10 best motivational books for business owners

  Once you’ve opened the doors of your startup or been a franchisee for a while, it can be easy to find yourself struggling to focus or maintain your motivation levels… Luckily, you’re not alone:

If you’re struggling to keep your eyes on the prize – even with the supportive network which most franchise opportunities come with – here are the 10 of the best motivational books for business owners to help get you into the right groove.

1) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Let’s start with a classic. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become the go-to motivational book for business leaders.

If you haven’t read it already, it’s time to find out why this is still the case.

2) The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto is essentially what it sounds like:

It’s a way of dealing with the problems which business and life throw at you through the incredible power of checklists.

Square CEO Jack Dorsey likes it so much that a copy of the book is part of every new Square employee’s welcome package.

3) Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

One of the first hurdles to overcome when deciding whether to begin your own startup or buy a franchise is fear.

As you might expect from the title, Susan Jeffers’ excellent work gives you the mental tools you need to accept that fear and do what you want to do anyway.

4) The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

In this book, David Schwartz tells us that we get the biggest amounts of motivation and inspiration from dreaming the biggest dreams.

Whether you’ve just become a solo business owner or a franchisee, that’s a point of view which it can be exciting to get behind.

5) Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

The New Yorker journalist Gladwell brings the same critical eye and desire to find the story behind the story to the world of success in business (“What makes high achievers different?”) that he brings to his journalistic endeavours – and the various podcasts he’s currently creating, including the excellent Revisionist History.

More interesting and educational than purely motivational, this is well worth your time whether you’re a business or franchise owner or not.

6) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Many people dream big but find themselves held back by the everyday sort of tasks which life and business throw at us.

If that sounds like you, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff might just be a title you want to add to your bookshelf.

In it, Richard Carlson shows us some ways to overcome the tiny roadblocks and effort-sinks which life provides and to use that to give yourself the motivational energy to overcome even bigger challenges.

7) The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Let’s “drive it over the line.” Let’s “give 110%.” Let’s “knock it out of the park, people!”

Lots of business leaders who like to spout slogans use sports metaphors without thinking whether or not they’re the best way to communicate in business.

Thankfully, The Power of Full Engagement isn’t that. Instead, the authors use current sports coaching techniques to improve the energy and motivation you can put into your business.

Good for sports fans and non-fans alike.

8) The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

The Power of Positive Thinking is sometimes touted as one of the most generally inspirational books ever written.

Norman Vincent Peale was one of those few motivational speakers whose performances translated into even better written material.

The Power of Positive Thinking is probably his most famous work and has become something of a legend. It’s all about using the power of your own mind to generate your motivation.

9) The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Completing our “Power of…” trilogy, The Power of Now is all about what is now more popularly called mindfulness.

If you can concentrate on what’s happening right in front of you – without getting lost in the daily deluge of mundane tasks – this book argues you can develop helpful habits like freeing yourself from self-judgement, stopping worrying about the future and start to achieve your dreams.

10) As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

If you don’t have the time to read any of the larger works on this list, James Allen’s almost legendary As a Man Thinketh may be the one you want.

At 22 pages long, it’s probably one of the shortest motivational books for business owners ever written. It’s concise, to the point and brilliant.

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