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Best Business Books: What Successful Business Owners are Reading

Itโ€™s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

Did you know the average CEO reads 60 books a year?

I didn't know either until recently. Wow.

The number of books you read is supposedly a pretty good indicator of your level of success.

Considering we're each CEOs of our businesses, that's something to take into consideration.

It got me thinking about how much I love to read.

Plus, I'm in the middle of launching a new book that I contributed to and am very proud of.

The book JUST hit the bookshelves. ๐Ÿ™‚
If you grab a copy of that book today, you'll get cool bonuses

Click for Paperback version | Click for Kindle version

Plus, books are on my brain because I'm finishing my own book and getting it to the publisher this week.

That's why this week's question is…

What are you reading right now?
Like what book is currently
on your night stand,
in your Kindle – Nook or iPad,
on the back of your toilet,
or in your purse?

Connie Ragen Green of Huge Profits Tiny List says:

When I first read that the average CEO reads about 60 books a year, I thought it was a typo, but it was not.

Then I took a look at how many books I was reading at the time. It was about 3 a year back then. Right then I promised myself that I would read more, and since that time – about 5 years now – I have read two books each month. This has given me greater knowledge and exposure to a wide variety of authors and subjects and widened my perspective on topics I previously knew very little about.

I used to enjoy reading mysteries and novels, but now most of what I read is on business and entrepreneurship. I also prefer reading a physical book to one on Kindle or Nook.

Currently I am reading ‘The 10X Rule' by Grant Cardone, rereading ‘Your Portable Empire' by Pat O'Bryan, and just starting ‘The Millionaire Messenger' by Brendon Burchard.

Business Books Connie is Reading

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

Your Portable Empire: How to Make Money Anywhere While Doing What You Love

The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice

Mark Mason of says:

I love to read too. But I must say that Internet Marketing has cut in to my reading time. I used to read at night. Since I started working on internet marketing at night, it is really hard for me to find time to read. So, I compensate by buying audio books from

At the moment, I am finally listening to Rework by by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. These guys are the founders of 37Signals. The book recognized that because of the internet, outsourcing and other business technology, anyone can start a business. Business things that used to be hard are now simple. And this fact changes everything.

Highly recommended.

Business Book Mark is Listening to


Felicia Slattery of Signature Speech Secrets says:

Hi Nic-

I'm reading Bill Glazer's Outrageous Advertising and a book called The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.

And I'm current revising for the 2nd edition Cash in on Communication. ๐Ÿ™‚

Business Books Felicia is Reading

Outrageous Advertising That's Outrageously Successful: Created for the 99% of Small Business Owners Who are Dissatisfied with the Results They Get From Their Current Advertising

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts says:

Right now I'm reading Mom Blogging for Dummies by my friend Wendy Piersall. I'll admit I jumped ahead to page 307, that's where Wendy shares information from the interview she did with me about podcasting. (You should have seen the smile on my face when I found a big screenshot on my site in there!)

In all the years that the ‘For Dummies' brand has been around, I have never opened one of their books before. Mom Blogging for Dummies is a great ‘first impression' for me though. Wendy did a fabulous job presenting blogging for moms interested in doing it as a business. With her own experience as a blogger and blog network owner, plus the expertise she reached out for from other interesting and successful mom bloggers, she is delivering the goods in this book. From platforms and pre-planning to legalities and ethics to all of the different ways you can make money from a blog.

Business Books Kelly is Reading

Mom Blogging For Dummies For Dummies (Computer/Tech)

Lain Ehmann of says:

So funny that you say that books are on your brain. Books are ALWAYS on my brain! I read somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-200 books a year.

They usually fall into some distinct categories:

-Business books
-Memoir (the stranger, the better!)
-Kids' books (the girls and I always have at least one read-aloud bedtime book going)
-“Cozy” mysteries.

I'm also an Amazon “Vine” voice, which means I'm one of the top reviewers on the site and get the opportunity to receive and review pre-releases. So fun, but it means I have a huge pile of books waiting to be read!

Right now, I'm really in love with my Kindle. Not only does it keep the piles on my bedside table to a minimum, I also get instant delivery of books I want to read.

Top of the queue on my Kindle is the “End Malaria” compilation put together by Michael Bungay Stanier. It includes blog-post-length essays from visionaries such as Tom Peters, Brene Brown, Gary Vaynerchuk, and dozens more. Each one is like a little slice of inspiration pie, and is the perfect thing to read and mull over while falling asleep. ๐Ÿ™‚ But the best part is that the entire purchase price goes to fight malaria, a very preventable disease.

Oh, and my daughters and I are reading The Wheel on the School, a Newbury winner from like 50 years ago. It's a charming story of a town in Holland and a group of kids who live there who're trying to bring storks back to the town. I think it's a little slow, but they love it!

Business Books Lain is Reading

End Malaria

Susanne Myers of says:

I used to be good about reading one book at a time before starting another… then I started reading business and marketing books. I do a lot of reading at night, right before going to sleep. Works great for reading fiction, but if you eat and breath marketing like I do and start reading about some great new strategy, it doesn't work out so well. I'd read a good book, get a few pages into it and hop back out of bed to boot up my computer and start implementing.

After quite a few sleepless nights (with a young child that needed to get ready for school early in the morning), I had to change my reading habits. I now read at least two books at a time. In the morning and throughout the day, I tend to read business books. At night, I stick to fiction only. It works out well and I get plenty of sleep most nights ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now I'm reading the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind for fun. It's on my night table and I go grab it when I get overwhelmed with work or just need to relax and clear my head for a bit during the day.

As far as business books go, I'm still reading my way through the 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I love the book, but I have to tell you it's been an interesting experience. I usually feel pretty productive when I'm reading a book. I take notes and take action. With this though, I am reading a few pages and then feel like I have to put it down, sit at my computer and get to work… He talks a lot about taking massive action and does so very convincingly. I actually feel bad about curling up on the couch to read his book when I could be blogging, writing articles, creating new products etc. I highly recommend the book, but be ready to get to work once you start reading it ๐Ÿ™‚

I'm also reading through Carrie Wilkerson's Barefoot Executive book. I didn't plan to read another book, but came across it during her recent book launch. I don't like recommending anything I haven't checked out myself, so naturally I bought the book and started reading it. I'm liking it a lot and keep switching back and forth between reading chapters of both books.

By the way, both business books are on my kindle. I love reading on my kindle and since we do a lot of travelling I always have my personal library with me. The one thing I don't like is the fact that I can't have my kindle turned on during take-off and landing on a plane. That's one of the reasons why I'm reading a paperback version of the Terry Goodkind books. The other reason is that I bought the first two books in the series at the bookstore (before I got my kindle) and feel like I should have the complete series in the same format.

Other than that, I buy and read most books on the kindle. Love the fact that I can order it from home and have it on my kindle a minute later. Instant gratification.

Business Books Susanne is Reading

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom

NicoleNicole Dean of here! says:

I haven't been reading nearly as much as I'd like to be lately. Hence the reason for the question.

I ask my friends for book recommendations so that I know what to order today when I order my copy of the 36 Things you Need to Know Now! book for the lanch – so that I can get free shipping! lol.

I always have at least one book going at a time. One in my purse and another one on my nightstand.

Business Books Nik is Reading (It might look familiar) ๐Ÿ™‚

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom

Huge Profits With Affiliate Marketing: How To Build An Online Empire By Recommending What You Love

And, of course, today, I will be ordering my copy of this book:

36 Things you Need to Know Now!

Click for Paperback version | Click for Kindle version

Thanks so much for reading. Be sure to share what you're reading now. If you guys like this post, I'll make it a regular one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you!

Nicole Dean

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Loretta

    I love seeing what everyone is reading ๐Ÿ™‚ My Amazon wishlist just keeps growing.

  • Peggy Baron

    I had to laugh at what Susanne said about reading business books at night. I’m the same way. I need to get relaxed at bedtime, not energized to put in more hours on the computer.

    I also chuckled about what she said about reading the 10X Rule and feeling like she should put it down and get to work. Same here. It took me forever to get through it.

    Right now I’m reading “Uncertainty” by Jonathan Fields. Next up is Bob Jenkin’s Take Action Revise Later.


  • Leeza Robertson

    What an interesting fact! I have always been a big believer that reading is part and parcel of our personal professional development. Which was why a kindle was a must have for me. And i admit, i am having somewhat of a love affair with it!

    Two general business books i just finished with are (in paperback not kindle)
    – Trust your heart: Transform your ideas into income – Marnie L. Pehrson
    – The Millionaire Messenger – Brendon Burchard

    Two Business Niche specific Books i just finished (kindle versions)

    Beyond Reiki – My Journey to building a thriving practice and community through reiki – Amy Barillia
    The Shaman Unveiled – A healing tale – karen jackson.

  • Liz

    Ever since I got my Kindle I love reading more. It certainly makes downloads easy!

  • Michelle

    I love to read also with my Kindle! I just got your internet marketing book, so glad I found this sight. After having my own business for 20 years raising crickets, last year we go a virus that wiped out most of the cricket farms in the US including us, so now I am selling on eBay and have done so for a year full time but am ready to learn the Affiliate side of the internet and I’m so GLAD I found your sight and your many friends. I think I found my new home, that I can come to each day to learn new things and I have a new book to read about it as well. Thanks so much!

  • Carol Owens

    Oh wow, more great books to add to my Amazon wish list. I am an avid reader of many different genres so whenever I get a recommendation for another book I have to check it out. I read about 200 books a year, from mysteries to business books and biographies. I love to read mysteries in the evening and limit my business reading to daytime hours.

    I enjoy printed books the most but love the fact that I can get an instant book with my kindle.

    Right now I am reading 36 Things You Need To Know Now and Read Their Minds by Sandi Krakowski on my Kindle and Carrie Wilkerson’s Barefoot Executive in print.

  • Jeanie

    I enjoy reading greatly! But unfortunately I don’t have much time for it ( The last book I read was by Emile Zola “Germinal”, rather serious and sad one

  • Ginny Edwards

    My business coach recommended “The Power of Less” by Leo Babauta. Fantastic book! Of course now seeing all of the books listed out here my Amazon list is getting bigger and bigger again. Love to read!


  • Chris

    Business reading is not one of my top priorities. I read more to take my mind off IM! When I hear that top CEOs read 60 books a year I do the math: Let’s see…52 weeks in a year…these guys and gals are not reading War and Peace or the History of Western Civilization. lol
    I think reading too much of any one subject, no matter how diverse the approach may be, tends to over saturate the grey matter and leads to a certain numbness. So, I’m looking for stimulating stuff that keeps what’s left of my mercilessly pruned brain cells interested in staying with me. Biographies are usually good stuff, and travel and adventure can be good vicarious fun, too, depending on the writer. Right now I’m into a piece of fiction: The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

  • Alice Coaxum

    I love to read and I have a couple of books waiting for me. I don’t get to read as much as I would like for pleasure lately due to reading different training materials and taking time to implement, writing etc. I started “By Any Greens Necessary” by Tracye Lynn McQuirter and “Read Their Minds.” By Sandi Krakowski I have a few fiction mystery books (I so love those) and I just grabbed a few vegan books and the 36 Ways book so I will definitely have to check that out A.S.A.P.

    I see a few more books I’d like to grab thanks to seeing everyone’s current list ๐Ÿ™‚

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