As you start and grow your business, you should gather as much advice as possible from various sources.

You can turn to social media or groups for startup and small business owners, but sometimes a business book written by someone who’s walked the same path can give valuable insight like no other.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or bringing your successful business to the next level, reading a few of the best books that detail case studies can help you fine-tune your business plan.

We hope you walk away with some takeaways that help you become the successful entrepreneur you know you can be.

#1 The Kinfolk Entrepreneur: Ideas for Meaningful Work

By Nathan Williams

If you’re in search of multiple perspectives, The Kinfolk Entrepreneur’s collection of over 40 entrepreneurs’ stories will serve you well. Offering tips, advice, and inspiration for anyone hoping to forge their own professional path through life, the latest book in Kinfolk’s best-selling series is a must-read for any entrepreneur, budding, or in full bloom.

Breeze through interviews with leaders in fashion, design, publishing, architecture, hospitality, and beyond, and uncover a global perspective on business, from Dubai to Copenhagen to Tokyo and more in-between. Enjoy an entire chapter dedicated to in-depth advice, educational essays, and expert ideas to top off your knowledge.

#2 The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You

By Lydia Fenet

Woman or not, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You, offers techniques that will separate you from the pack. As a top-performing executive at Christie’s, leader in her field, and one of Gotham magazine’s most influential women in New York, Lydia Fenet knows firsthand that being an effective salesperson is what distinguishes top achievers in all fields.

The Most Powerful Woman In The Room Is You equips you with the essential tools of the trade—how to sell as yourself, the most effective ways to network (or die), the negotiate-not-apologize mentality, and the importance of always, always telling the truth. Lydia reveals the ways to find your own strength and confidence from the minute you embark on any pitch. Most of all, Lydia offers hundreds of pages of encouragement laced with humorous anecdotes to help you take ownership of your position while finding opportunities to innovate.

#3 Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

By Kari Chapin

Are you turning your craft into your career? Kari Chapin has the tools to help you on your journey. Learn how to map out a financial plan, expand production, automate distribution, address legal matters, and much more. Start growing your business beyond the dining room table and leave your day job behind.

Before she began writing books and consulting, Chapin worked professionally for 15 years in marketing and publicity departments at various companies and organizations across the US. Creativity can be the foundation of your new business. Gain confidence and a business-savvy understanding as you read through Grow Your Handmade Business.

#4 Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

By James Clear

This breakthrough book from James Clear is the most comprehensive guide on changing your habits and getting 1% better every day. In the world of entrepreneurship, you’re going to need some new business-building habits and the ability to dispel unnecessary ones.

Clear’s book will teach you how to build a system for getting 1% better every day, break your bad habits and stick to good ones, avoid the common mistakes most people make when changing habits, overcome a lack of motivation and willpower, develop a stronger identity, and much more.

#5 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle vexing questions. Inside, the Heath brothers reveal the anatomy of ideas that “stick” and explain sure-fire methods for making ideas stickier, such as violating schemas, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating “curiosity gaps.”

In this indispensable guide, we discover that “sticky” messages of all kinds draw their power from the same six traits. Made to Stick will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of idea success stories (and failures). Provocative, eye-opening, and funny, Made to Stick shows us the principles of successful ideas at work—and how we can apply these rules to making our own messages “stick.”

#6 Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too

By Gary Vaynerchuck

Best-selling author and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuck offers new lessons and inspiration drawn from the experiences of dozens of influencers and entrepreneurs who rejected the predictable corporate path. Instead, these entrepreneurs pursued their dreams by building thriving businesses and extraordinary personal brands.

Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success. Vaynerchuck doesn’t offer a get-rich guide; he’s written a blueprint to living life on your own terms!

 

#7 Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

By Donald Miller

Having an idea for your business is the first step, but what comes next is successful brand building. More than half-a-million business leaders have used and found success in the StoryBrand Framework, created by New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Donald Miller. The StoryBrand process is a proven solution to business leaders’ struggle when discussing their companies.

Without a clear and distinct message, customers will not understand what you can do for them and are unwilling to engage, causing you to lose potential sales, opportunities for customer engagement, and much more. In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller teaches marketers and business owners to use the seven universal elements of powerful stories to dramatically improve how they connect with customers and grow their businesses.

#8 How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

Starting a business is not a solo act. Interpersonal relationships are as important as ever in today’s business world, but balancing strong leadership and likeability can be difficult. Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People to guide you towards building great relationships and a great business.

Dale Carnegie’s methods help you create a friendly environment that boasts open communication and only inspires people to want to work harder together. Leading with deeds and words, you’ll envoke commitment and spur people to draw upon their natural strengths to reach new heights.

#9 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has inspired readers for nearly three decades, and many of the authors on this list have most likely drawn from its messages. This classic is a great book for you to read as you start your own business and join the list of successful people.

Covey presents a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems. With insights and anecdotes, Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

#10 The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

By Eric Ries

Building on a budget isn’t cheap, in fact, it’s a leading force in sprouting innovation. Organized into three sections, Vision, Steer, and Accelerate, The Lean Startup dives into how today’s entrepreneurs can use what they’ve got and what they envision to create radically successful businesses.

In Vision, you’ll see your startup – in a garage or inside an enterprise – can use scientific experimentation to discover how to build a sustainable business. In Steer, Ries dives into the Lean Startup method, where you’ll learn how to prove your concept. Accelerate shares techniques that enable lean startups to speed through the Build- Measure- Learn feedback loop as quickly as possible, even as they scale.

#11 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

By Jim Collins

If you’re feeling good about your business, but don’t necessarily have attention-grabbing levels of confidence, Collins may have written the book for you. Good to Great addresses a single question: can a good company become a great company, and if so, how?

Based on a five-year research project comparing companies that made the leap to those that did not, Good to Great shows that greatness is not primarily a function of circumstance but largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. Crack open this book and perhaps stumble upon your business’ tipping point.

#12 The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

By Michael E. Gerber

If fear and anxiety are holding you back, you may have been exposed to rumors that simply aren’t true. An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths and gossip about starting your own business that hold you back. Small business consultant Michael E. Gerber, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business.

Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective. The E-Myth Revisited will help you grow your business in a productive, assured way, with less worry than is needed for true success.

Why These Books?

This collection of the best small business books is bound to do you and your new business some good.

Crack open a few books and learn skills from business owners and entrepreneurs whose experiences brought them the valuable insight they’re now ready to share. Bring your business to new heights with thoughtful communication, time management, and positive thinking.

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