Business & Marketing Books


Longform traditional books make a change from blog posts because you get the full detail and all the nuances of the subject at hand.

Here are some recommended books providing advice, encouragement, psychological insight and inspiration on subjects covering business, finance and success.


Dear Entrepreneur by Danny Bailey & Andrew Blackman

A business advice compilation featuring 70+ contributing authors who have set up and are running their own businesses. The book was brought to life by the two named authors on the book itself who made it their mission to collate written material as a means of business education.

I enjoyed the book and see it as a valuable tool for helping a first time business person needing support. It's almost like reading a transcript from a networking event or workshop which is definitely a good thing.

Admittedly I'm already familar with most of the advice dispensed but I found each person's story very interesting and I imagine you will too.

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Poke The Box by Seth Godin

Available both as hardback or Kindle download, this title adds to Seth Godin's existing and well received body of work. As a well respected marketer and authority in his field the book packs some clout and indispensable advice.

Whether you want to get started in a new business, revisit a previously shelved project or just learn a few new skills, Poke The Box is all about taking a healthy curiosity and enthusiastic approach in your endeavours.

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Do You Have the Time for Success? by Julio Melara

A quick read and ideal as a refresher if you're struggling with motivation. The phrase "TIME" is used as an acronym for Talent, Information, Motivation and Enthusiasm. Sometimes I like to pretend the "I" represents Imagination too.

It's possible to read the book in one sitting and is the sort of thing I might flick through on the way to a job interview or business meeting if I'm on the bus or in a taxi. Full of quotes, phrases, idioms and wisdom, I revisit what I regard as a brief look at success principles in digest form. I've lent the book to friends many times but is only really useful if the content is taken seriously.

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The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason

A great book outlining the ancient principles of wealth and the road to financial success. By controlling expenditure and increasing income through simple measures, everyone can change their "luck" and afford some of the pleasures in life. A solid source of wisdom, the author utilises a fable narrative to relate fictional scenarios in which the protagonists wish to learn the secrets of success and increase their wealth.

I really like this book and always try to recommend it to friends or family who seem to be struggling with their finances. The sad irony is, some of these people will not even listen let alone read the book. I mean, come on, it's only A BOOK! Read it! It won't hurt, I promise!

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How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie

First published in 1936, “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie has sold 15 million copies worldwide and remains one of the most popular how-to manuals in handling people. It was updated in 1981 with newer, more relevant anecdotes. Years of study and research were devoted to the book which draws on marketing, advertising, psychology, business, relationships and more.

Hundreds of biographies of political and business leaders were painstakingly analysed to find the essential qualities of successful human interaction and influence.

I like the book because there is a particular emphasis on decency, understanding and humility, and points out early on that as human beings, we are all creatures of emotion, not logic. If you’re interested in becoming a successful persuader and influencer consider this book, which is also available in audio.

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How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger

Somebody passed this to me because they thought I’d find it interesting. On the face of it the title seems to suggest the book is only aimed at people who consider themselves “failures”. That isn’t the case at all. It’s just the tendency of American authors to write a compelling, bestselling title. That’s copywriting 101 right there for sceptical Brits (LOL)

Anyway – the premise is of a guy who wanted to play baseball as a full time professional but due to an injury was forced to do something else. Because he was unable to pursue the game he loved – baseball – he was obligated to become proficient in the game he initially hated – sales. This book documents how he improved his chances of success (and achieved it) by becoming a ready, willing student of a self initiated course of self improvement.

It’s similar to Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends…” and a recommended read. One more thing: sometimes these American authors become a little over excited and zealous. I’m sure they mean well so give them the benefit of the doubt and if necessary only glean the advice that speaks directly to you.

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The Art Of Dealing With People by Les Giblin

This is a pamphlet rather than a book. It’s a quick read so handy if you need to brush up on a few points before a meeting or interview. Body language and communication techniques are the main focus. There are small points about bad habits in communication, such as playing with your ear lobe, covering your mouth when talking, leaning back when another person is talking etc.

 I remember lending it to my friend who had an interview and was feeling slightly nervous, but don’t think I ever got it back! That’s okay though since it was inexpensive and he might find it useful again one day!

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The Brand Called You: Make Your Business Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace by Peter Montoya & Tim Vandehey

My local library stocks this book and came as a pleasant discovery. It is about self-branding and effective communication between you (a person) and your client (also a person). A totally faceless organisation may be too aloof or unreachable to many people. Always think about aligning yourself with your target market. Speak to them, not at them, and when you do so, say, “You and I, we’re the same.”

I liked the book and it made me think about the implicit customer dialogue evidenced in the age of web 2.0 and social media. It isn’t uncommon for CEOs to have their own blog, Twitter or Facebook feed to directly connect to their followers. Innocent Smoothies is one example that springs to mind although conglomerates such as Tesco are having a go too.

If you're a small business, take advantage of the flexibility at your disposal by making your personal brand front and center.

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Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done, Today! by Brian Tracy

Avoiding procrastination is the theme in this easy read and is amongst the first few books I read on the subject of getting things done. Although I read it over five years ago I still remember the principles well. At the time I had graduated from university and was job hunting with a passion so the tips presented were very useful. The title comes from the idea that if you ate a raw frog for breakfast everyday, all the other tasks you face from then on would appear easy. Tackle the harder jobs first, encourages the author, and everything else is less intimidating.

I lent this to a few friends (I do that a lot with books!) who understood the book’s message and acted upon it with success. Do you have kids studying for exams, preparing for college/university or undertaking a personal endeavour? This would make an ideal gift so don’t be put off by the cartoon frog on the front cover! If you're interested. you can listen to the audiobook here on Youtube.