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10 Inspiring Business Books to Start the Year

If your New Year’s resolutions includes reading more books to help you start or grow your business, here’s our suggestions on getting started. Below are 10 books from the past year on topics ranging from the military to the music industry to the NFL locker room.

They’ll make you cheer, cry, and maybe even get inspired.

1. Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, by Sam Guralnick

Sam Phillips founded Sun Records in 1952, which became a cornerstone of rock ‘n’ roll. Years of interviews with Phillips and the long list of Sun Records artists culminated into this must-read story about one of the most influential record labels of all time.

2. #GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso wandered through life, working a dead-end job until she was 22. Now, she’s the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, a massive online fashion retailer, and is ready to share her unorthodox journey to the top. Newly out in paperback, you’ll want to bring it everywhere.

3. The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life, by Tommy Spaulding

Leadership expert and former CEO Tommy Spaulding presents a different definition of a leader, one who integrates emotions into his workplace, not just relying on cold intellect. The book is filled with plenty of extremely personal anecdotes, and is sure to warm your heart.

4. Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy, by Bryan Kramer

Bryan Kramer delves deep into the phrase, “sharing is caring.” Sharing expands beyond lunch with your best friend into the way businesses and brands perform together.

5. You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life, by Mike Smith and Jon Gordon

Former NFL head coach Mike Smith and business consultant Jon Gordon present an in-depth look at Smith’s experiences leading the Atlanta Falcons. They explore the whole nine yards, not only what worked, but also what didn’t.

6. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers, by Richard Bolles

Ending the year on a bad note? Your job not what you thought it would be? What Color is Your Parachute might be just what you need. Richard Bolles revised his popular job and career book, filling it with advice and guidance for the next part of your journey.

7. Activate Your Brain: How Understanding Your Brain Can Improve Your Work — and Your Life, by Scott Halford

Scott Halford presents a case for understanding ourselves, particularly our brains, in order to improve all aspects of our lives. Become a brainiac about your brain!

8. Life is Good: The Book, by Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs

Any book with a Top-10 list of “superpowers” is sure to be a good read. Brothers Bert and John Jacobs, founders of clothing and lifestyle brand Life is Good, talk about their recipe for optimism and a great life.

9. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson

Laughter is the best medicine, and Jenny Lawson proves that that statement is ever true. Lawson explores her experiences living with depression and anxiety with several large doses of humor, keeling readers over left and right.

10. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by General Stanley McChrystal

This retired U.S. Army general is bringing his military knowledge and experience to your sofa. McChrystal demonstrates how a “team of teams,” of transparency and decentralization, is the new business model to follow based on his time leading the country’s armed forces in Iraq.


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