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Whether you’re starting a business, running a business or looking for that inspiration in your career these are the business books that I highly recommend you read and probably in this order too;

1.) Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

R Kiyosaki gives a good insight into the mindset of the financially educated or the ‘rich’. He challenges the way that people think and presents what he says should be a new way of thinking if you want financial freedom. He discusses issues like why debt is not always bad, how we should leverage the power of other peoples money and of course why it’s often our mentality that is stopping us from making money. Find out more about Rich Dad Poor Dad from Amazon.

2.) Stop Talking Start Doing – Shaa Wasmund*, Richard Newton

More than just a business book, actually a “kick in the teeth” to get you motivated and moving on whatever it is you want out of life. What first struck me about this book was the excellent use of visuals, graphics and pictures for people like me that don’t like too many words :). Filled with useful anecdotes and advice to help you through no matter what challenge you have set yourself. Find out more about Stop Talking Start Doing

3.) How to start a business without any money – Rachel Bridge

I don’t usually recommend “How to” books, but I did enjoy this one. It’s filled with lots of practical advice and cleverly combines anecdotes from Rachel’s own startup journey. If you are thinking of starting a business and want some practical tips on saving money, this is the book for you.  Find out more about How to start a business without any money.

4.) Become a Key Person of Influence – Daniel Priestley

This book takes a look at entrepreneurship/growing a business in a slightly different light from the norm. This isn’t about getting your business plan right or having a USP this book highlights to the reader the importance of being ‘known’ or a ‘Key Person of Influence’. Daniel reveals his five step sequence that should help anyone become a highly valued person in their industry. Find out more about Become a Key Person of Influence.

3.) Loosing my Virginity – Richard Branson (autobiography)

Richard Branson is often my answer to the question what is an entrepreneur and his autobiography encapsulates all what it takes to be successful in business. Perhaps not quite the rags to riches story we all love, but still inspiring, a very good read and lots of practical advice to make sure you put yourself in the right place at the right time. Buy Loosing My Virginity

4.) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R Covey

I think Covey and his 7 habits paved the way for a lot of teachings on personal development and NLP. Through his book he takes a look at what he describes as the traits/habits of successful people, he takes you through a holistic approach and explains how things must be right in mind, body and soul before for one is free to progress towards true long lasting fulfilment. Buy 7 Habits

5.) The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss

Ever dreamt of working only 4 hours a week, but still earn enough to live your dream lifestyle? After reading this book twice, I still haven’t got down to a four hour work week but I don’t think that is the point of the book. The book is filled with lots of practical advice on how to work more efficiently, including managing emails, prioritising and my favourite one appearing to be working when really your sunning yourself in <enter desired hot location> . This book gets a lot of criticism from those that say a four hour work week is not possible, but as with anything true value comes if you are determined, daring and driven enough to implement all of the strategies suggested! Buy The 4 Hour Work Week

6.) The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber

OK I admit I didn’t read the original E-Myth, but this seemed a good place to start. This is a great book to read about the importance of working on your business and not getting trapped in it. Too many founders I see are stuck in the every day tasks and end up working for their business rather than have their business working for them (important difference explored in the book). Gerber gives a very useful account of the importance of having management systems and easily replicated processes. Buy The E Myth on Amazon.

7.) The Real Deal: My story from Brick Lane to Dragons’ Den – James Caan

I’ve read a lot of autobiographies in my time and this has to rank second after RB’s (above). The title is so apt as it gives “the real deal” of starting a business. So what if James Caan’s name isn’t ….. wasn’t really James Caan or Alexander Mann (once you’ve read the book you’ll understand). So what if he had a posh office address but just about enough room for only him and a computer in it. This is how business starts … well maybe not the name thing, but I can understand his reasoning. His autobiography is a good lesson on how to start small and be creative with the truth. I also like his motto observe what the mass are doing and do the opposite. Buy The James Caan Autobiography.

8.) Get off Your Arse Too – Brad Burton**

If there is a book for straight forward hard hitting, no nonsense business advice this is it. Brad has a very direct approach with the business advice he gives and talks why people buy, the importance of selling and not dicking about. There’s also a bit about almost getting shot. This book is not for those easily offended neither is it for anyone that wants to learn the Harvard Business School way of running a business. It’s not a self help/practical advice book, it’s for people that need a kick up the arse and a shove in the right direction. Well done Brad. Buy Get off Your Arse Too

9.) Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

This is quite rightly a timeless classic. A book that was first published in 1937 is still highly relevant in 2012. If this book doesn’t change the way you think about success/your capabilities then nothing ever will. Think and Grow Rich is based on two decades of research from Hill into the motivations and actions of the most successful people of the time. He found unsurprisingly that those that have reached fulfilment have very similar traits and behaviours. Buy Think and Grow Rich from Amazon.

10.) This blog post of course (OK it’s not a book)- Dwain Reid

If you’ve reached this far then I do thank you for reading. You can buy all the books that I have recommended here – Top Business Books You Should Read.

Will you be purchasing any of the books? Have you read any of these already, what did you think? Have I forgot any you would recommend?  What is your number 1 if you’ve read a few of these? Leave your comments below.

*Shaa is also the founder of Smarta one of the business support organisations I highly recommend. You can follow Smarta and Shaa on Twitter.

**Brad Burton is also the founder of 4 Networking the only business networking group that I highly recommend. Brad is also a great motivational speaker. You can follow 4 Networking or Brad on Twitter.


  1. John Simon

    I would recommend Peter Church’s book Added Value-the life stories of Indian business leaders. Amazing insight on some truly inspirational people. You should read this book not only because it was fantastically insightful and interesting in relation to the individuals but also gives the reader an incredibly helpful view of the mindset of the business leaders. The book is an excellent primer for anyone seeking to do business.


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