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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.

Creating High Performers: 7 Questions to Ask Your Direct Reports ($12.95)

By William Dann

This book is critical for small businesses that are big enough to have a few layers of management. If you want to ensure employee performance and high morale, management consultant William Dann says, frank discussions need to take place between the leaders and managers in your company and the people that report to them.

According to Dann, there are two types of problems supervisors encounter when dealing with employees. There are “Can’t Do” problems and “Won’t Do” problems. Dann says you solve “Can’t Do” problems through goal setting, coaching, mentoring and building your team’s confidence.

“Won’t Do” problems are a bit more challenging to deal with. These occur when employees have the necessary skills and confidence, but choose not to perform.

This book helps you determine which type of problem you’re dealing with and create a strategy to overcome it.

The Sisterhood of Money: The Art of Creating Wealth from Your Heart ($19.95)

By Cynthia Fick

Financial planner and author Cynthia Fick takes an unusual approach to writing a book filed with financial advice for women: She crafts it as a novel.

The story follows five women through various stages of the financial planning process and uses Fick’s proprietary six-stage Financial Life Planning Process as the foundation for the advice. Fick’s plan is not just about managing money, but also about how women feel about managing it–their beliefs, attitudes and actions around money.

The fictional approach makes the book easy to read. There are numerous charts and worksheets included, making the book particularly useful.

One Million in the Bank: How to Make $1,000,000 With Your Own Business, Even if You Have No Money or Experience ($17.99)

By Michael L.F. Slavin

Author Michael Slavin has an inspiring personal story: He went from having $20 in his pocket to being an millionaire, courtesy of starting a small business.

But this book isn’t about Slavin’s story. Instead he’s gathered the stories of other entrepreneurs, who went from being “everyday people” to millionaires within three to seven years of business startup.

Slavin believes “you don’t need a million-dollar idea to have a million-dollar business. You don’t need to have or be anything special to be a successful small business owner.”

The book is divided into four parts: How to choose a business model that works for you; how to find, spend and save money; basic sales and marketing skills essential to startup; and the personal skills you need to maintain and grow a $1 million 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.