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Finding a Business Book to Read This Month

Finding a Business Book to Read This Month

I recently wrote a big post on my annual goals here.  The post is worth checking out not only for my goals, but my annual year in review video.

Anyway, one of my goals this year is to read at least one business book a month.  I really do enjoy reading, but unless I consciously make an effort, I can find myself going a while without reading a good book.

This goal will keep me educated, inspired, and off the computer for a little while!

However, I’ve already gone over half of January and I haven’t even picked a book yet!  So, I need your help!  Please recommend a good business book to me below in the comments.

I think this will also be interesting for other readers to get some good business book suggestions as well.  Here’s a few decent business books that I’ve read over the past little while:

Business Books I’ve Read Recently

  • $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau – I enjoyed the book and especially liked the stories of the different boot strappers
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries .  The book was good, but honestly I wasn’t as impressed as everyone has made this out to be.  The principles it teaches are excellent, so I do recommend it; but I would argue that these principles are nothing many bootstrappers haven’t been doing for years.  (Many people tout these ideas as “new” and “revolutionary”). Perhaps to the VC crowd or businesses using other people’s money being “frugal” is something new.  But for those of us starting with just a little, this is how we’ve always thought.  I would recommend because Eric’s thoughts can take your “lean” intuitions a little bit further.
  • One Simple Idea by Stephen Key – An interesting look into the world of licensing. All you need is the idea, then just get someone else to build it and sell it for you.  You get an ongoing license fee!  Well, its not really as easy as it sounds.  Stephen Key gives some great examples, but the process of pitching ideas and securing license ideas is almost as difficult as just starting the entire business yourself.
  • The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris – I finally read the book this year.  I’ve resisted for several years because it sounded like more hype than I could handle.  As much as I wanted to hate it, it was actually pretty good.  I was surprised at the interesting stories of OTHER people (besides Tim Ferris) that have done well automating their businesses.  I could do without all of Tim’s lingo like he’s coming up with something great like the “New Rich” and other nonsense phrases.  People have been outsourcing or hiring others to run their businesses long before Tim came along.  But despite my obvious desire to not like Tim, the book is actually a decent read.  So, if you can get past the hype in the title and the effort in the book to come up with new words or acronyms, the principles are solid.
  • Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham – This book focuses on several example companies that have made a conscious effort to stay small and focus on quality and experience rather than constantly try to hit growth goals.  These are mostly private companies (maybe all, can’t remember).  The book was okay.  However, when I think of “small”, I was thinking of 1 to 10 employees.  However, this book covers companies with much more than 100 employees often.  Nothing wrong with that, but perhaps isn’t as interesting to bootstrappers.  We keep it REALLY small 🙂

I may have read a few others this past year, but I can’t remember them at the moment.

So, what should I read next?

I need some help picking a book real quick, so I can read it before the end of February!  I also hoping to get a few other ideas of business books to read so I can be prepped for the rest of the year.

I look forward to your thoughts, comments, and suggestions!

UPDATE: I just bought 3 books off Amazon (1/18/2013).  I’ll be reading whatever book arrives here first for January 🙂

UPDATE II (Jan 22nd): I’m reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh right now and loving it!

31 Comments for this Post

  1. Tony Khuon

    Tony Khuon


    I read 4HWW a few years back, so it’s interesting to hear the perspective of someone who is just reading it now. I agree the term “New Rich” isn’t super-helpful, and Tim seems to have dropped it.

    As for recommendations: Tribes by Seth Godin, if you haven’t read it already. In the vein of 4HWW, there’s Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco and How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis. Like 4HWW, both of these books have regrettable titles, but offer more than you might expect.

    Good luck, and let us know what you pick!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Great suggestions, I’ve heard about Tribes and Millionaire Fast lane, but not How to Get Rich. I’ll consider those.

  2. ilias diamantis

    ilias diamantis

    The ultimate sales machine – chet holmes

    Millionaire Fastlane – MJ DeMarco

  3. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    About 2/3 the way through The $100 Startup right now – pretty good so far! The best business book by far though is The Millionaire Fastlane…a must read for any serious entrepreneur.

  4. Tristan


    The Dip by Seth Godin. It’s a little book, so it’ll be easy to read it before the end of the month. I read it at least once a year, whenever I’m doing too much and need to feel good about quitting some stuff.

    • Artur


      Dip’s a good one, especially for remembering to let go of lackluster website.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Actually I listened to the Dip on Audio format a couple of years ago – a great listen 🙂

  5. Artur


    Antifragile by N.N. Taleb – very relevant even to internet marketing as well as living.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Actually, I really enjoyed The Black Swan by Taleb, so I may have to take a look at Antifragile…thanks!

  6. Jon


    Setho Godin is kinda boring to me honestly. I recently read “everything i know about marketing i learned from google” it was a great book. I also really enjoy Tim Collins books, but they may not fit your business pursuits. Or the E-Myth is good.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Actually I really like Tim Collins book Good to Great – a must read for all serious entreprenuers as well as the E-myth. I check out the Google one, sounds interesting.

  7. Jacko


    This is a good resource thanks for sharing.

    I would add that Jeremy shoemoney book to the list and if you want to write a book get guy kawasaki’s Ape.

  8. Jamie Alexander

    Jamie Alexander

    Good topic.

    I just read The Pumpkin Plan from the guy who wrote The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. It was OK. Wouldn’t be the first book I would say to read, but it’s always good to go over.

    My next ones planned are Impact Equation and Trust Me, I’m Lying.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Toilet Paper Entrepreneur 🙂 – Sounds unique!

  9. Ricky


    Apart from the above comment that has been suggested.. I added few amazing book here..

    Delivering Happiness – Tony Hseih,
    Crush it – Gary Vay,
    Rework – Jason Fried,
    Outliers – Malclom Gladwell
    Strengths Finder 2.0

  10. Kaj


    Most of the books I know are already mentioned. But I still have a few suggestions:

    The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
    Awaken the Giant within – Anthony Robbins
    Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T. Kyosaki
    Inbound Marketing – Brian Halligan
    Influence – Robert B. Cialdini

  11. Gil


    Millionaire Fastlane – M.J. DeMarco. Great read. Couldn’t put the book down!

  12. Romain


    I stopped reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur in the middle because it was just rehashed advice.

    However, I read Millionaire Fastlane, by M.J. DeMarco (who created, this guy is brilliant !), and it’s very instructing and motivating, with great take-aways. I couldn’t put it down.

    Another FANTASTIC book is Rules of Thumb by Alan Webber (founder of Fast Company), though its a bit of a heavy read (you would maybe need a full month). This is one is more “deep”, less shallow than most books written by internet marketers, mostly because Alan Webber has had to run “real life” businesses, from State Council campaigns, to the Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company. His lessons, or “rules” are extremely interesting and wise.

    Finally, a book I read last year that I found surprisingly good is “No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs” by Dan Kennedy; Dan Kennedy is the time of late-night TV marketer, which is why I said I was surprised, because this short book is straight-to-the-point and packed with great lessons on time management (and not the ones you would expect !)

    • Romain


      Some errors in my comment (jeez, I need to re-read what I write): I meant to say that Dan Kennedy is the kind of late-night TV marketer…

  13. Sandeep


    Hey Spencer – Why dont you read the mother of all self help books. This is guy who actually bought in self help industry… it’s freely availalble on the web and a short book.

    It’s called As a man thinketh – short , sweet and help you not quit when it’s not working.

    P.S- The english is little “shakespearen” 🙂

  14. Matthew Allen

    Matthew Allen

    I’ve had Millionaire Fastlane on my list of books I want to read ever since I heard Pat Flynn interview M.J. DeMarco on his podcast (session 18). I highly recommend listening to that podcast, and now I am going to pick up that book sooner rather than later after seeing how many people recommend it in this thread alone.

    Quitter – by Jon Acuff. How to transition into living your dream without immediately quitting your day job. Something you’ve already done Spencer, but still a great read.

    An oldie but goodie, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. But who hasn’t read that yet?

    I’m currently in the middle of, Why We Want You to be Rich, co-written by Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump. It’s a little bit dated, but still filled with great principles and interesting back stories from both of their lives.

  15. Abhi


    How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis. The book is one of the most honest and easily the best book I’ve ever read on entrepreneurship and getting rich. It’s the underdog of business books.

    The book contains zero fluff. The advice Felix shares in the book is not the general rehashed advice shared in many of today’s business books.

    Every advice Felix gives out is based on his decades of experience and hard-earned wisdom.

    It’s also a very well written book. You’ll love Felix’s style of writing.

    It’s easily the best next book you should read, and definitely a book every entrepreneur should as well.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sounds interesting, thanks Abhi!

  16. Bas


    Good idea, I have to read more myself. Reading 100$ startup right now my first business book 🙂
    Are you giving reviews on this site. Curious to other books to read after this one.

  17. Pia Smyth

    Pia Smyth

    Platform by Michael Hyatt! This one should help you achieve your goal of doubling your readership 🙂

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I’ll check it out, thanks for the recommendation!

  18. Adam


    Good books on this list, and in comments. A few other greats from my Vault are:

    The Definitive Book of Body Language
    The Richest Man In Babylon
    The Art of War
    Think & Grow Rich

    anything written by Paul Ekman (Telling Lies & Emotions Revealed) for those that deal with people offline.


  19. Bas


    Hey Spencer, I only have 100$ startup at the moment?

    Which do you recommend the most? What have you been reading laterly?

    I heard good stories about click millionairs, rich dad poor dad, think and grow rich and 4HWW

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      If money is a concern, I would go to a public library if possible. You will usually find all of the books you listed and more available to check out for free.

      • Bas


        Money is no problem. I live in the Netherlands so I doubt if we have them available here. I wanted to order some on Amazon so just looking for a few good ones to split shipping costs over several books.

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