Top 20 Startup, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Books of 2012

Here is our carefully curated line-up of 20 business books (in alphabetical order) that every small business owner can benefit from...

What are successful entrepreneurs reading lately?

We are excited to reveal this years most talked-about and must-read business books for startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. From strategic and tactical knowledge to classics and insights from today’s most renowned business thought-leaders we’ve curated a list of 20 books for your reading and business pleasure.

Here is our carefully curated line-up of 20 business books (in alphabetical order) that every small business owner can benefit from:


1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated), by Timothy Ferriss

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.


2. Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling, by Michael Port

Learn why self-promotion is a critical factor to success, giving you a unique perspective that makes this guide much more than an ordinary “how to” manual for getting more clients and raising a business profile. Book Yourself Solid enables you to adopt the right promotional perspective and provides the strategies, techniques, and skills necessary to get more clients and increase profits.


3. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

Co-created by 470 “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries, the book features strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. Learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model–or analyze and renovate an old one.


4. Content is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web and Mobile, by Jon Wuebben

In the digital age, content is spread across web and mobile, taking the form of podcasts, webinars, widgets, and blog posts. Learn the fine art of content development by utilizing the latest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) techniques, and the tools and strategies you need to get your online content noticed.


5. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, by Guy Kawasaki

Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques. Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people.


6. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins

Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identify a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years.


7. How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

Since it was released in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Proven advice for success in life: Carnegie believed that most successes come from an ability to communicate effectively rather than from brilliant insights.


8. Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School, by Richard Branson

It’s business school, the Branson way. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, improving your leadership skills, or simply looking for inspiration from one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson has the answers.


9. Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks), by Dave Kerpen

Learn to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to transform your business. Listen to your customers and prospects. Deliver value, excitement, and surprise. And most important, learn how to truly engage your customers and help them spread the word.


10. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi

Do you want to get ahead in life? The secret, Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered early in life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.


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