Great books for business owners

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I get it… it’s hard to plan for the future when it’s so busy just running your business. However, consider it this way! We don’t always have to make the mistakes ourselves or do everything by trial and error. In fact, learning from those who have overcome challenges and become successful can be a shortcut to business grow. To help, we thought to pull together a list of great books for business owners.

Sadly, there’s no one size fits all. It depends upon your business and the challenges you face (or what you think you need to prepare for!). However these books give a great foundation to help build your knowledge. Some have been around for a while, while others are newer; Some address specific concerns and others give more of a wider view, but all have great insights to help your business succeed.

” If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Isaac Newton

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.

The revised and updated edition of the fantastic bestselling book, dispels myths about starting your own business. “E-myth” is shorthand for “entrepreneurial myth” This is a theory stating all you need to succeed, is some skill and a lot of hard work.

Gerber outlines the steps in the life of a business—from start up through the pains of becoming a bigger business to the retrospective view of a successful company. He establishes an incredibly organised and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the the business owner’s mind to build the long-term success or failure of the business.

The book is short and an easy read, cutting through complex theories and buzzwords. Making it easy to understand and implement.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

“Start With Why” demonstrates how true leadership can build an emotional connection with customers, clients and employees. Sinek states that leadership means the ability to inspire people, to provide them with a purpose outside of any benefits or incentives. Likewise, without clear communication of values and beliefs, a business will struggle to reach consumers in the way they want.

Sinek looks at why marketing and branding is so important for companies to communicate what the products and services stand for. Strong brands inspire believers, allow consumers to attach their own beliefs and values to a product, creating trust. In turn, consumers will continue to buy their products or use their services despite what else is available on the market.

Leaders eat last: Why some teams pull together and others don’t

Sinek this time looks at how leaders can shape a positive culture at work. A strong leader can ensure workers go home fulfilled by what they do and who they work for.

Creating an environment built on trust, teams pull together to help their tribe not just survive, but the flourish. He demonstrates that with strong leadership, employees will take ownership in troubled times; sacrificing personal gain in the short term to help their leader in the long term.

Personally, I think how Sinek thinks and breaks down views on marketing and leadership. His book is one all business owners should have on their essential reading list. Well written easy to read and has value for both big and small businesses.

Traction: Get a grip on your business

Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you?

There are obstacles, and then there are obstacles. Traction deals with the big, mind-bending hurdles when it feels like things are about to derail you. All entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations—personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. Decisions never seem to get made, or, once made, fail to be properly implemented.

Based upon years of experience, Wickman suggests an easy solution – the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. The book contains tools and techniques to bring you and your business back on track, but it’s more about strategy and approach than step-by-step instruction.

Another great book for business, with Wickman proposing solutions in plain English. You won’t need a degree to understand the suggestions and knowledge either.

Black Box Thinking: Marginal gains and the secrets of high performance

Every aircraft is equipped with an almost indestructible black box. When there is an accident, the box is opened, the data is analysed, processed and procedures are adapted. All done so that the same mistake doesn’t happen again. It is due to this that flying is still one of the safest ways of travelling.

Taking this philosophy, Matthew Syed developed a new idea. The most important determinant of success, whether in sports, business, or life, is an acknowledgment of failure and a willingness to engage with it. This is how we learn, progress and excel.

It’s hard to fail, but in the journey of developing your own business, it’s likely to happen at some point. Black Box thinking proves that failure is not shameful, but exciting and enlightening. The book paints things in a different light, hopefully changing the way you think when things go wrong. Another great book for business owners!

Deep work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world

Finding time to do the day job is hard when running a business – so how do you deal with the distractions that come with that? Deep work is the ability to focus, without distraction, on a mentally demanding task.

Coined by the author Cal Newport, deep work will make you better at what you do. In addition, it will help you achieve more in less time and provide fulfilment from the mastery of a skill.

Newport offers techniques for dodging distractions inherent in running a small business. In essence, giving back time to focus on the things that will ensure you succeed. The advice is nicely structured in four rules and includes a “training program.”

What other great books for business owners are out there? Let us know in the comments.

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