No entrepreneur jumps into business knowing exactly how to run a company. Despite what you hear or read, people aren’t just born good at business. It takes years (decades!) to learn the ins and outs of the business world, and many mistakes will be made along the way. There is so much that can only be learned from experience, including how to manage your time and how to lead employees.
Luckily, successful entrepreneurs have shared and published their experiences. I have read hundreds of business related books (that’s not an exaggeration. You can always see what I’m reading here). Five of these books have made a big impact on how I run my company and my life. These are books that I have read several times, and to pick up for inspiration or advice frequently.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is all about figuring out what your values are, and working towards those values every day. The points he makes in the book are essential not only for business but for living a great life. I have done this book alone or with a group probably 6 times over the last 15 years and every single time, I find something new. There’s a reason it’s a classic.
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield has an amazing set of exercises throughout the entire book that help drive home many of the principles that Covey outlines in his book in new and different ways. Like 7 Habits, I’ve done this book many times over the years and find it inspirational. It’s almost like he’s taken many of the best business books of the last 50 years and distilled them down to their core, their top five pages, and then recreated the exercises and ideas for you in one book. I keep a stack of these in my office and often give this book away to new entrepreneurs.
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish is basically “7 Habits” for businesses; it goes into how to figure out your values as a company and how to put them into practice with daily huddles, quarterly goals and yearly themes. His communication rhythm is what we do at Bramble Berry. I’m a huge fan of Verne’s Fortune magazine columns and blog as well. He has a new book coming out in 2015 that looks awesome too.
The Firestarter Sessions and The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte gets more into the spirituality side of business and social support you need to succeed in any area of your life. The exercises are introspective and interesting. Read these books with a group (I did); you won’t be sorry. It’s great to have other people to talk about the ideas and your answers.
Do you find reading business related books helpful? I would love to hear your recommendations. And if you give these books a try, please let me know what you think!
I must admit, I’ve tried twice to read 7 Habits, and can’t get through it. It has so much filler! I wanted him to stop giving three stories, two examples, and five restatement of the problem. Or, as I wrote to some of my friends, apparently one of the 7 habits is taking forever to get to the point! And I was a Russian lit major–not exactly a stranger to wordy authors. Maybe I’ll try again, skipping to the good parts.
Anne-Marie Faiola says
Ha =) That folksy way of writing can detract from the book, can’t it? Dave Ramsey’s latest book on business feels the same way to me sometimes.
Here are the cliff notes: http://www.quickmba.com/mgmt/7hab/ or here
if you can’t get through the book =)
It’s basically all about working on the things that truly matter – instead of just trying to fight fires all day – along with some great integrity work.
I love the time management system that goes along with the book. The outcome is really powerful.
Thank you so much for that book recommendation! It sounds like the author’s passion and knowledge would make for a great book.
Also, we’d love to hear what you think of the books on this list! 🙂
-Kelsey with Bramble Berry
Deborah S says
Great list! I have added quite a few to my “TBR” pile. Thanks for sharing these with your readers. I just came up for air after a non-stop reading session with a book called “Life In Half a Second” by author Matthew Michalewicz (www.LifeinHalfaSecond.com). It was recommended to me by a friend and although I went in a little skeptical, wow was I wrong. This book is a perfect example of what can be achieved by an author who is an expert at his subject and very passionate as well. He provides a fact based formula for achieving success not only in business but in life. It is not often that I come across a business book that also tackles self help too! Using real world examples and even science to relay the material, this book can really boost you into overdrive to achieve your goals and desires. I highly recommend it because it really can inspire anyone (students, CEOs, people who feel stuck in their jobs) check it out!
Anna Marie Tang says
I’ve remember Anne Marie recommending the Steven Covey book a year or two back, and so I read it. It was indeed excellent and well worth reading. I bought a copy after reading it because I know I’ll read it again and again. I’ll have to tackle the others on this list!
One book I would add that is a classic is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. A fabulous book for learning to develop relationships- something I’m putting into practice as I grow my business.
Thank you for the list of recommended reads!
Anna Marie Tang
Hi Anna Marie!
So glad you enjoyed the book, and thanks for your great suggestion. 🙂
-Kelsey with Bramble Berry
Anne-Marie Faiola says
It is so funny that you mention that! I just finished that book last month – and recommended it to our Customer Service team lead! It almost made the list; it was so so so close! =) It’s a good one.