When you are busy running your own business, as well as juggling the needs of your family, it can be hard to find time for reading, particularly business books. I have to confess I turn to mysteries and thrillers as my escape mechanism, but I always have a stack of business books on the go, which I dip into when I have time.
Having said that, there are some good reads that I would hate you to miss as they provide some valuable lessons and tools that can help you with your business. So here are my top ten picks, some of which have been around for a while, but still provide a wealth of information.
I chuckle as I see the top ten. You have no idea how long it took me to select the books here! At one point I had 22 books listed, but I knew you would never wade through the list, so I got brutal and cut out the books that perhaps go beyond the core business basics. There’s clearly going to be another blogJ
Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype
by Jay Baer
This book offers a different approach to marketing and the author says forget the hype and focus more on helping your customers, because then you create a customer for life.
He draws on real examples of companies who are practicing Youtility as well as his own experiences in helping brands improve their marketing strategy.
Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicity
by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez.
The authors start at the beginning, asking you to focus on your purpose and mission and what you want to achieve.
Then through exercises and practical tools, they help you to dig deep to really identify who your ideal customer is and how best to attract them.
You can also subscribe to daily emails to keep you on track.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success
by Keith Ferrazi
This is my favourite book on networking.
It is one that I usually recommend people read when they want to learn more about effective networking.
It is an easy read and provides practical advice, together with great stories to illustrate his points. He shows how givers gain.
The New Elevator Pitch: The Definitive Guide to Persuasive Communication in the Digital Age
by Chris Westfall
In the first half of the book, the author outlines the seven steps you have to take to develop an effective elevator pitch that is authentic, compelling and leaves the listener wanting to know more.
Then he turns to different situations where a great pitch is vital, such as with investors, sales or informal networking.
RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS
The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up
By Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham
This book provides practical advice and tips that originate from entrepreneurs who have been there and back. Using common problems from start up to growth businesses, they explore the options and give frank, sometimes brutal answers.
If you want to avoid some of these challenges, reading this book will help point you in the right direction.
by Seth Godin
Frankly anything by Seth Godin is worthy of a space in your library, and this particular book won’t even take up much room.
While it is small in size, it packs a mighty message and is particularly good if you’ve reached a crossroads in your business and feel like giving up.
Other great books by Seth Godin, include Tribes and Purple Cow
Small Giants: Companies that Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
by Bo Burlingham
For those of you for whom quality is more important than quantity, this reassuring book will help you to realize we don’t all have to go big.
Pursuing growth for growth’s sake is not necessarily a sound strategy, and he shares stories of entrepreneurs who have chosen to stay mighty, but small.
The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure in Life
by Natalie Sisson
All of us dream of running our businesses from some far-off beach, but Natalie Sisson actually lives this reality. In her book, she shares pointers on how we can do this too. She’s also open about some of the lessons she’s learned the hard way.
There is also a great section on practical online tools that can help you run your business from far or near.
The $100 Start Up: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
by Chris Guillebeau
You don’t need to have lots of money, argues the author, to start a business and he then goes forward to show you just how, with stories of successful entrepreneurs who have done just that.
He also takes you through the steps from concept to launch of the business.
Start Something that Matters
by Blake Mycoskie
In this book, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie shares his story of how and why he started his business.
He encourages the reader to find a cause and build a business around it. Giving is good business.
With his one for one policy, when you buy his book, a new book is provided to a child in need.