Fellow entrepreneurs and book nerds! I wanted to share some of my favourite books for small business owners with you this week. It’s no secret that I love books and they are such a great, low-cost way to educate yourself, what’s not to love?
I do have a confession… as much as I love paper books, I find that after being on the computer for a few hours each day my poor old eyes are tired and I struggle to focus properly on reading. This is why I started listening to audiobooks.
Now hear me out, you nay-sayers of the new-fangled technology… I am very much with you on the paper book issue and I do struggle to focus with audiobooks but I have found that over time I have gotten much better.
I’ve also realised that I can only listen to audiobooks under certain conditions, I need to be free of distractions and do something that doesn’t require my brain – like hanging laundry or washing up! So if you have tried it in the past and didn’t take to it, have another go but pay attention to when you find it easier to listen.
I absolutely can’t listen before bed – I just fall asleep or just sit and listen as do nothing else. I find drawing or doing something else with my hands helps. Or listening when I am out on a walk.
For audiobooks I love Scribd, they have digital books, audio, research papers, magazines and sheet music! it’s about $9 a month, you’ll get 2 months free if you use my referral link here.
Disclaimer, this post includes affiliate links which means I will make a commission if you choose to buy something, at no cost to you.
Here we go, 7 books for small business owners in no particular order…
The Alter Ego Effect: Defeat the Enemy, Unlock Your Heroic Self, and Start Kicking Ass – Todd Herman
I’m a big fan of Todd’s after working on the 90 Day Year with him, he is a great down to earth guy who doesn’t fall into the “bro marketers” group.
As an introvert and someone who doesn’t enjoy being in the spotlight, I found this book really helpful. He talks about taking on a persona to help you excel in the fields where you normally don’t feel comfortable. For small business owners and moms who are wearing all of the hats, this is a great skill to have in your tool kit.
Chillpreneur: The New Rules for Creating Success, Freedom, and Abundance on Your Terms – Denise Duffield-Thomas
This is the third of Denise’s books, if you haven’t read the others, do check them out too. Chillpreneur is the ultimate anti-hustle book. It’s one of those books for small business owners that everyone should read. If you are struggling with trying to do it all and feeling burnout then you absolutely must take some time out and read this. It will make you re-evaluate the way you do things. Entrepreneur moms really can’t afford to get burned out so read this before it gets out of control. Also, you should really check out The Wonder Mom Success Club for extra help and support.
I interviewed Denise a couple of years ago about money and kids, you can check out the interview about teaching our kids about money here.
Destination Author: A Guide to the Adventure of Writing Your First Non-Fiction Book – Kris Emery
If writing a book to share your message to the world is on your goal list this year, then put the pen down and pick this up first. Kris has been working in the editing world for years and she pulls together everything she knows so that new authors can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes. She also goes into what you need to do BEFORE you even start writing – something that most wannabe authors miss.
Not only that, it’s a fun read and presented in a totally digestible way.
Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, And Build a Successful Business -Pat Flynn
Pat Flynn is a natural when it comes to building an audience, he is relatable and has time for his fans, they are not just numbers to him. Superfans talks about how to find those die-hard fans and then how to nurture them, how to create magical moments for them so that they stay a superfan for the long haul.
Superfans can help build your business in a solid organic way without any douchebaggery tactics! I know from working with many small businesses owners that growing an audience is the hard part for many so this is a great tool to add to your kit.
Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business – Mike Michalowicz
Sometimes we get stuck with our businesses and can’t see how to fix the problem. I love Mike’s straightforward way of figuring out what is wrong and what to do to fix it. And sometimes the fix isn’t glaringly obvious which is why his technique works so well!
So if you are struggling to take things up a notch, get to the next level or feel like you need to get off the hamster wheel, read this.
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It -Chris Voss
This is an older book but after watching Chris on Masterclass (the art of negotiation) I ended up getting the book too! Although he started out as an FBI hostage negotiator, he talks about how you can use those same skills to negotiate better deals in your business or even get your kids to bed on time without a fight. Be warned, if you watch the Masterclass or listen to the audiobooks when your kids are around, they will be trying the same tricks on you!
I file this under life skills because it is just as useful as a book for small business owners as it is for mom life.
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream – Paulo Coelho
Not really a business book but rather a book for inspiration and motivation. It’s a beautifully written tale of a shepherd boys journey for treasure. It teaches us to recognise opportunities and how to learn from the things that life throws at us.
I rarely read books more than once but this is one of those books that you can take something new from each time that you read it. It’s also a great book to read with your kids.
And if you identify as a multi-passionate entrepreneur then you should check out this post for books to inspire multi-passionate people.
What is you want to read books for small business owners but don’t have time?
As I mentioned at the start of the post, audiobooks have become my go-to and have really helped me get back into reading. Another tip is to create a habit of taking time to read, whether it be 20 minutes before you go to bed (which is far better than scrolling in Instagram!) or introducing ‘quiet time’ during the day. When my son was little this worked well after lunch. We would have an hour or so of quiet time, sometime he’d have a nap (and to be honest, sometimes I would too) or he would ‘read’ his books whilst I read mine. You can read more about it in this screen-free tips post.