Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Join the Black Entrepreneur mailing list of more than 39,000 subscribers to stay up to date with the latest news and information.
With the explosion of information available on the internet, it is very easy to become overwhelmed trying to determine the best sources for educating yourself about how to succeed in business. Unfortunately, much of the information available is either incorrect, outdated, or unsubstantiated. This is potentially more destructive that not educating at all because it can lead to missteps, wasted time, or even worse, financial ruin. Finding the right resources for your business education are absolutely vital to both short-term and long-term success.
To shorten the learning curve and provide you with great resources for your business education, we have compiled a list of five of the best business books you should read for success. These books vary from only a few years old to over 60 years old, but the guidance and details that these books provide are invaluable. These books teach business principles using stories that are easy to understand and techniques that should be implemented in your business. Obviously, there are thousands of other books that you will need over time, but starting with these five will have your feet firmly placed on the ground and enough business knowledge to think critically about how to grow and manage your business going forward.
The recommended list of books are:
Perry Marshall became popular with his first book “Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords,’ but has since parlayed that success into being considered one of the foremost authorities on Online Marketing. The 80/20 Sales and Marketing book explores the Pareto principle that states, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Marshall gives excellent examples of how to use this principle to assess employees, develop new business, manage to-do lists, and even become more productive in your personal life. This book will quickly start your wheels turning as small changes that can be made in your business that will have a significant impact.
In Rework, Jason Fried challenges you to reassess everything you know about business and how to operate your business efficiently. Fried very quickly drives home that many of the business norms that we have come to accept are not the best ways to operate a business and often waste a lot of time. Fried teaches you how to shorten time frames for completed work, increase productivity, and how to remain focused and not chase shiny objects or every new idea. This book is a very quick read and although it is written from a technology startup business perspective, the techniques that are applied will lead you to question and improve how you operate every part of your business. If increasing efficiency and productivity within your business is important, then this book will provide at least a few dozen methods that can be used to accomplish our goal.
Often times people start businesses for the wrong reasons. The most popular reason that people start businesses is that they believe that their supervisor in their current job is not doing a very good job and that person believes they can do it better. So they start their own business to prove that they can do a better job than their previous company. What is often missed is that there is much more that goes into running a business than that worker sees when working for the other company. This book details this journey of Sarah who loves to bake pies, but quickly realizing the love of backing pies is much different than operating a pie business. The book not only explains what she did wrong, but also what was needed to correct the mistakes. This book is very practical and relatable. This is a book that you will likely read multiple times as new nuggets of information are uncovered each time.
Not directly a business book, The Slight Edge fits better as a personal development book which is extremely important as an entrepreneur. The Slight Edge focuses on the small incremental changes that you can make with your health, finances, relationships, and work that will lead to huge changes in a short period of time. For instance, rather than focusing on saving $1 million, Slight Edge focuses on saving $100 and doing that repeatedly until you meet your goals. Many of the principles in this book are similar to “The Process” that Nick Saban details about he coaches his teams and runs his organization in his book “How Good Do You Want To Be.” Since that book is more heavily focused on sports, it was not added to the list, but it is also a great read about goal setting, consistency through processes, and maximizing productivity.
This book is much more about money concepts and how we should think about money for long term success. It compares and contrasts the thought processes and lifestyles of an entrepreneur versus a person that chooses to work a typical 9-5 job. This has been a best seller for years and will likely remain well-regarded for years. Rich Dad, Poor Dad does not contain a lot of practical advice that can be implemented immediately, but learns more towards a mindset shift in how you manage finances and plan your future.
Business knowledge and personal development are two areas that entrepreneurs must continually invest their time and money for improvement. This should include books, training seminars, mastermind groups, etc. What other books or trainings about business have been impactful or instrumental in your success? What were your biggest takeaways from the resource?