Playing now

Playing now

Sage Book Club: 5 books to inspire you in 2021

People & Leadership

Sage Book Club: 5 books to inspire you in 2021


In the Sage Book Club series business experts share their top must-read books to help you prep your business, and yourself, for the new year.

Looking for a dose of business inspiration this New Year? For me, inspiration is often found where you least expect it, and I’ve found that great reads inspire me to take on new challenges in my career and with my business, whether they’re business books or not. To that end, here are 5 books (not all business) that have inspired me.

  1. The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win

    By Steve Blank
    This is a reissue of Blank’s original earth-shattering perspective on startups, which launched the lean startup movement. It has lots of insight about why some startups succeed and others fail. It also applies to businesses thinking of launching new products or introducing new services.

  2. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

    By Grace Bonney
    Over 100 accomplished women describe their own inspiring journeys to entrepreneurship. Whatever kind of business you want to start or already run, from media mogul to tattoo artist, the women in this book will inspire you to take it on.

  3. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

    By Shonda Rhimes
    Love this book about how Rhimes, a self-proclaimed introvert and creator of Grey’s Anatomy and other TV hits, overcame her fears (which she enabled by saying “no”) and embarked on a year of saying “yes” to everything that scared her. Taking Rhimes’ journey with her is uplifting, inspiring and empowering.

  4. To Kill a Mockingbird

    By Harper Lee
    Not a business book, but it’s filled with business and life lessons. It proves the power of doing the right thing, fighting for the underdog, and advocating for the unheard.

  5. Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union

    By Richard Kreitner
    This may seem an odd recommendation for entrepreneurs, but the author (full disclosure: my nephew) reveals many truths about American history that we never learned in school. From our founding, there have been numerous attempts to “break up” the U.S. into smaller pieces. Along the way, we meet the leaders who stuck to their vision and fought for what they believed in. Though the book covers U.S. history, it’s very relevant today.

Do you have a book recommendation? Share it with us in the comments.

Sage Advice offers actionable wisdom and insights to help you start, grow, and lead your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest articles delivered right to your inbox.

Transform your workforce with Sage

No matter the size of your team, Sage offers HR solutions to help you lead, manage, and engage your people.


Find out more

Subscribe to our Sage Advice Newsletter

Get our latest business advice delivered directly to your inbox.

Working from home with tea in hand

Ask the author a question or share your advice

When you leave a comment on this article, please note that if approved, it will be publicly available and visible at the bottom of the article on this blog. While your email address will not be publicly available, we will collect, store and use it, along with any other personal data you provide as part of your comment, to respond to your queries offline, provide you with customer support and send you information about our products and services as requested.  For more information on how Sage uses and looks after your personal data and the data protection rights you have, please read our Privacy Policy.