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Expand Your Knowledge and Unlock Success With These Must-Read Business Books Top business books to ignite your entrepreneurial journey.

By Tom Freiling

Key Takeaways

  • Business books are essential tools for professional development, with classics and category leaders offering timeless insights and fresh perspectives.
  • Delving into business fables and books about resilience provides relatable advice and strategies for overcoming challenges.
  • Regular reading enhances cognitive skills, broadens knowledge and equips business leaders with the intellectual tools to succeed.
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Whether you're a recent college graduate seeking an entry-level position, an industry veteran or an aspiring entrepreneur, you've probably picked up and read at least one business book to help inspire your journey. Books are a must-have resource to expand your knowledge and business prowess, and they are one of the most cost-effective and efficient methods to become a whip-smart employee or entrepreneur.

But with so many business books on the market today, how do you find the right books for your given experience and goals? After all, there are tens of thousands of titles available. All in all, there are approximately 80 million business and economics books printed and sold annually, representing 25% of all adult non-fiction books. Business books represent the second largest adult non-fiction subject category after religious books. Where to start?

Related: 8 Business Books Entrepreneurs Must Read to Dominate Their Industry

Read a classic business book

Classic books are a great place to start. Not necessarily old books, although some books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill are nearly 100 years old, the classics are those books that continue to sell millions of copies year after year. They are the books of which people say, "I am re-reading" and not "I am reading." Indeed, Hill's classic book has sold more than 70 million copies. Readers simply can't get enough.

Other classic titles include Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, which has sold more than 40 million copies, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, which still sells more than 250,000 copies annually. Carnegie's book was ranked the seventh most influential book in American history in a Library of Congress survey in 2013. Atomic Habits by James Clear is only a few years old, yet having sold more than 5 years old, is already considered a classic.

Read a category-killer

There are hundreds of categories and subcategories of business books to choose from. One popular category, business fables, has become a trusted resource when looking for thoughtful, memorable advice and genuine inspiration. A business fable is part fiction and part non-fiction, and in this way provides a way to communicate important business lessons by using relatable characters and situations. They are quick, easy reads and encourage new ways of thinking about business challenges.

There are many business fables to choose from. For example, a business fable by speaker, coach and podcast host, Dallas Burnett, recently zoomed to the top of the best-seller lists. In Lift: A Business Fable For Teams and the People Who Lead Them, Burnett shares invaluable advice for team-building through the story of a young executive and aging airplane pilot. Patrick Lencioni and Jon Gordon are also notable business fable authors.

Choose Your Battles by retired U.S. Army Colonel, Irene Glaeser, is also a top-selling book for leaders. Glaeser writes from her experiences as one of the Army's highest-ranking female officers. A book for both military and civilian leaders, Glaeser weaves her storied U.S. Army career into compelling lessons on leadership. Her book is an ideal companion read to the No. 1, million-copy best-seller, Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven.

Related: 32 Entrepreneurs Share the Books They Always Recommend

Read books about resilience

All business leaders should prioritize reading books about resilience because, in today's dynamic and often unpredictable business landscape, resilience is a key attribute that can make or break you and your organization. Resilience refers to the ability to adapt, bounce back from setbacks and thrive in the face of challenges. By delving into books on this subject, leaders can gain valuable insights into how to navigate adversity, build mental and emotional fortitude, and foster a culture of resilience within their teams.

You might consider the best-selling book, Choosing Resilience, by Tiran Jackson, who is a popular speaker and coach, and who addresses issues relating to bouncing back from adversity. Jackson has shared his compelling story in front of thousands of people across the country. You might also read L.E.T.S. Lead by Robert Anderson, Jr., the former FBI Director and now CEO of a global cyber-defense company. Anderson shows leaders how to bring more energy and teamwork to their organizations.

Read and grow rich

The adage, "The more books you read, the smarter you become," holds true for several reasons. Reading is a mental exercise that stimulates the brain, enhances cognitive abilities and expands one's knowledge base. Each book offers a unique perspective, information or insight, adding to the depth and breadth of one's understanding. Furthermore, reading exposes individuals to different perspectives, diverse viewpoints and a variety of business subjects, fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. It also improves vocabulary and language proficiency, enhancing communication and comprehension abilities.

Ultimately, the accumulation of knowledge and intellectual growth that results from reading contributes to a business person's overall intelligence and capacity to navigate the complexities of the world effectively.

Related: 5 Books That Paved My Path to Entrepreneurial Success

Find the best business books in the Entrepreneur Bookstore. For a limited time, you can save 40% on every book and ebook with code BOOKS40 at checkout.

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Tom Freiling

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO and Publisher, Freiling Agency

Tom Freiling is a publishing industry veteran, pioneer in digital book publishing, founder of NASDAQ digital publisher and professional ghostwriter for top-tier business authors. He's represented & collaborated with NYT best-selling authors and published by HarperCollins.

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