In honor of National Read A Book Day, here are 10 informative and motivational books that all entrepreneurs and small business owners should pick up or download on their tablets:
1) How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Originally published in 1937, this classic title explores how human nature plays a tremendous role in any type of success, especially when it comes to finances and business ownership. Carnegie teaches readers how to improve people skills to “win” others over by making them feel important and appreciated.
2) The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
This book is perfect for any entrepreneur looking to start – or who has already launched – a startup company. It discusses the importance of keeping such a business “lean” – starting with a basic foundation, building slowly, and proceeding cautiously to avoid inevitable hiccups. Its main audience is web entrepreneurs, but the philosophies can certainly be applied to any industry.
3) Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz
The CEO of Starbucks tells the story of how his wildly successful coffee conglomerate has been through some of the most common ups and downs in business. With a focus on the company’s struggles during the recession of the late 2000s, Schultz goes in-depth into personnel changes, leadership decisions, and some of the many details involved in getting a company on track and running one in general. The book offers a fascinating look into the mind of one of America’s most successful CEOs.
4) The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton Christensen
In this unique bestseller, Christensen writes about how well-managed companies can fall apart quickly. He cites examples and offers insightful guidance on how entrepreneurs can avoid this nightmarish fate. He also discusses the importance of innovation and technology, along with how these two factors play a major role in the most successful businesses out there.
5) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Most entrepreneurs aspire to be Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple. This text explores the life of Jobs and why he made such a name for himself by having a tremendous passion for his products, technology, and innovation. Many historians place Jobs among the Gutenbergs, Fords, and Edisons of the world because of how he transformed society through his incredibly creative mind.
6) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins
Collins examines what it truly takes for a company to go from just “good” to “great.” At the heart of the matter, he and his researchers discover that discipline is the biggest key to any small business expanding into a larger brand. The corporate culture within such a firm must include managers and employees who are disciplined and working toward a mutual goal.
7) Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman
From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to Instagram, this book discusses how social media has transformed the world and, more specifically, how it plays such a major role in business today. Small business owners wanting to learn more about the social media effect on companies their size – and any for-profit entities, for that matter – should definitely give this one a read.
8) The Longer Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand by Chris Anderson
This text discusses how there are so many choices out there, particularly when it comes to products and services. These choices have essentially created unlimited demand, which is great for small business owners seeking customers but results in much more noise and irregularity in the marketplace.
9) The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
In this book, Gerber, a small business expert, discusses how entrepreneurs who are technically savvy but have limited managerial experience can be successful business owners. He says that as long as the processes within a business have been tested, refined, and perfected, the company should run like a well-oiled machine toward a profitable future. He instructs readers to visualize what they see as a goal for their business and then take the appropriate steps to build it.
10) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
In this book, Vaynerchuk offers up a variety of unique strategies on how to cut through the clutter and make a small business stand out in the crowded world of social media marketing. The author points out how marketing has changed so much thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other sites. It’s more about creating platform-specific, engaging content that is ideal for a specific audience in order to build leads and increase sales.