This post has been updated on May 4, 2017, with additional books released recently.
Summer is finally almost here. Even busy small business owners are probably thinking about relaxing a bit to decompress. Nothing beats a good book while you’re relaxing at the beach or taking an extra long lunch break at the park.
Here are our picks for some of the best books to read if you’re running a startup or small business:
Written by Dan Lyons, this New York Times bestseller examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink. It has been praised by everyone from JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Lost), Peter Thiel (PayPal cofounder), and Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post). Check it out here.
Author and Psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Grit examines what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference. Check it out here.
Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father to start his company. This candid memoir explains the company’s early days and rise in popularity. Check it out here.
Written by the CEO of Zappos, Delivering Happiness is an inspiring look into a company that isn’t afraid to take a unique approach to business. It’s a great read for those who desire to make customer service and an enjoyable workplace a priority, which should probably be everyone. Check it out here.
This book by Jim Collins is often considered one of the top books in the “business” category. The book focuses on companies that had success in the 90s. Although some of the companies, like Circuit City, are now bankrupt, it’s an interesting read to learn more about the approaches they took. Check it out here.
If your plan is to expand your startup into a larger company, this book is a great read. It studies people like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers to determine what they had in common and how they became great leaders. The Tedx Talk by the author, Simon Sinek, is one of the top 20 most viewed on Ted.com. Check out the book here.
Charles Duhigg’s book provides great insight into habits people have and ways to change them. Whether you want to be more productive and healthy yourself or want to learn ways to influence consumers to use your app, product or service, you’ll find some great information in this book. It has been on the NY Times bestseller list for over 60 weeks. Check it out here.
Ever wonder what motivates people to do what they do? Daniel H. Pink’s book tries to explain personal drive and provide insight into how to motivate others. It’s a fascinating read for those interested in understanding more about their own drive and those who are responsible for motivating employees to be productive and satisfied. Check it out here.