People & Leadership

7 books to help you boss your business


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.

What business lessons did 2020 teach you?

“Everyone was faced with challenges this year,” Garrett Wagner shared during our recent Twitter chat. “We learned that adapting and evolving is something that should never be kicked down the road.”

Rieva Lesonsky agreed, “[2020 taught us] to be better prepared for emergencies and disasters. To always have a back-up plan. To be flexible and creative and be able to pivot.”

Here are seven must-read business books our experts recommended to help you better prepare for 2021 and beyond.

1.      Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

Recommended by L. Gary Boomer, Visionary and Strategist of Boomer Consulting.

Tiny Habits encourages you to forget daunting goals and to set tiny habits to make real change.

2.      The Plan as You Go Business Plan by Tim Berry

Recommended by Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends

This book simplifies the business planning process and reveals how to create a business plan that grows with your business.

3.      The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

Recommended by Tripp Braden, Growth and Development Strategist, Strategic Performance Partners

“2021 will be all about marketing your business in an authentic and personal way,” explained Tripp. The New Rules of Marketing and PR is “my favorite book on this topic and will help make 2021 your best year ever.”

4.      Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

Recommended by Nicole Davis, CPA and Founder, Butler-Davis Tax and Accounting

This classic book provides a prescription for thinking and acting that leads to quantifiable results. “Business owners need to amp up the positivity within after this challenging year,” advised Nicole. “This book focuses on the mind-body connection to achieving outer success.”

5.      The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Recommended by Lyndon Johnson, Founder of Think Different[ly]

This book draws on the philosophy of the Stoics to guide you in every situation, showing that obstacles can create new and better paths.

6.      My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown by Meera Lee Patel

Recommended by Laurie McCabe, Co-Founder of SMB Group

Is fear simply opportunity in disguise?  “Many business books are kind of dry, but this one is a good read – and helps you channel fear into opportunity,” Laurie shared.

7.      The Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer

Recommended by Garrett Wagner, Host of the Entrepreneurial CPA Show

“This book is all about the characteristics, traits, and skills of truly disruptive innovators who transform a job or entire industry,” explained Garrett. “In order to progress in 2021, we have to be ready to take drastic steps to change our mindset, mentality, and approach to how we do business. This book is the perfect way to start your new year off with a fresh mind.”

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

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2021.