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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 and the lessons you can learn from reading them.

Been There, Run That ($30)

By Kay Koplovitz

Kay Koplovitz, who wrote the introduction, edited this book and wrote five chapters, is one of the most celebrated and admired entrepreneurs in America. As the founder of TV’s USA Network, Koplovitz was the first woman to head a television network. She chaired the National Women’s Business Council and launched Springboard Enterprises, an organization that helps women entrepreneurs learn to “think big” and raise venture funds or go public.

Been There, Run That is full of insights and actionable advice about transitioning from aspiring to actual entrepreneur, choosing the right market for your product, how to crowdfund and so much more.

Koplovitz offers takeaways on the chapters she didn’t write, which were penned by numerous successful entrepreneurs.

All entrepreneurs—not just women—will learn a lot from this book.

Getting There: A Book of Mentors ($24.95)

By Gillian Zoe Segal

Every aspiring entrepreneur and business leader wants to know how get from newbie to success and what that path look like. This beautiful book, including full-page color photos, features the journeys of mega-successful people, such as Warren Buffet, Sara Blakely, Anderson Cooper, Michael Bloomberg, Jillian Michaels and many others.

The book not only offers their launch stories, but also adds their “Pearls” (presumably of wisdom) after each section.

Getting There is a great (and quick) read. It will not only inform you, but will inspire you as well.

People Over Profit: Break the System. Live with Purpose. Be More Successful ($24.99)

By Dale Partridge

In this book serial entrepreneur Dale Partridge shares his “radical business philosophy,” which is to put people first. Partridge believes there’s a new American marketplace full of people who want to make a difference in the world. (To underscore that point, the books foreword is written by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOM’S Shoes.)

At its core, People Over Profit offers seven critical lessons for business leaders, including that people (your employees and customers) matter, that truth wins, generosity returns and courage sustains. Consumers are increasingly demanding authenticity from the companies they buy from, and Partridge shows you how to you can make yours that type of 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.