5 books that will transform your business life (and your personal life)

This is a purely personal view – a list of the top five books that will transform the way you think about your business, whatever it is.

1. “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast-Growth Firm” by Verne Harnish
Lots of actionable ideas about managing a business, including strategic planning and using meetings. The basics? Have a handful of rules. Repeat yourself a lot. Act consistently with those rules.

The best bits:
You don’t have a real strategy unless what you’re planning to do really matters to your existing and potential customers, and it differentiates you from your competition – and you have the ability to become the best at implementing that strategy.

2. “E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael Gerber
A book about the power of working “on” your business rather than “in” your business, and distinguishing between the roles of entrepreneur, manager and technician. As Michael Gerber says, every business is a family business.

The best bits:
Organise and systematise your business as if it will be the prototype for 5,000 more businesses just like it.

3. “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis
Unlike many other business books, this is a story about the highs and lows of someone who has created a huge amount of wealth. Fascinating, whatever your ambitions.

The best bits:
The story of his strategy when negotiating the sale of one of his titles to a large corporate.

4. “Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stree-Free Productivity” by David Allen
Not specifically about business, but a great way to organize yourself and be more productive.

The best bits:
Focussing on “next actions”, and getting all of your tasks out of your head and on to a master list which is organised by context (e.g. “at home”, “at the office”, “waiting for”), not by subject.

5. “The Art of Exceptional Living” by Jim Rohn
OK, it’s an audiobook rather than a text, and it’s not specifically business-oriented, but it’s so rich with empowering philosophy that it will give you an energy boost and make your laugh each time you listen to it. Corny, fun and genuinely useful.

The best bits:
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
“Is it possible to become twice as valuable to the marketplace, and make twice as much money in the same amount of time? Of course!”