Five must-read audiobooks for small business owners

(as determined by a guy who runs 2 businesses)

I help run a martial arts gym and a tournament circuit, and I'm a part owner of both.  As such, I've scoured the internet for books related to running a small business, including marketing, management, and leadership, and while there are a ton of resources out there suggesting all kinds of books, there hasn't been one that resonates quite as powerfully with me as this list I've come up with.  I hope it helps you as well.

Really quickly, too:  if you're not already listening to books about business, now is a great time to start.  If you're like me, sitting down to read a book on how to manage your business is the last thing you want to do, but you know it's the right thing.  Audible has been a true game-changer for me. 

Without further ado, here are the 5 best business related books I've read, and why they've helped me so much:

1.  The E-Myth Revisited (Michael Gerber)

This is an absolute must-read for any would-be (or current) entrepreneur.  The one thing E-Myth gives you is a blueprint on how to grow your business without going insane.  This one gave me hope during some pretty dark early times, and I've left the smaller scale in the dust as a result!

2.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R Covey)
"Seek first to understand, and then to be understood" sums up one of the habits really well.  Although there are some things about this book I took with a grain of salt (the spiritual aspect the author briefly dabbles in), it's a great read, and you'll learn how to talk to associates and employees very effectively.

3.  Great by Choice (Jim Collins)
What a refreshing read/listen.  "Fire bullets, not cannonballs" was the #1 lesson I got from this easy read.  Essentially, you can figure out how to save money by experimenting with the scientific method and ruling out small concepts that don't work for your business.  I am a huge fan and continue to employ this tactic with both businesses whenever possible. 



4. The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)

Toyota popularized "lean manufacturing" in the 1980s and became the world's leading automobile manufacturer over time.  Ries advocates a "lean business" approach here, with even your experienced business operating just like a startup, wasting little time and resources in figuring out how to bring a new product to market.  Very eye opening (plus I appreciate the "minimum viable product" Silicon Valley startups are always striving for so much more now).


5. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

Kind of a dark horse pick, this book weighs in at a mere four hours.  To its credit, there is very little filler and it gets right to it.  I realized that one of the businesses I am running may well qualify as a "gazelle" (a business that grows by more than 20% a year for five years in a row).  Understanding that rapid change requires constantly shifting approaches to management was the key concept here.