Business Book Library

Get A Grip: An Entrepreneurial Fable by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton

Get A Grip is Ryan’s favorite book and sits near the top of our list. In this book, a fictitious company, Swan Services, comes back from the verge of collapse by implementing time-tested business processes such as Rocks, Meeting Rhythms, and the V/TO. This book is a combination of the best practices from many of our favorite business authors such as Verne Harnish, Patrick Lencioni, and Michael Gerber.

We rate this book 4.8 out of 5 stars! Read it today!

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

The Go Giver is the philosophy that you could base your life…and business…on.

The Go-Giver tells the story of Joe, an ambitious professional who can’t get ahead. After he misses his quarterly sales goal, he becomes desperate and reaches out to the Chairman, a mentor who will forever change his life. The Chairman takes Joe on a journey to discover and put in practice The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success:

  1. The Law of Value: Your True Worth is determined by how much you give in value rather than take in payment.
  2. The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  3. The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
  4. The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you can offer is yourself.
  5. The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

We rate it 4.8 out of 5 stars! Read it today!

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Call him crazy, quirky, and profane, but Mike Michalowicz has a down-to-earth style that is hard to deny. In fact, in his book Profit First, Mike takes on the age-old accounting formula and outlines his plan for guaranteed profit. Whether you’re a CPA with 30 years of experience or are just getting started in business, we highly recommend this book.

If you’re looking for more profit from your business, check this book out.

We rate it 4.7 out of 5 stars! Go buy it!

EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

In his book, Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey tells his story of “rags to riches.” He not only explains how he successfully created and runs a profitable business, but also explains why it works.

Ramsey begins by discussing leadership; what it is and how you develop it. He then dives into “business 101” and covers much of the basics surrounding product development and marketing. In the following chapters, Ramsey discusses delegation, sales, accounting, vendors, and HR. In fact, the chapter on HR has helped us create our new hiring process which has been crucial to finding and retaining great technical talent.

This is one of the few books on entrepreneurship that don’t sound like a sales letter. Ramsey’s friendly tone and practical advice make for a great read. We highly recommend this book and encourage you to not only read it, but practice it.

4.7 out of 5 stars! Read it today!

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish

What more can we say, this book is a business classic. If you haven’t already read it, run to the nearest book store and buy a copy. Verne Harnish is the guru when it comes to growing a business quickly. In Mastering The Rockefeller Habits, he outlines the steps necessary to grow your business and stresses the importance of core values, mission, vision, leadership, and rhythm. If you’re feeling stagnant, or are looking for a method to take your business to the next level, this is the book for you. A must read!

4.6 out of 5 stars!

The Richest Man In Babylon by George Clason.

Originally written in 1926 as a group of short stories for banks and insurance companies, this modern day classic is a series of parables set in ancient times. The stories are excellent and provide the reader with real-life strategies to become financially independent. Each story focuses on teaching the reader to acquire, save, and spend money wisely. Whether you’re the CEO of a large company or a teenager entering your first job, this book is a must read.

The only negative is “old English” style which may be a turn-off for some readers.

We give it 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Written in fable-style, which we’re big fans of, Patrick Lencioni follows the story of a Silicon Valley firm and its choice for a new CEO. As the story unveils, the new CEO must turn the company, and her management team, around.

The Five Dysfunctions Are:

  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results

If you’re part of a team, then you need to read this book.

We give it 4.6 out of 5 stars!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Over 25 years old with more than 15 million copies sold, this book is a business classic. Before you can realize the 7 habits, Covey explains that you must have a paradigm shift. This book covers true success as a balance of personal and professional success. The habits in this book are quick to read but take years to master. Make sure you break out the highlighter and take notes.

The 7 Habits

  1. Be Proactive (independence)
  2. Begin with the End in Mind (independence)
  3. Put First Things First (independence)
  4. Think Win-Win (inter-dependence)
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood (inter-dependence)
  6. Synergize (inter-dependence)
  7. Sharpen the Saw (continuous improvement)

We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

How Successful People Lead by John Maxwell

This classic by John Maxwell is a must read if you’re a leader (or want to become one). How Successful People Lead takes a deep dive into the five levels of leadership and how a leader must grow up through the levels to achieve their full potential.

All leaders begin at the most basic level of Positional, then Permission, going up to Production, People Development, and finally Pinnacle. Each level has pros and cons, but surprisingly, as you achieve higher levels, the number of pros increases and the number of cons decreases. This book is a short read.

We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Check it out today!

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz

Mike gave me a copy of his book, The Pumpkin Plan, in Nashville last year. In this book, he tells the story of his own struggling business and the business coach who helped him see the light. He explains how starting and running a successful business is a lot like growing a prize-winning pumpkin. Mike uses gardening analogies to explain business concepts such as prospect selection and niche marketing. In his irreverent style, he offers suggestions that almost any business in any industry can implement to see quick results. Mike even offers spreadsheets and advice on his website:

Rated PG-13, this is a “must read.”

We rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Zig Ziglar

This book review isn’t really a book review, but a review of one man’s work. If you’re looking for a good “kick in the pants” or need motivation to take your life to the next level, start with Zig Ziglar. As Zig liked to say, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

If you’d like advice on where to start if you’re new to Zig Ziglar, we’d recommend “See You At The Top” and “Born To Win.”

We rate Zig’s work 4.5 out of 5 stars.

MONEY Master The Game by Tony Robbins

While we’re not usually Tony Robbins’ fans, this books can help you create a blueprint for your financial freedom. Robbins based this book on years of research and interviews with the 50 richest people/financial experts in the world.

Though long-winded at times, we found ourselves highlighting pages and making notes in the margins. Unless you’re a financial advisor, you’re sure to find new ideas and practical advice in this book.

We give it 4.4 out of 5 stars!

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

We have several Patrick Lencioni books on our list, and we recommend them all. However, if you have time to read just one, this is it. In The Advantage, Lencioni pulls some of the best parts from his other books to show us his comprehensive business theory (with a focus on organizational health).

This book should be on the list of your “yearly books.”

We rate this book 4.4 out of 5 stars!

Turn The Ship Around by David Marquet

Few people are more qualified to truly call themselves a “leader” than David Marquet. Using his “push down” decision-making strategies, he taught his team to become more engaged and to think for themselves. Under his leadership, one of the worst-rated nuclear submarines in the US Navy became the best.

Whether you’re managing a small two-person team or a large enterprise, this book is for you.

We rate it 4.4 out of 5 stars! A leadership must-read.

The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni

This book, again in fable style, follows the careers of two consultants and their competing companies. With an exciting plot (for a business book) and memorable characters, you won’t be able to put this book down.

The Four Obsessions:

  1. Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team
  2. Create Organizational Clarity
  3. Communicate Organizational Clarity
  4. Reinforce Clarity Through Human Systems

We rate it 4.4 out of 5 stars!

The 40 Hour Work Year by Scott Fritz

In this book, entrepreneur Scott Fritz tells his story of growing and selling his business. You’ve probably heard that you should be working “on” your business instead of just “in” your business, and this book gives great practical guidelines to help you do just that. It also stresses the importance of process and systems and people. In one word, this book is “practical.”

This is a very good read if you’re a business owner or are thinking of starting your own business.

We rate it 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler

One of the traits of truly successful people is that they know how to have difficult conversations. We’ve all kept our mouths shut to keep the peace or protect someone’s feelings when we knew that we should speak up. Crucial Conversations dives into this subject and offers the reader a seven-point strategy for holding these high-stake conversations to achieve the desired goals.

This book will help you understand why we act and react the way we do during stressful conversations and provides steps to help you improve your dialog skills. Regardless of your rank or position, this is a great book.

4.3 out of 5 stars.

Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni

We’re big fans of Patrick Lencioni’s fable-style of writing. In this book, Getting Naked, Lencioni addresses the “Three Fears” that can hurt client loyalty. He uses the story of two consulting firms, though these principles can be applied to any type of business or even personal relationships, to contrast their approaches to business and serving their clients.

During the journey with these two firms, we learn the “Three Fears”:

  1. Let go of the fear of losing (business)
  2. Let go of the fear of being embarrassed
  3. Let go of the fear of feeling inferior

By overcoming these fears, we can learn to:

  1. Always provide immediate value to those we serve rather than sell ourselves
  2. Give away ourselves (the business) without holding back for something else first (fees)
  3. Tell the "kind" truth and not sugar coat the obvious
  4. Enter the danger, our zone of discomfort, rather than avoid it
  5. Ask the dumb (the right) question that no one else ever asks
  6. Make dumb suggestions that stimulates thinking rather than suggest the obvious
  7. Celebrate our mistakes, our failures, as these are key learnings for growth
  8. Take a bullet for a friend (our client) as taking responsibility and sacrificing is the greatest thing we can do for another.
  9. Make everything about the client; focus on the "other"
  10. Honor the "other's" work
  11. Roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work
  12. Admit we are human and have our own weaknesses and limitations

We rate it 4.2 out of 5 stars.

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Why do some businesses fail while others succeed? In this classic business book, Michael Gerber explains that most small businesses are begun by “technicians” who love doing the “job.” However, for this reason, they often ignore the other skills needed to make a business successful. Most readers will enjoy Gerber’s story-telling style, but some may find it a bit long and wandering.

Is your business having problems? Are you thinking about starting your own business? Then you need to start thinking about systems. This classic is a must-read.

We rate it 4.2 out of 5 stars!

The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felber

In this book, Terry Felber gives great insight into leading a successful, Godly life no matter what your chosen profession. Practical, and not at all preachy, the twelve principles outlined in the book are beneficial to business or home life. This book reminds us of another favorite, The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.

We rate this book 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Whale Done by Ken Blanchard

Whale Done is a short, fable-style book that begins with a failing manager who visits SeaWorld and is fascinated by the killer whales and their trainers. The techniques used by the trainers on the whales, he soon learns, can be applied to his home life and work life. By learning to accentuate the positive and simply taking more quality time with those who matter most to him, our manager sees his life and relationships begin to improve. He begins to catch people doing something right rather than catching them doing something wrong.

This short read is great for staff and family members.

We give it 4 out of 5 stars!

Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

This book is likely the most technical book on our list…but we couldn’t help ourselves. In today’s world, every business needs to be an expert at sales and marketing, and when it comes to marketing, no one knows it better than Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. The founders of Hubspot, these guys give practical advice and step-by-step instructions to get your business growing.

If you’re a business owner or a marketer, we recommend this book.

Also, check out the website to see if your website needs help (this tool was developed by the authors).

We rate is 4 out of 5 stars.