There are hundreds of business books available and many of them say the same things but I am yet to come across one which doesn’t have at least one gem of wisdom in it somewhere but reading them all is not really possible! After a quick poll of my Twitter followers I have compiled a short list of 5 “must read” books and we would welcome any suggestions for additions to this list.
Freakonomics / Superfreakonomics – Stephen J. Dubner/ Stephen D. Levitt
These two books are my personal favourites and use different and interesting scenarios to look at “The Hidden Side of Everything”. I found these books very useful from a business growth angle in the way they offer a different perspective on why people are motivated or driven to do certain things; the reason why customers buy something is an extremely powerful piece of information in business. A very easy read and very thought provoking.
Rules For Renegades :How to make more money, rock your career, and revel in your individuality – Christine Comaford-Lynch
This is in essence the career story of a very successful woman who didn’t always follow the conventional rules of business. Another interesting read and a lot of very easy to impliment ideas and approaches if you are looking to grow your business.
The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E Gerber
This is the book that almost 75% of the responses I got through Twitter recommended. Personally I found it hard-work, there is a lot of stuff to take in, although there is no doubt that it makes complete sense and is an absolute must for any list such as this. The book is based on the logic that the traits that make entrepreneurs into entrepreneurs are traits that don’t make good business people and offers systems and ideas that will help them with that transition.
Rework – Jason Fried, David Heinemeier-Hansson
This is the only book on this list that I haven’t read yet but it is on its way from Amazon as I type. It was recommended by Michelle Rodger of Tartan Cat and she knows what she is talking about and after reading many on-line reviews of the book I couldn’t leave it off this list. In a similar fashion to Rules For Renegades, Rework challenges conventional business rules and will make you uncomfortable with some everyday practises. To grow a business effectively in the current climate it is necessary to look outside our comfort zones. I am looking forward to the sound of this book coming through my mail-box soon.
Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk
This is a book that came highly recommended but took me a long time to get round to as I felt it wasn’t aimed at either my client base or me, I was very wrong. It does seem to be angled at people who are unhappy in their jobs and encourages them to take their passion and turn it into a business but the principals, ideas and rational behind them are very relevant and powerful for any small business aspiring for growth.
A massive thank you goes to all who contributed ideas for this list through Twitter including Tim Barlow of Attacat, Kevin Ashcroft of OCD, Dan Frydman of Inigo Media, Michelle Rodger of Tartan Cat and the guys at Kennedy and Co.
And finally a special mention has to go to Dr Richard Norris, his new book “Hoof it!” is certainly worth a read.
Any suggestions of books which should be on this list would be welcomed.
I agree that so many sales books say the same thing - it's exasperating.
May I suggest my book, "Connecting with Key Decision Makers..." offering 11 proven techniques for business development with an eye toward gaining an audience with senior-level executives.
I recommend Chris Anderson's book Free (as well as his previous book The Long Tail). Free addresses the challenges posed by advances in technology, particularly the Internet, which has enabled many things in the online world to be produced for more or less nothing and in many cases are given away for free. How should businesses respond to such disruptive change? What are the new business models?
The trick with the E-Myth is to read it when the initial euphoria of starting a new business has worn off. If you are feeling down about your business, take the day off and read it.
You can't beat David Meerman Scott for insight into 'proper' online marketing & PR. His latest book is Real-Time Marketing & PR - how to instantly engage your market, connect with customers and create products that grow your business now.
I'm part way through Rework. One chapter says, just get on with it - so I did - not been back to it.
Colin, thanks for this tip. Free is a book I haven't come across but I like the sound of the content. Looks like I will be doing a lot of reading over the coming weeks.
I use Freakonomics for that purpose but so many people that I respect a lot prise the E-Myth I will have to revisit it.
Thanks Penny, that is a new to me but I will look it up. I do like the sound of the engaging and connecting parts.
Dan, there is always a danger that we can spend too much time reading and not enough time doing. I applaud your approach!!