In the 21st century, if you’re not thinking about starting a business, then… well, you’re missing out big times. While the net is flooded with tips, advice, and quick get-rich-super-fast schemes, the best way to start a successful business is by learning from other people who have already figured it out. And how can you do that? That’s right, by reading business books. The best business books.
My main goal in this post is simple: To showcase the best business books of all time in a single monstrously big, yet easy to navigate, blog post. I’ve scoured the entire net to make this booklist behemoth available for everyone looking to start their own business – or upgrade their current one. Not a single average, or kind of OK book made it here. Nope. The titles you’ll see below are carefully selected – or should I mention handpicked after countless searches online and conversations with business owners – and only the best of the best books made it inside.
So, whether you need advice on how to start a business, or you’re looking for ways to grow your current business, or wondering what are the best selling business books of all time, or you want to advance in your careers, or you’re looking for your next read, or you are simply looking for the best business books on Goodreads categorized by rating, this list is for you.
Some of the books are well-known.
Others are quite ancient and rarely mentioned.
But they’re all here. Waiting for you to read them.
This list should be your go-to resource whenever you’re looking for your next read.
Let’s dive right in.
Grey Info Box: Four things before you start: 1) If for some reason I have not included a book that you believe should be absolutely present below, you can either get in touch or post a comment below. 2) Since this post is extraordinarily huge, you can search by pressing CTRL + F on your keyboard. 3) Though the first 20 books have a lot of ratings and are quite popular, don’t get fooled. There are a lot of great reads in the bottom of the list with fewer ratings but can probably serve you better. 4) Make sure you bookmark this for future reference.
The Best Business Books of All Time Categorized by Goodreads Rating
1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Published: October, 2011.
Goodreads ratings: 822,061+
An iconic person deserves an iconic book. And Walter Isaacson, the author, delivers.
The biography of Steve Jobs is a must-read for everyone thinking about starting a business. You get a front seat to see how Steve revolutionized technology and how Apple was founded. Along with that, you get to understand both the sides of Job’s persona: 1) a control-freak who didn’t really cared about others 2) a genius innovator who believed that technology should act as an extension of our bodies.
There’s a lot you can learn business-wise from this book and the number of sold copies and reviews are clearly reinforcing this opinion.
2. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Published: April, 2005.
Goodreads ratings: 630,952+
A king of old business book that has more than 500,000 book ratings on Goodreads. Is it really worth your time?
Well, probably yes.
Steve and Stephen explain what economics really is – in essence, people getting what they want when there are other’s who want the same thing. Sounds confusing. I know. But the authors have a tendency to confuse people. If you don’t like a lot of data and a lot of scattered information, this book is not for you. However, if you can skip through all the statistics and what to learn about the hidden side of … well, everything – how gangs operate, the truth about real-estate agents, and how we can reduce crime, you can learn a lot from this business book.
So, if you’re new in the business world and you want to learn the basics of economics and microeconomics than this book is probably your starting point.
3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
Published: January, 2000.
Goodreads ratings: 613,506+
You don’t know how to come up with a trendy product? Probably you need to read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
In this business book, Mr. Gladwell analyzes the trends that hit the US market like a storm in the past couple of years. He searches for clues in the past to help you come up with future infectious ideas so you can build your own cult-like product. Along with that, he explains what are the three laws that will ensure that your product will go viral: the law of the few, the stickiness factor, the power of context.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Published: October, 1936.
Goodreads ratings: 460,628+
This is not your typical business book. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie won’t bombard you with facts about the recent trends or about how to come up with the next billion-dollar idea. But it will help you with something even more important – winning people on your side. Understanding your customers and building strong B2B and B2C relationships.
Though the book is considered by a lot of people as a BS advice self-help manual for becoming “rich”, there’s a lot you can learn from Dale Carnegie. Especially how to communicate with others.
5. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Published: November, 2008.
Goodreads ratings: 450,136+
The best way to success is by copying and refining what others are doing. Having that in mind, Malcolm Gladwell, who is the author of this best-seller shares with us the pre-glamours life of the “Outliers.” Apparently, “outliers” is how you call those wildly successful dudes who seemingly have it all figured out.
Gladwell looks closely at the lives of the most successful people of our time (think about Bill Gate, Mozart) and deconstructs what they did to reach greatness. This business book can definitely boost your motivation and help you learn a thing or two about starting a business and becoming better at your craft.
6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Published: August, 1986.
Goodreads ratings: 426,522+
Want a booming business and a fancy office? You can’t achieve that without good habits. As you probably know, a business is not just about throwing orders and counting money, it involves a lot of work. Hard work. And how do you become a hard-working business owner? That’s right, by regularly doing the same, a lot of times boring, shit daily.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is the book everyone thinks about when someone throws the word habit out there. So, you’re kind of obligated to read it. If you don’t want to, that’s OK, you can just check my summary:
7. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard
Published: September, 1998.
Goodreads ratings: 318,122+
A fun business book about a group of mice living inside a maze and looking to get some cheese. At some point, somebody moves the cheese and mayhem happens.
Though the book is quite criticized by readers, there are things you can learn from this business book. Like, “Life moves on and so should we” and “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
It’s a short motivational book about people who are trapped in a corporate capitalist maze and want to escape starting something on their own. It might be fun for a bedtime story. But if you’re serious about making money, just move on to the next book.
8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Published: August, 1997.
Goodreads ratings: 272,528+
The only way you can fix your finances is by owning more things that put money in your pocket. That’s the main lesson from this business book. But there is more.
If you’re mad about your dad for not starting his own business and later teaching you how to be an entrepreneur yourself, this book will calm you down and give you the lessons from the rich dad you never had. So, grab a piece of paper, call your dad to apologize for all the years of disrespect and read this book.
9. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Published: March, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 192,546+
There aren’t many famous business books targeting women. Probably that’s why Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is a best-seller.
The author talks a lot about giving birth, about women job security and about women demanding more support from their partners. It’s an inspirational read for the working Moms out there and it also comes with some great tips for starting your own business while nursing your newborns.
10. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
Published: September, 2011.
Goodreads ratings: 171,884+
Learn how you can prevent your startup from going bankrupt. The Lean Startup is something like a gospel for the modern entrepreneur. Especially for the people in the tech industry.
Eric Ries keeps repeating how you should launch something as fast as possible. How important it is to create a minimum viable product, show it to a bunch of people, ask for their feedback and latter iterate. Because, if you spend forever working on something no one will later buy, you just wasted your time and probably hundreds of dollars.
It’s a business book you should definitely check if you’re considering starting something on your own.
11. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Published: March, 2015.
Goodreads ratings: 166,492+
We all know about Tesla. But do we know enough about Elon Musk? Some people call him the real-life Tony Stark. Others, simply call him the go-to-Mars-guy. OK, the latter is probably not true. Regardless, we need more people like Musk. More people who push the boundaries and make the world a better place.
This biography is something you should definitely read. You will learn not only about rockets and green energy, but you’ll also learn about where the world is going and what we should aim for in the recent future. A true must-read for the modern business owner.
12. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Published: April, 2007.
Goodreads ratings: 130,602+
Most business gurus chatter about working yourself to the bone. Not Tim, he’s all about leisure time. About finding someone to work for you while you drink mojitos somewhere distant and warm.
The 4-Hour Workweek is how most people want to live. It’s a book that describes the modern dream – to become a dot come millionaire and earn big from passive income. Though there are a lot of different opinions about this book – a lot of them really negative – the half-day workweek book is a good read and it can actually teach you quite a few things about starting and running a business.
13. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Published: April, 1937.
Goodreads ratings: 164,348+
A classic business book that convinces the reader that seemingly impossible things are possible. It’s kind of you-can-do-it-all type of book. With the well-known cliches and just-do-it phrases. Still, it’s definitely a good read. A book that will set your mind for success and make you dust yourself off and try again. Yep, just quoted Aaliyah’s song Try again.
Back to the book…
To be honest, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was the first self-help book I ever read. Thank God somehow this book ended in my hands. Regardless of the cliche quotes that explain that you can become uberly successful when you do stuff, this book is surely something worth checking.
14. Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
Published: March, 2010.
Goodreads ratings: 125,287+
Let’s be honest. Most authors that write business books are full of shit. The main reason their books become bestsellers is because they invest heavily in marketing. But when you get the book and read what’s inside, you wish you never knew about the title. However, it’s quite the opposite when we’re talking about Rework.
The authors, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, are also the owners of a company called Basecamp 3. And in Rework, they share how they run their million-dollar business. It’s quite different than what everyone else is telling about managing a company. Probably that’s why they are so damn successful.
This book is definitely a must-read for every business owner and entrepreneur wannabe.
15. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
Published: September, 2014.
Goodreads ratings: 119,790+
Zero to One is kind of the go-to book when you’re thinking about starting your own business. Personally, I don’t think it’s that good, but there are lessons inside that are worth your time.
Main point the authors are trying to make is the following: “Find ways to make the future different, better. Starting a company for the sake of earning a quick buck to won’t get you far.”
16. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by James C. Collins
Published: October, 2001.
Goodreads ratings: 108,354+
Good to Great is basically a study of the companies that were dominating the market in the nineties. James Collins explains in great details how the biggest companies triumphed over all others. What they did differently and how they managed to become from good to great, hence the title.
The main purpose of the author is to tell you how to take a merely good company and make it great. So, if you’re struggling to make money on your own, probably this book is for you.
17. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
Published: December, 2001.
Goodreads ratings: 108,385+
Getting Things Done is more of a book about productivity. Still, there are a lot of references in the copy that can also help you make better business decisions and move your company forward. Although it’s kind of old-ish book, a lot of people seem to love the GTD (Getting Things Done) system.
The best thing about the book is that it’s very straight forward and focused on implementation – expect no BS advice, only pure meat. In short, GTD focuses on getting things done.
18. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Published: May, 2018.
Goodreads ratings: 93,041+
The full inside story of the startup unicorn company few people remember, Theranos. This new organization promised to revolutionize the medical industry by giving you a complete picture of your health using only a small amount of blood, in a manner of hours.
As soon as angel investors heard about the “revolutionary way” to test blood, people all over the place started were throwing money at the CEO Elizabeth Holmes and in 2013, Theranos was valued at nearly $10 billion. Not bad for a twenty-something girl. Though it all sounded good on paper, their technology never worked. Besides that, Holmes and a company were actually facing jail time at some point.
Regardless, the book is a really good read in terms of what you shouldn’t do as a business owner.
19. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
Published: April, 2016.
Goodreads rating: 85,115+
As the title says, Shoe Dog holds the story of the person who founded Nike, Phil Knight. We all know Nike, and we’re all familiar with what they do. So, no need to add more words here. If you want to know how this massive corporation was created and how it was able to inspire millions of people to “Just do it,” you should get the book.
Knight covers all of it in detail. The ups and the downs. The many downs. It’s surely a business book worth checking.
20. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
Published: December, 2009.
Goodreads ratings: 81,067+
Besides learning how to motivate people – at work, at school, at home. Daniel Pink also throws some really good advice for business owners. Like, the carrot and stick techniques for rewarding employees doesn’t work.
Apparently, the key to motivating workers to do their best is to give them there 3 things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. If you can provision all three, you can take a break and let your guys do all the work without worrying that they’ll blow your empire.
21. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Published: October, 2009.
Goodreads ratings: 79,996+
Simon Sinek is the Why guy. After his famous TED talk, everyone around the world started asking themselves Why? Why I’m doing this? Why the sky is blue? Why there are binds in the sky? Why I’m questioning everything?
I’m kidding. The Start with Why theory is something you should definitely check. If you’re not sure why you’re doing something, or what to include in your website About page, the 3-step process Sinek offers will help you figure out what’s your purpose – both in life and your in business. It might sound simple when you read about it, but knowing why you’re doing something is a really powerful motivator, not only for you, but also for the people considering using your services.
22. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Published: December, 2006.
Goodreads ratings: 64,472+
What to know how to make your idea stick? Simple, use the following six concepts when evaluating your idea: Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions, Stories.
Yep, it sounds too general. For more, simply get this book, dummy. Made to Stick will help you make your ideas more interesting and more likable, thus more successful. Sounds incredibly obvious but it’s in fact hard to do in real life.
23. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
Published: February, 2003.
Goodreads rating: 58,627+
No, this is not a book about makeup. Nor about powdering your face. It’s a business book that will help you take care of a really important aspect of your business: how to get out of debt and achieve good financial health. Yep, sounds too good to be true. But this Dave Ramsey guy is quite famous. He is the money maestro. The dollar bill master. The financial wellness go-to guy.
So, if you’re having troubles keeping your money inside your wallet, you might want to check this masterpiece.
24. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Published: December, 1949.
Goodreads rating: 56,475+
This piece was first published back in 1949. Or in other words, this book is old. I’m not even sure if my parents were born then, probably not. So, why even considering The Intelligent Investor? Well, because it’s old, that’s why.
It gives you some timeless, long-term strategies about reaching your financial goals. The language is a bit old-fashioned, but that only reinforces the words mentioned inside. It kind of sounds as if your grandfather is sharing all his valuable experience with you. It’s a good read if you want a different perspective on managing money.
25. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras
Published: September, 1994.
Goodreads rating: 52,503+
Building a company that can outlive your is hard. But reading a book about building a company that can potentially outlive you is quite easy. So, if you want to do the former, you should definitely consider doing the latter.
Built to Last is a must-read book, no doubt. It will help you tailor your goals and make wise business decisions while building a culture-like company.
Before we move on to the next business tome, I want to share the following quote from the book to inspire you to get it and : “Visionary companies are so clear about what they stand for and what they’re trying to achieve that they simply don’t have room for those unwilling or unable to fit their exacting standards.”
26. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
Published: September, 1985.
Goodreads ratings: 52,227+
What will you learn from this book? How to get your business to run without you. And, how to work on your business, not in it.
The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) is something every internet entrepreneur should read. It’s a transformational book. From a former employee who decided to work for himself, you’ll become a future-focused visionary who pursues opportunities.
27. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne
Published: February, 2004.
Goodreads ratings: 44,484+
Instead of engaging in head-to-head competition, you should try something different to gain more market share. The authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors, but from creating “blue oceans” – untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.
Blue Ocean Strategy is a book worth considering. It will teach you how to spot uncontested market space, making your business rivals irrelevant. If you’re in the middle of a fight with competitors, call back your troops and rethink your strategy.
28. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
Published: May, 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 43,035+
Apparently, building a business structured around your desired lifestyle is possible. But that’s not all. It can be also achieved in around 100 bucks. At least that’s what the author is sharing in his business book, The $100 Startup.
The book encourages you to scheme your grand plan so you can free yourself from the boring 9 to 5 office job.
29. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Published: October, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 42,326+
The Everything Store is kind of old and outdated compared to what’s happening today, but it’s still a good business book.
Brad Stone takes us behind the scenes of the world largest retail store. If you want to know how Amazon was founded and learn from the earliest mistakes of Jeff Bezos and company, you should get this book. Who knows, you might get inspired to build your own billion-dollar company.
30. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Published: August, 2001.
Goodreads ratings: 41,162+
A lot of people hate this book because they find the author a bit harsh. That’s because he’s constantly accusing people of being lazy and for not making the right decisions for their future. Well, I kind of agree with him. I’ll just say the following: social media. Since people are spending more than 4 hours per day glued to their screens you can’t hate the guy for telling the truth.
Back to the book…
So, Fooled by Randomness gives a wonderful introduction to many of the fallacies we humans are all too prone to make. It explains how we can never be purely rational and how we all suffer from hindsight bias. What does this have to do with business?
Everything. If you’re not able to control your emotions and to handle critical feedback, you’ll never last long on the market.
31. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
Published: March, 2014.
Goodreads ratings: 38,597+
A brutally honest book about starting and running a business.
That’s what you need. The whole truth about owning a business. Not some sort of sugar-coated story about running your own company.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things is here to explain what you need to do, in reality, if you want to start your own thing. Expect no-BS advice. Only facts and great advice on how to hire well, act proactively, keep the communication within the team thriving even when the team grows.
If you are a CEO, read this book.
If you aspire to be a CEO read this book.
If you are interested in entrepreneurship and want to understand it better, read this book.
32. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Published: September, 2008.
Goodreads ratings: 34,182+
The story of the legendary Omaha investor, Warren Buffett. We all know him. He’s an American business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist who serves as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Warren Buffett’s estimated net worth is currently estimated at 79.2 billion USD. Do you need more convincing to read this business book? I thought so.
33. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
Published: May, 1998.
Goodreads ratings: 33,795+
The book analyzes what more than 80,000 managers do differently. Apparently, what they have all in common is this: they all break the rules.
If you’re just starting a management position and you need some guidance, or you’re not doing a good job managing the people responsible for your business, you should read this book. Yep, read it to become a better manager. Because, as the author says, “People don’t leave jobs or companies – they leave managers.”
34. The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen
Published: January, 1997.
Goodreads ratings: 33,432+
The great findings in the book are the following two: 1) certain innovations are “disruptive” – meaning, they changed the way a market worked 2) others are “sustaining” – meaning, they were really just improvements on existing products.
Which path are you going to choose?
You might find your answer in this business book. The Innovator’s Dilemma will help you if you’re planning to create a new company by learning from former great products that were dominating the market.
35. Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin
Published: October, 2008.
Goodreads ratings: 32,433+
What to know how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami so you can avoid such a disaster happening to your own company? Then read Too Big to Fail.
This business book is a great way to understand how the global economic system work. Also, understand what you should do and what you should avoid doing when it comes down to investing and managing money.
36. Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough, John Helyar
Published: January, 1990.
Goodreads ratings: 26,239+
By reading the description of the book you’ll see that this is the best business narrative ever written. Barbarians at the Gate tracks and shares the story of the fall of RJR Nabisco.
But who believes the description, right?
So, I went down to see the comments. Things weren’t way different. People are loving the book. So, if you don’t understand the financial pages of newspapers and the terms they use, this is an easy way to learn about acquisitions, hostile takeovers, liquidity, assets, etc.
The book might be a bit dated now, but it’s still a great read if you want to know what happened in the States in the ’80s, you should read this copy.
37. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss
Published: May, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 26,061+
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss will give you a competitive edge in any discussion. It will help you negotiate better deals for your startup or whatever. After all, Voss was a lead FBI hostage negotiator and haggled with terrorists, kidnappers, and a host of other bad dudes for a lot of years.
It’s like a practical guide where you’ll find nine effective principles – counter-intuitive tactics and strategies – which you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
38. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant
Published: February, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 25,304+
The goal of the author in this book is admirable. He wants to help you improve the world by becoming original. To assist you in finding an original idea that will make the world a better place to live.
To illustrate his points, the author tells the stories of the familiar heroes of our time, hoping you’ll get inspired and start your own thing. He explores the modern dogma on what it takes to succeed and gives some hints on what you can do to succeed on your own.
Want to become an original inventor? Read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.
39. Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk
Published: October, 2009.
Goodreads ratings: 25,295+
Gary Vaynerchuk is the ultimate businessman. He was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. He will dominate the market and crush the competition. Don’t believe me? Watch a couple of videos of Gary V online. He dominates!
Though the guy is clearly a master speaker, the book is somehow vague. Yeah, there are good tips here and there about finding a niche which you can monetize, but the writing is mostly for college kids who still have no clear idea about what they want to do but are looking for ways to make money online.
So, kids, if you want to cash in on your passion, you might start with Gary’s book, Crush It! For everyone else, move on to the next title…
40. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
Published: October, 1776.
Goodreads ratings: 24,873+
Adam Smith’s masterpiece was first published in 1776. So, yes, it’s old. But it’s kind of super famous. The book sets the foundations of modern economic and was also important guidance for the rise of modern capitalism.
But do you really need to read this book?
Well, for the people who are obsessed with reading books that changed the world, this might be the right read. The Wealth of Nations is a pillar of western civilization and it also includes several revolutionary discoveries.
However, if you quickly get bored about ancient history and political philosophy, you probably should skip this business book.
41. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker
Published: March, 1996.
Goodreads ratings: 24,472+
Another old, but really famous read by the well-known consultant Peter Drucker. He is widely acclaimed as The Father of Modern Management.
If we want to win in the market we’re trying to serve, we must be effective. How can we do that? By measuring. “If something can be measured, it can be improved,” as the author says.
Peter Drucker is the master at learning how to be “effective.” You can gain a lot of knowledge from his book. His is actually the source of many blog posts and videos about being productive and achieving more in less time.
42. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman
Published: December, 2010.
Goodreads ratings: 22,370+
Newsflash: MBA programs are a waste of time and money.
You don’t have to visit a college to learn how to be an effective manager or start your own business. You can do these things by using the information that’s already available for free online. Josh Kaufman explains why the school system is an outdated method for gaining knowledge and shows us how we can learn whatever we want if we’re simply being proactive.
It’s surely a book worth your time if you want to start your own business.
43. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein
Published: January, 2000.
Goodreads ratings: 20,633+
In this business classic, you’ll find the following: The gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management; Interviews with dozens of key players; The culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall.
The book is basically a great story about Long Term Capital Management. How they turned a billion dollars into 4.5 billion dollars in five years. Then, they lost it all in just a few months and came close to bringing down the financial sector in the process.
If you want to see how genius guys fall – don’t we all – you need to read this book and learn from their mistakes.
44. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Published: January, 2007.
Goodreads ratings: 20,426+
Big companies are flooded with executives, men and women who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. And if the top is what you aim for, this book will show you how to climb the last few rungs of the corporate ladder.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There is for people who don’t want to start their own businesses, rather, dominate the company they are in.
Marshall Goldsmith will help you navigate in the corporate world and find the quickest way to reach the top.
45. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport
Published: January 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 20,214+
Cal Newport crushes the belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. After that, he sets out on a quest to uncover the strategies people use, and the pitfalls they avoid, to develop compelling careers.
Newport gives some specific, measurable strategies and tools to increase your career capital. Also, case studies that will help you really understand what he means when he says “follow your passion is a dumb advice”. After reading the book, you can immediately implement some practical things to improve your work and become So Good They Can’t Ignore You.
Don’t waste time, get your hands on this book and become better at your craft.
46. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
Published: March, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 17,752+
Contagious is a business book that will help you built popular products. Contagious products. Products people will not able to put away. Full of interesting stories, this business book will inspire you to rethink your current strategy and find a way to make what you’re offering more appealing to others.
In essence, this copy is entertaining, informative, interesting, and easy read, a book that should be read by anyone in business.
47. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Published: December, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 16,718+
If for some reason your product is not infectious enough after reading the above business book, you should consider Hooked. As the title says, it’s a business book about building habit-forming products. The next Facebook or the next crunchy morning meal.
The book basically explains a four-step process famous companies use to make their products trendy and encourage customers to click the buy button without even thinking.
Or in other words, an extremely valuable book for anyone building products designed to engage people frequently.
48. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
Published: June, 2009.
Goodreads ratings: 16,581+
The main idea in this book is simple: Ignore everybody. Do whatever you want, your idea doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be yours.
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod is the story of a cartoonist with mediocre drawing skills. Hugh began drawing badly on the back of business cards doesn’t and a few years later, bam, he is selling badly drawn cartoons to tech giants.
It’s a really short and inspiring read. If you’re low on motivation and you don’t know what to do next, I highly recommend getting the book. It will restore your inspiration and help you move on.
49. Business Adventures by John Brooks
Published: August, 1969.
Goodreads ratings: 15,658+
Another business classic. Business Adventures by John Brooks gathers the stories of Ford’s Edsel, Piggly Wiggly, Xerox, Goodrich, General Electric.
Though all these companies are quite different than when they were founded, this book will help you understand how to set the right foundations for your own company.
50. The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson
Published: January, 2005.
Goodreads ratings: 14,980+
The description of this book is simple: The Slight Edge will teach you how to achieve success in all aspects of your life – health, finances, relationships, family life.
Yep, sounds simple but there are things said in this book that are really powerful. Principles you’ll want to apply to your own life.
So, what are some of these principles? In short, learning how to retrain the way you approach work and life so you take full advantage of both and achieve maximum results over time.
51. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind
Published: September, 2003.
Goodreads ratings: 14,777+
Smartest Guys in the Room takes the reader deep into Enron’s past and explains how and why this seemingly great company, crumbled.
For those of you who don’t know, Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. The founders of the company claimed that revenues of nearly $101 billion during 2000 are real money. However, only a year later, it was revealed that it was all creatively planned accounting fraud.
So, if you want to build your own fraud-like company, read this definitive case study of the former most admired company in America.
52. First 90 Days Updated and Expanded by Michael D. Watkins
Published: September, 2003.
Goodreads ratings: 14,124+
First 90 Days was first published in 2003 but now is updated and expanded – republished in 2018. This business book will walk you through the first 90 days on your startup, your next business venture or your career promotion.
Michael Watkins is an expert on leadership transitions, and here he offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role at any point in one’s career. Along with that, tips on: how you want to introduce yourself to new coworkers, how to organize priorities, and how to split up what you need to learn into easily manageable chunks.
53. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works by Ash Maurya
Published: January, 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 12,516+
If after reading “The Lean Start-up” you were left wondering “that’s cool, but how can I actually do this”, then this is the book for you.
A great business book that will help you in the following two directions: First, how to ensure that you’re actually solving a problem that people need to be solved. Second, how to be sure that the solution you propose is something that solves the problem and that people will want to pay for.
54. In Search Of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies by Thomas J. Peters,
Published: April, 1982.
Goodreads ratings: 12,001+
According to Bloomsbury UK, this is the “Greatest Business Book of All Time.” The book holds forty-three lessons of America’s best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors. It will teach you what it is that makes companies excellent.
So, if you’re planning to start your own thing, it’s a good idea to learn what are the fundamentals of a great company and follow the lessons inside the book to create your own empire.
55. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Published: March, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 11,390+
From the bestselling authors of Made to Stick and Switch. Decisive is another great book about creating a great business and a great life. In essence, the book is about the four principles that can help us to overcome our brains’ natural biases to make better, more informed decisions – in our lives, careers, families, and companies.
The author’s really want to help us to improve your decision-making skills. And to be honest, I think they succeed. The advice in this book are universal and they can be applied to every aspect of your life.
If you have a problem figuring out what should be your next decision, consider getting Decisive.
56. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams
Published: October, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 10,805+
Starting your own business undoubtedly comes with a lot of failures. You’ll most probably fail at least a couple of times before you create something meaningful, something people will want to buy. Scott Adams, the author, knows this better than anyone. During a span of a couple of years, he transitioned from a hapless office worker to a world’s most famous syndicated comic strip. How he was able to do that? Read the book, obviously.
There are a lot of great thoughts packed into this book that are designed to get you off the ground and help you create the perfect lifestyle for you, specifically.
57. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler
Published: June, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 10,583+
In his book, Richard Thaler wants to help us understand how humans behave and make buying decisions. Misbehaving is a singular look into the profound human psyche. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.
If the above doesn’t sound convincing enough to get his book read this fun fact: In 2017, Thaler received the Nobel Prize in economics, for his work in understanding the realities of economic decision making.
So, yes, he knows what he’s talking about.
58. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Steve Blank, Bob Dorf
Published: March, 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 9,968+
As the title suggests, The Startup Owners Manual is an inspiring and informative book on how to start your entrepreneurial career, thus be your own boss.
In this book, Steve Blank and Bob Dorf incorporate the lessons they’ve learned from 10 years of experience. You’ll learn a lot of stuff. From how to plan your business to how to execute on your plan. Or in short, The Startup Owner’s Manual is a step-by-step, near-encyclopedic reference manual or “how to” for building a successful, scalable startup.
59. Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart
Published: September, 1991.
Goodreads ratings: 9,869+
Den of Thieves is comparable to Barbarians at the Gate in many ways (see 36 positions in this list). It basically explains the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street. You’ll see the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice.
It’s probably more of a history book than anything else. Still, it’s a good read if you want to know some facts about the past. These always help to create a better future.
60. The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone
Published: March, 2011.
Goodreads ratings: 9,838+
Grant Cardone is like the older version of Gary V. He’s the typical hustle guy who made massive amounts of money selling products to people explaining how they can get rich. But this book is different. This time you will not only get rich. You’ll get 10X rich.
After this book was born, 10X-ing became a thing. Everyone started talking about 10X-ing: 10X your profits; 10X your marketing game; 10X your body buster.
Though is full of cheesy-like quotes and phrases, there are tips worth nothing. After all, Grant Cardone is a world-famous author and speaker. The lest you can learn from him is how to get people to pay you for obvious stuff.
61. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
Published: April, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 8,040+
The Culture Code explores how groups succeed in achieving their goals. Sounds boring, I know. But surprisingly, it’s kind of interesting.
Inside you’ll read different stories. Stories about how the Navy Seals became such an incredible group and how Pixar was able to create a series of great movies. Along with that, there are a ton of other tales about business leaders, professional athletic coaches and more.
It’s a great read for people in management positions or people that have to work in groups or teams.
62. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
Published: January, 1984.
Goodreads ratings: 7,967+
You can’t run a business if you don’t know how to close a sale. Fortunately, we have Zig Ziglar’s book. He’s a sales veteran and a master storyteller. He’s written numerous books and hold thousands of sales seminars. He’s your go-to guy when it comes down to selling.
In this book, you’ll find over 100 closings techniques and over 700 questions that will help you become a better salesman.
Level up your sales game by getting this book.
63. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer
Published: September, 2004.
Goodreads ratings: 7,672+
Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer was the first sales book I’ve ever read. It’s such an easy read and I was hooked about selling after reading it.
You’ll not only learn 12.5 principles of selling, but you’ll also get to understand why people buy stuff.
This book could benefit salesmen and non-salesmen alike. Basically, anyone who deals with people can benefit from reading the principles inside.
64. Measure What Matters by John Doerr
Published: April, 2018.
Goodreads ratings: 7,452+
OK, OK, Larry Page foreword this book. Do you need more convincing?
Measure What Matters explains the explosive growth behind companies like Intel, Google, Amazon, and Uber. Also, introduced a revolutionary approach to goal-setting that will help you make tough choices in business called: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
Doerr helped more than fifty tech giants and charities to exceed all expectations after introducing the OKRs method. The model focuses on defining what we seek to achieve and what are the key results so we attain our top priority goals.
Or in other words, you’ll find a lot of useful data to move fast and excel in the business world.
65. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes
Published: June, 2007.
Goodreads ratings: 6,748+
Too many managers jump at every new trend, but don’t stick with any of them. The main advice the author has to offer is the following: focus. Instead of trying to master four thousand strategies to improve your business, focus on a few essential skill areas that make the big difference.
The Ultimate Sales Machine shows you how to tune up and soup up virtually every part of your business by spending just an hour per week on each impact area you want to improve. It’s definitely a book worth considering especially if you’re just getting started in your business.
66. The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis
Published: January, 1999.
Goodreads ratings: 6,349+
The New New Thing is an ingeniously conceived history of the Internet revolution. It was first published in 1999 – when the dot com businesses were first starting to rise.
Lewis tracks down the three Billion Dollar companies of the time: Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and Healtheon.
You’ll most probably enjoy this book if you’re a 1) tech nerd who want to hear the inside story of SGI and Netscape; 2) people from the valley who want to recall the gold old days.
If none of the above describes you, you can skip this book.
67. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John C. Maxwell
Published: June, 2005.
Goodreads ratings: 5,761+
You don’t have to be a manager or the top dog to lead people. You can do it regardless of your position and John Maxwell will teach you how in this book.
In The 360 Degree Leader, John tells stories gleaned from business and leadership. Holds quotes from around the world and weaves them together to teach about leadership and success.
If you’re middle management or a small business owner, you’ll need this book to make people trust you and follow you.
68. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike Jr.
Published: October, 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 5,546+
What makes a CEO successful? Charm? Confidence? Charisma? Virtuous communication skills? All mentioned?
Well yes, and a lot more.
This is a refreshing, counterintuitive book, that tells the story of eight modern CEOs whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty – in other words, millions of dollars of profits. You may not know all their names, but you will recognize their companies: General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne.
In The Outsiders, you’ll learn the traits and methods these people use to achieve revolutionary success.
69. It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
Published: October, 2018.
Goodreads ratings: 5,530+
If you really want to start a business, you need to think more about staying in business… is just part of what I’ve learned after reading It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work.
The authors, Jason Fried, and David Heinemeier Hansson are the guys who run the company Basecamp (remember Rework from above?) and their notion for a successful company doesn’t include long hours, toxic meetings or aggressive hustle to stay in the game. Quite the opposite. They explain in a very human way what does it take to create a calm company in which people will enjoy working.
So, if you really want to create a cool company which operates at full potential, get this quick read and learn from the experts.
70. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares
Published: August, 2014.
Goodreads ratings: 5,495+
In the book Traction, the authors explore the main reason so many startups fail. Once they give you the don’t-do-this tips, they hit hard with what you should do to achieve explosive customer growth.
If you’ve got one book to read about building startup growth, read this one. The book is full of applicable tips and advice, which spring right from every chapter. Also, inside is explained that there isn’t a magical recipe for bringing in a million customers overnight, “magic” happens over a long period of time.
71. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffett
Published: April, 1998.
Goodreads ratings: 5,052+
As a child Buffet was obsessed with entrepreneurship and we all see what happened. This book is definitive work concerning Warren Buffett and his intelligent investment philosophy. It’s basically a collection of Buffett’s letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway written over the past few decades.
If you choose to get this book you’ll most probably read and then re-read every line to ensure that you don’t miss one single insight.
I recommend any investor, analyst and particularly accounting professionals to read it.
72. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution by Michael Hammer, James Champy
Published: May, 1993.
Goodreads ratings: 4,645+
The most successful business book of the last decade. Yep, another business classic. The main goal of the author in this book is to help you achieve dramatic performance improvements.
Michael Hammer and James Champy will lead you through the radical redesign of a company’s processes, organization, and culture to achieve a quantum leap in performance.
WOW! Is that even possible?
Yes. This book will give you insights about the different types of challenges every business owners faces so you can find solutions for your own company.
73. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling
Published: October, 2011.
Goodreads ratings: 4,243+
The 4 Disciplines of Execution offers is a simple, yet proven formula that will help you progress. By following the 4 strategic priorities mentioned inside you’ll be able to produce remarkable results.
On the surface, there is nothing new about the approach inside the book: Set SMART goals; Keep a scoreboard; Create accountability; Etc. Still, it’s full of actionable advice on what do that can help you move forward.
74. Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury
Published: August, 1991.
Goodreads ratings: 4,101+
How can you convince someone to say Yes when he’s stuck on saying No?
Well, there is a book for that: Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations.
William Ury offers a proven strategy for turning adversaries into negotiating partners. The main thing you’ll learn is how to reach agreements that satisfy both sides’ needs.
Nothing new or shocking here, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn what you do wrong when you’re trying to convince people to buy from you.
75. The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer
Published: May, 2014.
Goodreads ratings: 3,558+
Remote work is taking over and we’re kind of forced to work with people from different nationalities. Even though there is nothing wrong with that, the cultural differences can cause mayhem in a small organization.
Learn how to decode cultures foreign to your own by reading this short business book.
The Culture Map provides a field-tested model to help people from different backgrounds work together and achieve great results. Erin Meyer combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice for succeeding in a global world.
76. Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc, Robert Anderson
Published: April, 1977.
Goodreads ratings: 3,489+
Obviously, this book is a little dated. Ray Kroc wrote this book back in 1977. Still, it’s a fascinating business story.
McDonald’s revolutionized food service, franchising, shared national training and advertising have earned the company, and more particularly Ray Kroc, a place beside the men who founded not merely businesses but entire new industries.
In this book, you’ll meet Rich Kroc, the man behind the business legend, in his own words. There’s surely a lot you can learn from him in regards running a business.
77. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
Published: October, 2007.
Goodreads ratings: 3,308+
Get a grip and gain control over your business with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). What the hell is this? A practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned.
The method mention will help you set clear plans, tools, and strategies for getting your business move in the right direction. So, you found yourself having to manage an organization, I highly recommend that you read this book.
78. The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource by Jeffrey Gitomer
Published: August, 2003.
Goodreads ratings: 3,164+
Another one by Jeffrey Gitomer. This time we have The Sales Bible. This is the ultimate book for making more sales. Over the phone, live, by sending SMS, whatever. The Sales Bible is here to teach you how to sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.
Full with motivational language, lessons, strategies, and tricks, this book will change your mind and make you a sales machine.
79. The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case
Published: April, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 2,890+
Steve Case shares with us a roadmap for how anyone can succeed in a world of rapidly changing technology. And according to the majority of the reards, every entrepreneur out there should grab a copy of The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case and read it.
The author is a co-founder of AOL. So, he knows how to make cash from the internet because he brings the internet to the people.
This is an important book and it will help you think more critically about the future, thus create something that can help other people.
80. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
Published: May, 2019.
Goodreads ratings: 2,891+
Range is basically a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates. As it turns out, generalists, not specialists, are destined to excel. David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists, and concludes the above. So, there might be still a chance for you to do something notable.
The book offers a wide-ranging wealth of information and research Epstein shares data, as well as his opinion, on how to become and stay successful in a constantly evolving world. Definitely a must-read for pumped up entrepreneurs looking for ways to make money, both online and offline.
81. Profit First: A Simple System To Transform Any Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
Published: July, 2014.
Goodreads ratings: 2,641+
Basically, how to cut your costs and increase your profits. That’s the gist in this business book.
By lowering your cost to run the business, you’re forced to bootstrap. To think agile. And that’s good. If you get too comfortable spending like crazy nothing ever happens. But if you operate frugal, you’ll earn more money in the long-term.
82. Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Richard Branson
Published: September, 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 2,372+
There’s a lot you can learn from Richard Branson. He started dozens of businesses. Most of which are now worth billions. So, if you’re looking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not check what the old Richard Branson has to offer?
The sixty-year-old-something billionaire has a lot of offer. Full of good insights, particularly about managing people, trusting your “gut feeling” and learning from mistakes, Like a Virgin should be part of your business book list.
83. Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau
Published: September, 2017.
Goodreads ratings: 2,004+
From the author of The $100 Startup (also in this list), we now have Side Hustle. Chris Guillebeau this time will show us how to launch a profitable side hustle in just 27 days.
If you decide to get this book, you’ll basically have a guide to start your own side business. Probably it won’t going to break any new ground for you because the information inside is not really new + the title is a bit misleading. Still, it’s inspirational, well-written, and full of excellent case studies. But sometimes this is exactly what we need to start or to keep pushing.
84. Way of the Wolf: Become a Master Closer with Straight Line Selling by Jordan Belfort
Published: September, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 2,008+
This is the script of the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.
This is THE playbook that gives readers access to Jordan Belfort’s exclusive step-by-step system to create massive wealth. Learn how to use the power of persuasion in your favor and build wealth. Every technique, every strategy, and every tip in this book has been tested and proven to work in real-life situations.
The Way of the Wolf cracks the code on how to persuade anyone to do anything, and coaches readers, regardless of age, education, or gender, to be a master salesperson, negotiator, closer, entrepreneur, or speaker.
85. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John, Daniel Paisner
Published: January, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 1,764+
The power of broke can be a huge motivator if you don’t have a big budget or a lot of expertise in a particular field.
Daymond John will teach you how to live a “broke” life and run a “broke” business, because he, himself, has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With no funding and a $40 budget, Daymond found an out-of-the-box way to promote his products.
Probably you need this if you’re an army of one but you want to join the entrepreneurial troops.
86. The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you by Rob Fitzpatrick
Published: September, 2013.
Goodreads ratings: 1,596+
An eye-opener for testing your idea before going live with what you have in mind. The Mom Test is a quick, practical guide that will save you time, money, and heartbreak.
If you’re planning to start a business but if you don’t know whether your idea is viable, this is THE book.
In a human language, Rob Fitzpatrick explains how to test your idea and why you shouldn’t ask people if your business is a good idea.
87. Dotcom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson
Published: February, 2015.
Goodreads ratings: 1,586+
I don’t care what everyone else is telling you about your website, but you need traffic in order to make money out of it.
DotCom Secrets will help you if you’re currently struggling with getting traffic to your website, or converting that traffic when it shows up.
This is a rare book and if you’re in the Internet marketing space for a while, you desperately need the strategies mentioned.
88. Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level by Ryan Levesque
Published: April, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 1,516+
Ask offers a system that is revolutionizing online business. At least that’s what the author says.
Regardless, this book will help you ask the right questions so you can find out what people really want to buy.
Before you click the buy button note the following: Ask is split into two very different parts. Part 1 is all about the author’s story, which includes his personal business story and a near-death experience. Part 2 is all about the Ask Formula methodology. Though Part 1 might be a bit boring for most people, both parts of the book can be read by themselves.
89. Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
Published: January, 2017.
Goodreads ratings: 1,368+
Technology is changing the world so fast that it’s of absolute importance to reinvent yourself, at least a couple of times during your life span in order to stay competitive. This is the only way you can keep your job or keep running your business. That’s exactly what you’ll learn in the Book Reinvent Yourself.
The best thing about the book is that it’s divided into a lot of short chapters, making it really easy to digest.
So, if you hate your job and you’re on a crossroad, you might want to check this read.
90. You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith, Christine Clifford Beckwith
Published: March, 2007.
Goodreads ratings: 1,220+
In this book, the author, Harry Beckwith provides practical tips, anecdotes and insights based on his 30 years of marketing and selling his advertising services.
Even though the tips are not groundbreaking, there are a lot of cool strategies that will help you sell yourself and increase your profits.
But if you’re kind of shy, you need this book.
91. Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn
Published: January, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 1,151+
A lack of proper validation of your idea will kill your motivation and bankrupt your business. Before starting your own company you need to dedicate a bit time testing your idea and finding the right market.
Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn will help you do that. The book combines action-based exercises and real-world case studies with anecdotes from the author’s personal experience of making money online. If you don’t know, Pat is a passive income celebrity.
So, if you’re about to do your own thing or if you’re on the fence, get that book and see if your idea will fly.
92. Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential by Greg Crabtree, Beverly Blair Harzog
Published: August, 2011.
Goodreads ratings: 1,140+
If you’re not good with numbers and if a financial spreadsheet reads like Chinese to you, Simple Numbers might help.
This practical guide helps small business owners see beyond the numbers. It shows the reader how to use key financial indicators to make the right business decisions.
This book should be required reading for any entrepreneur attempting to start or run a small business.
93. Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis
Published: January, 2019.
Goodreads ratings: 751+
Most business books try to teach you how to pursue growth like a manic, this small guide will explain why staying small is better and how to do it.
Paul Jarvis has been a solo business owner for years. And according to his financial spreadsheet, he’s doing a pretty decent job.
Company of One is a refreshingly new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth, for any size business. Why the hell you might ask? Well, though growing a company sounds sexy and it’s kind of considered as the right thing to do, staying small comes with a lot of perks: less expenses, less headache, less staff, less meetings, more freedom, and more time to spend the money earned.
If you’re not a fan of the traditional startup mentality where everyone is trying to scale as soon as possible, this book is definitely the right read for you.
94. Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris C. Ducker
Published: January, 2014.
Goodreads ratings: 714+
While Paul Jarvis (from the book above) talks about being a company of one, Chris Ducker talks about the opposite: hiring virtual employees to help you run your business.
The book is a step-by-step guide for entrepreneurs who are looking for help from outside people but have trust issues.
Virtual Freedom is extra special because it’s not only good people starting out but even for those who have been managing people online for years. In essence, Virtual Freedom will show you how to take that the next step and scale your business.
95. Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company’s Future – and What to Do About It by Tien Tzuo
Published: June, 2018.
Goodreads ratings: 589+
I’m kind of biased towards this book because I freaking love it.
The world is changing and you need to act fast. It’s no longer simply about selling goods to a bunch of people, you need to build relationships with your potential customers and after that make them members to your platform, subscribers.
Subscribed by Tien Tzuo will explain why subscription-based businesses are on a rise, why it’s important to start buildings yours today, and how to actually do it.
I highly recommend reading the book or at least my summary:
96. The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom by Carrie Wilkerson
Published: August, 2011.
Goodreads ratings: 555+
The book offers an opportunity to live life on your terms. Carrie will walk you through the process of building the business you need to achieve the life you want.
Though the book is probably not so good for hardcore investors, it’s the perfect book for a newbie entrepreneur who doesn’t know anything about starting their own business.
97. The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky
Published: October, 2018.
Goodreads ratings: 474+
Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer at Adobe, believes we focus too much on the start and the finish of any project and not enough on the middle. Hence, this book was born.
The Messy Middle is about project management – specifically, the mysterious and volatile middle that nobody talks about.
In the book, you’ll find a lot of eye-openers and practical tips to use in your own business. Belsky draws on his experiences building Behance, selling it to and leading product teams at Adobe. So, there’s definitely a lot you can learn.
98. Explosive Growth: A Few Things I Learned While Growing To 100 Million Users – And Losing $78 Million by Cliff Lerner
Published: November, 2017.
Goodreads ratings: 301+
The promise the author is making in the description sounds kind of falsy: “The Ultimate Playbook For Startup Founders To Grow From 0 To 1 Million Users & More.”
Though I don’t believe that reading a single book can make you a millionaire & more, there are quite a few tips for startup founders and current business owners. Especially for people running a software/app company.
99. Boss Up!: This Ain’t Your Mama’s Business Book by Lindsay Teague Moreno
Published: August, 2019.
Goodreads ratings: 241+
This business book list needs more girly books.
Oh look, a book from Lindsay Teague Moreno. She will help you to Boss Up! Gain confidence; Start your own company; Ship products while you’re taking care of your kids.
If you’re a working mom but you want to spend more time with your kids, Boss Up! will help you start your own thing and become your own boss.
100. Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future by Leonard A. Schlesinger
Published: March, 2012.
Goodreads ratings: 216+
What the author is trying to make you do here is to Just Start. In other words, take action now and learn as you go.
The book combines fascinating research with proven practices to deliver an easy to use method for helping you advance toward your goals – despite the uncertainty that is all too common today.
Just Start will motivate you to take action on the things that you’ve been thinking about doing forever. So, wait no more, get the book and Just Start.
101. Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need by The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc
Published: January, 2015.
Goodreads ratings: 132+
The book has a bold claim of being the only book you will need to be inspired and empowered to start up your own business.
Probably not the ultimate business book about starting a business but it can still be a good resource for people considering diving deep into the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
So, if you want to start your own business but don’t know where to start or even what to do? The book got you covered.
102. Idea to Execution: How to Optimize, Automate, and Outsource Everything in Your Business by Ari Meisel, Nick Sonnenberg
Published: September, 2016.
Goodreads ratings: 118+
The authors of the book launched a profitable Virtual Assistant (VA) business in just one day. The idea was born from scribbled notes on a cocktail napkin during dinner and everything was an up-and-running in less than 24 hours. All of this was done by following their 3 step process: Optimize, Automate, Outsource.
The book challenges the mentality that every new venture requires months of planning and a large investment of capital. You don’t have to spend years figuring things out, you can simply use the step-by-step formula mentioned in the book.
103. 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job by Chris Guillebeau
Published: June, 2019.
Goodreads ratings: 106+
Chris Guillebeau will help you make some money on the side by starting your own side hustle. The book is basically an ideabook that includes 100 stories of regular people launching successful side businesses that almost anyone can do.
If you love your day job you shouldn’t necessarily quit, you can just create your own small business and run it after work. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy, just something you love doing.
104. Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, And Build a Successful Business by Pat Flynn
Published: August, 2019.
Goodreads ratings: 100+
The latest book from Pat Flynn.
This book will help you transform your followers into fans and later into Superfans.
Don’t just count the likes. Your purchases. Your comments. You should know that there are people behind these metrics.
People are looking for someone who they can trust. If you’re that kind of guy/girl, people will love you and follow you no matter what. This is exactly what you’ll learn in this book – how to create a cult-like following, in a good way.
105. Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job by Sean Wise, Brad Feld
Published: February, 2015.
Goodreads ratings: 92+
Every year more than five million entrepreneurs launch a new venture. All believing they have the Next Big Thing. However, very few startups live to see five years, and even fewer make it to ten.
This book is a practical guide to evaluating your business idea and a must-read for all aspiring entrepreneurs. It will show you what to do and what to avoid doing.
Startup Opportunities is a crazy inspiring read. It can be a great addition to your collection if you’re planning to start your own business.
Some Closing Thoughts
As you just saw. The reading list above is huge. Monstrously big. The last list about the best business books of all time you’ll even have to read.
Of course, you don’t have to read all of the books to become ultra successful. It really depends. You can read just one and become the next Jeff Bezos. Or, don’t read any of them and still earn a good living from what you’re doing. The idea here is to help you pinpoint your next read that will potentially aid you with your business venture.
If you already read a book from the list above, it will be great if you can share your feedback in the comments.
Also, make sure to comment if you have any recommendations for other business books. I’ll update this post regularly so make sure to check it – and bookmark it – to see the updates.