Top 10 Books for any Entrepreneur


Some of the world’s most successful people – Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg & Oprah Winfrey. What do they and the rest of the top 1% have in common? They read! Some read 50+ books a year.

While I strive to do my best, I am not quite at that level. I also find it is helpful to mix it up a bit, some fiction and some non-fiction. Sometimes I read to learn and help build my business or increase my knowledge or skill. Often, I read purely for the joy of curling up with a good book to relax.  


As we move into a new year and a new decade, I would like to share some of my favorite reads of 2019:

  1. Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek
  2.       I am a big Sinek fan and I believe any entrepreneur or business leader should check out his books and podcasts. In this book, he discusses the importance of trust in all organizations through storytelling.

  3. Atomic Habits, by James Clear
  4.       James Clear perfectly describes how habits are created and how we can easily change them through the power of association. If you have ever tried (and failed) to change your routine to accommodate more exercise, eat better, be more productive, or better yet, quit a bad habit, this book is for you!

  5. The Sun Does Shine, by Anthony Ray Hinton
  6.       I love a good memoir! I don’t know if it’s because I know the story actually happened or if it’s because I feel more connected to the person telling the story. The Sun Does Shine is the true story of Anthony Hinton who was held for decades on death row only to have his conviction overturned. It’s an incredible story of resilience and hope.

  7. The Goal, by Jeff Cox & Eliyahu Goldratt
  8.      The Goal is an oldie but a goody. I will admit, I listened to this on audible because I was expecting it to be long and dry. Never judge a book by its cover! I was pleasantly surprised how the author was able to intertwine a production plant process improvement initiative with a genuine, relevant side story to really get his point across. It also teaches us that we can learn a lot from our kids!

  9. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
  10.       I just love this story of resilience and humour. A memoir about a boy growing up in South Africa during apartheid and how he overcame that and other obstacles. Another audible narrated by Trevor Noah himself.

  11. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Glaldwell
  12.       This year I discovered my new favorite author, Malcom Gladwell. He is a Canadian journalist, author and public speaker who has an incredible talent of making sense of the present through story telling of the past. It will make you question the truth and your judgement of people. Very insightful for any business leader.

  13. The 10X Rule, by Grant Cardone
  14.      I debated whether to include this one in the list. I know many people love this book and I expect it would be a great motivator for most. For me, it was just ok but worth the read.

  15. Educated, by Tara Westover
  16.       If you were a fan of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, you will love the Tara Westover story. It is incredible what you can accomplish with the most limited of resources – no more excuses!

  17. Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss
  18.      This story is told by an FBI negotiator, can it get better than that? I listened to it on audible then had to buy the actual book so I could mark it up!

  19. Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown
  20.       I can’t get enough of Brene Brown so I have to include her in any reading list. Such a brilliant, inspirational and hilarious leader for men and women alike.


Books on the nightstand in 2020?

  1. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
  2.       My new favorite author! I’m already a couple of chapters in and I can’t get enough – love this guy!

  3. Clockwork, by Mike Michalowich
  4.       I am starting this one tonight. Yes, I am one of those people who have multiple books on the go depending on the mood.

  5. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  6.       How am I, a middle aged woman, yet to have read this book? With the movie coming out, I have to get caught up!

  7. Good to Great, by Jim Collins
  8.       I’ve been working on this one for a while. It’s a dryer read but the content is fantastic so it keeps me coming back.

  9. HR from the Inside Out, by Dave Ulrich
  10.       I try to read at least one book a year directly linked to my field of work. I am a true believer that we need to always be expanding our knowledge and hearing different perspectives so we are best equipped to serve our clients.


    Well, this should get me started but I am always open to suggestions. Let me know what books you have loved and what books you are looking forward to this year!

    Sarah Mullins is the founder and CEO of uptreeHR, an outsourced Human Resource department for small to medium sized businesses. Sarah and her team are based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


    To book a complimentary 30-minute consult with Sarah, click here.


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