10 Books to Change Your Business and Your Life
Here, 10 entrepreneurs across industries reveal the one book that altered the course of their lives in a way they will never forget.

Life-Changing Books

Here, 10 entrepreneurs across industries reveal the one book that altered the course of their lives in a way they will never forget.

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Gail Mayhugh, Founder

Company: GMJ Interiors, an interior design firm based in Las Vegas, Nev.

Life-Changing Book: "Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers

Why this is a must-read: "I bought this book 18 years ago when I was going through a very rough patch in my life. Susan gave me the strength to push through the fear. There can so much fear when you're launching a business that sometimes people don't even try. This book made me realize that you are going to have fear when making any big decision, and that it's okay to feel it. Every time I have a big decision to make or realize something is paralyzing me, I always ask myself what's the worst that will happen if I try it or take the step: Will I become homeless?  Will I bring harm to myself? Will I cause harm to others? If the answer is no to all three questions, I feel the fear and do it anyway."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Donnella Tilery, Founder & CEO

Company:  Donella's Closet, designer handbag & accessories online retailer based in Jersey City, N.J.

Life-Changing Book: "Success Is Not an Accident" by Tommy Newberry

Why this is a must-read:  "This book is so specific about finding the mission statement for your life. It's a quick read, but there are worksheets after each chapter, and that made the book resonate with me. It [helped me] make myself accountable because I'm a procrastinator by nature. Now, every person I meet and everything I do, I evaluate critically. Every step you take is moving you toward your goal or backwards. Doors have opened for me in business that probably wouldn't have opened before because I'm approaching things strategically. It's not like I'm just hoping I'll get lucky. I have a plan, it makes sense and I'm following through with it."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Angela Lopez, Co-owner

Company: Sandwich Emporium based in San Diego, Calif.

Life-Changing Book: "Think & Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill

Why this is a must-read: "This book gave me the courage and confidence to leave my job and start a business. It's simple and straightforward, and it's the book I keep with me all the time. It motivates you because it shows that it doesn't matter if you're born with money or not, it's really about how you see the world. It taught me that your thoughts and attitudes create your destiny.  In our business, sales were up 20 percent over last year. And we opened a second sandwich shop two months ago. Now especially with the recession, I keep reminding myself that there's always a silver lining and a lesson. It still makes me feel that with the right attitude, I can persist."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Steven Randall, Founder

Company: Vonya Global, an internal audit consulting firm based in Chicago, Ill.

Life-Changing Book: "Live Your Dreams" by Les Brown

Why this is a must-read: "It got me on the path to take more action and hold myself more accountable. [Brown] tells a lot of personal stories of challenges he's faced and shows example after example of people living a better life in fulfilling their dreams. He talked very simply that if there's something you want to do, don't wait, do it now because if you don't, it won't get done—and the world will be worse for it. It got me to go back to school and get a master's degree. I listed all the things I enjoyed doing and started working for an organization I wanted to do them for. Then, I left that company to start my own business. The book encouraged me to create that roadmap for my professional success." 

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Peter Geisheker, CEO

Company: Geisheker Group Marketing Firm based in Green Bay, Wis.

Life-Changing Book: "Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got" by Jay Abraham

Why this is a must-read: "Before reading this book, I was struggling financially and life was quite difficult. Now I own a successful marketing firm and I have performed marketing for companies around the world. All of my success started by reading that book. You will come out with at least five ideas you can put into action immediately to increase your business with current customers and attract new ones. It has some of the most brilliant, yet common-sense stuff you will ever find. Every entrepreneur should read it. It will change their lives."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Adrian Salamunovic, Co-Founder

Company: DNA11.com and CanvasPop.com based in Ottawa, Canada 

Life-Changing Book: "Rules for revolutionaries" by Guy Kawasaki

Why this is a must-read: "Every start-up entrepreneur needs to read that book. It sets up 10 simple rules that any entrepreneur can follow to properly launch a business quickly and efficiently. There's no bible to launch a startup, most are created out of chaos because of a need in the marketplace. I've always used the rules in this book when I'm launching companies. It's an easy read, which is good for entrepreneurs because they don't have a lot of time. It's also entertaining, it's memorable and if you follow these rules in a startup phase it will help you. I’ve applied the rules to every startup I’ve done."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Elizabeth Fournier, Founder

Company: Cornerstone Funeral Services and Cremation in Boring, Ore.

Life-Changing Book: "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity" by Catherine Ponder

Why this is a must-read: "I read this book 10 years ago, and I still leaf through it once a month. Ms. Ponder helped me shed old, unwanted belief systems and thinking patterns that blocked my prosperity...like the idea that I'll never have enough. What it comes down to is results; it works. She has you repeat affirmations out loud. When things started happening—like when I needed to take care of bills, the money would just come—it allowed me not to worry so much, and just trust. The key was learning that I deserved [prosperity], and that there's more than enough for everyone."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Phil Wrzesinski, President

Company: Toy House and Baby Too a retailer based in Jackson, Mich.

Life-Changing Book: "Wizard of Ads" by Roy H. Williams

Why this is a must-read: "If you're questioning your marketing and advertising or if you're looking at your business and saying, 'Why aren't we doing better?' you should read this book. I read it in one night and immediately ordered the two other books in his trilogy: "Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads" and "Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads." I changed the ways in which we merchandised our store, chose which products to sell, and trained the staff—all because of those three books. Much of our current success can be traced back to the first book, Wizard of Ads. We continue to grow our business, in spite of being in one of the harder hit cities in Michigan."

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: John Chen, CEO

Company: Geoteaming.com, a high-tech, team-building event company based in Seattle, Wash. 

Life-Changing Book: "Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins

Why this is a must-read: "There's nothing more emotionally challenging then becoming an entrepreneur. This book offers the tools to handle those challenges—people, business and situational challenges—and all the emotional stuff you have to deal with. If you don't prepare yourself emotionally to be an entrepreneur, you can get crushed. You either overcome [the challenges] or you quit. I've been in business for 12 years, this is my most profitable year and I'm having fun, so that's really been the reward from the book. I'm not sitting behind a desk living a life of quiet desperation." 

Life-Changing Books

Entrepreneur: Bettina Hein, Founder & CEO

Company: Pixability, Inc., a digital video company based in Cambridge, Mass.

Life-Changing Book: "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber

Why this is a must-read: "This book taught me that I have to work ON my business and not IN my business. It's structured as a story that shows you how to extract yourself and teach people to work for you, not just assist you. This has helped me enormously in creating systems that help my company run without me having to be there to 'babysit' it all the time."

10 Books to Change Your Business and Your Life

Here, 10 entrepreneurs across industries reveal the one book that altered the course of their lives in a way they will never forget.

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