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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 Authenticity: Tools to Become an Authentic Leader and Your Best Self ($25)

By Karissa Thacker

Author Karissa Thacker is a workplace psychologist who uses real-world examples from her coaching experience and scientific research to show how being authentic is the key to being a successful leader. She writes, “The drive toward authenticity requires think for do the hard work of figuring out what you really want to do.”

Before you can lead others, Thacker says, you need to recognize your own passions, strengths and shortcomings. This book guides you through the journey of discovering all that—and more.

Thacker says there are four components of authentic leadership:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Balanced processing
  3. Relational transparency
  4. Internalized moral perspective

Becoming an authentic leader is not a simple process. You need, says Thacker, to maintain a clear view of both your current self and your ideal self as a leader, and it takes both discipline and focus to continually update those visions of yourself. But the effort is worth it—and The Art of Authenticity guides you through the journey.

Always Forward! Discover the 7 Secrets of Sales Success ($20)

By William Wooditch

We have essentially three choices in our business life: We can choose to tread water and maintain the status quo, we can go backwards or we can move forward. William Wooditch, who was the top salesperson at two Fortune 500 companies and now heads his own firm, says (and most of us would likely agree) that we need to go forward towards our goals.

Always Forward! helps you navigate the distance between “where you are now and where you are determined to go in the future.”

Wooditch believes that fear is what keeps many of us from moving ahead. He writes, “Fear distracts our attention and derails the pursuit of progress.” In Always Forward! Wooditch shares the secrets he’s learned from his own journey to success. He shows you how to tackle the big “bullies in life—fear, worry and self-doubt.”

Wooditch shows us how to make the commitment to keep moving ahead without regret or fear.

Investing With Purpose: Capitalize on the Time and Money You Have to Create the Tomorrow You Desire ($16.99)

By Mark Aardsma

Mark Aardsma began building his fortune after getting fired at the age of 24. Within a decade he went from being unemployed to controlling a multimillion-dollar portfolio. While he was amassing his fortune, Aardsma took notes—and later used them to create this book.

Aardsma shows you how to tap into your own resources in order to build the future you want. He also warns about the emotional pitfalls we all encounter that too often “lead smart investors to make bad decisions.” If you want to succeed, he says, you need to face your fears, take reasonable risks and seek the opportunities that other are not willing to capitalize on.

The investments Aardsma addresses here are not about picking the “right” stock. Instead he shows us how to use the resources all of us have (time, passion, property and skills) to invest in a better life.

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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.