“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney. I love to read especially when it helps me grow as an entrepreneur. These are a few of my favorite inspirational books that every business owner must read – Patricia

The Sale Ready Company: What it takes to create a business someone would want to own, even if you have no intention of selling

Josh Patrick

A must-read for anyone who owns a business or is thinking of starting one. This page-turning novel illustrates in an entertaining yet instructive narrative the challenges owners face with business growth, scalability, equity, and succession in their private company. As with most small businesses the lives of the owners and family members are intricately meshed, for better or for worse, with the existence of the company. How does a founder successfully retire from a lifelong dedication to the success of their business while leaving a sustainable legacy either to their offspring or to an outside buyer? Carefully, with advanced planning of a sound financial and fiscal strategy that protects the company’s viability, its employees, its retiring owners, and their offsprings. The business schools don’t teach this and especially not how to handle the human element of managing the fears and aspirations of all the stakeholders.

If there is a chance to turn a business book into an instructional, inspiring and, I dare say a fun read, this is it. A “fun” business book disguised into a novel.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport

Ironically, I found it challenging to focus on this particular audiobook. Not sure if it was the writing or the dictation. The book could have been more concise. However, the content is interesting and the recommendations on how to practice deep work are helpful.

I still highly recommend reading it as the ability to practice deep work to advance in our careers and businesses is a crucial skill to master, especially today.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Cal Newport

As with most audiobooks that I find valuable, I ended up buying a hardback copy of this read. It’s great advice for anyone who wishes to build a successful career. As a start-a-business coach, my main interest is in helping aspiring entrepreneurs successfully start a business as the best vehicle to their ideal life. I too don’t believe that following one’s passion (or expecting that passion to manifest itself) is a viable way to start a career or a business, albeit for reasons that differ from Newport’s. Hence I appreciate his innovative approach of focusing on the craftsmanship path (instead of the passion path) and building career capital to ultimately gain what most of us really yearn for: control and autonomy. The same goes for a career as an entrepreneur and business owner. Building one’s career capital and then leveraging it to launch a new venture or buy one is the best way to launch a business successfully and get up every morning with a spring in our step while we grow it.

Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story

Benjamin P. Hardy

“A liberating perspective: knowing that one’s personality isn’t permanent. The ensuing question is: how do we change our personality? Dr Ben Harding offers a simple path: reframe your past so that it highlights how it happened for you, consciously decide on what your future self looks like and act in the present as you wish your future self to be.

Greatly enjoyed this read with the illustrative stories and exercises.”


Eat The Frog

Brian Tracy

“One of the greatest challenges for entrepreneurs and business owners is to use our time wisely.
There are so many matters that need our attention most of them look urgent but actually hold us back in our business progress.
This book teaches precisely the method to recognize what is most important to the growth and success of our business. A crucial skill to develop.

A great read for everyone, but especially for entrepreneurs.”

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

James Clear

“A powerful book read for those of us with new year’s, new month’s, and new day’s resolutions. Strategies and tactics to make resolutions stick and become good habits.

Highly recommend.”

Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork

“I had a breakthrough reading this book. As an entrepreneur, I have taken pride in rolling up my sleeve to get the job done. Big mistake with huge opportunity costs. One can only go so far with this mindset.

“Who Not How” shows how to grow our business and what skills we really need to develop as entrepreneurs. It is not to learn coding so that I could create a website, not to learn Facebook ads so that we could advertise, nor to become a finance wizard, etc… It is the art and skill of leadership and collaboration so that we can engage experts and build teams who are better than we are in the domains needed to get the job done.

Dan Sullivan is the creator of the concept of “who not how.” Dr. Benjamin Hardy wrote the book as Dan Sullivan’s “who.” Others were Dr. Hardy’s “whos” in the creation and publication of the book.

This is a game-changer for any entrepreneur and business owner. Without this skill, we are doomed to play small and not grow our companies.”

The 4-Hour Workweek

“The reason I read this book just now is that its title is too far out. A 4-hour workweek is an unrealistic promise for any ethical employee that’s paid full time or for most entrepreneurs unless they have invested at least $½ million cash in a laundromat or any other absentee business that has few moving parts. Even digital products, apps, and subscription-based businesses require leadership more than 4 hours per week.

Plus, I wouldn’t even want to only work 4 hours a week because I happen to value what I do helping other entrepreneurs build a life they love with the right business for them.
That said, I enjoyed this book, so much that after listening to the audio version, I bought a hardback copy to re-read sections of it. Here is why:
– Ferris shows us how to question the status quo and what we have been programmed to believe: the only way to succeed is to accept that we must arrange our entire lives around the demands of a job (or a business) and work ourselves to death until we are old enough to retire.

– This book expands our worldview of what’s possible in expanding the richness of our lives not just in financial wealth but in experiential, and time wealth.
– It reminds us that we can (and should) create a life that works for us and our loved ones.
– The message is innovative, especially considering that the book was first published in 2007 (with recently updated versions), only a decade after the internet started to change our lives.
– It reminds us of life principles to keep us sane and more satisfied.
– It offers useful advice to travelers and digital nomads.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to craft a life of their own design.”

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“As a business owner, I am constantly tempted by new shiny objects and plagued by FOMO, the fear of missing out. This book made me realize how saying yes to too many projects, ideas and opportunities has hindered my progress in the past and continues to slow down my path to achieving my goals by creating overwhelm and preventing me from really diving into greater depth in my projects.

It also helped me overcome the guilt of saying no to low-value demands on my time from friends and family and to think of ways of saying no without damaging the relationship.

I think it is overall valuable work. I gave four stars because it felt repetitive at times, but since I was listening to the book on my hikes mostly, sometimes the repetition was useful.”

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“I appreciated these thoughts:
1)”A startup that is messed-up at its foundation cannot be fixed… As a founder, your first job is to get the first thing right. You cannot build a great company on a flawed foundation.”
Well, you can, but in a best-case scenario, it’s risky and expensive.
2) A company has a monopoly with its own brand by definition. Creating a strong brand is a powerful way to create a monopoly. But substance must come first.

Lots of interesting opinions and predictions on how to not fail as startups and where our world is going. I would have preferred a focus on one or the other. The mingling of the two dilutes the ideas. Startups are not worried about building the future. They are worried about their future. And building the future requires a political will at least as much as entrepreneurial efforts from innovative startups.
Also, the assumption that monopolistic companies are more likely to be benevolent to their environment than competitive ones is a stretch. People can be benevolent, companies are not people, they are wealth builder for their investors.

Not the best-crafted book but an interesting read at least.”

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

“I found this book enlightening and useful.
Although the concepts described in this book stem from the author’s extreme hostage situations as an FBI negotiator, the art of negotiation is a must-have skill for entrepreneurs, managers, employees, parents, spouses, and anyone who interacts with others professionally and personally. Recognizing the three negotiator personality types felt like a light bulb turned on and brought back memories of past negotiations that either went well or that failed. It also shone a light on my own negotiator behavior and its shortcomings. The art of saying no (without the word no), discovering the black swan, and “wimp-win” negotiation, are other concepts revealed in this brilliant work.

I recommend this book to anyone who seeks to improve their interpersonal skills and achieve better results in life and in business.”

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Carol S. Dweck

If I had to give my younger self a word of advice it would be this: read this book and learn (or relearn) the growth mindset. It is tragic that we are taught to compete for grades in order to gain approval from parents, teachers, and in schools’ admissions. It’s not that grades are not useful, but it’s the progress made in reaching the desired grades that is more significant. This growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, also teaches the value of taking risks and learning from failures, something that is not appreciated in educational systems. A growth mindset as described by Dr. Carol Dweck is the most fundamentally effective approach to learning and growing as children, as adults, as parents, as employees, and as leaders.

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Robert B. Cialdini

The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? Using the same combination of rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to capitalize on the essential window of time before you deliver an important message. This “privileged moment for change” prepares people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”

His first solo work in over thirty years, Cialdini’s Pre-Suasion draws on his extensive experience as the most cited social psychologist of our time and explains the techniques a person should implement to become a master persuader. Altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary, says Cialdini—all that’s required is for a communicator to redirect the audience’s focus of attention before a relevant action.

From studies on advertising imagery to treating opiate addiction, from the annual letters of Berkshire Hathaway to the annals of history, Cialdini draws on an array of studies and narratives to outline the specific techniques you can use on online marketing campaigns and even effective wartime propaganda. He illustrates how the artful diversion of attention leads to successful pre-suasion and gets your targeted audience primed and ready to say, “Yes.”

How To Eat The Elephant: Build Your Book In Bite-Sized Steps (Build A Book Bootcamp 1)

Ann Sheybani

Have you (and your friends) grown bored with all of your highly imaginative excuses for not writing that book?

Are you finally ready to turn those clever cocktail napkin ideas into something tangible?

Eager to become an ass-kicking, gets-things-done author?

Then there’s only one thing left to do…BEGIN!

Straight talking, funny, and brutally honest, How To Eat The Elephant will give you–yes, you–the shove you need to haul your rump off the sofa and position it in front of your computer.

Paralyzed by the enormity of such a project? Well, you won’t get any sympathy here. But you will get all the tools you need to chunk the writing process down into bite-sized pieces.

Terrified by the prospect of public embarrassment and failure? What. Ever. How To Eat The Elephant will guide you, laughing all the way, through the minefield of revision and publication.

The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

Josh Waitzkin

Josh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game. A public figure since winning his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine, Waitzkin was catapulted into a media whirlwind as a teenager when his father’s book “Searching for Bobby Fischer” was made into a major motion picture. After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, Waitzkin expanded his horizons, taking on the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and ultimately earning the title of World Champion. How was he able to reach the pinnacle of two disciplines that on the surface seem so different? “I’ve come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess,” he says. “What I am best at is the art of learning.”In his riveting new book, “The Art of Learning,” Waitzkin tells his remarkable story of personal achievement and shares the principles of learning and performance that have propelled him to the top — twice.

With a narrative that combines heart-stopping martial arts wars and tense chess face-offs with life lessons that speak to all of us, “The Art of Learning” takes readers through Waitzkin’s unique journey to excellence. He explains in clear detail how a well-thought-out, principled approach to learning is what separates success from failure. Waitzkin believes that achievement, even at the championship level, is a function of a lifestyle that fuels a creative, resilient growth process. Rather than focusing on climactic wins, Waitzkin reveals the inner workings of his everyday method, from systematically triggering intuitive breakthroughs, to honing techniques into states of remarkable potency, to mastering the art of performance psychology.

Through his own example, Waitzkin explains how to embrace defeat and make mistakes work for you. Does your opponent make you angry? Waitzkin describes how to channel emotions into creative fuel. As he explains it, obstacles are not obstacles but challenges to overcome, to spur the growth process by turning weaknesses into strengths. He illustrates the exact routines that he has used in all of his competitions, whether mental or physical, so that you too can achieve your peak performance zone in any competitive or professional circumstance.

In stories ranging from his early years taking on chess hustlers as a seven year old in New York City’s Washington Square Park, to dealing with the pressures of having a film made about his life, to International Chess Championships in India, Hungary, and Brazil, to gripping battles against powerhouse fighters in Taiwan in the Push Hands World Championships, “The Art of Learning” encapsulates an extraordinary competitor’s life lessons in a page-turning narrative.

The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich

Timothy Ferriss

Running Lean

Ash Maurya

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

Richard Koch

Start with the Why

Simon Sinek

Psycho Cybernetic

Maxwell Maltz

The Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell

E-Myth Revisited

Michael Gerber

Running Lean

Ash Maurya

Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill

Built to Sell

John Warrilow