I’ve written about this before (both on this blog and The Hustle), but I was recently emailed with this question: what are the best business books that you’ve ever read?
Look, this blog here started as a book club where I blogged and talked about my favorite books. Most of those books were business books (or at least they were business-y books).
So, I wanted to address this again. Without further ado, here is my list of Best, Most Life Changing Business Book of All Time. Good title, isn’t it?
Titan: The life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
A must-read for anyone interested in business
This book is seriously, without a doubt, the best business book I’ve ever read. Why? Because John D. Rockefeller is dynamic, inspiring, and rich (both figuratively and literally).
If you don’t know who John D. Rockefeller is, then this is the one sentence summary: he’s the richest man to ever live because of Standard Oil, an oil company he started in the early 1900’s.
What I love about this book is seeing how loyal, disciplined, confident yet humble, and ruthless John D is. The man was incredible. He’s crush other people’s companies without thinking twice but would be home for dinner and never cheated on his wife.
My favorite quote:
“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature”
.JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, TITAN
If you want to read more about John D. then read this bio but here’s a 3,500-word article I wrote on him.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Strategy: How to navigate the corporate world
The 48 Laws of Power is great because it’s unapologetic about giving you the tools and tactics to succeed in the ruthless word of business in 2017.
It’s a long read. Over 400 pages. but it’s worth it. There are 48 laws of power, according to Greene, and he spends hundreds of pages diving into each one. He shows an example of how it has worked in the past and how to use that law today.
I wrote a cheat sheet slash summary for The 48 Laws of Power for this book a few years ago and it’s still one of my most popular posts.
My favorite quote about the book:
“In one’s life, you’re better off following the teachings of Moses, Jesus, or Buddha to gain long-term happiness. But the sad fact is, many people live by a very different set of rules, and while most of these folks eventually self-destruct, they can inflict severe damage on our personal and professional lives in the process.”
Click here to get 48 Laws of Power on Amazon.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Networking: One of the best-selling books of all time
I read this book for the first time in 7th grade. Since then, I revisit it every year or so. If I had to pick, I’d say How to Win Friends and Influence People has changed my life more than any other book of all time.
Written in 1936, How to Win Friends is one of the most popular non-fiction books of all time and perhaps THE best selling business book ever.
Your parents read this book. Their grandparents did too. Now it’s your turn.
My favorite quote:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
DALE CARNEGIE, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
Link to How to Win Friends on Amazon.
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
Copywriting: The most underrated skill in business
Learning how to use the written word to communicate effectively is, hands down, without a doubt, no questions asked THE most important skill any business person can have. We call this skill copywriting.
And so, when it comes to copywriting, Joe Sugarmann’s The Adwweek Copywriting Handbook is the best. This book is simple, easy, and fast. Yet, it’s comprehensive enough to give you the basics of copywriting.
If you can learn more, great…but this book covers everything you NEED.
Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slope.
JOSEPH SUGARMAN, THE ADWEEK COPYWRITING HANDBOOK
Link to Joe Sugarmann’s book on Amazon.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Sales: Getting people to buy what you’re selling
Copywriting is the most important business skill you can develop. Because of that, learning how to influence others is essential.
Just about every book, paper, or study written about persuasion after 1984 will cite Influence. It’s incredibly well researched, thorough, and easy to grasp and is the standard when it comes to books on salesmanship.
My favorite quote:
“Embarrassment is a villain to be crushed.”
ROBERT B. CIALDINI, INFLUENCE
Ok, that’s all for now. I’ll update this list as I read more but for now this is a good start!