Did you know that Bill Gates reads around 50 books a year? He isn’t the only high-flying businessman who reads as though their life depends on it. Warren Buffett reads between five and six hours a day while Elon Musk reads two books per day. Do you see where I’m going with this? What are these essential books we should read?
Successful people read. Reading is vital for personal growth. Oh, and it can also help you learn how to run, manage, and grow a successful business. However, with thousands of books to choose from (and limited time to read them all), what essential books should you add to your must-read list?
I’m so glad you asked because I happen to know of some essential books that every small business owner and entrepreneur needs to read. These are fundamental books to help you understand how businesses are run effectively, which is something that we’re not taught as business owners.
So, what are these life-changing books I speak of? Keep reading to find out!
The E-Myth Revisited
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber is an incredible book that every business owner needs to read. I’m not kidding. This book is a phenomenal bestseller that dispels the myths surrounding businesses and what it takes to start your own business.
This book breaks down what it means to be an entrepreneur or a business owner. It warns business owners that they cannot be the technician in their business. That is not going to help you succeed, you must remove yourself so that the systems inside your business can actually work without you having to press the metaphorical ‘start’ button.
You can’t be both the expert and the technician of your business. You will end up struggling and feeling so overwhelmed you’ll wonder why you even started a business in the first place. A business needs more functions than you as an expert to survive. You need the sales function, the marketing function, the IT function, and so on.
To read my blog on the Essential Functions of a Small Business, click here.
The E-Myth Revisited walks you through “the steps in the life of a business,” and how to apply the valuable lessons of franchising to any business – even if you don’t intend on franchising yours.
Before you even start your business, I suggest reading this book. And, if you’ve already started, you absolutely must read this book from cover to cover.
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
My next recommendation is Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. This book poses a simple but powerful question – do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you?
I’m not saying that this book is perfect because it’s not. However, it is very useful for entrepreneurs and business leaders alike. It gives you the steps you need to identify your vision, which is hugely important because without a vision, you won’t know where you’re headed never mind how you’re going to get there.
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business teaches you how to put the right systems in place to achieve your vision, what data you need to measure and what people you need to join your team to help you sustain your business. This book teaches you the ‘six key components of your business’ and gives you the steps to start putting the right systems in place to move closer to your vision.
My third book recommendation is Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters. This book was a massive eye-opener for me when I first read it, and I suspect a lot of people felt the same way when they read it too.
As business owners, we focus on growing our businesses, but we let ourselves get bogged down and overwhelmed. We can’t understand why our business is not working like clockwork and people tell us that we need systems to make it work, but we have no idea how to implement these systems.
We’re visionaries, not integrators. We love solving problems. We’re good at it! But, we’re not so great at actually implementing our ideas effectively. This is where the integrator walks in with their unique perspective and are able to help make the business function properly. Every visionary needs an integrator and this book talks about why that is and the importance of having both the visionary and the integrator in a business.
If you are the visionary and you don’t have an integrator, your business will be a giant mess and it will be much more difficult for you to succeed long-term. On the other hand, if you’re an integrator without a visionary, you will struggle to rise to your full potential. One cannot run a successful business without the other. By joining forces and sharing each other’s talents, you can create the perfect ‘rocket fuel’ for success.
My final business book recommendation for you is Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. This book reveals how you can master the Rockefeller habits. As you’re probably aware, Rockefeller was one of the richest people in the United States at one point in time. We can learn a lot from him about how he ran his business and apply those habits to our own businesses.
The book is presented very well and it’s one of those books that you need a physical copy of. I suggest picking this one up when you have several team members and you’re ready to scale your business to the next level. The book shares how you can focus on the four major decision areas that are vital for a successful business including people, strategy, execution, and cash.
Each of these sections will require either the visionary or the integrator, so make sure you have both roles filed within your business. This book is a must-read and it encourages you to think of things from a more strategic perspective, helping you to execute effective plans to scale up your business.
Well, there you have it – my four essential books for small business owners and entrepreneurs! Since I’m feeling generous though, I thought I’d add one sneaky little bonus book into my conclusion called Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh. I won’t get into too much detail about this book, but I will say that it’s a great read, especially if you want to scale your business lightning-fast.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I really hope that you’ll actually read a few (if not all) of my business book recommendations! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos!