If you are looking to expand your knowledge about business and gain some insights from other leaders in the industry, there is nothing better than a great book. Whether you are wanting to be more knowledgeable about your finances, improve your companies’ marketing and sales techniques, work on your personal development, become a better leader, increase your productivity, handle management better, or be an entrepreneur, there are a wide variety of books out there to help!
The best way to truly understand a topic or concept is by learning it from a successful person within the industry. This allows you to get personal insight into the best practices for that industry, and what tips and tricks can be understood and implemented to better yourself in that topic. Books provide a great resource to lead people to this success, written by other people who have been through it and experienced it themselves!
Why Read the Best Business Books?
At this point you may be asking yourself, “Well, why should I read the best business books?” This is a great question, and it honestly has a lot of different answers. Many people go through life repeating the same processes and doing the same things they have always done, because they have not taken the opportunity to expand their knowledge and continue to learn.
The people who keep their lives constant like this are the same ones who wonder how other people can be so extremely successful, when they aren’t successful themselves. Learning plays a huge role in the concept of learning, and books are one of the greatest tools to truly learn. We are able to gain inspiration, motivation, and ideas from good business books.
Here are a few things that you can further learn about by reading the best business books.
Mindset is a huge part of business. By having the proper mindset, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to! Great business books allow you to absorb the beliefs of other successful people within the industry, and give you the opportunity to better comprehend how their minds have led them to their great success.
You can pick up personality traits and skills that they have that helped to make them successful, such as determination, productivity, and persistence. By reading about their experiences and their thoughts and views on business, you can become more motivated and driven to find business success on your own.
Reading a wide variety of business books allows you to understand tons of business concepts, from an eclectic mix of different people. This gives you the opportunity to see the same concept from different angles and viewpoints, which can lead to true understanding of the topic at hand. Living your life and learning with an open mind will help you to expand your knowledge about all things.
A lot of life is trial and error, where we make mistakes and learn from them. Luckily, we have books, so this does not always have to be the case. Good business books let us learn from other business professionals’ mistakes, so that we do not make the same mistakes that they did. We can learn from people who have already been through what we are going through, so that we can make the best choices possible for success from the start.
For instance, the idea of becoming your own boss and making money online on your own has become huge in today’s society. Reading about how to do this from people who have found success doing it is important to fully understand how to be successful yourself.
If this is something you are interested in, check out the books listed in this guide, as well as the following blog posts here at We Are The Curious:
The language of business is a distinct one, and you want to be able to understand what other people are talking about as much as you can. Reading business books allows you to constantly be exposed to the vocabulary and lingo that professionals in the industry use. They will usually explain specific acronyms or technical jargon in the world of business.
Learning new vocabulary by reading business books allows you to constantly broaden your knowledge. You will be able to better communicate with others by using the correct terms and verbiage, and your interactions will become more productive and beneficial for your work.
We acquire more knowledge from consistent reading, so everything that we have learned in the past will start to make more sense the more that we read.
40 Best Business Books by Category
Now that you know some benefits and advantages from reading the best business books, let’s check out the best business books by category.
Whatever business concept or skill you are wanting to learn more of or improve, there are a ton of books out there to support your goals.
Here are the best business books by category, so that you can pick and choose the best books for you based on your personal preferences and needs.
“The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham
The Intelligent Investor is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about investing, the stock market, and finance concepts. Benjamin Graham was one of the greatest investors of the twentieth century, and in this book he discusses his experience. His philosophy is about “value investing,” which is where he teaches people to develop long-term investing strategies and shield themselves from substantial error.
“Think and Grow Rich!” by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is all about how to achieve monetary and personal satisfaction by furthering your career. Napoleon Hill examines the brain and utilizes the psychological power of thought to explain the best process for becoming more successful and for experiencing financial success. In addition to financial success, this book provides motivation for achieving personal goals.
“Security Analysis” by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
Security Analysis is known as the “bible of fundamental equity investing,” and is a great read for anyone interested in learning about investing concepts. This book also goes over the technique of “value investing,” to avoid error and develop long-term investing strategies. It provides a clear and distinct definition of investing, that is different from the common understanding of what investing means.
“The Alchemy of Finance” by George Soros
The Alchemy of Finance was written by a famous hedge fund professional and investing legend, who writes about his theory of comprehensive reflexivity and his investment practices that have led him to great success. He explains how he handled investment and made the market work for him, so that you can make the market work for you.
“The Nature of Investing” by Katherine Collins
The Nature of Investing goes over various types of investment, such as the investment of money, investment of time, and investment of energy. Katherine Collins talks about her more than 20 years of leadership experience within the finance and investment arena, and explains what is needed to transform the current investment process from the roots up.
Marketing and Sales
“The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes
The Ultimate Sales Machine talks about marketing and sales strategies that are proven to improve every aspect of your business, to lead you to greater success. Chet Holmes discusses how you should focus on selecting specific areas of improvement, and then work on those instead of jumping on every new trend that comes up.
“Solution Selling” by Michael T. Bosworth
Solution Selling speaks to people who are selling products or services that are difficult to sell, and how to sell them properly so that you can find success doing it. Michael T. Bosworth goes over how to use your selling process as an advantage for selling your product or service. You will also learn how to become familiarized with your consumer market, so that you are selling to the right people.
“The New Strategic Selling” by Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman
The New Strategic Selling goes over a unique sales system that emphasizes process and goes against manipulative sales tactics. Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman discuss how selling can be viewed as a joint venture, and they also introduce the concept of win-win. They go over specific strategies that help with competition and business-to-business sales, and give their answers to frequently asked questions about business and sales.
“Never Be Closing” by Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne
Never Be Closing explains how great selling is not a one-time thing, and should lead to you being a long-term partner for the buyer. Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne give twelve techniques that would benefit the seller and the buyer, which provides a win-win situation for both sides. By using a problem-solving approach, they teach you how to improve your selling strategy and sell anything.
“Sell or Be Sold” by Grant Cardone
Sell or Be Sold is about how everything in life can be treated like a sale, so it teaches you how to become a better seller in business and in life. Grant Cardone explains how to handle new business and deal with rejection or difficult situations, so that you can experience more success in business and life. This book will help you perceive selling in a brand new way so that you can make improvements necessary for success.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People gives lots of advice on how to find success in business and in life. Dale Carnegie explains six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. This book helps you to handle your work, your relationships, and your life so that you can reach your maximum potential.
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People presents principle-centered approaches for solving professional and personal problems. Stephen R. Covey discusses seven habits that help people to excel in all aspects of their lives, so that people can take advantage of opportunities that come their way and can adapt to change in circumstances properly to help find success.
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now talks about how you can change the world, if you first start by transforming yourself from the inside out. Eckhart Tolle focuses on personal growth and spirituality, so that you can find your true and deepest self. By knowing how to do this and how to discover truth and light, you will be able to find success within all aspects of your life.
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic discusses the importance of using our creative process within our lives, and that all people have a creative soul and need to tap into it to find success. Elizabeth Gilbert gives insight into how to find your most creative self, so that you can increase your inspiration and motivation for living the life that you want to live. Whether you are wanting to do something creative in your life or just live everyday with more mindfulness and passion, this book will teach you how.
“The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of Positive Thinking goes over the fact that your attitude and how positively you think are huge factors in overall success. Norman Vincent Peale allows you to understand that positive thinking won’t necessarily create success, but it will allow you to make the most out of whatever challenges or difficult situations you may face. Making the most out of what is going on lets you to adapt to changing circumstances and to properly move forward.
“On Becoming a Leader” by Warren Bennis
On Becoming a Leader explains what exactly leadership is, and strategies that people can work on to become a better leader. Warren Bennis strongly believes that leaders are not born, and that they are made. He talks about how we live in such an uncertain world, and the demand for good leadership is always increasing. With this book you can learn how to exemplify leadership, and to provide leadership excellence.
“Primal Leadership” by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee
Primal Leadership goes over the importance of using emotional intelligence for leadership, especially in the business sense. Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee discuss the concept that great leadership works through emotions, so you have to be smart about your emotions to become a great leader. They talk about how leadership needs to be empathetic, self-aware, motivating, and collaborative to be the most successful.
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek
Start With Why describes the fact that people do not simply buy into a product or service for what it is, but they buy into it because of the “why” behind it. This means that they need to understand the “why” behind a product or service before purchasing. SImon Sinek uses real-life stories in this book to explain what it takes to be a great leader, and to inspire others to be successful individuals as well.
“The Leadership Challenge” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
The Leadership Challenge explains how great leaders have to delegate things to others to get extraordinary things done. James Kouzes and Barry Posner go over the fact that as a leader you should not just want to get things done as a team, but should want to make great things happen. They describe the difference between good and great, and how to become a great effective and impactful leader.
“Leading Change” by John P. Kotter
Leading Change outlines the process that every organization and business needs to achieve its goals, and how to identify what is going wrong during the process of change. John P. Kotter goes over his eight-step process for managing change that leads to positive results. He helps people to handle the difficult yet necessary process of leading people to experience true success.
“Getting Things Done” by David Allen
Getting Things Done goes over the concept that “our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax.” David Allen explains how you can customize your own needs, and how you can get your responsibilities organized, so that you can get it all done with to-do lists and action lists. He discusses personal organization and how you should approach professional and personal tasks, so that you can reach maximum productivity.
“The Now Habit” by Neil Fiore
The Now Habit is all about doing what needs to be done now, and not procrastinating when trying to get things done. Neil Fiore describes his comprehensive plan to overcome procrastination that everyone seems to struggle with during their professional life and their personal life. He talks about how we can begin tasks sooner, and accomplish things more quickly, so that we can then relax and enjoy ourselves without any guilt or anxiety.
“The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande
The Checklist Manifesto explains a simple way to create a checklist, and how to get through that checklist to get things done. Atul Gawande uses examples of doctors and pilots in life-threatening situations to fully present his thoughts on checklists, and why they are so important to create and follow to be productive. He explains what checklists do, what they can’t do, and how they can be super beneficial to a large variety of circumstances.
“The Productive Person” by Chandler Bolt and James Roper
The Productive Person is great for people who work for themselves or who are able to manage their daily schedules. Chandler Bolt and James Roper explain how to be able to tackle your entire to-do list each day, without becoming unmotivated and having to move unfinished tasks to your to-do list for the next day. They describe how to be more productive, and how to change your mindset so that you can get everything done right, while still having a stable work-life balance.
“Deep Work” by Cal Newport
Deep Work is known as the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task, and this book goes into detail about how maintaining a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. Cal Newport also provides a tough training regimen with four rules that will help you to transform your mind and your life to develop a deep work ethic. It will help you to become focused and more productive in an extremely distracted world.
“Business Adventures” by John Brooks
Business Adventures is a compilation of twelve different stories from the world of Wall Street. John Brooks discusses stories such as the Edsel Ford Motor Company disaster, the General Electric scandal, and the incredible rise of Xerox to show how huge companies overcome difficult situations, and how they could be defined by those moments. These stories entertain and inform readers about understanding the ins and outs of corporate life, and how management handles changing circumstances.
“Tribes” by Seth Godin
Tribes explains how in human nature we all seek out tribes, in a wide variety of different ways. From the economic to religious to political, we naturally look for tribes. Seth Godin lists three steps to build a proper tribe, which is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead. Anyone can be a leader and can manage others, and with the information in this book, you can too.
“The Making of a Manager” by Julie Zhuo
The Making of a Manager includes clear direction and practical advice to help managers succeed, especially if they are newly in that role. Julie Zhuo uses her managing experience and the trial and error she experienced while figuring out the most successful way to manage when she was a new manager. She knows that great managers are made and not born, and she includes examples and insights on how to be a great manager to prove it.
“Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown
Dare to Lead explains how managers that share their power can build organizations that prosper, rather than managers that take all of the power for themselves. Brene Brown uses case studies, research, and stories to show a great manager is made, and what you can do to become a great manager yourself. She discusses how daring leadership is learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart, and she goes in depth throughout the book.
“Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
Now, Discover Your Strengths presents a way to develop your own talents and the talents of the people you manage, to lead your team to success. Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton explain how to discover your strengths and how to leverage those strengths in your role as as a manager, and also in your own personal life. The resources and insights included in the book allow you to focus on your strengths rather than overcoming your weaknesses, which will lead you to greater success.
“Zero to One” by Peter Thiel
Zero to One is all about how there is so much opportunity to make changes and advancements in our world, and it doesn’t have to be limited to rapidly evolving technology and computers. Peter Thiel explains how progress and success can be accomplished by using a singular skill that every leader and entrepreneur must have, which is learning to think for yourself. Doing what someone else already knows how to do won’t lead to great advancements and success, but doing things that know one else has will.
“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup explains how entrepreneurs today use continuous innovation to create their successful businesses. Eric Ries says that startups are an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty, and in this book he allows entrepreneurs in any size company to test their vision continuously. He explains how to adapt and adjust during difficult circumstances before it’s too late, so that you can achieve success.
“The Startup of You” by Reid Hoffman
The Startup of You was written by LinkedIn’s co-founder and chairman, and he explains how to manage your career and your life as if you were already an entrepreneur. Reid Hoffman describes how to put yourself in the entrepreneurial mindset even if you are working for someone else, and how to get yourself into a position where you can work for yourself. He gives lots of insights from his personal experiences, and what to look for in yourselves and others when building your own business.
“The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss
The 4 Hour Workweek goes over how to live the life that you dream of, working smarter rather than harder to lead to great success. Timothy Ferriss explains things such as what he did to work less per week but make much more, how to outsource your life so that you can do whatever you want, how people travel the world without quitting their jobs, and how to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts. For someone wanting to take full control of their lives and enjoy it while working, this book is for you.
“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
The Hard Thing About Hard Things is just what the title says, as it helps you build a business when there are no easy answers. Ben Horowitz gives advice on how to build and run a startup business, and how to handle tough problems that every entrepreneur will face, since he is one of Silicon Valley’s most respected entrepreneurs. Even though running your own business is great, it is also extremely difficult, so this book provides great insight into how to do it right. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that Ben has worked through, and the struggles that he has dealt with as an entrepreneur.
“The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen
The Innovator’s Dilemma explains how even the best and most successful companies can do everything right, but still lose market leadership. Clayton M. Christensen discusses why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation, and what people can do to get there. He states that managers need to know how and when to abandon traditional business practices to make changes for innovation within the company.
“Hooked” by Nir Eyal
Hooked includes actionable steps that will help you to build and create products that people will love and will always purchase. Nir Eyal explains a four step process called the Hook Model that you use within your products, which will subtly encourage customer behavior. He discusses why some products have widespread attention while others have none, and what is needed to formulate these well-liked products.
“Innovation and Entrepreneurship” by Peter Drucker
Innovation and Entrepreneurship is focused on the concept that innovation is a discipline that can be measured and adapted. Peter Drucker analyzes the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurs, and what every entrepreneur needs to know to succeed. Whether you are in an established business or you are creating a brand new one, you will learn a lot about success within innovation from this book.
“The Ten Faces of Innovation”by Tom Kelley
The Ten Faces of Innovation goes over ten personas that people can play in an organization to foster innovation and new ideas. Tom Kelley explains an effective way to counter naysayers as an innovator, and how to push your ideas and creative thinking forward to gain success. He also includes real examples of companies such as Kraft and Mayo Clinic that have implemented this way of thinking to transform their customer experience.
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins
Good to Great discusses the fact that companies who become good to great have no exact way of how they did it, and no program that they followed to reach greatness. Jim Collins does say that there is one thing in common with every great company, and that is that there was no miracle moment. In this book, he discusses how companies can reach greatness, and what they have to inhabit to do so.
Best Business Books Wrap-up
In this comprehensive guide, we discussed the 40 best business books based on the most important categories.
From finance, marketing and sales, personal development, and leadership to productivity, management, entrepreneurship, and innovation, there are a wide variety of books out there within each category for everyone. As an established business or a startup with your own venture, you can learn a lot and benefit heavily from reading all of the books in this list.
Reading is a great way to expand your knowledge, and to learn more about specific concepts from an array of different people and different viewpoints. Doing this leads to a more open mind that is willing to learn, and will help you to continue your education, even when you have already graduated from school!
Continuous learning is the best way to improve your work, your life, and yourself, and reading is the absolute best way to keep learning. Grab a cup of coffee, a cozy blanket, and your choice of book from this guide of best business books.
Then, get to reading!