Top five business books that every entrepreneur should read

In time for World Book Day, five entrepreneurs reveal their most influential and inspiring reads.

With so many books offering to transform your business, we’ve asked five entrepreneurs for their most influential and inspiring reads this World Book Day, to see what reads can really make a difference to the growth of your company…

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

Steph Fiala, COO, SKU Cloud

I know it’s a cliché for me to put this on my list, but I honestly felt it was an important book for me. There are so few books written by successful business women addressing some of the challenges that women face and giving advice as to how to overcome them.

Lean In touches on family life, multi-tasking, work hours, being pregnant in the workplace and how to ensure your other half picks up 50 per cent of the housework – which are not things that male authors tend to address. Sheryl Sandberg is honest, pointing out her own flaws and biases and how she overcomes them. In addition to that she’s clearly an extremely talented individual as the numbers really do speak for themselves, the fact that she manages to do that in reasonable working hours is incredibly inspirational to see.

Thinking Fast and Slow: Daniel Kahneman

Richard Hughes-Jones, Executive Business Coach

When I found myself seriously ill a few years ago and searching for rational answers to very complicated questions, this is the book I reached for. Thinking Fast and Slow is about biases of intuition. The human brain works very well most of the time and our judgments are sound. However it’s prone to engage in a number of fallacies and systematic errors that lead to flawed opinions and adverse decision making. We assume certain things automatically without having thought them through carefully. Kahneman calls these assumptions heuristics and he goes on to outline almost 50 of them in the book. Having the self awareness to identify our thought patterns can help with decision making in business and all aspects of life, promoting logical thought patterns over emotional responses to give us a real competitive advantage.

How to win friends and influence people in business, Dale Carnegie

Adel Louertatani, co-founder of Joivy

This book taught me a lot about human interaction, something that’s extremely important in any business. Although this book is very ‘self-help-centric’, Carnegie offers advice to help anyone hone their social skills and develop powerful relationships in business. From making a great first impression to becoming a natural conversationalist, this book can help you make the most of any networking event and ultimately develop the contacts you need to grow your business.

The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham

Rony More, CEO and Founding Partner, Art Please

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham set the tone on how to more effectively invest. Graham was able to clearly illustrate the process of how focusing on key financial parameters should help us to sway in the more precise direction of choosing an investment. Graham delivered his message through mathematics and finance but mostly through allegories and anecdotes. Most notably, his short but spot on story of Mr. Market.

Seeing how this simple but ingenious, approach yielded such strong results encouraged me to look for similar methods in more correctly understanding how to value other asset classes. Especially in art, an asset class that similar to a currency has its commercial value based on collective intentionality. But sifting through enormous piles of data helped me understand that there was more to this story then most market participants know or would like you to believe. There is value everywhere. One just has to find it.

The innovators: How a group of hackers, geniuses and geeks created the digital revolution, Walter Isaacson

Bertie Stephens, CEO and CO Founder of

From the author of Steve Jobs, The Innovators provides an incredible amount of information on the digital age we live in, exploring the story behind the minds that created the computer and the internet. A must read of any tech start up, this book gives you a strong look at what it takes to be an innovator and create a truly disruptive business, something we’re all trying to tap into today. Be aware, it’s slightly US-focussed!

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Further reading on business books

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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