I love to read. Books, magazines, blogs … reading feeds the mind. Unfortunately, the speed of life can make reading a luxury that gets relegated to downtime during vacations, a few minutes before bedtime and interludes in the loo (ahem). However, if you own a business, reading is an essential tool that can help you be a shrewder entrepreneur, stronger leader and sharper individual.
Here is a short list of books that I believe should be in every business owner’s bookcase. Buy them. Read them. Use them to enhance your enterprise.
Business by the Book — This classic by Larry Burkett is subtitled “The Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace.” If you’re looking for an absolutely reliable blueprint for building a business based on essential Christian concepts, this is it. It covers all of the business basics, such as hiring and firing, pay increases and promotions, management selection, forming business partnerships, retirement, and more. A great reference book.
Start With Why — Are you inspired by the work you do? Author Simon Sinek thinks you should be. Any business owner can explain what he or she does. But understanding why you do it beyond “earning a living” can be the key to unlocking thinking, acting and communicating in ways that set you apart from business own
ers who are just trying to make a buck. Looking for a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors? This book will start you on that path.
Small Giants — Bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. Bo Burlingham, editor-at-large at Inc. magazine, tells fun and profound stories of businesses that decided to resist the impulse to keep getting bigger and bigger and wound up being better for it. The fourteen companies profiled in this book are great examples of smart decisions to resist the temptation to grow for the wrong reasons. Burlingham tells his stories with insight and warmth, drawing you into the breakthroughs that convinced these business owners to row against the tide of conventional thinking.
Be Our Guest — I attended a Disney Institute seminar on customer service that change my concept of what a customer is. What does it mean to treat your customers as guests? If any company has the “magic” of providing a great customer experience figured out, it’s Disney. This book spells out their approach, which can be applied to businesses of all sizes. Imagine creating customers who come back to your enterprise repeatedly because they believe you really care about them and want them to have a great experience doing business with you.
Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader — Okay, I had to follow up on the bathroom reference. I own nine of these collections and they don’t disappoint. All of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader favorites are represented here, from little-known history to the origins of everyday things — plus odd news, weird fads, quirky quotes, mind-bending science, head-scratching blunders, and all sorts of random oddities. Oh yeah, and thousands of incredible facts! Feel smarter (and a bit more dignified) as you do what needs to be done. Fun is an important part of business.
Yes, it can be difficult to find enough time to do the reading you’d like to do. Try to include a half hour a day for reading something pertinent to your business (like this blog, for instance). Consider it an investment. In the interest of full disclosure, I am an Amazon Associate, which means if you decide to purchase one of these books using the link from this page, I will receive a modest commission. That fact does not affect my recommendations. I have these books in my bookcase and I think you should too.
Happy reading! I’d love to hear your feedback on any of the CFBC social media sites. Use the buttons at the top of the page.