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3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky
books small business owners should read

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.

The Art of StartUp Fundraising: Pitching Investors, Negotiating the Deal, and Everything Else Entrepreneurs Need to Know ($25)

By Alejandro Cremades

In the “old” days of entrepreneurship (less than a decade ago) the sad truth was startups almost never had access to capital beyond the trusted friends and family. Today, all that has changed, and serial entrepreneur Alejandro Cremades (disclosure: I have done business with the author in the past) wrote this book to help you navigate the new territory.

Cremades believes there’s an “art” to raising capital and he shares his secrets, tools and strategies to get it done. There’s a lot of detail in this book, from exploring the various fundraising avenues, to learning how to craft your pitch to investors, to tips on how to close the deal. But it’s written in a way most entrepreneurs can understand—which is what really makes the book so valuable.

The book is packed with lists and resources—it’s likely you’ll be referring to it time and again throughout your fundraising process.

Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small ($21.95)

By Nick Westergaard

Thanks to technological innovations (social media, digital content, virtual communication) it is easier than ever for marketers to reach more consumers affordably. That is both good and bad news.

Author Nick Westergaard, a digital marketing expert, points out that online marketing pits small businesses against their much larger (and richer) brethren. Think about it—few small businesses compete with big businesses advertising on TV or in daily newspapers. But on the internet, it’s a far more level playing field. Westergaard calls this an exciting, yet frustrating time to be in marketing, as you “continually struggle to stay on top of all the new platforms, features and networks while staying ahead of competitors, with a lean staff and a tight budget.”

To help you get through it all, Westergaard offers lots of case studies, tips and hacks so you can learn how to successfully market online.

Time for Me: Daily Practice for a Joyful, Peaceful and Purposeful Life ($14.95)

By Ruth Fishel

Inkspriations for Women: Color Your World Happy—30 Inspiring Designs to Nourish Your Heart and Renew Your Spirit ($10.95)

By Marci Shimoff; Original art by Judy Clement Wall

I’m grouping these two books together because they appeal to the same audience (overloaded women) and they come from the same publishing company.

A glance at the back cover of Time for Me makes it seems like it was written just for me (“don’t have time to meditate,” “gobble your meals in front of the TV,” etc.). Likely it sounds like a lot of you as well. After all, as time-pressed as we all are, women business owners in particular have a lot to balance.

The book is short and easy to consume. It’s filled with tips and tactical advice (“This Week’s Practice”) designed to help you form better habits and lead a happier and healthier life.

For those times when you can’t meditate or for those who find meditation impossible (like me), Inkspirations for Women can help you channel your inner creative and relax.

Inkspirations is an adult coloring book. Research has shown that coloring “quiets your mind, calms your thoughts and reduces stress.” There are a lot of adult coloring books on the market; what makes this one stand out for me were the inspiring quotes found on every other page. Since several of my favorites quotes are included, I can’t wait to start coloring.

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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.