7 Modern Business Books to Read and Scale Up Your Knowledge

by | Jul 13, 2020

7 modern business books to read and scale up your knowledge

If you’ve ever looked up how to get smarter (haven’t we all?), reading more is probably on your to-do list. After all, some of the most successful people around make books a staple in their lives.

Just to name a few: Warren Buffett reads at least 500 pages per day. Mark Cuban reads four to five hours daily. Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon both built massive followings from their monthly book clubs alone.

But when your goal is to hone your entrepreneurial skills, how do you know what business books to read? Blindly picking “Twilight” off the shelf probably won’t help you much.

We’ve put together a list of modern business book recommendations that you can put on your reading list to maximize your professional growth. Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer or just an entrepreneurial spirit, these picks can help you diversify your knowledge and apply it into your day-to-day.

Don’t worry — there’s no young adult fiction or $200 textbooks here.

Why read business books?

Excellent reading habits may be a characteristic shared by many of the world’s top entrepreneurs, but correlation doesn’t imply causation, right? It makes sense to be a little skeptical when your time is on the line.

However, the positive effects of reading have been proven time and time again. Not only does it increase your vocabulary and make you seem like the most intelligent person on the block, but it boosts your memory and learning capacity.

When you’re reading about business specifically, you’re filling up that learning capacity with knowledge that really matters. This knowledge can then be applied directly into your operations, strategies and much more.

Three best business books for strategy-building

The heart of your company is business strategy. When you’re building your master plan, you need to take as much of the guesswork out of the equation as possible. These three books will do the trick:

1. “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business”

“Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman is one of our founders’ go-to guides for making decisions or evaluating any approach.

This business book offers a practical system for strengthening the most important parts of your organization, including your vision, data and team. The result is greater efficiency and less stress.

The best part is, the book is interactive, so you’ll have actual action items to take away.

Get the book here.

2. “The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business”

Written by strategy expert Rita Gunther McGrath, this is the business book to read if you want to make sure your approach is fit for the modern world.

“The End of Competitive Advantage” acknowledges that change is happening quicker than ever — in every industry — and teaches you how to be quick on your feet. Instead of giving you one surefire path, this book will get you an evergreen mindset that will help you constantly adapt your business strategy.

Get the book here.

3. “The Startup Handbook: Your Step-By-Step, Straight-Talking Guide To Building A Great Business In Your Life”

Many startups don’t make it past their first year. Even if you’ve joined a coworking space — which can make you four times more likely to succeed — you’ll encounter many hurdles as you go. But Morris Grant knows that all hurdles can be overcome with a solid business plan.

In “The Startup Handbook,” Grant walks you through realistic business tips, ways to stay motivated and many mistakes that you can easily avoid.

Get the book here.

Two best business books for people management

A business can’t run itself — it needs people. But you and your team can only be at your best if you can continue to stay motivated and grow together. These are the two business books to read when you want to maximize your team’s every effort:

1. “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity”

Far too many business book lists fail to include voices from women in leadership, which is a shame because they’re all missing out on Kim Scott’s guide on being an empathetic leader.

“Radical Candor” is all about building a culture of feedback that lifts your team up without knocking anyone down. This book will help you nurture your relationships within your organization, so you can move forward at the same pace.

Get the book here.

2. “Managing Oneself: The Key to Success”

Sometimes, it’s not managing other people you need to worry about — it’s managing yourself. Peter F. Drucker, who is known as the father of modern management, helps you stay accountable and lead by example.

“Managing Oneself” is a short, practical guide for anyone who wants to become a better CEO for themselves or for their teams.

Get the book here.

Two best business books for boosting ROI

So you have your overarching strategy down and your team running at max efficiency. The next step is making sure you understand how to stand out in your market to continuously profit more. These two business books can help:

1. “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant”

“Blue Ocean Strategy” has been a massive hit since its 2015 release for good reason. In the book, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne give you actionable tips to escape the world of cutthroat competition and captivate your own unique audience.

Kim and Mauborgne explain how you can create ‘blue oceans’ (or new market spaces) that help you become the one and only choice for your customers.

Get the book here.

2. “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable”

Seth Godin is known as a modern entrepreneurship master and his marketing classic shows you how to become a master, too.

“Purple Cow” shows you how to make your product or service more marketable and how to easily differentiate yourself. This book offers plenty of straightforward tips, paired with real-world examples, that any business owner can implement.

Get the book here.

Master new business skills

Expanding your knowledge will make you the business leader you want to be. With our recommendations, you’ll have enjoyable business books to read that help you further your career without making your brain hurt.

Start gathering these incredible reads from (preferably) your local bookstore, Amazon or your local library to get yourself into a growth mindset and maybe become the next Warren Buffett.

If you want a quick business read in the meantime, learn how the world’s most innovative companies are leveraging remote work. It’ll only take six minutes!