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22 books for the business owner in your life

For the holidays, we’ve got a roundup of our favourite business books for the business owner in your life. These are 22 books that I have relied during my journey in business. I highly recommend each and every one of them - never stop learning.

We’ve divided them into five categories: Do Better Business, Mindset for Success, Leadership, Transform Your Life, and Marketing. Included are the jacket descriptions and links to purchase. You’ll probably recognize a few of these, but we hope you find something new, intriguing or just plain helpful. Pair a book with a beer-themed gift and you’ve got practical and fun covered. We wish you a happy holiday season!



Blue Ocean Strategy

By W. Chan Kim and Renee A. Mauborgne

Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”―untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It 

By Michael E. Gerber

Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business. Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

By Gino Wickman

Don't let common problems run you and your business. All entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations—personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. The Entrepreneurial Operating System is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned. 

Inside Traction, you’ll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company with more focus, growth and enjoyment. The E-Myth (and the E-Myth Mastery) was my original business bible until I discovered this book. It gives you a clear method for how to run your business.

Buy in on Indigo or Amazon


Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and the Rest Don’t

By Verne Harnish

In Scaling Up, Harnish and his team share practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. These approaches have been honed from over three decades of advising tens of thousands of CEOs and executives and helping them navigate the increasing complexities (and weight) that come with scaling up a venture. 

Buy in on Indigo or Amazon


Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t

By Jim Collins

How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? 

Find it on Audible or Amazon


Profit First: Transform Your Business From a Cash-Eating Monster to a Monkey-Making Machine

By Mike Michalowicz

By using Michalowicz's Profit First system, readers will learn that:

  • Following four simple principles can simplify accounting and make it easier to manage a profitable business by looking at bank account balances.
  • A small, profitable business can be worth much more than a large business surviving on its top line.
  • Businesses that attain early and sustained profitability have a better shot at achieving long-term growth.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon



Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel H. Pink

In this provocative and persuasive new book, Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Buy  in on Indigo or Amazon


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Angela Duckworth’s breakout hit—praised in People as “inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere”—shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


Influence: Science and Practice

By Robert B. Cialdini

Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes." Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the listener of the power of persuasion.

Find it on Audible or Amazon



Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing your Humanity

By Kim Scott

The idea is simple: You don't have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor―avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy―you can be kind and clear at the same time.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon 


Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers and Facilitators

By Patrick M. Lencioni

Lencioni offers specific, practical guidance for overcoming the Five Dysfunctions using tools, exercises, assessments, and real-world examples. He examines questions that all teams must ask themselves: Are we really a team? How are we currently performing? Are we prepared to invest the time and energy required to be a great team? 

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

By Simon Sinek

Incredibly loyal followers and customers are how great companies start movements. What is it about the leaders of companies like Southwest, Apple, and Harley Davidson, that separate them from the rest? People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it. Start with your purpose, then move to your unique value proposition and core values. Then move to your core service or product offering.

Find it at Indigo or Amazon


The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

By John Maxwell

This one of the best-selling leadership books of all time because its simple to follow. John Maxwell distills everything he’s learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles. He has combined insights learned from his 30-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.

Find it on Audible or Amazon



The 4-Hour Work Week

By Timothy Ferris

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan — there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. 

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


The Power of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

By Ekhart Tolle

This book will change you. I will never forget the first time I read this back in 2010. The journey into The Power of Now requires you to leave your analytical mind behind — i.e. the ego. Now is everywhere — in the body, the silence, and the space all around you. These are the keys to enter a state of inner peace. They can be used to bring you into the Now, the present moment, where problems do not exist. It is here you find your joy and are able to embrace your true self. It is here you discover that you are already complete and perfect.

Find it on Indigo or Amazon


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

By Chris Guillebeau

Distilled into one easy-to-use guide are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment. It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” — even if you don’t consider it such — and what other people will pay for. You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees. All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


How To Win Friends And Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking. The nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. The six ways to make people like you. This is one of the best-selling books of all-time for a reason. Give it a read, it will change the way you deal with people.

Find it on Audible or Amazon



Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers

By Seth Godin

Permission Marketing is the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness — and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


Crushing It: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How you Can, Too

By Gary Vaynerchuk

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.

Buy in on Indigo or Amazon


The Secrets Of Closing the Sale

By Zig Ziglar

Zig shares tips and techniques from his vast wealth of sales experience. His insights will prove to you over and over why this is the definitive how-to sales program. This powerful series of 12 timeless sales sessions will help you close more sales today as you build a career for tomorrow!

Find on Audible or Amazon


Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

By Seth Godin

Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin's visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon


Unmarketing: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different

By Scott Stratten, Alison Stratten

UnMarketing shows you how to unlearn the old ways and consistently attract and engage the right customers. You'll stop just pushing out your message and praying that it sticks somewhere. Potential and current customers want to be listened to, validated, and have a platform to be heard-especially online. With UnMarketing, you'll create a relationship with your customers, and make yourself the logical choice for their needs. 

Buy it on Indigo or Amazon

There is real value in each one of these books. Even if some of the titles seem outdated or cliché - give them a chance. They might help you improve your business or your life as an entrepreneur.

Read more about Small Business Basics topics that may be helpful to you and your small business. 


Photo credit to Mehran Babaee on Unsplash

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