3 Must-Reads for Business Owners


I am often recommended books by other business owners.  While most provide a few interesting thoughts I've retained, the following three books have influenced my thoughts on business more than any others.  

I list them in the order I would recommend they be read.

1. Built to Sell (John Warrillow)

The author narrates a tale about a relatable business owner going through the process of selling his business.  This book was revolutionary for me; it spoke directly to where I was as a business owner.  It was the first book that clearly identified what I was doing wrong with my business.  The tale made me realize that I needed to focus on building enduring value in my business.  Even if you aren't ready to sell your business, using the principals of this book will help you build a healthier organization.

2.  Navigating the Growth Curve (James Fischer)

This book is also surrounding the story of a business owner.  The ideas the author communicates are quite revealing.  I was fortunate enough to meet with James in a group setting for more than a year, which definitely helped bring additional depth to the methods he promotes in his book.  

For me, the most enlightening topics were those which surrounded the "stages of growth."  These are stages that companies consistently go through, and James outlines the key challenges that need to be addressed in each stage.  My business partner and I used the knowledge gained from this book to proactively address the areas as our company was going through rapid growth.

3.  What Great Brands Do (Denise Lee Yohn)

Branding isn't just a logo or a catch phrase, it is who you are as a business.  Yohn’s book is my favorite in providing a comprehensive argument for why branding is not just important, but is the essence of your business.  As she says,

“Brand is a promise delivered.”

The author presents seven principles of great brands and she shows examples of companies that have been successful or unsuccessful with applying the principles.  While a couple of these theories were a bit too complex for our small business to implement, Yohn’s ideas were foundational in the rebranding effort of our company. My favorite principle from the book is,

“If there is no space between who you say you are and what you actually do, then you are doing what great brands do.”

Need another book to add to your reading list? Check out Moments From The Journey: Diary of a Business Owner (Matt Pohl and Dawn Maree)

A heartfelt diary written by business owners, for business owners. Get your copy today!