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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.

Stop Trying to Keep Up With the Jone$es…They’re Broke Anyway: A Financial Planner’s Guide to Living Your Ideal Life ($14.99)

By Brad Berger

Brad Berger is a certified financial planner and the owner of Cornerstone Financial Strategies. This is not just a typical financial planning book that addresses investment strategies and the like. Berger encourages readers to strive to live their “Ideal Life” but emphasizes that shouldn’t be about accumulating stuff. Before you buy anything, he writes, ask yourself why you want to make that purchase.

If you want to achieve that “Ideal Life,” Berger says you need to, among other things, “align your financial choices with your goals and values” and focus on the things in your life that are more important than money.”

This is a practical, easy-to-digest book, filled with charts and graphs. I like the approach in this book—it’s as if Berger is sitting with us at our kitchen tables helping us make the right financial decisions.

Guerilla Parenting: How to Raise an Entrepreneur ($19.97)

By David T. Fagan and Jill E. Fagan

The authors, parents of eight kids, point out the differences between being an “average” parent and a Guerilla one. David Fagan is the former CEO of the famed Guerilla Marketing.

There’s some general parenting advice in the book, but most of it is devoted to instilling an entrepreneurial attitude in your kids, accompanied by charts, diagrams and practical advice. It’s a solid guide to get your youngsters started down the entrepreneurial path.

If you want to expose your kids to entrepreneurship, this is a good start. While you read the book, be sure to share the 13 mini “business plans” with your kids. Perhaps one of them will light the spark.

A Mentor at Your Fingertips ($9.99)

By Suzanne Scheideker Cook

Suzanne Scheideker Cook, the owner of Strategic Ventures and a transportation consultant, wrote this book to take women inside male-dominated industries and tells them how to rise to the top. While the book is mainly targeted to women who want to get jobs in these fields, there are tips for women business owners as well.

There’s a lot of good advice here, from showing you how to do a personal SWOT analysis to how to keep moving forward to achieve your dreams. Like any good mentor, Scheideker Cook understands the value of paying it forward and is out to “make a positive difference in the lives of other women.”

The book is a fast and easy read—and worth getting just for the quotes that top every chapter.

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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.