is now one of the most loved marketing calendars on the internet, shares his experience.

Within four years, CoSchedule was able to achieve millions of pageviews and thousands of email email subscriptions.

The readers can learn directly from Moon, about what did and did not work well for the business.

If you apply all of the strategies discussed in this book and used for the success of CoSchedule you will be able to fast track your way to expanding your customer base.

In this book you will learn the following key aspects:

  • How to up your marketing game.
  • How to attract more leads quickly.
  • How to accelerate your content marketing success.
  • How to work under budget constraints.

50. Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful: Created for the 99% of Small Business Owners Who Are Dissatisfied With the Results They Get From Their Current Advertising – Bill Glazer

According to Bill Glazer, 99 percent of all advertisers or business owners of all times are not happy with the results of their current strategies.

Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful challenges the run of the mill marketing strategies and encourages advertisers to adopt a more unprecedented approach. 

With the help of true stories and accounts of successful promotional campaigns, Bill Glazer shows how inventive marketing can act as a game changer for your business.

To get the most out of this book, read the business challenge discussed at several points in this book, come up with your best marketing idea, and then read the marketing idea that was actually used by the business in question.

In this book, the key aspects that you will learn are as follows:

  • What percentage of your business profits should circle back to your advertising campaign.
  • How advertising campaigns are classified as ‘good’ or ‘great’ and what they mean for your business.
  • How to increase your return on ad spend, or what was traditionally known as ROA.

51. Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to cure the Blank page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience – Pamela Wilson

When it comes to marketing on digital or online mediums, content marketing is the most low cost and preferred option for businesses.

Master Content Marketing takes you through all the steps that you need to take in order to create a 360 degree content marketing plan. This book works well for beginners, but marketing pros also have a lot to learn from it.

Being a content marketing professional herself Pamela Wilson has tried and tested various content marketing strategies.

In this book she shares her experience of what works well for brands with high or low marketing budgets.

This is not one of those books you can simply read and put aside; it will serve as a benchmark to your content marketing strategies and you will find yourself coming back to refer to it every now and again. 

In this book, you will learn and / or gain access to:

  • Worksheets and checklist templates that would make it easy for you to immediately apply the shared marketing strategies.
  • How consistent, useful, and relevant content is shared more and thus gains more attention.

52. Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World where Facts Don’t Matter – Scott Adams

Essentially, marketing is the act of persuading your customers to buy from you again, or convincing the potential audience to convert to new paying customers. Win Bigly teaches the art of persuasion and how best to apply it to your business.

Examples included in this book are taken from the world of global politics such as Donald Trump’s big win in the US Presidential Elections.

The author then shows how marketers and advertising can use the same tricks in their strategies and campaigns. The personal life of entrepreneurs can also benefit from these tips.

According to Scott Adams, persuasion works best when you jump straight to what you want instead of when you bring forth evidence leading up to why you want it. 

In this book you will learn:

  • What is the ‘confirmation bias’ and how it triggers the cognitive functioning of a brain.
  • Why emotional marketing works better than fact-based advertising.
  • How to use the above concepts as your persuasion techniques.
  • How exaggeration works in the process of convincing an individual and how it can be applied to your business or startup venture.

53. No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses – Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy has come up with a lot of new ideas in the past and started various businesses, and so has come about to be called a serial entrepreneur.

In this very boldly titled book, No B.S Direct Marketing, he shows how he has ensured the success of all his businesses with the simple sales trick called ‘direct response marketing.’

Under this concept, he closes sales on the spot and does not leave room for customers to delay their purchase decision. 

The fundamentals of direct marketing that he has shared in this book are applicable to all marketing channels and is referred to my business owners, managers, and marketing professionals. 

In this book you will learn:

  • How selecting customers before deciding on the marketing campaign makes a major difference to the profitability of businesses.
  • The modernized use of traditional marketing tricks such as infomercials, mail orders, and direct mail / emails, and how to apply them.
  • How to lead a more controlled sales channel.

54. The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? – Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

Brogan and Smith, in their book The Impact Equation, share their principles for long-term impact online. These days, everyone has a platform of their own, therefore, just being a unique individual does not cut it.

With the plethora of news, tweets, and posts coming in every second, it is essential to understand the differentiation between being heard and just creating noise. 

The Impact Equation exposes you and your business to the right tools and techniques that will ensure increased reach, more followers, and improved content creation.

Put simply, the book outlines equations and formulas that follow a simple input and output strategy, the more you C.R.E.A.T.E, the more you Impact.

The Impact Equation is a fun and easy read that helps you get in touch with your audience on a deeper and emotional level, hence creating a cherished bond of trust that is unbreakable. 

In this book, you will learn:

  • Formulas and Equations that boost your social media presence and impact
  • Self-assessment techniques and short case studies called Impact
  • The art of creating content that goes viral

55. The One Sentence Persuasion Course – 27 Words to Make the World Do Your Bidding – Blaire Warren

“Even the most powerful persuasion strategies are useless if you can’t remember them when you need them.”

Blaire Warrens’ book, The One Sentence Persuasion Course, summarizes strong persuasive points into a single sentence so that you are always prepared in social situations. The ability to persuade is seen as one of the most desirable skills and it plays a vital role in various professions, including politics and sales.

Warren’s keen interest in the art of persuasion and his drive to fully understand the fundamentals of human nature gave birth to this book. He refers to this 8500-word report as a ‘powerful persuasion pill’ that one could swallow. The One Sentence Persuasion Course presents strategies and breaks through the misinformation with excellent, comprehensive examples. The most impressive fact about this book is the fact that anyone, whether it is a housewife or a budding entrepreneur, with any level of skills can master the art of persuasion for it has nothing to do with one’s existing skills or personality.

In this book, you will learn:

  • Five important steps to persuade effectively.
  • How to work with all kinds of people and get your way.

56. CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone – Drew Eric Whitman

Drew Eric Whitman is a skilled marketing and advertising professional. His book Cashvertising is a complete guide to customer psychology and how to make it big in the advertising industry. 

The key to making big money is to understand why a customer prefers to buy one product over the other. The customer’s decision making is complex and a small change in the advertising strategy can change the business’ entire game and market share.

He provides the reader with a boost in their learning curve and highlights the importance of long-term growth and how brand loyalty is gained as a result of consistent, attractive advertisement campaigns that pay great attention to detail.

The book, as it preaches, uses words that incite imagery in the minds of the readers just like one’s advertisements should for the customers it targets. 

Cashvertising is the perfect blend of simple, comprehensive techniques and examples that prove that one’s buying patterns are based on advertisements we see over weeks and months and not just one day.

In this book, you will learn the following key aspects:

  • How to connect with your audience on a deep, emotional level.
  • Eight fundamental human desires that are the basis of the advertising industry.

57. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others – Daniel H. Pink

According to Daniel H. Pink, selling is human nature; it is something we are consciously or unconsciously doing regardless of our profession.

Performing a holistic overview of concepts like selling and persuasion, Dan states that we are all persuading others to do something or the other, even if we do not have a job that requires us to sell products. 

Think about all the times you have convinced your parents to get you a new phone, or persuaded your friends into dining out at a place you like. 

In this book, you will learn the following key aspects:

  • The psychology and hence the science that persuasion is driven from.
  • Hands on practical information on how to modify your marketing message in order to be more compelling.

58. The 1-Page Marketing Plan – Allan Dib

Allan Dib expresses the belief that having the skills as a professional or creative in any field is just the starting point of making your business big. He thinks that it pays for a professional to ensure that his business makes the biggest impact.

He defines all that marketing is and entails, including advertising, promotion, publicity, public relations, and sales. He explains how each of these contributes to proper marketing.

Dib thinks that even if you have developed the craziest product the market has ever seen if nobody knows about it, it’s as good as nothing at all.

Reading this book will help one understand:

  • The basics and importance of marketing.
  • How to draft the best marketing plan for your business rather than relying on random marketing strategies.
  • How to make your company or business relevant even in impossible scenes.

59. 80/20 Sales And Marketing – Perry Marshall

The 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto Principle, basically states that 20% of your efforts and toil yields 80% of your results. In this book, Marshall – author and AdWords guru – goes out of his way to apply this well-known principle to sales and marketing.

The book offers business advice embedded in stuff like, ‘The seven cardinal rules of 80/20 selling’, and ‘The Power Triangle.’ It also posits that the Pareto principle should be applied not only in marketing and sales but in efforts towards product development to achieve maximum results.

This book will help one understand:

  • The basics of the Pareto principle as it applies to sales and marketing.
  • How to effectively use the above principle to maximize sales.
  • The right type and intensity of effort to put forward in marketing a product to achieve the best results.

60. The Psychology Of Selling – Brian Tracy

In Psychology of Selling, Tracy relates the importance of salespersons to businesses, and how they can up their game and close off more deals. He believes in harnessing the power of the subconscious mind to make more sales, in creative buying, and in understanding why people buy, to make adjustments that will increase sales.

In this book, one would understand

  • The inner workings of the mind as it relates to sales.
  • Creative buying and the power of suggestion.
  • How to adjust sales strategy to appeal to customers and their needs.

61. Breakthrough Advertising – Eugene M. Schwartz

Schwartz relates a different angle to advertising in this book. He believes that trying to create demand is an erroneous marketing strategy. He suggests that one focuses instead on fueling the interest of an already interested audience or clientele.

Trying to focus on marketing and persuasion on those who don’t want your product would yield fewer results, and what’s worse, the interest of your present customers could wane because you offer them less attention.

According to this book, channeling and taking advantage of the needs, wants, and desires of people is the heart of marketing. When the greatest need of a target audience is determined, it will help in projecting a product which the audience cannot refuse.

By reading this book, you’ll understand:

  • The concept of mass desire and how to exploit it.
  • How to make and project a killer headline to your audience.
  • The concept of creative planning.

Best Productivity Books

Successful businesses constantly find innovative and efficient ways of doing things. Increasing the productivity of your businesses processes means you are left with more time to focus on the more important aspects of your business such as strategy and analysis. It also probably means that you are working more effectively than your competitors. The books in this section teach you how to do just that!

62. Execution Is The Strategy – Laura Stack

Many companies spend too much time on planning and getting the strategy right and all that theoretical stuff, and consequently, much less time on executing it.

Productivity Consultant, Laura Stack’s Execution is the Strategy advocates for making that plan as straightforward as can be, aligning employee objectives accordingly, then executing it with active methods earlier selected.

Spending so much time on planning rather than execution is the watchword of companies that waste so much to achieve too little.

Reading this book will help you understand:

  • The difference between strategy, tactics, and execution, including when and how to apply them.
  • How to facilitate teamwork to achieve set goals.
  • Stack’s L-E-A-D strategy, which she believes will help managers better enforce their strategic ideas to achieve better results.

63. The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris

Tim Ferris brings to mind the typical 9-5 jobs, which is the other name for downright tiring. Corporate, white-collar jobs can be exhausting and draining, and this book offers a blueprint to unshackling yourself from this system and creating the work environment or business which will suit your routine and not be the death of you.

In this book, Ferriss reveals the very principles he adopted to cut down on time-wasting technicalities unless they were indispensable, and the distractions that shouldn’t be there.

The result?

Less time spent working; and every second spent working would be essentially productive. And of course, the results are always the same or even better than with the previous routine.

With this book, you’ll learn to:

  • Define your workspace and be liberated from the typical work routine.
  • Define your goals and stick to them.
  • Stick to the plan and make all the time spent working count. Eliminate all distractions to achieve this.

64. Procrastinate On Purpose – Rory Vaden

Vaden thinks that a lot of what we know about time management is untrue. He lists the group of people who plan out every single hour and allot time for tasks, but in reality, only end up doing some. Another group comprises those who spend some days doing a lot of work so that they could have the other days free.

He finally mentions those who procrastinate on purpose, those who know well what jobs can be grouped within a time limit and those which can’t. They know which tasks whose requirements are quite dynamic and so wait until the last minutes to do them, or when it is most appropriate.              

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How and when to ‘procrastinate on purpose.’
  • What priority illusion is and how to avoid it.
  • Work-life balance and how it is realistically applied.

65. Profit From The Positive – Margaret Greenberg, Senia Maymin

It is common knowledge that work cooperation in organizations can go a long way in improving its productivity rate. If everybody’s helping and contributing, things will get better.

This book is not just about regular employee cooperation but focuses on how employers can, through certain actions, boost their employees’ productivity and performance. It also talks about the impact little changes can make.

It provides 30 inexpensive tools that leaders can utilize to boost overall performance in their establishments or businesses and, subsequently, profit from this progress.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The intricacies of positive psychology.
  • Proper time and task management.
  • Performance boosting skills and cooperative growth techniques.

66. Organize Tomorrow Today – Jason Selk, Tom Bartow

This book is all about optimizing and enhancing performance at work and in life in general. Our mind often becomes a house of chaos when there are so many things that need to be done in different ways.

This book offers eight practical ways to literally ‘organize your tomorrow today’ so you don’t get stuck in so much crisis.

Reading this book will help one learn:

  • How overachievers go the extra mile through abnormal productivity.
  • Time maximization; which is completing the most tasks efficiently in the shortest possible time.
  • Task focus and objectivity. This helps one concentrate on an assigned task fully without being sidelined or distracted.

67. Buyology – Martin Lindstrom

Lindstrom relates the science of buying in this book. He believes that we hardly have rational or conscious control over what we buy and that our brain subconsciously chooses for us based on reasons and responses we seem to have no control of.

He introduces the concept of neuromarketing and the study of how our brains respond to advertising and traditional marketing strategies. He believes that the brain is deceptive and that we’ll better have a chance to make buying choices if we understand these concepts rationally.

Reading this book will help one understand:

  • The concept of neuromarketing.
  • Product integration as a better alternative to product placement.
  • How conventional marketing research methods do not help buyers to make rational purchases.

68. Crush it! Why now is the Time To Cash In on Your Passion – Gary Vaynerchuk

A lot of people believe that you can’t make enough cash to pay the bills doing what you love, and as if to affirm it, lots of people are downright wearing themselves out on jobs they have no passion for, and also making a lot of money from it.

Vaynerchuk addresses this myth and provides practical steps on how to make a successful career doing what you love. He advocates for identifying your passion and monetizing it.

By reading this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to turn yourself into a brand so that you can make a business off your passion.
  • How to respond to changes in the business scene to keep your brand afloat.
  • To devote time to developing your brand and making it authentic.

69. The Productivity Project – Chris Bailey

The Productivity Project is a compilation of everything Bailey learned when he embarked on his one-year research on productivity. On maximizing productivity, Bailey suggests that it is enhanced when we bring three factors into consideration; energy, time, and attention. We function better based on how well we manage these factors all at the same time.

He also explains the theory behind the 40-hour week work pace that many businesses adopt since it would be tiring and take twice as much time if people were to work higher hours than this, and in the case of lesser hours, more time might be wasted doing nothing.

With this book, one would learn:

  • How to increase productivity and how it all works.
  • How the 40-hour work week works and what it consists of.
  • The application of the ‘Rule of 3’ to improve organization, and subsequently, productivity.

70. Tough Things First – Ray Zinn

Ray Zinn – Silicon Valley’s longest-serving CEO – has the work attitude of working tough to get the best. In this book, he believes that one doesn’t have to love the task at hand to get things done but should have it in mind that if the work isn’t done, then no progress will be made. He also advocates for self-discipline to help achieve this and many more.

This book offers the down and dirty of entrepreneurship and starting up a business. Stuff you’ll certainly not find in regular, ‘get rich quick’ books.

Reading this book will help you understand:

  • How to build your business like you’d train your body and mind.
  • The art of discipline in the work.
  • Effective task management that transcends all tasks no matter how tough.

71. Thinking Fast And Slow – Daniel Kahneman

Nearly every other day, business owners are faced with scenarios where they have to make quick decisions, often about crucial stuff. It is agreeably pertinent to be able to think on your feet as quickly as the situation calls for.

In this book, Kahneman believes that in the brain, two systems – the conscious and the impulsive – fight for control over our actions and behavior and that this can cause a mishap in rational thinking and erroneous judgment. He also divulges practical tips on how to control this irrational propensity and keep emotions at bay when making work-related decisions.

In this book, you’ll learn;

  • How your brain causes you to make errors.
  • About the two systems that control your judgment and decisions.
  • The halo effect: what it is.

72. Deep Work – Cal Newport

In this book, Newport submits that people are much too distracted these days and, as such, can barely complete regular tasks, much less complex tasks that demand maximum concentration.

He believes that we need to learn to focus by re-cultivating these habits and abiding by them intensely.

This book contains four rules that would help one develop this rather rare and valued skill of deep focus.

This book will help you understand:

  • The concept of productive meditation.
  • How to develop a routine and stick to it.
  • How companies can maximize their employees’ motivation to work.

73. Pre-Suasion – Robert Cialdini

‘Pre-suasion is primarily the act of capturing and channeling attention. The thing is, when you want to convince someone about something, it’s usually harder to try to change what that person thinks, especially if they are stuck on the idea. The best course of action would be to try changing what they think about instead. This can be done by steering their attention, a much easier way to convince.

In this book, Cialdini expresses the above and more; that influence isn’t based on argument and persuasion but attention and association. The trick is usually to focus on when to influence a person, which is right before they even know they are being affected.

By reading this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to influence people or ‘pre-suade’ them the practical way.
  • What Priming association entails.
  • The point when persuasion and influence is most important.

74. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator – Ryan Holiday

Holiday reveals, in this book, how blogs have become dangerously influential by spinning masterful tales on different topics – which are often untrue – in a way that would capture the target audience of their client and generate traffic for them.

Stunningly, this book is also partly a confession, because Holiday once held a job like the above, aka Media Manipulator. These people can wreak havoc with their content, and it can be as bad as making a company lose a lot of money or putting unnecessary and depressing spotlight on a celebrity for often untrue reasons.

You need to read this book if:

  • You want to be able to ward off the sharks, aka Media Manipulators, if they come after you or your business, outwit them at their own game, and stay off the hook by understanding how they operate.
  • You want to know how blogs exploit flaws in human psychology.
  • You want to know the three constraints on blogs – virality, disaggregation, and structure.

75. Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg, who interestingly is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, expresses in this book, the situation of the present work environment and a woman’s role in it. She offers practical examples, especially of her experience working for Mark Zuckerberg.

Sandberg believes that women at many points hold themselves back, in addition to circumstances that hold them back too, and this is the underlying factor of lack of progress in the workplace. She places the performance of men versus women in the school and workplace side by side, with women outperforming in the former, and men in the latter. Also, Sandberg discusses why the narrative changed and what triggered this flip in statistics.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How women limit their potential in the work environment.
  • The Success vs. Likability theory.

Her experience working for Facebook, especially as a woman.

76. Getting To Yes – Roger Fisher, William Ury

This book is all about understanding the most effective way to negotiate, common obstacles to successful negotiation and how to surmount them.

Fisher and Ury agree that the bedrock of lasting business relationships results from good agreements. They also agree that Positional Bargaining, which is often the stance taken in effecting negotiations, seldom leads to a good deal (contrary to popular opinion).

They also relate the four principles of effective negotiation and how they are applied at various stages of negotiation.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The four principles of effective negotiation.
  • The common roadblocks to effective negotiation and how to avoid them.
  • The concept of positional bargaining and haggling.

77. Words That Work – Dr. Frank Luntz

Dr. Luntz thinks that what we say to people isn’t what matters, but what they hear. When we say something to someone, they often interpret it through the lens of their experiences, conceptions and misconceptions, beliefs and emotions.

‘Words that work,’ according to this book, are words that trigger action and the right emotions and are also perfectly understood in line with the intent with which they were said.

Luntz also lists several rules of effective communication, including; simplicity, brevity, novelty, and credibility.

This book will help you understand;

  • The rules of effective communication.
  • How the witty use of words affects the decisions we make.
  • How to talk your way out of a tricky situation.

78. The 12 Week Year – Brian Moran, Micheal Lennington

The 12 Week Year is arguably one of the books with the best execution frameworks ever. This book advocates for throwing out too many complications, cutting down unnecessary slack, and getting on with what’s important to attain the max.

Often, we set tasks and goals for ourselves and overcomplicate things so much that it starts to seem impossible to achieve. Moran and Lennington are very much in support of throwing out those complicated yearly plans you’ve probably made and replacing them with periodical plans of about 12 weeks.

That way, it would help narrow down your tasks to the most immediate and place the end goal in close sight.

They believe that cutting down this way is the best way to accomplish more in a faster, more efficient way.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • All about the 12-week plan as opposed to the 12-month plan, the three core principles of this plan, and how to implement this principle and use it to attain execution effectiveness.
  • About productive tension and how it hampers execution.
  • How to safeguard your time with blocks – strategic, buffer, and breakout blocks.

Best Vision and Leadership Books

The business vision books we have compiled in this section, would help you visualize the future of your business and work your way backwards to find out what needs to be done today to achieve that vision. 

79. Free PR: How to Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring a PR Firm – Cameron Herold, Adrian Salamunovic

Everybody knows that public relations is an important part of running a business, and that’s probably why you are paying a lot of money to that PR company for their services.

Herold and Salamunovic reveal that one doesn’t need to make this extraneous expense. Sure, PR is essential, but you can do as good a PR job in-house, as contracted firms would do for you.

In this book, how to use free media coverage to your advantage and avoid spending much on PR services is revealed.

By reading this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to use free media coverage to your advantage.
  • How to set up a good public relations team within your company.
  • How to provide effective interviews.

80. Clone Yourself: Build a Team that Understands Your Vision, Shares Your Passion, and Runs Your Business For You – Jeff Hilderman

Sometimes business owners get a bit paranoid over their staff performance. Are they doing things right? More importantly, are they doing things the way I’d have them done?

For this reason, a lot of business owners become their own best employees or try to juggle every task so that they’re sure it’s done their way. This mindset could be due to incompetent staff or just plain paranoia. Either way, this book aims to help you basically ‘clone yourself’ in your staff, so you’ll be sure they’d do what you’d have done in any task set before them.

Reading this book will help you understand:

  • How to transform your organizational culture the right way.
  • How to empower your team so that they’d do exactly what you’d do in any given situation.
  • The rewards of literally putting your business on auto-pilot.

81. Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less – Cameron Herold

It’s no surprise that Herold writes this book being the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, and managing to make the revenue of the company skyrocket to a whopping $105 million from $2 million in just six years.

This book, as the name suggests, is a business guide on multiplying the sales and profit of your company in three years or less.

Double Double is a daring and ambitious one for entrepreneurs seeking to make massive headway in a shorter time.

This book will help you understand:

  • How to thrive in very tough markets.
  • How to generate free PR for a growing company.
  • How to hire top notch talent for your business.

82. Traction – Gino Wickham

EOS or Entrepreneurial Operating System is a set of pragmatic tools and concepts that help entrepreneurs and business owners to get what they want from their businesses. It helps to maintain and fast track a company’s progress.

Companies who have experienced the common problems of running a business, and have applied the EOS can testify to its effectiveness.

This, and ways to strengthen the core components of your business, and run it free of frustrations, are discussed in this book.

In this book, you’ll learn;

  • The basics of the Entrepreneurial Operating System.
  • How to uphold the key parts of your business.
  • Practical leadership tips to steer your team to better heights.

83. Rapid Transformation – Benham N. Tabrizi

Popular thought is that profound organizational change takes a very long time to accomplish, and in some cases, is unsuccessful.

Tabrizi, having gained experience working with over 500 leading companies, relates the blueprint of the perfect organizational transformation in just 90 days.

This master plan is in three phases or stages, each running thirty days. These phases each help you to identify and analyze the specific problem areas in your company, develop a plan or course of action, and carry out this plan. This goes to show that you don’t need to put your whole company on a necessary halt to make these changes.

This book will help you learn:

  • An effective way to make the necessary changes in your company.
  • Tabrizi’s three-phase change model.
  • Why companies should be one to periodical change.

84. Soar! Build Your Vision From The Ground Up – T. D. Jakes

A lot of people are stuck in the system where they have to do jobs that stifle their creativity just to earn money and make ends meet. While it would be unwise to leave a well-paid job to pursue the wind, it would be an effort worth making if you have a vision and a plan to pursue it.

Jakes thinks that if we have the right plans, we can bring our imagination to life, work on it, and make a meaningful contribution to the world. Too many people feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled with their job is never a good thing. This book offers practical advice on how to change the narrative.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to make a business out of your passion.
  • About bridging the divide between the corporate world and the nonprofit world.
  • How to build and sustain an entrepreneurial mindset.

85. Small Business, Big Vision – Adam Toren, Matthew Toren

That running a business, even a successful one, isn’t all roses, is a fact many business owners can attest to. When things hit the rock or go south, sometimes one needs a reminder about why they started the business in the first place. One would need to look back at the vision that birthed the business to stay on track.

This book offers essential information about the passionate and practical realities of owning a business and being an entrepreneur. Provided also are lessons and insights drawn from the lives and experiences of successful entrepreneurs on everything business, and how to utilize this information.

It is an interesting read for all levels of entrepreneurs – both startups and established ones.

This book will help you understand;

  • The realities of handling a business.
  • How many others before handled their business problems through insightful and practical lessons.
  • Common business frustrations and mistakes and how to deal with them.

86. Automatic Millionaire – David Bach

Bach’s Automatic Millionaire downplays the popular opinion that you need to make a lot of money to be a millionaire, or that you need a budget to save properly. He relates practical ideas, which are different from the norm I might add, that one can apply to become a millionaire without much fuss.

His most emphasized point seems to be to plan to pay yourself first to secure your financial future and present. His ideas are realistic, and it doesn’t need a budget, a lot of willpower, or earning six zeroes a month to implement.

Want to know how you can save and invest without putting the needed willpower or so much money into it? This book is certainly for you.

By reading this book, you’ll understand:

  • How paying yourself first pays off.
  • How these automatic payments indirectly make for a routine of constant investments.
  • Series of information on financial tech, taxes, and investments, and financial systems.

87. Freakonomics – Steven D. Levit, Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics is an unusual perspective or viewpoint of economics and how it affects our decisions. No surprise there though, Levit is certainly not your conventional economists.

Through the study of the inner activities of a crack gang, truths about the people behind real estate, this book defines how incentives are the root of economics.

There’s also a study of information asymmetries, causation and correlation, and how people get what they want, especially if other people want the same thing.

In this book, you’ll understand:

  • How incentives affect economics.
  • How asking unusual questions gives us a better understanding of our economic life.
  • Information on causation and correlation; information asymmetries.

88. The Money Queen’s Guide – Cary Carbonaro

This book contains financial advice, especially for women. This is for women who have strived to attain financial success or those who are on the way there and are now worried about securing their success for the future.

Of course, many women all over the world have pushed themselves to the apex and made a lot of money, but the present isn’t all that matters. It pays to consider how our actions – financial and otherwise – would affect our action tomorrow.

This book not only provides practical counsel on how women can attain their financial goals but how to keep it and make better decisions to ensure their financial security.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of financial security and how to ensure that.
  • The connection between our financial decisions today and what could happen tomorrow.
  • How to obtain your definition of financial success.

89. The Customer Funded Business – John Mullins

The common success story of big companies over the past few decades has mostly included the contribution of investors and venture capital. This book is a kick in the opposite direction; it poses the question, who needs investors?

Using the success stories of successful businesses like Dell and the Zieglers’ Banana Republic, Mullins illustrates exactly how this is possible.

In the ’80s, Michael Dell’s customers paid him in advance when he built them computers, and with the Banana Republic, they put up their catalog for $1 and channeled the proceeds into their inventory. These two, amongst many others, funded their business off their customers’ money. It is no rocket science how this works.  

This book will help you understand:

  • The five genius models adopted by successful 21st-century entrepreneurs in applying this principle.
  • How to fund your business off client money.
  • Information for startups on financing and how to grow your venture.

90. Accounting For The Numberphobic – Dawn Fotopulos

A lot of business owners are all in when it comes to other affairs in running their business, but numbers? Their reply would be something in the lines of ‘Give me a break’ or ‘That’s what the accountant’s for.’ But you have to understand that your finances are the bedrock of your business, and will impact how you run it on a daily basis, and what decisions you make for it.

This book offers a breakdown of all the rocket science of finances, from the net income statement to the Balance sheet and Cash Flow statement. This way, you can conquer your number phobia and be abreast with all that your business’ worth.

In this book, you’ll learn;

  • How your net income statement helps to increase your profits.
  • An easy guide to understanding your company’s finances.How to determine your company’s Sheet.

91. The New Market Wizards – Jack D. Schwager

The New Market Wizards is all about top traders and financial bigwigs, revealing the financial strategies that made their success stories and got them to the top.

Here, Schwager poses to these top traders, questions that anyone who is interested in the financial world or who is in it already, would be eager to ask. As these people give answers and relate their journey, insightful information and financial nuggets are but a few goodies to be picked up from all that they say.

In this book, you’ll find;

  • The success stories of many top traders.
  • Advice on how best to steer your business for growth.
  • Insight on various financial strategies.

92. Creative Confidence – David Kelley, Tom Kelley

These two leading experts in creativity and innovation think that too often, people assume that creativity and innovations are left for those who are blessed with creativity, aka the creative types. They not only discount this myth but go on to say that each person has inner creativity, which he or she can harness once they’ve learnt to bring out this creative energy from within.

They share tips and strategies on how to do just that in this book, how to draw out our creative potential, and use to improve how we see and tackle tasks or problems set before us.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The theory behind everybody being creative.
  • How to use your inner creativity to get innovative and push up your success in the work area.
  • Practical tips on how to discover your inner creative self.

93. Rework – Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework is not your typical business book, and so doesn’t tell you to get a business plan, find an investor, and study your competition to the point of paranoia. They believe you can develop your passion and startup a business without much fuss.

This book shows how detrimental some planning actually is, and how you don’t even need a staff or a seal to work till stupor to make it happen.

Their watchword? ‘Stop talking and start working.’ The advantages of taking over the reins and building yourself business without the strain of employee accountability.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How making your product matchless or inimitable can put you in the competition with bigger businesses and place you high on the market scene.
  • Illusions for agreement and how to avoid them.
  • To hire people only when you can’t do the job, and only after you’ve tried it out yourself.

94. The Art Of Creative Thinking – Rod Judkins

Judkins sure packs a lot in the ninety chapters that this book is made up of. He reveals how we can change the world, our businesses, and ourselves by better understanding human creativity.

To do this, he studies the behavior of several successful creatives and how they lived so that we can draw from their experience to better our own lives.

He also shares the story of the most successful school class in history, where all classmates became Nobel laureates.

What’s more, this book is good knowledge with a healthy dose of humor. Judkins also tells us why it is technically unlawful to be as good as Michelangelo, and why graphic nudity while offering a public speech can be surprisingly persuasive.

In this book, you’ll learn;

  • That creativity is not limited to a set of people but is a general ability.
  • The act of creative thinking – how to successfully think like one.
  • Real-life lessons from successful creative thinkers as a guide for spinning success out of your creativity.

95. Design A Better Business – Patrick Van Der Pijl

Design a Better Business is the perfect guide for business owners and leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial students, innovators, and investors, a compilation of skills, principles, and tools to help them invent value from shaky backgrounds.

It contains 48 case studies, 30 strategic tools, and lessons based on true accounts from large companies such as Autodesk, Audi and Toyota Financial Services.

It also packs information on the double-loop design process, a pragmatic approach to generating and growing value, presented in a way that anyone learns and applies to their establishments without much fuss.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to introduce and sustain innovation in your company.
  • Real-life lessons on innovation from big corporations who have made it the top.
  • Practical tips that you can apply to generate this value in your company.

96. The Nature Of Investing – Katherine Collins

When we observe things, we all are investors in one way or the other. We invest our money, time, energy, and other resources in many different things every day. At this base level, investment involves connection, exchange, and mutual benefit. But the core function is almost lost at a higher level, where mechanized versions of finance dominate it.

This book advocates for a return to the root, to transform investment in a way that’ll strip its current state and return it to the core function.

The author draws from a wealth of experience and real-life examples to illustrate how a new investment framework can be generated that is different from the mechanized one used currently.

In this book, you’ll understand;

  • The faults of the present investment framework.
  • How to change the narrative and create a new investment framework.
  • Real investment principles from the natural world.

97. Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

Being a professor of psychology and behavioral economics, Ariely’s field is the choices people make as regards buying, selling, and other financial decisions.

He reveals how, surprisingly, the decisions people make about important things, how they view life, and tackle obstacles, are based on irrationality. Yes, our very coherent decisions are backed by a smidge of the irrational.

An example of this behavior is our seeming inability to decide what to buy or who to choose or what to go with if we are presented with other options to make comparisons. A person is likely to buy a blender at a store where various models are displayed, rather than one where one model is displayed.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How we subconsciously make incoherent choices about a lot of things.
  • How we place too much value over what we own.
  • How the knowledge of this irrational part of us can help us make better decisions.

98. Making Ideas Happen – Scott Belsky

Even as creativity is said to be inborn and can be harnessed by anyone who wants to, it wouldn’t make much sense in the business world if it was not put into motion. And unfortunately, the execution of ideas or the ability to put creative ideas in motion isn’t an innate thing. All the steps that are involved in making an idea yield something productive, including organization and execution, are learned skills.

Now Belsky, through extensive research into the methods employed by productive people and teams in companies, compiled a set of principles and tools to guide one through organization and execution of ideas for maximum productivity.

By reading this book, you’ll understand:

  • How to create ideas moderately and kill ideas generously.
  • The best way to go about executing an idea, from a compilation of many tried methods.
  • How to prioritize ideas.

99. The Accidental Creative – Todd Henry

In most minds, there is the belief that there’s a ‘creative well’ of some sort that never runs dry and will take care of itself. We never pay attention to it until it gets faulty.

Business Creative expert Todd Henry thinks that the best course of action would be to understand the process of this creative flow so that it doesn’t just stop all of a sudden.

Given the increasing pressure to be better at work every day and to work more with fewer resources, this creative well is continuously put to work, and it’d be fatal to have it stop in the middle of a project.

This book contains explanations on the workings of creativity, how to infuse new ideas into daily activities, and how to unleash the creative well in you.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How the creative process works.
  • How to maximize and control its flows.
  • How to introduce new ideas into your daily work life.

100. Show Your Work! – Austin Kleon

In writing this book, Kleon wants readers to think of creative business as a network of some sort, an ‘ecology of talent’ as he calls it. This is a system where creatives ‘steal’ or take initiative from each other’s works, and build ideas of their own from that. Kleon says that this stealing is like grabbing the network without really networking, like the ultimate means of publicity.

When your work is genius enough to turn heads and grab attention, people tap into your process and ‘steal,’ and as they build on what they’ve gotten and advertised, they are indirectly making your name known.

Despite all these, Kleon warns that although it pays to share your process, it is never a good thing to overshare. He insists on maintaining a balance between both.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to make your brand known by letting others tap into your process.
  • How to share the process without oversharing.
  • The realities of creative business in connection to the internet.

101. The Secret Of Selling Anything – Harry Browne

Every salesman’s watchword and indoctrinated behavior has always been one thing – enthusiasm. There are a lot of books out there on salesmanship that tells you to go out there and be all enthusiastic and all up in people’s faces and have all that positive thinking and stuff like that. Some books give you tips and perhaps, actual words to use in a situation. But the thing is, amidst all of this, it seems like there isn’t a book for the salesman who isn’t extroverted or overly enthusiastic.

No worries, this book has got you. It debunks a lot of what we know about good salesmanship, tagging them as myths and offering practical tips for salesmen in any shade of personality.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • Various myths about good salesmanship.
  • Principles of good salesmanship.
  • Practical tips on how to sell things without necessarily being a smooth-talker or overly enthusiastic.

102. Invisible Selling Machine – Ryan Deiss

Virtually everybody would like the idea of not having to work for every buck they got. And earning or making sales while you’re sleeping? I hear a lot of ‘Count me In’s here.

Well, me too, but you probably think it isn’t possible, especially if you are just setting up your business. Well, I’ve got news for you.

Deiss not only thinks it is possible to make sales while you sleep and, subsequently, more money, but he also relates the steps to do so in this book. He walks us through the five stages of prospect/customer lifestyle and shows how each stage can be made automatic and prolonged to invisibly turn strangers into customers and fans in no time.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • Current marketing automation tools.
  • How to craft the perfect email messages to perpetuate your sales.
  • The five stages of prospect/customer lifestyle.

103. Dotcom Secrets – Russel Brunson

Online marketing is a new wave that screams success and that many companies have employed to increase their sales and profit. If your business is not up on the web, then you are missing out on a lot. A lot of people prefer to buy online these days, and customers from far locations can’t access you if you aren’t online.

Russell is over ten years old in the business and has helped many companies successfully start and ascend online. He has conducted over a thousand split tests, resulting in millions of online visitors. The steps he took in getting there and tips he has gathered from his experience over the years has been noted in simple, easy-to-follow guidelines in this book. These guidelines aim at helping companies increase their conversions, sales, and traffic online.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to successfully conduct your business online.
  • The basics of internet marketing.
  • How to drive more traffic to your business.

104. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success And Failure – Grant Cardone

Cardone shows in this book that there is no room for modesty in business and on the road to success.

Many people take progress in small, slow steps, aiming for the average or the next best thing, rather than aiming for more. The problem with the average – as many people seem not to notice – is that it is never enough. The satisfaction it gives is usually short-lived.

So, what if you went ahead to 10x everything? Aim for not just the average, but higher in our business endeavors?

Of course, Cardone doesn’t say that this is done just by declaring it, he posits that the 10x Rule comprises two factors; extra effort and audacious goals. Put simply, if your dream is big, be prepared to work hard and big, and do it.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of the 10x rule.
  • How to aim for the best rather than just average.
  • Practical steps on how to apply this rule in your business.

Best Business Books FAQs

What business books should I read?

Start off by picking a skill that you want to develop by choosing the genres of business books we have specified above: Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Marketing, Biographies, Strategy, Self-Improvement, or Vision. Once you have decided that, pick the top three books from that category, books that make sense to you and start there!

What books do millionaires read?

Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person since the last 03 years, has recommended The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Taleb, The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, and Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins from our reading list. Following Jeff Bezos, as the second richest person Bill Gates recommends Business Adventures by John Brooks, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, and Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight, from our reading list above.

In addition to reading, here are a few other common habits that you can adopt in order to be a successful entrepreneur.

How can I become a better entrepreneur by reading books?

Business books are mostly accounts of people who have had first-hand experiences of starting one or several businesses. They have tried and tested all kinds of successful as well as ineffective strategies on their business ventures, and they know what works and what is impractical. 

Reading books will allow you to learn from the experience of other fellow entrepreneurs who have started any kinds of small or medium sized businesses. Learning from them will open your mind to possibilities that you might not have imagined for your business. It will also provide you with insights on business strategy, creativity and analytics, marketing and advertising, and productivity and reengineering. These are a few actionable tips that you can then go on and apply to your organization. 

Inspired? Learn more on how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: how an entrepreneur thinks and what makes him different from a CEO or say, a manager.

How much time do leading CEOs spend reading books?

According to Jim Kwik, the ‘brain coach’ who is known for teaching how to enable your brain to read faster and learn better, most of the CEOs read more than one book every single week. 

Taking the average page count for medium-length Amazon books, this comes out to be 64,000 words per book. For an average person, like you and I, reading at a rate of around 200 words every minute, this means devoting a total of 45 minutes of reading time every day for a week. Altogether, during the week we would be reading for close to 320 minutes.

What is the #1 best selling business book?

The current top selling book on Amazon in the genre of ‘Business and Money’ is ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki. This book shows how in order to become truly financially independent, you need to ‘mind your own business’ which means focusing on the asset column instead of your income.

It shatters the myth that you need to earn more or save more to invest more and become rich. After reading this book, you will become more mindful of how to spend both your money and your time, and develop the basics of managing your money.

What Are Your Best Business Books of All Time?

Now that you have gone through all sections of this article, there are two possible outcomes:

  1. Skimming through the article, you have already figured out where to begin and have picked two or three of your best books that you want to buy immediately. That’s a great starting point!
  2. You are too overwhelmed after the first read and are unsure about which section would help you the most. In this case, we suggest you go back to our Business Books FAQs which will help you in narrowing down your focus

We now turn some of the same questions over to you:

Which business books did you read?

Which one of these did you find most helpful?

How many of these have you already finished ready?

Are there any books that you are reading or have read, which are not on this list?

Let us know in the comments’ section below!

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Martin Luenendonk
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