Last year I read over 50 business books and this year I’m on pace to do at least one per week.

But to be honest, the majority of these books would be better off as simple magazine articles.

And so to save you from wasting time reading the mediocre business books, I’ve reviewed the books on my shelf and I’m going to share the top 10 books that have had the great impact on my business.

10 – “Think & Grow Rich” and “Grow Rich with Piece of Mind”

Almost everyone knows about “Think and Grow Rich”, but few people know of or have read Napolean Hill’s follow up, “Grow Rich with Piece of Mind”. I recommend you read both.

9 – “The E-Myth” and “The Power of Full Engagement”

I admit, I’m cheating a little by giving you two books at once a few times here, but hey, it’s my list.

These are both classics. You’ll discover the importance of systems in Michael Gerber’s E-Myth, while getting a new perspective on time and energy management in the Full Engagement book.

8 – “Bringing Out the Best in People” and “Switch”

The former is a book on building and motivating your team. It is NOT an easy read, as it is full of scientific research on how to inspire people to act. But it is a powerful book.

A more enjoyable read, but just as important, is “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath. If you’ve ever wanted to change your own behavior, or a client’s behavior (or even that of your spouse), this book will show you how.

Both books emphasize the rewarding of small changes that help you build up to making the biggest changes. It’s a formula that works.

7 – “Instant Income”

Not too many people know about this book, but it is one of the most practical books I’ve ever read on how to increase your sales, client retention, and overall revenues. It is packed with strategies that you can put to use immediately. I just realized I need to read this one again.

6 – “Crush It” and “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”

Two of the best speaker-entertainers in the world. If you could only read one, pick the Jobs book. After reading about his passion and vision, this book was the catalyst for me to get an Ipad.

5 – “The Go Giver”

Neat and tidy little book. You’ll discover 5 simple rules that will help you set up a lasting business, all based on becoming a person of extreme value to others. So simple, isn’t it?

If you like this, you’ll also like the management and meeting books by Patrick Lencioni, written in similar fashion.

4 – “Good to Great”

I put off reading this business classic for years, and to be honest, I expected it be another one of those books that could have been summarized in a 5 page magazine article.

I was pleasantly surprised at being wrong. This was my introduction to the importance of having Core Values and a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). I’ll tell you more about those when we get to the most important book I’ve ever read.

3 – Anything by Dan Kennedy

From his hard-to-find autobiography (“Unfinished Business”) to his “Ruthless Management of People and Profits”, I’ve read every book by Kennedy, and they are ALL worth it. If you are struggling to get stuff done, his “No BS Time Management” book is even better than the 4-hour Work Week, and you should start there.

For mindset, No-BS Wealth Attraction is 1000x’s better than watching “The Secret”, and his books on “Direct Marketing” and “The Ultimate Sales Letter Formula” are mandatory reading for internet marketers.

2 – “Man’s Search for Meaning”

This is not a business book, but instead a book about the human spirit and what people can overcome.

This book chronicles the horrors of World War II as seen through a concentration camp survivor, and should be mandatory reading for every high school student (and adult).

After you’ve read this book, you’ll never have a “woe is me” attitude towards life or business again.

Everyday you hear someone say, “Oh, I could never do that…”, but the truth is, if they stopped complaining and tried it, they’d learn pretty quickly that they could.

And despite it’s gloomy content, there is still a positive lesson to take away, that is, as humans, we are are capable of much, much more than we might believe.

Never, ever, EVER give up.

1 – “The Rockefeller Habits”

By far the most practical business book I’ve ever read, focused around building a team, a vision, and a future for your business.

Like many on this list, it is not an easy read, and it includes several exercises you’ll need to do to lay out a 90-day plan and long-term vision. I’d suggest setting aside three 90-minute blocks to get through the entire book.

The end results of your focused work will be an incredibly powerful blueprint for the future of your business.

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I hope you enjoyed that list, and I hope that you’ll share your favorite books with me as well. Just post in the comments below.

Thanks!

Everything you need to know has already been said,

Craig Ballantyne

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl

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