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The 5 Best Business Books

We all love a good recommendation right?

Whether it’s for a great restaurant, destination to travel, or even just a good book. Many of you have asked me what books I think are a must read, so I decided today to share with you my 5 favorite business books.


1. “Rework” by, Jason Fried

This book is one of my all time fav’s because it reinforces a very important opinion of mine that success can be simplified. In “Rework” many popular myths like “bigger is better” are completely busted as Fried teaches us a faster and easier way to be successful in business.

Learn why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.

This is a great read for those of you looking to streamline your businesses and your life.

2. “The $100 Start Up” by Chris Guillebeau

I’m a big believer in starting with whatever you’ve got. So many people think that they can’t overcome the barrier of entry to start their own businesses by themselves. They let their idea die because they think that they need investors and outside funding to get their idea off of the ground.

Did you know that 33% of the companies on the Inc 500 list were started with less than $10,000?

In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.  In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.

3. “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer

This is a definite MUST READ. I was thrilled to learn in this book that creativity can be learned! It is not some talent that you either have at birth or have to learn to live without.

Creativity is an essential skill that can lead to making more money and enjoying your life more overall.

Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

4. “The Martha Rules” by Martha Stewart

Now I know that people’s feelings about Martha are mixed, but no one can argue that this woman knows how to build a brand and a business. In “The Martha Rules” you’ll learn 10 essentials for achieving success as you start, build or manage a business.

This is an easy read that is packed with valuable insights from the mogul herself.

After reading this book, you’ll understand how Martha has been able to set herself apart in an competitive industry and hold her ground for decades.

5. “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss

I know, I know. You’ll seen it on almost every “must-read” list. But I couldn’t take the chance that one of you might not have heard about it yet. It’s THAT good.

This book will change your life. Seriously.

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

Get ready to have every cultural norm when it comes to work and your career turned on it’s head.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and tell me what business books you recommend.

I’m always looking for new ideas & inspiration.

I look forward to reading each and every one of your responses.

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299 Responses

  1. BTRIPP says:

    Melanie …

    I’ve done reviews of a couple of those:

    Rework –
    4-hour Work Week –

    Also, a friend of mine recently came out with “Pinterest for Business” –

    Thought you might find those of interest.

    - B.T.

  2. Robert says:

    Thank you. I only knew about “The Martha Rules” and “The 4-Hour Workweek” but not the other 3 books. Time to add to my library. My home business started taking off and I want to keep things in order before they get chaotic.

  3. Gill says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I’m not a fan of the 4-Hour Workweek, but I might check out the others.

  4. Vicky Tait says:

    I am just finishing the For Hour Work Week which truely is a life changer. I am thinking so differently about work, business and life. I am looking forward to reading the other book in the list.
    I also really enjoyed The Richest Man in Babylon as a book that is simple to read but changed my perception of saving and investing. Many thanks Melanie. Will now Pin this!

  5. These are all really great contemporary picks. The one I give to up and promising young people? Actually, there are seven, but the main one is “The Greatest Salesman In The World” by Og Mandino. The other six have more to do with living a happy and successful life than business, but there’s some spill over. The Bible, As a Man Thinketh, The Richest Man In Babylon, The Greatest Thing In The World, The Greatest Secret In the World, and The Greatest Miracle In The World.

    • melanieduncan says:

      Wow. So many great ones I’ll have to add to my list. Thanks Earle!

    • Karina says:

      Thank you Earle for mentioning Og Mandino, not enough people know about him. I have a copy of The Greatest Secret in the World in paperback and on my Nook. Have you read his book University Success? I have been contemplating that one for a while.

    • Earle,I’ve read all the books you mentioned 20 years ago! I have to say they are all great books.My fav is “the Greatest Salesman In The World” Love all of Og Mandino books.

      My life changing book at 13 years old was psycho-cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. The book is more then 30 years old and it sits on my night stand. This is a very powerful book of manifesting your dreams into reality. I often refer to it when I experience doubt.

  6. Great list!

    I love the $100 Startup, so much so I’ve read it twice so far. It’s more than a book, it’s a blueprint for starting a business around something you’re good at, *that other people are willing to pay for.* : ) Which I think is an important distinction.

    I also really love “Book Yourself Solid” by Michael Port — it’s a must-read for service-based businesses and solopreneurs. Doing the exercises in this book got me clients, so I know it works!

    One more I’d suggest, though it’s not really a business book, is “Code to Joy: The Four-Step Solution to Unlocking Your Natural State of Happiness.” It’s about clearing blocks to find your natural, innate sense of happiness and joy. I suggest this book because, as we all know, happiness and success comes from the inside out, and once you clear some of the things that are blocking your path to greater joy, then success in business, relationships, health, and everything else comes more easily. After doing the exercises in this book, things in my business started to improve, almost as if my magic. I gained more confidence, felt lighter and happier, and landed two stellar clients that I know I wouldn’t have had the guts to go after if not for reading this book and applying what I learned! So yeah, this book is good for business. ; )

    Love your new site, by the way — gorgeous!

  7. Melanie, such a great list. I love non-fiction books and the titles and descriptions of all of these have definitely sparked my curiosity. Your recommendations have never let me down and I know these recommendations will be no different. Oh, and I’m one of those who had not heard about the Four Hour Wok Week, so I think I will start there. :)

  8. Paul says:

    Hi Melanie,

    interesting choices :)
    I will have a closer look to 1 to 3…
    others I have red or next picks:
    “The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen R. Covey
    “Ready, Fire, Aim” by Michael Masterson
    “Good To Great” by Jim Collins

    Have an AWESOME day :)

  9. Jenny Penny says:

    I have to say, “The Power of Positive Thinking” recommended by my mentor James Paul and his own book “Constant Content:The Google Gift” made a world of difference in my business

  10. Pamela says:

    Hi Melanie,

    great article, great books!

    I have already read “The $100 start up” and “The 4 hour Week” and I agree with that first, we don’t need investors to start our business and second, that there is no need to wait for a retirement plan. Live here and now, enjoy life and work shall be part of it.

    I don’t know the other three books but I am going to read them as I find your way to intend work and life very similar to mine so I think I am going to love these books.


  11. Oh yeah! Thanks for sharing I am reading the 100$ startup at this moment and I really like it. His previous book was a true delight to me as well “The Art of Non Conformity” I recommend it to everyone in need of a little kick in the b…..

    “Rework” sounds amazing.


  12. Art Martin says:

    I absolutely recommend Brian Tracy’s “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life”.

  13. Hi Melanie, I was very eager to see what the five books were that you wrote about here. I have heard of almost all of them but haven’t read them. I just finished reading “Start with Why” – have you read that one? Excellent. And Now I am reading “The Speed of Trust.” I’ll be sure to check these out too. Love following you!

  14. MJ says:

    Thanks! Two books I was not familiar with on here.

  15. Great suggestions! One of my favorite entrepreneurs, Tina Forsyth, just finished her new book, she has not even officially launched yet but it is up on Amazon….. In The Entrepreneur’s Trap, Tina a/k/a/ the online business authority shares her years of experience and teaches entrepreneurs to take back their time by building systems and using automation. LOVE this book, so practical, check it out! Plus during the month of November she is going to donate 25% of all book sales to!

  16. Rita says:

    Thx sounds like good reading during shut in times like these!! Hope other ppl are as lucky as us!

  17. Dan says:

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad really got me started and I went to see Robert Kiosaki live. At that event I meet a group of real estate investors and things started to happen from there.

  18. I just read “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. Very motivating! Also like “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy which I loved. Believe it or not, these were my “summer beach reads” while everyone else was reading “50 Shades of Grey”….I was the beach dork, but I know that these two books filled my head with information to push me forward. Seriously, Jeff Olson and Darren Hardy are MY Christian Grey! (haha)

  19. Nui says:

    Hi Melanie,

    LOVE your new site. It looks so gorgeous.

    Thanks for the list. I knew only 4HWW and love it so much. Just added the others to my list.


  20. I share your enthusiasm for “The 4 Hour Work Week” and I will have to try the others.

    I like “Think & Grow Rich” and “Rich Dad Poor Dad” among others.

  21. Deen Teer says:

    Thanks ,Melanie.

    I have read two of the books already. I will check out the others.
    Hope all ia well for you on the East Coast.

    My thoughts and prayers to all who are
    touched by the storm in any way.


  22. Pat Sloss says:

    Hi Melanie, I purchased your course and am an affiliate of yours. Your affiliate link is in my above website under the “courses” tab. I recently wrote a book “Realistic Home Businesses” that I would like for you to consider as a business book you recommend. It was published April 28, 2012. I wrote the book for the many out of work people who needed ideas. The book covers how to select, start, and operate a home business. Over 80 different businesses are detailed using actual business owners information. Businesses range from low to high tech, full to part time, and many require only a small investment. You can look inside the book at Amazon and it is available as a paperback or Kindle. The website is for the book alone without business info and links and http://www.patsbookshop will also point you to the business site. Thank you for your consideration, Pat Sloss

  23. Mae says:

    I LOVE the new look! Beautiful! The 4-Hour Workweek was awesome, the Imagine one looks very good and I believe my hubs read Re-Work and enjoyed it. I will have to read The Martha Rules it looks good! Thanks!

  24. MamaRed says:

    Great list Melanie…thanks for sharing the books and your description. “Rework” is the first one I’m looking for and one of my faves is “Work the System” by Sam Carpenter. As someone who sees processes and systems in her sleep after years of reworking and documenting them for clients, his is the first book I read that equated “boring old processes” to freedom. Was definitely an eye opener for me.

    Stay safe and may your day be igKnighted with passionately powerful possibilities!
    MamaRed Knight

  25. Tim says:

    My most marked-up and referred-to book is Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high; by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler. I recommend it to anyone with a tongue. It will definitely change how you communicate. Thanks for starting this conversation.

  26. Nice reviews. I’m always so wordy it feels like a job when I write a book reveiw. You’ve capture the essence of each book making them interesting enough for someone to want to have a look at. THANK YOU Melanie ~Roz Fruchtman

  27. Hi Melanie,
    Hope you are snug and safe in NY (sending prayers from London!)
    TYSM for the book recommendations. I’ve seen some of these recommended elsewhere before. I’ll take that as a sign to start reading them (especially No.1 + 2) ;-)

  28. I’m happy to see an addition that I rarely see anywhere else, The Martha Rules. I’ll be adding that to my reading list.

  29. Tanya says:

    Melanie, I love this list and definitely want to check out all the books, especially Martha’s!

    I’d recommend the business book our company produced, “Start Right: Build Your Own Business.” It’s perfect for people who want to run businesses but have little or no business experience. It’s easy to understand and it walks people through the nuts and bolts (business plan, finances, licenses, office organization, marketing, etc.) that are essential to developing a solid business. I helped write it and I learned a LOT! It’s available at our website,

  30. Andrea says:

    Great list – thanks! I know this for sure because I’ve read two of the five books, and can vouch that they are useful reads for anyone in business.

  31. Kim says:

    Thanks Melanie! I also really liked REWORK. Still need to read the others though.
    I also recommend:
    Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey
    The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
    Good to Great (mentioned by Paul)
    Rich Dad Poor Dad (mentioned by Dan)

  32. Joani says:

    I’m reading The 4-Hour Workweek currently. I agree with you, it is life changing. Other business books that have inspired me are Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think And Grow Rich, The Slight Edge, The Richest Man in Babylon, and The Automatic Millionaire.

    Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll include them in my upcoming reads.

  33. Sondra says:

    Thanks for all the information you have been giving to me and others. I have just started a Pinterest account and learning how to run my business like a business. I have always wanted to read the 4 Hour Workweek so with your recommendation I will put it on the READ list and do it! Thanks again and you brighten my day!

  34. I’d have to add Rubies in the Orchard by Lynda Resnick, to the list; she’s the owner of POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios, Fiji Water, Teleflora, Cuties, and so many more. There are tons of great, clearly communicated business and marketing tips in this book. Melanie, you’d especially enjoy it.

  35. Well now I have to go get more books! My faves? “Feel the Fear, & do it Anyway,” by Susan Jeffers, PhD “The Mary Kay Way,” by Mary Kay Ash. Let’s face it, Melanie–without Mary Kay blazing that female entrepreneurial way, it may have taken the rest of us a LOT longer to get out of the kitchen! Make it a great day!

  36. I’m a consultant, helping people get healthy and manage their weight. My parent company “insists” that Challenge parties are the best way to present the products and the business opportunity to others. My problem with this method is actually getting people to attend the parties.

    Which of your 5 recommended best for business books would you suggest I start with? Something that would help me sell my products without holding parties…or that might help me have a better attendance at my parties.

    Thanks Melanie. Have a great day.

  37. Great suggestions. One of my favorite productivity books is Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy – it’s a simple read with some excellent ideas!

  38. Roger says:

    I’m adding some of these to my Top 50 list and I’m adding YOU to my email inbox. You really knocked it out of the ballpark. I don’t know how anyone can read the 4-Hour Work Week without it completely changing their life. I can usually tell when a book’s going to be great by the end of the first page. My talent scout “Spidey Senses” start tingling. Rework is another one. Everything else listed here is just gravy on top.

    Glad to find you.

  39. Nicole says:

    I am so glad you sent this I was just looking for some new business books to read!

  40. Robin says:

    Congrats on your new site, Melanie. I’m getting ready to go live with my new site AND start a new one!

    I’ve read The Martha Rules. Love it! So practical and right on. Off to read the others.


  41. Nice new site! I would also recommend “Good to Great” by Jim Collins – excellent fact-based review of what makes really great businesses tick. Also “E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber is a great read. I did a similar post a few months ago:

  42. Catherine Price says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Thanks for the business book reviews. I have heard of The $100 Startup and actually saw an interview with Chris. He seems really down-to-earth and his book is on my list to read. Have you read The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte? Excellent read for entrepreneurs! It is beautifully written and inspiring. Thanks for all you do!


  43. Thanks for that great list, Melanie. I’ll pick up some of those, especially The 4-Hour Workweek (and probably not the Martha one). Here’s my list.

    For my idea colleagues out there who have great ideas but they’re still on the drawing board or even still in the brain cells:

    MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN Scott Belsky (founder of Behance)

    For the creatives (I’m a graphic designer) this is the BIBLE to running and marketing your business:

    Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (13th Ed. is most current)

    For us procrastinators, distracted types and other bad habits of the typical creative person:

    THE POWER OF FOCUS Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Les Hewitt (my other business bible)

    And for a fascinating, inspiring story on how to be successful by practicing sound principles, including those found in the bible (yes, THE bible):

    MARRIOTT The J. Willard Marriott Story Robert O’Brien

  44. Did you know that the Imagine book was recalled by the publisher after it was found that some of the quotes and information were made up by the author?

    I’ll put the other books on my reading list though. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Hey Melanie.
    Love your stuff! You should add 1-THE LEAN START UP by Eric Ries and 2- THE ART OF THE START by Guy Kawasaki. Ok – 1 more. My favorite book in the “customer service” realm (and the story of the ZAPPOS start up… (drum roll please, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) DELIVERING HAPPINESS

  46. Vicky says:

    This is such a great list! $100 Startup is one of my favorite books and I’m currently reading the 4-hour work week! I’m doing something right! lol thanks, Melanie, for sharing :)


  47. Paul says:

    What a great list and description of the books. Looks like I’ve got a few to order and put in my reading pile.

    I just finished the “Midas Touch” by Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki. A MUST read for any entrepreneur or someone looking to make that shift.

    Also the “One Minute Manager” series by Ken Blanchard are fantastic books for business, coaching and personal development.

    Thanks for the inspiration Melanie.


  48. Tina says:

    I always love seeing other business owners’ book recommendations – thanks for these! Buying #3 and 4 now:)

  49. Lilieth says:

    you’re a good chuffer.I’ll sure to try these books, i don’t know what book are my favorite.
    thank for the tips.

  50. Dawn Ivy says:

    Thank you for the list of “must read” books. I have never heard of any of them and I have been in network marketing for some time. I would never have picked up a book about Martha Stewart on my own but I will get it from the library today. I have a great imagination but I am going to read the book just in case there is something I don’t already know about imagination :) I am glad you mentioned the 4 day work week because I really like books that can change my life. I so appreciate you shareing your knowledge with others. I also love to help educate others so they can learn to live their dreams. You freely giveing your knowledge about pinterest has shown me how I can help others achieve their dreams.
    Have a great day

  51. Hi Melanie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your list of business books that have inspired you. I’m going to check out “Rework”.

    I’ve recently published my first business book “5 Easy Steps to Financial Freedom: Do What You Love & Get Rich Doing It” ( You are a great contribution to our community and I really value your opinion. How can I get a copy of my book to you for your critique?

  52. Kristen says:

    Hi Melanie,

    Great suggestions and will definately take a look at them. I LOVE the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy which the two go hand-in-hand. Anything by Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar are great.

    Thanks for being an inspiration in this online world as I start learning more about social media…It is definitely not my area of expertise but as you said start where you’re at.

    In Health & Prosperity,


  53. amit says:

    Hi Melanie

    Great webiste you have and more important great content on it.

    I just finished reading $100 startup Amazing book with many awesome real life examples in it.

    Infact i am going to meet chris on his India tour next month.

    Also attended your and amy’s webinar on pinterest marketing. must say it was awesome and helpful. Thankyou. Looking forward to more such insights from you.

    Cheers !!

  54. Kim Krips says:

    The Flip-Flop CEO and Beach Money are the 2 newest ones I’m reading!

  55. I really liked and beneffited from reading “Why People Fail” by Siimon Reynolds

  56. [...] my mind. When I’m in a funk I pick up a new book (you can see my favorite business books HERE), take a class or even go to a museum. I’m sometimes hesitant, but it’s amazing how [...]

  57. Melissa says:

    I love the fact that I have already read two of them! I will have to add the other three to my holiday wish list!

  58. Marg Rottaris says:

    Hi Melanie
    I’m looking for an on-line social media course that would teach me Facebook, twitter, Linkedin & pinterest.
    Do you offer such a course or can you recommend someone who does?

    • melanieduncan says:

      I Marge! I have a Pinterest course here:

    • Chris says:

      Hi Marg,
      I hope this is still timely for you. I took a course on Twitter and I loved it. I learned all the basics, and can grow my list at my own pace. Here is the link if you want to snoop around:
      What to Tweet? Short is Sweet! Twitter
      She also has an ebook which is very good. Great to have on hand for referencing. It’s called “How to Twitter: Getting Started with 30 Daily Do-ables”

      The next course on my list is Melanie’s. I’m dying to learn Pinterest from her.

    • Amy says:

      I am doing Vincent Ortega jr and mark Hoverson’s Facebook program and have been learning a lot not just about Facebook marketing but mindset and lifestyle habits as well.

  59. Two of my all time favorites:
    The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson (Amazing!!)
    The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon

    Thanks for your recommendations! Will be ordering them!
    Suzanne Krygier

  60. I read Rework 13 times and still learning a lot from it. The “Four Hour Work Week” is the book that got me on the journey to entrepreneurship and I found out about Rework from Timothy Ferris’ blog, where he had Jason Fried and DHH on as guest writers.

    I would like to add, Michael Ellsberg’s “The Education of Millionaires” because he gives sound advice from his interviews with 100 millionaires and billionaires.

  61. Purple Cow: Transform your Business by being Remarkable by Seth Godin – LOVE IT!!

  62. Chris Evangelista says:

    Hi Melanie! These are solid recommendations especially REWORK which has been appearing in a lot of lists lately and you’ve just convinced me to get it this month after putting it here. ha! thanks!

    Anyway, I’ve just finished reading Peter Bregman’s 18 Minutes and I highly recommend it for business people like you who’s always trying to juggle different things all at once. :)

    I hope you would write a business book in the near future so I could also add your name in my business bookshelf. ;) That would be awesome!



  63. Kristen says:

    Hi Melanie, Great book ideas…love books, I have a whole library. I highly recommend The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen and also The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. there are so many I recommend but these two are top on the list.

  64. I’m reading the Impact Equation right now. Have you ever read that one? I love books. Thanks for this list.

  65. Ursula says:

    Thanks for the recommendations!
    I am actually doing just what you said – curling up on the sofa reading. :-) At the moment I am reading “Start with thy” by Simon Sinek.
    LOVE it!!!



  66. Mark Dare says:

    Dear Melanie Duncan, I’m in the process of starting a new business as a Real Estate Investor . With many years of experience as a general contractor and having been mostly self employed with a variety of business which were successful by providing me a relatively good income, but were esentialy exchanges of my time and labor for money . I’m studied new ideals of businesses that are structered to produce passive income as well as active income and how to leverage assets to increase investments into more passive income businesses. Any way , I just wanted to thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to have more than what I have to get started in my new business, and I will be reading some if not all of these 5 books that you’ve suggested. THANK YOU Mark Dare.

  67. I bought, Rework, $100 Start Up and Martha Rules from Kindle.

  68. [...] 6. The 5 Best Business Books: Melanie Duncan [...]

  69. [...] my mind. When I’m in a funk I pick up a new book (you can see my favorite business books HERE), take a class or even go to a museum. I’m sometimes hesitant, but it’s amazing how [...]

  70. Clo says:

    Hi Malanie,

    Thank you for the book list, I am always looking for those inspiring book recommendations! will defo go through them. I just found you after listening to Jamie Hardy’s podcast yesterday. you are amazing to start up businesses at a young age. love it! thank you for sharing :)

  71. Linker Casas says:

    I would also HEAVILY suggest the following books to grow your business

    1. “The Ultimate Blueprint For An Insanely Successful Business” by Keith Cunningham (known as RICH DAD from Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book.

    2.”The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes

    3.”Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You Got” by Jay Abraham

    4.”Managing In A Time Of Great Change” by Peter Drucker

    5.”The Sticking Point Solution” by Jay Abraham

    THE SLEEPER: “AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN” By Anthony Robbins. (This book is more guided to the peak-performance strategies to unlock and unleash the best within ourselves. Since success in business is 80% psychology (our emotional state, and the story we tell ourselves on what things mean) 20% strategy, this book hits that 80% or that 20% that brings 80% of the results.


    Linker Casas

  72. Hi Melanie. This is a good resource. I have The $100 Start Up and love it, but I will have to put these other books on my list. I’m reading a book now that I just stumbled across called Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg. Kind of a funny title, but lots of good information. It’s a book about how the consumer has changed in today’s market place, and it’s very interesting.

    Thanks for sharing this list with us.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning

    P.S. Here is a link to a post I wrote on Pinterest and Power of Pinning:

  73. Kristen says:

    Thanks Melanie, I didn’t know about some of these. My most recent book i’m loving is “Content Rules” which is part of the “New Rules Of Social Media”.

  74. I’m reading Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch’s APE: Author Publisher Entrepreneur How to Publish a Book

    Great tips, ideas and info if you’re interested in self-publishing


  76. Carmen says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Thanks for all your recommendations, I am putting them on my “to read” list.

    One book I got a lot out of is the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. It’s about how simple daily disciplines can turn into massive success.

    thanks again!

  77. Steve says:

    Nail It Then Scale It. It’s practical, tactical & has examples of application. I’ve come to the conclusion business books are a lot like business ideas…worthless. Unless there are real world examples showing how to apply concepts… borderline wasting your time.

  78. I’ve read Rework by Jason Fried and think it’s a great — and easy — read. This is the first I’ve heard of that Martha Stewart book but agree she certainly knows how to build a brand. Thanks for sharing!

    And I’m currently reading PLATFORM by Michael Hyatt. I haven’t finished reading thru once, but can highly recommend it already. I know I’ll be re-reading it.

  79. Jay says:

    The $100 start up must be a very inspirational book for the enthusiastic and ambitious people with less money to start their business to fulfill their dreams and get happiness.

    I will definitely read all the above books. But first one will be $100 start up.

    Thank you very much for the information of inspirational books for the person like me.

    Wish you will continue to encourage ambitious person who lost own faith, self confidence but still want to do something in their life.

    Gr8 job by you. Appreciate. Thanks again

  80. Thank You Melanie,

    for those list of 5 GREAT choice books! ALL books THAT ARE added ON MY TO DO LIST NOW!!!!!!!!!!! TERRIFIC Support for me to Keep Charging Ahead with my mission and SUCCESS PLANS and PATH!!!!!

    LOVES IT!!!!!!!!!!

    -patrick G. ;-) P.S. A SUPERB Way of Paying it forward!!!!!!

  81. Steven says:

    Some more business must reads:

    The Art of the Start [Guy Kawasaki]
    The Lean Startup [Eric Ries]
    E-Myth Revisited [Michael Gerber]
    Duct Tape Marketing [John Jantsch]

  82. Cindy says:

    Hi Melanie! Thanks for the recommendations – I’m going to add them to my list.

    I liked the Little Red Book of Selling. Lots of good tips for someone like me who doesn’t know how to sell.

    Also just read Blog, Inc. for people starting a blog, and How to Sell your Crafts Online (for Etsy sellers) – amazing.


  83. Melanie, I so appreciate you, your motivation, and your expertise. Thanks very much for this list of books. I’m familiar with 2 of them, but never read any of them (I’m ashamed to say!). I’ll get right on it! :) Thanks, again!

  84. Leila says:

    Melanie, got the chance to hear you speak today at the Social Media conference in San Diego. Am exploring your website this evening and though I don’t know much about you, this book list recommendation makes me totally sure I’ll love you! LOL I’ve read 3 of these 5 and can’t wait to read the other 2 you recommended. Thanks for sharing! :)

  85. Ken Morris says:

    Just started reading “Crush It” and loving it.

  86. Hi Melanie

    I’ve read Rework and the 4-Hour Work Week. They’re both fantastic books.

    Thank you for your recommendation of the other 3 books. They’re on my book list now!

    Cheers Rachel

  87. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

  88. I love these recommendations Melanie, and I plan on grabbing a few of these to read this summer! I’d like to add a few to your list: Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield (wrote The War of Art), Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port and The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. All really good! Thanks for the suggestions, I LOVE to read good business books :)

  89. Thanks Melanie I’ve heard about a few of these great books… concerning Martha Stewart.. I see her as a successful woman .. who was made a scapegoat out of.. when most of our govt offiicals can get away with what she did it didn’t seem fair that she had to even be treated such.. (my opinon)

    Thanks Again want to read a few of these.

    Bud from Sacramento

  90. Linda says:

    I love A.L.Williams…..”All you can do it all you can do, but all you can do is enough” It’s from 1988, but I think it’s a gem!

  91. I signed up for your Power of Pinning course July 16, 2012. Life happens and except for the initial webinar through GIFTE I have done nothing but create an account. I took on too many projects at once. I plan on logging into the opportunites you included in my “package” before my year is up. Catherine

  92. eryn says:

    Great list, I have read 3 of these, going to have to get rework and Marta Rules next. Thanks for the list.

  93. Manda Kent Burns says:

    The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
    Wishcraft by Barbara Sher
    The One Page Project Manager by Clark A Campbell
    The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

    All these I have reread so many times I will soon have to buy new ones! And I do implement many of the ideas


  94. Maggy says:

    Thank you Melanie.

  95. Entity says:

    “Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman!” by (The Late Prof. ) Feynman

    ~ ‘Creativity Walking in Flesh & Blood’

  96. Kyla says:

    I recently started a business out of college but I never have heard of any of these books! Can’t wait to get reading! Thanks Melanie

  97. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the recommends,
    My recommend is by George S Clason,
    titled The Richest Man In Babylon, not the thickest book on the shelf, but full of inspiration.

  98. I have finished reading Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey (Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market) and Raj Sisodia

  99. Raksha says:


    Thanks for that, I’ll look into each of them.

    My business partner and I found Richard Branson’s ‘Screw It, Let’s Do It’ particularly insightful when starting our business.

  100. The book I rave about the most is MJ DeMarco’s The Millionaire Fastlane. MJ built a multi-million dollar business and retired in his 30s. He talks about building a biz from the ground up, and gives the reader a tour of the trenches. He’s not shy about sharing his mistakes and missteps.

    I love his business-building commandments and list of systems. His ability to clearly distinguish for the reader the kind of business that is really a job in disguise, and a scalable enterprise is priceless.


  101. Thanks!

    I was looking for the next set of books I need to read

  102. Petey says:

    How is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill not on this list??
    This book i recommend to anyone, not just people looking to start up there own business.
    True inspiration this book is you all should def check it out!

  103. My solid favorites that I go back to again and again are “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. A more recent favorite would be “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson.

  104. pcunningham says:

    GREAT, thank you!!!

  105. Jen says:

    You just reminded me that I need to get Rework. I’ve been meaning to read that for some time. It sounds fantastic. I also have Lean In on my list. I bought the book a couple of months ago and haven’t gotten to it yet.

  106. Sharon Smith says:

    Thank you for your list of books. I’ve been listening to The for hour work week. This book changed my work day immediately! Such great insight. I spend a lot of time driving and this has been a great download.
    I’m sure I will be reading/listening to the rest of the list!


  107. Marty Witt says:

    6-5-2013 Hello Melanie Duncan , I think you’re one of the best I’ve seen and read about so far at what you do . You’re brilliant . It’s really good , no kidding !!
    Even though I don’t think it was specifically a business book , I like the book ( I’m ok , you’re ok ) and the book ( phycocybernetics ) and the book ( think and grow rich ) … ,

    sincerely ,

    marty witt arizona usa english speaking entrepreneur
    thanks for your time ,

  108. Thanks for these. I’m always looking for some good books. I made a deal with myself: I read one for fun, then one for business.

  109. Susan Fast says:

    LOVED the 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris! I started out so hopeful and excited to think I might be able to do what he’d done. Then was a little disappointed in his talk about finding a muse and testing to see if it is something that you coudl take to market. That’s when I faltered. I can’t think of anything I would want to “test” that I could make into a viable income. That’s where I’m stuck. It is full of great tips and referrals though and I will refer back to it often. : )

  110. Deb says:

    Thanks for the list! I’ve read $-Hour Workweek but haven’t even heard of the others. They will go on my list!

    Some of my favorites are Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner, Put Your Dream To The Test by John C Maxwell, Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham and Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy. There’s other for sure but those pop out. They are a lot about mindset, which I am constantly working on.

  111. Jeff says:

    I read TheEMyth and am reading it for a second time now.
    Work on your business not in it. :)

  112. Jenna says:

    As a 20-year-old college student, reading “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20″ by Tina Seelig rocked my world. The author is a professor at Stanford University in the Entrepreneurship department. It was so cool to hear about some of the amazing start-ups and opportunities that have been born in her classroom.

  113. Kate says:

    Excited to pick up some new books! Thanks for the recommendations :)

  114. Dion Wright says:

    ReWork and The $100 Startup sound interesting, i’m going to check them out when i can. My favourite business books are The Art Of Money Getting by PT Barnum, As A Man Thinketh, and even though it is not a general business book, it is probably my favourite book ever written on the topic of the psychology of earning money: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefebre (Jesse Livermore).

  115. MG says:

    I LOVE “The $100 StartUp” book which has been my foundation for launching (or at least trying to) my small startup business. I am nearing the end of my 3 weeks vacation from real job that I dread returning to. This book was definitely a confidence booster and filled with inspiration. It juiced up my innate creativity and move my complacency. I would definitely look into the other books that you recommend.

  116. Thank you for sharing. I love all of your trainings and you are an amazing business women.

  117. John Simon says:

    I would recommend Peter Church’s book Added Value-the life stories of Indian business leaders. Amazing insight on some truly inspirational people. You should read this book not only because it was fantastically insightful and interesting in relation to the individuals but also gives the reader an incredibly helpful view of the mindset of the business leaders. The book is an excellent primer for anyone seeking to do business.

  118. Thanks, I know only the 4 hour workweek. Let’s see if there are others in German :-) . Great website

  119. Yemzi says:

    Just downloaded The 4-Hour Workweek, thanks!


  120. Stan says:

    1. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Sellng

    Faced with urgently doing something to put food on the table for my family – and I was failing at selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door- I found this in the stacks in my library. I’ve forgotten his name already. But boy what a difference it made.

    2. Secrets of a Freelance Writer by Bob Bly & Copywriters Handbook also by Bob Bly

    Introduced me to copywriting when I was ready for it. Read an article by Bob Bly in the Writers Digest, and it hit me. This was for me.

  121. Rhonda says:

    Love it! Rework will be my next book to read.

  122. Pete says:

    Hey Melanie,

    I like your site it has very pleasant look to it.
    Well you top 5 books are all good ones also.
    I read some but, listen to many more. It’s a time
    and convenience thing. Sometimes a person just
    needs a paper copy. I like your pictures with
    the less make-up and more fun poses. They are
    closer to the real you.



  123. AJ says:

    As a fellow Book Worm (aka “Nerd”), I am HAPPY to say that I have read all but TWO on the list!!! #Excited!…Going to get Re-work, and Imagine.

    P.S. – Book Yourself Solid (Michael Ports) has FOREVER changed the way I do business, and would be a great add to the list :)

    Journey Girl, LLC

  124. B says:

    You left out The E-Myth by Michael Gerber…a MUST read for EVERY entrepreneur!

    “Work ON your business, not IN it” … thanks Michael! ;)

  125. Caren says:

    Hi Melanie,
    hope you’re doing great, my favorites are :
    #1.) Four Hour work week (not the yet < but will)

    #2.) Feel the Fear and Di It Anyway, By Susan Jeffers, ph.D

    #3.) How to make Big Money in your Own small business, by Jeffrey J. Fox

    #4.) Selling is a Woman's Game, by Nicki Joy with Susan Kane-Benson

    #5.) Double your income Doing what you love, by Raymond Aaron This one is a little different, but still a good read (mind stuff) I think our minds are very powerful.

    let me know if you liked any of them :)

    Take care

  126. My favorite business books are:
    1. The On-Purpose Person and The On-Purpose Business by Kevin McCarthy
    2. The E Myth by Michael Gerber
    3. Real You Incorporated by Kaira Sturdivant Rouda

    Thanks for sharing your list. I need to get reading!

    Laura Phipps

  127. reena says:

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned this yet (okay I just skimmed the comments but I didn’t see it) but First Steps to Wealth by Dani johnson. AMAZING book and you can get it for free via her website for a limited time.

    Also, 15 invaluable laws of growth by John Maxwell.

  128. Christie says:

    Just finished Perry Marshall’s new book 80/20 Sales & Marketing. That made my top 5 list of biz books.

  129. Marie says:

    You found one person that never heard of The 4 Hour Work Week… I’m getting that now! I can’t wait to read it along with the others. Thank you for the info.

  130. Thank you Melanie, I love business books and I haven’t read any of these, so I really look forward to becoming inspired with your selection.

  131. Thank you for the reading list. I will definitely add them to my list. I like:

    The Small Business Bible, Steven D. Strauss

    Thank you again, and I am enjoying the rainy weather today!

  132. Robin says:

    Thanks for the tips on the books, I read them all and let you know.

  133. hayley hoyt says:

    thanks for sharing these! these are ALL new to me!

    i personally love Robert Kyasaki (sp sorry..)

    The Richest man in Babylon is another favorite of mine

    and of Course Napoleon Hill…… Think and Grow rich

  134. All your books listed are good ones.

    I’m a big Jay Abraham Fan, Dan Kennedy Fan and Everything by Jim Rohn is pure gold.

    And I’m very proud of my book, because it was a spiritual calling for me.

    Joe Nicassio
    Author, Resurrecting America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: A Practical Approach For Creating Jobs

    My book is available at Amazon:

  135. Denise B says:

    Thank you so much for writing about your favorite books! I am an avid reader and am always looking for more books to read. I can’t wait to read the first 3 you recommended.

    My favorite business book is “Attracting Perfect Customers” by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez

  136. Charlie says:

    Thank you. With so many many business books out there I never know which ones I should spend my money on. This is great.

  137. Jackied Hinton says:

    i love this site.thanxs for the business books.I’mttrying to get my own online biz outlined and startedup.any advice.

  138. Nancie G says:

    Although this book has been out for a couple of years, it is one of the best I’ve read — The Highest Calling by Larry Janesky. As the review, I’ve linked here says, although it’s about a home contractor, the advice applies to all businesses. You should add this to your must reads.

  139. D Johnston says:

    I love reading new books about successful people and learning about their journey. I have not read any who have achieved overnight success. What often appears as overnight success, is rarely the case, which helps me to keep pushing through the barriers and to remain determined. My favorite people to read about include J K Rawlings, Boost Juice and Coca Cola. I believe we need to be constantly learning and remain motivated by the encouragement of others achievements, helping us to recognise that we can make it too.

  140. Gabby O says:

    Can’t wait to read the 4 hour work week!! This may jade me from working 8-5…should there be a warning on the book before you read it? :) I really enjoyed “The Secret” which is similar to Napoleon Hill’s “Think and be rich”. Hill’s book was a dry read compared to “The Secret”.

  141. Hi, Melanie ~ Love your site and all your info. I was perusing your “must read” book list and then looking up the books on Amazon when I noticed something. The book Imagine – How Creativity Works was pulled by Amazon. The note states “This book was pulled from shelves when it came to light that the author fabricated many parts.” Knowing this, I’m wondering if you would still recommend it as essential reading? Thanks so much ~ Cherie

  142. Eliza says:

    Looking forward to reading these! ( Especially the one with people who only invested under $100 and earn a ton since that is what i did and help others do the same) I also like Business of the 21st Century by Robert Kiyosaki. Also a new mini book called “making my first ten million” by Brian Curruthers. ( I bought a case if these if you’d like I can send you one)

  143. A useful list: the 100$ startup and 4-hour workweek I know already and Rework was already on my list to read. The other two will be added now. In addition I can highly recommend “Start with Why” from Simon Sinek, an absolute must read!

  144. Tom Harvey says:

    5 good recommendations, would also add the following:

    Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success – Napoleon Hill
    The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be – Jack Canfield
    Spin Selling – Neil Rackham
    Pop!: Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for anything – Sam Horn

  145. Angela says:

    Thanks Melanie, can’t wait to read them all !

  146. Imagine sounds interesting, haven’t read that one, though have & love the others. Love ReWork, you can pick up and read any mini-chapter and reflect.

    I always recommend to everyone many of these but here’s the my top 3:

    1) The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy | Our Conscious thoughts control our SubConscious mind & our Sub controls our Realities in life. Teaches you how to reprogram your mind

    2) Secrets of the Millionaire Mind | 17 ways Rich think differently & how what you think can be the only thing holding you back

    3) Emyth | Learn to work On and not In your business – Key to success

  147. Beth says:

    A must read is The Go Giver by Bob Burg. This business principle really works and I am proof!

  148. Best business books should include Jim Collins:
    Good to Great & Built to Last

  149. Katrina says:

    Tim Ferris and his 4 Hour Workweek is a must to read. It is a genuine game changer. I try to model my business on his principals but haven’t yet got my week down as yet!

  150. Have to have “Free Prize Inside” and “Purple Cow”.

  151. One of my all-time favorite business books that I return to again and again is “The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business.”

    It’s a smart, fun and well-researched read (by Yoram (Jerry) Wind and Colin Crook, both of Wharton School of Business) emphasizing the role of our “mental models — with practical implementation guidance on how to create more effective models in business and in life. As the authors point out, “If you can think impossible thoughts, you can do impossible things.”

    A close second is the well-researched “Influence: Science and Practice” by Robert Cialdini which details the emotional, persuasion and compliance factors that influence us to buy.

    Happy Reading,

    In Joy!

  152. Rebecca says:

    I’ve heard people rave about The 4 Hour Work Week, but I’ve never read it. I’m glad you included it on the list. Reminded me that I’ve been meaning to pick it up. I clicked that link and will dive in on Saturday when it arrives!

    You rock! xoxo

  153. Dena says:

    59 Seconds
    Change You Life in Under a Minute
    Richard Wiseman
    I love this because, as Malcolm Gladwell’s writing is human study based, so is Wiseman’s.
    These are snippit tips so everyone has time to gain something quickly, AND they relate
    to a WHOLE person….not just business….but all else that makes up that business person,
    family, parenting, relationships as well as creativity, and decision making.
    Cheers! :)

  154. Dena says:

    oh and how can I forget….
    Train Your Brain by Dana Wilde
    up now on Amazon!
    cannot move forward in anything without the Mind

  155. Have read two of the above five books, look forward to reading the other three books. I am currently re-reading Ziz Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the Sale”. I read it years ago and find it still just as relevant today.

    Sandra Ferguson

  156. Excellent list. But I think you’ve missed two of the all-time best business books:

    How to win friends & influence people, Dale Carnegie


    The eMyth, Michael Gerber

    Those two are my business bible and are must-reads for anybody.

  157. Andrea says:

    “Build a Business, Not a Job” by David Finkel. It’s must read for any owner of a small business, because it breaks down the key areas of a business in a very logical manner and shows you the steps you must take so that the business runs smoothly, without the business running you, the owner.

  158. Peter Murray says:

    After your recommendation a couple of months ago I bought ‘$100 start up and Rework (I already had the 4 hour work week) all fantastic reading thanks for the tip- I highly recommend these books!

    Peter Murray

  159. Tracy says:

    I’m excited. Can’t wait to read!!!

  160. Jenn Hart says:

    My list includes:
    The Referral of a Lifetime
    Found It
    The Approachable Salesperson

  161. I really appreciate the list of 5 books and will check them out. At the moment I am reading on my kindle “Social Marketing Superstars ” Step by step success guide. by CYDNEY O’SULLIVAN. Each chapter is written by a successful CEO or other business leader with added tips and comments by Cydney.

  162. “Delivering Happiness” the book written by Zappos CEO, Tony Hiesh, is incredible!!! Add it to the list! I can’t wait to reads these that you’ve recommended. Thank you!!

  163. Thank you so much for this list! There is so much content out there, that it can be overwhelming. I started The 4 hour Work Week a couple of weeks ago…need to pick it back up! I just wanted to add a title that is helpful to me “The Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell. Appreciate your help!

    Warmly, Cindy

  164. Becky says:

    Thanks, Melanie! I will definitely check out these books! My company was featured in the inc 500 fastest growing companies! If you are serious about changing your future, go to my website and get started today. It’s less than $100 to get started and you can earn a GUARANTEED $500 in your first 60 days with the company. ;) Don’t miss out! I cant wait to meet yall!

  165. Tori says:

    Thank you so much for this great lineup! I do believe that knowledge changes the season of your life. I look forward to this great journey of reading and empowerment!

  166. I am a huge fan of Jack Canfield , The Success Principles. Blessings Michelle

  167. Philip Murad says:

    I have had several people recommend The 4-Hour Workweek as well as Rework. Guess I need to head to Amazon tonight and place and order. Might as well pick up the other three while I’m there. Thanks for the recommendations. I would like to recommend The Science of Making Thinks Happen by Kim Romaner. My all time favorite.

  168. Becky says:

    I have read the work week and the martha rules. I feel the same way about those books too- they are wondeful. {picked marthas up at the dollar store! best investment ever! } I will have to check out the others since we have similar likes already.

  169. Christina says:

    Hi Melanie,

    thanks for your best-business-books list.
    I read two of them and they were great (Rework and 4-Hour-Work-Week).

    What I can recommend is “Click Millionaires” by Scott Fox.
    It´s all about how to find your passion/niche and how to create a business online.
    Learning all about Blogging, Podcasting, Webinars, ….
    Just pick what you are interested in and start.
    I loved this book.

    There is another great book but unfortunately it is only in German. It´s called “Kopf schlägt Kapital” by Günther Faltin, a German professor who started a highly successful project and business with his students. It´s about creativity and how to be more successful than huge companies.
    If you are interested in what it´s about just write me an e-mail.

    Thanks for your inspiring site and work.

  170. I have the Four Hour Work Week and have enjoyed reading bits amd pieces. Obviously need to do the cover to cover. I also love The Slight Edge by Olsen. It speaks eloquently to all people. I love the approach of simplicity in consistent daily actions.

  171. annie knotts says:

    Thank you for recommending the 5 books to read. Your spirit and messages are so uplifting and believable to me.

  172. LYGIA says:

    Thank you so much for blessing me with all this titles. Your recommendation will give me a great time in Christmas!!

    Pink Hugs

  173. Emmeline says:

    “The one page business plan” by Jim Horan

  174. Darlin D says:

    I’m almost done reading First Steps to Wealth by Dani Johnson. The principals she uses are so basic yet we aren’t using them. It’s eye-opening, easy to read and has changed my mindset. Inspirational and practical information for all aspects of life, not just business, but all-around relationships.

  175. Nice list. I´ve heard of 4 of them and Ive read 3. Imagine will be my next read.

  176. sternsgina says:

    love smart business reads!

  177. Sheila Wilson says:

    I am glad to start off the nee year with great ideas and new materialnto grow from. I am going out today to purchase at least one of the books recommended. I also thought The Purple Cow by Seth Godin was an inpiratiin read and Move Your Stuff Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter.

    Thank you for helping me get out of this unhappy and unprosperous state of mind Melanie.

  178. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

    The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly and Patrick Lencioni

    Anything Is Possible! by Lorelei Kraft :)

  179. Francisco says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Great list, I´ve read just 2 out of those 5 and I´m definitely buying “Rework” and “Imagine”
    Those are going to be great summer read.
    Congratulations for your work (it is awesome) and thanks for sharing those books.

  180. Jay says:

    Great list.
    I would add:
    The Millionaire Fastlane

  181. Ginger says:

    Great suggestions. I especially am interested to read Rework. One of my favorite business books is ‘The Soul of Leadership’ by Deepak Chopra. Excellent and so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your list!

  182. Jack Canfield’s success principles is my go to bible.

  183. Laurie says:

    Shoot you lost me on the 4 Hour work week.
    I read this book a few years ago and he makes it sound so simple to have a business on line. It is enormously challenging.

  184. Steve says:

    Great list, thanks. There were couple I had not seen. Looking forward the some good reads.

  185. Jasmine says:

    Thank you for this great list. I had only read #5…I’m loving your blog posts!

  186. Melanie thank you. I want to get them all.

  187. Erin says:

    I enjoyed the Energy Bus

  188. Thanks for the great list, I’m an avid reader and haven’t read 4 out of five of these titles. Let’s hope for a blizzard in VA so I can curl up and read!

  189. Trina Bailey says:

    I’m excited to read Rework, Imagine and The Martha Rules. I’ve read the other two and couldn’t agree more with your assessments of those books.

  190. Thanks for your list! I’ll get some of them.
    Mine are these:

    Brendon Burchard | The Charge
    David Ramsey | Entrepreneurship

    Thanks for your website and best regards from Argentina,

  191. Daria O'Brien says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! I am downloading several into my kindle right now!

  192. Presently reading Stephen Covey’s, “8th Habit”. Finding your voice and inspiring others to find theirs. So many ideas appropriate to our “techy” times. Anyone who mentors others might want to be sure to read this and then teach it.

  193. In a large bookstore the other day and a salesman told me that Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People was “by far the number one seller in self help books”. I read it years ago, and loving it again – picked up a few for gifts. What a difference it would make in this world if everyone read it the way it is suggested on the first page.

  194. 2 Business Books I recommend are

    The Jelly Effect, How to make Your Communication Stick by Andy Bounds
    Never Cold Call Again by Frank J Rumbauskas jnr

  195. Love your selections, and I’ll order right away!
    A few of my favorite business books:

    The 4 E’s of Leadership by Jack Welch
    Becoming a Category of One by Joe Calloway
    Good To Great by Jim Collins
    Soul Proprietor by Jane Pollak

    Thanks for your inspiration! Dara

  196. Anything by Bernadette Jiwa, but especially her most recent book ‘difference’.

  197. Paul Cox says:

    Hi Melanie.

    Great selection.
    Favourite business book …
    The Richest Man in Babylon has to be up there for me.
    Along with Sun Tzu.
    Oh and The E-Myth.
    So many books, so little time.

  198. Daniele says:

    I LOVE Rework – definitely one of my favorites. Right now, I’m reading E-myth, which is turning out to be a favorite too. Thanks for this list!

  199. Gloria Woolsey says:

    Will read the books listed and will get back to you. Thanks for all the great information.

  200. Janine says:

    Hi, Melanie….:-)
    thanks for your list of must-reads ! I really enjoy your newsletter and all the infos you´re giving away….i appreciate that so much. One of my all time favourites is missing on your list, it´s written by Jack Canfield : The Success Principles. It´s awesome !
    Keep up your good work,
    greetings from germany

  201. I would like to know how can I increase sales?

  202. I do love a good recommendation — in fact, most of my reading is from others’ suggested reading lists! One of my favorite books has been out for a few years and it’s called “The No Asshole Rule” by Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D. The title is a little harsh, but the concepts really make sense–especially the team dynamics and ROI. I understand if you can’t publish this recommendation. :)

  203. Shelby says:

    The 4hr Workweek, and $100 Startup are two of my favorites. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau is pretty great also. And though it may be outdated, I find Secrets of Six Figure Women to be inspirational too. Rereading it now and realizing how much of it I didn’t put into practice when I first read it 8 years ago. Yikes! The interesting thing about biz books is that they can be inspiring, but how often do we actually implement what we read? I have been guilty of this, while letting my life and usual habits take over. I think creativity is often a key because it fuels us from the inside and that, to me, is the best motivator and most fulfilling. I haven’t read the others you write about, but look forward to getting them from Powell’s Books today. Thanks for the suggestions, Melanie!

  204. Colin says:

    Hey Mel,

    killer list of books I’ve read them all except Martha and Imagine. Imagine has actually been withdrawn from the shelves due to Plagerism. You may want to take that off your list :) .

    One of my favorites is Your Brain At Work by David Rock. Killer neuroscience with super practical tips in productivity. Keep rockin!

  205. Dawn says:

    Favorite book: The E Myth Revisited; Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. By Michael E. Gerber

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  207. Kate says:

    Outsmarting the System. The author takes 3 strategies that the rich use to lower their taxes, and explains them so that anyone can implement them. The second half is devoted to starting a business.

  208. Andrew says:

    My friend Lynn Serafinn wrote a book called the 7 Graces of Marketing. Very interesting book and gets people to think how we do marketing.

  209. susan says:

    Agree with all 5 above.
    Some that helped my focus on collaboration, group genius & “Brain Trust/Masterminds”

    Group Genius, the Creative Power of Collaboration, By R. Keith Sawyer
    The Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge (Leading a learning organization)

    My NEW favorite: “The 6 Week Business Makeover: Wake Up & Shape Up Your Business” – coming out later this year. by Susan M. Ross (me:).

  210. I don’t necessarily have any to recommend to you because I am brand new to all of this. Currently trying to figure out RIGHT NOW how to transition into having my own business. It is scary, but everything you have to say is so encouraging. All of these books sounds like EXACTLY what I need to do. I will be going onto amazon and ordering all of them soon and will go on a reading frenzy. Thank you very much for your tips and encouragement. Everything you say and have to share is hitting EXACTLY what I want and what my dream is. Sometimes I get impatient and just want to suddenly BE THERE already, but I know it takes a little time. Thanks, again!

  211. Sheri says:

    Hi Melanie:

    I live in the Tri-state area, Northern Jersey and can attest to the rainy weekend. I don’t really see it as being stuck, but an opportunity to cook a great meal for myself and do some reading or listening to an audio book.

    This weekend will consist of working on a couple of projects for the web developer course I’m taking at (excited about learning how to code to build a website and mobile app). Do some writing (always a work in progress) and working on my long-term goals. Cooking a nice pasta dish with fresh sardines lemon and garlic. Lastly, do some reflection and pondering the question of how can I use my talents to help others and grow as an individual. Also catching up on my magazine reading, Fast Company and Wired are calling out to read them.

    I’ve read “Imagine” almost two years and listened to “The $100.00 Start Up” just last week when I decided to do so while reading “The Economy of You” by Kimberly Palmer which a great book for individuals who want to have a side-gig. “Do Cool Sh*t” by Miki Agrawal is a very good for people who want to quit their day jobs, create and start a business, and be happy. “Contagious – Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger is a great book for better understanding the psychology of marketing. “Do Something that Matters” by Blake Mycoskie is a book I enjoyed reading as he went the the process of starting and running Toms.

    Books I’ve read or listened to include:

    Creative Confidence by David and Tom Kelley
    Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Danial Goleman
    The Five Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird
    The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Makes Us Human by Jonathan Gottscall

    Books to read or listen:
    Die Empty by Todd Henry
    The Design of Everyday things by Don Norman
    The Creative Thinker’s Toolkit by The Great Courses
    Rework and Remote by Jason Fried
    Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography
    Thomas Jefferson
    Re-read IDA A Sword Among Lions (a great biography about Ida B Wells)

    I guess this means I enjoy and love the process of learning. The question of the what can I learn today and daily mantra.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  212. Sheri says:

    Hi Melanie:

    I’m spending this rainy weekend to work on a couple of projects for my web developer course. Catch on reading Fast Company and Wired Magazine, listening to Todd Henry’s “Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day”. I find this great to listen to in how to become more productive and stop really living in your head and get out that work. I have “Rework” and “Remote” to read, but read “The $100 Startup”.

    Books I’ve found helpful:

    The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer
    Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman
    Creative Confidence by David and Tom Kelley
    The Five Element of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird
    Do Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
    Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal
    The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

    I have more books in my queue to read particularly biographies such as Benjamin Franklin, Ida B. Wells, and Thomas Jefferson. I’m a life-time learner so I have read books from cross disciplines and topics to broaden knowledge to help me become more creative. As in one of the lessons from the book “Imagine” looking at something that seemingly looks unrelated can help solve a problem in another area. My everyday mantra is what can I learned today.
    Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
    Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath

  213. Larie Gray says:

    Thank you for your suggestions.

    I think financial management is important as well, especially for those who are looking to run businesses. Also, it is important to know how to be an effective person and to know how to deal with other people. Some have this gift naturally, but others have to work at it. But learning to have successful relationships will trickle over into business. I love these books. They come from different perspectives.

    - Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki
    - It’s Your Money Isn’t It? by Edward Reid
    - Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
    - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
    - The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, by Stephen Covey
    - The Power to Prosper, by Michelle Singletary

  214. Thank you so much for this fantastic list! I have read one of those book and am putting the other four on my wish list asap! A book that I read that I really liked was Ivanka Trumps book ‘The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life’ and of course ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ by Sheryl Sandburg.
    Trying to turn by blog into a business has been really exciting, and I LOVE all your tips and tricks that are really helping me through the journey, thank you!

  215. Donald Trump may fall into the love/hate category with Martha. I have read his books and feel they are inspiring and full of good information wherever we are in business. Unfortunately I don’t have the books. Robert Kiyosaki too.

  216. Great list of books I’ve read most of them have to get The 4 Hour Work Week though.

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  218. Amy says:

    I blogged about books not that long ago – including The Four Hour Work Week which I’m afraid I wasn’t wowed by!

    My favourites so far have definitely been UnMarketing by Scott Stratten, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck and The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. I had Rework on my wishlist and am going to look at your other suggestions as I’m always looking for something new to read! At the moment I’m reading No Excuses No Limits by Paul Wakefield and Get Clients Now by C.J. Hayden both of which seem to be pretty good, although I’ve got many many pages to read yet.

  219. Ginger says:

    My absolute favorite on mindset and world class THINKING…

    177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class by Steve Diebold.

  220. Sandra says:

    Thank you for the recommendations, I will like to read Imagine. I haven’t read a business book in years but it is worth to keep learning. I am not a business owner, but a graphic designer who is also doing marketing for a real estate company and its sister company that does custom homes and interiors.

  221. Jane Oberg says:

    Years ago when I was first starting business I read a book “where Have All The. Wooly Mamouth Gone”. Got me started :-)

  222. The book that made the most impact on my life was Creative Visualisation by Shakti Gawain. It was the first time I came across the concept that by writing down goals and visualising them, remaining positive, could actually produce a major difference in life. I followed her instructions to the letter, forgot the list, found it ten years later and realised that I had actually got the detached house (amongs a whole heap of other things). I wanted it half way between two particular schools. When I measured the distance from the two schools – I realised that my house was exactly half way beween the two. Not only that I had asked for it 1st May 2001 and I moved in 26th April 2001. I wrote the goal 9 years before! I realised that it was extremely powerful to lay down some targets – and even by not focusing on them – somehow we lay the course out to achieve what we intended. It was a powerful learning, in life even before the business. I have used the same strategy over and over since then!!

  223. Joycene Roussell says:

    Thanks for the must have books to read.

  224. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber – got to be one of the greatest!

  225. Jillian says:

    I am looking forward to reading most of the books above. I will skip “Imagine” because I found the following quote on the Amazon site: This book was pulled from shelves when it came to light that the author fabricated many parts.

    It is my desire to support and celebrate creatives who maintain their ethics in order to find success. There are so many out there trying to make a living from stealing the work of others, teaching without experience and misrepresenting the facts. As a creative, I have found it is important to support those who raise the bar for professional ethics… or have a solid reputation for what they do.

  226. Josefina Hart says:

    Thank You Melanie,. Great books!

  227. Rosie says:

    Thanks for your list of books. In a similar vein I just got “Copy This Idea” by Andrew Reynolds. Have you read it yet? I am following it. Rosie

  228. The new rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott is a brilliant book..hard to beat!

  229. Casey says:

    The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success- Deepak Chopra… although it’s not a business book it’s a LIFE business book :) I hope you get a chance to read it. It’s a quick but life changing read!

  230. Sulaiman says:

    Woow great to see your website and your inspiration, I will keep your website and your recommendation in my mind all the time.

    for sure i will download the books to my iphone and start with The 2 Hour Work Week.

    Best Regards

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  233. Monica says:

    I’m continuing to read/listen to Eric Worre”Go Pro”
    Jeff Olson “slight Edge” & of course the never ending great study of “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

  234. Angela says:

    Thanks Malanie! I will have to get ReWork, I MAG INE, and The Martha Rules, 3 I haven’t heard of yet and they sound awesome!

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