6 Essential Business Books To Read In 2012

It’s that time of the month again. No, not that time, silly. The time to review some great books I’ve been reading on my Kindle and even real-life paperback copies.

In fact I’ve not done this since the New Year when I reviewed the Six Best Business Books To Read in 2012, and you seemed to really enjoy those recommendations.

So, here’s to round two. Oh, and this time there’s a bonus – several of these authors gave away a copy of their book  at the time I posted this, thanks to all of you who left a comment and to the winners.

Blog to Book Deal – Srini Rao and David Crandall

Why you should read it: 

This is a book chock full of interviews with published and best selling authors that Srini Rao has interviewed on BlogCastFM. It’s all combined into one handy book that you can easily consume and take lots of notes. You’ll find inspiring tips like:

“ Starting a blog is a long term engagement.  If you want to make money quickly, don’t start a blog. The most successful bloggers are not the best writers, they have the most persistence. Focus on long term. Look at what top bloggers are doing to monetize their sites. Don’t just look at your own domain. If you’re in personal finance, look outside of personal finance. “ ~ Ramit Sethi

What it covers:

  • How to Develop a Unique Voice
  • How to Build an Audience
  • Coming up With a Writing Process for Your Book
  • What Publishers Look for In A Platform
  • Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Book
  • How to Get a Book Deal Even When You have a Small Audience

Buy the book here.
Visit the book website.

$100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau 

Why you should read it: 

Everything that Chris puts out his pure gold and real. You will always be able to apply what writes to your own work. In Chris’s own words, he wrote The $100 Startup for two reasons: to tell the stories of “unconventional entrepreneurs.” – who have started incredible little businesses, usually by following their own passion or their own skill, usually without spending a lot of money. The second was to provide a blueprint of what they did and didn’t do so others could learn and apply it to their own.

What It Covers:

  • Real life examples of every day people creating remarkable businesses and exactly how they did it
  • A blueprint for starting your own new business on a shoe-string
  • Road-tested, effective and exceptionally pragmatic advice for the aspiring entrepreneur
  • Cram packed with 1500 points of real data, checklists, models, and concrete examples plus website resources

Buy the book.
Visit the book website.

How To  Get A Grip – Matthew Kimberley

Why you should read it:

In Matthew’s words he wrote to me “If you’re happy with the way things are, then this book isn’t for you. If you saunter through life like a motherfucking superhero, brushing off the little inconveniences that trip you up along the route, then this book isn’t for you. If your shit is so unbelievably together that you don’t wear the same socks twice in a month, then you don’t need this book. But if you need a gentle kick up the ass: an exhortation to shift into a higher gear, then grab a copy of this as soon as you can. It will change your life: no shit.” So there you have it!

What it covers:

  • It’s eminently practical: from getting the ironing done to increasing your self-confidence and having more sex; it’s all in there.
  • Easy to read format, most of the chapters run to a maximum of five pages.
  • It will make you laugh.
  • Buy it, or don’t. It’s your call. After all, you need to learn to take responsibility for yourself. That’s in the book, too. 

Buy the book.
Visit the book website

PS. Matt and I are running the Project Program to ensure you have the most productive 4 weeks of your life, and it starts January 2013.

How To Be A Finance Rock Star – Nicole Fende

Why you should read this book

Nicole is `The Numbers Whisperer®’  which is a way cooler way of describing her than  `credentialed actuary with experience as a Chief Financial Officer, Investment Banker, and successful entrepreneur’. She’s the only person I know who makes running the financial side of your business actually enjoyable. But none of that really matters, the key here is she has the most contagious laugh (and you can actually listen to it as a feature on her website), and she’s super fun and funny. In her book, Nicole shares the same strategies she uses for her profit coaching clients to help them reach multi-platinum profits. Basically, you should read it.

What it covers:

  • Simple and effective ways to move past fear of numbers and your finances
  • Makes the topic of finance fun, with rock star analogies and an illustrated cast of characters
  • The only 4 numbers drive your business profits

Get the book.
Visit the website.


Amp Your Ask – Erin Giles

Why you should read it:

Erin is a special lady with a huge heart. She certainly knows how to get big names to say yes to her including me (and no I’m not a big name but she worked her magic on me!). Her beautifully designed eBook is for entrepreneurs + change makers that have big asks to make via email and don’t know what to say or where to start. In just 30 pages she tells you how she raised 10k in 29 days for the End Sex Trafficking book, got a yes from Seth Godin + 58 other writers to contribute, approached dream clients and got a Heck Yeah to working with her, got major media coverage and more. More importantly she tells you exactly how you can do this too.

What it covers:

  • 7  scripts (all copy and paste-able) to help you ask big names big questions like help promoting your new snazzy thang (in a non sleazy way)
  • 6 Tips that you must know before choosing WHO to email and why you are emailing them
  • 4 Tips that will ensure you do the right things after sending your emails
  • Bonus video on how to request media coverage plus bonus scripts, an email organizer and how to find email addresses for people you want to connect to

Buy the book on the website.


Communicating With Confidence – Jessica Oman and Nicole Breit

Why you should read this

Jessica is the founder of Write Ahead, and her sole purpose is to make it easier for her clients to write outstanding business plans or compelling content that sells. If you’re like most, you don’t have time to update your blog – the writing process just takes too long. So this book includes practical advice, tips and an exercise for reducing your blog writing time to just 30 minutes per post. It also discusses different ways to look at your writing structure and includes a handy checklist that you can run through when you finish a new piece of writing, just to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. Pretty damn useful right?

What it covers:

  • How to become a better writer and sell others on your business offerings
  • Chapters designed to be completed in 3-4 days
  • Bonus exercise for every chapter provided in the appendix
  • 30-day calendar to keep you on track

Buy the book on the website


So there you have it. My list of must read books right now, and there will be more to come. But for now I want to make sure that you go and check these out for yourself.  Thanks to all of you who commented at the time the competition to win them was in full swing.


More Best Business Books

If you’re looking for more excellent recommendations then make sure you check out:

Top 14 Business Books To Read In The New Year Voted By You!

13 Must Read Business Books To Kick Start Your 2013

Six Best Business Books To Read in 2012


  • http://twitter.com/AngeliqueDuff Bright Spark Media

    Do I want to read these? yup. Is my bookshelf already full of “next on the reading list” books? yup. Never mind, if I win a copy it will happily live in harmony with other kick-ass biz books til I get to it.

    I’d love to win Amp Your Ask book – but for my husband’s swim blog mostly (see, I can defer at least one book to his book shelf that way)…he needs to learn how to get big-time people to say yes.

    {Oh, and Matthew’s book scares me a bit. Guess I’m not ready for THAT book til I put my “big girl” pants on!}

  • http://twitter.com/findotitihere Otiti

    Natalie! I love how I get great value each time I come on your blog. :)

    I’d love to win How to Get a Grip because I always get caught up in the planning stage and it can take a herd of stampeding wildebeest before I finally get my ass in gear and knuckle down to do or create whatever it is I’ve been putting off (case in point, my 2nd eBook. God help me.).

    I snuck a peek at the preview and Matthew’s book looks amazing. EXACTLY what I need right now. I wanna win! 😀

  • http://twitter.com/PeterSterlacci Peter Sterlacci

    Hey Natalie. Would love to win a copy of Srini’s book simply because he rocks and I learn some new nugget of coolness every time I read a post he writes or listen to one of his interviews.

  • Gary

    I want to win a copy of all these books, no not because I am selfish, its down to information and the more insightful information I can gather now the easier it will be for me to launch my digital empire. Its the WHY I entered the $100 Change, 100 days of transformation opportunity. The people who write these books, write the tweets, write the blogs, have the influential sites are the people I can learn from. If Natalie has chosen these books, they are worth reading, I really respect her opinion. I have a copy of Chris Guillebeau’s book and its epic, plus you need to watch the interview Natalie did with him. So bottom line, I would like to win any of the books as they all seem to be a font of incredible information.

  • Carina Lyall

    There are two books I would love to win. The description of them both spoke to what I need to move forward. I have “semi” succes with my blogging and writing, but I need help to structure and plan the outcome I hope for. And what I want is a book deal, and to blog with confidence to make a difference in my field. So I would REALLY REALLY like to win “Communicating with confidence” and “Blog to book deal”.

  • http://twitter.com/D_Sophisticate Digital Sophisticate

    I’d be incredibly grateful to win “Communicating With Confidence” as the number one thing I want to learn about business writing is how to transform my formally more stiff business-speak into a more casual writing form that people can relate to a lot more! Thanks so much. You all ROCK!

  • http://www.loveyoursmallbusiness.com Janine Ogg

    I need to win Nicole’s finance book because I have the ‘bestest’ business partner in the world and I would like to surprise her with it as a gift (I hope she doesn’t read this post!) I will get so many brownie points if I get this for Jo! I am rather illiterate at this numbers stuff so the responsibility often falls on Jo to get this side of our biz sorted…. this would be my way of demonstrating how much I appreciate all her hard work on it. Plus we love Nicole!

  • http://twitter.com/JanetBrent Janet Brent

    Natalie!! Do I have to pick just one?? Really, I would love a chance to win them all. I love freebies. ;P

    Like J9, I am sooo illiterate at numbers that this is precisely why I need this book! Finance is not fun to me, but if you say she makes it fun then Nicole seems like someone to know and learn from. I have BIG goals with my income to finally go pro with the biz and make a great US living wage which would more than quadruple my current income or more and the more help the better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/claire.kerslake.3 Claire Kerslake

    Wow, Natalie, what a great selection! I’ve just finished $100 Start Up an amazing book that I know I’ll go back to again & again. And I’ve just ordered How to Get a Grip so looking forward to that arriving down under.

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to write a blog post in 30 mins so have my fingers crossed for Communicating with Confidence. It would be great to improve my writing skills generally as well :)

    Thank you so much for these great suggestions

  • Cathy Goddard

    Well, I would love to win any one of them. The two I feel I would receive most benefit from are (in order of NEED MOST): 1. Amp Your Ask (it will undoubtedly help step up my game in getting support to blow up [in a good way] Lighthouse’s Mentor Network; 2. How to be A Finance Rock Star (because numbers are without exception discussed by all the women entrepreneurs I deal with) and 3. Communicating with Confidence (because we can always do better in that department.)

    Natalie, thanks for always bringing such amazing value to your audience.

  • Ayeesha

    Knowledge is power, learning is what I do and what I am passionate about as an HR Consultant, that’s why I would love all of them!

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Ohhh you’re too lovely Cathy. Glad you likey like!

  • http://twitter.com/wanderlistavida Kristen

    Thanks for the great resources. i’ll definitely echo how amazing the $100 Startup is — it’s what gave me the motivation to start creating a business from the ground up, using my passions, talents, and my adoration for wanting to change the world for the better.

    I LOVE writing (I actually was an English minor in college), but I do spend quite a bit of time dwelling on what I want to write. I could easily waste hours writing one blog post and since I’m starting a new business now, what better time than now to really hone in on my time management and writing skills all in one, so ‘Communicating with Confidence’ is my top pick! :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/7MEntrepreneur Joe Cassandra

    Hi Natalie! I’m new to your site, but loving what I see so far!

    What a bomb idea!

    “Amp your ask” would be sweet to grab a copy of!
    2 reasons:
    1) I’m a new blogger at my site for the 7Minute Entrepreneur and am struggling reaching out to bloggers in my niche to get to know and build a relationship! All so I can support my wife and I and hopefully be able to be a suitcase entrepreneur like yourself! We love travel!
    2) My wife and I, in the meantime, are moving halfway across the country and tips on emailing influential people to secure work would be absolute perfection!

    Love this Natalie and thanks for the opportunities!


  • ling

    this is a great list – thanks! I want to get “communicating with confidence” because most of my “selling” is done through the copy of my website – I want to supercharge my content to make it awesome (and make more $$)!!

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Congrats Joe you’ve won yourself a copy of Erin’s book! I’ll email you and put you two in touch so you can start reading now. Where are you moving too? Sounds exciting and brave. Love it.

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Congrats you’ve won yourself a copy of Communicating with Confidence from Jessica and Nicole. I’ll be in touch shortly with how you can get a copy of it.

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Gary congrats my man you’ve won a copy of How To Get A Grip from Matthew. I’ll be in touch with getting that to you.

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Congrats Carina you have a copy of from Blog To Book Deal coming your way!

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    HI Janet congrats lady you’ve won yourself a copy of Nicole’s book on becoming a Finance Rockstar. I’ll be in touch shortly

  • http://twitter.com/Mindfulground Carina Lyall

    YaY I am so happy! Can’t wait to read it – and to put a big “thank you Natalie” in my first book. :) So you have my address?

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Your email address yes and each of the authors is actioning this today!

  • http://twitter.com/7MEntrepreneur Joe Cassandra

    My wife and I are moving to Dallas, Tx from Charlotte, NC, but not being a Suitcase entrepreneur quite yet, we gotta find work first before we hit the road, and then finally put my attention to my site instead of having to split between the site and finding work down there.

    Thanks for the support Natalie, and for the book!


  • http://twitter.com/Mindfulground Carina Lyall

    Such a shame. I didn’t know it was only a Kindle version… I don’t have one, and I can’t download kindle for my Mac due to software issues. :(

  • http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Hi Carina. That’s a bummer re MAC. I’m sure Nicole can send you an eBook file.

  • http://twitter.com/Mindfulground Carina Lyall

    Oh, do you think that would be possible? I would be grateful! I could offer to write a review?

  • http://www.makementionmedia.com/ Jen Havice

    I’m off to check out Amp Your Ask. I really need help with that. Part of it is confidence but part is just knowing how to frame what you want to ask. Thanks!