The Ultimate Booklist for Entrepreneurs: 48 Books to Supercharge Your Business

by Mark Fisher
For anyone who knows me in real life or follows me on the interwebz, it’s no secret I have a problem. You see… I’m a junkie. Every day I wake up and live a life of servitude to my addiction. It’s all consuming. It’s obsessive. And at times, it’s truly a burden for those close to me. I’m a remorseless education junkie. At this point in my life, I like to diversify my education portfolio. As a speaker or attendee, I’m usually at one or two conferences per month. I also sign up for courses and hire coaches for myself (and the MFF team) when I want more targeted help. Most important of all, I learn from the school of hard knocks; this often takes the form of candid feedback about where I’m getting in my own way and negatively impacting Mark Fisher Fitness (thanks MFFers!). But my first love has always been, and always will be, books. In addition to spending time reading each day, audiobooks are a pillar of my book consumption. I’ve trained my ear to be comfortable with 1.5x – 2x speed, which has been a large part of my ability to consistently get through 8-12 books per month. A few thoughts on this list:

  • Want to learn more about how I get through so many books? Lucky you! Since writing the original version of this post, I’ve outlined my entire system in this post HERE.
  • After I prepared this list, I realized I’d read (or listened to) 28 of the 48 books at least twice. Repetition is the mother of mastery.
  • I’ve read (or listened to) the following books three times:
  • This is exclusively books I’ve found directly useful for my business pursuits. That said, I did include a small personal development section, as this is always a rate limiting factor on professional development. This is the section that feels most arbitrary, as I could have easily added another 10-15. But… CONSTRAINTS.
  • I purposely excluded some of my favorite topics if they didn’t relate directly to business: psychology, social philosophy, sociology, personal finance, and biographies. While I could (and do!) make the case these are foundational topics for business success, in the interest of focus, they are not included.
  • If you want to see a list of my most recent All Time Top 20 (including the above excluded subjects), you can check it out on this Instagram post HERE. You can also follow me while you’re there.
  • My speed and volume of consumption isn’t something that will make sense for most people. I realize some people may find a list like this overwhelming. My suggestion is to focus on the topic you think would have the biggest impact on your professional effectiveness.
  • And finally, books are awesome, but they’re really just one piece of the puzzle. Most adults don’t truly learn without putting their knowledge into action. This usually requires some kind of “learn-by-doing-with-feedback” component.

Would love for you to leave a comment and let me know if there are other must-reads you’d add.

BOOKS!

Personal Development

Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Mindset – Carol S. Dweck Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday

Business Strategy & Operations

Good to Great – Jim Collins Ready, Fire, Aim – Michael Masterson Traction – Gino Wickman E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber

Communication

Thanks For the Feedback – Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen Crucial Conversations – Kerry Patterson Radical Candor – Kim Scott The Elements of F*cking Style – Baker and Hansen Bird By Bird – Anne Lamott

Leadership

Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek The Lapsed Anarchist’s Guide to Being A Better Leader – Ari Weinzweig Extreme Ownership – Willink and Babin Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute

Management

First Break All the Rules – Gallup Press Growing Great Employees – Erika Andersen The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz Principles – Ray Dalio What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith

Culture

Tribal Leadership – Dave Logan & John King Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh The Advantage – Patrick M. Lencioni Legacy – James Kerr The Speed of Trust – Stephen R. Covey

Marketing

Influence – Robert B. Cialdini Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got – Jay Abraham Viralnomics – Jonathan Goodman Building A StoryBrand – Donald Miller This Is Marketing – Seth Godin

Sales

To Sell Is Human – Daniel H. Pink Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham Ultimate Sales Letter – Dan S. Kennedy

Customer Service

Secret Service – John DiJulius Peak – Chip Conley Setting the Table – Danny Meyer

Business Finance

Simple Numbers – Greg Crabtree Profit First – Mike Michalowicz

Networking

Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Time Management

Getting Things Done – David Allen Essentialism – Greg McKeown Deep Work – Cal Newport

Comments

9 Comments

  1. Dean

    Love this list Mark. I have read 33 of the 48, so I have some work to do. One of the things I like to do is listen to the audiobook and then follow up by taking notes in a print copy. I know writing in books drives some people nuts, but they are meant to be used and put into action, not sit on the shelf as a museum piece. Jim Collins just released a monograph called “Turning The Flywheel”, which expands on that concept which he talked about in Good To Great.

    Reply
    • Mark Fisher

      Yeah, I actually like that most of my books look very used haha. And I’ve seen that book but haven’t read it yet. Have you read it? Recommend?

      Reply
      • Dean

        I do recommend it Mark. It makes you answer some challenging questions in order to identify the components of your own company’s flywheel. In the process I found we had some work to do.

        Reply
  2. Tj Allan

    How close was The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fvck from making the personal development list? As an education junkie too, I had it right after Frankl and Dweck. It’s probably my most gifted book.

    Reply
    • Mark Fisher

      Very close! I do love that book. Admittedly, the personal development category was hardest for me, and Subtle Art could very well be a great addition.

      Reply
  3. Marisa Hoff

    Thanks for the list Mark. Love it!!

    Reply
    • Mark Fisher

      Thanks friend!

      Reply
  4. Craig

    You inspire! Have you read Nonviolent Communication by Marshal Rosenberg? If not I highly recommend. Audio book it! He reads it himself.

    Reply
    • Mark Fisher

      YES! I have listened to that audiobook, great stuff!

      Reply

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