What a great list of books for your business! I need to read these as I want to grow my blog and online business this year. I especially appreciate that this summer reading list is not niche-specific and is more leadership and wealth-building based. Great resource!

Summer Reading List for Your Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard this before but it bears repeating: “Leaders are readers.”

In this digital age, this pithy statement could be amended to “Leaders are listeners to podcasts and audiobooks” as well, but you get the point.

In order to lead, you need to know where other people are coming from. It’s vital that you are aware of current trends in the marketplace. You need to be curious and consistently learning and stretching yourself.

I love to read and am constantly adding to my “books to read” list, often as I’m reading other books! If I love a book and the author references another book, I’m very likely to grab my pen and jot down the book title referenced. Doing so has led me to a lot of different books I would have normally passed by.

Many of the following books were recommended by other bloggers and authors. I had heard of some of them and never heard of others. This summer I decided to check them all out and see what they were about.

Feel free to add your favorite business books to the comment section. I’m grateful we live in a world where we can exchange different ideas and learn from each other. 🙂

Eight Books for Your Summer Reading List


Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Synopsis: The author writes about how our mindset is the key to becoming rich since it influences our actions. If you’ve ever struggled with a “poverty mindset”, found yourself jealous of rich people, or think being rich is bad, you just might want to read this book. There are a few woo-woo points in it when he talks about ” reaching out to the universe” for guidance. I just substitute those sentences with God. 🙂 Overall, I’ve enjoyed this book since I definitely have had some of these mentalities!

How it relates to your business: Your mindset re: wealth building directly relates to your business. If you’re embarrassed to do well in life or share your products (because it’s “tacky” or “prideful”), you will subconsciously do all you can to sabotage your success.

The Greatest Salesman in the World

Synopsis: This book is written as an allegory, and it greatly reminded me of The Alchemist. A rich salesman shares the “ancient wisdom” in a set of scrolls that have been the key to his success. I thought the book’s story line was a bit contrived, but there were several gems within the pages that made the other parts worth it for me.

How it relates to your business: Read the chapter about love and use it daily in your work. Loving others and adding value to their lives is absolutely integral.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Synopsis: Carnegie’s famous book has been read by probably everyone in the world except me until now. It contains bite-sized nuggets of truth to apply to your relationships, many of which are timeless. I think the title is a little misleading since I used to think it sounded manipulative, like you’re tricking people into liking you or something.

How it relates to your business: People skills should be taught in school—real people skills like learning how to be a great listener and why arguing with someone is the worst idea ever (if you want them to see your point of view.) This book is a quick read and applying its principles will help you as you lead your team or work with people throughout your life.

The Power of Full Engagement

Synopsis: There are many, many books on time management out there. And several on the power of focusing on one thing at a time for maximum success. This is the first book I’ve read that talks about how we only have a certain amount of energy so it’s important that we create habits in order to be successful. This book is a business book, but the ideas are easily applied to all areas of life.

How it relates to your business: All of us are wired differently. If you’re feeling downtrodden because you’re not Type A but still want to be successful, you’ll probably appreciate this book. I liked how he worked with people to overcome their obstacles in ways that were very logical and fairly simple to follow. I also found the section on values and how integral they are to your habits becoming a reality really, really good. The appendix has several charts so you can map your own progress.

The Happiness Advantage

Synopsis: I’m still in the midst of reading this book, but I saw Shawn speak at a convention this summer which led me to his Ted Talk, which led me to this book. His contention is happiness is a choice. But he doesn’t stop there, he shares how happiness hugely affects our entire worldview and lives. I particularly like how Achor isn’t a bubbly “just be happy already!” person. He admits to struggling with depression even in the midst of his research at Harvard. His insight and integrity make this book all the more worth the read. (Also check out his follow up book, Before Happiness. I’m in the beginning pages of that one too. :))

How it relates to your business: Your happiness factor greatly affects your ability to bounce back from failures and mistakes. It also gives you the resilience to take risks and to push yourself towards growth—all vital aspects of being a business owner.

(Cliff Notes version: Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk)

The Calorie Myth

Synopsis: What we’ve been told about eating less and exercising more is not the truth. The kinds of calories we consume actually greatly matter to our weight and overall health. I’m not going to lie. This book really got me upset. I’ve been in the eat less/exercise more camp for my entire life. I’ve tried to faithfully eat via the food pyramid and drink lots of water. So it’s been frustrating (for me) that I’ve been feeling more and more bleh in the past few years. I thought I was eating decently, but upon further examination, um, I needed an overhaul. (We’re all a work in progress, right?) Learning how to eat more “SANE” has been ah-mazing to say the least. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m feeling so much better. The only thing I don’t completely follow from this book is his minimal exercise—I need to MOVE every day. 🙂

How it relates to your business: If you don’t take care of YOU, who will? Your health matters greatly in your business, though many of us ignore it while we’re pursuing “the dream.” Being your own health advocate empowers you and will make you feel so much better. Believe me, I know. 🙂

The Listening Life

Synopsis: Our world is go-go-go and if you’re an online business owner, I’m sure you can relate to the constant influx of information you’re faced with on a daily basis. How does one learn to slow down in the midst of all of that? How can we learn to truly listen to what God and others have to say in our lives when we’re so busy and distracted? I’ve been slowly, slowly reading this book throughout this summer because it’s one that you read and then need time to think about. (Or maybe that’s just me!) Still, it’s been a powerful read. I’ll likely add this one to our collection.

How it relates to your business: Learning to truly listen is a lifelong skill. It’s also a non-negotiable if you’re in business. You’ve got to be able to listen to your associates, coworkers, partners, family, etc. etc. in order to build strong relationships. This would make a great group study, though, phew, it is convicting!

Real Artists Don’t Starve

Synopsis: For too long, many artists have bought into the myth that in order to be a “real” artist, they have to forego the world’s goods and barely subsist. I know I bought into this! I thought it would be really romantic to live in a tiny flat in New York and eat only ramen as I pursued my dream. #notevenkidding Goins debunks this myth and goes several steps further by giving us a guide to thriving.

How it relates to your business: If you’re a creative person, chances are you’ve faced many of the thought patterns addressed in this book. I appreciate the author’s candor and the stories he shares, but I really appreciate his action points. He teaches you how to stop the “starving” mentality and create an awesome business. LOVE this book.

(Go one step deeper and check out his community called TribeWriters. It’s only offered once a year, but I’ve heard it is an awesome course and networking opportunity for creatives.)

Okay, guys, that’s the summer reading list for you! I hope you enjoyed this post. As I said earlier, I’d love to hear what your favorite business books are, so let me know in the comments.

Hope you have a great {and creative} day!


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One response to “Summer Reading List for Your Business”

  1. Kelly Avatar

    Thanks for the great list! There are a few gems in here I’ve already read but a few more that have tweaked my interest. Thanks for sharing

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