Business books are like a free education. It’s like attending a speaking engagement at Harvard that you don’t have to pay tuition for.
One thing that almost every successful entrepreneur has in common is that they immerse themselves with the brilliance of other minds. Business books are a unique and effective way to learn tips and tricks from successful tycoons, but also to learn from their mistakes, so you don’t have to relive them yourself.
Whether it’s strategic development, best practices or eliminating the competition; having a library of advice from the top experts is an invaluable way to keep you at the top of your game and with the knowledge and know-how to succeed.
Here’re 15 business books that if you haven’t read, are worth picking up on your next trip to the bookstore or library.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
You may very well remember this book from our list of the Top 30 Books Every Man Should Read. Of course, when it comes to business, this book has been said to be invaluable. An advice guide from Dale Carnegie, it outlines six ways to make people like you, nine ways to change people without them resenting you for it and additional twelve ways to make people think like you do. It goes without saying that this type of advice can be priceless for executives and entrepreneurs or anyone climbing the ladder of success. If you’re going to buy just one business book, this is the one to get. Click here to buy a copy.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
My wife’s employer gives a copy of this book to every new employee when they start. They call it the blueprint for success, and if it’s had even a small part to do with the growth of her firm, it’s worth its weight in gold. Focused on explaining why some companies take the leap and others don’t, Collins focuses on a dynamic yet simple approach to lead investors in the right direction. By putting together a team of researchers to investigate thousands of successful and unsuccessful companies; Collins found that it wasn’t necessarily the executives in power, the latest technology or the right tools that made companies great. It was, in fact, the culture of the organization and how employees felt when they came to work each day. Click here to get your copy.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Based on the life of the author, Kiyosaki teaches why it’s important to be an investor rather than just an employee. Focused on educating people to buy high-value assets that produce cash flow, the book talks about the pros and cons of investing in real estate, new businesses and being a serial entrepreneur. The book has received critical acclaim and many top executives credit it as being one of the best business books ever written. The book reads differently than most business books highlighting two men – a rich dad and a poor dad – and the different attitudes they had towards money, work and life at home. Click here to buy a copy.
Mean Business by Albert J. Dunlap
This is one of those no-nonsense books that focuses on turning an unsuccessful business into a corporate powerhouse. Albert Dunlap was one of America’s top change agents brought on by big business to shift the corporate culture. In Dunlap’s book, he highlights why it can be important to be the bad guy and why the boss needs to act tough during tough times. Dunlap who has been nicknamed “Chainsaw Al” and “Rambo in Pinstripes”, talks about his battle-tested strategy for saving sick companies and making good companies great. For those who need a turnaround, this might be the book you were looking for. Click here for a copy.
Rework by Jason Fried
A straight forward to the point book, Rework talks about why it’s important to stop planning and just get to work. Explaining why business plans and strategies can be more harmful than good, the book also explains why you don’t need outside investors, why you need to ignore your competition rather than compete with them and why meetings are a complete waste of time.
This book is all about productivity, and despite being somewhat unconventional, it’s consistently ranked as one of the best business books ever written. Click here to buy this book.
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
Another interesting read, this book focuses on why you need to be passionate about what you do. In it, the author talks about why you should turn your hobbies and passions into a money-making career and how to keep yourself inspired. Considered a social media expert, Vaynerchuk talks about his experience and how he turned a small wine shop into a national market leader. A core focus of this book is about harnessing the Internet to catapult your business to success. If you can’t figure out what the benefits of internet advertising can do for your business, this book will give a road map to success. Click here for a copy of this book.
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Arguably the most iconic motivational speaker in the world, Tony Robbins gives his master plan for success in this book that focuses on waking up and taking control of your life. Robbins explains the psychology of change and how you can always be at your peak performance in business and life. Many have called this book life changing, and you might just agree. Click here for a copy.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
After spending more than four years as a New York Times Best Selling book, this business book has sold more than 1.3 million copies in 35 languages worldwide. Focused on moving away from the grueling workweek, Ferriss talks about why lifestyle design and working less can actually make you more successful. Ferriss talks about his strategy of checking email just once a day and outsourcing small taste to virtual assistants. His methods have worked for many, and it’s no secret that entire countries like Germany have adopted many of these strategies and seen positive change. In fact, at Gentleman’s Gazette, we have a team of virtual assistants that some of the smaller tasks are outsourced to freeing up time for the editorial and management staff to take care of tasks that they should be doing. Click here for your copy.
Art of War by Sun Tzu
One of my favorite strategy books, the Art of War is another book that was featured on our list of the top 30 books every man should read.
Not only is this book an exceptional strategy guide for business, but everyone from world leaders to military brass has credited this book as a road map for successful outcomes. This is a book that every man should own; regardless of whether he’s the CEO or the janitor. Get your copy by clicking here.
Negotiating with Giants by Peter D. Johnston
As I sit in my office writing this article, I can see Negotiating with Giants just out of arms reach on one of my two book shelves. This book has helped change the way I conduct business, and it’s one I often recommend to others. Focused on winning against the odds, this book is all about the art of the deal. Answering everything from small negotiations with your spouse or kids to high stakes negotiation when you’re the little guy trying to get your product on the shelves at Wal-Mart. This book is a great source of inspiration and tips to give you the edge when you’re fighting to win at the table. Click here to get your copy.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Quite literally a blue print of human potential, Gladwell focuses not on ambition and intelligence but the sphere of influence surrounding the most successful people. From their relationships with friends and family to their birthplace and birthdate, Gladwell makes a good argument that skill and intellect can have very little to do with a person’s astronomical success. Click here to get your copy today.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Originally written in 1937, this is one of the best-selling self-help books ever published. Hill, during the height of the Great Depression, realized that things were eventually going to get better again and started developing techniques and theories to help take advantage of a poor economy. The strategies talked about in this book as are useful and valid today as they were in the 30’s which is one reason that this book is considered by many corporate titans to be a huge influencer over modern business and wealth management. Click here to get your copy.
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Regardless of whether you like it or not, change is a part of our life. It happens, sometimes with warning and other times without and this book is all about how to effectively handle change when it can impact you the most. Johnson talks about the fears many of us have when it comes to change in our lives and how a simple change of attitude can turn even the most negative disaster into a positive opportunity. Click here for your copy.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
What do the worlds biggest companies have in common? Why are some organizations capable of defying critics and achieving incredible results and continual growth even during a recession? Purple Cow explains what it takes to be remarkable instead of invisible. The whole focus of this book is that you need to be a Purple Cow. After you’ve seen ten or fifteen cows, you get bored of them. There’s nothing exceptional about looking at a cow grazing in the field. However, what if the cow was purple? That would be extraordinary to look at. Using this analogy, Godin explains how companies need to separate themselves from the pack and how you can become the purple cow in the field. Click here for a copy.
Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
Richard Branson is one of the world’s most respected and successful serial entrepreneurs. For years, big businesses have tried to copy his techniques to succeed, and this book talks about what it took for him to get where he’s going. From his airline to retail, music, communications and even space exploration, this guide is the philosophy behind the man. Notorious for opening companies in the face of entrenched competition, Branson has remained a leader in adverse conditions. Since Googling “Losing My Virginity” will lead you in a whole other NSFW direction (take my word for it); click here to get your copy of his book.
There are thousands of self-help books on the market that are great for business. However, this is a select few that I believe are really worthy of your attention. A perpetual reader, I’m always looking for new books to add to my library so please tell us a few of your favorite business books in the comment section below.