13 Must Read Business Books To Kick Start Your 2013

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Business Resources / 13 comments
Marianne Cantwell Be A Free Range Human

I’ve gone on a book buying spree lately. I may have gotten ahead of myself in thinking that I’d be able to catch up on reading them  all this month.

And I am`making’ time because I feel it’s so damn important to invest time into learning, reflecting, escaping and strategizing before you hit the New Year.

Who doesn’t want to stride confidently into 2013 armed with a mass of critical knowledge, insight and new found awesome? So I’ve put in some of my `must read’ recommendations, and I got your recommendations too because let’s face it, crowdsourcing is just such a smart idea, right?

So get inspired and put these on your Christmas list (or better yet your Amazon `wish list’ for friends and family to buy) right now.

1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

In short, most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two resides resistance. When you kick resistance in the teeth, your dream life will be waiting for you on the other side. ~ recommended by Greg Hartle

2. Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work

I have to recommend you also pick up his most recent book , and follow-up to his bestseller The War of Art, because it’s all about going from amateur to being a professional, and not by taking a course or buying a product but changing your mind! I’d already gotten to this way of thinking about myself recently, so reading his thoughts on taking yourself seriously and stepping up to play your best game was just the perfect timing for me – and I know it will be for you.

3. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

I turn to this whenever I’m hammering out a business concept/plan. ~  Sebastian Troen.
I can back up what Sebastian says, I read this back in my tech startup days and it was just no BS and fun reading about building a true startup – turning your idea into action.  The art of the start essentially!

4. The Dip by Seth Godin

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

I struggled with the opposite ends of the spectrum of quitting too easily, or sticking it out when really I should get out and quit. Seth shared with me the “dip” which allowed me to have a perspective on when to quit, (before you start, or when it’s hard and you realize you’re not going to see it all the way through) and when not to quit (after you’ve gone through the hard bits, but before you’ve gotten to the reward bit). One graph on one page changed my life! ~  Elena Harder

5. Be A Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell

Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills

I feel pretty special to have got one of the pre released final drafts of the lovely Marianne’s book and I lapped it up.  She shows you how to escape your career cage and live life on your own terms. She’s got the same philosophy on life as I do – you’re meant to be living the life you love and enjoying your own freedom based lifestyle – except she helps people go from ditching the 9-5 to free range careers, to earning a regular income without an office or a boss. You must watch her video on her book site. You should definitely read her blog too – you’ll be a free range human before you know it.

6. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

It is the book that started my entire journey. I mean of course we want a successful business, but in order to get that, you gotta continuously work through yourself as well! I don’t just want a successful business, but a successful life! ~ Elise McDowell

7. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

This book is such a good reality check. “Are you living, or just earning a living?” I lost my father several years ago and life is short. I would rather be living. ~ Yasmine Khater 

PS  I wrote about his book and did a short video on the blog way back cos I loved it: Gary Vaynerchuk Crush It And Cash In On Your Passion

8. I Am a Writer by Jeff Goins

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

It’s a short powerful book about overcoming the reason not to write and and to create a platform to showcase your writing i.e. a blog. Basically, you just have to belief that “you are a writer” and say this to yourself.  It works, after reading the book I said this to myself everyday “I am a writer” and now I do write. I am getting better in my writing confidence to express myself, and practice makes perfect. ~ Jane Manthorpe

9. Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel

Fearless Creating: A Step-by-Step Guide To Starting and Completing Your Work of Art

There’s no soft soaping in this. It is practical and intelligent and exhorts you to challenge yourself in your art, practice and your life. His prose is clear and beautiful. ~ Liza Dezfouli

10. Rich German’s Monetize Your Passion

 Monetize Your Passion

This free book was included with his Monetize Your Passion program that I took in October 2010.  I had tried other businesses in the past that weren’t “me” and didn’t succeed.  The first half of this book showed me how to get past the mental/emotional issues of starting something new. The second half of the book (the part that was very powerful for me) showed the detailed steps of how to start a new, online business that helps people and allows you to monetize your passions.  This was the first resource that showed me “how” to do what seemed impossible for me before.  This book is what inspired me to launch my blog/business. ~ Paige Burkes

11. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani

The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue: 2012 Edition

I knew that I had to jump into the Social Media scene to get the results I wanted from my business, but I was clueless on where to begin because I had never used Facebook, Twitter or any of the other services. Shama’s book gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to do that and it changed both my business and my life. ~ Debi Auger

12. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

This is one I’ve been recommended by so many people now and I must admit it’s sitting on my Kindle as yet unread. I did watch his TED video though and read his blog (amazing website too), which is what made me snap this up. Simon asks and answers:`Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?’. People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it. If you can’t answer this question for yourself you will have zero clarification on what your business offers and to who. So what’s your why?

13. The Entrepreneur’s Trap by Tina Forsyth

The Entrepreneur’s Trap: How to Stop Working Too Much, Take Back Your Time and Enjoy Life

Yes another book I bought to support Tina’s book launch as I really rate her work which is always focused on building better systems for your business you can free up more time to do what you love. I’m looking forward to reading this in research for writing my book and to check in on the systems I’ve installed in my business and where I can plug any gaps! This book also focuses on the WHY you go into business and to crafting the right business for you. “It’s about taking back your weekends and setting boundaries and so this book isn’t just about systems but about rediscovering the passion for your business.”

Bonus: The Suitcase Entrepreneur by Natalie Sisson

Ok so I couldn’t let this post go without telling you about my No #1 Bestseller on Amazon The Suitcase Entrepreneur – Create Freedom in Business and Adventure in Life.

This book has been called a `bible’ and a `blueprint’ for creating life on your own terms, as a location independent business owner. Split into 3 parts you’ll get the non-sugar coated but full of possibilities details on what it really takes to be a suitcase entrepreneur, followed by how to build an online business and become a pro at being homeless.

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!

6 Essential Business Books To Read  in 2012

Six Best Business Books To Read in 2012


In the comments below, leave your favourite must read book we should check out to propel us into 2013!

  • Guest

    Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is good for perspective and mindset shifts. I’ve read Turning Pro and The War of Art and I didn’t think much was added to Turning Pro to be honest. I’m covering a section of The War of Art in an upcoming episode of She Takes on the World TV about incorporating your business, which I’m really excited about.

  • Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is good for perspective and mindset shifts. I’ve read Turning Pro and The War of Art and I didn’t think much was added to Turning Pro to be honest. I’m covering a section of The War of Art in an upcoming episode of She Takes on the World TV about incorporating your business, which I’m really excited about.

    • Interesting to hear Nat. I purchased both on Kindle so will have to make a comparison and see if I agree.

  • Great list Natalie! Yes, I did love Shama’s Zen of Social Media Marketing and the 2012 Edition is on my list. I’m reading Tina’s The Entrepreneur Trap right now and it’s fabulous! The Success Principles and Start With Why (Simon’s TEDx talk as you know changed my business) are both on my list for 2013. Here’s my reading list and some recommendations:

    Highly Recommend:
    The Maui Millionaires for Business by Diane Kennedy and David Finkel
    The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
    Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
    She Takes on the World by Natalie MacNeil

    Reading now:
    The Entrepreneur’s Trap by Tina Forsyth

    Next in Line:
    How To Get a Grip by Matthew Kimberley
    Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
    The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

    Some of the Ones On My List for 2013:
    The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
    The Zen of Social Media Marketing 2012 Edition by Shama Kabani
    Start With Why by Simon Sinek
    The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
    Engagement From Scratch by Danny Iny
    The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman
    The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field by Mike Michalowicz
    Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Elker
    The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
    The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard
    Coaching Millions by Milana Leshinsky
    Purple Cow by Seth Godin
    Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by Renee Mauborgne

  • Great time for this list Natalie so that I can put my order in for Chrissie presents! I’ve heard The war of Art recommended so often I MUST put that on my list. Start with Why by Simon Sinek has been on my list for awhile so that will be a definite starter as well

  • $100 Startup is one of the now three books I still have physical copies of, definitely recommended. His first book Art of Non-Conformity was also great.

    On the subject of platforms (re: the “I am a Writer”) the Impact Equation is huugely useful for thinking about developing platforms and it focuses on the human side, instead of specific methods (e.g. how to maximize Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

    Highly recommend Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions if you haven’t already read it.I also always point people to read the Flinch by Julien Smith (it’s a free and a quick read, so no excuses not to).

    I’m actually largely limiting myself to re-reading the books I already mentioned (plus the 4-Hour Chef and Turning Pro) to really implement the ideas. Well, once I finish reading Taleb’s new book Antifragile at least. 🙂

  • Oh wow, ANOTHER mention! Thank you Natalie!

    I love all of these recommendations, I already have a few of these books and the others are already on my wishlist!

    I wish everybody success for 2013 and with books like these at our fingertips, it’s gonna be easier than ever.

    Success to us!

  • Influence by Robert Cialdini

  • start with why is incredible! I always make it the first thing of why i do what I do. I also like do the work by steven pressfield

  • The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is tops on my list of books for 2012 and for going into 2013 with a strong start!! The practical advice on how to move from idea to business makes it the best book out there right now – In My Humble Opinion 🙂

    I read Seth Godin’s Poke the Box last week – and it really gets you headed in the right direction with a healthy dose of “just get out there and ship already!!”, a swift kick in the pants as only Seth can provide!!

  • “The Power of Habit – why we do what we do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhugg is worth a read. Great insights and food for thought on how our habits drive our behaviour and how we can construct healthy habits to set ourselves up to succeed in life and business.

  • “The Power of Habit – why we do what we do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhugg is worth a read. Great insights and food for thought on how our habits drive our behaviour and how we can construct healthy habits to set ourselves up to succeed in life and business.

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