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3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky
three 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 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job ($28)

By Patrick J. McGinnis

Author Patrick McGinnis, a venture capitalist who is credited by Boston Magazine for coining the term FOMO (fear of missing out), sets out to take the “all-consuming” part out of startup. Instead he shows you how, by investing a mere 10 percent of your time and resources, you can be a successful entrepreneur—while still enjoying the steady income from your day job.

Sound too good to be true? To quell your doubts, McGinnis peppers the book with real-world examples of entrepreneurs who did exactly what he says you can do. Starting out this way is less stressful—for one thing, you don’t have to sweat being without a salary or health insurance.

The book is essentially a step-by-step plan taking you from conception to fruition. Of course, you’re going to have to become an expert at stretching. McGinnis writes, “You will stretch scarce resources, balance trade-offs, and then adjust accordingly.” But if you can do this, this is a great way to minimize the risk of launching a business.

Outmaneuver: OutThink, Don’t OutSpend ($29.99)

By Jeffrey Phillips and Alex Verjovsky

Do you look at your industry and see your business and your competitors engaged in a “mindless race to the bottom?” The authors, both entrepreneurs and innovation and strategy consultants, say this happens in all industries in all markets and the ultimate result is “no one wins.” They call this “Attrition Competition” and declare it a “senseless strategy.”

Instead they urge entrepreneurs to embrace “maneuver strategy,” which, they explain, is a military strategy used for centuries. Maneuver strategies are based on “speed, agility, insight and innovation” and can be applied to almost any market.

Using maneuver strategies enables you to identify your competition’s weaknesses and uses three strategies–preemption, dislocation and disruption–to hone in on those vulnerabilities and emerge triumphant.

Nonflict: The Art of Everyday Peacemaking ($14.99)

By Amir Kfir, Ph.D. and Stephen Hecht

The news today mostly seems grim—largely because conflicts abound. But authors Dr. Amir Kfir, an organizational psychologist, and Stephen Hecht, the president of Million Peacemakers, claim we’re viewing conflict all wrong.

Instead, they say, a conflict is “simply the existence of at least two contradictory interests, desires, ideas, styles or perceptions that come into contact with each other and, through better understanding, is merely opportunity in disguise.”

The key is convert the conflict into nonflict, which calls for “co-creating a resolution” to the battle. This book guides you through the nonflict process by presenting personal and real-life examples, as well as exercises and key points to make it easier to start down a more peaceful path.

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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.