January is here... and with it comes resolutions and a fresh start. What better time to pick up a book and read.
I've pulled together some great books that were released in the past few months. These wonderful books are hot off the press and waiting for you.
These guys are absolute must-reads for all entrepreneurs and small business owners. Add 'em to your reading list and enjoy!
1. The Customer Service Revolution: Overthrow Conventional Business, Inspire Employees, and Change the World
John R. DiJulius III
There’s no denying that customer service is in its heyday in today’s market. In The Customer Service Revolution, DiJulius explains the customer service economy with examples of über successful companies whose awesome customer service has propelled them straight to the top. Consider this book your how-to for using killer customer service to drive sales and grow your business.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Simply put, customer service is HUGE! DiJulius explains how customer service is no longer just a pleasantry, but a vital aspect of doing business that entrepreneurs just have to prioritize and invest in.
2. Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!
Over the past two-ish years, you’ve no doubt heard a lot about Yahoo’s newest CEO, Marissa Mayer. But do you really know her story? From the decline of Yahoo to Mayer’s rise at Google and her struggle to mold Yahoo into a modern tech company, author Nicholas Carlson gives readers an inside look into the real story of Marissa Mayer. Carlson’s narrative offers some awesome lessons about staying relevant in an ever-changing environment.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Carlson reveals the inside scoop on an icon we’ve all heard a lot about. It’s not every day that we see someone successfully pull a large company back from obsolescence, and Carlson’s account is ripe with lessons for all business owners.
3. The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity
Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill, & Leena Rinne
Who among us couldn’t improve a little on their time management skills? The 5 Choices takes aim at distractions, busyness, and burnout by highlighting five fundamental choices we can make every day to increase productivity and better manage our time. Kogon, Merrill, & Rinne pull from the latest neuroscience as well as their own decades of research and experience to teach you to better manage your energy and attention.
Why it’s great for small business owners: The almighty productivity, boiled down to five simple decisions. With all of the hullabaloo about productivity and hacks, Kogon, Merrill, and Rinne sum it up with five uncomplicated points that are super easy to follow.
4. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why Now Is the Time to #Join the Ride
Whether you’re just thinking about taking the entrepreneurial leap or you’ve been in business for a while, there’s always more to learn about owning your own business and living the entrepreneur lifestyle. Entrepreneurship is a wild ride and author Darren Hardy seeks to prepare and guide you along the way. Hardy covers the four most essential skills required for success in business: Sales, Recruiting, Leadership, and Productivity.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Hardy provides a raw and genuine look into what being an entrepreneur is all about. The lifestyle of entrepreneurship is hard to grasp unless you’re living it, and Hardy does a great job of conveying what it’s truly like to own and run your own business.
5. Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style
Like anything in life, productivity management is not one size fits all. The key to maximizing yours is to know and understand your unique productivity style and how to optimize it. In Work Simply, Tate teaches you how to identify your style and provides lots of way to revamp how you manage your productivity, from the tools you need and how to organize (or not) your desk to when to use email over face-to-face communication.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Time management, tailored to fit YOU. You can read all the research and how-to’s you want, but they’re no help unless you can make them work for you. Tate shows you how to personalize your time management to get the most out of yourself.
6. Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business
Think of Startupland as your go-to book for entrepreneurial inspiration. Author Mikkel Svane, founder and CEO of Zendesk, offers the unique perspective of a real-life entrepreneur who’s still in the heart of it all. Svane chronicles the story of Zendesk’s founding and success while seeking to eliminate some of the myths and mystery that come with entrepreneurship.
Why it’s great for small business owners: It’s real, honest, and cuts through the clutter of books written by consultants and über successful entrepreneurs of billion-dollar businesses. Because Svane is still in the trenches, he can remember what it’s like to be just starting out and tells his story with this audience in mind.
7. The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource
An updated version of Gitomer’s renowned bestseller, The Sales Bible, this one has been updated and supplemented to provide a modern, relevant take on how to do sales. Gitomer’s inclusion of social media and internet sales information makes for a rounded approach to sales in today’s market. It’s simply a must-read for anyone doing sales.
Why it’s great for small business owners: It’s THE sales book of today. Of all the hats small business owners have to wear, the salesman hat is perhaps the most important for business. Gitomer provides a ton of information that’s super helpful to anyone who wasn’t born selling pens.
8. The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
Who better to learn from than the wildly successful and eccentric Richard Branson? In The Virgin Way, Branson tells his side of the leadership story. As an entrepreneur, he has trodden an uncommon path into the world of business, and his leadership style is nothing if not different. Branson reveals the keys to the “Virgin way” as fun, family, passion, and listening.
Why it’s great for small business owners: “You’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you.” I mean, c’mon! Branson is the definitive unconventional entrepreneur of today, and his insight is strikingly new and innovative.
9. Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags
As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably been told that you’re crazy at least a handful of times. In Crazy Is a Compliment, Linda Rottenberg discusses how that’s actually a good thing. Rottenberg reveals the secret to taking risks without risking it all and going big for your business. Her book draws on inspiring stories, original research, and practical advice to teach you how “think bold and execute smart.”
Why it’s great for small business owners: We’re all a little crazy, and we think that’s a good thing, too! Rottenberg teaches readers to trust their crazier ideas and reveals how you can take smart risks that can lead to huge gains.
10. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Zero to One is a truly unique and innovative view of business, technology, and progress. Author Peter Thiel will teach you how to ask the right questions that lead to creating new value and spurring progress. Thiel discusses how the moment of creation is singular; tomorrow’s Bill Gates will not invent another operating system, but something entirely new.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Thiel’s perspective on innovation and progress is totally new and unparalleled. Being able to develop truly innovative products and processes is absolutely vital in today’s market, and Thiel teaches readers how to get there.
11. Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t
In order to effectively scale a company, there are a lot of things you have to get right. Harnish explains how to combine people, strategy, execution, and cash in perfect synergy to drive success and healthy growth. Drawing on his experience from advising tens of thousands of CEOs and executives, Harnish teaches you how to create an organization where everyone from frontline employees upward contributes to growth.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Scaling a business successfully requires a very delicate balance of different aspects of your company. Harnish simplifies the formula and makes effective scaling easy to follow for all small business owners.
12. Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses
Ever wonder how bigwigs like Apple, Amazon, and Google got to be so darn successful? According to author Gary Shapiro, cutting-edge “ninja innovation” is the answer. Shapiro explains how to combine discipline, mission-oriented strategy, adaptability, and decisiveness to spur the kind of innovation that creates wildly successful products and companies.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Shapiro pulls from his experience observing some of the world’s most innovative companies, and who better to learn from? Innovation requires more than just creativity – it’s about a culture and strategy that foster inventive new solutions.
13. Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner
Anjali Sastry & Kara Penn
In entrepreneurship, failure is all but inevitable. It’s an unavoidable part of life and business, but there are ways you can better prepare to fail and learn invaluable lessons from your failures. Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn are out to explain how to fail quickly and productively so you can figure out what works at a rapid pace. When it comes to improving your business, there’s nothing better to learn from than trial, error, and failure.
Why it’s great for small business owners: There’s no way to avoid failure, so learning how to tackle it head on and learn from it is absolutely crucial. The ability to quickly pick oneself up after failing and get back to it is a super important skill for all entrepreneurs to have.
14. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Scrum is a totally new, totally awesome method of management and productivity. Author Jeff Sutherland takes you back to the frontlines when he put together the first Scrum team and teaches you how to do it yourself. Scrum takes elements from a wide variety of disciplines including martial arts, judicial decision making, robotics, and advanced aerial combat.
Why it’s great for small business owners: Users have recorded up to 1200% gains in productivity… imagine how that could change your business and your life! As a small business owner, anything that helps you be more productive and get more done in less time is totally helpful.
15. The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself
The Business Romantic takes a radically different, holistic look at how work interacts with the rest of our lives. Author Tim Leberecht argues that in order to develop an economy that serves us as human beings, we must infuse business and work with romance. Leberecht provides compelling examples of entrepreneurs who are romantic about their work and offers insight into the social and emotional aspects of business.
Why it’s great for small business owners: We have a crisis of work overload and burnout today. Leberecht offers a crucial alternative to the mundane business by viewing work romantically. He argues that by looking at our work this way, we can reach a new level of work/life synergy.
What’s on your 2015 reading list?