Whether you’re starting up your own business or looking to develop your business acumen and management skills, reading the lessons of others can be incredibly beneficial, in terms of learning more about business leadership, financial literacy, vision, courage and good communication. If you want to be a prosperous businessperson then you need to keep learning. This week we share our top five business books for entrepreneurs or those running or starting up an SME.
- ‘Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies’ by J Collins and J Porras
James Collins and Jerry Porras conduct a six-year research project involving 18 companies to study their culture and the way they do business. In a bid to put what they have written into practical shape, they give excellent examples to support the values of successful companies. The key takeaways from this business book are that you need a workmanlike culture, to preserve a core ideology, and that Big Hairy Audacious Goal philosophy lets you know how to shift your perceptions and make history.
- ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki
The book explores the life of Kiyosaki, who has two fathers: His dad’s friend and his biological father. His biological father is highly educated and poor while his father’s friend is a wealthy entrepreneur who never went near a graduate school. He is to decide whose footsteps to follow.
Throughout the journey he examines how you can become wealthy and that high earnings don’t make you productive. He explains why the rich get richer as other people keep paying for homes they will never own. The key takeaways here are the importance of financial literacy; of knowing what an asset is and how to acquire it. The book reveals the power of savings, tithes and financial investments.
- ‘Screw It, Let’s Do it: Lessons in Life’ by Richard Branson
Branson takes you through his life since he founded the Virgin Group in 1968. He teaches various lessons on what has kept him moving all this time, the inspiration that he has had from different people and the values that he has built. The main takeaway is ‘if you want it, just do it’ and the importance of self-sufficiency and courage to start up, plus the value of challenging yourself and having fun.
- ‘Raving Fans’ by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowels
Everyone knows how important customer service is in business. However, if you want to be a competitive customer service manager in your field, it is the time you read this book. The fictional style of writing makes it very easy to read, however the real-life examples will shift your customer service paradigm entirely. This book’s key takeaways are to discover what you want, know what the customers want and then deliver your vision plus one percent.
- ‘Speak and Get Results’ by Sandy Linver
Linver reminds you the power of natural speech. People who speak well and naturally move the masses; they make people do things. In business situations, budgets can be more quickly, sales and PR is easier. Key takeaways here include tips for designing and presenting speeches and how to direct and influence listeners.
Let us know what you think of these recommendations and make sure you share with us your recommended reads in the comments section. Happy reading!