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Favorite Books of Tarrant SBDC Advisors

Your Tarrant SBDC Business Advisors were recently asked to pick some of their favorite books for small business owners and explain why. Enjoy!

Myron Pullum

Start, Run & Grow Your Business Start, Run & Grow Your Business, by Susan M. Jacksack – This book offers a comprehensive detailed overview of the aforementioned subject. A compilation by some of the most noted experts on small business; that offers easy-to-follow guidelines to help business owners and prospective entrepreneurs. Soup-to-Nuts! Practical Tips, Checklists and Business Docs. Up to and including the succession planning and exit strategy. A must for your portfolio for business planning.

Doug Cannon

The Tao of PoohThe Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff – Sometimes we get so wrapped up in work that we have a hard time getting anything done. This book helps me relax and collect myself. Whether you embrace Taoism as a philosophy or not this book will make you laugh out loud. You will feel refreshed and ready to tackle your next big project.

Lateral Thinking: Creativity StepLateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step by Edward De Bono – Dr Debono is one of the foremost authorities on creativity. For any entrepreneur whose market depends on constantly reinventing themselves this book will help you go beyond your comfort zone and learn how to recognize new opportunities.

Marketing ManagementMarketing Management by Philip Kotler – This book is the owners manual for anyone that wants a deep understanding of marketing philosophy. It is a text book so don’t expect to be entertained, but if you seek to understand how marketing messages affect behavior this is the book.

Sam Emmerson

Minding the StoreMinding the Store by Stanley Marcus – This book captures the spirit of retailing and how a family owned boutique, Neiman Marcus becomes a retail giant. Neiman Marcus is known for Quality Products and Quality Customer Service along with paying attention to detail. Stanley’s motto “There is never a good SALE for Neiman-Marcus, unless it’s a good BUY for the customer.” This advice along with quality products and quality service was the building blocks for my company.

IaccocasIaccoca by Lee Iaccoca – This Autobiography of the legendary car builder and car maker shows the “True Grit” it takes to make business happen. From Lee Iaccoca own words: ” I learned about the strength you can get from a close family life. I learned to keep gong, even in bad times. I learned not to despair, even when my world was falling apart, I leaned that there are no free lunches. And I leaned about the value of hard work. In the end, you got to be productive. That’s what makes this country great – and that’s what’s going to make us great again. These words of advice is what all business owners need to learn.

Dave's WayDave’s Way by Dave Thomas – At the age of 8, Dave Thomas dreamed of owning the best restaurant in the world. How did Dave’s’ dream at the age of 8 become reality with Wendy’s restaurant? Hard work, determination, vision, working with what you have available and a little luck. Dave’s work ethics, his job in the army as a Mess Hall cook and association with Colonial Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was the recipe for success. Never giving up and believing in your dreams is powerful ingredients for your business. I Believe!

Cle Royal

How To Master The Art of SellingHow To Master The Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins – When I considered reemployment or self-employment, I knew I needed to improve my selling skills. I studied How To Master The Art of Selling and quickly found I shared Hopkins’ philosophy for selling with what I describe as: “Don’t try to sell an air conditioner to an Alaskan in winter.” And, “a no gets you closer to a yes. “I recommend this book to learn how to deal with gatekeepers and other obstacles to providing a needed product to customer who need the product.

Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right LivelihoodDo What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood by Marsha Sinetar – Over ten years ago, I recommended this book to a client who is client today. My client frequently thanks me for that recommendation. I find and my client confirms that if you do what you are passionate about (love) you will endure the tough times that you will likely encounter on your journey to happiness. Marsha Sinetar shows the reader how to overcome obstacles to achieve strategies that make achieving goals possible, and to become a person whose vision of “self-expression, growth, and love!” is realized.

Cynthia Harnest

The New Rules of Marketing & PRThe New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott. This book is about how to use: social media, blogs, news releases, online video, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. It is not the same old marketing and PR you have tried before! David teaches you how to tell your story directly to an interested market.

Deb Liptak

Web of Deceit: Misinformation and Manipulation in the Age of Social MediaWeb of Deceit: Misinformation and Manipulation in the Age of Social Media, Anne P. Mintz – For all its amazing benefits, the worldwide social media phenomenon—epitomized by such sites as Facebook, Myspace, eBay, Twitter, and craigslist—has provided manipulative people and organizations with the tools (and human targets) that allow hoaxes and con games to be perpetrated on a vast scale. In this eye-opening follow-up to her popular 2002 book, Web of Deception, Anne P. Mintz brings together a team of expert researchers, journalists, and subject experts to explain how misinformation is intentionally spread and to illuminate the dangers in a range of critical areas. Web of Deceit is a must-read for any internet user who wants to avoid being victimized by liars, thieves, and propagandists in the age of ubiquitous social media.

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and ChallengersBusiness Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder, Ives – Business Model Generation is a handbook co-created by “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries. The book features highly visual, 4-color design that allow you to visualize strategic ideas, and make them easy to implement. Based on concepts from leading business thinkers, you will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model, or analyze and renovate an old one. You’ll understand your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition. Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide.

The Long Tail, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of MoreThe Long Tail, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More / by Chris Anderson – The New York Times bestseller that introduced the business world to a future that’s already here–now in paperback with a new chapter about Long Tail Marketing and a new epilogue. Winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book of the Year, Chris Anderson shows how the future of commerce and culture isn’t in hits, the high-volume head of a traditional demand curve, but in what used to be regarded as misses–the endlessly long tail of that same curve.

Wayne Huddleston

E-Myth RevisitedE-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber – This is a classic book on entrepreneurship. Any entrepreneur facing the struggles of transitioning their business into something bigger than themselves needs to read this. It may be old(the last edition came out nearly twenty years ago), but the lessons provided are timeless. It’s an easy read and does a great job of illustrating the difference between working in your business and working on your business.

The Leadership ChallengesThe Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner – The primary reason I like this book is that it’s not about telling the stories of famous leaders or high profile executives, it’s about regular people accomplishing extraordinary things through the application of five practices anyone can learn. This is a well-researched and evidence-based book on leadership that cuts through the clutter of the leadership tips and advice too often peddled by trendy books of the day.

Understanding Michael PorterUnderstanding Michael Porter by Joan Magretta– Michael Porter is not a household name, but he has been highly revered for decades by business academics and his teachings are widely regarded as a foundational necessity for those responsible for creating and implementing competitive strategy. This book is an easier to handle primer for Porter’s works. It is not a how-to book so much as it is a how-to-think book, but it can help anyone understand the real essence of strategy and creating a competitive advantage. While the examples are largely drawn from large corporations, the framework can be applied to businesses of any size.

Have book recommendations of your own? Let us hear them!