Summer Must-Reads For Small Business Owners

Small business owners are some of the busiest people in the world. Most of us work from sunrise to sunset, which does not leave much time to read for pleasure. With the longer days of sunlight, take some time to relax and recharge while learning new strategies for running a successful small business.

Close your laptop, turn off your phone, and if you need an excuse for taking time out, consider this time business development to help you learn effective ways to manage, improve productivity, and lessen the chaos in your business. 

This list of summer must-reads for small business owners will help you become more motivated and quite enlightened. Enjoy!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by Stephen R. Covey, has inspired small business owners for over two decades. 

Covey opens his bestseller by describing how it is common for people who have attained a high degree of success to continue finding themselves struggling with a need to develop personal effectiveness and healthier intimate relationships. 

Covey maintains our attitude about the world is based on our perceptions. He believes to change any given situation; we must change ourselves.

The book takes the reader through the seven habits they must adopt to become as effective as possible in business and personal relationships.

These habits are focused on self-mastery, interdependence, teamwork, communication skills, continuous growth, and all-around improvement. 

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by author Gino Wickman introduces a system for organizational health and growth called the EOS System (Entrepreneurial Operating System). 

The EOS System comprises straightforward concepts and practical tools outlined by six key business components: vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction. 

Traction is a great read for small business owners who need a refresher on business basics. Wickman reminds us that every business needs a functioning system. Traction teaches the EOS System, ensuring that everything gets done without falling through the cracks if appropriately followed. 

Wickman writes, “Often two talented people can speak two completely different languages, ‘what are your objectives?’ ‘You mean my goals?’ ‘What is the process?’ ‘You mean the procedure?”

Traction teaches business owners that they are not their business. Instead, their business is an entity of itself that they created, and to be successful, they must turn their business into a self-sustaining organism. 

Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy

Small business owners are no strangers to chaos. Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy, written by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau, introduces how to get the business you want without sacrificing the life you deserve. 

Often small business owners feel consumed, sometimes trapped by the business they created. It is hard enough to keep your business afloat, let alone grow your small business and enjoy the anticipated success. 

Conquer the Chaos speaks directly to small business owners by understanding the profuse demands on you and your business and presents a formula for success without making you crazy. 

Mask and Martineau lead you through six strategies to incorporate, which will restore order to your small business through practices in managing employees, marketing, accounting, and customer service. 

Conquer the Chaos is an excellent summer must-read for small business owners who need a no-nonsense guide that gets their business running like a well-oiled machine. 

The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

Do you take on too much responsibility? Do you have a hard time delegating tasks to your team? If you answered yes to either question, The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey, written by Ken Blanchard, is a must-read.

The example Blanchard gives is when an employee comes to you with a problem, and you say, “Okay, leave it with me. I’ll figure it out.” Your employee has what Blanchard refers to as a monkey on their back. Then, when they went to you with the problem, the monkey jumped one of their feet onto your back. However, when you let them walk away and take full responsibility for solving the issue, the monkey takes its other foot off your employee and puts both feet on you, leaving you with the monkey on your back.

According to Blanchard, when the employee asks you if you have found a resolution, after taking the monkey off their back, it is as if they are checking up on you when it should be the other way. Blanchard stresses the importance of not taking monkeys off your employee’s backs; make sure it stays with them.

The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey is a summer must-read for small business owners who have a habit of taking on all the responsibility in the company. As an employer, your responsibility is to discuss problems, guide your employees through possible solutions. Your responsibility is not to solve every issue. 

You hired people for a reason, to help you. If you are going to take all the responsibility, why hire anyone at all? 


Regardless of your business goals, we can all use a brush-up on our entrepreneurial education. If your goal is to be a well-rounded small business owner, take advantage of the extra sunlight this summer and include these books on your summer-must reads. 

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