While many of us turn to the internet when we have a specific business-related question, books are a way to go deeper on the more abstract ideas we grapple with as business owners. That’s why I’m sharing 8 books I’ve found valuable and helpful along my entrepreneurial journey.
Listen to episode 204 for my 2024 update on business-related books and a better way to shop books and support small businesses!
Unfortunately, none of these are retail-specific books. I have yet to find one that is truly helpful, and I’m guessing many of you haven’t either. When my team and I were teasing the launch of the Savvy Shopkeeper Quiz, most people thought I was publishing a book!
Until I’m ready to write and publish a book, I thought it would be helpful to share some other business and mindset-related books that could be helpful to you.
By Gary Keller and Jay Papason
This book is SO good! It’s the only book on this list that I have on Kindle rather than in a hard copy. I’ve enjoyed reading it that way because Kindle allows you to grab screenshots of book quotes and creates graphics for you!
Here’s how Amazon describes the book: “If you want less on your plate and more for your life and career, tune in to the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The ONE Thing will bring your life and your work into focus. Authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach you the tricks to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, dial down stress, and master what matters to you.”
In chapter 10, “The Focusing Question,” the authors suggest that you ask yourself the following:
“What’s the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
I started asking myself this question to keep me focused during my work time for Savvy Shopkeeper. I do the majority of my work on a laptop, and it’s so easy to get distracted! Now, I ask myself this question and do NOT move on to another task without getting it done. This sparks focused attention.
However, the authors don’t just talk about this in the time management sense. They also talk about this for businesses. What’s the ONE thing you can do/offer in your business? This book is an excellent read for someone who feels scattered in their business model, too.
By Gay Hendricks
The Big Leap was the first book I read when I was preparing to actually take the big leap from full-time government employee to full-time entrepreneur. For that reason, it holds a special place in my heart.
On the back of the book: “In The Big Leap, New York Times bestselling author Gay Hendricks reveals a simple yet comprehensive program for overcoming our one barrier to happiness and fulfillment, providing a clear path for achieving our true potential and attaining not only financial success but also success in love and life.”
The Big Leap introduced me to two fundamental concepts.
Hendricks talks about the personal upper limit, an adverse emotional reaction that occurs when anything positive enters our lives. The Upper Limit Problem not only prevents happiness but stops us from achieving our goals. It is the ultimate life roadblock.
He then talks about how to break through that limitation to achieve what he calls our Zone of Genius. It was enlightening to realize that I had never worked in my zone of genius.
By Denise Duffield-Thomas
I read Get Rich, Lucky Bitch when I realized that my thinking around money was scarce. I struggled with thoughts like, “I’ll always be poor” and “I’ll never make an income that I’ve always dreamed of.”
This book is about money manifestation, so if woo-woo isn’t your thing, you might not like it. However, I found it enlightening! Duffield-Thomas’ journey with manifesting money was fascinating.
By Jen Sincero
This book also covers manifestation but has some other tangible tips, too.
I particularly enjoyed Chapter 8, “Decisive Action: The Choice of Champions.” You all know I love to take action, but taking action from a scarcity mindset versus an abundant mindset will get you very different results! This chapter spoke to me because of Sincero’s clear steps for taking decisive action from a place of abundance.
We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power
By Rachel Rodgers
The title might sound like it’s another money mindset book—and yes, parts of it are. But this book helped me SO MUCH.
In the first 12-18 months of the pandemic, I was processing a lot of programmed thinking and emotion around being and growing up as a Latina woman in a poor community. I’ve experienced lots of marginalization and lots of misogyny, too. This book provided me with stats and information around these topics, and it fueled my determination and mission more than ever!
I read this book once, and “gifted” it to a friend (not a minority but a woman who also didn’t want to part with it, so I gave it to her), so I ordered another copy for myself. I wish I could gift this book to all women!
Rachel shares insights like…
“You do not set a boundary to control other people’s behavior. Boundaries aren’t about saying no to other people. Boundaries are about saying yes to yourself.”
“It wasn’t until the 1960s that it was common for a woman to have her own bank account without her husband, father, or brother involved.”
Can you believe that?! 1960!! This was not that long ago! It reminded me to do what I need and want to do to continue moving this needle forward.
“It’s time to forgive ourselves for believing that we are ‘bad with money’ because it’s not our fault. We need to heal our relationship with money so that we can stop underearning…”
“In 2018, out of the $130.9 billion in VC funding that was awarded to entrepreneurs, women only got 2.2 percent of the pie.
[She does cite the statistics in her book, just so you know]
Companies with a female founder perform 63 percent better than investments with all-male founding teams and businesses by women deliver TWICE as much per dollar invested than those founded by men.”
Rachel’s content does lean towards serving online, service-based business owners. But this book is so empowering to read. It’s definitely worth sharing with ALL women.
By Tonya Dalton
I gifted this book to all founding Master Shopkeepers members when they joined in 2019. I think all or most members truly enjoyed this book, and it’s one we can probably go back to and read every year. If time management is a struggle, this one could be for you!
Here’s what Amazon says about this book: “Doing less might seem counterintuitive, but doing less is more productive, because you’re concentrating on the work you actually want to be doing.
Through this book, you can learn how to:
- Identify what is important to you and clarify your priorities.
- Develop ways to streamline your specific workflow.
- Discover your purpose.”
By Mike Michalowicz
When shopkeepers have struggled with cash flow, I have recommended this book in the past. Unfortunately, the way it’s written isn’t ideal for retail business owners so we’ve all had to tweak it for our own businesses. I have lots of content in Master Shopkeepers on this topic, though, so it’s definitely worth a mention.
You can read more of my thoughts on Profit First here!
By James Clear
This book is all about habits, of course! We all have personal and professional habits that we either want to A) kick to the curb or B) build and be consistent with. If you struggle with habit building, this is a great book to read!
I hope you find this episode and the books I shared helpful!
I recently joked in Master Shopkeepers that I’ve been trying to read some more business books, but they just keep flopping. It’s frustrating! But I am grateful for the eight books on this list—they have helped mold me and have helped get me to where I am now.
If you have a business book that has made a difference on your journey and want to share it with me, please DM me on Instagram.
*Please note that some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking the link.
I make recommendations because I believe they are useful to shopkeepers. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
2024 Update: Visit the Savvy Shopkeeper Bookshop on bookshop.org
- The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
- The Big Leap
- Get Rich, Lucky Bitch
- You Are a Badass at Making Money
- We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power
- The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less
- Profit First
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- Mama Needs Box
- Get on the waitlist for Master Shopkeepers
- Find out where you are in your retail journey with the Savvy Shopkeeper Quiz!
- [05:12] The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
- [09:25] The Big Leap
- [12:45] Get Rich, Lucky Bitch
- [13:43] You Are a Badass at Making Money
- [15:01] We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power
- [20:03] The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less
- [22:14] Profit First
- [23:22] Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones