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54 Books Every Business Owner And Marketer Must Read

Young Man Reading a Book

When asked what you all want from me, Eugene Nayvelt answered:

I’d be really interested in some of the last few bullet points that you mentioned, specifically how to attract and convert ideal customers and the strategies you use and implement, which books have helped you the most with your methods, and what you see as the most worthwhile blogs for this type of work.

Looking forward to reading all the material on the site.

First off thanks for being a regular reader and commenter here Eugene. I really appreciate it.

In this post I’m going to address the part of your comment where you said “which books have helped you the most.” I try to read a book a week so I’ve got a ton of them. Grab your coffee and your Amazon Prime account and let’s get to the list.

These are in no particular order as I feel they are all important for a business owner. Even if you don’t own your own business if you do marketing or business, which is just about everyone, you should read all of these.

The categories they cover are business, sales, marketing, and a lot of psychology.

Ok with that preface let’s get to the list.

Dan Kennedy – Just About Every Book He’s Written

I’m not kidding here. The books from Dan Kennedy have shaped the way I sell and market. Dan is huge in direct marketing, and if you don’t measure every single bit of marketing you do then you’re not doing it right. And, if anyone tells you that you can’t measure social media, slap them in the face for me as that’s a bunch of crap. But I digress…

The books I recommend from Dan are as follows, by category (there are that many):

Sales

Marketing

Business / Entrepreneurship

Psychology

If you’re in marketing then you MUST learn as much about human psychology as possible. It is highly underrated.

Use these books as a starting point:

Sales

If you own your own business you need to know how to sell. In fact I’ll go as far to say that if you have a job and talk with customers at any point you need to know how to sell.

These books will help you get over any mental blocks you put up for yourself that keep you from selling and start getting you paid:

Marketing

You’re on the blog of a marketing firm so I’m going to go out on a limb and say you want to know more about marketing. Here are some of the books I’ve read that helped me.

This category covers social media, SEO and general marketing principles.

Advertising

While much of the marketing we do is paid in time rather than money, sometimes the most efficient use of your time is spending money to get results. Here are some of the books on advertising that I’ve used to generate success for my clients:

Business & Biography

Just as with marketing if you’re in business you need to learn as much about business as possible. And the best way to do that outside of just doing it is reading about the greats.

I consider every person on this list an unofficial mentor.

Here’s what I recommend:

Economics & Global Issues

If you don’t understand the world around you and how it operates you won’t get as far ahead as you can. Economics is one of those things you should just pay attention to. Here’s what I’ve learned from outside of business school:

Personal Development

Because I’m told you need to be well-rounded. I prefer to think these books help to keep me sane and get a lot more done in a day, and can help you do the same.

Pure Badassery

You need to read these books because they are awesome. Read them and you will see what I mean.

What’s On Your List?

What have you been reading lately that’s helped you in business or in life? Please share it with us in the comments below.

Comments

  1. Whoa! Robert, this is one of the coolest collections for marketers. I’m bookmarking this page definitely to give those books a go. I’m already on the hunt :)

  2. I used to read a book a week but now I am down to about 1-2 every month – still good :) I got a few on this list that I just received recently and cannot wait to jump into (especially love everything under the Domino Project label – you missed ‘Anything You Want’ which is AWESOME!)

    ‘Content Rules’ is a must have for every book shelf and a true reference book. I also enjoyed ‘Killing Giants’ by Stephen Denny recently and am still fond of ‘Good to Great’.

    Thanks for the list Robert!

    • I’ll go and grab “Anything You Want” Christina thanks. The books that Seth and the Domino project are putting out are truly awesome. If I remember correctly they’re like mini-manifestos, which is what Seth is going for.

      Thanks for adding to the list.

  3. Hi Robert. Thanks for the awesome list. My 3 favs of all time are; Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People and The Power of Positive Thinking. They are all “Old School” if you will, but the principles will always apply.

    I also love the parables, like Bob Burg and John David Mann: The Go-Giver, Ken Blanchards, The One Minute manager. a couple more would be Darren Hardy; The Compound effect and one I just read. New one from Mark Sanborn; Up, Down or Sideways.

    Thanks again for all you do.

    Al

  4. While I love to read, I just don’t have time for books anymore. I want the info but don’t have the time to sift through to find the nuggets.
    I’m totally impressed with you, Robert. I really don’t know how you find the time to do it all. And so well, at that. You’re amazing.
    PS: I do see some on the list that I will get.
    Thanks

  5. Thanks for this amazing list, just got my kindle hopefully will be able to get some of them soon. One i really like is reality check by Guy Kawasaki and one which I just read was Kevin O’leary Cold Hard Truth on how he built and sold his company for 4 billion. AMAZING book. You’ll love it.

    thanks again

    • I’ve read “Reality Check” and that’s a goodie. I’ll go and buy “Cold Hard Truth” now Aaron thanks.

      Also did you get the Kindle Fire or the classic one?

      • I got the kindle 4. $79 was a great price in my opinion. Books in Malaysia cost X3- more than what i can get from the kindle.

        Oh.. i ordered the kindle fire too..

        • I have the Kindle Graphite so the generation before this latest group. It’s awesome for sure. I look forward to hearing how you like the Kindle Fire. I’ve been thinking about getting one.

  6. Sure- would be nice. :)

  7. Hi Robert,

    Wow! This surely is an exhaustive list of books. I just scanned through a few, and have bookmarked this page for further reference as it comes from you!

    Amazing as to how you manage to find the time to read so quick, one book a week!!

    Thanks so much for the effort and time to put up this awesome list and sharing it with all of us :)

    • I took a speed reading course that works really well: http://www.howardbergspeedreading.com/

      Pay no attention to the way his site looks. The course was well worth the money for me. After taking it I can read faster and comprehend what I’m reading. Pretty cool stuff.

      Also something about having a book on a Kindle seems to make it much easier to read quickly. Perhaps I tricked myself into thinking that. Either way it works :)

      • Thanks for the link Robert- would surely look it up. Though I still marvel at the time you manage to find to read and write these amazing posts!! Need to learn from there :)

        • I don’t talk about it much here Harleena but I’ve done a LOT of project management for my own companies and consulted for others (and spoken at international conferences too). Would you be interested in some posts on time management? I’m not saying you need them, but I could show how I do it and your fellow readers might get some value from it.

  8. Interesting list. I too am a prolific reading and found it fascinating that there were only two books on your list that I’ve read. Because I like the way your head ticks, and the brain works largely with what informs it, I’m going to plunge into a couple of these. Thx!

    • Glad I could make some recommendations for you Camille. Any not on the list that I should be reading?

      • my reading tends more to the business strategy core. and my area of specialty is tech companies, so i stretch my mind that direction. Crossing the Chasm, the E-Myth, The One Thing You Need to Know (Buckingham is great), and the old standard Positioning – the Battle for You Mind. i also read alot on the human brain – demystifying our humanity makes every conversation interesting.

  9. You read a book a week? No way!!! How the heck do you find the ability to do that with all you do. Impressive, Friend.

    And, now for the list…I must print and post to the bulletin board — yes, a very manual approach to a very digital suggestion.

    Robert, you are one of the best troves and I so appreciate you for what you share. Thank you.

    • Jayme you are too kind madam. Also I don’t sleep much so that’s how I handle the time thing.

      But in all seriousness, I have certifications in project management and have consulted for software teams and spoken at conferences about it. Time management is a huge issue for all business owners, so investing time in learning how to manage it better is high on my list.

  10. Thanks for the insite.!!

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