263: Best Business Books That Changed My Life

In this episode of the Sweaty Startup, I wanted to provide you with a solid list of business books that changed the course of my career and opened my eyes to what I needed to do to reach my financial goals. Despite my encouragement to go out and read these books more importantly, I want you to DO something because of what you read. I learned more about running a business by going out and starting a business than I possibly could have by reading all the books in the world. 

These books are designed for you to apply what you learn to your life. One caveat, you are not going to agree with everything you read or every principle in these books. That’s okay. They are meant to give you an outline and perspective that can be valuable to try out.

1) Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

By Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

This is a book that teaches about emotional negotiations. He points out hat negotiations are based less on logic and more on emotions, feelings and mindsets. He dives into how to assess what motivates people and how to use that in your deals.

2) The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It

By Michael E. Gerber

It is the first stop for a beginning entrepreneur and uses the analogy of a bakery shop to teach fundamental entrepreneurship skills and how to run a business.

3) Entre Leadership

By Dave Ramsey

This book is non-stop quality advice about how to build a business the right way. He lays out what he did, how he did it, and how he grew his business.

4) Ego Is The Enemy

By Ryan Holiday

Touches on a modern take on stoicism. He talks about the split second between an event and the reaction to that event and how to effectively control that moment. He touches on how an inflated ego can keep you from having success and ruin your business.

5) Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You

By John Warrillow

This book talks about how to get your life back when your business starts to take over. And how to build a scalable business that can be sold. John Warrillow came on my podcast and you can also hear more of what he has to say.

6) The Goal

By Eliyahu M. Goldratt

This book is written in story form of a man tasked with managing a production facility. It teaches about how to remove the bottlenecks in your company and helps you tackle the things that are holding up your business.

7) Flip The Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea

By Oren Klaff

This is a book about how to frame sales situations more from the angle where they want to sell you on the idea of selling to them. It makes you look at sales from a very different perspective and helps you shy away from the old-school sleezy sales many revert to. Oren Klaff came on my podcast and you can also hear more of what he has to say.

8) The Greatest Salesman in the World

By OG Mandino

This is about the discipline of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. Every entrepreneur is a salesman and this can provide you with great advice on how to get out of your comfort zone and sell yourself.

9) Small Business Taxes 2021

By J.K. Lasser

This reads like a textbook, but touches on the basic tax principles of how to leverage your tax deductions to help you keep more of what you earn in your business. This book will easily save you money by applying the principles in it.

10) Summary of The Diby

By Seth Godin

This is a quick read that gets you thinking about the times when you hit a plateau, where you don’t feel like you are making any real progress. It’s on how to get yourself out of that dip and start moving up.

BONUS: Loopholes of Real Estate

By Garrett Sutton, Esq.

This is a great real estate book where I learned about all the different terms and down-and-dirty of real estate. This is a great read for those just jumping into the real estate world. You will learn about the different terms and strategies that this industry has.  

BONUS: Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

By Ron Chernow

In this biography, it tells about the life story of both a brilliant and controversial businessman and philanthropist: John D. Rockefeller. In his thirties, this man had attained 90% of America’s Oil Companies, which made him possibly one of the richest men to have ever lived.

BONUS: Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike

By Phil Knight

This is an inside look into the beginning days of one of the most well-renowned brands: Nike. It provides great insight to the start of that company and how it was able to grow into the giant it is today.

BONUS: Risk Game

By Francis 

Is a real estate book about a Hungarian immigrant that came over with his family and a little sweaty startup, a book publishing company. The main concept is not only how that company grew to be hugely successful, but how the son later leveraged the wealth from that company and invested in real estate in New York City. 

BONUS: How To Win Friends & Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

I read this book regularly every two years. It’s about how to be a likable person, because at the end of the day, people generally do business with people they like. If you can’t build trust with others then how do you expect them to do business with you?

BONUS: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

This is a book I read/listen to regularly and each time I get more and more out of it. In fact, I often find myself throwing this book on audiobook during a long drive or trip. This is all about basic blocking and tackling decision making principles that help you be more effective with your life.

It’s not about the book. It’s not even the principles in the books you read. It’s about doing the work to apply what in those books to your life. If you’re just reading all day and not doing anything outside of those books you have nothing to apply what you’re reading to.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.