Are you looking for inspiration to take your business to the next level? Whether you’re a startup entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran, remember: Great leaders must be readers!
Look no further than these top business book recommendations from 10 successful Australian entrepreneurs who are all active members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).
From timeless classics to modern best-sellers, the following books have influenced the way these entrepreneurs think and operate their businesses. Get ready to add some must-read titles to your bookshelf and gain insights from the best in the business:
1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
The subtitle of The Hard Thing About Hard Things is “Building a business when there are no easy answers”. It’s a short read (or eight hours on Audible) filled with practical advice on building and running a startup or established business. It’s filled with humor and insights that I still reflect on years later and use to guide day-to-day decisions.
Tips for leading even when you don’t know where you are going and how to fire a friend are not covered in traditional business books but are essential for business owners to know. For me, the most liberating concept was that there are “No Rules” and that as an entrepreneur I get to create the business I want as opposed to the one I thought I should be building.
— Dawn Piebenga, EO Sydney, founder of Interface Medico-Legal
2. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster By Darren Hardy
The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster talks about the six most important skills of entrepreneurship:
I haven’t seen any other book go so detailed in discussing these things. It has played a really big role in my life.
This book alone helped us give a TEDx talk, make the 100 Fastest-Growing Companies (66th) list in Australia last year (AFR), and also helped us get featured on Forbes. I credit this book a lot for my success.
— Darshan Chavan, EO Queensland, co-founder of Getmycourse
3. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth Revisited is perfect for those early in the entrepreneurial journey to help understand the difference between being a great “technician” at what you do vs. running a successful business—which are two very different things.
— Tamara Haddow, EO Sydney. founder of Black Diamond Agency
4. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Founding and growing a business means you spend a lot of mental energy analyzing the past (lessons learned, mistakes and successes) and planning for the future. That’s great. It’s necessary. However, “now” is the only moment we’ve ever had, or ever will (or could), experience. If you are not being present in the now, you are leaving a lot of value on the table, financially, emotionally and spiritually. That’s The Power of Now.
— David Kelly, EO Melbourne, founder of KHQ Lawyers
5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits taught me the power of small, incremental changes in shaping the trajectory of all aspects of my life. For me, one of the hardest things about running a successful business is focus and time management. Not only at work, but ensuring all aspects of life are in good shape such as family, friends and health.
Through Atomic Habits, I learned that the secret to success lies in building a system of positive habits that compound over time, ultimately leading to dramatic improvements. In my business, I began to implement small, daily routines to streamline processes and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
The book also helped me understand how to break bad habits and replace them with good ones, allowing me to eliminate unproductive activities and create more efficient systems. A final key takeaway from the book is the importance of focusing on the process, not just the end goal, and how our environment influences our habits.
— Dylan Smith, EO Melbourne, founder of RUBIX
6. Uncommon Service by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss
The subtitle of Uncommon Service is “How to win by putting customers at the core of your business.” This book is essential reading for business owners who are looking for ways to differentiate themselves against the competition and to truly do less in order to deliver a service level that sets them apart.
The lessons in this book have helped me time and time again as we’ve grown the business— staying restrained in our offering and doing less so we can deliver more.
— Jacob Spencer EO Melbourne, owner of Mobile Skips
7. Traction by Gino Wickman
Traction helped us clarify our mission, vision and objectives and make it part of our everyday way of doing business, align all team members with the vision, and clearly define our target audience and key differentiators. Traction helps simplify the process of business and with a bit of work puts you in control of your business.
— Mark Vanzo, EO Melbourne, founder of Smart Business Insurance
8. The Dumbest Guy at the Table by David Shein
The Dumbest Guy at the Table is so simple and easy to read. The message is loud and clear. Only hire people smarter than yourself if you want to see your business succeed. Take the time to ask each of those people what they would do at every chance, and get a deeper understanding of their insights before making any decisions. People are your business; never underestimate the power they have to turn your business around.
— Kate Save, EO Melbourne, founder of Be Fit Food
9. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I recommend Think and Grow Rich, because I am a strong believer in the power of a positive mental attitude to achieve success in life. Also the importance of following the simple process of setting clear goals, developing a plan to achieve those goals and taking action to achieve them. I owe my own success to these principles.
— Mike Larcher, EO Sydney, founder of Outsourced
10. The Alchemist by Paolo Cohelo
While on the surface, The Alchemist seems like it’s about everything except entrepreneurship, the deep themes and powerful messages around hope, love and the desire to chase one’s destiny is a really powerful parable to the journey of the business owner.
— Jahan Kalantar, EO Sydney, founder of Executive Law Group
This post first appeared on Dynamic Business and is reposted here with permission.