I am asked very frequently for book recommendations, specifically, which business books have been the most influential as I have built my own online business. As someone who reads a lot of non-fiction, particularly on the subject of business, marketing and advice, it’s hard for me to narrow my list down so I have chosen today to share with you my top 10!
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey: Probably the first business and productivity related book I ever read, I still draw inspiration from this book on a regular basis, not just in my business but also in life in general.
- The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau: When I first realized that I wanted to start an online business, I did a lot of research into a good book to read on the subject and this was one that kept popping up over and over again. If you want to start a business quickly and inexpensively using the power of the web, this book is filled with examples and case studies to help you make your own way.
- Blog Inc, by Joy Cho: Joy Cho of Oh Joy! was probably one of the first bloggers to make it big and parlay their online brand into the real world, so when she came out with this book, I was intrigued. I wouldn’t say the information in the book is life altering, however, if you want to pick up a book about blogging that is a solid choice, this is the one to go for.
- The 4-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss: I guess you could say that this book really started it all. I’ve been a long time fan of Tim Ferriss from his association with Kevin Rose and the tech industry in general and this book seriously made me reconsider everything I thought I knew about the modern workforce. I have said before that I believe creating an online business is the new American Dream, because it affords you not only financial security, but also the ability to work whenever from wherever. Once I read this book, I knew I was going to one day work for myself from my laptop, exact location, unknown!
- Getting Things Done, by David Allen: Another of my favorites and a classic productivity book that is useful for everyone, not just professionals or business owners. I do believe, however, that putting into practice organizational systems such as the method put forth in this book is a must for any business person. You can’t be successful without a system, and you may not like David’s, but he gives plenty of wiggle room for you to create a process and workflow of your own.
- It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s how Good You Want to Be, by Paul Arden: File this one under purely inspirational. It’s not a book you read so much as a book you experience and draw energy from. Good to have on a bookcase for those moments when you need a little something extra.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie: Although this isn’t what you would call a business book, this is a book all business people should read. It’s all about the art of persuasion, something that an online business owner had better have in spades if they expect to make a living in cyber space. Learning the motivations behind human decision making processes and how to angle yourself so that you are more appealing are priceless skills.
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, by Gary Vaynerchuk: If online marketing is like a prize boxing match, in order to win you have to use a sustained strategy of wearing down your opponent and then knocking them out once you have gotten them to drop their guard. Except with online marketing your opponent is your community of potential customers and your best punches are valuable content and information that your community wants and needs. Gary V tells it like it is and gives you a real strategy to achieve your business and marketing goals.
- Empire Building Branding Blueprint, by Alexis Giostra: Okay, so this is a bit of shameless self promotion, but I include this for good reason! If you haven’t been able to tell, I have read a lot of books and done a lot of research into the art of online business, because, well, it’s my job! Not everyone has the time, energy or the focus to do as much reading and research as I have in order to learn the very important lessons about business that I know, so I have done all the hard work for you and put everything I know into my Empire Building Blueprints. The first Blueprint on Branding is now available if you want a crash course to creating your own solid business brand without wasting time, money and resources you just don’t have!
- Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon: Another question I get asked a lot is how I continually come up with fresh new content for my Blog, YouTube and social media feeds, but newsflash, everything has been done before in one way or another, so creating new fresh new content requires perspective and ingenuity. This slightly controversial book explains how to steal like an artist so you are always ahead of the curve with content creation.
Hope these books piqued your interest and gave you some ideas for some new reads this Spring! Let me know what your favorite business books are in the comments and if you have a book recommendation for me, please let me know because I am always looking for great new non-fiction reads!