Sharpen the saw – If you want better results in your business and life, you’ll want the right knowledge to help you make better decisions along the way.
I’ve put together a selection of my top ten must-read books for entrepreneurs – each is a fantastic resource that will give you the tools and insights to build a stronger business and take your personal development to the next level. They are excellent reads and available in multiple formats. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
Best for pushing your physical and mental boundaries.
Probably one of my favourite books ever. After reading Can’t Hurt Me, I found myself exercising harder, stepping outside of my comfort zone more and really challenging my potential.
Grab the audiobook on this one because Goggin’s is interviewed by the narrator Adam Skolnick throughout the book to elaborate and give additional context. These conversation bits made this book 10/10 for me.
I can’t recommend it enough – a real paradigm shifter!
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
Best for understanding how to help your people fulfil their potential
This is a great book for understanding how to get the best out of your team.
Liz explains that leaders can either be Multipliers (help their team fulfil and expand their potential) or Diminishers (drain the potential from their team) Multipliers.
This book is a real eye-opener for me and is a must-read If you are a leader. After reading this you will certainly have better self-awareness and consequently, be a better manager if you embrace and implement its key principles.
The Everything Store by Brad Stone
Best for understanding the power of having a bold Vision
This book gives a fascinating insight into the story of Amazon and Jeff Bezos.
There are lots of important lessons throughout the Amazon journey that many business owners would value.
Bezos may not be the best manager or supplier partner out there, but the clarity and ambition of his vision for Amazon along with the strategic thinking that’s helped him grow the company will give you bucket loads to reflect on.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Best for understanding how to change behaviour and build habits.
So much of our behaviour is automatic – more than most people realise. Identifying and building the right type of habits and routines is something I’ve always focused on when coaching my clients.
It’s so important to understand this topic if you want to be a consistent top performer. Atomic habits will help you understand how the power of small marginal changes can lead to profound aggregated results in any area of your life.
It’s very well written and full of good common-sense wisdom that will help you identify and develop your own success habits. It’s the best book I’ve read on the subject and one I’ll reread in the future.
Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
Best for growth companies that want a solid framework for scaling up sustainably
This is more than a book. It’s a reference tool full of practical frameworks and knowledge to help you on your growth journey.
The 4 Decisions framework addresses the key challenges any growth business must overcome to move to the next level.
Get the physical book because you will need to revisit key bits repeatedly.
Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith
Best for Leadership development & becoming a better person
I love this book and recommended it to all my clients.
Triggers is all about developing good self-awareness to enable you to lead your people and model the behaviour you want to see in your business.
I really like the bit about how to run effective management team meetings that focus on addressing real challenges.
Bounce by Matthew Syed
Best for understanding the power of practice
Bounce explores the notion that 10,000 hours of purposeful practice, not ‘natural born talent’, will make you an expert in almost any area.
It’s great for helping you overcome any limiting beliefs about what you may or may not be capable of, because the bottom line is that if you have the right mindset and work ethic, you can achieve very high levels of success.
It’s an empowering book and an interesting read.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Best for Inspiration and understanding the journey of an amazing brand
This book was so good I had the audiobook and hardcover on the go at the same time.
Phil Knight takes you through the epic Nike journey from the very start.
All big businesses start as small businesses and hearing this growth journey from the man himself with so much humility is awesome. Honestly, it is so good, it would make a brilliant movie too.
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg
Best for understanding how to build a great team and culture
This book generously shares the key principles and strategies that have made Google such a successful company.
I especially liked the lessons around recruitment, management style and their leadership philosophy.
Eric Schmidt, who was coached by the legendary Bill Campbell, is clearly a super smart guy and without his leadership, Google would not be what it is today.
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey
Best for shaping young minds
Bit of a curveball but I wanted to include this.
If you have young kids, I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a great way to introduce your children to important concepts like ownership, teamwork, personal responsibility, saving and the power of mindset.
It’s one of the regular bedtime stories in our house (they choose their own, I don’t push it on them) because it’s accessible and fun. Each chapter ends with a few questions to anchor the key message.
PS: It’s not about how many books you read or how fast you get through them, it’s about how many of the important lessons and concepts you manage to successfully implement.
I challenge you to be implementation focused as you read these books – that way they will be interesting and, more importantly, useful.