4 Books that Every Entrepreneur and Businessperson Should Read

Image credit: Portfolio

Reading great books and then applying the key information that I learned from each book has completely changed my life. When I look back over the course of my life, some of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve ever experienced started because of a particular book I was reading at the time.

In my travels all over the world, the one common characteristic I’ve found in highly successful individuals is that all are avid readers. The best of the best read because they understand it’s one of the most trusted ways to expand your mind and gain an incredible amount of valuable insight and knowledge.

Bill Gates reads 50 books a year, Warren Buffet estimates that 80 percent of his day is spent reading, Mark Cuban reads more than three hours a day, and Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks. Success leaves clues and it’s not a coincidence that some of the wealthiest and most successful people who’ve ever graced the face of this earth are avid readers.

So, in that context, I wanted to share with you four books that I think can drastically elevate your performance and overall business success, heading into 2018.

1. “Perennial Seller,” by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is one of my favorite authors, and his latest book sure doesn’t disappoint. Perennial Seller is all about how to create work that lasts. So many people focus on creating an immediate big hit without ever directing their focus to creating work that lasts a lifetime. When you look at the most successful brands, authors, artists, musicians and anyone else producing content and sharing it with the world, the one common theme is that they first went out and created world-class work.

This is where Holiday really struck a chord with me as I was reading through the book. I learned a lot of extremely valuable marketing tactics and strategies from him, but for me the biggest reminder was to focus on creating something great first and foremost.

So much emphasis these days is geared toward marketing and the promotion of creative work and products, but there is not enough talk about the importance of first having a deep desire to create a masterpiece. You can have the best marketing strategy in the world, but if you shortchange the creative process and don’t strive to put your absolute best foot forward, none of that will matter when it comes to succeeding at the long game.

This book is for anyone who has an idea, dream or service and wants to share it with the world in a massive way. I highly recommend this book.

2. “Finish,” by Jon Acuff

You may have heard someone in the past say that starting your path to a goal is the hardest and most important part, but in his new book, Finish, best-selling author Jon Acuff makes a strong claim that finishing a goal is actually the hardest part in his new book

According to the University of Scranton, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. When Acuff discovered this statistic just as he was examining his own life, he became passionate about finding solutions on how to follow through to achieve your goals.

Is it sometimes difficult to start working toward a goal that you are passionate about? Absolutely. But what’s even more difficult is having the discipline, perseverance and focus to follow through and finish.

What I really liked about this book was that Acuff doesn’t just go into detail to explain why finishing a goal is your most important task — he actually provides actionable ideas and strategies you can implement to help you complete your most important projects. Before you set your 2018 goals and decide on your New Year’s resolutions, this is a book that I highly suggest you take a look at.

3. “Deep Work,” by Cal Newport

The world is distracted right now more than ever before. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new gadget that is supposed to help you save time, become more successful and magically make more money. Deep Work is a must-read for anyone looking to take his or her performance and results to the next level in 2018, regardless of the industry. Georgetown University Professor Cal Newport has done a wonderful job of not only breaking down the importance of having a strong focus each and every day, but has also provided clear action plans on how to carry out that focus.

This book, for me, was a huge reminder that one of the biggest competitive advantages out there is the ability to focus harder and longer than anyone else. I am confident that Deep Work will completely transform your productivity and overall performance, and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. Distraction is the enemy of greatness, and Newport has created an indispensable guide to anyone looking, in this distracted world, to take his or her success to the next level.

4. “The Ultimate Sales Machine,” by Chet Holmes

You can have the greatest ideas and concepts in the world, but if you can’t sell or recruit someone who can sell, those ideas and concepts are going to be completely useless. Chet Holmes’s timeless classic was published in 2007, but this book still holds so much truth to this day. In The Ultimate Sales Machine, Holmes lays out in depth 12 different strategies that will turbocharge your business and take it to new heights.

A lot of businesses fall short when it comes to rapid growth because the leader is focusing on so many different things at once instead of the vital few that will bring the biggest rewards. As Holmes wrote: “Becoming a master is not about doing 4,000 different things, it’s about doing 12 things, 4,000 times each.” Everything from unique sales strategies and marketing tactics, to successful management concepts is covered in this book which looks at the multiple facets of running a highly successful company.

One tip that really resonated for me was Holmes’s suggestion that you focus only one hour per week on each area of your business that you want to improve. Everyone who is truly passionate about taking a business to the next level has the time and energy for one hour per week!

These four books have made a positive impact in my business as well as my personal life and I hope they do the same for you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

  • William Becht

    Great Reads Matt! Thanks for your recommendations! These are very helpful and I will let my team know about them. It will certainly set up 2018 to be a year to remember.
    All the best to you!