13 Audio Books Every Entrepreneurs Should “Read”

So, you are a small business owner. Maybe you are still in the month to month cycle of “will we make it by?”. Or maybe you are finally at the place where your sales are consistent. Either way, I bet you anything that you have asked yourself how you can push yourself to the next level.


Whether the next level in your business plan is consistency or opening a second location or heck, maybe even being able to hire a bookkeeper so you don’t have to be hassled with your back office anymore, I have (not new) news for you. YOU are in the driver’s seat. You are the one who has to stay sharp in an ever-changing and growing entrepreneurial marketplace.


So how do you find time to do that amidst the toilet cleaning, the meetings with investors and the midnight inventory count to keep up and stay sharp??


Audio books! If you haven’t already hopped on this train, today is your day! This is an easy way to squeeze dynamite knowledge gain into the early morning drive to the gym; the racing between handling a fire at one of your stores and soccer practice for your teen; or any other cracks and crevices of unused time.


To make this even easier on your schedule, I have polled a couple business gurus in the Knoxville area for their top picks! But don’t worry, their smarts can help small business owners nationwide.


13 Audio Books Every Entrepreneurs Should “Read”:


High Performance Habits


To kick it off, this book, written by Brendon Burchard, gives you both the science and the heart of what is behind the most successful individuals and teams and then walks you through how to cultivate these habits for yourself. These habits focus on your productivity and leadership skills as well as your joy through it all.


Profit First


As a bookkeeping firm, we talk a lot about becoming profitable BECAUSE we know it is important to the small business owner. Mike Michalowicz, an entrepreneurial whiz, helps drive home the massive reality that it is better to have a profit-rich small business as opposed to a cash-sucking large one. He turns the typical profit formula on its head and teaches small business owners through lots of case studies and examples, how to run their business by the guideline Sales – Profit = Expenses.




12 Week Year


Are you the person who created company goals at the beginning of the year only to realize that by May you were already distracted and off track, so you just gave up? The story isn’t uncommon. Don’t worry. But if that sounds familiar, then this book is for you! Brian Moran and Michael Lennington teach you how to run, business or personal, according to a 12 week schedule. Dump getting lost in the annual slog and gain the focus to handle what matters most.


Ready Fire Aim


If you want to learn how to succeed in your business from a self-made multimillionaire here is a great read! Michael Masterson shares the key strategies to his success and skills he developed and used to get where he is today.

Power of Habit


Charles DuHigg, an award-winning business reporter takes a close, scientific look at habits, both their existence and how to change them. This New York Times Bestseller digs into human nature and posits that to find success in anything from business to dieting, you have to understand the science behind your habits.

Extreme Ownership


Ever feel like business ownership feels more like extreme combat than a job? Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, two Navy SEAL officers, returned from one of the most violent battlefields in Iraq and began training business leaders in the invaluable lessons they learned in some of the most treacherous conditions. Success directly depends of high-performing, intentional and effective leadership.


Shoe Dog


This is an amazing story about how difficult it is to get off the ground as a startup business. In another New York Times Bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares an honest, behind-the-scenes look at the messy journey of how the company grew from the trunk of a car and a $50 loan to one of the world’s most profitable brands. If that doesn’t excite you enough, Bill Gates named this one of his top five favorites in 2016.




Culture Code


For most small business owners, their team is inevitably going to grow beyond themselves. Turnover and poor team dynamics can literally be the downfall of your entire business dreams and goals. If you want an amazing culture, read this insightful book by Daniel Coyle.

Good to Great


A classic tale by Jim Collins that you can learn something new from every year. Even if your company had a rocky start, you can make the leap from mediocre to highly successful with the principles outlined in this book. Collins arrived at some pretty solid advice after mining decades of data and closely looking at what metrics pointed to the success of companies such as Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.



Being a business owner means you are in it for the long haul. Even overnight success requires maintenence, solid business planning and faithful execution to remain successful. In this book, finance guru Dave Ramsey will give you something to work on for each year in each chapter. These goals will focus on developing your team, your own leadership and your overall handling of finances.


Be Our Guest


There is an incredibly studied and well thought through reason that the Magic Kingdom is just that, magical! So much thought and purpose has gone into their customer service, the cornerstone of this empire’s success, that it is now taught worldwide through The Disney Institute. Businesses can apply these principles to their own customer service to see massive improvements in gaining and keeping the one of the main driving forces in their profit, their customer!

Love Works


Ever watch Undercover Boss? Well before Joel Manby made it as a TV celeb, he earned his success as a corporate executive. So many of the viewers responded to the show, sharing how greatly impacted they were by Manby’s servant leadership, that he decided to share what he had learned in his years of successful leadership by way of seven principles for effective leadership.  

Time Management Magic


Let’s just be honest here. Time management may be the biggest thorn in the flesh of the small business owner. With all the hats they are forced to wear in their business and personal lives, the lines can become blurry and effectiveness can certainly dwindle. Well if there is anyone you can learn from in this area, Lee Cockrell, SOE of Walt Disney World Resorts, definitely is at the top of the list. He led a team of 40,000 Cast Members (employees) and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and the ESPN Sports Complex. As you can imagine, becoming an expert with his time was not really optional!


Remember, you don’t just have to imagine what cool things you might learn as you read these quick summaries. These thirteen titles can help propel you to that elusive next level as soon as you download the audio book app of your choice!

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