Reading is an essential part of life. It's absolutely necessary if you want to keep your brain healthy, learn new things from different perspectives, and live a well-rounded life. It even has the ability to reduce stress levels by a whopping 68 percent, according to research conducted by the University of Sussex.
Besides reducing your stress levels, your business endeavors can benefit as well. It's common to hear about entrepreneurs and CEOs who read dozens of books each year, and it seems to be a positive pattern among them. Staying on top of the latest business reads keeps you up to date on the trends and happenings in your industry. It puts you at an advantage if you know more than your competitors.
Whether your business goals revolve around growing your customer base, improving lead generation, or increasing email subscribers and user engagement, all of the following books have great value that anyone can appreciate.
If you want to be more successful in your industry, here are seven business books to read this year.
1. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Everyone's experienced – or at least heard a story about – a bad boss or manager who made life at work hell. Perhaps they micromanaged their employees or didn't appreciate their hard work. Then there are bosses who act as leaders of their team and put employees' needs ahead of their own. Sinek wrote the book after speaking with a Marine who told him, "Officers eat last." The book explores what it takes to be a great leader, relating insights from top business leaders all over the world. If you want to be a leader that people admire, this is the read for you.
2. Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown
Becoming a breakout read in 2017, Hacking Growth focuses on how the most popular businesses grew their customer base as well as their revenue. This wasn't based on luck; rather, Ellis and Brown delve into the techniques and tricks you can use to grow your customer base and get your business where you want it to be. The first part of the book covers growth-hacking strategies, while the second part explains how to apply the information in the book to your own business. If you're a business owner trying to grow your brand exponentially, Hacking Growth is a must-read.
3. Email Marketing Demystified by Matthew Paulson
Written by email marketing expert Matthew Paulson, Email Marketing Demystified explains how you can build a substantial email list and generate revenue through your email marketing strategy. The book also teaches you how to write compelling copy for your emails that will capture and keep your subscribers' attention. Since your email list is a key to skyrocketing your sales, it also teaches you how to optimize your email marketing funnel so users are pushed through at the right pace. Regardless of the type of business you run, you can't deny that it needs email marketing to boost sales, proving this book to be a valuable read.
4. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
Published nearly seven years ago, The Icarus Deception is an important read, because it puts a twist on the genre of business. Seth Godin encourages readers to see the creative side of the work they do, because conformity leads to comfort, and too much comfort leads to laziness. He uses the story of Icarus to illustrate his point: If you don't heed the right advice, it'll burn you, and if you stay too close to the ground where it's comfortable, you'll never take creative chances that could change your life. Godin argues that seeing the creative side in your work is more an attitude than anything, whether you're starting a blog or launching a full-blown startup. The way you think about business can shift your mindset to one that's excited to be part of the business world.
5. The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales by Chris Smith
With traditional sales and marketing taking a backseat and inbound marketing coming to the forefront, it's important that your business adjusts its conversion strategy appropriately to accommodate your audience. There's no such thing as a successful business without a conversion strategy, and The Conversion Code details how you can achieve your conversion goals and push users further down the sales funnel. It teaches you where to find leads, how to engage with them and how to present your business as the ultimate solution. Learn how to leverage your social media to your business's benefit and convert more leads into paying customers with Smith's actionable tips.
6. How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell
If you study successful people with the purpose of trying to determine one common element they all share, it's how they think, states Maxwell. If you want to be successful in the business world, you need to alter and change the way you think. Maxwell stresses that thinking successfully is a discipline that takes time and perseverance, but when you train your mind to think about your accomplishments and hardships in a certain way, it changes your life. This book is a great read if you're trying to train your mind to think positively about your career and future.
7. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
In Outliers, Gladwell interviews highly accomplished individuals to determine what makes them the brightest in their field. How do they distinguish themselves from the rest? Gladwell argues that, rather than study successful leaders now after they have achieved success, we should scrutinize how they started their journeys.
There's tons of great reading material out there to devour, especially about business and how to become a successful entrepreneur. Sometimes the best books about business aren't about being in business at all; they revolve around how to face the fears you have about your career and being the leader you want to be. Reading books about who you want to be and how to achieve it will enable you to be that person and have the life you dream of living, all while being entertained. What business books will you read this year?