Pandemic Entrepreneurs *Must* Read these Biz Books

Maybe it’s Covid. Maybe it’s the fact that I've binged every lowbrow show I’m obsessed with multiple times (if there’s a limit to how often you can watch “The Office” all the way through, I haven’t reached it). But I am ready to get off my derrière and LEARN SOMETHING. And as a small business owner, nothing gets my entrepreneurial juices flowing faster than a brilliant business book. Because every single startup success out there once just consisted of people with dreams—aaand to-do lists they actually accomplished by EOD. Here, the business books our exceedingly smart SwearBy community wholeheartedly endorsed.

Shoe Dog : A Memoir by the Creator of Nike - Reprint by Phil Knight (Paperback)

I went to the University of Oregon for undergrad—also known as the University of Nike, thanks to famous billionaire alum Phil Knight (who reportedly set Nike apart by moulding rubber shoe soles in waffle irons). Bianca D’Agostino’s rave review of this book makes me want to pick up a copy posthaste. “Disclaimer: this book IS NOT going to be one of those, ‘do these 31 things to be successful by the end of the month’ kind of things, because that is certainly not my jam,” says Bianca D’Agostino. “This book is a retelling of the creation of Nike and how it started. It’s great because you actually read the dialogue like it’s a fiction book which I really appreciate!” 

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

“Tools of the Titans is a large book with many mini interviews that Tim Ferris did over the years,” says Lynn Mull of this megawatt bestseller by the inventor of the four hour workweek, which features interviews with everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jamie Foxx. “My copy has so many tags and bookmarks and notes because it’s a go-to reference book for me.” I’m intrigued. Although: does anyone believe a person as successful as Ferriss only works four hours a week? Hard no.

The Power of Broke by Daymond John, Daniel Paisner

This book by Daymond John, “Shark Tank” legend and founder of Fubu, is required reading for Ginger King’s M.S. Business of Fashion/Beauty students at Rutgers Business School. “‘Power of Broke’ is a mindset that has helped a lot of entrepreneurs to achieve greatness,” she says. “Once you have the mindset right, you can go far beyond your potential.” Proof it’s worth reading? A five star rating on Amazon, and over a thousand reviews.

Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg, Steve Magness

The hustle is real, the struggle is real. So a little scientifically proven power-boost won’t hurt. Enter Peak Performance. “I love the science behind how to perform at your best,” Julie Mackey says. “I like the way the authors highlighted the chapters by breaking it down into a growth equation, priming your game mode and developing a purpose. I took copious notes. If you read this book, please reach out! I love to talk about it.” Proof it’s worth picking up: Arianna Huffington herself called it “An essential playbook for success.”

Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms

None other than former Global CEO of Chanel Maureen Chiquet wrote this beloved book on business success, which is worth its weight in pearls. “This book gave me life!” says Jen Stewart. “Maureen brings her personal and professional experiences together to teach you that you can have it all. She dives into the managers that have made an impact on her, the ones who haven’t, and what the differences were.” She also does a deep-dive on how to be a successful leader. Spoiler alert: it ain’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.