Your Summer Reader: 7 Books for Better Business

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Over nearly five years I’ve had the opportunity to consult and teach 100s of entrepreneurs and small business owners. In that time I’ve discovered two things. First, most of us (including me) were taught to be employees, not small business owners or entrepreneurs. And second, successful entrepreneurs and small business owners realize “they don’t know” and begin a continuous learning journey.

Incorporating new learning into our daily busy lives is difficult. One way to do it is to learn from others through books. The learning process needs to challenge you, take you out of your comfort zone and enhance your discovery process.

Here are some books to consider to add to your entrepreneurial library:


Choose Yourself by James Altucher

This is not your standard business book. This book is packed with the advice and inspiration every entrepreneur needs to build themselves and their core practices to face the challenges of the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This books has withstood the “sands of time.” Although it was first published in 1936, it remains a best-seller today. Carnegie’s main premise is that “the person who has the technical knowledge plus to ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people—that person is headed for higher earning power.”


Business Model Generation by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

This book reimagines how we think about business design. It provides a new framework (the “Business Model Canvas”) about how businesses create and capture value by integrating the components of a business structure, such as customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, key resources and the business’s core value proposition.


Influence by Robert B. Cialdini

This book explains the psychology of marketing and persuasion, which you can learn for using yourself or for defending yourself against.


The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

the journey. Horowitz’ book is filled with practical wisdom from the author, including the near failure of his own company.


True North by Bill George with Peter Sims

Finding your True North is critical in both our personal and professional life. This book helps you discover your personal leadership vision, values and motivations. The authors interviewed 125 men and women on what they believe has made them authentic leaders. There is also a personal leadership development portfolio handbook that accompanies the book, which is a personal guide to help you develop your own authentic leadership.


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand In the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

This book is written by the President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. This book is designed to look into what creates, drives and sustains an innovative culture.


Is your list of summer reads growing? Share with us your business reading essentials.

Nancy Barnett is the CEO and co-founder of eL3, LLC and a business consultant for the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center.

[Photo by Josué Goge]

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