As an entrepreneur without a business degree (I studied history and then journalism) I’ve had to spend a lot of time learning on my own. This has meant reading a variety of business books. However, even if I had an MBA, I suspect I’d still be doing a lot of reading. Things change so fast, a business person needs to be continually upgrading her skills to keep up.
As a result, I thought I’d give you a list of my favorite business books. These are books I own and keep near my desk. I have read them more than once and often refer to them.
1. Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny.
Like many small business owners I have struggled with the concept of charging what I’m worth. Someone in one of my discussion groups recommended this book and something about the description spoke to me. I did something I had never done before. I immediately got out my credit card, went online and ordered the book. I didn’t even look around for another book to increase the purchase to get the free shipping. I just wanted that book.
And I’m glad I did. Overcoming Underearning is a practical guide to digging into my subconscious and learning about what’s keeping from earning the amount of money I want to earn. I’ve read the book several times and often refer back to it. I recommend the book so often, Stanny should be giving me a commission!
A great companion to this book is Stanny’s Secrets Of Six Fugure Women
. Published before Overcoming Underearning, Secrets includes profiles of many women earning six figures and above. It is a great inspiration for any woman who wonders if she has what it takes to earn more.
What I really loved about Secrets is her analysis of what makes these women successful. In particular how women with the biggest paycheques weren’t necessarily the wealthiest. It is mindset and how you live, not just the number of zeros at the end of your make account, that is a true determination of success.
2. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White.
As a writer, I consult The Elements of Style regularly for grammatical rules. Semi-colons and colons are my personal bug-a-boos but from time to time I need to be reminded of other rules. It’s note the type of book you read cover to cover, but if you could see how worn my copy is, you’d know it’s well used.
3. Perfecting Your Pitch by Nancy Michaels.
Perfecting Your Pitch is about how to reach a top decision-maker, set up a meeting and make your pitch. It is easy to read, has practical advice for anyone who needs to wants to land their dream client.
4. The 4-Hour Work-Week by Timothy Ferriss
This fabulous best-seller, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich tells you how to outsource, automate and escape the nine to five grind. I haven’t implemented everything in his book, but I’m working towards it.
5. Work the Pond! By Darcy Rezac and Judy Thomson
This is hands down the best networking books I’ve ever read. The authors of Work The Pond totally get what makes someone good at networking. The metaphor of the frog is entertaining as well as easy to understand. The frog concept makes their ideas memorable. If you want to be better at networking, this book is a must read.
6. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
This groundbreaking book is a must for anyone selling or promoting anything online. The premise of Long Tail, The, Revised And Updated is businesses can succeed by focusing on very small niches. Rather than looking to make the top of Google in the big keywords, look to be the top in the “long tail”. Find very specific phrases that fewer people search for and win there. You’ll be a big fish in a small pond rather than a tiny fish in a big pond.
7. Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg
Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life is not really a business book; it’s a book about writing and creativity. However, I use the tools Goldberg teaches in this book all the time. Goldberg breaks writing into two parts – the creative part and the editing. When you’re creating, you can’t let the editor or critic in or you lose the power. Wild Mind is full of fun exercises to let your wild mind free while setting aside the critic.
Anyone who is getting stuck with creativity or being paralyzed by their internal critic might benefit from this book.
8. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Like Wild Mind, the Artists Wayisn’t really a business book. However, I think being in business and being an artist have much in common. You need to be creative and innovative to succeed in both fields. Cameron’s classic book helps you get in touch with your inner artist. Without this book, and the class I took with 20 other women based on it, I doubt I’d ever have had the courage to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
9. The Action Plan Toolkit by Robert Middleton
This ebook is probably the first online information product I ever purchased. I initially found Middleton’s free teleseminars, then subscribed to his ezine. I was on this email list for months before I ever made a purchase. Best decision I ever made. If you feel stuck, like you’re just not taking your business where you know you can go, The Action Plan Toolkit“> is an amazing solution. It can really help you get unstuck.
I’ve used Middleton’s process several times in my business. Each time it helps me get past whatever is blocking me.
10. Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t by Michael Losier
I’ve taught a number of workshops about the Law of Attraction and as a result I’ve ready many books on the subject. This one is easily my favorite. It’s fun, fast to read and has practical tools for putting the Law of Attraction into effect.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Have I missed one of your favorites? Leave a comment and share your top picks.