Did you know that 2012 is `The Year of Reading’? I had no idea but was secretly pleased to know that this year I’ve been reading more books – both physical copies and digital, than I did for most of 2011. So perhaps, instinctively I knew that this was the year to stimulate my brain and fill it with insight and wisdom from some smart entrepreneurs.

10 Best Business Books To Read in 2012

I adore reading, particularly novels I can get wrapped up in and lose all track of time and reality. But more often than not, I love to soak up lessons around entrepreneurship, business leadership, attracting clients, marketing online, outsourcing and all those juicy topics business owners have to deal with in order to grow and profit.

One of the perks of being a blogger with a large and growing community is that people tend to send you books to review, and it’s becoming more and more frequent. Since I live in a suitcase and like to save paper and postage, I usually ask for a digital version for my iPad or Kindle. It’s got to the point where I had reviewed and read several so I figured it was about time to let you know about the ones I recommend most. Enjoy.

 

Work the System – Sam Carpenter

Work the System – The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working LessI’ve said before that the day I achieved a real sense of freedom in my business was when I realized I actually had to be disciplined enough to create systems to free up my time. In Sam’s book he tells you exactly how to go about doing this, such as creating a Strategic Objective and documenting your procedures. I’d already been applying much of his practical based advice to my business,, but when I read his book Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less THIRD EDITION I knew I was on the right track.

Sam was working 80 hour weeks in his telecommunication business and at breaking point when he had a profound shift in the way he should view his business – as a mechanical series of procedures and systems that are very simple and logical. Now he works less than 2 hours a week and has a thriving and very profitable business and more free time than ever.

Why you should read this book:

Sam paints a picture of the destructive path he had taken his business on and shows you why it’s so critical to lay the right foundations from the beginning. You’ll learn how to stop fire-killing and maximize your profit, create client loyalty, and create an environment where employees respect you and enjoy their work.

She Takes On The World – Natalie MacNeil

She Takes On The WorldIf anyone can write a book that’s full of practice advice for women who want to own their dream business and forge their own path, Natalie MacNeil can – and has. Hot off the press She Takes on the World – A Guide To Being Your Own Boss, Working Happy, and Living On Purpose, is smart, upbeat and jam packed with new opportunities you can apply right now.

Natalie shares a great mix of her personal mindset and winning strategies for your business and your life. As well as this she’s merged in nuggets of wisdom from a number of successful women in business including yours truly. Yes I’m very honoured to have written about managing a team from anywhere.

Why you should read this book:

You’ll gain real gems on how to run your ideal business, like finding the help you need to grow, building a team on a budget, and how to get the world talking about your brand. Plus it will inspire you to consider how you’re female entrepreneur and change agent off to move mountains and shape a better world. Visit shetakesontheworld.net/book

 

The Millionaire Messenger – Brendon Burchard

The Millionaire MessengerIf you haven’t heard of this power house leading the personal development and business building front then you’re missing out. Brendon exudes confidence, grace and charm when it comes to inspiring you to tell your true story in a way that create real change in the world. Or more simply put he challenges you to put your best foot forward, believe in your own story, and turn that into a profitable product or service that shines a light on your natural abilities and talent. Brendon throws down the gauntlet to coaches, consultants, speakers and presenters to create a lasting brand how to go about developing your personal message.

In The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice , Brendon walks you through the foundations you need to succeed in the world and live on purpose including the fundamentals of community building, branding, marketing, networking and partnerships.

Why you should read this book:

It’s a staple on your book shelf that you can refer back to anytime you’re feeling lost or unclear on what you’re actually doing. It helped me a lot during the launch of my products and services and around establishing my Suitcase Entrepreneur brand. It’s also a very positive and inspiring read (or you can listen to the audio series).

 

Engagement from Scratch – Danny Iny

Engagement from ScratchIf you’re wanting to learn how to become a ninja at community building, leveraging social media and establishing your message to ignite others to join you in your mission then this is a must read. I’m also a little bias as I’m proud to be a featured contributor who wrote a chapter along with 29 other active online community builders. With the likes of Brian Clark (Copyblogger), Evan Carmichael, Kristi Hines, and Derek Halpern, Engagement from Scratch!: How Super-Community Builders Create a Loyal Audience and How You Can Do the Same! features short essays we wrote explaininig our own experience and lessons learned on how to build an online community.

Why you should read this book:

The real life advice from real people is invaluable and you can instantly apply it to build your blog, paid membership site, forums and discussion boards is invaluable. This book also covers how to do this for the all important email list community and social media platforms. Visit engagementfromscratch.com/dannyiny.html

Small Business, BIG Vision – Torren Brothers

Small Business, Big VisionMatthew and Adam are two brothers applying their big vision to their businesses. In this book they’ve gone and compiled a wealth of information on the realities of starting your own business as well as insights from successful entrepreneurs around the world. Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right provides inspiration and advice on all the key topics you’d expect when starting out. How to create a one-page business plan, when you need outside financing to setting up your own advisory board. Plus there’s a focus on sustainable and social entrepreneurship.

The two most important entrepreneurial traits you need: 1.) Follow your passion, and 2.) never give up. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, no obstacle is too big, and you never feel like you’re working. You’ll happily put in all the hours and effort that’s necessary to see your business thrive. Passion is the fuel that ignites your vision. And if you have #1, passion, #2 is easy – you’re much less likely to throw in the towel when challenges come up.”

Why should you read this book:

It delivers. You’ll get the information you need along with how to implement that information and plenty of example and lessons to back it up AND it applies to you no matter what stage of business you’re at.

 

Kid Entrepreneurs – Torren Brothers

KidpreneursWhile we’re at it, I was secretly excited when Matthew and Adam also sent me the physical book Kid Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas! This colourful and well illustrated book aims to break down what entrepreneurship is to kids in a clear and simple way. It’s perfect bed time reading to get your kids to understand why some people go to the office to have a thing called a `career’ and others decide to make money on their own terms.

Kidpreneurs was written for elementary and junior high level kids who have an interest in entrepreneurship. It helps parents, teachers, and kids work together to learn the principles of starting and running a successful business at any age.” But really it’s a great ready for us adults too.

Why you should read this book:

With examples like the humble lemonade stand to make it more practical and applicable to kinds, it’s actually a brilliant breakdown of the fundamentals of a business that we sometimes overcomplicate as adults.

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

6 Essential Business Books To Read  in 2012

Leave your recommendations and favourite reads this year that have helped you move forward in your business in the comments below.