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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 books small business owners should read and the lessons you can learn from reading them.

The Smart Business Exit: Getting Rewarded for Your Blood, Sweat and Tears ($25.40)

By Geoff Green

When you start a business, you’re filled with optimism and enthusiasm. Hopefully that feeling doesn’t change over years. But the downside of all that positivity is you rarely think about formulating an exit strategy. Geoff Green, a business exit strategist, corporate lawyer, entrepreneur and founder of GRG Momentum, says whether you’re a baby boomer nearing retirement or a young entrepreneur just starting out, you need to structure a smart exit plan.

Green lays out seven strategies for smart business exits—and they apply whether you need to create value in your business or realize the value that’s already there. The book is filled with exercises, key points and space to take notes, making it easy for you to create a smart exit strategy of your own.

Mindfulness at Work For Dummies ($24.99)

By Shamash Alidina and Juliet Adams

My guess is most of us don’t even know what mindfulness really is. One of this book’s authors, Shamash Alidina, is actually a professional mindfulness trainer, while the other, Juliet Adams, has a strong background in corporate learning and development.

The book explains what mindfulness is all about and why it matters to your business performance. Despite what you might think, mindfulness is not just about working on yourself; the concept can be applied to teambuilding as well.

If this sounds “fluffy,” it’s not. There’s even a section on the ROI of mindfulness. Being mindful can help you reduce stress, overcome pressure and be a more effective business owner. Why not give it a try?

Invent, Reinvent, Thrive: The Keys to Success for Any Start-up, Entrepreneur, or Family Business ($26)

By Lloyd E. Shefsky

Whether you’ve been in business a while or are just starting out, there’s plenty you can learn from this book. It’s based on the simple principle that business survival (and growth) depends on your willingness and ability to embrace change. Lloyd Shefsky, who teaches at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, explains how to continuously innovate and reinvent your business.

Shefsky also presents the real-life stories of how mega-successful entrepreneurs, such as Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Charles Schwab and Tom Stemberg (Staples), were able to grow their businesses.

I really like Shefsky’s perspective. We need to realize, as he writes, that “entrepreneurship is not a cataclysmic event. It is a constant process.” And he asks, “Is impatience also a virtue?” Yes, I think it is.

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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.