It’s 2020, it’s a new year, and a common New Year’s resolution for entrepreneurs is to read more books. You may remember our posts from two years back on our favourite classic business books and new business books, so we figured it was time to combine the two and update the list for our top 10 business books for 2020.
From helping you develop a business mindset, providing business tips and even helping you learn how to start a business, these top 10 business books deliver some of the keys to running a successful business and keeping your head in the game.
If you’d prefer to watch us talk about our top 10 business books for 2020 rather than read, no sweat, we got you:
4-Hour Work Week, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content by Tim Ferriss
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/TimFerriss4HWW
As you’ll soon see as you scroll down this list, we’re a little obsessed with Tim Ferriss. But Tim’s #1 New York Times Bestseller “The 4 Hour Work Week” changed our lives. It’s around a decade or so old now but the principles are as valid as ever. The TL;DR is that Tim provides methods and advice on how to cut down bottlenecks in your company and free up your time so that you can spend it on doing what you want more often, hence the title. His “mini-retirements” concept is a game changer. It’s especially helpful for those dabbling with the idea of going into business for themselves but don’t know where to begin. We couldn’t recommend this book more highly, it will always be on any top 10 business books list we create.
Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/Traction
This book was suggested to us by a friend in Australia who had used its principles to grow his startup business, and it’s been pretty handy. To be fair, being a digital marketing agency, we’re fairly familiar with the general promotional methods available to help a business gain traction in the market, however it definitely delivered value with some helpful examples as to how you could practically deploy things like blogs, PR or video. Solid read, really valuable when you’re stuck and don’t know what else you can do to spread the word about your business.
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence – and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/GaryVeeCrushingIt
Known by most as Gary Vee, Gary’s fifth book – and the follow up to his first book “Crush It!” – is a gem. Most of Gary’s books read like a longer form, more concise, more in-depth version of his online rants, and they’re a great way to truly soak up the information as his delivery can sometimes be a little off-putting or too “motivation” heavy. “Crushing It!” focuses on the various major social platforms, just like “Crush It!”, but with a ton of updates from his 2009 debut. Our favourite parts of the book are the detailed success stories from various entrepreneurs in a bunch of industries. As things change so fast in the Social Media landscape, Tik Tok is still Musical.ly here but a lot of the key points remain valid. These stories are super relatable and really demonstrate how you can build your personal brand by using Gary’s tactics.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/TimToolsOfTitans
If you’re not familiar with Tim Ferriss, you’re about to be in for a treat. Tim is a lot of things – he’s primarily known for being a bestselling author and self-experimenter, but nowadays he’s arguably more known for his extraordinarily successful podcast The Tim Ferriss Show. “Tools of Titans” is actually his latest book, and we can boldy pronounce that it’s our favourite of his catalogue. Following on from “Tribe of Mentors” (we talk about it next), this book takes on the same “Choose Your Own Adventure” format and taps into information gained from podcast guests, just compiled into an easy-to-reference guide. There are 10+ questions asked of each high-performing guest based on the Lightning Round questions on his podcast, and the answers are incredibly practical. Keep a pen and sticky notes handy because you’ll be highlighting and tagging a whole lot.
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/TimTribeOfMentors
Ferriss again? What can we say, we’re huge fans. “Tribe of Mentors” is Ferriss’ fourth book, and it’s essentially a collection of “practical and tactical advice” from some of the world’s most accomplished individuals. There are things like helpful life hacks, morning routines, meditation tips, best purchases under $100, and a whole bunch of other fantastic suggestions from people who live what they preach. Only 10% of the contributors have been on the podcast, so this is all new information and it can even be read in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” format, allowing the reader to flip between profiles and follow their interests.
Think & Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised by Napoleon Hill
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/TAGRNapHill
The oldest book in the list (“Think And Grow Rich” was first published in 1937), this is potentially the most highly recommended book we’ve ever come across – with over 100 million copies sold worldwide, that’s no surprise. The principles dip into things like the Law of Attraction, visualization, desire, faith, imagination and persistence, and have been used to achieve, well, everything, by a voluminous number of extraordinarily successful individuals for many years. If you’re going to purchase any book on this list, this is the one to start with. If almost every successful person over the last century praises this book, then you know what you need to do.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/PreSuasion
Robert is best known for his worldwide bestseller “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, and his 2016 follow-up, “Pre-Suasion”, takes all the original six principles from “Influence” and adds a seventh, along with running through a variety of pre-suasion techniques such as framing, where to sit (and not to sit) in a meeting and how surveys can increase demand. We’ve already found ourselves using some of these techniques with success, so it’s a very practical read.
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/TimGRelentless
Known for his work with elite athletes such as the late Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dwayne Wade and literally hundreds more, Tim is – as the book suggests – relentless. His unique system of categorizing types of people – Cleaners, Closers and Coolers – applies equally to both business and sports, and while we don’t align 100% with his mindset (he only seems to truly value Cleaners – the highest performing individuals who are one-track minded and goal-obsessed), it’s an extremely inspiring read. If you can take even a fraction of a Cleaner’s mindset then you’re destined to win.
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/GeorgeLMastery
Another legendary book, “Mastery” could be interpreted as the opposite to “Relentless”. Focusing on the long game with patient and consistent practice over time, and not obsessing over growth while enjoying the plateaus, Mr. Leonard turns his Aikido practice into business lessons. This book will certainly give you some insight into the learning process and hopefully it’ll stop you from beating yourself up when you feel like you’re moving too slow. Combining this book with “Relentless” creates a formidable duo for anybody who can take their favourite elements from both and apply them to their life.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/ElonMuskBio
All of the books in the list up until now have been business-focused books, but to be honest, we arguably tend to learn more from reading biographies. Elon Musk’s biography has to be one of the most fascinating books we’ve read in some time, as the man we know as the brains behind Tesla and SpaceX is quite the enigma. It details Musk’s life, from his family troubles in South Africa, his time in Canada, and his path to ultimately ending up in Los Angeles creating businesses everybody told him he couldn’t create, literally changing the world. Highly recommended.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Buy on Amazon: https://geni.us/SteveJobsBio
The final book on the list is another biography, this time focused on the legendary Steve Jobs. We read this tome when we both worked at Apple in Toronto, and as we were employees when Steve passed, this book holds some particular significance for us. Steve is another high achieving, fascinating human being with so many facets to him that the book is almost two inches thick. It covers his early years, his time in college, how Apple began, the move into NeXT after he was ousted from his own company, his triumphant return, his ultimate success and eventually, his demise. With so many takeaways in this one, it’s the better of the two Jobs’ biographies available, and the only one that was sanctioned by Steve before he passed.
Those are our top 10 business books for entrepreneurs and business owners. Have you read any on this list? What do you recommend? Let us know!