Summer officially arrived last Saturday, along with its many rights including vacations, relaxation, and time in the sun. As a busy small business owner, you may balk at taking time off for an extended vacation. But, there is no excuse for not granting yourself at least a little “me” time to unwind and relax. Of course, if you need help rationalizing taking a break from your hectic schedule, select a title or two from one of these business-related reading lists. You’ll not only escape into a good book, but you may just learn something that will help you better run your small business.
The following book lists cover a wide range of business topics, so you’re sure to find something to your liking. To get you started, here are four books that appear on multiple lists (with excerpts from publisher’s descriptions and linked to their page on Amazon.com):
A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger. The book, “reveals that even though children start out asking hundreds of questions a day, questioning “falls off a cliff” as kids enter school… questioning isn’t encouraged—and, in fact, is sometimes barely tolerated… The author takes us inside red-hot businesses like Google, Netflix, IDEO, and Airbnb to show how questioning is baked into their organizational DNA.” At the heart of Berger’s book is a simple question—“What if companies had mission questions instead of mission statements?”
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries. “Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty…Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want…Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.”
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink. The book, “offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. Pink…reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds…Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more.”
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber. “Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited should be required listening for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author’s belief that entrepreneurs–typically brimming with good but distracting ideas–make poor businesspeople. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur’s mind to build the long-term success or failure of the business.”
For more suggestions, check out the books in these lists:
- 2014 Small Business Book Awards Judges’ Choice Winners
- Amazon Best Sellers in Small Business and Entrepreneurship – updated hourly
- The 5 Books Entrepreneurs Should Toss in Their Beach Bags from Entrepreneur
- The 20 Best Business Books To Read This Summer from Business Insider
- The Essential Wall St. Summer Reading List from the NY Times Dealb%k blog.
- Founders And VCs Reveal 25 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read from Business Insider
- Books I Wish I Had Read Before I Became An Entrepreneur from Forbes
- 9 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read from Fox Business
- The Best Business Books of 2013 from Intuit
- 14 Best Small-Business Books Of 2013 from American Express OPEN
- 10 Small Business Management Books to Read This Year from Small Business Trends
- Favobooks provides recommendations from many prominent business people such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos. Start here with the list from Warren Buffett.
Business Fiction and More
- Business Fiction from }get abstract that is “entertaining and enlightening.”
- Business Novels and Good Character(s) from ethicalsystems.org
- 2014 JP Morgan Reading List
If you don’t think you have time for a full-blown read, check out 53 Takeaways from the World’s Best Business Books. After flipping through the slide show, you may just be tempted to pick up a book.
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