Specialties: Strategic and Tactical growth for Membership Organizations, Business Management & Development


Upwards of 11,000 business books are published every year, and there are hundreds of thousands of business books in print. Sometimes it feels like I’ve read them all.

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That’s part of my job, though: keeping an eye on the different philosophies of and approaches to business, especially small business; knowing what the trends are and what tools and techniques are out there. As a result, I get asked a lot what books I recommend someone read.

It’s easy to find a list online—“10 Must-Read Business Books,” “The 7 Books to Transform Your Business,” “The 2 Billion Best Business Books in the History of the Universe”—but there’s no guarantee that the books on that list will be what you need. Those books might be brilliant and full of game-changing solutions, but if you’re struggling with vision, a book about business finance isn’t going to help you. If you want to develop your team, you don’t need a book (at that moment) about marketing techniques.

That’s why I like to counter the question, “What books do you recommend, Jim?” with another question: What’s your biggest challenge?

Your biggest challenge is the thing that’s in your way. In more than 20 years of running, working with and studying small businesses, I’ve determined that challenges come in eight areas. If you focus on and improve in these areas—in these building blocks of business—you will have a business that thrives and grows, even without you. (Why is that important? So you can go live your best life while your business keeps working for you!)

There’s a great acronym for those building blocks—BALANCED™—and they are so important to the health and success of business that my coaching and consulting programs are structured around them.

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Learn more about the BALANCED™ approach to business by watching my video Building a BALANCED Business.

So, What’s your challenge? Whatever area of business your challenge is in, whichever building block you need to focus on next, I’ve got a book for you. Here are my top recommendations, organized by BALANCED™:

B—Block Timing

The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, by Jim Loehr

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

A—Acquiring Clients

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, by Frank Bettger

The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, by Ivan Misner


The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John Maxwell and Stephen Covey

Small Giants: Companies That Chose to Be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham

A—Automated Processes

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber

Built the Sell, by John Warrillow


Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential, by Greg Crabtree

Financial Intelligence, by Karen Berman

C—Clarity and Vision

Start with Why, by Simon Sinek

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick Lencioni

Leadership and the One-Minute Manager, by Kenneth Blanchard


Onward, by Howard Schultz

Indispensable: How to Become the Company That Your Customers Can’t Live Without, by Joe Calloway

If you want to dig even deeper into any (or all!) of the building blocks of BALANCED™, you’ll want to check out my full recommended reading list. Download it for free by clicking the image below.

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Are you an auditory learner? Check out this quick video I shot about three books that help you look at business differently or my full video about my favorite books and why I like them.

If you don’t see what you need in these resources, please reach out to me via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I read a lot (I mean a lot!) of business books, and I know I have one that’s perfect for you.



Companies we’ve worked with
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Organizations we’ve worked with
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Franchises we’ve worked with
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Associations we’ve worked with
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