Every year I read between 50 and 75 books.  At the beginning of January, I like to focus on the books that I think brought the most value to me.  I’ll be breaking this post into two pieces. The first will be my favorite business books of the year and the second will be my favorite non-business and fiction of the year.

This year I’ve decided I’m going to read fewer business books and more non-business ones.  After all, I’ve already read well over 1,500 business books during the last forty years.  That should be almost enough.

Here’s my list of business books for 2017 that I thought were worthy in no particular order…….

Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Finding Your Message, Building a Tribe, and Changing the World – Russell Brunson.  Russel is one of the founders of the software company Click Funnels.  He also is a master at not only building sales funnels but helping others do the same.  In this book, he walks you through the process of what it takes to build a business based on your expertise.  I believe this book should become required reading if you’re interested in marketing your expertise to others.

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts – Ryan Holiday.  I love anything I’ve read by Ryan Holiday.  You’ll see some of his works appear on my non-business list as well as this one.  In this book, Ryan focuses on creating works that will last.  We live in a world where everything is for the minute, and many works are just built for that minute.  But, what if instead, you decided to do work that will last for the ages and would be just as useful 50 years from now as it is today.  That’s what he recommends and I think is a much more satisfying way to live.

This belief also fits in with one of my favorite sustainable business questions, “What would you be doing differently in your business if it was to be around 100 years from now?”  Answer that question, and you’ll be on your way to making something that’s built to last.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport. One of the mantras you’ve heard me say is, “Stop trying to multi-task and focus on one thing at a time.” This is the thesis of this book.  When you shut your door and focus on what’s important, you get more done in less time.  This book is especially important for the introverts of the world.  It helps introverts get support for how they like to live and work.  If you happen to be an extrovert, you need to pay attention to this book, although you’re more than likely to find it difficult to follow the prescriptions in this book.  Read it and let me know what you think.

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World – Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott.  There are now zillions of books being written on the Blockchain and Crypto Currencies.  I found this book especially useful because it went past Crypto Currencies into other uses for the Blockchain that will likely change the world.

I believe you need to spend time understanding what the Blockchain is and how it’s likely to change the world.  Many commentators are saying the Blockchain will be as important as the internet is.  Time will tell, and I don’t want you to be behind on this issue.  If you don’t read this book, find some books to read on the Blockchain.  You’ll be glad you did.

Business is Business: Reality Checks for Famly-Owned Companies – Amy Bruske and Kathy Kolbe.  Kathy is the founder of the Kolbe Corporation and Amy is her stepdaughter.  Kolbe is a company that helps people understand they’re conative strengths.  This is a fancy word for where your energy comes from and what activities you should pursue based on the amount of energy you have for various activities.

This book is about the family business they’ve developed and guidelines for how to make a family business last and what you need to do in your family business to successfully pass the business from one generation to another.  This book is full of useful ideas you can use to make your family business more sustainable.  Read it and let me know what you think.

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are – Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.  This book fits in with understanding what’s driving the future.  An enjoying read, although I listened to this on Audible.

You’ve read about big data, and I’ll bet there’s a good chance you’re not really sure what it is and how it’s used.  In the very near future all businesses, big and small will be using big data to help make decisions in their business.  You want to understand what your options are and how big data can make your decisions better and give you a better chance of success in your business.

The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results – Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, Nick Toman.  This is a follow-up book to one of the two books on sales and marketing I believe is crucial for success.  Instead of talking about what you need to do to sell in an effective manner which the Challenge Sale covers, this book talks about how to manage the complex sale and know who to challenge to make a sale successful.

If you sell into companies where there are multiple decision makers, you must read this book.  It’ll change the way you approach potential customers and allow you to understand who the real players are you need to get on your side, and you’ll be surprised who that person is.

Well, that’s my list for the year.  What’s yours?

Topics: Sustainable Business, Business Strategies, suggested books, books to read, books, blog post

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