Best business books of all time
Did you know that reading is a habit shared by all successful people, such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and many others? Whether you’re a beginning entrepreneur or seasoned businessman, you must constantly improve and hone your skills by reading books on management, investment, customer relations, etc. Check out this list of the best business books that will make your company skyrocket!
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, Mike Michalowicz
“Have you never run a business in your life? You have no idea where to raise starting capital? Great! Because now you have a chance to do everything right!”- this is how Michalowicz welcomes and encourages his potential readers. The author explains complicated terms in a simple language spiced up with humorous notes. This makes this book an ideal choice for both novice and experienced businessmen. You won’t regret reading this amazing manual!
The Pumpkin Plan, Mike Michalowicz
Inspired by the farmers, the renowned author and lecturer Mike Michalowicz borrows the technique for growing pumpkins (yeah, you heard that right!) and applies it to the business environment. Sounds hard to believe, right? Such a bold and innovative approach has paid off big time as Michalowicz’s company has grown into a market leader with seven-digit profits. In his guide, the author shares his personal experience and tells success stories of other entrepreneurs who had the courage to use the same strategy.
This is a must-read brand identity guide for small businesses. Written by professionals from Logaster, this book contains practical tips, inspiring examples, and useful services for creating a smart corporate style. Be sure not to miss it!
The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau
From this book, you’ll learn how to turn a common business idea into a money-making machine and start to enjoy your work and hobbies. According to the author, his work is not about business per se, but rather about searching for freedom, independence, and well-being. This highly entertaining book reads fast and smoothly. Also, it’s packed with useful tables, check lists, and other easy-to-perceive content.
Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh
In this amazing book, Tony Hshei shares his invaluable business expertise with his readers. Tony has done lots of different jobs over the years, from managing a farm to growing worms (can you believe that?). How can you not trust a person with such an incredible experience? Succinct and concise, the book demonstrates a brand new approach to corporate culture which can be summarized as follows: “The only way to personal happiness is by helping others to become happy and contented”.
Blue Ocean Strategy, Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne
The next book on our list reveals the secrets of creating the so-called “blue oceans”, which is a metaphoric name for competition-free markets. The authors Kim and Mauborgne developed a special tool set for researching and benefiting from this type of markets, including the Value Curve, the Price Corridor, the Strategy Canvas, etc. If you’re curious to find out what these beautiful terms mean, you absolutely need to read this unusual book!
Rework, Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
Rework is an ideal book for those who shun away from established, time-tested plans and techniques. If you’re looking for an innovative strategy for starting your own business, you’re sure to like this guide. From this manual, you’ll find out how a business plan can fail you, how to make it without third-party investors, and why ignoring competition can be a wise decision. Launching your own business takes less than you think! Forget about stuffy offices, heaps of documents, and unproductive meetings! With this fantastic book, you’ll get a new perspective on running a prosperous business.
From Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, Jim Collins
In this publication, Collins identifies and analyzes the factors that paved the road to success for renowned companies. What is the difference between a successful company and a great company? Over the course of 10 chapters, the author looks at management, personnel strategy, social behavior, and other crucial issues that will be your guiding lights in the challenging world of business. Who knows? It might be your chance to make your company one of the greatest in your industry!
How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
This absolute best seller by Dale Carnegie is as fresh and relevant as ever! This book has already helped millions of people achieve success both in business and private life. It can help you too! Find out 12 conviction strategies, 6 ways to make people like you, 9 ways to change people without annoying them, and other exciting secrets. Kudos to the author! Carnegie has written a timeless classic that will never grow old.
The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen
In his bestselling book, Christensen explains a very interesting paradox. Why, despite doing everything right, big-name companies are losing their grip on the market? According to the author, if company managers are unwilling to drop tradition business approaches and try out new solutions, even the strongest company is doomed to fail. Bold and provocative, this title includes clever tips for running a sound business. It’s an absolute must read for all project managers and company owners.
How to Make It Without Starting Capital, Sergey Azimov
If your dream is to leave your boring office job and explore new opportunities, this book must become your next read. On the pages of his guide, the renowned business coach and entrepreneur Sergey Azimov shares effective money-making tips and techniques. Written in plain language, the book captures your attention from the very first lines. Be sure to check it out!
The Asshole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt, Robert Sutton
Robert Sutton gives sound advice on how to handle “problematic” employees and benefit from their positive qualities. Plus, the author addresses real-life case studies of high-profile companies. Thanks to its light, conversational tone, the book reads in one breath!
Deep Work, Cal Newport
In this book, Cal Newport debunks the widespread myth that you must be in love with your job. The author argues that many people need time to start to appreciate what they do professionally and it’s alright if you don’t find your job ideal from Day 1. To put together this staggering book, Newport talked with dozens of people involved in different lines of work, including farmers, investors, script writers, freelance programmers, and many others. This guide will take you on an exciting journey through the diverse world of business!
From Zero to One, Peter Thiel
According to the author, the key to success is the businessman’s ability to think independently and make smart decisions. The best way to rise above competition is by creating unique products and services. Newport, a celebrated venture capitalist, delivers a new optimistic view on progress and innovations. He teaches his reader how to ask the right questions that will help them see value in the most unexpected things.
Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi
According to the author, all successful entrepreneurs share the ability to build win-win, i.e. mutually beneficial, relationships. In his groundbreaking piece of work, Ferrazzi reveals how to forge and nurture relationships with your coworkers, friends, and business partners. The strategies and techniques described in the book were used by such iconic figures Winston Churchill, Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, and other powerful people. A good strategy never loses its value over time!
The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss
Does your secure 9-to-5 job starts to feel like a trap? Does commuting to work take up big chunks of your time? Do you want to make money effortlessly, while enjoying your life and travelling the world? Or do you want to work less and dedicate more time to your family and hobbies? Either way, this book is your magical pass to a new free world where your job doesn’t define who you are anymore.
Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely
This book by Dan Ariely looks at behavioral studies, one of the most exciting and multi-faceted fields of economics. Affected by external factors and stimuli, consumers tend to act irrationally. This is an established fact that you must consider when running your business. By learning about 13 real-life examples of unpredictable customer behavior, you’ll discover 13 opportunities to boost your sales!
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
The next title on our list provides a complex approach to solving your personal and professional problems. By sharing compelling personal stories, Covey educates his audience on how to live an honest, fulfilling and meaningful life. You’ll find out how to adjust to the ever-evolving world and benefit from the possibilities that change brings.
The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham
Focused on the topic of investments, this book by Benjamin Graham also looks at psychology and types of temperament. Even the strongest investment strategy may flop unless an investor has the suitable temperament for this kind of job. If you’re eager to learn more about different types of investors and investment styles, this insightful book is an absolute must for your business education!
Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader, Herminia Ibarra
In her work, Emilia Ibarra tells how a common manager can grow into a leader by gradually changing themselves and the work environment around them. For example, the author advises to stick to a flexible leadership style and build up your business connections. Packed with checklists and smart practical tips, this guide will enable you to become a effective leader and take your career to a new level. It’s time to take action and enhance your professional life!
The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
In his eye-opening guide, Gladwell looks at his own-invented term “tipping point” which refers to a situation when social behaviour trends and patterns “pour over” the imaginary vessel and spread all over the place. This book resembles an intellectual adventurous story that brings forward new ideas and exciting discoveries. The author strongly believes that one person can change the whole world, and we can’t agree more!
45 Tattoos Of A Manager, Maxim Batyrev
This book is, without a shade of doubt, the most unusual title on our list. Its chapters are named after the author’s tattoos, with each tattoo standing for a certain life principle, idea, or belief. “This book was born out of my own experience, my pain, and my mistakes. On its pages, I’m sincerely sharing a part of my life with you. I can only hope that my journey will serve you well”, says the author. Simple and witty, Batyrev’s guidelines are the true points of wisdom that can change your life once and for all.
Customers For Life, Carl Sewell
How do you make your clients stay with you for many years to come? In his new bestseller, Sewell reveals the secrets of building a solid client base. The author did an amazing job studying the needs of modern-day customers and employees. One of the most valuable discoveries made by Sewell during his research can be summed up as follows: “Find out what your customers want and give it to them”. The person who owns the America’s second-largest Cadillac dealership chain can’t be wrong when it comes to handling a business!
Business As a Game: Being an Entrepreneur in Russia, Sergei Abdulmanov, Dmitry Kibkalo, Dmitry Borisov
In their work “Business As a Game”, the authors share insights for launching and growing a successful business in Russia. The book looks at a variety of important issues, from developing a financially viable business plan to communicating with your customers. The best thing about this book is that each chapter is a standalone unit. You can pick any chapter that caught your eye and start reading!
Even Dummies Can Do Business, Maxim Kotin
This revolutionary book by Maxim Kotin relies on the business experience of a real person named Fedor Ovchinnikov who decided start his business in Russia. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the protagonist stands for millions of common Russians who had the courage to risk everything and put their business ideas into life. This book tells a truthful story about the ups and downs of the Russian business in the early 2000s. It will become a true gem in your business library!
How to Become a Businessman, Oleg Tinkoff
A business guru and owner of several big companies, Oleg Tinkoff has tried his hand at different lines of work, from brewery to banking. This books sums up his invaluable experience in the form of concise tips for novice entrepreneurs whose ambition is to start their own business. The author believes that courage and ability to manage risks are the fundamental qualities in a businessman. However, if you don’t possess these traits, don’t let this stop you from pursuing your dreams. Giving up is never an option. If you ask us, this motivational thought is reason enough to read this clever business guide!
Everything is Negotiable: How to Get The Best Deal Every Time, Gavin Kennedy
This title is a collection of tips on how to negotiate and interact with people both in business environment (long-term contracts, real estate, etc.) and everyday life, e.g. when you need to purchase a new TV or have your car repaired. How to pitch a business proposal? How to handle blackmail? This amazing book is full of assessment tests and other interactive content that will help you fully immerse into the topic. If your ambition is to become an apt negotiator, this book is a shortcut to your dream!
Truth About Startups, Ekaterina Inozemtseva
This books offers an honest take on doing business in Russia. You’ll learn how to avoid common (and frustrating) mistakes, find a reliable investor, settle a seemingly hopeless conflict, and many more. Through her book, Ekaterina Inozemtseva aims to encourage and motivate both beginning businessmen and those who already own a mature company. On top of that, you can benefit from multiple links to case studies, document templates, and other hard-to-find content that you’re sure to find useful.
Screw Business As Usual, Richard Benson
In this title, the prolific author, journalist and critic Richard Benson shares his take on the future. According to the author, people need to reconsider their values and switch from making money to taking care of other people and the planet’s ecosystem. Benson developed clever guidelines for how companies can use their vast resources to make this world a better place. On top of that, you’ll be treated to inspiring stories of businessmen who, instead of being silent bystanders, took a step forward and made a difference.
The Lean Startup, Eric Riese
Most of the time, unmet deadlines or large expenses have nothing to do with why startups fail to take off. The problem with many young companies is that they’re offering a product or service that no one needs. The central idea behind the lean startup concept is that a business must be in constant touch with its customers. Instead of focusing on abstract theories and plans that have nothing to do with reality, companies should listen to their clients and adjust their strategies accordingly.
The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, Steve Blank, Bob Dorf
This is a step-by-step instruction on how to start a profitable, scalable startup by using a brand new customer development methodology. Coined by Steve Blank himself, this methodology is taught at major universities and business schools around the world. The 608-page book contains more than 100 informative charts and tables, 9 common (and often irreparable) mistakes made by entrepreneurs, and more engaging content.
Leading at the Speed of Growth: Journey From Entrepreneur to CEO, Katherine Catlin, Jana Matthews
This book is a true business encyclopedia that tells 500 success stories across a variety of industries. How do you know it’s time to adjust your management style? What personal qualities of a businessman are the cornerstone of success? How can the lack of initiative damage your business? By giving elaborate answers to these and many other questions, the authors will guide you through a smart development strategy for your company.
Angels, Dragons & Vultures, Simon Acland
Are you looking for a way to raise money for your startup but the venture capital market scares you? Witty and thought-provoking, this book will tell you how venture capitalists, also called “business angels”, make money, how they can help your company get a foothold in the market, and what other funding options to consider. A brilliant investment expert, Simon Acland will be your reliable guide through the world of venture capital.
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, Jeff Sutherland
This book is not just another guide on how to use the Scrum methodology. Sutherland aims higher. He explains why Scrum has proven so effective across different industries. The book is an autobiography, in a way. The author shares his personal experience using Scrum across different lines of work, from military service in Vietnam to high-tech development.
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer, Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson
This book was written by two venture capitalists who has 40+ years of experience dealing with high-risk business projects. How to come up with a win-win investment strategy? What does a company assessment process look like from an investor’s point of view? What things to consider before signing an investment agreement? You’ll get all the answers you need! This book will be helpful to different categories of readers, including aspiring businessmen, venture capitalists, and even investment lawyers.
Startup Weekend, Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen, Franck Nouyrigat
If you think that developing a fleshed-out concept for your startup in 2 days is beyond your abilities, “Startup Weekend” will prove your wrong! If you bring together developers, designers, marketers, and other specialists, you’ll be able to generate original ideas, build strong teams, and develop an effective growth strategy in just 54 hours! This truly fantastic book contains the best cases, lessons, and inspiring examples for your success!
Getting to Plan B, John Mullins, Randy Komisar
If you’re unwilling to deviate from your original business strategy even by an inch, chances are that your company won’t survive the next 6 months. It’s the harsh truth about the business world. Nowadays, flexibility is everything. From this guide, you’ll learn why continuous change and adjustment is essential to your company success.
Scaling Up, Verne Harnish
In his debut book, Harnish makes a point that the three principles of the iconic Rockefeller (Priorities, Data, Rhythm) are still relevant for modern-day managers. In addition to these golden principles, Harish proposes his own One-Page Strategic Plan. Although targeted mainly at business owners and senior managers, this book will be an interesting read for managers of all levels. Be sure to check it out!
If there are some worthy titles that we forgot to include, don’t hesitate to mention them in the comments below! Help us make this list of the best business books as complete as possible!