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3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky
books small business owners

There is so much small business owners need to know to operate at peak performance. Luckily we live in the Information Age with plentiful resources. To help you sift through some of the data, every week we’re going to look at three business books small business owners should read and the lessons you can learn from reading them.

Toxic Client: Knowing and Avoiding Problem Customers ($18.95)

By Garrett Sutton

We’ve all faced problematic customers at one time or another, and it’s always a struggle deciding if they’re worth keeping or firing (yes, you can fire your customers and clients).

Author (and corporate attorney) Garrett Sutton says these problem customers could be deadly to your business if you don’t identify and deal with them. Sutton calls these people “toxic clients” and says to be on the lookout for some common indicators, such as clients who expect free advice, don’t pay, miss appointments, make impossible demands and more.

The book explains how to do your due diligence so you can avoid ever working with a toxic client and how to extricate your company with minimal damage if you end up dealing with one.

Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro: Master the College Funding Process and Give Your Child Lifelong Financial Skills Without Losing Your Cool ($25.95)

By Jodi Okun

First, disclosure: The author Jodi Okun is a friend of mine. That said, this book is a must read if you have kids headed for college. Okun demystifies the process of finding and applying for financial aid—there’s more help out there than you think, but you have to know where to look.

But there’s more to this book than telling you where to find financial aid. Okun advises parents “to start teaching your child about money, budgeting and saving early in life.” She even tells you how to prepare your child to manage money for life after college.

The book is easy to read and understand. There are callout boxes, chapter summaries and a glossary, all designed to help make the college financing process a lot easier to navigate.

Profit From Happiness: The Unity of Wealth, Work, and Personal Fulfillment ($15)

By Jake Ducey

Jake Ducey is a self-empowerment coach and speaker who realized something was missing from his life. So he left college and traveled the world, where he decided to change his path and live according to his passions.

Ducey points out many American workers are unhappy at work and this number will rise as more Millennials join the workforce. He says 60 percent of Millennial workers will quit within three years of starting a job. This, he says, is partly due to the different way Millennials view wealth and prosperity.

In Profit From Happiness, Ducey explains why it’s so important to understand the value of your Millennial workers. Then he shares how you can engage those on your staff and keep them, their energy and their knowledge to help your business grow and prosper.

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Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.