When asked what the secret was to his success, business magnate Warren Buffet said: “Read 500 pages a day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest.”
Similarly, Bill Gates says he reads around 50 books a year. And a whole host of other big business minds, from Elon Musk to Richard Branson to Tony Robbins, say they dedicate time to reading.
Of course, what you read makes a difference, but only to a certain extent. You may think reading a pile of your favourite fictional author doesn’t directly correlate to the success of your business, but in fact, studies have shown that reading fiction expands your levels of empathy, creativity, critical thinking and the ability to exercise better judgement. As with all things, it’s about finding a balance.
In this new challenging year, we’ll all need to find alternative perspectives and new approaches to help us navigate the ever-changing landscape. Reading is one of the best ways you can expose yourself to new ways of thinking without committing a lot of time or money. Find wisdom in history and philosophy (ancient or modern), expand your creativity with fiction, gen up on the latest articles and blogs for insights into the future, and indulge in autobiographies for leadership inspiration. Ready to open your mind? From SME-focused blogs to 20th-century classics and the latest best-sellers, dive into our guide on twelve of the best business books and blogs you should read in 2023.
Jim Collins shares his insights on the variables that can make one business amble along while another triples in size. For business owners who are curious about improving performance. (Who isn't?)
Whether you’re a budding freelancer or already in the thick of it, this no-nonsense guide answers all the questions about working for yourself. Packed with practical tips to survive and all the pep talks you need to thrive in the world of self-employment.
Dr Julie Smith
The No. 1 Sunday Times Bestseller for 2022 will guide you not only in business but also in your personal life. With years of experience as a clinical psychologist, Dr Julie Smith shows us how to deal with anxiety, find motivation, build self-confidence, and much more. Written in easy-to-read, bite-sized entries, you can quickly find the section you need for whatever challenge you’re facing. This brilliant book offers practical solutions for everyday issues, and it may just change your life.
Stephen R. Covey
This personal development classic focuses on motivation, leadership, conflict resolution, and so much more. It may have been written over 30 years ago, but it was revised and updated in 2020, and the principles within it remain relevant today. It’s sold 25 million copies worldwide, and for good reason.
Another classic guide that still belongs on the bookshelf of any modern business owner. Dale Carnegie’s principles are designed to enhance your skills in persuading and selling – whether it’s your product or yourself. The anecdotes and techniques may sound a little dated now, but when applied with sincerity and authenticity for today’s environment, the fundamental principles remain just as relevant.
Small business owners frequently feel they lack time to focus on specific issues within their business, often because they’re too busy running the day-to-day. Sound familiar? This Amazon best-seller shows you how you can sharpen your mind, ignore distractions, and vastly improve your productivity.
Looking for investors? This is the book for you. Clarity in communication is paramount when talking to potential investors, and James Church takes the reader through the six principles of the perfect pitch. Church is the COO and co-founder of one of the UK’s leading pitch agencies, Robot Mascot, and he runs masterclass courses for the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
This New York Times best-seller shows you how to cultivate the persistence you need to run a successful business and how to inspire those around you to improve every single day.
Small Biz Survival by Becky McCray
What insights could a small-town entrepreneur based in Kansas possibly offer you? You would be surprised. Becky McCray launched her Small Biz Survival blog to cater specifically to rural entrepreneurs and business owners. Over the years, she has attracted a global following thanks to her pragmatic approach. Her blog delves into everything a rural entrepreneur might need help with – from how to hire people, how to compete with big city businesses, and how to delegate without freaking out your clients.
Shopify is one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in the world, but you don’t have to use Shopify for your business to tap into the wealth of information on the blog. From beginners' guides to more advanced masterclasses, the Shopify Blog covers a vast range of topics, including e-commerce marketing, SEO, online business strategies, finance management and more. And their guest interviews provide fascinating insights into how small business founders created and grew their companies.
Jim Connolly is a marketing mentor and consultant who produces one of the world's most popular marketing blogs. Based in the UK, he has worked with some of the world's biggest brands and now offers consultancy to small businesses. Jim’s Marketing Blog delivers modern marketing thinking in a brilliantly refreshing, simple and conversational way. He’s also very proactive on social media, often responding to questions he's tagged on.
A valuable resource for freelancers working in the digital world, Unemployable’s articles include a wealth of well-written, in-depth pieces on challenges familiar to every freelancer. Topics include what to do when a client doesn’t pay, how to increase creativity, how to determine your freelance rates, and much more. Unemployable is based in the US, but the articles are highly relevant and packed with useful, practical advice for any UK-based freelancer.
Another digital platform writing about what it does best, the HubSpot Blog covers a broad range of marketing, sales, customer service and technology topics. Beyond the blog, HubSpot also offers videos, podcasts, free guides and online courses on various related subjects.
Time to read
Fitting in time to read during your busy schedule might feel like a challenge, but there are ways and means for even the busiest people. Schedule in half an hour in the morning, evening or at lunchtime. Listen to an audiobook or podcast while you’re packing deliveries. Or dedicate some of that time you spend browsing social media to a little productive reading instead. Start the year as you mean to go on – by being inspired!
Access free small business support
There have been so many challenges facing small businesses in recent years, and 2023 looks to be the same. Our local advisers are uniquely equipped to offer support and guidance and help you take your business to the next level.
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The titles and blogs in this list have not been sponsored, and we do not have any affiliate links to Amazon or other suppliers of these titles.
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