Business books to read this year.

Posted on January 19, 2008. Filed under: Feeling Bookwormish |

There are plenty of new business books issued every day. Some of them are interesting, some are notn but anyway you wouldn’t have enough with a lifetime to read all the interesting one. Especially as if, like me, you have to actually take care of your business every day and not only read about it. Or if you, like me again, like to have time to read novels or other kinds of non-work related books.

I have decided that this year, I would read at least one business book every 3 months, that is not much but this is better than nothing, and it comes on top of all the business blogs or magazines I am reading already.
I thougt I’d share with you my current top of business books you must read. If you want to add something, be my guest and post it in the comments.

The book everybody should read.

It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed or not, in a large or in a small company, or what department you work in, you should read Brand Me 50 by Tom Peters. It’s not a new book but everything in it is still true: if you don’t want to see your job outsourced to the Far East or elsewhere, you have to bring enough added value to it. You do that by branding yourself, thinking about yourself as if you were a product and marketing yourself. Peters helps you start thinking about who you are professionaly, how you can give more value and excellence to your work, and how to deal with the bosses who “won’t let you try anything new”.
This book has been helpful to me for years, especially in downsizing times but also when I started thinking about starting my own business.
You need to read this book religiously.

The book for those who want to start their own gig.

I think I alredy talked about that book on this blog, it’s ” The Anti 9-to-5 guide” by Michelle Goodman. Oh, and Michelle has an eponym blog, too!
If you are not happy with your current job and dream of leaving the cubicle for ever, be it to become a self-employed copywriter, a museum guide, a dog-stitter or whatever would make you happier: this is the book you need. Goodman calls herself a Cubicle Expat, she once dreamed of changing careers, so she jumped in the pool of self-employement. And ouch, it somehow hurt, but now that she is doing fine she has collected all the advice she whishes she had received then so that we won’t make the same mistakes (although I guess we might still invent new ones, but still, it is helpful).

I just love this book because it really takes you by the end and leads you through te way, even if at first you only have a vague idea (or no idea) or what you want to become and are motivated only by the desire to change careers. A must-have.

The ones for innovators and marketers.

I am a marketer and I think Seth Godin is the biggest marketing guru of the decade. He wrote several books, also has a fantastic blog, is founder of Squidoo and is absolutely right about how companies need to change their marketing tactics towards permission marketing, which is also the title of one of his books.
His newest book is Meatball Sundae, I have not read it yet but I have a favourite among his writings, that is All Marketers are Liars. The books focuses on relaying products and information to consumers the right way, at the right place and the right time. I also like the definition Godin gives for the marketing work: storytelling.

The ones for improving your working habits.

Another Tom Peters‘ book: Project 50. The 50 best pieces of advice I ever received on project management, I read that book 6 years ago when I became PM and even though now I am doing different things, I still use those techniques whenever I am responsible for a project, even a small one. The book covers all aspects of project management like chosing your team, informing your bosses and colleagues, or even how to gather all the paper stuff in one map (this one I still use, that was a revelation to me).

On a different level, for everybody who needs to make a presentation sometimes (well, nowadays that must be practically everybody), this new book is going to be helpful: Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.  Nobody taught us how to make good presentations, and most PowerPoint presentations you get to see really suck and bore the public to death. This is the book you need to make sure nobody will ever think this way about your presentations.

So, what books would you add to that list?

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