This page is broken up into 2 parts: books that I have written to help entrepreneurs based on where they are along their personal journey and books written by other authors that address specific topics that I have in my own personal library and often I recommend to many of my clients. Use the links below to locate the section you want to explore.
As a mentor and counselor for thousands of clients, it became clear to me that many entrepreneurs get stuck at some point during their entrepreneurial journey. To help clients get unstuck, I have written a series of 10 books to take the reader on a complete journey of entrepreneurship. The journey of discovery starts with self-reflection and alternatives to starting a full-blown business to ultimately selling your business for profit. I have created a targeted book that meets every entrepreneur’s need regardless of where they are on their own personal journey.
All books are offered through Amazon.com (that can be accessed directly through this page) and other booksellers in both paperback and eBook formats.
Uncommon Things You Should Know Before You Become An Entrepreneur
Before You Leap is a wisdom-packed book that was written for the nascent entrepreneur. It uses stories and personal examples from the author to reveal uncommon things that can make or break your venture before it starts. The book not only gives the entrepreneur the tools for self-reflection but also exposes readers to options to building a full-blown business around their idea.
As a serial entrepreneur and mentor to thousands of small businesses, the author has distilled a lifetime of business wisdom that every new entrepreneur should consider before they starting their first business.
Readers will learn:
- How to test their market before committing resources to a solution
- How to reduce their startup risk
- How to discover their niche
- How to predict future demand
- That a good idea is not enough
- How retirement plans and even your employer can fund your startup costs
Before You Leap is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice that will help you determine if you have what it takes to be a business owner and if you launch will help you avoid costly mistakes.
An Anthology Series of Business Concepts that Lead to Business Planning Success
This is not another business book designed to help you write a business plan. The focus of Everything You Wanted To Know About Business Planning But Were Afraid To Ask endeavors to convey all the business wisdom you need to know BEFORE you sit down to write a business plan.
Readers will learn:
- What factors to consider before they start
- The vocabulary and federal acronyms of business
- How to define the right business model and economic model for your business
- How sales taxes and income taxes work
- How your credit score is computed and what you can do to improve it
- About business risk and how to minimize it
How to benchmark your financial projections against other existing businesses
- How to fund your business even when the banks says no
- How different customers think so you can better market to them
- About basic business management structures
- The seven most common business formations errors
- How to get the most out of employees
As a serial entrepreneur and mentor to thousands of small businesses, the author has distilled a lifetime of business wisdom that every new entrepreneur should consider before they sit down to write their first business plan.
Design, Align and Test Your Ideas
Applying the Business Model Canvas, A Practical Guide For Small Business is a book that was written for the entrepreneur trying to come up with a workable new business model. By using the Socratic method of asking and answering questions for each of the 13 building blocks of the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Model the reader will be able to turn abstract ideas into a practical business model in no time.
The book Applying the Business Model Canvas, A Practical Guide For Small Business is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice and examples that will help you refine your new business ideas before you launch helping you avoid costly mistakes.
What You Need To Know To Run An Effective Campaign
The Practical Crowdfunding How-To-Guide is a wisdom-packed book that was written for the entrepreneur considering raising money via a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is not a simple matter of just putting your campaign on one of the crowdfunding platforms and waiting for the money to roll in. It is much more personal, relies heavily on social media and making network connections before you launch your campaign. In fact crowdfunding shares very little with other forms of raising money.
For most, crowdfunding success can run the gambit, but it does not have to be a game of chance. The author breaks down the process of crowdfunding into 12 distinct steps to locate and attract potential pledges and build momentum and buzz for the campaign. By following the 12 step process the reader will have the best chance of success in reaching your funding goal.
The book Practical Crowdfunding How-To-Guide is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice and examples that will help the entrepreneur achieve the best possible crowdfunding success.
Price Your Product or Service for Strategic Objectives
Pricing is one of the most unsung elements of marketing. Practical Guide to Understanding Your Pricing Options teaches the reader how to price their products or services strategically. By implementing the suggestion in this book you will be able to price your products and services so as to encourage your customers to buy while maximizing your profit margins.
The book is broken into 3 parts.
- In the first part, Pricing Strategies, the author describes 14 pricing strategies to drive specific customer behaviors, such as building customer loyalty, ensuring more consistent business cash flows, or encouraging the customer to buy in larger quantities
- Part two, Pricing Concepts looks at such concepts as price elasticity and pricing at the margins so a business has the tools to maximize its profit margins.
- The final part, Behavioral Economics introduces the reader to customer psychology such as their irrational yet predictable reaction to free, decoy prices, and fear of loss.
Practical Guide to Understanding Your Pricing Options is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice that will help the reader implement the appropriate pricing strategies to achieve specific business objectives.
An Anthology Series of Buyer Psychology, Getting Noticed and Making Your Business Stick
Practical Marketing Concepts For Your Small Business is a wisdom-packed book that was written for the budget conscious entrepreneur looking to better market their products or services. The book is divided into 9 chapters that look at:
- How to identify and target viable customers
- Tactics to get noticed in an ocean of interruption marketing
- The attitude and behaviors of various target demographics
- The buyer psychology including behavioral economics and emotional appeals
- Dozens of free and low-cost ways to achieve greater brand awareness
- Tactics to make your message more memorable and sticky
- Common pricing mistakes that can kill a sale
- Ways to leverage economic gyrations and current events to improve sales
- General marketing and sales advice to help make better marketing decisions
As a serial entrepreneur and mentor to thousands of small businesses, the author has distilled a lifetime of business marketing content that every entrepreneur should consider applying to their business.
Practical Marketing Concepts For Your Small Business is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice delivered in small bites that the reader can use to make incremental improvements to their marketing efforts.
Proven Techniques To Close More Deals and Delight Your Customers
Practical Sales Ideas For Your Small Business is a wisdom-packed book that was written for the entrepreneur looking for ideas and tactics to improve sales. Weather selling face to face or online the reader will discover tips and tricks to close more deals. Sales are built on relationships and the author has created bite-size nuggets of sales knowledge the reader can easily apply.
As a serial entrepreneur and mentor to thousands of small businesses, the author has distilled critical business sales lessons designed to make the customers fall in love you and your product or service.
Practical Sales Ideas For Your Small Business is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice that will help you convert leads into customers.
What You Need To Know Before You Buy Or Sell
Buying Or Selling A Small Business is a wisdom-packed book that was written for the entrepreneur either considered buying someone else’s business or selling their existing business. Throughout the text
are links to exclusive streaming videos from experts in the Merger and Acquisition (M&A) space as they comment on key aspects and provide valuable insight based on their professional experiences with buyers and sellers.
In the book, the author describes six different ways to value an existing business. Learn the real reasons sellers sell and buyers buy businesses. As a seller discover techniques to maximize value while as a buyer learn about all the different forms of payment and financing options to make your purchase. Discover how the terms of the deal can be more important than the actual sale price when it comes to taxes both for the buyers and the seller.
As a serial entrepreneur, Steve has built, bought, and sold several companies for huge profits using the techniques described this book. Buying Or Selling A Small Business is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice that will help you avoid costly mistakes either buying or selling a business.
How The Entrepreneur’s Brain Is Wired Differently From the Masses
The entrepreneur looks at the same information as the masses but sees something quite different and therefore approaches life from a completely different perspective. The Entrepreneurial Brain compares how entrepreneurs and the masses look at things like work, money, friends, education and even risk quite differently.
By recognizing and adopting more entrepreneurial ways of thinking the reader will come away with a more complete awareness of the views and attitudes that make for successful entrepreneurs. The book The Entrepreneurial Brain is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice and examples that will help the entrepreneur achieve greater business success.
Lessons From Highly Successful Founders, CEOs, and Senior Executives That Changed Their Industries Forever
Messages From Successful Entrepreneurs is a wisdom-packed book that was written for the entrepreneur looking for inspirational ideas used by highly successful entrepreneurs to re-energize their business. The book uses stories from 32 of the worlds most successful leaders to dramatize pivotal business lessons every entrepreneur should consider implementing in their own business.
Discover how overcoming personal hardship or being told “no” created some of the great entrepreneurs. Learn how a waffle sparked the running craze and how a Pez dispenser launched the creation of one of the biggest multi-sided website platforms.
As a serial entrepreneur and mentor to thousands of small businesses the author is fascinated with the icons of business and has used their stories to help and inspire his clients to discover ways to think about their business in new and creative ways.
Many of the biggest companies used lessons from one industry and simply applied it to their own. The book Messages From Successful Entrepreneurs is a concise and easy to read guide packed with solid advice and examples that will help the entrepreneur leverage the lessons of some of the greatest leaders business has known.
I read a lot of business books each year. Most books I read have a few key points that have some value and then there are some books that are just chocked full of great advice for the business owner.
The following list contains the business books that I have in my personal library that I frequently recommend to my clients. Most of the books listed below I have read over and over again because they are so rich in actionable wisdom for the entrepreneur.
The list is presented in no particular order so read through the entire list and discover why each book is on my recommended reading list for entrepreneurs.
Michael Hyatt’s book is a great step-by-step guide for anyone with something to sell. Getting the attention of an audience is a difficult task these days with so much noise. Michael does a great job breaking down the process into actionable steps you will need to generate web traffic and engage with your audience.
Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
The authors do a great job to help the reader understand how to create an uncontested market space vs competing with the competition head-to-head and sacrificing margin. A must read for a business exploring new business models.
I love the psychological aspects of understanding how people make decisions. Jonah Berger describes the hidden forces that shape a person’s behavior and is a must read for anyone engaged in marketing or sales.
I met John Jantsch at a SCORE leadership meeting many years ago when his book just came out in 2006. Since then his book, which introduced the concept of “Know-Like-Trust” has become the cornerstone of many marketing efforts and was updated in 2011. A good book for anyone attempting to understand the key principles of good marketing.
One of my all-time favorite books. I have read this book so many times. Malcolm Gladwell explains through various case studies how products and ideas can spread like wildfire. A must read for anyone in marketing wanting to gain insight into what makes some products and ideas go viral.
I love free and low-cost marketing ideas. The ideas from Jim Cockrum’s book has been my inspiration for many a blog post on marketing. A great read for the all us entrepreneurs with a limited marketing budget.
Going Social: Excite Customers, Generate Buzz, and Energize Your Brand with the Power of Social Media
For anyone struggling to grasp the role of social media in today’s marketing efforts, look no further than Jeremy Goldman’s book, Going Social. Learn the tricks to excite customers, generate buzz, and energize your brand with social media.
As an entrepreneur, we are always selling. In their book, Rainmaking Conversations, the authors describe their RAIN system. In fact, their chapter on, “16 principles of influence in sales”, was so compelling for me it was the basis of a whole series of blog posts and a white paper on the subject. This is a book every salesperson should read and then read again.
Some content never gets old. This book was written in 1964 when TV was still black and white. However, Roy Garn describes the emotional appeals that are hardwired into everyone. This book has been the inspiration for a whole series of blog posts. A must read for anyone looking to tap into a customer’s inner emotions and make them want to listen to your message.
Absolutely love this book. Have it in both audio and print formats. Dan Ariely taps into the secrets of why we as humans act irrationally in many situations. Knowing how the customer will respond in various situations is a powerful skill every entrepreneur must understand and master.
For anyone looking to escape the rat race or begin a side hustle this book is for you. This groundbreaking book by Tim Ferriss shows you how everything you thought you knew about work life is wrong. This one book truly changed my life and has allowed me to work part-time and earn a living.
Gary Vaynerchuck is an undisputed icon in the social media space. In this book, he looks at all the popular platforms and describes what it takes to be successful on each using examples of good and bad design. If you are new to social media or just what to do a better job, this is a great book for you.
When it comes to sales, Jeffrey Gitomer is the go-to guy. This book is absolutely chock-full of useful information to make you a better sales person. Every entrepreneur should give this book a read.
This was the first book by Seth Godin I read. I’m a super fan of his because of this book. The concept of permission marketing is a total game changer. This one concept has permeated scores of my blog posts and is a truly foundational concept every small business owner needs to understand.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. We all encounter what Seth Godin calls the dip. In this book, he discusses how to know when to persevere and keep going and when to throw in the towel and move to the next thing. A must read for every founder.
Ask: The COUNTER INTUITIVE Online Method to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level
I have recommended Ryan Levesque’s book to scores of clients. His “Ask” methodology provides a concrete and easy to follow process to learn what your customer really wants and how to customize your content to deliver targeted information to them. This is a fundamental concept all small businesses need to understand to succeed today.
Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW Quadrant helps frame the progression from being an employee to becoming an investor. The content of this book is the subject of many a blog post. It explains the income and tax implications of being an employee, self-employed, business owner, and investor. Everyone contemplating starting a business should understand the concepts described in this book.
How to License Your Million Dollar Idea: Cash In On Your Inventions, New Product Ideas, Software, Web Business Ideas, And More
This Harvey Reese book is perhaps my most recommended books of all time. Many of my clients come to me wanting to start a business based on a new product idea and have little or no understanding of business. If you have an idea for a new product I HIGHLY recommend you read this book before you consider starting a business to manufacture and sell your product.
The authors of this book have conducted extensive research on what makes the best salesperson. The content of “The Challenger Sale” is the inspirations of several blog posts. If you deal with sales or you employ and inside or outsides sales force, this book is a must read.
As the entrepreneurship director at a community college I, worked with the author, Gary Schoneniger, to implement the concepts of this book as a prerequisite course for over 1,500 students per semester and achieved dramatic results. The 8 lessons described by Clifton Taulbert in this easy to read book, every person, whether a business owner or not, should embrace if they hope to lead a successful in life.
The Heath brothers book will transform the way you think about communications. The concepts described in this book are infused in many of my blog posts. As a small business owner, crafting a sticky marketing campaign as described in “Made to Stick” is essential to success. A truly great read for everyone involved in marketing efforts.
If your business sells a new and innovative product you must read this book by Geoffrey A. Moore. It describes the technology adoption process and the 5 categories of adopters. Additionally, the author describes the chasm that exists between early adopters and the majority of later adopters that prevent many start-ups from capitalizing on their ideas.
The Undercover Economist, Revised and Updated Edition: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor – and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!
While Tim Harford’s book is not related to small businesses explicitly, it describes how the overall economy works. The concepts described are invaluable when it comes to understanding how to price your product or service. The concepts described in this book are the source of many a blog post related to pricing. You owe it to yourself to read this book.
The author Russell Brunson does an excellent job explaining the concept of a value ladder and why every business needs one as well as how it relates to your sales funnel. He includes examples of several funnels and sales scrips to help turn leads into revenue. If you have a website looking to converting traffic into paying customers, this book is a must-read for you.