Top Business Books to Read This Fall

Friday Aug. 30th, 2013

Reading is an excellent way to learn more about business and to find inspiration. Over the years my business book collection has taken over my shelves and is helping continue my education. I wanted to recommend a few books I’ve recently read, in hopes you’ll find them beneficial as well. The majority are related to business, self help, and success. They can be found at our local bookstores here in Bozeman.


1.  Bootstrapping Your Business – By Greg Gianforte
“Start and grow a successful company with almost no money”
Greg Gianforte founded RightNow Technologies, a Bozeman software company that sold to Oracle in 2011 for 1.4 billion dollars. Greg is a very down to earth person that is very involved in our community and the world of entrepreneurship. I personally had the opportunity to do an interview with Greg, and he gave me a signed copy, which makes this book extra special in my mind. Bootstrapping Your Business explains the advantages of bootstrapping vs. traditional financing and how the bootstrapping mindset can be applied to your business.

2.  The Compound Effect – By Darren Hardy
“Jumpstart your income, your life, your success”
All decisions we make in our lives affect our destiny. Little things add up, and every single decision you make will either take you to the next level or make things worse. You can have an extraordinary life by implementing the fundamental principles introduced in Darren’s book. You’ll notice positive changes in your business, relationships, and outlook on life.

3. The Alchemist – By Paulo Coelho
“A fable about following your dream”
The Alchemist was recommended to me by a good friend, as a book to read when you are questioning yourself and trying to decide what path to follow. This is truly a must read about following your gut feeling and heart.  The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the Alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

4.  To Sell is Human – By Daniel Pink
“The surprising truth about persuading, convincing, and influencing others”
Selling is one of the most important skills needed to run a business, which is not something many of us learn in school. I’ve learned everything I know about selling through real life experiences and books. Dan’s book explains what we must do to move others and persuade. This practical advice will improve your selling skills, brush up your elevator pitch, and make your message more clear.

5.  Psycho Cybernetics   – By Maxwell Maltz
“Positive wisdom and helpful insights on how to be a successful person”
Maxwell Maltz ‘s Psycho-Cybernetics is one of the best selling self-help books of all time. He teaches that we are all in charge of our destiny, and that our attitude will influence everything that goes on in life. Learn to be open to new ideas and to have a positive mindset because it will change the world and everyone around you. This piece of literature will change how you think, and teach you about the psychology behind positive thinking, self esteem, and interacting with others.


6.  The Science of Success – By Charles G. Koch
“How market based management built the worlds largest private company”
Charles Koch outlines how he has used the science of human behavior to create a culture that laid out the framework for one of the world’s largest private companies. Koch’s humility, values, ethics, and integrity are all major traits and ideas entrepreneurs need to study and implement.

7.  The $100 Startup – By Chris Guillebeau
“Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future”
In this book Chris explains case studies he’s researched on over 50 different reputable companies who started with very little money and bootstrapped to become a success. I enjoyed the $100 Startup because Chris is very detailed and transparent when he talks about the steps and processes it takes to build a great company. He examines what entrepreneurs did in even the first weeks and months to generate significant cash. The ability to focus and be persistent are important topics covered in his book.

8.  The Lean Startup – By Eric Ries
“How today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses”
Eric has a great deal of experience working with small businesses and technology companies. His book talks about the importance of using our creativity and resources to build a lean business. In addition to bootstrapping, Eric explains the importance of being able to adapt quickly and to stay ahead of the game. His advice can be applied to a business in any industry.

9.  The Tipping Point – By Malcolm Gladwell
“How little things can make a big difference”
The Tipping Point will change the way you think about selling products and sharing ideas with the world. The tipping point phenomenon explains how ideas, trends, and social behavior eventually reach a certain point, when it crosses a threshold and begins to spread like a wildfire. Malcolm’s writing are about the importance of networking, sticking with an idea, and being persistent.

10.  Story Branding   – By Jim Signorelli
“Creating stand-out brands through the power of story”
This book has revamped how I’ve gone about telling my entrepreneurial journey and pitching my story to the press. You’ll learn how to tell your story in a way that will create a stronger brand and raving fans. Jim is a creative and outside the box thinker.

Pete Sveen owns SignsoftheMountains and promotes entrepreneurship through his site and podcast at