18 Must-Read Business Books

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You are what you read. 

And, that said, personal development is almost the most important task in building a good work-life balance and being successful in both. 

Successful people never stop learning and challenging themselves. As we are getting busier each day, it's not a surprise that many choose to watch a short video to see exactly how some integrations are done, read a great article that will help determine your online strategy or a watch short documentary to better grasp the political situation - all instead of reading a book.

However, if you do make some time to read a book, we've gathered 13 book recommendations from people that are too busy to read a book (but they made time for that!)

No fluff, no waffle, just great strategy

Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit-Forming Products, Nir Eyal

Recommended by Chris Ogle, Flow

“I love this book because it focuses on the under-discussed subject of how to make your new product part of your client's everyday use.

The majority of entrepreneurs believe their product is great, but this book gives some superb insight into making your product leap into your consumer's lives.

No fluff, no waffle, just great strategy. Perfect for any start-up."

The Book That Has It All

Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar

Recommended by Jimmy Rodela, GuildofBloggers

"Not only will Zig Ziglar's book, "Secrets of Closing the Sale" help entrepreneurs break free from their harmful mindsets about selling -- which, in and of itself, can easily translate to hundreds of thousands of $$$ -- but it also includes actionable tips that the readers can use immediately.

Character building, compelling sales techniques, and levels upon levels of powerful paradigm shifts that can help almost anyone become successful at what they want to do and who they want to become (and then some) -- the book has it all."

The book that comes up too late

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay

Recommended by Andrew Marder, Capterra

"Delusions is the kind of book that comes up too late. It's a cautionary tale of hype, bubbles, and crashes, and it only gets pulled off the shelf after things go wrong. Entrepreneurs would do well to learn its lessons before everything goes pear-shaped, instead of just reading about their failures in tomorrow's news."

Focusing on making a profit, not just generating revenue

Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz

"Profit takes the seemingly incomprehensible stance that we should be focusing on making a profit, not just generating revenue. Michalowicz explains how focusing on profit can give businesses and founders more flexibility and break them out of the 'revenue at all costs' cycle. It's also a fascinating look at how accounting (GAAP in particular) shapes business practices."

It’s not what, it’s why

“Start with why” by Simon Sinek

Recommended by Safwan Khan, Startuply

" This book is a must read for all entrepreneurs. It gives a clear vision to the reader on how to propel them for success in life and in business. People don’t care about "what you do" rather they care about "why you do it" - Simon Sinek emphasizes this several times in the book."

Gotta have the Grit

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth

Recommended by Alexander Zaytsev, Growth Engineers

"According to the author, the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent or luck but a special blend of passion and purpose she calls 'grit.' Passion (internal motivation) for the activity helps persist longer than willpower. Purpose (external motivation) helps persist even longer than passion."

Is it true or is it a myth?

The E-Myth, Michael Gerber

Recommended by Sam Zaman, Mofluid

"I love how Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business."

Win and influence

'How to Win Friends and Influence People', Dale Carnegie

Recommended by George M. Karboulonis, SwiftBranding

"If you could have only but one book in your library, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" should be your definite choice, no questions asked.

With over 30 million copies sold worldwide, Dale Carnegie must have been onto something when he first published this back in 1936.

In his book, you can find 30 basic principles that encapsulate the very essence and the mechanics behind all human interactions. Whether you want to discover how to win friends, lead people, win arguments, or simply gain a deeper understanding of the human nature, this book will offer this and much more. Every aspiring entrepreneur, every man, woman, and child should read this book at least once in their lives."

The book that will help you build your brain mapping towards business

“How I made $2,000,000 in the stock market?” by Nicolas Darvas

Recommended by Karan Chopra, i2Mag

"The book emphasizes both technical and fundamental criteria. It will take you to the real actual experiences the author made but in investing manner. I believe such books play an important role for new entrepreneurs in building their brain mapping towards business."

About games, responsibility and behavior in groups 

Games People Play by Eric Berne 

Recommended by Oleg Shchegolev, SEMrush

First of all, I would recommend Games People Play by Eric Berne. This one is about social interactions. It’s substantially easier to build a full-fledged team when you understand how people communicate, and this book can really help with this issue...

I would also highly recommend Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. This is about why people behave in one way or another. For me this book was especially valuable because it analyzed in depth how people behave in groups.

Well, finally, I would recommend The Responsibility Process by Christopher Avery. As is already clear from the title, this is about responsibility. And for me, this is the most important aspect of building teams. In this book, the various levels of responsibility are really well defined. Avery’s explication of how to nurture responsibility in yourself and not trample on others is also one of my favorite parts of this book.


Building and maintaining a digital strategy

SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs by John Jantsch

Recommended by Adrian Barry, Web Results Direct

"A great book for business owners and entrepreneurs with limited SEO experience who are looking to understand the constantly evolving world of modern digital marketing, and to identify best practice approaches, not only to SEO, but also to content creation, social media, digital brand awareness, online brand protection and pay per click advertising (PPC).

It avoids a lot of the more technical SEO jargon often found in other SEO books, and focusses on the most important deliverable of the SEO process – building and maintaining a digital strategy that’s focussed on revenue generation for your brand."

The art of the struggle

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Recommended by Ross Hudgens, Siege Media

"My favorite book for entrepreneurs is by far The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It's an inspiring set of essays about how to deal with the difficult situations that may come up.

They're mostly applied at bigger, high growth stage companies but even if not all applicable to you, they're at the very least inspiring to get to the point where one day might need one. I particularly recommend the audiobook."

Nothing in life is personal

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

Recommended by Leah Davis, The Sweetest Way

" I love this book because it explains in plain, relatable language how to break from old habits and negative thought patterns that we learn from a young age.

Perhaps the most important lesson, though, is that nothing in life is ever personal. Once you understand this concept, you will be freed from your reactionary ego and feel nothing but compassion for others."

Constantly prioritize

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Book recommendation by Louder.Online

"I don't know if this counts as a classic, but one book that's had a big impact on how I run both my business and my personal life is Greg McKeown's Essentialism.

The premise of the book is pretty simple - that we're all trying to do too much and that, because of that, we aren't able to make our highest possible contributions. Making changes to align with a more essentialist approach is actually pretty tough. McKeown gives a lot of great strategies to help with this, but as much as anything else, just learning to be constantly prioritizing whether or not I'm doing the best I can for my family and for Louder.Online has made a huge difference in my effectiveness."

Challenge all perceptions

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Recommended by Uwe Dreissigacker, InvoiceBerry

"Rework is one of those few business books that is a must-read for any entrepreneur. The book demystifies the old perception that business is all about creating 40-page business plans, having hour-long team meetings and continuously expanding your product portfolio while pleasing all of your customers. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson challenge all those perceptions. After all, creating a financial forecast is simply a more sophisticated-sounding guessing game."

The game changer

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Recommended by Kevinson LibamaYour Freelance Tips

"This is probably one of the classic reads every entrepreneur should add to their shelves. After reading this book, I started taking goal setting pretty seriously, and it’s been working for me over the years. The book taught me that if I don’t set a specific goal and write it down, I shouldn’t expect to hit it. Every freelancer and business owner will find this book a game changer."


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