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13 inspiring books chosen by the best small business owners on Amazon, from 'The Art of War' to 'Company of One

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 19 Feb 2020


Books are still one of the best ways to learn something new, so we asked Amazon's best small business owners what they read to stay informed and inspired as they grow their businesses.Their recommendations include classics like Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, as well asPaul Jarvis' 2019 best-seller Company of One: Why staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business.Here are the 13 top picks fromthe founders of Ravenox, Habit Nest, Watex Green Living, Ayoba-Yo, Bedtime Bulb, and Obia Naturals.Visit BI Prime for more stories.If you want to start or grow a business, a great place to find advice and inspiration is on the bookshelf.To help you get started on a reading list, we asked the finalists for Amazon's best small business owners award to recommend their favorite books for entrepreneurs and business owners to read.Sean Brownlee of Ravenox favored classics like "The Art of War" and "Business Adventures," while Denise Sung of Watex Green Living leaned toward newer titles like "Company of One" and "Lean In."Greg Yeutter of Bedtime Bulb and Obia Ewah of Obia Naturals both agreed on Tim Ferris' perennial favorite "The Four-Hour Work Week."Wian van Blommestein of Ayoba-Yo andMikey Ahdoot of Habit Nest were more interested in the power of the mind, suggesting titles from organizational consultant Brian Tracy and psychology professor Kelly McGonigal, respectively.Continue reading to see the full list, with links to learn more.SEE ALSO:Amazon says these are the 6 best small businesses of 2019SEE ALSO:Here are the 6 best women-owned small businesses selling on AmazonSEE ALSO:These are the 6 best small business owners under 30 selling on AmazonThe Art of WarSun Tzu's The Art of War has guided the thinking of military, political, and business leaders for more than 2,500 years.Business owners in particular can learn a great deal about how to design winning strategies and tactics to inspire loyal followers and outwit competitors.How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People has inspired generations of leaders over the past 60 years.Warren Buffett says the book "changed my life," calling it "the most successful self-help book of all time."The Lean StartupEric Ries' The Lean Startup revolutionized how the business world thought about startups and small businesses, according to Lean Startup co-creator Steve Blank."The big insight [of Lean] was that startups aren't just small versions of large companies," Blank told Business Insider. "The Lean Startup was the first tool to search for business models," he added.The Willpower InstinctPsychology professor Kelly McGonigal's The Willpower Instinct is based on her popular Stanford University course called "The Science of Willpower," and draws on insights from psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience.The book offers specific tips, strategies, and exercises that readers can use to harness their self-control and reach their goals.Can't Hurt MeDavid Goggins' Can't Hurt Me is part advice manual, part memoir, based on Goggins' transformation from an overweight young man into a Navy SEAL and ultra-marathoner.Goggins' professional and personal accomplishments inspired entrepreneur Jesse Itzler to hire the former soldier to live and train with him for a month.(Itzler documented the experience in his book Living With a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, which LeBron James called "Hilarious.")Lean InSheryl Sandberg's Lean In grew out of a 2010 TED Talk in which the Facebook COO critiques the problem of "too few women leaders."In her book, Sandberg calls on womenand their male alliesto think differently about how all people can participate in the creation of a more equal world.Company of OnePaul Jarvis' 2019 best-seller, Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business, argues that the secret to success is no longer dependent on scaling up.Instead, Jarvis explains how entrepreneurs can focus on staying small while still growing their businesses' impact and sales.The Four-Hour Work WeekEntrepreneurs of all stripes swear by Tim Ferriss' The Four-Hour Work Week and his advice to "work smarter, not harder."Ferris shows how smart delegation and remote work strategies enabled him to cut his weekly hours from 80 to fourall while earning more money through his business.Business AdventuresBill Gates called John Brooks' Business Adventures the best business book he's ever read, and the anthology is also a favorite of Gates' mentor Warren Buffett.In 12 classic business cases from the mid-20th Century, Brooks reveals insights into why companies like GE and Xerox succeeded, while others like Texas Gulf failed.The Psychology of SellingBrian Tracy's The Psychology of Selling details how a smart sales strategy is key to the success of any business.From your relationships with yourself, your team, and your customers, Tracy highlights the importance of self-confidence and empathy in unlocking the emotional drivers of consumer psychology.Getting Things DoneDavid Allen's Getting Things Done is one of the most influential business books of the last 15 years, providing a clear method for approaching professional and personal tasks in a stress-free way.Allen is a thought-leader in the fields of organizational and personal productivity, and numerous organizational tools and seminars have been modeled off of his "GTD" approach.Eat That FrogAnother Brian Tracy best-seller, Eat That Frog, offers 21 methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more.Tracy shows how starting each day by tackling one big, important, unpleasant task can hep you achieve a higher level of performance and productivity in life and business.Harvard Business Review's Must ReadsEach year, the Harvard Business Review publishes curated collections of its top Top 10 Must Reads on topics ranging from leadership and strategy to emotional intelligence and team management.Articles include advice and insights from experts such as Clayton Christensen, Peter Drucker, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, John Kotter, Michael Porter, Daniel Goleman, Theodore Levitt, and Rita Gunther McGrath.
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