The gift of reading for business owners

These books make great gifts for the small business owner on your shopping list this year! A few of the books on this list are personal favorites of mine, and I already wrote about them here. The rest are suggestions from others and come highly recommended by fellow entrepreneurs! These books make great stocking stuffers for the business owners in your life, and all of them were written by folks who started their companies from the ground up. Happy holidays, and happy reading! 

$100 Start Up – This book was released just as I was launching Split Aces Media, and it could not have arrived at a more appropriate time. If someone in your life has a business or start up idea, this is the book for them. Chris Guillebeau offers several examples of folks who have built successful businesses from the ground up, and all of them were ballin’ on a budget in the beginning. It’s inspiring, motivating, and comes filled with great startup suggestions!

She Takes on the World – Natalie MacNeil is the founder of She Takes on the World, and this book was one of the first books I read on my trusty Kindle. Thank goodness for the highlighter feature on those things, because I stole so many quotes from this inspiring woman that I will never want to forget. This is a tell-all style of book covering topics from how to use a virtual assistant (eh hem… rocks), to starting your own business, to choosing and working with the right partner. Natalie is hilarious, and her writing feels as if she is speaking directly to you. She’s a great role model for women in business, and this book certainly does not feel like a business book – it is a fun, lighthearted read!

Crush It  – I first came across Gary Vaynerchuk’s work when he came to speak at Texas State University’s Mass Communications Week a few years ago. His book, Crush It, is all about turning your passion into a money-making machine, similar to how he turned his passion for wine into a thriving business for the folks who choose to avoid describing a wine with ridiculous adjectives and words you must look up in a dictionary to understand. Vaynerchuk found his niche based on what he loved doing on a daily basis, and this book provides readers with the tools to win in business based on their own passions.

Four-Hour Work Week – From the outside looking in, it appears that things come easy to Tim Ferriss. But, the truth is… this guy works smart. This books is incredible and is one that every entrepreneur should read as soon as possible. Outsourcing, being open to new opportunities, escaping the cubicle, living anywhere… this book has it all covered.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich – I knew nothing about finances before reading this book. Now, I use it as my finance go-to resource. As soon as I finished reading it, I moved my money out of big banks and into high-yield checking and savings accounts, I began my retirement fund at the age of 23, and I told everyone I know about how they must pick up a copy. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book should be required reading for every college student in the country. It turns this seemingly boring topic of finances into an entertaining way to learn how to manage your money intelligently, and even made me care to understand taxes. When I wrote about this book in my previous book guide, I had people emailing me out of the blue to thank me for recommending it. You’ll absolutely LOVE this book.

Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World – As I mentioned in my previous write up, I am sad that this book is tailored specifically toward women, because I believe that men would gain a lot of good insights from this book, too. Lisa Bloom reminded me that I need to question EVERYTHING I see in the news. Questioning everything I read and everything I see is something I’ve always known to do, but somehow that piece of advice faded away and I forgot about how important it really is. Even for the statistics and facts that she throws around in this book – I looked up a lot of them afterward on the trusty Google (you know…just to prove to myself that I actually learned something). She offers tips for time management, and points out some startling statistics about the American education system, big businesses, and more.

On Writing – This book came recommended by Oli Lewington, Smile Through It, and it was very eye-opening. The life of Stephen King is incredibly inspiring in that he suffered through substance abuse problems, he was dirt-poor while trying to make it as a writer, and he never gave up. This book is a mix between tales of the life of Stephen King and his upbringing, and a grammatical guide for successful writing and story telling. It’s perfect for bloggers, journalists, or anyone in the publishing industry.

Freakonomics – I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Freakonomics yet, but it seems to be a favorite among many of the entrepreneurs I requested suggestions from. It’s definitely on my to-read list, because the guys behind this book intended to sell only 80 copies – but ended up selling 4 million, in 35 languages. I’m convinced.

(Originally published on– contains affiliate links through Amazon)


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