Our Ultimate Guide to Must Read Business Books

The best entrepreneur books – in our humble opinion

We absolutely love to read at BDG. Sometimes I read for entertainment, sometimes to escape from the day to day, but as a small business owner, creative, manager, and leader, I most often read to learn and improve.  The books I have listed below for you were extremely helpful in helping me improve in many different aspects of my work and life and I hope that they are able to help some of you do the same!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert best entrepreneur booksBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is for you if:

You live (or struggle with) a creative lifestyle or work in a creative field and could use some comfort, inspiration, or encouragement.

This book shook me. Elizabeth Gilbert comes across as demure and almost shy, but she gives it to us straight in Big Magic. This book speaks to our passions. The things we do that make us jump for joy, make our hearts flutter, our voices heard. If you feel that your passions have let you down, that you’re too old, scared, untalented, or whatever to follow them, listen to Mrs. Gilbert as she squashes all of your excuses and sets fire to the dwindling flame inside you. The magic is there. You just need to find it. Start by reading this book.

“An empathetic and inspiring guide to mustering the courage to live a creative life. … Nearly anyone who picks up this self-help manual should finish it feeling inspired, even if only to dream of a life without limits.” —Publisher’s Weekly

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown best entrepreneur books

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

By Brené Brown

This book is for you if:

The perfectionist in you gets a hold of your better judgement or self-worth from time to time.

This book was recommended to me by my business coach and boy did it speak to me. I struggled with perfectionism constantly and it kept me from going anywhere in life or in business. Brené Brown teaches us to embrace our imperfections. Seems easy enough, right? But living “wholeheartedly” could take a lifetime. You must develop the courage and compassion to think: “No matter what, I am enough,” and approach your life from a place of worthiness.

“The Gifts of Imperfection is a little gem of a book that offers readers a way to change their lives through adopting the practices of “wholehearted” living. Brené Brown shows us how to live more authentic and compassionate lives, while learning to embrace our imperfections, and recognize what issues get in our way, such as shame and fear.” Beverly A. Mcphail 

The War of Art Book

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

By Steven Pressfield

This book is for you if:

You experience doubt or uncertainty about your process or ability to be creative.

Oh boy, another rude awakening thrust upon me from my all-knowing creative coach. This one so accurately spoke to me, it hurt. We are all meant for something. But we all run straight into resistances that try to talk us out of being awesome, sometimes on a daily basis. Pressfield speaks bluntly about resistance so many times in the first half of the book, that I now stop and think at least twenty times per day to see whether it’s “resistance” convincing me to not do something or it’s an actual, valid bad idea. Pressfield says, “Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work….It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man.” This book is short and powerful. Add it to your list.

“Anyone who is trying to tap into the inspiration they sense burning somewhere inside them that tells them to go out and write – or to create any other kind of art – will benefit tremendously if they open their minds and prepare themselves for rigorous introspection. This is not a simple self-help or how-to book. It is a truly profound examination of the human mind and the quest for fulfillment that we all feel.” Anonymous

The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber best entrepreneur books

The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it

By Michael E. Gerber

This book is for you if:

You own a small business (that is more or less running you) or are planning on starting one.

In my opinion, this is the first read when you decide to start a business. Your business can so quickly take over your entire life and this book will keep you in check and start you off on the right foot. Begin with deciphering the difference between the entrepreneur, manager, and technician, and then begin putting systems in place to force your business to operate effectively—without you! The big nugget that this book drives home is encouraging the business owner to “work on your business rather than in your business.” Definitely a must-read.

“Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited should be required listening for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur’s mind to build the long-term success or failure of the business. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening to The-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend.” Sharon Griggins

Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! best entrepreneur books

Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life

By Denise Duffield-Thomas

This book is for you if:

You want to break through money blocks and assumptions that you have in order to earn the full potential you deserve!

I just love Denise Duffield-Thomas. Her casual style and easy-breezy personality is a total fit for me. She’s not preaching down to us, she’s walking alongside of us…airing out all of her mistakes and missteps along her way. If you’re curious about manifesting money by decluttering and getting rid of those money blocks, this is the place to start.

Can’t get enough of Denise? Check out her other title: Lucky Bitch: A Guide for Exceptional Women to Create Outrageous Success

“I’m reading this again! It truly opened my eyes to what’s been holding me back and I’m continuing to release those doubts, worries, and fears about money and my self-worth. Plus, Denise is so good at making the content so conversational. It’s like getting to talk with her over coffee while she reveals her money struggles and how you can release yours.” Christine Carra

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg best entrepreneur books

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business

By Charles Duhigg

This book is for you if:

You want to understand or change any of your habits.

I’ve very interested in the science behind these types of things…why does our brain create habits? Which are good habits and which aren’t? And how do we make them all “great habits?” Duhigg says creating effective habits is a three-step process: 1) cue, 2) routine, and 3) reward. He helps you find that “keystone habit” that would positively affect every area of your life.

“If Duhigg is right about the nature of habits, which I think he is, then trying to get rid of these bad habits won’t work. Instead, what is needed is to teach the managers to identify the cues that lead to these bad habits and rewards, and then learn alternative routines that lead to similar rewards, i.e. business and personal success.” —Forbes

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod best entrepreneur books

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM)

By Hal Elrod

This book is for you if:

You want to wake up and reach your full potential!

I am not a morning person, but I’m learning. I can say with 100% certainty that when I begin my mornings with a routine that I can rely on (including journaling, meditation, and yoga), my day is so much better. My mind is clearer and I am just in an all-around better mood. You can’t control most of the things that happen in a given day, but you have a lot of control over what happens before 8 am (assuming you don’t have a crying baby that rules the house…I’ve been there!)

If you want to get the most out of this book, I found the Miracle Morning Journal, to be a great tool to help me take my Daily Miracle Morning practice to the next level.

“Every once in a while, you read a book that changes the way you look at life. But it is so rare to find a book that changes the way you live your life. The Miracle Morning does both, and faster than you ever thought possible.” —Tim Sanders

Marketing - A Love Story best entrepreneur books

Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers

By Bernadette Jiwa

This book is for you if:

You are looking for a long-term, impactful way to think about marketing.

Jiwa teaches us to connect with our audience through storytelling, empathy, and emotions. Her language makes it easy to implement and understand. This book was a gift to some of my clients one holiday season and it will stay on my bookshelf for years to come.

“Bernadette’s back, and just in time. This is her finest work, a book that ought to be read by everyone on your team, and somehow hidden from your competitors.” —Seth Godin

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh best entrepreneur books

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

By Tony Hsieh

This book is for you if:

You think you would like to improve your company culture or make your employees happier.

This book was completely fascinating. I am always telling my clients that excelling in customer service is what can make them stand out and in most instances, it’s much easier for a smaller company to control their customer service. Zappos.com is an amazing example of a large company putting the customer first in amazing ways.

“As an aspiring entrepreneur, it’s immensely helpful to get an insight into how Tony and his team at Zappos were able to create such a successful company. This book is full of anecdotes that tie back to the core values that Zappos upholds so proudly, not only from Tony but from his circle of friends, co-workers, employees, and others. If you want to learn how to create a great company culture, be a great leader, and deliver happiness to the world, this book is a great resource.” Anonymous

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take ActionStart with Why by Simon Sinek best entrepreneur books

By Simon Sinek

This book is for you if:

You are looking for someone to inspire you, or on how to be an inspiration for others.

Start with Why fanned the flames inside me. This book can lead you to levels of excellence you never considered attainable.” General Chuck Horner


If any of you have books that have helped you improve in some way, please share it so that we can all continue to help each other work towards the best versions of ourselves!