Here are are several books that I’ve read, which I would highly recommend to anyone looking to build a long term business:
1. Think and Grow Rich
Don’t let the title of this classic book fool you. It has nothing to do with monetary wealth. This book examines characteristics of the mind and teaches how to think and grow intellectually on your way to success. It’s one of the single biggest factors that influenced me to start CoachUp and it’s always the first book I recommend when people ask me for suggestions.
2. The E-myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
The E-myth is another classic that explains the various components needed to build a long term, lasting business. The book caters heavily towards how entrepreneurs should systemize their businesses to create a company that runs WITHOUT them instead of BECAUSE of them. Mike Gerber is also an excellent story teller, which makes this book an easy read and a pleasure to consume.
3. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
I felt I had to put this book on the list. It’s one of the most referenced startup books of our generation. The book is skewed towards software / internet companies and goes into detail regarding how to build a business using a series of small tests and feedback loops. Most of the topics covered here are just a regurgitation of the E-myth (above) with a more modern day spin put on things. Nevertheless, I felt it was valuable resource and wanted to include it on this list.
4. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t
Great read about what makes exceptional companies truly extraordinary. There are many ‘good’ companies out there, but this book examines what it takes for a ‘good’ company to reach the next level.
5. Selling You by Napoleon Hill
Every entrepreneur will need to learn how to sell at some point. You’re always selling … whether it’s convincing a potential employee to join your company or talking to prospective customers about buying your product. Surprisingly, most founders do not take the time to educate themselves on effective sales techniques that could drastically move the needle for their companies. ‘Selling You’ is a great place to start if your new to sales, as it focuses on core values and suggests that whatever your selling is a reflection of yourself … so start by selling yourself first, and the rest will follow.