10 Most Inspirational Books for Business Owners

Reading for Entrepreneurial Results

One of the best uses of your time as an entrepreneur is to read, and there are many books that will help you develop yourself and the business your own. Tom Chorley conducted a five-year study which he described in his book Change your habits, change your life. That study found that:

  • 88% of wealthy respondents said they read at least 30 minutes each day

  • 85% read two or more self-improvement books each month

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are avid readers. Bill Gates reads at least one book per week. Warren Buffett spends five or more hours reading each day. Elon Musk says he learned how to build rockets by reading.

Chorley also found that successful people are disproportionately likely to read non-fiction. The question is, what books should you read? Here is our list of 10 of the most inspirational books for business owners – in no particular order.

  1. Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

This book is segmented into topic areas and single-page ‘recipes’ to solve the problems you may encounter when you start a business. You’ll read about experimentation, testing, planning, and decision-making in a new business.


  1. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni 

This book is written in the form of a fable, telling the story of a new CEO and how she tackled inefficiencies in a management team to develop a collaborative and positive culture. It’s a great read for all business owners who are expanding their team.

  1. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker 

You want to be efficient and effective as a business owner? This is the book for you. Peter Drucker explores five talents that great business leaders possess, and that can be learned. Together, these talents will give you the ability to get things done. What are they? No cheating now. You’ll have to read the book!

  1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Daniel Pink explores the connection between motivation, high performance, and satisfaction in this classic book. One thing we love about this book is that it helps you get your business and life in perspective and aligned.

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

Another classic, bestselling book. This tome provides a step-by-step guide to living a more successful life by cultivating your character and living by seven distinct principles, or habits. These habits help you move from a state of dependence, to independence, and finally to interdependence.

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Effective networking is one of the most effective strategies for building successful businesses. This book discusses great techniques to help you develop the relationships that will improve your self-esteem, while constructing a professional and personal network that will help develop your business.

  1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

If you are strapped for time, this book is a must-read. It is designed for executives who want to unshackle themselves from their corporate career and build their own business, but many of the techniques discussed are applicable to those who already own a business and need to free time to expand and grow.

  1. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

We do things better when we are passionate about them, and Vaynerchuk’s book motivates you to get paid to do what you love doing. You’ll be taken out of your comfort zone, and encouraged to build a business that is founded on your passion. 

  1. The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson

This book helps you to look inside yourself, question your inner motives, and change your mindset to be successful. Johnson writes about the power of positivity, and how this impacts you when building a business. By the end of the book, you’ll have the tools to be more resilient, as well as know when to let go.

  1. Getting Things Done by David Allen

As the owner of a small business, it’s easy to get stuck in the business. You end up spending all your time working, and this leads to higher stress levels and a less fulfilling personal life. David Allen teaches you how to regain your perspective, keep a clear mind, and make decisions that will help you improve your productivity.

Take a leaf out of the book of a successful business owner

As a business owner and entrepreneur there are many strategies that you can use for self-development. Reading is proven to produce great results, with authors imparting their wisdom upon request. Whenever you need some inspiration as a business owner, turn to one of these ten books.

How are you going to read yours? Paperback, audio, or digitally?

For more inspiration, take the Entrepreneur Assessment and learn how you can get unstuck and grow your business.


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