5 Great Business Books You Must Read

Hundreds of great business books come out every year. It’s not possible to read them all! Here are our best pics.


By Bryan Collins. From Forbes

An entrepreneur reading a business book on a tablet

An entrepreneur reading a business book on a tablet GETTY

Hundreds of great business books come out every year. It’s not possible to read them all, but the best business books attract readers and positive reviews long after their publication dates.

Here are seven great business books that can help entrepreneurs and leaders at all stages of their careers.

1. Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine (2014) by Mike Michalowicz

Profitable business owners are sometimes surprised to find money leaves the business almost as quickly as it arrives. This book provides a system for small business owners who want to take charge of their cash and grow a business.

I interviewed Michalowicz in 2019. He told me, “I say, ‘How do I get the same results I’ve always had, if not better, with less money?’ And I start thinking outside the box.”

2. The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (1995) by Michael E. Gerber

Before Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek was The E Myth (1986). The title fooled me at first. Gerber’s book isn’t about running an online business. Instead, Gerber explains how business owners or entrepreneurs of all types can set up a business that runs without their intervention.

He writes, “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

3. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (1966) by Peter F. Drucker

Published way back in 1966, Drucker’s advice for executives holds true today. It’ll help a busy person accomplish more at work either as an executive or manager. The book also covers how to manage upward and master effective delegation. Expect gems like, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans,” and, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

This classic business book also pairs nicely with Drucker’s much shorter book published by Harvard Business Review Classics in 2008, titled Managing Oneself.

4. Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All (2011) by Jim Collins

To be honest, any Jim Collins title belongs in a list like this. He excels at profiling large companies and the decision-makers behind them. Some of the companies profiled in his older book From Good to Great (2001) have since disappeared, making this title more relevant today. If you’re serious about running a larger business, Collins’s books are required reading.

Expect gems like, “When you marry operating excellence with innovation, you multiply the value of your creativity.”

This book also pairs nicely with Collins’s more recent written study of about 30 pages titled Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great (2019), which also applies to creative work.

5. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (2001) by David Allen

This is one of the most famous productivity books in recent years. Allen’s work was also a hit in Silicon Valley. Getting Things Done details how to build a system for capturing ideas and working on the right things at the right time. As Allen writes, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

Allen also recommends overloaded executives and entrepreneurs review their priorities and workload once a week. This practice, known as a weekly review, will help you focus on what matters during the week ahead.