10 Books Every Small Business Owner and Entrepreneur Should Read

10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur should read
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Do you want to know 10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur should read?

It may surprise you but some of the richest and the most influential people in the world taught themselves everything they know.

This they did by reading tons of books.

Given, some of them have completed their degrees and have gone on to study in prestigious organizations.

However, most credit their success to books.

Are you thinking about starting a business, an entrepreneurial venture, or already immersed in one?

Note, it pays to include reading as a part of your intellectual diet or of your daily routine.

You’ll be surprised to see how much books will change not only your business approach but your mindset.

Your ideas, your strategies, and you yourself as a human being will experience change as well.

Start with these ten books.

10 Books Every Small Business Owner and Entrepreneur Should Read

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek.

If you want to be successful, remember that passion alone is not enough.

The paramount question that business owners and entrepreneurs should aspire to answer is their ‘why.’

Positioned by the author as the fundamental question that spurs action, this book allows you to discover why you’re passionate about something and what you can do about it.

A lot of business owners know the answers to their ‘what’ and ‘how’ at the onset but are struggling to answer their ‘why.’

That’s not supposed to be the case.

If you work to discover your ‘why’ first, then you won’t have to re-align your ‘what’ and ‘how’ later on.

This way, your ‘why’ becomes embedded not only in the products and services you offer; it also gets embedded in your culture.

So, you may be wondering why you seem to have many ideas but are going nowhere with any of them.

Perhaps it’s time to reframe your mind and think about why you want to do this and that.

Refine your answer until you discover your purpose.

In so doing, you’ll have a clearer direction and a true notion of your destination.

So what is your why? Find out today by clicking on the image link above.

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8 AM, Hal Elrod.

The primary proposition offered by the author of this book is summed up in this quote:

“Always remember that where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment on.”

Having inspired thousands of people and counting, this book is a testament to willful change.


By doing a series of actionable steps every morning, you’ll soon develop focus, acquire energy, and summon enough motivation to seize the day.

Most people who have read this book are just like startup business owners and entrepreneurs: they struggle with finding time for themselves, with lifelong learning, and with taking action to change.

This book will inspire you to reinforce what you may already know as the right thing to do when it comes to making changes in your life, one step at a time.

It is true that ourself is the only one true thing that we can change.

In a society that easily gets distracted, frustrated, and discouraged, it pays to have an anchor in order to effect change.

Change that can do wonders not only in our personal lives but in our business growth as well.

Start transforming your life one morning at a time by buying this book from Amazon using the image link above.

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs, John Doerr.

OKR is Google’s secret recipe to its success because its concepts are highly applicable to the company.

Therefore, Google is successful because it’s Google.

If you ever believed that, then ask yourself: what about the success of the Gates Foundation?

The success of Bono not only as a singer but as a philanthropist, what about it?

Let’s not forget the success of Intel as well.

What about the success of every company included in this book as case studies?

Many business owners and entrepreneurs start in an idealistic way.

They all have these plans for achieving success.

But along the way, they begin to doubt if success is even worth pursuing.

With their ideals not living up to their realities, they consider giving up. What went wrong?

The answer lies in the absence of a strategy originated by Andy Grove when he was running Intel.

The same strategy was later on adopted by John Doerr who introduced it to Sergey Brin and to Larry Page.

With the commitment of both Google Founders, they saw their company grow with unprecedented success.

That strategy is called Objectives and Key Results or OKRs.

The principle behind OKRs is simple: set specific objectives and take measurable and time-based steps to achieve the key results you wanted.

In the process, remember to be faithful to your cause and to be committed to achieving your objectives.

Success is not immediate.

Knowing what you want to achieve and working to align things for its achievement is a recipe that makes a successful business owner.

How do you do that? Get answers to this question by buying this book using the image link above.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, Gino Wickman

Many startup business and entrepreneurs agree that the road to growth is not paved.

That is true.

For this book though, there’s a way for every startup individual out there to achieve success.

It’s called the Entrepreneurial Operating System® or EOS.

Guessing from the name itself, it’s a ‘guide’ on how entrepreneurs ought to run their businesses.

In the book, you’ll find checklists and exercises designed to give you a clearer idea of what you want and how to achieve it.

But don’t get fooled.

This book won’t offer you those get-rich-quick-schemes that many will opt for.

It offers concepts and materials that will soon become a work-in-progress for you as you grow your business.

It will take your time, your physical/mental energy to work out a way to be in control of your business.

In a sense, before you even embark on your business operations, you ought to have laid down the foundations you need.

So that you can continue to move forward and enjoy long-term success.

This book will teach you that.

Get your operating system ready now by buying this from Amazon using the image link above.

Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack, Donna Fenn.

This is what makes books like Alpha Dogs very engaging: they combine concepts with the application.

In this case, Donna Fenn does so by offering a strategy and then demonstrating its success potential by featuring a business profile.

Even more interesting is the fact that the business profiles featured in this book are not among the biggest brands we know.

It’s those businesses that started out small but have achieved positive fame in their positions that they’re comparing with their deep-pocketed and ‘more popular’ competitors.

This makes it more relatable and inspiring especially to those who are just getting started.

In a nutshell, this book serves as a documentation of the lives of twelve alpha dogs.

These are business owners who thrived despite facing fierce competition from those who already have the capital and customers.

In a sense, the term ‘alpha dog’ is what it is: it’s the top dog amidst a number of them.

And what makes being a top dog more beautiful?

You’re the leader, and a leader is in command of his or her turf.

This is definitely one of the 10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur should read?

Be on your way to becoming the leader of your pack when you buy and read this book using the image link above.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Eric Ries.

Do you believe that the reasons why businesses fail are preventable?

Can you believe that you don’t have to write elaborate business plans in order to create a map to your success?

Do you believe that despite the uncertainties you face, your business can succeed?

The author says ‘yes.’

This book chronicles the successes of startup businesses through lean methods.

The author proves that you don’t have to possess the solid knowledge known by business people to achieve success.

In fact, this book is lean in itself.

In a way that the chapters are only made up of one-word headlines!

For the author, startup businesses take this path: they start with a ‘vision,’ ‘steer’ to be aligned to that vision, and then finally ‘accelerate’ towards that vision.

It’s that simple that’s why it’s lean.

The author shares his knowledge from his experiences working with start-ups so there’s proof in his methodology.

Become a lean startup starting now by buying this book from Amazon using the image link above.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel with Blake Masters.

Why is this on the list of 10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur should read?

The lesson offered by this book is something unexpected: monopolize, don’t compete.

Competition is for losers, and copying other businesses is not a game-changer.

In short, if your goal in launching a business, a product, or a service is to be in competition with other businesses, then you’re bound to lose.

The logic makes perfect sense.

If you compete, you will struggle to find your place because others before you have already set their footprint.

So what can you do?

Think of something and monopolize it.

What of the success stories of the people you admire or those that you want to compete with?

Use them as your guide until you find your ‘aha’ moment.

That ‘aha’ moment is your lead-in to create something and to occupy a unique, monopolized space even in an existing and highly-competitive industry.

Having monopoly of something provides you more advantage and control.

You have command of pricing power, profits, and long-term growth.

Whereas when you compete, you’ll face the dilemma of having to lower your price just to offer a point of differentiation.

As a consequence, your profit will be affected.

With that amount of profit, you’ll have limited options for growth.

If you monopolize on something, your chances of expanding to untapped territories end up merely become a repetition of what you’ve done to succeed prior.

The world simply becomes your apple.

Build your future from zero to one by buying this book using the image link above.

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine, Mike Michalowicz.

If there’s one thing that causes the greatest concern among startup business owners, it’s cashflow.

Whether that’s how to keep cash flow into the business or balancing it, they know it can be rough at the start.

However, is it possible that the challenge in cash flow is caused by an error in the ‘profit – expenses = profit’ formula?

This book says yes, and the title emphasizes that.

This book is for you if you are planning to start your business but are concerned with positive cash flow.

It is for you if you already have a business and are now struggling with cash flow.

The book concerns you if you feel that despite your efforts, you’re not actually moving forward.

Also, it is for you if you feel pursued and you don’t know what is after you.

Finally, it is for you if you want a simple strategy that will help turn your business’ financial health around.

The idea is to alter the current accounting formula to ‘sales – profit = expenses’.

It sounds like you’re running against your accounting software’s programming, but it does wonders to your business finances.

When you factor in profit, you’ll immediately know what expenses ought to be in your books.

Thereby saving you some money and ensuring that you have something to feed back into your business.

There is something else that makes the strategies offered in this book even more relevant.

It is that even if you’re only interested in managing your personal finances and increasing your savings with them, they’ll still work.

Additionally, although your accountant doesn’t exactly preach the proposed formula in this book, he or she will see the changes in how money enters, moves around, and leaves your business.

Therefore, we can say that the practices offered by this book are things that accountants know but aren’t actively promoting.

This is definitely one of 10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur should read

So, start profiting now by buying this book from Amazon using the image link above.

High Output Management, Andrew S. Grove.

The legend is that Andrew Grove has immortalized the notion of management.

What he did to Intel, he captured in this book.

Many people wished to have been mentored by Grove, but this book offers enough for anyone in business to start.

For Grove, the secret to making a business successful doesn’t lie in technology or capital.

Instead, it lies on people management.

When a business owner knows how to effectively manage people, he or she will be able to:

  • Identify high-leverage tasks that yield high-leverage results
  • Focus on these high-leverage tasks and delegate the specifics
  • Know how many people he or she has to deal with directly in the company
  • Manage the different types of meetings, including one-on-one sessions
  • Review an employee’s performance and identify opportunities for development
  • Properly review promotions and execute a compensation plan
  • Know which people to retain – especially those that bring much to the organization
  • Motivate employees so that they’ll perform in accordance with their abilities
  • Make decisions that involve consensual understanding
  • Push for decisions if a consensus is not reached

Remember that managers exist so that they can manage the different aspects of a business.

Productivity and efficiency is the core of everything.

Therefore effective managers know that the key is for the core agents in an organization (the employees) to move.

Although the paperback edition was published in 1995, much of the discussion focuses on manufacturing.

Still, this book offers a hands-on approach when it comes to immersive management.

This is as opposed to the theory-based literature that characterizes some business books today.

Start your management journey today by buying this book using the image link above.

Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change, Beth Comstock with Tahl Raz.

This book chronicles a woman’s journey from being an introverted publicist to a change agent.

Directing the change in GE, one of the world’s longest-running companies, Comstock shares her journey.

The tribulations she faced, the milestones she’s achieved, her moments of fear and uncertainty.

Also what she’s done to finally break through and get to the level of success she is enjoying today.

If you’re expecting this book to be some sort of business manual or collection of DIY principles, you’ll be disappointed.

This book combines the power of life experiences storytelling and a definitive report of the realities that many change agents face as they set to work.

You’ll be exposed to various sectors like corporate and politics as necessary touch points.

This is because, in business, any major change will involve multiple parties inside or outside an organization.

It is true that most people fear change.

In fact, Comstock recognizes that fear is what’s actually stopping us from moving a step further.

Because we’re so used to what’s currently working, we ignore the idea that something better can still be done.

If we’re the people to initiate a movement for change, then we become change agents.

Also, if we’re change agents, we ought to read this book because it will tell us exactly what to do.

Get ready for a changed future. Learn how to become a change agent by buying this book from Amazon after you click the image link above.

Don’t think that the only way to achieve success is by having a series of diplomas or degrees.

After all, those who don’t execute will accomplish nothing.

Start by thinking that you can pick up from other people’s successes and build your own road to accomplishment.

The 10 books every small business owner and entrepreneur should read listed above contain not only business principles but actual stories of people who found success in their pursuits.

Read them.

Think about them.

Be obsessed with them.

And succeed with them.