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Informative Yet Approachable Business Books To Read In 2019

Get started with learning about business with these wonderful books

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Business can be a daunting field to go into. Hearing about incredible success stories can put a lot of pressure. These books ground you can guide you through these stories and how to start your own path to success.

These books are not something to skip if you’re serious about getting into business. True gems!

#1 The Entrepreneur Ethos by Jarie Bolander

The Entrepreneur Ethos by Jarie Bolander
The Entrepreneur Ethos explains the challenges entrepreneurs face and the traits, values, and beliefs that entrepreneurs use to make “dents in the universe.” The Ethos provides a framework for entrepreneurs to build a more ethical, inclusive, and resilient entrepreneur community that is ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

By living the Ethos, entrepreneurs can take hold themselves to a higher standard. This allows entrepreneurs to build fantastic businesses that benefit themselves and society.

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#2 I am Not a Millionaire: Making the Shift from Failure to Financial Freedom by Andrew Alexander

I am Not a Millionaire: Making the Shift from Failure to Financial Freedom by Andrew Alexander
One of the most difficult things about making the transition from employee to business owner is that it’s an entirely new way of life. We were born into a world where we are supposed to follow the lead of our parents, teachers, society, and ultimately our bosses. But as a business owner, we have to break free from the way we were conditioned to behave most of our lives.

I am Not a Millionaire documents a behind-the-scenes journey of one aspiring entrepreneur who had no business training or experience. It begins with him being down to the last $250 to his name and driving 2,000 miles across the country to have lunch with a millionaire he met on the internet, shares the lessons of hundreds of millionaire mentors, and results in him building a digital magazine publishing company that has impacted the lives of over 1.3 million people.

This book is great for beginners in business because it removes the hype and false expectations so people have a proper expectation of what building a business is really like.

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#3 Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
The Profit First method of bookkeeping is ass-backwards, and that’s why it’s great! Mike explains how profit should be accounted for first, before expenses, and this paradigm switch is exactly what I was looking for. A super easy read that gets you to really think about your expenses and revenue and dig deep into them. Highly recommend!

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#4 The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
A revised edition, this fairly short, thought-provoking book (143 pages cover-to-cover) has sold more than 7 million copies in multiple editions. It was co-authored by Dr. Goldratt, an internationally recognized expert in the development of revolutionary business concepts and management systems (and who Fortune magazine once called a guru to industry).

Unusual for a business book, ‘The Goal’ is written as a fast-paced novel about a plant manager, Alex, who’s under the gun to improve his plant’s performance in order to prevent its imminent closure. Alex has just three months to turn things around, and receives timely, helpful advice from his former college professor who helps him break free from conventional modes of management thinking. Once begun, a great many readers will find it difficult to put this engrossing business novel back on their bookshelves.

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#5 This is Marketing by Seth Godin

This is Marketing by Seth Godin
As a start-up business owner I strongly recommend This is Marketing. Even though this book is predominantly about marketing, it’s equally useful and informative from a business and business strategy perspective. It helps you conceptualize and find your ideal marketplace for your existing or emerging business. This is Marketing is an excellent book that gives any business beginner a fresh perspective with eye opening insights that can make a big difference to how you set about managing and orienting your business.

It provides key insights from a fantastic marketer that puts the customer first. Its focus is strongly centered around what Seth describe as “the smallest viable market”, and argues that you should not follow old marketing strategies for targeting the masses. Find the niche where you’re the number one solution, and grow that niche with passionate supporters of your business and brand. Excellently written, easily read, This is Marketing provides a great counter current to more traditional business literature.

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#6 The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
This isn’t a business book per se because it doesn’t show you how to write a business plan, do content marketing, or sell. I believe it teaches something more important.

Sticking with simple disciplines long enough for them to yield fruits.

The world is moving faster than it ever has before and because of that, new entrepreneurs are looking at people who’ve built successful businesses and think they should be able to get similar results in a few months or a year.

Rapid scale, move fast and break things, etc. In reality, slow and steady has a compounding effect which will deliver huge gains in 3-5 years. This is especially important in business.

Most endeavors fail because the founders couldn’t stick it out long enough.

This book shows you how to find the smaller activity you can do day in and day out – the slight edge – that will yield big returns down the line.

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#7 Seeing the Big Picture by Kevin Cope

Seeing the Big Picture by Kevin Cope
Seeing the Big Picture introduces the 5 drivers of any business: Cash, Profits, Assets, Growth, and People. Kevin Cope explains these drivers in a way that is understandable to anyone. He explains Cash Flow Statements and Balance Sheets in two ways: If you just want a quick overview of company health, or if you want to dive deep into how a company does what it does.

For entrepreneurs, this book highlights what your numbers actually mean, so that you can anticipate needs before it becomes an emergency. For anyone who wants to work their way up the corporate world, this book explains how the C-Suite thinks, and how to explain things in their language to be understood and listened to.

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#8 Creativity NOW by Jurgen Wolff

Creativity NOW by Jurgen Wolff
I love all the many simple business ideas that one can start today with very little money. It’s a great book that I use for young people in conjunction with teaching them about financial education.

Furthermore, the book helps people who feel stuck get unstuck when they need to be inspired to create ideas.

As the book says, you’ll never be without creative inspiration again!

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#9 What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan

What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan
Understand Business Acumen and the Business Fundamentals The best CEOs know their business inside and out, and know how to simplify business complexities down to simple building blocks. There is a great (and short, woohoo!) book called What the CEO Wants You to Know written by Ram Charan. I always recommend this book to anyone looking to build their business acumen: young professionals, interns, fellow female entrepreneurs, etc.

The book breaks things down in an easy-to-follow way. The idea is that every business can be distilled down to the basic fundamentals: Cash, Margin, Velocity, Growth, and Customers. The book shows that the core of every business is the same no matter how big or small – whether you’re a street vendor (or maybe have a kickass lemonade stand) or building an empire. As an entrepreneur, understanding business fundamentals, shaping your mindset, and, in turn, your own business will be a key to success.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#10 Developing the Conscious Leadership Mindset for the 21st Century by Jeffrey S. Deckman

Developing the Conscious Leadership Mindset for the 21st Century by Jeffrey S. Deckman
The Amazon bestselling, 5 star rated, “Developing the Conscious Leadership Mindset for the 21st Century” is a ground breaking book that gives the reader a very practical leadership mindsets, models and methods specifically designed for leaders of today’s modern generations. It’s innovative design of combining deep thinking with practical workbook exercises won it 2 National Stevie Awards (gold and bronze) and 2 international Stevies from the International Business Awards(silver and bronze) for best business book of 2019.

This book is a must read for both experienced and emergent leaders who face the complex human and organizational problems facing leaders on the front lines of business.

It will literally change the reader’s life as it helps them develop their personal leadership style which is why a total of 23 national and international judges rated it as one of the most impactful business books of 2019

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#11 Belonging Factor by Devin R. Halliday

Belonging Factor by Devin R. Halliday
Building a business and a leadership career can be challenging. One of the most important aspects of establishing a solid foundation is understanding and intentionally building a culture that inspires loyalty, build community and produces successful outcomes. Belonging Factor is the perfect book to teach you how to establish that foundation, no matter what phase your business or career is in.

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#12 The Titanic Effect by Todd Saxton

The Titanic Effect by Todd Saxton
Leveraging decades of startup experience, The Titanic Effect uses stories of success and failure to reveal the often-overlooked human, marketing, and technical “icebergs” that sink startups, while drawing entertaining parallels to little known parts of the original Titanic story. Instead of sharing what founders “must-do” for their startups, we share what they should NOT do.

This book is intended for startup founders, small business owners and even people thinking about becoming entrepreneurs.” Most readers develop a list of issues to explore and fix within their business while reading this book. The Titanic Effect has been called the field guide for young and small businesses.

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#13 Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
The ability to have difficult conversations, especially in cross-functional businesses, is the single most important skill in being able to navigate the workplace and actually get things done. Building this skill early in your career will open up a broad set of paths as cross functional peers will look to give you opportunities to partner with them.

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#14 Anything by Malcolm Gladwell

Anything by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point teaches you the power of connectors and how how finding the influences will help your ideas grow

Outliers shows you the power of disciplne, anyone can practice and get better, no one is born successful it shows how random things like your birth date can influence your accomplishments

Blink shows how we make irrational decisions unconsciously so once you are aware you can make better decisions, you can change your unconscious attitude by meeting new people and embarking on new adventures.

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#15 Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life by Guy Kawasaki

Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life by Guy Kawasaki
Sergio Zyman and David Meerman Scott have written terrific books too, they are all straight talking experts who know their stuff. There are a lot of powerful lessons in these books! I¹ll take a practitioner¹s advice and lessons over theoretical research based textbooks any day.

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#16 The Money Garden by Julie Austin

The Money Garden by Julie Austin
According to a study by the SBA, multiple business owners are more likely to be classified as high income and high wealth. The only security comes from inventing your own future, and that includes a business portfolio. The Money Garden shows you how to use the talents and skills you already have to create a lifetime of income, no matter where you’re starting from. You’ll learn how to create and run multiple businesses with multiple streams of income.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create a lifetime of moneymaking ideas
  • How to develop your own uniqueness
  • Why you should have low, medium, and high end products
  • Why you should “pyramid up” to avoid going into debt
  • How to cross market for maximum profit

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#17 Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
This thought-provoking book by Malcolm Gladwell analyses and seeks to explain the success of iconic figures such as the Beatles and Bill Gates. It emphasizes the 10,000 hours theory and how you can apply it to gain expertise in the field of your choice. Outliers explores business in a deep and philosophical way, which is a great way to introduce the world of business. A must-have for any aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

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#18 The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
When I was first starting out my company as ‘2400 Expert’, and then, Prep Expert, I indulged the common beginner’s strategy of doing everything myself. No matter how much time it took me, I did almost everything myself.

We all know that that is unrealistic to do, of course, especially as your company hopefully grows. Reading The 80/20 Principle though really reaffirmed that what’s essential for me as CEO to do is focus my time on the tasks that best suit my position and maximize our profit potential. In my case, that focus is primarily strategy.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#19 Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings. by Thomas K. McKnight

Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings. by Thomas K. McKnight
It is important for new entrepreneurs to know whether their business will actually work in the modern era? With high-level of competition, it is hard to judge but this book, Will It Fly by Thomas K. McKnight will give you a mindset on why you should invest? Includes practical ideas to 44 key elements of business success. Best for both new and advanced business owners.

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#20 Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
This is a must read to get business owners or want to be business owners in the correct frame of mind.

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#21 The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Choose the people you allow to sit at your table carefully and always begin something with the end in mind are just a few nuggets from this amazing read!

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#22 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This is a classic that was updated to the 21st century. Napoleon Hill was best know for his theory on compounding. Again this is a must read for anyone in the business world. He was a forward thinker who thought outside the box before that was even a thing! LOL.

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#23 Starting a Business QuickStart Guide by Colwell PhD MBA, Ken

Starting a Business QuickStart Guide by Colwell PhD MBA, Ken
The book presents the core fundamentals all entrepreneurs should know, from conceptualizing the business to turning a profit. It is a comprehensive guide on running a business in 2019 — delivered in an easily understandable way for those with zero business experience and current entrepreneurs alike.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#24 They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan

They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
A book I read recently that I keep referring back to after finishing it is Marcus Sheridan’s They Ask, You Answer. While it’s aimed at marketers, I find it to be incredibly insightful for anyone who’s starting a business. You can’t succeed if you don’t know how to find customers — and more importantly, listen to them. Sheridan’s book introduces the reader to some critical best practices for customer acquisition and lead generation.

He makes it very clear that blogging and other content creation tactics aren’t just for marketers, but that they’re for anyone who has a stake in a business. This holistic perspective to marketing is accompanied with many case studies explaining how engineers or software developers can be valid, useful contributors to your company’s marketing efforts. If you want your company to build a successful marketing funnel that expands beyond the conventional ideas of content creation, this is the book for you.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#25 Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki

Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki does not mess around with the business jargon, which makes his book more readable and enjoyable. Kawasaki brings a wealth of knowledge from his incredible journey as an employee, entrepreneur, and investor, so his writing actually helps beginners visualize their own journey. What I love most about this book is that Kawasaki acts more like a coach than an author; in addition to great examples and actionable advice, readers are given helpful exercises and recommended further readings after each section. It’s a great book to get a jump start in the business world.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#26 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a book that every beginner in business should read. The different chapters highlight each step you should take, analyse and revise to become successful in both business and everyday life, while also acting as a self-help book. The style and readability of this book therefore makes it more digestible for the everyday reader and business beginners looking for answers in what can be a confusing field of work.

Covey’s ramblings on seeking to understand and then to be understood is an especially good ethos to take on, as to be successful in business you need to understand your consumer, build relationships with others and as a result, influence them.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#27 Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
Shoe Dog is brilliantly written, and you’ll enjoy it if you read it as a story. If you’re in business, and especially if you’re starting a business and wanting to make it grow, this book should be on your must-read list.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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#28 The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The lean startup is a perfect book for beginners because it focuses on the things that matter for beginners in business rather than the things that CEOs of bigger companies have to worry about, for example, how do you know if your business is moving in the right direction?

The Lean Startup I found really helps focus on what’s important and outlines useful metrics and things to look for that help gauge things that seem obvious to bigger companies but for a business without an established market or customer they are hard to ascertain – such as how to test a feature. From my experience in managing my company which is a product-based business I’ve found it invaluable.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

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Contributors to this article
Jarie Bolander from The Daily MBA

Andrew Alexander from LimitlessAcademy

Jessica Moe from Lilac and Clover

Timothy G. Wiedman from Doane University

Christoffer Sorensen from Virtual Visibility Media

Daniel Ndukwu from KyLeads

Steve Caponigri from Innov8 Learning Solutions

Deborah Sawyerr from Sawyerrs’ House Money Lifestyle

Lisa Val Verde from Wildernest

Jeffrey Deckman from Capability Accelerators

Devin R. Halliday from Rudiment Solutions

Kim Saxton from Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Jeevan Balani from Accela Coach

Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

Julie Austin from Creative Innovation Group

Tony Arevalo from Carsurance

Shaan Patel from Prep Expert

Syed AliHasan from Film Jackets

Katherine Adams from Creative Legacy Group

Dane Kolbaba from Dallas Party Ride

Jake Rheude from Red Stag Fulfillment

Russ Nauta from CreditCardReviews

Grant van der Harst from Anglo Liners

Ronald D’souza from Amazon Decrum

Jonathan Merry from MoneyTransfers

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