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3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky
books small business

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 them.

Leading From the Front Line: Learn How to Create Exceptional Experiences ($23)

By Peter Psichogios

This is not a long book, but it’s a valuable one. The author, Peter Psichogios, a global business consultant and entrepreneur, tackles the difficulties of attracting and retaining employees these days, particularly young workers. Psichogios says business owners need to understand that “the new generation entering the workforce today views job opportunities as a way of gathering a portfolio of experiences and acquiring different skills.” In other words, they’re not planning to spend their careers at your business.

That said, you still need to inspire and lead your staff if you want to build your business. To help you do that, Psichogios offers what he calls “enablement strategies” that center around how you can get the best out of people who don’t plan to stick around your company.

Psichogios believes your employees, like “all people, want to be able to excel and learn skills that make them more marketable,” so by helping them learn, you also help them become more energized and engaged. This book shows you how to create a culture where both you and your employees can thrive—even if they plan to move on.

Exit Signs: The Expressway to Selling Your Business With Pride and Profit ($29.95)

By Pamela Dennis

If it’s you who doesn’t plan or want to stick around your business forever, this is the book for you. Pamela Dennis says that 96 percent of business owners know how important it is to have an exit plan, yet less than 15 percent have bothered to create one. If that’s you, Dennis offers you a roadmap, if you will, to help get you from where you are to retirement.

Dennis believes every business owner should have the same four goals when getting ready to leave their companies: a profitable sale, pride in leaving a sustainable business, a strong legacy, and a path forward.

If you’re in the mid or late stages of business ownership, this book will provide you with information, valuable perspective and goals and milestones.

Buzz Kill: Mixing Business With Pleasure ($35.99 hardcover/$18.99 paperback)

By William Goodspeed

The first thing you should know about this book is that it’s a novel. But the book is tagged “a comedic tale of fun and creativity in bureaucratic corporate America.” So, while a novel, it’s not exactly a work of fiction.

Author William Goodspeed’s first job was at a tiny newspaper that sounds a bit like The Onion. Goodspeed combined that experience with his keen observations of corporate bureaucratic life and wrote this book.

Amidst the parody and humor of this funny book, Goodspeed packs some managerial strategies, showing you how to think outside the box.

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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.