15 Must Read Business Books For Entrepreneurs in 2020

After reading 500+ books, these were the game changers.

They made the biggest difference to my business, wealth and life.

Business books might not excite you, but making more money and having a bigger impact probably does.

So here’s the list of the gamechanging business books:

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It 

Have you heard “Work on the business, not in the business”?

the e-myth

That phrase comes from this book.

Most people work in the business.

They develop a skill and then decide to start a business offering that service.

They now wear two“hats” – the technician and the owner.

You can be talented at the technical stuff, yet not able to manage and grow the company.

The world is full of frustrated technicians stuck running their companies.

To free yourself from the business,  figure out how others can do the work instead of you.

The E-Myth asks you to imagine the business is a prototype for 5,000 more.  Like a McDonald’s with multiple branches.

You achieve that through documented, repeatable processes (an Operations Manual).

That lets the business scale up without the owner blocking growth.

The E-Myth is so powerful, Inc. 500 CEOs declared it their #1 business book.

This book consistently shows up in the lists of must read business books for a reason.

The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life

This book helped me find my place in the world.

It also unlocked my confidence, charisma and capability.

the values factor

Things I thought I didn’t have.

I had those qualities, I was just “swimming” in the wrong pool.

Once I went where I belonged, life made much more sense.

The Values Factor contains 13 questions that reveal your values – the things that matter most to you.

Then Dr Demartini describes how to live in alignment with them.

This is where the magic happens.

After reading this book, you’ll go from surprised to excited and then deeply fulfilled!

The values test is the first task I give EVERYONE who asks for help to figure out their life purpose.


Mastery is written by Robert Greene, author of the infamous “The 48 Laws of Power”.

This lesser known book is the overlooked jewel in the crown.


Discover the journey to success of histories most distinguished masters like:

  • Beethoven
  • Henry Ford
  • Charles Darwin
  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo da Vinci

…and countless others.

Gain an insight into their early misfortunes and failures, while observing the shared path that led to their breakthrough successes.

Mastery encouraged me to go to Dubai for 15 months and apprentice under a master.

It also helped me recognise when it was time to leave.  Time to step out of the masters shadow and into my limelight.

This will always be in my top 10 books.

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

Get more by doing less. Yes, really.

Imagine knowing the 20% of actions that deliver 80% of your results.

Or the 20% of clients that provide 80% of your revenue.

The 80/20 Rule

And then focusing on those exclusively.

This book makes that possible through a little-known discovery of an Italian economist.

Vilfredo Pareto’s discovery was the 80/20 rule.

He discovered it after realising a shocking fact:

80% of the wealth was in the hands of 20% of the people.

After analysing the decisions made by the people, he studied how they affected who became wealthiest.

He realised the wealthy did one thing differently:

They discovered the crucial 20% of actions and did more of them.

That lesson taught me this:

Most of what I do doesn’t count.

After identifying the things that matter and doubling down on them, my results exploded.

With The 80/20 Principle, you can unlock the enormous potential of your 20% too.

An absolute must read.

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

This book takes the 80/20 rule even further by asking a straightforward question:

What’s the ONE Thing you can do, that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

must read business books for entrepreneurs

Answering that forces you to concentrate on what matters most.

Here’s why:

In every relationship, project or business there’s a single “most impactful” task.

Figure out what it is.

Then bring your maximum energy to it, without interruption.

My “focus list” used to have 10 tasks on it – defeating the whole point.

After The One Thing, I shifted to a single task at a time.

Before long, I realised I was knocking down big projects way more often.

Remember, “The man who chases two rabbits, catches none” – this book illustrates why.


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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Where everything started for me.

I always knew I was an entrepreneur.

must read business books for entrepreneurs

And that the world was bigger than London.

Most importantly, I wasn’t waiting until 50 to see it.

The 4-Hour Work Week showed me how to travel full time while working remotely.

Here’s how:

  • Define – What do you want from life?
  • Eliminate – Everything that is not critical
  • Automate – Outsource and automate anything else
  • Liberate – Live life on your terms

This process helps you create a “lifestyle business”.

That means it funds your life without requiring you to run it full time.

It gave me a total mindset shift and a genuine plan for getting started.

Essential reading for everybody wanting to become a Digital Nomad.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses 

Know the businesses/products likely to work, BEFORE you sink a boatload of cash into them.

must read business books for entrepreneurs

The process is easy:

  1. Build a “ghetto version” of your product – They call this a “Minimum Viable Product”
  2. Release it as early as possible – Then let the market give you feedback.
  3. Listen – If the market validates you, persevere. If they say you suck, pivot (make changes).

If you suck, don’t be too upset.

Some of the world’s biggest companies did the same

Nintendo was a playing card company and Nokia started as a paper mill!

The Lean-Start Up model makes life as an entrepreneur far smoother.

It’s like a business crystal-ball – that’s what makes it a must read.

Pass over this book at your peril.

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

Grant Cardone isn’t for everybody, but don’t ignore how important The 10X Rule is.

must read business books for entrepreneurs

Usually we underestimate how much work it takes to accomplish a goal.

Rather than come up short, instead multiply your action by 10.

For example, say you want to make $10,000 this month.

You estimate you need to pitch 20 business owners to get the deals. Instead of going for 20, multiply it by 10.

Now figure out how to pitch 200 business owners.

Your thinking goes to new levels.

You’re forced to find more efficient and effective ways to create massive action.

If you’re doing the right things, it almost guarantees you hit your goal.

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing

Heard of Warren Buffett?

He’s the third wealthiest person on earth (behind Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Bill Gates of Microsoft).

Buffet is worth $82.5 billion.

He’s a stock investor who owns over 60 companies including Duracell, Geico and Dairy Queen.

The author, Benjamin Graham is the man who taught Warren Buffett the art of successful investing.

The book makes sure you avoid two common mistakes:

  • Buying and selling stocks (where broker commissions eat into your profits)
  • Attempting to predict where the market is going (no one knows)

Instead, you learn a wise, long term approach that covers every possibility.

OK, it’s not exciting, but it means you win in the end.

This book taught me 3 important rules:

  1. Use Compound interest: Double a penny every day for 30 days and you get $5.3m on day 30
  2. Invest in low-cost index funds: No commissions = more money in your investment pot
  3. Never lose money: Losing 50% of your money requires a 100% gain to get back to even

The Intelligent Investor has been the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

And since then it’s stood the test of time.

Essential knowledge for everybody concerned with building wealth.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

The authors of this book discovered something interesting while studying companies that dominate long term.

must read business books for entrepreneurs

They analysed 150 strategic moves in 30 industries, over 100 years to reveal this:

  • The corporations that win carve out new, untapped areas within their market. – This is the “blue ocean”.
  • Those who fail offer the same products and services as their competitors. – This is the “red ocean”.

Using Blue Ocean Strategy, you can make your competition irrelevant and grab a bunch of customers quickly.

The exercises help you map out the red ocean in your industry, so you know where to avoid.

In 2012, my company were the first 100% “Pay on Results” Digital Marketing agency in London.

We rapidly gained clients because we occupied a blue ocean.

It worked for my relatively small business, but it also works for big boys too.

The CEO of a $1bn company I spent time with bought this book for every employee of his 33 companies.

If someone that successful is treating it like that, it deserves its place on any must read list.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

must read business books for entrepreneurs

Drug dealers know addiction is great for business.

Social media apps have turned into a form of “digital drugs”.

You get a surge of dopamine when the new like notification flashes up.

The app designers use a formula to create addiction.

Here’s how well it works.

We spend…

  • 1 year, 7 months of our life on Facebook
  • 1 year, 10 months of our life on YouTube
  • 8 months of our life on Instagram

If you’ve got a product you want people to engage with repeatedly, you need this book.

Hooked is called “a how-to guide for building better products” because it reveals why some go viral and others fail.

The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

Remember Warren Buffett, the third richest human on earth?

must read business books for entrepreneurs

His business partner is Charlie Munger.

They own hundreds of companies (all valued in the billions).

Chet Holmes was the man Charlie hired to run them.

This book reveals Chet’s 12 strategies to produce dazzling results in a range of diverse industries.

There’s so much gold here.

The “Stadium Pitch” and the “Dream 100” concepts alone are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if you apply them.

The Ultimate Sales Machine is another must read.

The Art of Explanation: Making your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand

Before you can influence, you must first be understood.

best business books

Unfortunately most people try to impress others with their expertise, rather than explain things simply.

This leads to the “awesome product, but no one interested” disease that kills businesses.

Here’s the issue:

We’re so deep into our business, we forget what it’s like to be the customer.

We gain expertise and experience, but lose touch with where the average Joe’s understanding is.

Business Books

Because of that, we lose them when we’re explaining what our thing does.

Imagine Steve Jobs presenting the iPod telling us “it uses nano tech chips that run at 64 hertz”.

Yeah, whatever Steve.

Instead, he said “1000 songs in your pocket” – BAM!  Sold.

Get it?

The Art of Explanation provides the blueprint to making your complex ideas simple.

Don’t underestimate the power of this.

Breakthrough Advertising

Here’s how valuable this book is:

best business books

Published in 1966 and available online for free, people still pay as much as $400 for a used print version.

Breakthrough Advertising is a manual for writing sales copy (words that sell) that puts money in your pocket.

Expert copywriters call this “The Most Definitive Copywriting Book of All Time”.

Many of them read it once a year.

That speaks volumes.

Get it, read it and thank me later.

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition

best business books

Written by the man who generated billions of dollars from his marketing methods.

This book gives you out-of-the-box, yet genius strategies that blow up your business.

As the book says, “Discover hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and untapped resources around you and exploit them to maximise your income, influence, power, and success.”

When I was a 9 to 5er struggling to get my marketing agency off the ground this book helped.

I used it to close a £7,000 contract in my first week (with no experience, contacts, testimonials or track record).

This shit works.

Which Books Should You Read First?

If you’re wondering which book to read first, here’s a suggestion:


  1. The Values Factor Find where you have the best chance of success
  2. The 80/20 Principle – Learn how to get more, by doing less
  3. The Intelligent Investor – Make the most of the money you have
  4. The 4 Hour Work Week – A different perspective on the life you can live
  5. The Art of Explanation – Being able to explain things well gives you power
  6. Breakthrough Advertising – Learn to influence with your words
  7. Mastery – How to master anything
  8. The 10X Rule – Guarantee you achieve your goals
  9. The One Thing – Get even more by doing less (80/20 on steroids)

Business Owners

  1. The Lean Start Up – Know what works, before wasting a ton of money
  2. The E-Myth – How to create a company that thrives without you
  3. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – Create the most success from what you already have
  4. The Ultimate Sales Machine – Timeless strategies for breakthrough business success
  5. Hooked – Create addictive products users love
  6. Blue Ocean Strategy – Find an untapped area and dominate it

Whichever sequence you choose, these books will enrich your life in countless ways.

Send me a DM on Instagram or comment below to let me know how they helped you.

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