My Top 5 Business Books of 2010 (

By on in Personal Development

One of the most common questions I get from fellow entrepreneurs is what are my favorite business books.

So…..I figured I’d make it really easy and present a list of the top 5 business books I read in 2010. Keep in mind that all of these books weren’t necessarily published in 2010, although I read or re-read all of these books in 2010, which qualified them for my list. :)

In general, I read for about 1 hour or more every day…usually at night in bed on my iPad or Kindle. When I travel on airplanes, which is quite often, I read even more often.

90% of the books I read are on business and the other 10% are on personal development. Since I believe books from the business section and personal development (aka, self help) are both key to building a successful business I’ve lumped the two together for purposes of creating my list.

My Top 5 Business Books of 2010 (Ranked from 1 to 5):

(1) Do More Faster, by David Cohen and Brad Feld

BOOK REVIEW: I recently finished reading “Do More Faster” and consider it one of the best business I’ve ever read in my life! The authors (Feld & Cohen) are founders of TechStars, a technology incubator and mentorship program designed to support and promote early stage business development. “Do More Faster” is a compilation of perspectives from leading venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, angel investors, educators, and TechStar’s graduates. One of the things I like most about this book is that I find it very organic in that each lesson in the book is only two or three pages in length and focuses on a very specific issue or concept – this structure required the “author” of each piece to be very focused, candid, and authentic. There isn’t any fluff in this book – it’s hardcore lessons from people who’ve been there and done that and others who are trying like hell to build great businesses….many for a second or fifth time. Buy this book and thank me later!

If you’ve already read it what are your thoughts on this book?

(2) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay), founder of Zappos

BOOK REVIEW: Tony Hsieh is a modern day Jack Welch – he took Zappos from a company struggling to make payroll in the early 2000’s with less than $10 million in annual sales to an e-commerce darling by 2006 or so to a company with over $1 Billion in annual sales by 2008. Oh ya, Tony sold Zappos to for over $1 billion in Amazon Stock (NASDAQ – AMZN) – sound crazy, well Amazon’s stock has exploded thereby increasing the value of the transaction accordingly. Tony is the furtherest thing from a traditional CEO, which makes the Welch comment above a bit misplaced, but at the same time has built several amazing businesses totally on his own terms and by doing things that to most people seem….let’s just say weird. Also, did I mention that Tony sold his first internet business in the late 1990’s for $265 million!

Delivering Happiness is a book primarily about company culture and delivering amazing, unparalleled customer service – For Zappos living by a set of core values and principals (think Jim Collins Good to Great and Built to Last, both great books) are as commonplace to the company’s culture as anything else. Expectations for how to treat fellow Zappos co-workers to how to handle everyday challenges to how to address the customer experience are all embedded in Zappos culture. If you want to build a great company and motivate your “employees” to look at work less as a place to work and more as a place to grow and have fun you should read this book. Tony’s unorthodox approach to building Zappos is a story that you’ll want to share with everyone you know. Enjoy! I did. :)

If you’ve already read it what are your thoughts on this book?

(3) Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, by Gary Vaynerchuk

BOOK REVIEW: After reading this book if you don’t want to stop everything you are doing and start an online business leveraging social media you need to check your pulse. Gary V delivers a motivational and candid book on how to leverage the latest in social media to build personal brand and deliver service and attention to your customers, friends, family and whoever is listening on a level that will make you a brilliant marketer. Gary offers basic tips like “respond to all your e-mails, direct messages, etc. with a personal message) to start a blog and become an expert in your niche…that is as important today to entrepreneurs and anyone that wants to be credible….as having a business card was to our parents and grandparents. I know that Gary put this book out in late 2009 and I read it for the first time just a few weeks after its release – I went back and read it again in early 2010 and will read it again in 2011, 2012, and 2013 – why? Because I care deeply about my personal brand and truly connecting with people….and you should too!

If you’ve already read it what are your thoughts on this book?

(4) Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

BOOK REVIEW: If this list was my favorite business books of all time this book would likely be #1 since it’s probably had the greatest impact on my personal and professional life than any other book I’ve ever read. However, the book was written back in 1992 despite the fact that the concepts and teachings of the book are just as relevant and ring true today!

Awaken the Giant Within (and Unlimited Power…also by Tony Robbins) connects the dots between personal achievement, happiness, and life mastery. While many people write Tony off as gimmicky or nothing more than a motivational speaker the truth is I believe he’s the greatest motivator and personal development mentor of the last 100 years. In this book and in Tony’s other teachings you will learn how to tap into your inherent personal powers to take positive action in your life. I find Tony’s books especially applicable to business where desiring a specific outcome (i.e. more customers, a great work culture, a successful exit, etc.) is simply not enough. Awaken the Giant Within will provide perspective on how to set goals, minimize self-defeating personal behaviors, and maximize your true potential as a leader. This is a long book, but don’t not buy it for that reason since I’ve read it many times…and will read it many more…and you can bet my children and their children will read it too! It’s a life changer – take action now and buy it….then read it, and share it. :)

If you’ve already read it what are your thoughts on this book?

(5) The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

BOOK REVIEW: The basic thesis of ‘the Secret” is that one’s positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, and happiness. It seems to good to be true – right?! Well…despite the fact that we all know that there is a greater likelihood of attracting what it is that we focus on (good or bad), few people are actually aware of how profound this is true…..and even fewer have enough control over what they focus on to use the concept to get what they want. It’s ironic but what you focus on is a massively strong correlate of not only what you feel but also what you get. From a business perspective, focus on how difficult it is going to be to make payroll and sure enough you are shitting your pants right up until the moment you fail to meet payroll; however, focus on how you are specifically going to bring in some old receivables NOW so that payroll isn’t an issue and sure enough you make payroll! Sometimes it’s the most basic principals and concepts that hold the most power to making us as successful and actualized as we want to be.

If you’ve already read it what are your thoughts on this book?

4 Responses to “My Top 5 Business Books of 2010 (”

  1. Forest

    Hey Kris, I wondered where you went after Pepperjam and a friend just pointed me to this blog.

    I have not read any of these books (no not even Crush it yet!) but have big reading plans for 2011.

    Thanks for the tips.

  2. krisjonescom

    Forest – thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Great to hear from you!


  3. Marty Wolff

    “Readers are leaders” is a quote often mentioned by successful people. Although I might not operate at the highest level everyday ( a 10) What I read absolutely helps me stay at a high concentration level.Great suggestions, Kris


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