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The Best Business Books: Bestsellers List

Updated on March 7, 2024 11 minutes read

Summary points:

Nothing is more fulfilling than launching a startup or small business. The goal is crystal clear: earning money while making customers happy—a win-win for both parties! However, starting a business is one thing; running a successful one is another.

As a new business owner, you must first enhance your knowledge and develop your skills. Learn and then execute! Start by reading business books.

Recommending books for running a business might appear strange for some. But the numbers don’t lie: Nearly 81 million print books in the business and economics category were sold in 2021, a 10% rise from over 73 million in 2020.

Fret not; this page is a bestseller’s list discussing some of the best books in business. Read on to see what some business leaders have recommended and learn from them.

15 Bestselling Books To Read for Your Business

Small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and big companies employ customer success tactics to grow their businesses, whether personalizing interactions, publishing valuable content, or measuring business performance. They even leverage (SaaS) automation to improve efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction.

But how do you go about executing these tactics? Start by reading books, whether business optimization or customer service books. Some books guide business leaders in implementing strategies; others offer insights into enhancing personal and professional development.

So let’s cut to the chase—explore fifteen bestselling books to read to help improve your business.

1. Atomic Habits

An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

by James Clear

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book explores the impact of small habits on our personal and professional growth. Author James Clear believes that making tiny changes in our lives can lead to significant improvements over time. As such, he offers strategies for effective habit formation, like breaking bad habits and developing good ones. Ultimately, forming good habits can make a difference in our lives.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

As an entrepreneur or business owner, develop good habits to help you become a better CEO or leader. These habits, for instance, include waking up early, budgeting business expenditures, and stretching patience with employees. When developed over time, these habits will help you manage your people and run your business successfully.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer at Checkr, highly recommends the book Atomic Habits. “Those small steps you take can go a long way in reaching your destination. Remember, cliche as it may seem, a mile-long journey starts with a single step. This analogy exemplifies how small habits can help you succeed in the future.”

2. Dare to Lead

Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts

by Brene Brown

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book covers the topic of leadership, mainly focusing on authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy. Author Brene Brown tackles what it takes to become an effective and courageous leader. To become one, he recommends making connections, building trust, and opening lines of communication. Overall, this book serves as a guide for cultivating a culture of bold leadership.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

In business, good leadership is almost always the key to success. The book teaches you how to communicate empathically, cultivate trust, and establish good relationships with your people. At the same time, it will make you the bold and courageous leader that you are.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Stephan Baldwin, Founder of Assisted Living, is an executive who dares to lead. “This book is a game-changer in the world of business. It urges leaders to embrace authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy for impactful leadership. These attributes will make you a bold and daring leader who can make a difference in their employees’ lives.”

3. How To Win Friends and Influence People

The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success

by Dale Carnegie

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This classic book has long been a go-to resource for ensuring effective communication and building relationships. Author Dale Carnegie presents relatable anecdotes and practical advice to help readers win new friends and influence people. The book teaches you how to make social interactions, ensure communication and cooperation, and have positive influences on others. To this day, this timeless book remains relevant for personal growth and professional success.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

In business, you’ll deal with various stakeholders, from suppliers to employees to customers. As a leader, there’s a need to win their hearts and inspire them to do the right thing. This book will give insights into effective ways of interacting with people and influencing them positively.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, said this book remains a personal favorite. “It’s a timeless guide to building authentic connections and good relationships. I always try my best to apply the principles in the book in my everyday life, especially when interacting with my employees. Ultimately, your relationships with others often determine your success, whether in business or life in general.”

4. The 4-Hour Workweek

Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

by Timothy Ferris

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book delves into new work setup and lifestyle in today’s business landscape. Author Timothy Ferriss challenges the traditional way of accomplishing work and establishing a lifestyle. He recommends employing automation, trying outsourcing, and pursuing passion. The goal is to veer away from the conventional 9-5 employment and live a life of more flexibility and greater freedom.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

There’s no denying how the business landscape has changed drastically, triggered by the pandemic. Think of the rise of remote work, the Gig Economy, and more. This book will help you escape conventional employment, capitalize on today’s work setup, and establish a healthy lifestyle.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Tom Nolan, Founder of All Star Home, loves how the book explores new approaches in business. “The pandemic has drastically changed the business realm, paving the way for the rise of remote working. This book helps you adjust and adapt to the new business landscape, offering you the work-life balance you deserve.”

5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

by Stephen Covey

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This classic book cites seven fundamental habits that result in personal and professional effectiveness. Some of these include being proactive, prioritizing tasks, and communicating empathically. Author Stephen Covey seeks to guide readers in pursuing self-improvement and having positive influences on others.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

In business, you need to be highly effective to succeed—more so if you’re an executive. Develop and acquire the seven habits outlined in the book, from being proactive to thinking win-win to sharpening the saw. All these will make you truly effective at work!

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Ryan Hammill, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Ancient Language Institute, highly recommends this book. “If you seek to foster personal and professional growth, this one’s for you. The seven principles discussed can help your company move people and achieve true success. Trust us, this book makes you highly effective.”

6. Start with Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book asks the most critical question to ensure effective leadership and communication. Author Simon Sinek highlights the concept of the Golden Circle, where business leaders must ask ‘why’ first before answering other questions. By doing so, employees can have a clear sense of purpose that could guide and inspire them to take action and show loyalty through time.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

As with any life endeavor, you’re doing things for a reason, which practically applies to business. But to make sense of what you’re doing and encourage employees to accomplish their tasks, you must first ask and answer the ‘why’ question. That gives you and your employees a sense of purpose, direction, and guidance in the workplace.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Mark Pierce, CEO of Colorado LLC Attorney, suggests asking why when doing things. “I’ve learned this from the book Start with Why, which makes absolute sense. It shows how a clear sense of purpose can inspire actions that resonate deeply with individuals and businesses. People will accomplish tasks more effectively and successfully when they know what those are for.”

7. Outliers

The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book tackles the key factors that can lead to exceptional success. Author Malcolm Gladwell delves deeper into the roles of culture, society, and the environment in building and shaping achievers. He presents some thought-provoking anecdotes showing how various influences can impact individual achievements.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

The business world is complex, making it difficult for you to navigate and succeed. You must become an achiever and inspire others to become one as well. Learn from this book to understand how our culture, society, and the environment affect individuals. That can help you manage the factors that will impact your success and that of others.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Josh Wardini, the founder of Artsmart.ai, suggests reading Outliers. “This book unravels hidden secrets to achieving extraordinary success. Understanding some factors that impact your accomplishments can help you become a real achiever. Learn the outliers in business, and you’ll know how to mend them for ultimate success!”

8. The Intelligent Investor

The Definitive Book on Value Investing

by Benjamin Graham

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This go-to book for investing and financing remains a cornerstone in business. Author Benjamin Graham shares a systematic and rational approach to making investments and managing finances. He emphasized the importance of thorough financial analysis, risk management, and business forecasting.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Have you been investing? Are you trying to maintain your business cash flow? Then, this go-to investment book is for you. It will guide you in managing your finances and making significant investments for your business. As the title suggests, be an intelligent investor!

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, recommends the book Intelligent Investor. “As an indispensable guide, this book advocates for a rational and disciplined approach to investing. Not only is it for investors, but this book is also for entrepreneurs looking to manage their finances. Take the practical approach by heart, and you’ll financially succeed.”

9. Rich Dad Poor Dad

What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

by Robert Kiyosaki

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This classic book remains king in the world of finance and business. Robert Kiyosaki challenges traditional thinking about money, which draws the line between the rich and the poor. He shares lessons through two different father figures: one who works as an employee and the other who pursues business and financial independence. Ultimately, this book helps readers gain financial literacy, create valuable assets, and cultivate a growth mindset.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

There’s a line drawn between the poor and the rich. But they say that affluent people invest in business while others become mere employees. If you plan to launch a startup or grow your business, this book helps you foster a growth mindset. You’ll earn great perspectives, tips, and insights into becoming wealthy and successful.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Eric Mills, Owner of Lightning Card Collection, loves the book Rich Dad and Poor Dad. “This is the book that inspired me to launch my startup. It encourages readers to have financial education and cultivate a mindset of wealth-building. You see how different financial perspectives can significantly impact individuals’ lives.”

10. The Lean Startup

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Improvement to Create Radically Successful Businesses

by Eric Ries

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book shares the lessons learned from startups using lean manufacturing principles—hence the name The Lean Startup. Author Eric Ries seeks to help aspiring entrepreneurs build new businesses by balancing between capital efficiency and human creativity. He provides a framework for business owners to test, learn, and improve their startup strategies for running and launching a business.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Looking to launch and run a new business successfully? Then, this book is right for you. But warning: kicking off a startup is never easy. You should handle your finances with frugality and implement strategies with creativity. Apply the principles of lean manufacturing, and you can ensure a successful business long-term.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Alex Milligan, Co-founder & CMO of NuggMD, relied on this book when he was starting his business. “I have applied many valuable principles in the book that have helped me launch and run my business successfully. But it all boils down to testing, learning, and adjusting your business strategies while applying creativity and cost-efficiency.”

11. The $100 Startup

Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

by Chris Guillebeau

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book empowers people looking to start a business with only $100 or less capital. Author Chris Guillebeau studied about 1,500 business owners who have made $50,000 or more with very modest capital investments. He presented 50 interesting cases to help entrepreneurs combine passion and skills to break free from the 9-5 employment and start a microbusiness.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Sick and tired of having a 9-5 job? Looking to start a business but don’t have enough financial resources? Learn from The $100 Startup! You’ll get practical insights into launching a startup straight from real case studies. You’ll learn how to translate your passion into skills and turn these skills into income.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Lankitha Wimalarathna CEO of Hiveage, has learned so much from this book. “When starting my business with meager financial capital, The $100 Startup guided me in my journey to entrepreneurial success. But the key here is to know your passion and develop your skills as well as use those resources to launch your microbusiness. Then, you can break free from 9-5 employment. And I tell you, it works!”

12. Think Again

The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

by Adam Grant

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book focuses on the power of rethinking. Author Adam Grant seeks to help readers become more self-aware, wise, and convincing. He stressed the importance of rethinking, which involves learning what you don’t know and eventually changing your minds. And that’s the first step to convincing others!

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Running a business involves promoting your brand and convincing others to buy your products or hire your services. Struggling to do that? Start with the power of your mind! Identify what you don’t know and learn as much as you can. Change your mind, and you can help others change their minds, too.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Jonathan Elster, CEO at EcomHalo, recommends this book to other entrepreneurs. “You can never underestimate the power of the mind. How you think will change your life in many ways and can influence the people around you. But first, be humble enough to admit what you don’t know and be more than willing to learn. That gives you the power to rethink, change your minds, and influence others too.”

13. Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition

How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

blue ocean strategyA Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book challenges what most entrepreneurs think about the common strategies for business success. Authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne introduce the Blue Ocean strategy, a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and establishing your own market. They outline principles and tools to help leaders build and bait their blue oceans.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Business owners often face the challenge of beating the competitors in their market. There are various strategies presented to help them get ahead of the competition. But are you willing to take the route less traveled? Learn how to make the competition irrelevant and create your market through the help of this book.

What a Business Leader Has to Say:

Gerald Lombardo, Head of Growth at Popl, suggests reading the book Blue Ocean Strategy. “It’s a mind-blowing and game-changing book that challenges your business strategies and helps you rise above other entrepreneurs. In the end, achieving success isn’t about fighting with competitors. It’s about creating blue oceans by charting new territories—the untapped markets!”

14. Zero to One

Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future”

by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book revolves around how to build businesses that create new and innovative things. Peter Thiel seeks to help entrepreneurs explore unique opportunities in an already advanced business landscape. He provides entrepreneurial ideas optimistically for the future.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Are you an entrepreneur, CEO, or investor navigating the future business landscape? Then, this book is for you! This book helps you build your company and establish a better future for everyone. Through this, you’ll learn to see the future of business as bright and promising!

15. The E-Myth Revisited

Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber

A Glimpse of What the Book Talks About:

This book tackles the myth that people launching startups with technical business understanding are entrepreneurs. Author Michael Gerber analyzes some business assumptions, sets proper expectations, and debunks common misconceptions about starting a small business. The ultimate goal is to have readers become real entrepreneurs who succeed independently.

How The Book Can Help Your Business:

Are you looking to launch a startup or start your small business? Just because you have the financial capital and technical expertise in business, you are already an entrepreneur. Read this book to learn what it takes to be one. More importantly, earn some practical tips to help you succeed in starting and running your own business.

Final Words

So there you have it—bestselling books that can help improve your business. Some have been old-time favorites of most leaders; others have recently caught the executives’ attention. If anything, all of them are now on the bestseller list for a good reason.

As such, consider some of the book recommendations shared by business executives outlined above. More importantly, take the lessons learned by heart. So what better way to proceed with this than to grab the bestsellers now and devour their content pieces?

As an entrepreneur or leader, you’ll be surprised at how these books can enhance your professional development. Ultimately, they can help your business grow and succeed!

Roman Shvydun

Written by Roman Shvydun

Roman Shvydun writes informative articles mainly about everything related to marketing, business, productivity, workplace culture, etc. His articles focus on business needs, concepts and ideas with an entertaining twist. See a few more examples of Roman’s articles by visiting his Twitter.

 

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