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Favorite Business Books Series - Part J



Thank goodness there is no such thing as a shortage of storage in the brain… I have so many ideas after reading about Part I's Honorable Mentions! And today's titles are great too, I can only imagine that you are itching to get to the books as well, so here we go:


The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel, by Benjamin Graham


The Intelligent Investor

“When I first started off my career, I read this staple book, and that put me on the path of value investing and taught me everything that Graham had taught Warren Buffett at Columbia. He is the father of security analysis. Sadly, many people do not listen to what he has to say any longer, because the companies in his book may be outdated, and also because it is not fancy or sexy; and many investors want to focus on the sexy stocks that seem to make a lot of money—but you can never catch a falling knife.
I was the only one in the office to read it, and helped me establish myself at a young age as someone to go to that could pick stocks. It told me that I didn’t need to pick a stock everyday, but showed me the parameters of what a great company was as well as what a great stock of a good company was. Graham (whom I named my rescue pit bull after) said, ‘This past ability to earn in excess of interest requirements constitutes the margin of safety that is counted on to protect the investor against loss or discomfiture in the event of some future decline in net income’.”

- Dan Wachtel, Global Director, Harbour Capital Partners


The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, by James M. Kouzes

The Leadership Challenge

“When you read this book you realize that leadership can be learned and it's not exactly what you think. It's one of those books I have on my desk and constantly refer to.  It helps me grow in life as well as in business.”

- Josh Jarvis, Jarvis Team Realty


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg  


The Power of Habit

“This is my favorite business book. It's a great read, because it exposes the science behind how much of our daily actions are a product of habit and subconscious brain function, which is the reason we often find ourselves in repetitive cycles. The Power of Habit teaches you how to break free from these cycles and reshape them to set you on a more productive path toward achieving your goals.
This book has changed the way I spend each day. I used to get thrown off target with each seemingly important distraction that popped up. Now I am much more deliberate about how my day is conducted. I use a system of completing at least 5 tasks each day that take me one step closer toward my long term goals.”

- Brandon Crossley, CEO, Poindexter


The Relaxation Response Mass Market, by Herbert Benson


The Relaxation Response

“This is my favorite ‘business-adjacent’ book. It focuses on personal development as well as physical and mental wellbeing in potentially stressful situations and environments. I found that within business (as well as within one's personal life), it is incredibly important to focus on mindfulness. It's one thing to learn how to relax, it's entirely another to apply skills learned from relaxation and the mindfulness that stems from regular meditation into one's practices.
In having read the book in its entirety 3 times, I have been able to be more mindful in regards to business dealings with clients and other partners. I have come to understand that the actions of others are not always direct results of my behavior, but rather generated from other people. It's easy to take things personally in business, but it's just as easy to orient yourself in a position where you understand that you are responsible for your own happiness and wellbeing. By implementing more diligence in taking time to relax and reflect, one can live out a very happy business career.”

- Jake Tully, Head of Creative Department,


The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace D. Wattles


The Science of Getting Rich

“Quite simply the shortest most powerful read for me the last 10 years. I enjoy this book because it allows me to train my brain (which is such a powerful tool) to think differently and, as a result, things start to happen and your focus shifts. In business its imperative to train your mind on what success looks like for you and how thinking a certain way will help to achieve those goals. Constantly staying in a state of positivity and growth has rewarded me with a thriving real estate company, eateries and a jazz lounge. Your thought process and mental toughness is the only way to make your vision a reality.”

- Miguel Pilgram, CEO, Pilgram Group


The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, by Reid Hoffman


The Start-up of You

“The past five years of my life have looked wildly similar up until very recently. My modus operandi could be described as flying under the radar, with enough discipline to do well in my job but never crossing the line into entrepreneurial boldness… Well, I recently read The Start-up of You, which was a wonderful disruption of my blissful ignorance. The book taught me to think of my career as a startup, to throw away the idea that perfect is attainable, and that failure is a necessary component of growth. I was able to apply so much of the insight from this book to my career that I actually wrote an entire blog post about it. On the flip side, my own experience taught me that the best form of marketing is a happy customer, as evidenced by how many times I vehemently recommended this book to anyone who would listen.”

- Kameron Jenkins, VP of SEO & Content Strategy, Scorpion Internet Marketing


The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coachby Roy Cohen


The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide

“One of my favorite business books. I've found it so helpful that I often recommend or purchase it for colleagues and friends.  Although marketed to the financial industry, the guidance Cohen provides is easily applicable to any industry. The parts I've found most helpful are the chapters on self assessment and networking.  Who doesn't want to do what they love and get paid for it?  In the self-assessment chapter, Cohen helps you determine your strengths and passions, and how to translate them into a job you love. This self-assessment played a major role in my deciding to launch my own business -- and I LOVE what I do!
Given that I'm an introvert, networking—while imperative for the growth of my business—does not come naturally to me.  Cohen explains that networking is all about building relationships and provides the key elements of successful networking.  While geared specifically towards job seekers, I've found the information invaluable when attending networking events.”

- Valerie Gospodarek, VG Financial Consulting, LLC


They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer, by Marcus Sheridan 


They Ask You Answer“My favorite business book.  It is the story of a small fiberglass pool company that was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2009. They decided that they could give content marketing a try, and they answered all the questions their customers had about fiberglass pools. By being transparent and helpful, they now receive over 1 million website visitors each year, and they are now the largest MANUFACTURER of fiberglass pools in America.  All because they did what their customers wanted: provided answers to questions!
The book really drove home the fact that customers want answers.  They are not searching to buy, they are searching for answers to their pain points.  By providing those answers, a business puts itself in the best position to be liked and trusted by those searchers.  In one of the chapters, the author points out that, from tracking their website conversions, he noticed that there was one blog post that was responsible for over $3,000,000 in revenue!
It was a post that talked about what fiber glass pools cost.  He could see the page views, how many people filled out a form (on that post) for a quote, and then how many of those customers purchased.  The total was $3M. And that inspired us to write comprehensive guides for our real estate business.”

- Carrie Wood, Chief Marketing Officer, LeaseRef


Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., by Ron Chernow



“If someone is serious about building a successful business, then I always recommend the biography of John D. Rockefeller. John D. was focused, disciplined and meticulous in how he built Standard Oil. As entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get distracted or even worse, procrastinate. I’ve been guilty of both.  This book is a reminder to stay focused on what matters, which quite often involves looking at the data and making decision based on facts, not on emotion. I’ve read it twice, and I know I’ll read it again.  I also enjoy it because it’s a snapshot of this history of Cleveland. (I’m from Cleveland!)

- Liz Hersh, Founder, Hersh PR and Marketing.


Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman 


Traction“This is my favorite business. It describes what the author calls an ‘EOS’—Entrepreneur Operating System—that businesses can implement to help them gain the traction they need to become more successful. It’s basically a how-to book that outlines very simple steps in the system… simple to understand, that is. Of course, changing the way your business operates is hard.
My business partner and I tried to implement the Traction System on our own, and we failed… but that was because we didn’t enforce the change with our team or with ourselves. Then we decided to give it another go — this time with a Traction coach. We are almost a year in, and the changes are evident! I hear it takes about two years for complete EOS integration, but we are really happy with what we are seeing so far. Results include: defined accountabilities across the organization, clearer company goals and a path for all to take to accomplish them together, and a feeling that we are on the same team.
I can’t recommend this book enough. And also, it’s an easy read.”

- Denise Blasevick, CEO and Founder, The S3 Agency


The range of business topics was wide again today, allowing us to get a taste of the importance of value investing, leadership, habits, mindfulness, prosperity mindset, career design, intrapreneurship, digital marketing and business reinvention, and entrepreneurship. The biography of Rockefeller is a great reminder to look for virtual mentors in their biographies or memoirs: they bring insightful knowledge about their lives, habits, turning points and challenges, from which we can learn much.

Do you have a virtual mentor? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from peeking into the mind of a great personality. And please come back tomorrow for our last installment (Part K) in this series.

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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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