A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend. ~Author Unknown
A few years ago, I read a couple of books. Rich Dad Poor Dad changed my thinking from employee to business owner. Then, Robert Allen’s Multiple Streams of Income opened my eyes to different ways to add value.
Reading books stretches the mind; keeps us sharp; and introduces us to new concepts and ideas to build our online business.
Recently, I heard a speaker challenging his audience to improve their minds by reading, at least 10 minutes per day, a book that would help them become a better version of themselves.
Likewise, I’m going to challenge you to read one of these online business books to become a better entrepreneur and business owner. Once you finish reading for the day, list one action you can apply to your business immediately.
This is what Jeremy and Jason from Internet Business Mastery call “just in time learning.”
How I Selected These Online Business Books
Simple. I thought “Which online business owners do I admire?”, and wondered to myself, “What books have they read, or do they recommend?”
It turns out I’ve read some of these books, while others are on my wish list.
Disclosure: The links to the books below do provide me with a small affiliate commission, through Viglink.
Online Books Recommended by Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income Blog
I liked this book. However, be prepared to read it several times. He packs a LOT of information into a few pages. If you read the reviews on Amazon, there are a few detractors. Overall, however, this book combines the concepts of lifestyle design with practical “how to’s to set up a passive, automated business.
Some reviewers think there is a lot of fluff and little substance. Others praise it highly.
Read it critically. Apply the good stuff. Ignore the stuff that doesn’t make sense.
But overall, let it shift your thinking about lifestyle, business, and retirement.
ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse.
Darren’s the real deal. He’s been around the blogging world for quite a while. If you want to know how to blog successfully, and monetize your blog, he walks the walk.
Here are twelve things you’ll learn in this book (from a review on Amazon)
1. Why blog is more valuable than just traffic and sales – as you’re your career progresses, you’ll find this invaluable
2. How much money you can realistically expect to earn
3. How to monetize blogs (how to make money) – There’s an in depth discussion on this subject, this chapter alone could save you years of learning.
4. How to get advertisers
5. How blogs can ruin your reputation and what to avoid
6. How to choose the topic for your blog (I already knew most of the stuff here, but this chapter is a must read)
7. How to use your competition to get a leverage
8. How to setup your blog (name, platform, hosting – the works)
9. How to distinguish yourself from other blogs in your niche
10. The 20 types of blog posts (never knew there were so many)
11. How to use comments to build a tribe of followers
12. How to promote your blog
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Chris identified 1,500 individuals who started and built businesses earning $50,000 or more with modest investments, often $100 or less.
He shows us how to learn from the 50 most interesting individuals.
Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick. Among Chris’s key principles: if you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish – sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.
Jeremy and Jason from Internet Business Mastery
Jay and Jason at Internet Business Mastery recommended the 4 Hour Work Week as well.
Here are two other books they recommend:
The E Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber.
An entrepreneur friend of mine recommended the original book to me a few years ago.
Michael Gerber talks about working on the business versus working in the business. In other words, own the business or it will own you! He talks in great detail about designing business systems that will work for you while you’re away from the business. Hence, automation!
Getting Things Done, by David Allen.
While this is not a specific online business book, learning how to manage all the things we need to do for our personal and business lives is crucial.
David Allen makes productivity simple and doable.
Michael Hyatt from MichaelHyatt.com
Michael regularly reviews new books, but these were some of the books on his short list of books that have most influenced him.
Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham.
This book, rooted in positive psychology and the research of Dr. Donald Clifton, Chair of the Research and Education Center, have created a revolutionary way of identifying your top five strengths themes.
Here’s an Amazon.com summary:
At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StrengthsFinder® Profile, the product of a 25-year, multimillion-dollar effort to identify the most prevalent human strengths. The program introduces 34 dominant “themes” with thousands of possible combinations, and reveals how they can best be translated into personal and career success. In developing this program, Gallup has conducted psychological profiles with more than two million individuals to help readers learn how to focus and perfect these themes. So how does it work? This book contains a unique identification number that allows you access to the StrengthsFinder Profile on the Internet. This Web-based interview analyzes your instinctive reactions and immediately presents you with your five most powerful signature themes. Once you know which of the 34 themes — such as Achiever, Activator, Empathy, Futuristic, or Strategic — you lead with, the book will show you how to leverage them for powerful results at three levels: for your own development, for your success as a manager, and for the success of your organization.
Tribes, by Seth Godin.
This now classic book, by Seth Godin, teaches us the importance of actively leading our readers, and fostering community among each other and with ourselves, to the ideas we promote in our online businesses.
This book is on my wish list, I’ll confess. I’ve read a number of articles talking about the concept of tribes, but I still need to read the raw product.
You are the Message by Roger Ailes
Roger Ailes, past CEO of a couple television networks, argues that we need to deeply understand that who we are speaks just as loudly as the words we speak.
As our online businesses grow, so will our need to communicate effectively through public speaking, video, and podcasting. Mr. Ailes provides strong strategies to help us communicate effectively.
One of My Own, and A Recommendation
The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur , by Jim Horan.
I’ve spent multiple hours writing a detailed business plan that never got off the ground. That’s why this book intrigues me so much! One skeptical reviewer picked this book up at an airport before a plane ride. By the time the plane ride was over, he had written his own business plan for a product, presented it the next week to his employer, and was greeted by a round of applause!
Simple yet detailed and practical wins in my book. And the 50 4.4 out of 5 reviews by readers help as well!
photo credit: Buchachon Petthanya
So that brings me to the end of my list. What online business books do you recommend? Additionally, what other courses have you found helpful during your online journey?