7 Business Books to Read When Starting Out

Ask Mandy: 7 Business Books to Read When Starting Out

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I am a book snob. I love getting lost in a book. Even though my favorites are historical fiction, I do love a good business book. I have read several so I was super excited when I received this question –

 What are some good books to read if I am starting my own business?

I could answer this with a list of about 100 but I can’t – this isn’t BuzzFeed 🙂

There are many good books out there that you could read – everything from small ebooks to longer hardbacks. Being a social marketing nut, most of the books I suggest have to do with marketing. You can take some of the social marketing advice and apply it to just about anything – leadership, thoughts, management, etc.

1. Platform by Michael Hyatt

This was one of the first true social media business books I read after I started ME Marketing Services. In this book, Michael talks about having a platform for your business and how to been seen and heard in a noisy world. I would call this, entrepreneurship & marketing 101. He takes you step by step through starting with your product/service, to preparing your business launch, building your base, expanding reach & engaging your community. This is the perfect book to start with.



2. Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

I first read this book for a book review for the Social Solutions Collective. I really enjoyed this, especially his part about social advertising, which I use to this day. Did you know Dave targeted a Facebook ad specifically to his wife – and she saw it? He illustrated the power of Facebook ads, however that is not what the book is all about. Here is one comment from my review, “The overall theme of the book is to stop talking and listen, to start doing things that make you likeable. Listen to your fan base and customers – get a feel for what they are talking about, what interests them and what they are looking for. It’s only after you’ve listened that you can really start talking.”


3. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerkchuk

This is a great book about social selling. Basically it’s about making little “jabs” to your community, you know, small messages or breadcrumbs, so when you’re ready to make the “hook”, aka sales pitch, they are ready and waiting.




4. Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer

This is the newest book by social media pro Mark Schaefer and one of my favorites. In this book, Mark takes social marketing a step beyond the basic. It’s broken into 3 sections – the 5 most important things you need to know about social media marketing, the 5 most difficult questions you’ll face and a social media primer (this last section is more of a review of the basics). He brings his wealth of experience to show you real examples and situations you may face so you are prepared to handle them like a pro.



5. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

The classic how-to-deal-with-change book. This book will help you cope with change and help you discover how your attitude attributes to it. With changes happening at a rapid pace, this is something every business owner, new and old, needs to read.




6. The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win by Cendrine Marrouat

I have known Cendrine for a few years now and she is someone who abides by the quality content creed. Every article she publishes is something you can take and run with. I was honored to be able to get an advance copy of this book and review it. Here is what I said, “The book is very easy to read, much like her previous e-book, The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips. Her newest offering takes the reader step-by-step through the social media strategy process, giving case studies along the way to support her statements.  She touches on everything from figuring out who your audience is to what platforms to use to defining your voice.”


7. How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I went through the Dale Carnegie Leadership course a little over 10 years ago and this was one of the required readings we had to do (you should do the class if you get a chance).  This book gives you what you need to network like a pro. It will help you come up with ways to remember people’s names, how to let the other person do the talking and so forth. I will tell you this was written in the 1930’s so some things may seem a bot outdated, but the overall principles are what matters.


I have 2 or 3 more I would love to add to this list, but I’m not finished with them yet 😉 You can still take a look at them – Maximize Your Social by Neal Schaffer & Human to Human: #H2H by Bryan Kramer.

If you’ve read all of these (or maybe not), what other books would you add to this list for new business owners?


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