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6 Business Books All Small Business Owners Should Read

by Jason Brick on November 6th, 2012
6 Books for SMBs

If you run a successful small or medium business, chances are you already have some degree of training and education — but there’s always room to learn. These management and business classics can help small business owners improve their “business mojo.” If you’re one of many busy entrepreneurs who can’t find time to sit down and read, don’t worry. All of these are available as audiobooks for your listening pleasure while you commute.

1. Getting Things Done (David Allen)

If you ever have trouble keeping all your tasks and projects in line, or with stressing out trying to do so, this book is for you. Allen’s simple system has revolutionized personal and business organization.

2. Seven Years to Seven Figures (Michael Masterson)

This book is about personal finance and wealth accumulation, but the information is largely about business models, income streams and business communication. As a small business owner, you’ll find it just as useful as an individual would.

3. Strengthsfinder 2.0 (Tom Rath)

A new look at personal productivity, this challenges some traditional ideas with compelling counter-arguments. My favorite is the one about building on your strengths rather than mitigating your weaknesses. After all, the former can make you a world-class professional. The latter only makes you…average.

4. Purple Cow (Seth Godin)

It would be just as valid to put any of Seth’s dozens of books in this slot. They’re all equally full of challenging, actionable ideas from one of marketing’s favorite mad scientists. This particular one is mostly about getting attention, holding attention and creating loyalty.

5. The E-Myth Revisited (Michael Gerber)

Gerber is all about systems, and this book teaches you how to systematize a small business to focus your energies on the parts of your work that excite and energize you. You can go deeper after reading this one by picking up one of the numerous specialized E-Myth tomes aimed at particular types of business persons.

6. The Dilbert Principle (Scott Adams)

Yes, this book is primarily humorous much like the comic of the same name. No, that doesn’t mean you won’t get some serious education out of it. Between the sniping and funny anecdotes, Adams makes a number of good points about the greatest weaknesses of the business world — and what we can do about them.

This list is by no means complete. Please suggest other reading in the comments below, or let us know what you think about any of the books listed.


One of Jason’s earliest memories is pretending to write in a notebook sometime before his fourth birthday.

From → Business Tips

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