11 Best Business Books You Must Read Today

Improve your business skill by reading these top 11 best business books.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, your time is valuable. Yet reading can be the key to transforming your business and encouraging greater success. Choose your reading material wisely by checking out these top 11 best business books. 

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Best business books you must read today

How to Win Friends and Influence People regularly tops the list of best business books, and for good reason. This is a must-read for successful business people because it teaches the reader how to understand and connect with people. 

“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

Dale Carnegie
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How to Win Friends & Influence People
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie 1998 Paperback New
  • Brand New
  • Officially Licensed
  • Dale Carnegie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

2. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited is a bestseller that tackles the most common problems faced by founders and co-founders of businesses. It teaches small business owners how to embrace the “why” of their business in order to find success. It also teaches them how to share their passion with the people they employ to make the business more successful.

“Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.”

Michael Gerber
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The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • HarperCollins
  • Gerber, Michael E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 10/14/2004 (Publication Date) - Harper Business (Publisher)

3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Most business people would revel in the idea of a four-hour workweek, and that's what Tim Ferriss explores in this book. It was recently updated with case studies and practical tips, making it an even more valuable resource.

Available on Amazon, The 4-Hour Workweek challenges the modern cultural norm of a nine-to-five job. It teaches how to be efficient in order to cut back work time without cutting back income. 

” What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

Tim Ferriss
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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ferriss, Timothy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 12/15/2009 (Publication Date) - Harmony (Publisher)

4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Originally published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich is a true classic and is still relevant today. This is an essential business book for beginners, and over the years it has had many updates to embrace modern business. In his book, Hill outlines a money-making secret that billionaires and Wall Street success stories often embrace. 

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”

Napoleon Hill
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Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (Think and Grow Rich Series)
  • Tarcher
  • Language: english
  • Book - think and grow rich: the landmark bestseller now revised and updated for the 21st century (think and grow rich series)
  • Napoleon Hill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Well-known in Silicon Valley, Ben Horowitz explores the world of entrepreneurship in The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. The book covers topics from Horowitz's blog posts, and it explores the best advice about tough business practices such as firing people and developing the right mentality in the workplace.

“Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal.”

Ben Horowitz
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The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  • The Hard Thing about Hard Things Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  • Hardcover Book
  • Horowitz, Ben (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 03/04/2014 (Publication Date) - Harper Business (Publisher)

6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Robert Cialdini explores the six principles of persuasion in this book. It is among the top business books because of its ability to help people learn to influence others. It explores the psychological techniques used to persuade people, which is an invaluable marketing tool.

“Embarrassment is a villain to be crushed.”

Robert Cialdini
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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
  • Collins Publishers
  • Robert B. Cialdini (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 12/26/2006 (Publication Date) - Harper Business (Publisher)

7. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

In The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Businesses, Eric Ries explores what new business owners must do to start up and run a new business. It focuses on a scientific approach to the launch of a new company. In the book, Ries discusses how business owners must be able to adapt.

” We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.”

Eric Ries
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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
  • The Lean Startup
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ries, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 09/13/2011 (Publication Date) - Currency (Publisher)

8. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companie by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras

Through Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras expound on a six-year research study performed on visionary companies and the qualities that make them tick. The authors studied 18 well-known companies and compared them to counterparts that were not as successful. Through this, they were able to determine what qualities make companies and their leaders successful.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

Jim Collins And Jerry Porras
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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials)
  • Collins, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 09/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Collins Business (Publisher)

9. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek explores the role of leaders in Leaders Eat Last. He shows how effective business leaders build trust with their team members to help motivate people to do their best. This book, which is available as an audiobook on Amazon, looks at true stories of effective people in leadership in many industries and how, by putting others first, they are able to lead well. 

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

Simon Sinek
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Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
  • Portfolio Hardcover
  • Hardcover Book
  • Sinek, Simon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) - Portfolio (Publisher)

10. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin remains an Amazon bestseller. Professional marketer Seth Godin explores how effective business owners can make people like them by changing their marketing efforts from a focus on buying to a focus on branding. 

“Marketing is our quest to make change on behalf of those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us.”

Seth Godin
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This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See
  • Hardcover Book
  • Godin, Seth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 11/13/2018 (Publication Date) - Portfolio (Publisher)

11. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog is a memoir of the creator of Nike. It shows how Knight built the shoe company from a $50 loan from its founder's father. It is inspiring and shows how to build an iconic brand from the ground up.

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

Phil Knight
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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
  • Shoe Dog A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
  • Hardcover Book
  • Knight, Phil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 04/26/2016 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

The Final Word on Best Business Books

As you explore these top-ranked New York Times bestselling books, make sure you are applying what they teach to your own business practice. Often, it takes more than the best business school education to become one of the titans of business.

If you want to be a leader and innovator, take to heart what these successful business owners have done in their own businesses.

FAQs on the Best Business Books

What are the best books for starting a business?

Books on entrepreneurship are ideal for people interested in starting a new business. These books explore how top entrepreneurs and successful people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos think and operate.

Some top entrepreneurship books according to Forbes are The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

What is the best business book to read?

According to Forbes, some of the best business books all business owners should read include:
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Great by Choice by Jim Collins

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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