10 Best Business Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read in 2023

Last Updated: November 22, 2023 | by Paul Harstrom

Welcome to the Lead Diligently blog page, where future leaders gather to find inspiration! 

This article has compiled a list of the top 10 best business books that every small business owner should read in 2023. These invaluable resources can reshape your thinking, giving your business fresh perspectives and fueling growth.

Did you know that small businesses are responsible for generating over 60% of new jobs in the United States? As a small business owner, you hold the key to driving economic growth and creating opportunities for countless individuals.

Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or employee, immersing yourself in the wisdom shared within these ten outstanding business books will give you a competitive edge. 

At LEAD Diligently, We are always looking for professional insights that help us improve efficiencies for our clients, boost profitability, increase revenue, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

So, let’s dive into the collection of the 10 Best Business Books to Read in 2023. This selection covers various categories: social media marketing, leadership, business processes, entrepreneurship, small business accounting, marketing, and finance.

How Do You Choose the Right Business Book?

In the vast ocean of business books available today, choosing the perfect guide for your entrepreneurial journey can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

As a small business owner, arming yourself with the proper knowledge is crucial for success. So, how do you navigate the sea of options and find the best books that cater to your needs?

For small business owners seeking a wealth of insights, it all starts with a simple yet powerful step: 

Knowing What You’re Looking For:

Are you a budding entrepreneur searching for the best books to kickstart your small business in 2023? Or perhaps you’re a seasoned business owner aiming to boost growth and expansion. 

Identifying your goals will narrow your search and lead you to the perfect read.

When in pursuit of knowledge on how to grow a small business, keep an eye out for those books that other entrepreneurs have highly recommended. 

Reviews and recommendations from fellow business owners can be invaluable, providing you with real-life experiences to learn from.

It’s also essential to consider the specific areas where your small business might need a boost. For instance, if you struggle with the financial aspects of running a business, don’t overlook the gems in small business finance. Like “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz

Marketing plays a pivotal role in the success of any business. If your marketing strategies could renovate, explore the shelves for books that delve into the art of small business marketing. Like “Here We Grow” by Marcia Barnes.

Moreover, let’s not forget the importance of staying on top of your business’s financial health. For that, consider pursuing those books which can provide you with the knowledge and tools to manage your finances efficiently. Like “Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs” by Karen Berman and Joe Knight

Ultimately, selecting the best books for small business owners is a personalized journey guided by your business’s unique requirements and your thirst for knowledge. 

Remember, the possibilities are boundless with the right book, and your entrepreneurial spirit will soar to new heights. Happy reading!

10 Best Business Books Summary List

  • Start with Why
  • Profit First
  • The Great Game of Business
  • The Personal MBA
  • The Revenue Growth Habit
  • The Lean Startup
  • Crushing It!
  • The 10x Rule
  • The E-Myth Revisited
  • The Art of the Start 2.0

#1:  Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Start With Why Simon Sinek
Start With Why

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate or inspire it.

“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do.  By WHY I mean your purpose, cause, or belief – WHY does your company exist?  WHY do you get out of bed every morning?  And WHY should anyone care?

In Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek talks about the “WHY” of business; he talks about how great business leaders focus on the why as much as they do on the how and the what.

Simon Sinek’s point is that most business leaders talk about WHAT they do; the products and services their company makes.  They also talk about the HOW – the process they use in the production which sets them apart.  Toyota, for example, made a name for itself by focusing on the HOW.

Steve Jobs was an exceptional leader because he focused on the WHY of Apple – the WHY of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.  His presentations and product launches were always the year’s most significant events.  But it takes a rare business leader like Steve Jobs to talk about the WHY of business.

Golden Circle Simon Sinek Start With Why
Golden Circle Simon Sinek Start With Why

Now, let’s say you have a small accounting firm.  The WHAT of what you is, “I’m an accountant  .”The WHY of your business is that you help people find financial peace in life.  The HOW is by assisting them in saving money on their taxes.

Now you see why the WHY of your business is so important.  But it’s not just about attracting customers – the WHY of your business helps you find motivated and committed employees.

As Simon Sinek says, “You don’t hire for skills; you hire for attitude.”  You can always teach skills.

“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them.  They hire already motivated people and inspire them.”  People are motivated, or they are not. 

Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job, and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.

“Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed.  If companies do not actively work to balance clarity, discipline, and consistency, trust starts to break down.”

Simon Sinek

That is a good point.  Suppose you want to find the WHY of your business.  In that case, you have to look backward for the original motivation for starting the business.

Then, you have to look outwards and seek feedback from your customers about why they buy products from you or hire your services.

Finally, you will have to look inwards.  What’s your vision for the world (more than just turning a profit)?  What is the core belief or value system that your business holds?

This is an eye-opening book, and I am sure you will benefit from it! 

#2:  Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

Profit First
Profit First

The old, been-around-forever, profitless formula is: Sales – Expenses = Profit The new, Profit First Formula is: Sales – Profit = Expenses The math in both formulas is the same.  Logically, nothing has changed. 

But Profit First speaks to human behavior—it accounts for the regular Joes of the world, like me.” – Mike Michalowicz in Profit First: A Simple System To Transform Any Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine

One of the best business books for start-up entrepreneurs in 2023 is by a writer who has made news lately for all the right reasons, Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz.

He is behind some of the most popular business books of the past few years, such as The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan, both targeted at small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Mike is very passionate about small businesses and wants to help.  He has come out with a new way of thinking, putting profits before any expense.

The big problem with many small businesses is that they wait for the big client to come along, which will completely change the direction of their business.  That may or may not happen, but what about right now?  How do you, as a business owner, ensure profitability and decent cash flow for your business NOW?

You can do that by putting profits first.  Let me explain why this is such a revolutionary concept.

The basics of GAAP accounting:

Income – Expenses = Profits.

The problem is that when your expenses increase, your profits start eroding.  So what can you do about that?  You can change the way you budget.  Flip the Income Statement and put profits first.

Income – Profit = Expenses

Pay yourself first before paying any bills.  Deduct the amount you want to see as a profit.  What if you don’t have enough to pay for the expenses then?

Find a way to reduce expenses!  Cut back on things that are not essential to your business.  Work on ways to boost your cash flow. 

As Mike says, “At the end of the day, the start of a new day, and every second in between, cash is all that counts.  It is the lifeblood of your business.  Do you have it or not?  If you don’t, you’re in trouble, and if you do, you can sustain.”

Mike offers many ideas in his book on how to do that.  You can start by eliminating services that don’t add much to your bottom line while causing a significant increase in your expenses.

Focus on your core businesses with an eye on profitability.  Ask yourself – does a particular project or task serve your broader business goals?  If the answer is no, eliminate it.

Cut recurring business costs or expenses.  Find out where your business has been bleeding cash.  It could be tiny and insignificant, but it all adds up in the long run. 

Focus on eliminating debt and attracting new investment (excellent advice).  Mike Michalowicz has undoubtedly done a good job with this book.  Profit First is a Must Read Business Book for small business owners in 2023.

#3: The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack with Bo Burlingham

The Great Game of Business
The Great Game of Business

The GGOB addresses the notion that the longer you stay with the company, and the more time you invest, the greater the chances are of reaping your rewards if the venture is successful.

I am a big believer in a management philosophy called Open Book Management, which was first developed by the legendary CEO of SRC Holdings, Jack Stack.  What is Open Book Management?

Most management philosophies that focus on process reengineering and self-management have little effect on the company’s performance as they focus on results and methods, not on reasons.  They show managers what they should do to get better performance from their employees.  Still, they neglect one critical point, “why should the employees care”?

Business schools suggest providing employees incentives such as higher paychecks, paid vacations, free healthcare, and other perks and bonuses – but that’s not enough. 

If you want your employees to be genuinely committed to your organization, you have to find a way to make them care about the company’s mission as much as you do.

The Great Game of Business narrates how Jack Stack implemented Open Management at SRC Holdings.  The book is a compelling story of how Jack Stack built SRC Holdings from the ground up, starting from the acquisition of a failing division of the International Harvester side of the business.

It is a highly readable business narrative, a genre I love, and an introduction to a new management technique.  Jack Stack wants managers to treat their employees fairly and treat them just as they wish.

Open Management, according to Jack Stack, is about giving employees a real purpose in life.  It makes them excited about work and not see their job as a thing they have to do for a living but as something they want to do.

Jack Stack writes in the book: “I don’t want people to do a job.  I want them to be going somewhere.  I want them to have a purpose in what the hell they’re doing.  I want them to be excited about getting up in the morning, to look forward to what they’re going to do that day.”

Stack’s Open Book Management is based on the 10 Higher Laws of Business.

  • 1.  You get what you give.
  • 2.  It’s easy to stop one guy, but it’s pretty hard to stop 100.
  • 3.  What goes around comes around.
  • 4.  You do what you gotta do.
  • 5.  You gotta wanna.
  • 6.  You can sometimes fool the fans, but you can never fool the players.
  • 7.  When you raise the bottom, the top rises.
  • 8.  When people set their targets, they usually hit them.
  • 9.  If nobody pays attention, people stop caring.
  • 10.  As they say in Missouri: Dung rolls downhill.  By which we mean change begins at the top.”

This is a book I recommend to any emerging leader or a small business entrepreneur.  I have borrowed heavily from the principles in this book, which has undoubtedly influenced how I run my company and advise our clients.

If you want to explore this topic further, I suggest reading my article titled, “The Great Game of Business Summary”

 #4:  The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business  by Josh Kaufman

Personal MBA
Personal MBA

Business schools don’t create successful people.  They accept them, then take credit for their success.” Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume

One of the best books I’ve read in recent years is The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman.  This is not a new book, it was published in 2012, but for me, this is one of those timeless classics that generations of readers will read.

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to get started in entrepreneurship or runs a small business.  You don’t have to join a business school and do your MBA to start a business.  Reading a few good books is all you need to learn the basics of business management.

Josh Kaufman is a brilliant man who makes a compelling argument at the start of this book as to why an MBA is overrated.  An MBA program at a top business school costs at least $200,000.  Kaufman asks if an MBA degree is genuinely worth the money.

If it’s your goal to start a business, you would be better off reading this book and a few others that Kaufman recommends – which can be read at any public library for free!  It’s not worth getting into massive debt to get an MBA if it’s your goal to start a business.  Invest the money into your start-up instead.

The Personal MBA is a powerful book that contains all the valuable lessons you will learn in a typical MBA program.  Of course, it’s not perfect, and you will discover only the basics from this book.  Still, it is an excellent overview of what you’ll learn in a business school.  It is what I call a perfect starting point.

Kaufman gives an impressive list of essential business books to read to further your education.  He firmly believes that if you learn about 20 to 30 books from this list, you will know as much as any business school graduate.  He says: “College: two hundred people reading the same book.  An obvious mistake.  Two hundred people can read two hundred books.” 

Look at the list of best business books recommended by Kaufman here.

There are many impactful stories of entrepreneurship in this book.  One I liked best was a great application, Fitbit.  Kaufman reveals something about this highly successful start-up that I didn’t know about:

Fitbit is a company that knows the value of Shadow Testing.  Founded by Eric Friedman and James Park in September 2008, Fitbit does a small clip-on exercise and sleep data-gathering device.  The Fitbit device tracks your activity levels throughout the day and night. 

It automatically uploads your data to the Web, which analyzes your health, fitness, and sleep patterns.  It’s a neat concept, but creating new hardware is time-consuming, expensive, and risky, so here’s what Friedman and Park did. 

The same day they announced the Fitbit idea to the world, they started allowing customers to preorder a Fitbit on their Web site based on little more than a description of what the device would do and a few renderings of what the product would look like. 

The billing system collected names and addresses and verified credit card numbers.  Still, no charges were processed until the product was ready to ship, which gave the company an out in case their plans fell through. 

Orders started rolling in, and one month later, investors had the confidence to pay 2 million dollars to make Fitbit a reality.  A year later, the first real Fitbit was shipped to customers.  That’s the power of Shadow Testing.” ― Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

I loved that!  The only issue with this book is that it has too much information. 

That’s okay; Kaufman himself recommends using this book as a reference to get what you want.  You don’t have to read The Personal MBA from start to finish.  Pick up the things you need to know.  Also, use the reading list given by Kaufman to further your learning about business.

Highly recommended!

#5:  The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day by Alex Goldfayn

Revenue Growth Habit
Revenue Growth Habit

In revenue growth, ironically, quantity trumps quality.  The more customers and prospects hear from you, the more they will buy.  It doesn’t have to be amazing material, only helpful material.  Helpful is more than good enough.  Helpful is a rare commodity.  The important thing is that people often hear from you, not perfectly.” 

― Alex Goldfayn, The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day

As I read Alex Goldfayn’s The Revenue Growth Habit, my first impression was just how concise the chapters were.  No fluff, nothing out of place, only the essential information/content you need.

This short book has more than 46 chapters, each with a valuable lesson on small business marketing.  Goldfayn says, “Marketing is more impactful than selling because sales are, by definition, one-on-one.”

On the other hand, marketing allows you to target large demography or group with less effort.  That is why as a small business owner, you should have the mindset of a marketer rather than that of a salesperson to grow your business. 

This brings us back to the “why” of business, as we discussed earlier.  You must think more positively about yourself and your business as a marketer.  Why does your business exist, what purpose does it solve, and what are your core business values?

You should be very clear about the value that your business has to provide to your customers.  Running a business is not just about dealing with emergencies or reacting to situations but being proactive and communicating value to customers buying from you.

You can do this by dedicating just 15 minutes daily to marketing your business to increase your revenue growth by 15%.  Well, at least that’s the promise Goldfayn makes in the book.

The lessons are pretty straightforward.  Goldfayn has a fascinating back story about how he overcame his initial struggles through hard work, diligence, and discipline, which every small business owner can learn from to increase revenue and grow their business.

Goldfayn talks about the importance of stories and how to use customer reviews and testimonials, genuine, not made up, as a tool to grow your business.

Finally, as Goldfayn says, “Marketing is as much art as it is science.” You will learn a lot about the art of marketing from this book.  For this reason, I recommend it.

#6:  The Lean Start-up – How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup

The big question of our time is not, Can it be built?  But Should it be built?  This places us in an unusual historical moment: our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations.” 

― Eric Ries, The Lean Start-up: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries is one of the most popular business books to have come out in recent years and a must-read for start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Every young entrepreneur I know has read this book.

Eric Ries talks about the Lean Start-up strategy used by several successful start-ups, such as Dropbox, Airbnb, Aardvark, and EtherPad, to name just a few.

Dropbox and Airbnb are two companies that rose from nothing to become leaders in their respective industries in just a few years.  Ries spends time discussing these companies and what they got rights too.

The point he makes in the book is to start small when you’re creating a new business, validate and test the products continually, using methods such as split testing and cohort analysis.  In the book, he explains these methods in detail.

A lean start-up methodology means releasing products, services, or marketing campaigns quickly, eliminating those that don’t do well, and sticking to those that do.  Iterate and improve all the time.

The Lean Startup Methodology
The Lean Startup Methodology

I found this methodology very useful when launching a Google AdWords campaign.  Test two marketing campaign versions on a small test audience, and ask for their feedback.  Get rid of the one they didn’t like and release the one that they loved to a much larger audience.  

Eric Ries emphasizes why it is essential to ask customers for feedback and make decisions based on that.  We may consider a new product excellent, but the buyer may have a different opinion.  As business owners, we are often caught in a bubble and fail to think from the customer’s perspective.

Never be too much in love with your products or services, it’s the customer that counts.  Your job is to solve the customer’s problem or provide them with a valuable service or product.  If your product or service fails in the marketplace, it’s not the customer’s fault, it’s your fault!

Respect the customer at all times; this is the most important lesson you will learn from “The Lean Start-up“. 

#7:  Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk 

Crushing It! Book Cover
Crushing It!

Live your passion.  What does that mean?  It means that when you get up for work every morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most. 

You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing—working, playing, and relaxing are the same.  You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because it’s not working for you. 

You’re making money, but you’d do whatever you’re doing for free.” ― Gary VaynerchukCrush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

I’ll be shocked if you haven’t heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, he is a social media marketing guru who has made a big name for himself in recent years, all credit to him.  Vaynerchuk is to social media marketing what Steve Jobs was to personal computing, he is a genius at what he does.

In many ways, Vaynerchuk is similar to Tim Ferriss.  Like Ferriss, he has a few good ideas and has written popular bestsellers. 

I read his first book, Crush It!, written in 2009.  It was a bestseller at that time.  In that book, he explained how a vibrant personal brand was critical to the entrepreneurial success of a business.

Recently, Vaynerchuk came out with a new book, Crushing It!, where he takes the concept further and shares stories of entrepreneurs who have achieved great success by following the lessons in Crush It!.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read Crush It!, as Crushing It! has updated versions of the same chapters from the earlier book.  You will learn how to use social media to promote your business more effectively, it’s a perfect “how to” manual for this day and age.

You will learn how to promote your business on traditional social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest and on some newer platforms such as Snapchat.  Gary also shows how to promote your podcasts on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, and iHeartRadio.

Crushing It!  is a remarkable book.  It shows you how to live your life or run your business on your terms without worrying about the competition.

Gary is a talented guy who gives you plenty of quotable quotes, so let’s conclude with one:  “I put zero weight into anyone’s opinion about me because I know exactly who I am.  Can you say the same?


#8:  The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone.

The 10x Rule
The 10x Rule

Until you become completely obsessed with your mission, no one will take you seriously.  Until the world understands that you’re not going away—you are 100 percent committed, have complete and utter conviction, and will persist in pursuing your project—you will not get the attention you need and the support you want.” ― Grant CardoneThe 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone is a popular book.  It has over 9,000 reviews on Amazon.  There is a good reason for that.  It is one of those books that motivates you to take decisive action, or “Massive Action,” in your life or business.

In many ways, Grant Cardone is similar to Tim Robbins, the world’s most famous self-help guru.  Still, his advice is more practical and actionable for small business owners.

The “10X” in “The 10x Rule” means pushing the boundaries and setting higher goals for yourself and your business, 10 times higher than what you’d thought yourself capable of and then taking Massive Action to achieve it.

If you usually make ten products daily, try to make a hundred.  If your sales staff handles 100 calls daily, try to make it 1,000.  Put ten times as much effort into what you’re doing and trying to accomplish.

For example, Grant Cardone says that he became successful in social media marketing when he became crazy about it and started using Facebook 10 times as much as before.  He preaches an aggressive sales philosophy and wants you to go for gold every time.

I liked what he says in the book: “One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that the former look for problems to resolve, whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.”

Grant Cardone

The book has 32 short, crisp, and powerful chapters, each with a big lesson.  Here’s a look

  • Have a “Can Do” Attitude
  • Believe That “I Will Figure It Out”
  • Focus on Opportunity
  • Love Challenges
  • Seek To Solve Problems
  • Persist Until Successful
  • Take Risks
  • Be Unreasonable
  • Be Dangerous
  • Create Wealth
  • Readily Take Action
  • Always Say “Yes”
  • Habitually Commit
  • Go All The Way
  • Focus on “Now”
  • Demonstrate Courage
  • Embrace Change
  • Determine and Take the Right Approach
  • Break Traditional Ideas
  • Be Goal-Oriented
  • Be on a Mission
  • Have a High Level of Motivation
  • Be Interested in Results
  • Have Big Goals and Dreams
  • Create Your Reality
  • Commit First – Figure Out Later
  • Be Highly Ethical
  • Be Interested in the Group
  • Be Dedicated to Continuous Learning
  • Be Uncomfortable
  • “Reach Up” in Relationships
  • Be Disciplined

Good stuff!  I found “The 10X” to be highly motivating.  As Cardone says, “I suggest that you become obsessed about the things you want; otherwise, you will spend a lifetime being obsessed with making excuses as to why you didn’t get the life you wanted.”

#9:  The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber 

The E-Myth Revisited Book Cover
The E-Myth Revisited

Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.” ― Michael E. Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

If there is one book that I consider to be a must-read for all small business owners, it is The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber.  This book busts many of the myths surrounding small business ownership and entrepreneurship.

The biggest mistake small business owners make is to think that a good idea and the ability to work hard are all they need to succeed in business.

Indeed, I have read many books that tell small business owners that all you need to do is to get a good idea to have a successful business, but in the real world, as Gerber says, it’s not so easy.

Gerber takes the example of a young woman called Sarah to explain this.  Sarah is very good at baking, and her friends tell her to start her own business.  Sarah creates a small baking company and hires a professional manager to run the business so she can focus on baking.

The arrangement works well for a start.  However, the manager gets a better offer from another company and quits.  Sarah is devastated as she is talented at baking; she has no idea about running a business.

Gerber uses Sarah’s example to show how it’s not enough for an entrepreneur to know the technical side of running a business.  A software developer cannot run a company because he is a brilliant programmer.

He says, “To The Manager, then, The Technician becomes a problem to be managed.  To The Technician, The Manager becomes a meddler to be avoided.  To both of them, The Entrepreneur is the one who got them into trouble in the first place!” 

To succeed in business, you must be good at three things:

  1. Technical,
  2. Managerial, and
  3. Entrepreneurial aspects of running the company. 

Not many small business owners can be good at all three skills, which contributes to 80% of start-ups failing within the first five years. These skills can be learned, and they can be acquired.  So don’t let that dishearten you if you find yourself lacking in any of them.

What determines the success of a business is not what it sells but how it sells them.  “The Entrepreneurial Model has less to do with what’s done in a business and more with how it’s done.  The commodity isn’t what’s important—the way it’s delivered is,” Gerber writes. 

Also, he stresses the importance of automating your business to succeed without your active involvement.  This means making the business systems dependent instead of people-dependent.  When a company becomes systems-dependent, it becomes easily scalable and more capable of achieving great success.

He explains: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job.  And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!” 

That is an excellent point!  I can’t recommend this book highly enough for someone considering starting a small business.

If this topic interest you, I suggest reading my article titled, “Changing Organizational Culture by Harnessing The Oz Principle.”

#10.  The Art Of The Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide For Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki 

The Art of the Start 2.0
The Art of the Start 2.0

You should always be selling—not strategizing about selling.  Don’t test, test, test—that’s a game for big companies.  Don’t worry about being embarrassed. 

Don’t wait to develop the perfect product or service.  Good enough is good enough.  There will be plenty of time for refinement later.  It’s not how great you start, it’s how great you end up.” ― Guy Kawasaki, 

Quite often, the most challenging part of starting a new business is the start itself.  How you start the business determines whether it fails, like 80% of small businesses do in their first five years, or succeeds, making you fabulously wealthy.

Guy Kawasaki is a well-known name in Silicon Valley.  He was the software evangelist for Apple during the company’s early days and is a significant venture capitalist now.  He has written this book as a “how to” guide for small business owners and entrepreneurs on getting “The Art of the Start” absolutely correct.

The Art of the Start 2.0 is an excellent read; Guy Kawasaki is a terrific writer.  His writing style can be described as delightfully idiosyncratic.  For example, instead of Frequently Asked Questions, you have a “Frequently Avoided Questions” section on running a business!

Reading this book is like being coached in entrepreneurship by the best in the business.  This guy has done it all and seen it all in the world of start-ups from close range.  You can trust his perspective. 

Guy Kawasaki is a brilliant man, and this book contains excellent quotes.  Here are three that I liked:

1: “When telescopes work, everyone is an astronomer, and the world is full of stars.  When they don’t, everyone whips out their microscopes, and the world is full of flaws.  The reality is that you need both microscopes and telescopes to achieve success.

2: “The wisest course of action is to take your best shot with a prototype, immediately get it to market, and iterate quickly.  Suppose you wait for ideal circumstances where you have all the necessary information (which is impossible).  In that case, the market will pass you by.” 

3: “Doing, not learning to do, is the essence of entrepreneurship.” 

― Guy Kawasaki, The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

I guarantee that you are going to enjoy reading this book.

Conclusion to the Best Books in 2023 for Small Business Owners:

These 10 Best Business Books for Small Business Owners in 2023 offer a goldmine of knowledge and practical insights for business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Whether you are just starting or looking to grow your business, these books provide essential guidance to navigate the challenges and seize opportunities effectively.

Do not forget to share your thoughts and insights in the comments below!

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Lead Diligently offers expert-led leadership development programs to help you build business executive skills & advance profitable enterprises.

We are on a mission to help our clients gain the clarity they need to wholly pursue their God-given purpose and grow profitable enterprises.


What books should business owners read?

Business owners should read books on entrepreneurship, leadership, and industry-specific topics to stay informed and improve their skills.

Why do CEOs read a lot of books?

CEOs read extensively to gain new perspectives, make informed decisions, stay ahead in the industry, and inspire their teams with their knowledge.

Is it important to read business books?

Yes, reading business books enhances knowledge, provides insights from experts, and fosters continuous learning and growth.

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