Business is booming for writing business books. For every book you discover on Amazon, there are another ten in the same genre recommended for further reading. Whether written by an entrepreneur, a household name in the business world, or a quick eBook on how to do something business-related such as time management, email marketing, or financial advice, there’s something for everyone.
Many business professionals are writing their own books based on their years of experience in business or to teach lessons learned. It can seem daunting at first, to write all you’ve learned or experienced. Nearly every business book follows a 7-step formula of learning written in a variety of ways.
If you’re interested in writing your own business book, there are a host of books to choose from for inspiration. But these 5 top my reading list.
5 Great Books to Read for Inspiration
- The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
- Big Magic: Creating Life Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- A Good Time to Be a Girl by Helena Morrissey
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann
When you hear about a book three days in a row, by three different people, you know it should be high on your reading list. The Go-Giver is an easily digestible parable format that takes its protagonist through a series of exercises. Each exercise presents him with a different worldview, so he can receive what he so ardently desires.
Telling stories to explain business concepts help to cement the lessons in your book. Think of The Go-Giver as an Aesop fable for adults, and ask yourself, what would happen if I followed this pattern? For authors, this is a great way to use your creative writing skills to explain high-level concepts in a simple format.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
No list would be complete without Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Anyone who has started a business or wants to should begin with this question and this book. You may know what you do and what you sell. But, if someone asked you ‘why’ you do what you do, what makes you get up in the morning, and what keeps you going through the rough times, how would you answer?
When most people think of a successful businessperson, they assume money is the motivator. But is it? If it’s easier to make widgets than to create innovative new gadgets, and you’d make more money by making widgets, why not just focus on the easy road?
But if you have a purpose for your business; a reason for being which drives you forward, it is this which sees you past the fits and starts of a successful business.
Getting his start at Ogilvy & Mather, a New York-based British ad agency, Sinek understands the emotional behaviors we use to purchase things. It’s this human psychology which informs his books and explains not the consumer’s desires, but that of the businesses and their leaders we look up to as consumers.
How do entrepreneurs push forward? How do businesses seem to fail and yet succeed at the same time? Their leaders know why they’re in business, and it’s this why that pushes them to keep going through the tough times. If you’re writing a business book and struggling, find your why and see where it leads you.
Big Magic: Creating Life Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
The bestselling author of Eat Pray Love once again takes us on a journey. But this time, it’s a journey of the self within and how to break through creative barriers. Once again, she opens her soul to share with the world her own process of living a life beyond fear, and that everyone has the power to create.
It may seem counterintuitive to consider there are habits, attitudes, and approaches to creativity. Don’t hang it all on inspiration, but become inspired through the processes.
When reading this book, I thought of a scene from Sabrina. A French woman friend of Sabrina, who works in the fashion industry with her, has watched this gangly girl from New York try to keep a life she hasn’t yet lived. The woman suggests to Sabrina that she too, when she first arrived in Paris, suffered the same frustrations. ‘I came to the café with my journal every day and wrote nonsense,’ she begins. ‘Until one day, it was not nonsense’.
Whatever type of creator you are—writer, painter, musician, dancer, person – you may not have the luxury of going to the café each day to write nonsense until it isn’t. But you can begin. That’s the heart of it, too, I think. Similar to Sinek’s Start with Why, Big Magic inspires you to begin, and once you do, you’ll find your way across the bridge of fear and living a creative and more productive life.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
What could you accomplish if you made 1% incremental changes to your life? This is Clear’s call to action for those seeking to be more productive. He explains that the way we think of goals helps to make to-do lists unwieldy.
While it’s important to have goals, it’s the steps we take which help us reach our goals. Atomic Habits offers not only stories about how to make these changes, but also worksheets readers can use to inform their own habits.
A Good Time to Be a Girl by Helena Morrissey
Because there aren’t enough business books by women, A Good Time to Be a Girl by Helena Morrissey is the follow-up to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.
It’s not a follow up in the traditional sense, but to ask, ‘Why do women always have to act more like the guys? Can’t they adapt to us a little bit?’
For more influential business books, check out this article from Inc.com.
Lisa Street Rogers is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, poet and author. She has written about freelance writing, data and analytics, recruitment, business, and finds her happy place in research, historical fiction, and biographies.