Forbes Finance Council
May 15, 2017
There are a lot of books written for entrepreneurs, as well as business and finance professionals. Some are dense texts, written with the expectation that the reader is already aware of all the basics and nuances of the field. Others are easy to read, filled with emotion but light on specifics on how to turn ideas into actual successes.
There are many advantages to understanding finance, even if that’s not your primary focus. The same holds true on the subject of business: even if you understand numbers, a lack of understanding about soft skills or business strategies can trip you up, leaving you unable to really take advantage of your hard-earned financial skills. And even if you’re an expert in neither, understanding what the experts expect can help you plan your life better, as well as understand why professionals take certain approaches when talking with clients or handling business.
Below, eight members of the Forbes Finance Council talk about finance or business books that everyone, not just the experts, should read.
1. An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, by John Steele Gordon
Most people don’t get too excited at the prospect of reading about business and history all in one, but I highly recommend John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth. Gordon writes in a very approachable style about the foundations of America’s incredible rise to prosperity, and how that rise has improved the lives of millions upon millions of people on the planet. - Erik Christman, Oxford Financial Partners
2. The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, by Bob Burg and John David Mann
I’ve built the philosophy of my life and my firm around The Go-Giver. If you want more business and better relationships, start by giving more. The book is a short read, and it teaches us to be better connectors, to serve more, to expect less, and to approach interaction as authentically and receptively as possible. These principles apply both in business and in life. - Francesca Federico, Twelve Points
3. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely
Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely, is a must read for business. The book focuses on consumer behavior and psychology: topics that are at the heart of business. Regardless of your role, understanding the drivers behind your consumers’ decisions will better prepare you for your day-to-day operations and decision making. It will also help you and your organization with decisions made during internal meetings. - Charlie Youakim, Sezzle
4. MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, by Tony Robbins
MONEY Master the Game, by Tony Robbins, does not contain everything you need to know about money and investments. But it does get you moving and thinking in the right direction. Most people feel intimidated by the financial world because of the terminology and risk involved. Everyone should begin by educating themselves on how it all works. - Ismael Wrixen, FE International
5. Think and Grow Rich: or Men and Woman who Resent Poverty, by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill spent more than 20 years researching wealth before publishing Think and Grow Rich. This book is timeless. It teaches us that, by controlling our thought process, we ultimately decide how we live our lives in regards to almost every aspect. If you want to be successful in life, it is hands-down a book worthy of every shelf in the world. - Justin Goodbread, Heritage Investors
6. Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track — and Keeping It There, by Les McKeown
In Predictable Success, Les McKeown describes the seven stages of business, from early struggles to death. Every business goes through these, and he shows a roadmap of how to survive each step to arrive at predictable success, where the business can survive without the original visionary. If you are a business trying to grow, or a business that has lost its way, this is the next book you need to read. - Robin Hall, VARC Solutions
7. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefèvre
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefèvre, is one of the great classics of stock market investing wisdom. It is a fictionalized account of the real-life of Wall Street securities trader Jesse Livermore. “There is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be, because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again.” - Seth Allen, Pinkowski-Allen Financial Group
8. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
Getting Things Done, by David Allen, is the stress-free framework that everything else is built on. The “80/20″ concept helps you think about how to prioritize your time, customers, employees, you name it. Read it when you’re ready to apply it. - James Murphy, EquityNet