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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 and the lessons you can learn from reading them.

Venture Mom: From Idea to Income in Just 12 Weeks ($17.95)

By Holly Hurd

Holly Hurd is a serial entrepreneur who today runs the online marketplace In this excellent book Hurd shares her methods—and those of other entrepreneurial moms—of learning to “do anything you set your mind to.” Of course Hurd says you need to be “authentic, passionate and persistent.”

Venture Mom is so easy to read. It’s filled with tips and success stories that almost all women can relate to. And Hurd provides advice for what she calls “self-starting” moms, whether they want to earn a few extra dollars or build a scalable business.

The book takes you step-by-step, week-by-week into the world of startup. For less than 20 bucks, you’re essentially getting a crash course in entrepreneurship. Definitely worth reading.

The Second Decision: The Qualified Entrepreneur ($23.99)

By Randy H. Nelson

Author Randy Nelson, a coach and serial entrepreneur (and former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy), wants to stop small businesses from failing. He believes many small businesses are “underperforming” and has developed a plan to help small business owners become “qualified entrepreneurs.”

The Second Decision takes you through The Entrepreneur Qual Card, which will help you determine whether you’re a “leader,” a “role-player” (which means you’re not qualified to scale your business) or a “creator” (the type of entrepreneur who would rather start businesses than grow them).

This is a really helpful book that shows you what you are today and how you can become the leader you need to be. The book is interactive, asking lots of questions that will give you the wisdom to make the “second decision,” which is whether you should “launch and lead” or “launch and leave.”

50 Plus! Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life

By Robert L. Dilenschneider ($15)

This updated book is a guide for the 50+ set answering the question of “What’s next?” While finding a job is tough for these folks, encore entrepreneurship has become a fast-growing phenomenon. In fact people over 50 are starting businesses at a record pace.

Though this book isn’t all about small business, author Robert L. Dilenschneider writes, “The first thing you should do if you’re out of a job is to start your own company.”

There’s a wealth of information here about starting up, what you need to know about being an entrepreneur, and lots of tips to get you going in the right direction.

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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.