There’s a whole mountain of resources available to help you become the best businessperson - and plenty of business books you can read on the train, before bed or over breakfast. The ideas shared by these successful businessmen and women turned authors might not all apply to you - but the more you read, the more likely you’ll find content that resonates with you. So here are our top 12 business books.
The 4-hour workweek - Timothy Ferris
As an entrepreneur, it’s perfectly normal to feel working taking up all your time - so much so that it’s all you can think about and you’re missing out on the important things, such as spending time with family. It’s very easy to get caught up with so many tasks and lose track of time.
Tim Ferris’s bestseller The 4-hour Workweek does not just help you with time management, it’s your guide to taking back control of your life! After applying these tips and tricks, you’ll notice that work can be fun and far less time consuming. Start now by reading this book, you’ll see that in the end you can work less and whilst making more money.
Sales for non-salespeople: How to sell yourself and your ideas, and succeed at work - Ashton Robert
Everybody needs to know how to sell - we do it everyday, without realising. Ever had a great idea, but then when trying to explain it, no one seemed convinced or interested? You weren’t selling correctly. Tried to persuade your spouse to go on holiday, but they don’t buy into the idea? You weren’t selling it right!
This must-read book for every entrepreneur in business reveals several topics which will give you insight into the perfect sales pitch. It specifically explains how to sell, why people buy and how to influence people. These little details will help you become more confident in taking the lead and gain more control on the outcome of sales, events and negotiations.
Whether it’s to convince your manager you’re the right person for the promotion or to close a deal with a new client, Ashton Robert’s book will ensure you’re prepared to sell your product, your ideas and yourself.
Screw it, let’s do it. Richard Branson
This book is a compilation of life learned lessons from British investor and billionaire Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. The titles in this book are short but clear, including “Just do It!” “Have fun” and “Be bold”. Each one of them contains a life lesson by explaining what the obstacle may be and how you could best overcome it. So if you’re thinking of starting your own business or increasing the quality of some aspects within your business, this book could be your perfect fit.
The achievement habit - Dr. Bernard Roth
Many people are under the false illusion that achieving their goals is impossible and over time resort to excuses. This book will leave you feeling motivated and inspired; it’s all about looking at the problem differently. If Instead of thinking you will fail, you believe in yourself and believe you’re a doer, you’ll practically become one. Once you understand how to look at obstacles from another angle, you’ll be able to meet and fulfil more of your goals.
$100 startup - Charles Lebeau
Dream of starting your own business but scared you don’t have enough to invest? Want to be your own boss and live by your own rules? Then this book is all you need. It tells the stories of many entrepreneurs who started a business from scratch. They had little financial capital, but were eager to be their own boss. You’ll recognise some of the names - and realise how far they’ve come! Just remember that you don’t always need tons of money to be successful; rather motivation, strategic plans and perseverance.
Purple cow: Transform your business by being remarkable - Seth Godin
Samsung and Apple are rivals and compete 24/7 to be better and more popular, but in the end they sell the same products. They both sell phones, computers and innovative technology, all fulfilling the same needs whilst remaining crucially different from one another.
Their story isn't unique - the endless fight for many companies, trying to compete by differentiating themselves from others. Seth Godin wrote this incredible book with many examples on how you can make your business unique and perhaps become the next trend. Get ready to discover how you can be different from your competitors?
Crushing it - Gary Vaynerchuk
As many of you may know by now, social media is a very important marketing tool. Not only do businesses use it to promote their brands but people do too, to become influencers and brand themselves in a specific way to gain visibility, followers etc. This book combines plenty of testimonials from entrepreneurs which have applied some of Vaynerchuk’s methodologies, and explains what specific aspects lead to a great success online, depending the platform you use. It’ll take you through the trendy channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn; Podcast channels such as Spotify, soundcloud and other early trending channels as Musical.ly for the more advanced social media users. Perhaps you’ll become the next successful influencer with Mr. Vaynerchuk’s tips and tricks!
The hard thing about hard things - Ben Horowitz
As any CEO will know, it’s not all about fancy business launches and reking the cash. You work non-stop to keep your company running, come up with solutions to some critical problems and deal with hard decisions to be made on a daily basis to ensure the right approach is being applied in order to avoid misinterpretations. This book dives deep into how you should deal with such decisions and covers topics such as How to sell your company, acquire new staff, or even fire someone.
Now what if you’re not a CEO yet? No worries, it’s helpful for anyone craving to understand how to deal or react to complicated situations and decisions.
Lost and founder - Rand Fishkin
Instead of the perfect story about how wonderful a startup has grown, Rand Fishkin takes us behind the scenes and reveals some of the hard truths of his journey when starting Moz. He talks about how the wrong moment of launching a product could be fatal, how venture capital never comes without strings attached and how your financial forecast won’t always be as accurate as expected, whilst adds this little touch of humour, which makes it easier to read through.
Principles life and work - Ray Dalio
This book takes a deep dive on Dalio’s life and how he started his business. He found out that by applying several principles, the success and efficiency of the business increased. After being faced with the issue of implementing these principles across the business without damaging employee moral, he decided to write a book.
You’ll learn how to deal with certain problems and how to automatise or systematise some procedures to get your team / business work more efficiently.
How successful people think - John C. Maxwell
Maxwell’s book provides an introduction to different types of thinking. Unconsciously we’re practicing a variety of thinking methods, but when is the last time you stopped to think about the way you think? That’s why this book is a perfect guideline for you to understand how you can improve your thinking. Not only does this help you be more productive, it gives you access to certain creativity and focus spots within your brain which will take your work to the next level. There are plenty of exercises in this book to practice these thinking types, They are not easy and require a lot of effort, but in the end, it’s worth it!
The scientific secret of perfect timing - Daniel H. Pink
We throw around the phrase “Perfect Timing” all the time, but do you know what the secret behind it is? This book helps us create a perfect time schedule. Instead of waiting for the moment to launch a product and then realize it failed because we missed the peak of 1 hour, we’ll get in touch with some crucial time elements. You’ll understand why you don’t go to a hospital in the afternoon, or what the best time is to quit a job. All these hidden time secrets are explained with great examples and get you to schedule unconsciously.
No matter how much knowledge you have about running a business or managing a team, starter or expert, these books will fit anyone eager to learn. So get your nose between the books and don't forget to action what you learn!
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Lisa SliSli is a OneCoWork marketing intern from Belgium, finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and soon to start her Master’s in Strategic Business Management.