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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 People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want ($25)

By Dave Kerpen

People skills are underappreciated by many who think leaders have to be tough to succeed. But Dave Kerpen, a bestselling author and entrepreneur, argues otherwise. He writes that the key to success—in fact, to getting everything you want–“ultimately comes down to people. How well do you understand people, how well can you communicate with people, and how well can you get people to do what you want them to do?”

In The Art of People, Kerpen gives you easy-to-understand and execute tips so you can master the 11 people skills he identifies as being crucial to your success. I particularly like the FAST (First Action Steps to Take) boxes sprinkled throughout the book. They offer clear action items to get you started on improving your people skills.

The skills Kerpen cites aren’t mysterious—they include such things as meeting the right people, influencing people and keeping them happy. But Kerpen takes us through these skills and provides the details and tools we need to master them.

3D Printing Will Rock the World ($24.95)

By John Hornick

Author John Hornick, an IP lawyer and top 3D printing thought leader, believes we’re in the midst of a digital manufacturing revolution, and the 3D printer is at the center of it all. Hornick says the 3D printer is “arguably the most powerful machine ever invented” due to the endless possibilities it can create.

In his book Hornick explains how 3D printing works and the impact it can have on both our business and our personal lives. If this sounds overblown and hyperbolic, consider the impact the Industrial Revolution and mass production had on the world. “With the Industrial Revolution, people became buyers, not makers,” Hornick writes. “But we are makers at heart. 3D printers enable us to become makers again.”

Hornick predicts that the widespread use of 3D printing could lead to mass production being replaced by production by the masses, essentially creating manufacturing on-demand.

Building a Stellar Business: A Structured Guide to Financial Success ($17.95)

By Michele Johnson & Lorraine Kennedy

Authors Michele Johnson and Lorraine Kennedy own a business that provides bookkeeping, CFO and consulting services for small businesses. So they know what challenges small business owners face and the solutions to fix them.

Their goal with this book is to help small business owners understand “every financial aspect” of their businesses. They offer exercises, step-by-step tips and a lot of information and insight about financial matters and more, such as how to create job descriptions and choosing the right business structure for your business.

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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.