I love books. I eat books. And often people ask me to share what I’m reading. This is just a collection of the business books I’m reading.
Here is my 50+ Ultimate Book Recommendations, the kind of books I recommend to most anyone interested in reading epic wisdom.
TIP: Wanna know the best way to put your reading on ludicrous speed? It’s called the Amazon Kindle. Take your library everywhere you go, no matter what device you’re reading it on with the free Kindle Reading Apps. Check out my blog post on How to Maximize the Kindle Platform.
LEADERSHIP / MANAGEMENT
- 12: Elements of Managing by Rodd Wager — even if you don’t manage anybody, see 12 great principles of how you and I work best
- The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes — if you’re going to have employees, start reading this now
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath — learn more about your strengths and how to use them (also great for teams)
- Standout by Marcus Buckingham — learn more about yourself
- Becoming a Coaching Leader: The Proven Strategy for Building Your Own Team of Champions by Daniel Harkavy
- Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson
- The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
- Leading Change by John Kotter
- EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey — just great business advice from a true leader
- Drive: Surpsing Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink — learn how instrinc motivation works … and what really motivates you in your work
- The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters by Michael Burchell
- Free Agent Nation by Dan Pink — the rise of the independent worker
- Do More Faster by David Cohen
- Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud
- To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink — filled with foundational philosophies and strategies about how selling is a part of life. One of the best books on “sales” I’ve ever read.
- Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port — a followup on the Get Clients Now book and solid strategies
- Get Clients Now: A 28-Day Marketing Program by C.J. Hayden — just like the title says, great strategies for getting clients
- Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson — full of marketing strategies you can implement cheaply yet effectively
- Content Rules by Ann Handley — foundational desk reference on content that sells
- Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin — tribes are everywhere – learn how to start, build and lead them
- Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself by John Jantsch — turn your business into a referral machine of word-of-mouth and client recommendations
- Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch — marketing advice for small business – you could use this in your work and share with clients
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space by W. Chan Kim
- The Brand You by Tom Peters — personal branding strategies
- Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business by Michael Stelzner — more online marketing strategies
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath
- The Power of Cult Branding by Matthew W. Ragas — more good advice on branding
- The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes — sales focused advice, and one I go back to often
- Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
- Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead
- Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become? by Michael Schrage
- High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service by Micah Solomon
- Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies by David Siteman Garland
- The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business by Tara Hunt
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
- Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
- On Writing Well by William Zissner — foundational book on writing, if not THE best desk reference, and yes, entrepreneurs who can write excel
- Writing That Works: Learn How to Communicate in Business by Kenneth Roman — a desk reference for your career
- Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform by Nancy Duarte
- slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
- Presentation Zen by Gary Reynolds
- ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett — ignore the title, these guys are the best at blogging
MOTIVATIONAL / PHILOSOPHICAL
- Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think — Read my thoughts here about this phenomenal “change the world” book.
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday — I’m going to buy this on Audible soon so I can listen to it while I’m driving. Super super motivational. A gem. Love the perspective.
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek — a great book to start your pursuit of purpose and passion in your work
- The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businsses Don’t Work and What To Do About It by Michael Gerber — streamline your business with systems and processes
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers — what business is all about
- Rework by Jason Fried — the new way and philosophies of work on the web
- Little Bets: How Breakthrough Idea Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims — learn how to take calculated risks that get big results
- Do the Work by Steven Pressfield — just do it, a true motivational book we circulated throughout our entire team
- Never Get a ‘Real’ Job by Scott Gerber — motivation on launching your business for a younger generation
- Success for Dummies by Zig Ziglar — just good, down home advice
- Why Johnny Can’t Brand by Bill Schley — great advice on branding
- Crush It! by Gary V — great book to pump you up if you’re considering starting your own business
- Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod – straight up great advice
- Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future by Leonard Schlesinger
- Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives by Gregg Vanourek
- The Dip by Seth Godin — when to quit or keep going
- The Janitor by Todd Hopkins — a great story about putting work and life in perspective
- Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
MENTAL HEALTH & HAPPINESS
- The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden — I wish I had started reading this book when I was a teenager, and read it every year afterward. Foundational, impactful, truth.
- Life Reimagined: Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty — As I turned 40 this year (April 2016), it’s helped me understand some of the emotions and thoughts going through my mind about what I’ve been thinking of as Halftime (Midlife). Epic advice backed by solid research for navigating the U-shaped happiness that happens around this vital period of life.
- The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith — This felt like Part 2 of the Life Reimagined book. Offers stories and ways to find meaning.
- The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor — One of the top all-time life-changing books I’ve ever read. It could be titled 100+ ways to scientifically increase your happiness. It has not changed my life, but enhanced it in so many ways. We’ve bought this book in hardcopy for each of our team members I love it so much.
- Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Cloud and Townsend – establish good boundaries in your relationships and free yourself to be happy
- Depression for Dummies — I love the Dummies book series (and was an author of one) and naturally I bought this during my divorce in 2010 after being diagnosed as having low-grade depression [post here]
- Divorce for Dummies — bought this during my divorce in 2010 [post here]
- 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do — so good. I did my talk at WordCamp Denver 2015 on mental health before reading this, but this will be my reference manual.
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom — as his mentor dies from a terminal illness, Albom recounts the lessons he imparts
- Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath
- Awakening the Heroes Within by Carol S. Pearson — completely fascinating and helpful book as I’ve been thinking through and asessing my entire life
- 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman — my wife and I use this every day to love each other in our languages of love. It’s been so inredibly impactful that we have given it as a gift for other couples. Take the free online assessment here, and the book is more reference.
PREGNANCY / PARENTING
- The Pregnancy Countdown Book — Contrary to my typical advice, I highly suggest the print version for this. My wife bought this for us when we got pregnant with our first child. We would read this every night together, crying, laughing, with joy about our little baby forming in her belly. We give this as gifts to friends who get pregnant now.
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey — get your finances straight before you even get close to launching your full-time business
- Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential by Greg Crabtree
- Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld
Here are some links to other book resources of mine:
- My Latest Business Book Reviews or What I’m Currently Reading
- My Amazon WishList – books I’m wanting, or finding
- My Kindle highlights and notes – see what things I’m finding in the books I’m reading
- My Amazon Author Page – see what books I’ve written personally