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100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners (Part 1)

Ciara Ferguson
30 April 2021

Reading is exercise for the brain. It sharpens your mind, increases your vocabulary, improves your memory and focus, and increases your imagination. Roald Dahl put it very simply: “If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books.”  

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Because reading has so many benefits- we asked 100 successful business owners to choose a book that has influenced them in their life and why.

We’re going to be releasing 5 books per week and at the end, we will share a PDF containing a list of the 100 books together which will be free for you to download and hopefully give you some ideas of books to read that will inspire you both personally and professionally.  

Why don't men read books by women?

1) The Book of Tea by Kazuko Okakura. Chief Product Officer at Vote Frenzy, Frank Ramirez said: This brief book maybe too qualitative/romantic for the current modern age that quantifies and digitizes everything and glorifies the accumulation of wealth. It is not a book for people seeking a task list for financial/ social success- rather this book encourages people to look beyond the superficial to find beauty, hope, and meaning in simplicity. It demonstrates the value of close observation, selfless empathy, and humility. It helps the reader discover greatness in small things in others and themselves. In this way it drives innovation because it trains you to see opportunity and find value where others do not.”    

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2) The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance by K. Anders Ericsson, Robert R. Hoffman, Aaron Kozbelt and A. Mark Williams was the book that influenced Owner of DJWB & Co Business Advisors, David J W Bailey. There are so many “pundits” in the space of personal development. Everyone quotes Ray Dalio, or Malcolm Gladwell, yet few put in the hard miles to find out what really creates expertise. Perhaps more should. This is hard going, but deep and rich. More importantly, it gives quantitative as well as quantitative measures, enabling one to assess costs and risks as well as benefits. This is not a “how to” book, this is a book for those who want to “do” rather than talk around the coffee machine. If the thought of tackling 920 or so pages is daunting, I recommend taking a gentle run up with Daniel Coyle’s “Talent Code” first.”

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3) For the Founder and CEO of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd., Mike Pitt- it was Good to Great by Jim Collins that stood out for him. This seminal book introduced me to two new concepts: Level 5 leadership and the Hedgehog Concept. These have informed my life in business ever since. I aspire to be a Level 5 Leader and my business is based on an activity in the middle of the three circles of the Hedgehog Concept i.e. what are you deeply passionate about, what can you be best in the world at, what drives your economic engine.”


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4) CEO of Blueshift Memory, Audrey Stone said a book that has influenced her would have to be Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. “It explains is such a logical and comprehensive manner how different our personalities can be and that determines our needs too. It is great to use it both in private and business interactions with others.”

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5) Founder/ Director of Cidrosoft Antony Kancidrowski said that Winning the Professional Services Sale by Michael W McLaughlin was the book that influenced him: “McLaughlin is extremely insightful and explains how to win professional services sales. By following Michael’s advice, you will start tipping the table towards your offering, systematically increasing your chances of success.”

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And that’s it for part one of the 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owner’s series. Watch this space for the next instalment!


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