5 Books Every Business Owner Should Read

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As a business owner and an entrepreneur, there are tons of ways to seek out self-improvement and better business strategies. From podcasts to blogs to webinars, the Internet offers a wealth of information to learn about how to be successful and take businesses to the next level. But no matter how much technology evolves, there’s nothing as tried and true as sitting down and reading a book. Bill Gates even claims that he averages a book a week (but not all of us can fit that into our schedules).

For those of us who don’t have the time to read fifty books a year, let’s start small. Here are five books that every business owner should read.

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Knowing when to trust your intuition and when to pause and consider your actions can be a make-it-or-break-it moment for business owners. Published in 2011 and winning multiple “Books of the Year” titles, Thinking, Fast and Slow has continued to be a bestseller every year since. Daniel Kahneman, renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, breaks down how we think by dividing the mind into two cognitive systems (one that’s fast, intuitive, and emotional and the other slower, deliberate, and logical) and showing readers when and how they should be using each.

2. The Dip by Seth Godin

This iconic bestseller turns the phrase “winners never quit” right on its head. Written by blogger and entrepreneur Seth Godin (who you’ll recognize from his inspirational quotes all over any successful millennial’s Facebook page), The Dip sets out to prove that “winners are really just the best quitters.” Using metaphors called “dips” and “cul-de-sacs,” Godin walks his readers through the idea that success is as easy as know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.


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3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso 

#GIRLBOSS is a refreshing and welcome change of pace from the usual business tips and get-rich-quick manuals. Sophia Amoruso tells her story of how she went from hitchhiking and dumpster diving to founding a $100-million-plus fashion retailer (and one of the fastest growing retailers in the world). Her unique insight and interesting backstory is a rallying cry for other outsiders that, when it comes to being successful, it doesn’t matter where you came from – it only matters how hard you’ll fight to get where you’re going.

4. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

Most problems in business are caused by an unwillingness to change. Marshall Goldsmith has made a name for himself as a leadership coach and management expert. In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, he shows readers the importance of a fresh perspective and the ability to adapt in business. The book outlines analyzes the beliefs and behaviors of successful leaders and discusses what they need to change in order to become better versions of themselves and create better, stronger businesses.

5. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

Michael E. Gerber is known by many as a “small business guru.” In his book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, Gerber teaches readers the process behind growing a productive business. The book dispels a lot of myths behind running a small business and explains the importance of implementing systems. Owning up to the fact that 40% of small businesses fail within their first year, Gerber’s advice is a must-read for anyone looking to start (or in the process of starting) their own business.