by Justin Blanchard
Knowledge is the greatest tool in your arsenal; books are one of the best ways to gain it. Here are a few to help you succeed with your business – and your life.
When’s the last time you kicked up your heels and cracked open a good book? If you’re like most people, you can’t really remember, and that’s a shame. See, as a small business owner, you already know that knowledge is powerful. One of the best ways to gather more knowledge is through an appreciation of the written word.
In short, if you don’t read, you’re depriving yourself of information that could help you succeed in both your business and your personal life.
“Every entrepreneur I know is also an avid reader,” explains Forbes’s Patrick Hull. “Most are regulars in the business aisle at their local bookstore, and are devoted readers of Forbes and other business publications. Successful entrepreneurs are typically hungry for knowledge.”
If you want to find success with your small business, you should nurse a hunger for knowledge, as well. Start reading, if you haven’t already. We’ll even provide you with a few recommendations of books every small business owner should read to get you going down the right path.
1. “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
That Carnegie’s work – which was written in the 1920s – is still relevant today is an enduring testament to his skills as a businessman. In “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, he lays out a laundry list of strategies for dealing with both customers and business partners – and winning them over for your brand. It’s a fantastic work to read if you feel like your people skills could use work, and even if you’re already charismatic, it couldn’t hurt to see if you can pick up a few tricks.
2. “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber
There are a lot of harmful myths floating around about what you can do to succeed in the small business world – and buying into even one of them can lead to the complete failure of your brand. Gerber, the founder of a consulting company for small businesses, provides a wealth of valuable insights about what causes small businesses to crash and burn – and how you can avoid making those mistakes. While this book may be a little grating for more seasoned entrepreneurs, it’s a great read if you’re just getting started as a small business owner.
3. “The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price” by Larry Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey
One of Hull’s personal recommendations; “The Wisdom of Failure” is an extensively-researched piece of literature which features interviews with some of the most successful personalities in the business world. Through those interviews, Weinzimmer and McConoughey paint an impressively-accurate picture of the pitfalls business owners will encounter at every level of their profession. More importantly, they offer advice on how to avoid them – lessons their interviewees had to learn through failure.
4. “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business” by Charles Duhigg
Some of you might recognize the name “Charles Duhigg” – you should; he’s a Pulitzer-prize winning author and renowned business reporter for The New York Times. Not surprisingly, his job’s given him a great deal of insight into human behavior – and how savvy marketers can use it to shape both their campaigns and their lives. In “The Power of Habit,” Duhigg dives into a number of different scientific studies examining why human beings do what we do – and hammers out how one use that information to better one’s business.
5. “Hiring Smart!: How To Predict Winners and Losers in the Incredibly Expensive People Reading Game” by Pierre Mornell
One of the greatest challenges faced by any small business owner lies in the hiring process. How can you tell whether or not someone’s right for the job? It doesn’t help that a single wrong decision could spell disaster, especially in your business’s early stages.
The advice in “Hiring Smart!” can go a long way towards helping you avoid making a wrong hire – though it’s worth mentioning that this shouldn’t be taken as a bible as far as the hiring process is concerned.
Knowledge Is Power
Listed here are just a few books every small business owner should read to better your business. This piece is intended as a starting point, after all. The rest is up to you – start reading, and you might be surprised at where it’ll take you.
Justin Blanchard has been responsible for leading initiatives that increase brand visibility, sales growth and B2B community engagement. He has been at the core of developing systems, tools and processes that specifically align with Server Mania’s client’s needs. Server Mania provides internet hosting solutions with industry leading customer service, superior up-time and cutting-edge technologies.
Paolo Sarteschi | Courtesy of Justin Blanchard