Skip to main content

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.

The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do ($16.99)

By Jeff Goins

We’re all on a journey of discovery, though sometimes we’re not really aware we’re searching for something. Jeff Goins, a successful author, wants to help you navigate that path so you can find your calling. Goins quit his job at the age of 30 to follow his calling and become a full-time writer.

I wasn’t sure about reviewing this book since at first glance I didn’t think it was for entrepreneurs. But then I read these sentences: “Finding your purpose is more of a path than a plan: it involves twists and turns that you never expected...Once you arrive at what you thought was the destination [your destiny], you realize it’s only another leg in the journey.” Sure sounds like the path to entrepreneurship to me.

This point helps you keep pushing down the path to wherever it is you really want to go. Goins intersperses real-life examples to show us finding our destiny is indeed possible. The Art of Work is grounded in reality. Goins doesn’t promise the path is without obstacles, but he tells us how to jump those hurdles on our way to building our legacy

Sustainable Frontiers: Unlocking Change Through Business, Leadership and Innovation ($49.95)

By Wayne Visser

This book is a challenge of sorts to business owners. Wayne Visser is the director of the think tank Kaleidoscope Futures, as well as the chair of Sustainable Business at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa and a senior associate at the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership in the U.K.

In other words, Visser is the real thing, so when he writes that the sustainability movement is facing extinction, it’s time to pay attention. Visser says business leaders need to “step up to be the catalyst for a sustainable future,” and in this book he tells us how to do that.

Visser isn’t pulling any punches here. He says our past attempts at sustainability and corporate social responsibility have failed, and it’s time to move on to new practices that will “make a genuine difference.”

This book is not a simple read, but it is an important one.

Detour: Developing the Mindset to Navigate Life’s Turns ($19.99)

By Steve Gilliland

Change is inevitable, whatever the size of your business. In this book, Steve Gilliland, a Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author, offers you insight and solutions to help you navigate through any necessary transformations.

Gilliland says there are 3 C’s of life–choices, chances and changes–and to get through, “You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.” To help get you there, Gilliland motivates you by offering tips, insights and advice.

The goal of this book is for you to develop new mindsets, including the mindset of recognition, reaction, reality, resourcefulness, receptiveness and resolution.

Want more assistance growing your business online? Join the Small Business Forum for free access to our library of ebooks, the latest industry news and support from other business owners, entrepreneurs and working professionals. Join a Group to ask questions, share your opinions and grow your network! Visit to learn about our full range of affordable website design and online marketing services.


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.