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100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 9)

Ciara Ferguson
09 July 2021

Welcome to part nine of the ‘100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners’ blog!

Abraham Lincoln said: “A capacity, and taste, for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”

And it’s true- reading gives us knowledge that others before us have discovered and written into books which are there forever for us to learn from. 

Books: Organizational Learning Model

This week we are starting off with CEO & Founder of, William Johnstone with the book: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber: “One of the key takeaways I would have from this book is the fact that you need to work on your business rather than in your business. It is very easy these days to get all consumed by the jobs that need to be done to service customers, which can ultimately lead to a business that is being driven by customers rather than by the owners and managers of the business. If we spend a bit more time working on the business then we are more in control of our destiny.”

Interestingly- The E-Myth by Michael Gerber was also mentioned this week by Colm Mckeown, Founder of Effective Digital Marketing. The E-Myth was originally written in 1986 but still holds a huge amount of value today. Its principle message is simple: build repeatable systems in your business. By documenting and refining the systems you have over time, you will produce a business that produces consistently high quality results to the customer. These systems will also allow you to train your staff and ultimately grow your business. The book is written in a very relatable way, where Gerber tells the story of a baker who wants to launch a bakery. The baker in question learns some hard lessons along the way and very quickly experiences overwhelm. From here, he interlaces the story of the baker moving from overwhelm to entrepreneur through some valuable business lessons. He makes the point early on that just because you’re good at a skill (baking), it doesn’t mean that you can run a business around this skill (running a bakery). There are different skills required! A fantastic book and one that any aspiring or existing entrepreneur should read!”

Next up, we have: Tom McNamara, Founder and CEO at Apex Privacy and he chose (yes, it’s here again everyone) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey!  “This book really changed my way of thinking and how I approached everything from family to career. If I could distill the teaching in the book to one phrase it would be ‘own your sh1t’. It is not necessarily a business book but more a manual on how to succeed in life.”

Management Consultant and Founder at Pathway4Business, John Flynn’s book choice was “Jack” by Jack Welch“a fascinating account of business leadership, driving for growth, people management and multiple other challenges which he encountered over many years in rising to the very top of the GE organisation. This book provided many examples of situations that I subsequently encountered myself in my own career.  A must read for anyone looking to run a business in a corporate environment or run their own business.”

And finally, Tracey Finlay- Founder of Business EQ Ltd, said the book that influenced her most was Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard P. Rumelt: “There are so many books on behaviours, negotiating, sales, etc. But if your strategy isn’t absolutely on point, then the foundations aren’t there. This book is a really straightforward and powerful look into why common approaches to strategy just don’t work. In the first few chapters, I’d really started to question my own approach and I’ve since made some really effective changes.”

Next week we will officially hit the half-way mark with 50 out of 100 books that have influenced successful business owners so stay tuned!