Your guide to the 10 best business books of all time

For some people, the learning process ends with school. But if you want to keep growing and improving, having a consistent reading habit can help keep your mind sharp and develop the skills you need to make your next deal.

Let’s dive into the heart of the matter!

How Reading Fuels Success

Many wildly successful people tout the benefits of reading and claim that this one habit is crucial to getting them to where they are today.

Take a look :

  • Warren Buffett spends 80% of his time reading.
  • Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year.
  • Mark Zuckerberg reads a book every two weeks.
  • Oprah Winfrey calls books her ‘path to personal freedom’
  • Mark Cuban reads three hours a day.

So why exactly do successful people from Wall Street to Silicon Valley spend so much time reading?

Here are some of the main reasons:

  • Learn new skills
  • Find out how business people see the world
  • Broaden your view of the world and your knowledge of different industries
  • Find inspiration when obstacles seem insurmountable

Reading helps you keep your mind sharp, explore new solutions to old problems, and learn directly from experts. In other words, reading keeps you learning long after you’ve finished school or formal training.

If you’re convinced, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s take a look at the best business books to get you started. Next, we’ll divide this list of must-read books into different categories to help you decide where to start.

Best Business Books for Beginners

Here are two beginner books to add to your reading list. They’ll show you what entrepreneurship is all about and prove the value of working smarter.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Cover of Rich Dad Poor Dad, one of the best business books for beginners.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki has become the best personal finance book of all time. Kiyosaki shares his childhood story with two fatherly influences: his own and that of his close friend’s ‘rich dad’

Kiyosaki explains how each of these men shaped their way of thinking about money and investments. It pulls back the curtain on the expected financial misconceptions that keep people from reaching their earning potential. He also shares his journey and shows the power of making your money work for you.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Cover of Shoe Dog, one of the best business books for beginners.

Nike may be a global icon today, but it took a lot of hard work to get there. In his book Shoe Dog , Nike co-founder Phil Knight talks about launching his startup after business school with $50 borrowed from a friend.

Knight’s funny, personal and unfiltered side shines through in his memoir and how he came to choose the unconventional path of life as an entrepreneur. Readers will get to know Knight like never before and will leave inspired by his journey and armed with his hard-earned wisdom on entrepreneurship.

Best Business Books for Managers

Knowing how to do your job well is one thing, and learning how to manage a team of other people is another.

Here are some of the best leadership books for learning how to build productive relationships at work and get your team through tough times and successes.

The Hard Thing About Hard Thing by Ben Horowitz

Cover of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, one of the best business books for managers.

Ben Horowitz is one of Silicon Valley’s most respected entrepreneurs. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things , Horowitz pulls back the curtain to reveal the truth about what it’s like to run a successful business through tough times.

Horowitz’s book contains essential advice for any entrepreneur, wrapped up in his no-nonsense writing style with some signature references from the life of a rap fanatic. It’s a must-read book for beginners and veterans alike, and it’s especially well-suited to those going through tough times with tough hurdles.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Cover of Deep Work, one of the best business books for managers.

Professor Cal Newport teaches computer science at Georgetown University. He coined the term “deep work” and explains how the perks of modern businesses, like open offices, and distractions, like social media, get in the way of quality work.

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In his book Deep Work , Newport points out the huge negative impact of distractions on work. It packs several memorable stories that show the importance of creating a better workspace in a distracted world and offers surprising advice, like the value of boredom.

How to Win Friens and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Cover of How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the best business books for managers.

Dale Carnegie’s New York Times bestseller How to Win People and Influence People has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1936. Although it is the most oldest on the list, it is one of the best-known business books ever written. Carnegie’s advice continues to stand the test of time.

As a manager, you need to sell your ideas and business changes to your team members. Carnegie teaches you a simple but effective technique based on good habits to communicate with people and win others over to your way of thinking without cutting corners.

The best business books for starting and growing a business

Building and scaling a business is no easy feat, and your journey along the way is sure to be exciting.

Here are the best business books for navigating funding, starting a business, and scaling it to success.

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Cover of Start with Why, one of the best business books for building and growing a business.
One of the first problems entrepreneurs face is finding and maintaining that sense of inspiration that gets others moving. Simon Sinek is on a mission to find out what makes certain organizations innovative and influential and to find a way to help you feel more inspired at work.

In Start with Why , Sinek shows you how leaders ranging from Martin Luther King Jr. to Steve Jobs found success because they were rooted in their “why.” He builds a Golden Circle framework that lets you use the same process to build a business that inspires others.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Cover of Atomic Habits, one of the best business books for building and growing a business.

Keeping inspired in the early days can be tough, and there’s nothing like bad habits that can stand between you and success.

Author and entrepreneur James Clear thinks the problem isn’t yours. Rather, it is your system. In Atomic Habits , Clear gives you a proven system you can use every day to improve your decisions, build better habits, and overcome a lack of willpower.

By creating an environment conducive to success, you don’t have to rely on your motivation every day. Clear breaks down complex ideas into simple, actionable recommendations, and helps you master the small actions that build good habits and ultimately lead to meaningful results.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Cover of Zero to One, one of the best business books for building and growing a business.

If you’re looking for a practical, upbeat book to get your creativity flowing, pick up Zero to One by Peter Thiel . Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal, and in his book he lays out his thoughts and ideas on how to build the future you want to see.

It’s a quick read, and you can skim through the book in a day or two. However, it’s still filled with inspiring stories from when Thiel worked at PayPal and other pioneering founders like Bill Gates. You can use his “Seven Questions Every Business Should Answer” to test and refine your ideas and processes.

Best Business Books for Small Business Owners

Small business owners face unique challenges, but their goals are the same: to build a thriving business, not just survive.

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Cover of Good to Great, one of the best business books for small business owners.

Jim Collins began his journey to write Good to Great with one question: “Why do some businesses last and others don’t?” He assembled a team to study the elite companies that lasted more than 15 years and built their success.

In his book, Collins outlines the facets of greatness, including “Level 5 Leaders” and “A Culture of Discipline.” It is well-researched and well-written, and offers practical advice for building a successful business.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Cover of Think and Grow Rich, one of the best business books for small business owners.

Like How to Win Friends and Influence People has been around since the 1930s and offers ideas that stand the test of time. It’s full of timeless wisdom and practical advice to help you get what you want in life.

Napoleon Hill demonstrates the power of your mindset and outlines methods for dealing with personal obstacles such as self-doubt and laziness. Fans of the book recommend doing Hill’s exercises while reading the book and re-reading it several times to get the most out of it.

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