8 business books you need to have on your Christmas list

As the year comes to a close we look at the business books that you need to read over the Christmas break...

From advice on public speaking, to getting more done in a 4-hour work day, to becoming a “super entrepreneur”, this year’s list of business books will offer unconventional methods to help you and your business be more dynamic.

Business books offer you a glimpse into the mind of successful entrepreneurs and as every start-up owner knows there are always business lessons to be learnt. So as you take a break and reflect this Christmas get started on these eight must reads.

Here is the list of must-read books that we have compiled over the last 12 months.

1. I Don’t Work Fridays by Martin Norbury

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One of the opening statements from I Don’t Work Fridays offers a good insight into the book’s premise. Norbury promises “to show you the ‘how’ which will reward the ‘why’ you started in the first place.”

Throughout the book, Norbury shares how his own personal and business background has helped shape his S.C.A.L.E strategy – from building successful start-ups to multi-million pound rescues and family tragedy.

In line with the title, the book also explores how to create a business that works for you instead of working for a business that owns you so that you, like Norbury, can choose to take a three-day weekend. Major themes include strategy, progression and making “smarter decisions” so that you can make your business “better than it was yesterday”.

2. BOLD  by Peter H Diamandis and Steven Kotler

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Part manifesto, part motivational guide and part manual, BOLD is all about how to become a super-entrepreneur.

It pushes the belief that start-ups need to think much bigger and explains that failure is more likely to result from thinking too small as opposed to too big. It encourages its readers to pursue ‘moonshots’ – huge ideas that are 10 times their goal, ideas that could change the world. You can start a company on day one that affects a small group, but aim to positively impact one billion people within a decade.

BOLD is an enthusiastic resource on the use of emerging technologies, thinking at scale, and the future of innovation based on the fact that the collapse in the costs of sensors and computing power has ushered in new technologies which are leading to “BOLD” technology, “BOLD” mindsets, and a “BOLD” crowd (the three sections of the book).

3. The E-Myth Revisited  by Michael E. Gerber

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The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) Revisited is one of the seminal business books that all entrepreneurs should read. It promotes the vision of Michael E. Gerber (the author) that all businesses should develop extraordinary systems to help them build their business to a new level.

Gerber asserts that ordinary people working with extraordinary systems create extraordinary results, whilst most businesses rely on extraordinary people working with ordinary systems. At the time of writing, his observation was spot on. Nowadays, we are much closer to an automated world, and businesses can purchase world class systems for peanuts. We’ve also moved along a generation, and realised that business isn’t B2B or B2C, it’s H2H (Human to Human). On that basis, I believe that to compete now, businesses need both extraordinary people and extraordinary systems.

4. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

GIRLBOSS

“A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it”. This is the opening line to Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s bestselling book #GIRLBOSS and is the sentiment that echoes throughout each chapter.

Full of empowering and un-apologetic mantras, no-nonsense business advice, and honest accounts of how she turned her life around from petty criminal to retail mogul, Amoruso’s book looks to inspire anyone to find their own “unique path to success”.

Amoruso shares her start-up story: Aged 22 and working in a job she hated, she began selling vintage clothes on eBay as a hobby and this later developed into Nasty Gal – the US online fashion retailer, which by the time Amorosu was 30, had achieved turnover of over $100m and employed 350 people.

While Amoruso’s story is impressive, her focus throughout the book is on letting the reader know that you don’t need to have a degree, business experience, or even take yourself too seriously (“let your freak flag fly”) to be successful.

5. Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

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If ideas are the currency of the 21st century, how we present these can change the world. Talk like TED is about identifying the techniques shared by some of the world’s greatest communicators to wow their audiences, from the TED platform.

It’s also a great a great snapshot into the history of TED. Author and communications coach Carmine Callo also wrote the bestseller The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

6. Purple Cow  by Seth Godin

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‘Transform your business by being remarkable’: That’s the tagline to Purple Cow, a book that encourages businesses to think differently and to avoid following the status quo. I first read Seth Godin’s book almost 10 year ago and it’s as relevant now as it was then.

The concept that start-ups generally ‘get’ because their whole essence is to try to solve a problem in people’s lives that isn’t currently being serviced.

However, as Godin points out, it’s important to remember that the whole essence of your business should be thought about from your customer’s perspective as you look to delight them at every possible opportunity.

7. Essentialism by Greg Mckeown

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The book’s sub-title sums it up perfectly. Essentialism is about the disciplined pursuit of less. Rather than making us feel inadequate for not being more productive, Greg McKeown instead turns our attention to the underlying problem: by saying ‘yes’ to everything, we undervalue our time and ultimately end up stretching ourselves too thin.

The most successful people in the world are the ones who truly value their time, because they recognise it as their most precious resource. Essentialism teaches techniques for valuing your time and shows you how to get the most out of it.

It’s about figuring out what’s essential and eliminating everything else. It’s about getting the right things done. Rather than being yet another ‘thing’ you need to master, Essentialism is a whole new way of doing everything.

8. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

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The 4-Hour Work Week is very clever at understanding the thought processes of the readers, it is almost as if author Tim Ferriss knew that you specifically were going to pick up this book.

It is very thought provoking and each chapter makes you take action. Not because it says to, but because somehow you are in autopilot mode. The do’er in you has been triggered and you are motivated to take forward steps in your life. Without realising, you are overcome with the determination for success.

 

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