Two things I always ask SBOs: (1) How’s business? (2) What are you reading?
Q # 1 keeps coming back a reassuring “not bad.” As for Q # 2, here are some recent recommendations. Interestingly, most are about attitude and how one views life, work, and success. In other words, get your head right and great things will follow.
The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, keeps coming up high on everyone’s list as a good introductory book about entrepreneurship and small business.
Less is More, by Jason Jennings, who analyzes top performing large U.S. firms … and arrives at the conclusion that they are successful because they operate like small businesses.
You’ll See it When You Believe It, by Wayne Dyer, which is a motivational book that shows us how our attitudes and thoughts can bring us the things we desire.
Bad Leadership, by Barbara Kellerman, written on the premise that we can learn a lot from bad leaders.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell, which convincingly demonstrates that great decision makers aren’t necessarily those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of quickly, often at a glance, analyzing the very few but key factors that matter.
Thinking for a Change, by John C. Maxwell, examines 11 ways effective and successful people approach their lives and their work.
And here are three of my all-time favorites:
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, a novel that is my all-time favorite book about the irrefutable benefits of capitalism and destructiveness of do-gooder socialism. This book is the business bible that made me a successful capitalist.
Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone. This 50-year-old classic is the single book that turned my head around from failure to success. Though some of the stories may seem a bit hokey in 2009, the principles are timeless.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey, is the first and best of Covey’s books. The clear-headed, insightful review of seven common sense “habits” that make successful people successful also makes it an absolute must read.
P.S. In the name of shameless self-promotion, I must point out that I do have a few books of my own, including The Back to Basics Book of Selling, A Guide to A Successful Sales Career, as well as a new one on money management, The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace, both of which I think are pretty good … though even I’m not arrogant enough to include them on the same list as some truly great classics.
Enjoy and keep on reading, learning, growing, and profiting.
– John R. Ingrisano, The Freestyle Entrepreneur
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