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The 10 Best Motivational Books for Business Owners

The 10 Best Motivational Books for Business Owners

Let's be honest – starting and running a successful business isn't all sunshine and rainbows. There are late nights, cash flow crunches, unhappy customers, you name it. Some days, it can feel like the challenges will never stop coming at you.

That's where an excellent old motivational book comes into play. We're talking about those primer-filled pages that snap you out of the daily grind and reignite that entrepreneurial fire inside you. The ones that make you go, “You know what? I got this!”

As a small business owner, I've read my fair share of these rousing reads over the years. Some have been real snoozers, while others have kicked my butt into high gear. Want to know which motivational books top my list when it comes to getting pumped for business? Keep reading…

Why Bother With Motivational Business Books?

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Before we dive into the best of the best, you might be wondering – why even read business motivation books in the first place? Can't you just caffeinate yourself into a frenzy or something?

Well, sure, you could slam a Monster every morning before heading into the office. But that's a quick fix at best (and yeah, it might make you feel pretty wired and gross after a while, too).

A genuinely impactful motivational book, on the other hand, can rewire your entire entrepreneurial mindset for the long haul. We're talking about a complete mental reset that flips the script on how you approach your business day-to-day. If the methods and lessons stick, they can permanently boost your:

  • Productivity
  • Drive
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Leadership skills
  • Passion for your work
  • And overall grit/perseverance

Stats Don't Lie: Motivational Books = Increased Biz Success

Do you need some complex numbers to explain why reading these books is worthwhile? You got it:

  • A study published in the Economics of Education Review journal found that entrepreneurs who read regularly had 35% higher income growth over time than their non-reading peers.
  • According to research from Glassdoor, organisations with highly engaged and motivated employees outperform their competition by as much as 147% in earnings per share.
  • The U.S. Travel Association reports that companies with motivated, energised workers experience a 51% higher productivity rate.

So, in short, if you aren't taking the time to inspire and refocus your business mindset through motivational reading, you could be leaving money on the table. Crazy, right?

My Top 10 Must-Read Motivational Books for Entrepreneurs

Without further ado, here are my picks for the ten best motivational books every biz owner should read, ranked from excellent to out-of-this-world fantastic. Get ready to feel newly invigorated!

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#10 – You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This no-nonsense pep talk from success coach Jen Sincero is kicking off our list. You Are a Badass is all about unlocking your inner confidence and turning self-doubt into forward momentum.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
  • Orders are despatched from our UK warehouse next working day.
  • Sincero, Jen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 04/23/2013 (Publication Date) – Running Press Adult (Publisher)

Written with a hilarious, snappy tone, the book dishes out tons of real-world advice for setting big goals, overcoming insecurities, changing negative mindsets, and taking focused action. Hands down, it is one of the most entertaining and relatable motivational reads for business.

#9 – Start with Why by Simon Sinek

What drives you to do what you do? That's the core question that Start with Why tries to answer. Author Simon Sinek argues that the most successful businesses and leaders can clearly articulate the powerful “Why” behind their work.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • we like to ship out right away
  • Sinek, Simon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 12/27/2011 (Publication Date) – Portfolio (Publisher)

The book outlines how to find your sense of purpose and then use it as a constant rudder to steer you through challenges. For entrepreneurs who've lost touch with their original inspiration, Start with Why is a great way to rekindle that fire.

#8 – The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Originally published back in 1959, this oldie-but-goodie holds up surprisingly well today. The Magic of Thinking Big aims at negative thought patterns that discourage people from achieving more.

The Magic of Thinking Big
  • David J. Schwartz (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 276 Pages – 07/26/2015 (Publication Date) – Magdalene Press (Publisher)

Packed with step-by-step techniques, real-life case studies, and a hearty dose of humour, this book will have you replacing self-limiting attitudes with an unstoppable “big thinking” mentality—a must-read motivational classic.

#7 – The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

As entrepreneurs, we inevitably face roadblocks – delayed product launches, cash crunches, you name it. The question is, how do you respond when something gets in your way?

The Obstacle Is The Way By Ryan Holiday Hardcover 2014
  • Brand: Generic
  • The Obstacle Is The Way By Ryan Holiday Hardcover 2014
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ryan Holiday (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

That's the focus of The Obstacle Is the Way. Taking a page from ancient Stoic philosophy, Ryan Holiday lays a logical framework for seeing obstacles as opportunities instead of existential threats. His motivating advice: Remain calm, control your emotional reaction, and you'll be able to tackle any business challenge.

#6 – Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins

Are you looking for a serious, butt-kicking motivational read? Enter retired Navy SEAL David Goggins and his incredible personal grit and perseverance story.

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – Clean Edition
  • Goggins, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 364 Pages – 03/10/2020 (Publication Date) – Lioncrest Publishing (Publisher)

Goggins's lessons in Can't Hurt Me are brutal but highly effective. From overcoming poverty and trauma to pushing through some of Earth's most demanding military training, Goggins will have you interrogating your own self-imposed limits. Fair warning: This book isn't for the faint of heart!

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#5 – The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

Got big business goals but can't seem to reach them? This in-your-face gem from real estate mogul Grant Cardone emphasises the need to set ten times more significant targets than you initially imagined.

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
  • John Wiley Sons, A great option for a Book Lover
  • Great one for reading
  • It's a great choice for a book person
  • Hardcover Book
  • Cardone, Grant (Author)

Motivating through real-life anecdotes and tough-love advice, The 10X Rule makes a compelling case for operating at maximum human effort in whatever endeavour you pursue. Cardone argues that this “massive action” is the only way to achieve exponential wins. His insights are a great kick in the pants for entrepreneurs who keep self-sabotaging.

#4 – Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Is there anyone more naturally motivating than Tony Robbins? His book Awaken the Giant Within bottles some of that signature high energy into 600+ pages of powerful lessons on mastering your mindset, emotions, finances, relationships, you name it.

Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
  • Great product!
  • Robbins, Tony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages – 11/01/1992 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

The sheer depth that Robbins goes into makes this read especially great for goal-crushing entrepreneurs. Through numerous exercises and real-world examples, he provides a comprehensive blueprint for finding your drive and passion so you can “awaken the giant” inside.

#3 – Grit by Angela Duckworth

You've heard the saying, “It's a marathon, not a sprint,” right? Angela Duckworth's Grit is an actionable guide to succeeding over the long haul.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
  • Duckworth, Angela (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 08/21/2018 (Publication Date) – Scribner (Publisher)

Leaning on research from elite athletes, performers, and business leaders, Duckworth identifies the key factors that enable some people to achieve sustained success and motivation while others burn out. Her insights boil down to efficient strategies entrepreneurs can apply to foster more passion and perseverance.

#2 – The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

This classic motivational read from Darren Hardy is all about small, consistent actions producing massive results over time (hence the “Compound Effect” title).

The Compound Effect (10th Anniversary Edition): Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hardy, Darren (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages – 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) – Hachette Go (Publisher)

Hardy packs his book with hard-hitting advice for developing positive habits, staying disciplined and focused, making incremental improvements, and capitalising on momentum. It's highly motivating stuff that'll encourage you to keep chipping away towards big business wins.

#1 – Relentless by Tim S. Grover

And my top pick for the best, most motivating book for business goes to…Relentless by legendary athletic performance coach Tim Grover!

New – Relentless
  • Brand: Generic
  • New – Relentless
  • Tim S. Grover (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 01/01/2014 (Publication Date) – Generic (Publisher)

This guy's intense mindset strategies helped transform the careers of all-time greats like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. In Relentless, Grover lays out his complete system for pushing yourself beyond perceived physical and mental limitations to achieve an unstoppable drive.

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Grover doesn't pull punches as he dispenses his ultra-no-nonsense philosophies on goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, silencing interior negativity, and more. It's just the kind of tough-love motivational fuel that entrepreneurs need to light their nitrous boosters and never let up.

Key Ingredients of an Awesome Motivational Book

Okay, after reading the summaries above, you might ask yourself – what makes a great motivational book so great anyway?

In my experience, the best ones designed for business owners all seem to share some essential qualities in common:

  • Logical, easy-to-grasp principles and advice (not just airy motivational fluff)
  • Plenty of real-world examples, case studies, and anecdotes to illustrate the principles
  • A genuinely relatable author who writes from first-hand experience and authenticity
  • A robust and enthusiastic narrative voice that is energising to read
  • Practical exercises, reflection questions, and action steps you can take
  • Short, skimmable chapters that pack a motivational punch (nobody wants to read a whole dictionary)
  • An empowering shift in perspective on facing business challenges and adversity

The best motivational books for entrepreneurs essentially light a fire under your butt by inspiring you to change your entire mindset in some profound way. They should leave you thinking, “Holy crap, I need to apply this stuff NOW!”

When to Read Motivational Business Books for Maximum Impact

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Okay, these empowering page-turners seem like a worthy investment for an entrepreneur. But when exactly do you find the time to dive into them?

Here are some opportune moments to crack open a motivational business book:

  • Launching a new venture or line of business (refuel your drive!)
  • Hitting a slump or rough patch (reframe through adversity!)
  • Business plateau or decline (get back into solution mode!)
  • Before a big sales meeting or pitch (boost your confidence!)
  • Gearing up for a massive undertaking like expansion (visualise the win!)
  • After failing forward (dust yourself off and get re-energized!)
  • In the morning (start your day off with a motivational bang!)
  • On a business flight (productivity and motivation during travel!)

Anytime you're seeking a renewal of inspiration and energy for your business, an excellent motivational book can be just the smelling salts you need to fight through any entrepreneurial fatigue or waning motivation.

The Right Mindset = Major Motivational Lift

Choosing to read an uplifting entrepreneurial book is already half the battle. However, adopting the right mental approach is critical to deriving maximum motivation from those motivational pages.

It's easy to skim through these books and absorb the message superficially without letting it genuinely resonate. However, approaching motivational reading with purpose and mindfulness can significantly amplify the impact. Here are some mindset tips to get the most out of these reads:

  • Bring an open, receptive mindset and willingness to be coached
  • Let the author's advice and perspective fully sink in without judgment
  • Pepper the author with thoughtful questions in your head as you read
  • Make connections between ideas and your own lived experiences
  • Take time to reflect on critical principles when you read something profound
  • Visualise yourself applying the actionable steps from the book
  • Read actively with a pen and notebook for taking notes and enhancing retention
  • Discuss motivating anecdotes and ideas from the book with others
  • View the book as a catalyst for taking massive action in your business
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You can turn a standard motivational book into a powerful catalyst for reinvigorated business drive and success with the right engaged, open-minded approach.

Find What Works for You and Stick With It

Not every motivational book is going to strike a chord with you. That's normal.

You might love the brash drill-instructor style of someone like Tim Grover, while a more nurturing author like Tony Robbins better aligns with your vibe. Or you could find yourself more compelled by the logic of someone's framework, like Ryan Holiday's stoicism.

The key is experimenting with different motivational voices and pinpointing what resonates most with you as an entrepreneur. Mixing up the genres, writing styles, and motivational philosophies you expose yourself to can open new doors.

That said, once you land on the authors or series that click, it's great to stick with them. Maybe carve out a consistent reading habit where you dive into a chapter each morning. Or listen to the audiobook on your commute. Adopt motivation as a recurring lifestyle.

That way, you're not just getting a random motivational “shot in the arm” occasionally. Instead, you'll perpetuate a constant cycle of motivation that keeps pushing you and your business to higher levels.

Final Thoughts: Get Motivated, Get After It!

There you have it – my full rundown on the most motivational books for amping up your entrepreneurial hustle and drive. All that's left now is to start reading!

Seriously, don't sleep on the power of these motivating reads. A habit like devouring an inspiring book can provide the spark to blast through business obstacles and start playing at your highest level.

Remember, business success is often as much a mental game as anything else. Squash doubt, extinguish negativity, and fill your mind with positive, motivating messages – then act on them urgently!

The books I covered offer countless tools, principles, and belief shifts for doing precisely that. So pick one that calls to you and get fired up to hit your loftiest goals!

But before you hop off, let's quickly run through a few FAQs on motivational business books…

FAQs on Motivational Business Books

How do you choose an excellent motivational book for your business?

Many motivational books are tailored for business, so research to find one that closely aligns with your goals and mindset. Look for books by authors with real entrepreneurial experience writing in a style that jives with you. Tap your network, read reviews, and experiment with different options.

Should you buy the book or listen to the audiobook version?

That's a personal preference. I'm old school and love physically highlighting and dog-earing the pages of a physical book. However, audiobooks can be super convenient for consuming motivational content during commutes, workouts, or chores. See which format allows you to stay engaged most easily.

How often must you “reload” your motivation?

There's no hard and fast rule, but many successful entrepreneurs swear by doing motivational activities like reading or listening to audiobooks daily. Others reserve it for monthly reset periods or before significant events. Pay attention to your ebbs and flows in energy and drive.

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Should your whole team read the same motivational books?

Group motivational reading and discussions can be great for getting everyone aligned and fired up about your company's mission. Select books that provide principles relevant to your organisation's roles and seniority levels.

Can you boost your team's motivation in other ways, too?

Absolutely! While motivational books are fantastic, you can augment their impact through initiatives like setting shared, big hairy, audacious goals, launching mentorship programs, celebrating team wins frequently, facilitating group professional development, planning fun company events and retreats, and more. Get creative!

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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