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Favorite Business Books Series - Part I



Which one was your favorite from yesterday's Honorable Mentions? Today we’ll be getting more inspiration on the topics of startups, life design, branding, green and social entrepreneurship, efficiency and effectiveness, management, product development, inventory and business challenges, and we’ll look at another few works of fiction that inspired business ideas. Let’s dive right in!


The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, by Chris Guillebeau


The $100 Startup

“This is my favorite business book. While it is filled with success stories like most business books, the author really makes you feel like you can achieve success in business, because the companies he highlights have startup capital of $1,000 or less and earn at least $50,000. So, it’s not one of the “how to be a millionaire” books, but it is extremely approachable and practical.
I have listened to it twice on Audible, and also have the Kindle version. Additionally, I've utilized his online resources, like the one-page business plan, and the launch checklist in the book for my own business. There are so many bits of wisdom, and reasons to reference it again and again. I’ve recommended it many times!”

- Kristi Porter, Consultant, Signify


The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life, by John Assaraf


The Answer

“This is my favorite business book because it has helped me set up my businesses, develop my elevator pitch, and come up with an efficient tag line for my companies. The book helps the readers to rewire their brains for success and shows them how to attract business success.
Since 2009 I have read this book at least once every year. By doing so I am able to come up with fresh strategies needed to keep growing a business. I also have recommended this book to several friends and business people. I can guarantee that anyone who reads The Answer and practice what they have learned from it, will have a successful business and life.”

- Vid Lamonte' Buggs, Jr., Founder and Owner, VLB/VBJ Enterprises, LLC and 4-U-Nique Publishing, LLC.


The Brand You 50: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!, by Tom Peters


The Brand You 50“Brand You was given to me by friend and mentor, interior designer Birch Coffey, in 1999. He believed in me well before I become an entrepreneur, and many of its revolutionary ideas about everyone becoming a brand have come to pass in the years since.”

- Andrea Madho, CEO, Lab141, Inc.


The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers, by Mal Warwick and Paul Polak


The Business Solution to Poverty

“As a profitability consultant for green and social entrepreneurship businesses., I show businesses how they can go beyond mere "sustainability" (keeping things the same) to "regenerativity" (making things better)—by creating and marketing successful products and services that turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. This book helped me understand how businesses can succeed with this approach. I've learned to ask a different set of questions.”

- Shel Horowitz, Green Entrepreneur, Transformpreneur, and author of 10 books, including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green and Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World


The Dice Man, by Luke Rhinehart


The Dice Man“Anyone who has read The Dice Man might not immediately describe it as a 'business book', but it absolutely is. The story is of a psychologist who starts a cult of people who live their lives by the roll of a dice, which amasses a huge following of loyal 'dice people'. I've read the book dozens of times, and always find inspiration in the way that the main character inspires loyalty in his followers, something that I've always tried to replicate in my own work.”

- Max Robinson, Mahlatini


The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done, by Peter F. Drucker


The Effective Executive

“As an entrepreneur, I have always found Peter Drucker’s books insightful, practical and well-informed. Drucker’s books were written before the technology boom hit the business world, but the content may be even more relevant today. I recommend that any budding entrepreneur pick up a Drucker book to understand business ownership and management. This is one of my favorites. In it, Drucker identifies practices, such as time management, and setting priorities and getting results, as behaviors that lead to business effectiveness.
Anyone who works with me knows that one of my core philosophies for succeeding in business is: ‘Monitor results, not activities.’ That strategy proved effective when my first business was struggling. We faced strategic challenges every day, and every day we monitored what was working and what wasn’t. We ran the numbers. We focused on results, and we saved the company.”

- John Hewitt, Founder, Liberty Tax Service. Author of iCompete: How My Extraordinary Strategy for Winning Can Be Yours.


The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win, by Steve Blank


The Four Steps to the Epiphany"Blank provides a framework and methodology for entrepreneurs to rapidly iterate a business idea to find a market fit for their product. I would not have been able to build two great companies without his guidance. Today we employ his ideas on product testing, customer feedback loops, and rapid development into the culture of my company. Although the book is B2B software focused, you can employ the learnings into any business.”

- Craig Bloem, CEO and Founder, LogoMix


The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt


The Goal

“It was a book from the early 90s about Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory – but it used fiction built around a scenario with a manufacturing plant in trouble.  It was the textbook in my MBA business accounting class and the only textbook I ever enjoyed reading cover to cover.  The neat concept from The Goal was gradually shortening the cycle time.  Instead of keeping, say, six months of raw material on hand, bring it down to, four months and save all that tied up cash. Now cut it down to 90 days. Cut it again to 45 days.  With every cut, all processes and forecasting need to get more efficient because the system has less room for error.  I never understood why JIT was important until I read this book.

- Greg Scott, Author, Bullseye Breach


The Godfather, by Mario Puzo


The Godfather

“After 20 years in business I just read a book that if I had read it 20 years ago I believe I would have been more successful! The Godfather taught me two main lessons:
1. It's not personal, it's business; and
2. Never loose your cool.”

- Kimberly Smith, AvenueWest Corporate Housing


The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz


The Hard Thing About Hard Things

“There’s nothing easy about running a business. Horowitz addresses all sorts of challenges head-on, from demoting loyal friends and firing employees, to controlling internal politics. This book is a must read for all entrepreneurs. Horowitz’s book taught me how to make decisions, sell them to others, and stick behind them, independent of the outcome. It drastically changed my leadership style.
It also has great advice on how to have the fortitude to quickly execute when your company is in trouble. I have managed companies through rough times, including times when the business could have folded. But with Horowitz’s lessons, I was able to turn them around into successful, fast-growing businesses.
I frequently go back and re-read chapters to remind myself of Horowitz’s lessons.”

- Craig Bloem, CEO and Founder, LogoMix


What ideas came to mind as you were reading today’s post? To me, the idea of JIT and cutting down the time led me to think about how I can apply a modified version of this to my work. How can I have some sort of virtual JIT system where I can draw whatever info I need at the precise time that is needed to be more efficient and effective in the results I want to attain? I’ll work on a system to make it happen. If you have any ideas, I welcome them!

Let me know in the comments the ideas that these books generated for you today! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for Part J.

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P.S. - As a quick reference for you to know what to expect and find in this series of posts, here’s a guide (the links will be live on the day the post is uploaded):

Part A – The Most Popular Business Book
Part B - Second & Third Most Popular Business Books
Part C – Fourth Most Popular Business Books
Part D – Fifth Most Popular Business Books
Part E – Honorable Mentions: 100, A-D
Part F – Honorable Mentions: E-I
Part G – Honorable Mentions: J-N
Part H – Honorable Mentions: O-S
Part I – Honorable Mentions: T (The $100 – The Hard)
Part J – Honorable Mentions: T (The Intelligent – Traction)
Part K– Honorable Mentions: W-Y


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Great List

Wow, such great feedback and suggestions. Now I need to update my reading list. ;)

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