Frontlist | Six Books Every Small Business Owner Must Read

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Read on for the small business standard-bearers—and soon-to-be classics—every entrepreneur should pick up

 

With a plethora of solid business books to choose from, AD PRO selects a few of the best for creative entrepreneurs and leaders of small design firms. Read on for our picks of the best small business books available today.

1. The Business of Design: Balancing Creativity and Profitability by Keith Granet (2011)

Having started his career at Gensler in 1979, management consultant Keith Granet brings decades of experience in the industry to his numerous clients. This, his first book, is the definitive guide for those looking to start their own design firm. Aimed at a creative audience, the book dispels the idea that business acumen and design savvy are at odds. In it, Granet clearly outlines the steps and tools required to launch and run a successful design company, interwoven with case studies and interviews with more than 400 design firms and highly lauded architects. Readers of this tome appreciate the information that Granet imparts, which is especially valuable for budding designers or those about to launch a firm.

2. The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin (2020)

“Identity fuels action, and action creates habits, and habits are part of a practice, and a practice is the single best way to get to where you seek to go,” says marketing expert, entrepreneur, and thought leader Seth Godin in his latest release The Practice. With 19 bestselling business books to his credit—including LinchpinThe Dip, Tribes, and This Is Marketing—Godin inspires creative types to get “unstuck” and to live their passions through their work. Discussing consistency versus authenticity, dealing with imposter syndrome, learning to find your voice, and the distinction between skill and talent, Godin encourages readers to find their artistic voice and have the strength and determination to pursue satisfying creative work. Small business owners have looked to Godin for guidance for more than 20 years, and his latest venture is sure to not disappoint those in the creative industries.

3. What If It Does Work Out?: Turn Your Passion Into Cash, Make an Impact in the World and Live the Life You Were Born To by Susie Moore (2017, reprint 2020)

In coach Susie Moore’s inspirational book, the author attempts to embolden creatives to explore the possibilities in pursuing their passions. Moore identifies how one can turn an interest, hobby, or talent into a lucrative side hustle in this action-oriented guide. Offering advice plus practical activities as well as success stories from profitable entrepreneurs, Moore motivates the reader to take the leap into starting a business—from the planning process through challenges and failures to finally generating revenue streams.

4. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John (2016)

In his instantly best-selling business book, The Power of Broke, entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Daymond John recounts the story of launching his $6 billion hip-hop apparel company FUBU by peddling his home-sewn T-shirts on the streets of Queens, New York, with only a $40 budget. His argument is that starting with nothing can be an entrepreneur’s greatest competitive edge by forcing innovative thought. In addition to his own success story of dreaming, hustling, and achieving, John shares examples of other entrepreneurs and Shark Tank contestants who turned an idea into wealth—all motivating tales for those who aspire to start their own business.

5. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries (2011)

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