10 of My Favorite Business Book Takeaways (I Read Them So You Don't Have To)

There are a lot of great things you can learn from business books.

As someone who obsessively read them for years while ignoring all sorts of fiction, believe me, I know.

But there are two big problems with business books:

  1. Not everyone has the time to read them.
  2. For the vast majority, they can be shrunk to about 20 pages (or less).

Now, I could get into the concept that some people hold on to in that they don’t read any new business books ever. While I think that idea is most worthwhile when it comes to reading the copywriting greats like Ogilvy, Hopkins, and Sugarman, I don’t 100% prescribe to it.

My biggest lesson when it comes to most of the business related books I’ve read is that the handful of gems packed in with 300 other pages of useless information makes them mostly worthwhile.

But, being that I’ll read pretty much anything, I get why most normal people want to skip the 300 pages of babble and get to the good stuff.

That’s why so many people are always into finding summaries of the best business books out there.In this post, I’m coming to your rescue. Since I read mostly on Kindle, I use an app called Clippings that lets me highlight the important bits and save them in a nice organized fashion to access later (perfect for posts just like this).

Thanks, Clippings!

Seriously, though, if you are someone who likes to read digitally but still take notes, I highly recommend checking it out.

Anyway, back to the post…

So, let me save you 10,000 pages of pointless reading and instead cut straight to the point.

In these books, you’ll find my favorite message in each of the following books. Note I said MY FAVORITE MESSAGE for when you read this and think THAT’S WRONG!!!! and want to send off an angry email. To you, my gentle reader, I say to each their own when it comes to favorite business book takeaways.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini:

“When our freedom to have something is limited, the item becomes less available, and we experience an increased desire for it. However, we rarely recognize that psychological reactance has caused us to want the item more; all we know is that we want it. Still, we need to make sense of our desire for the item, so we begin to assign it positive qualities to justify the desire.”

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk by Al Ries and Jack Trout:

“Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.”

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan:

“Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko:

“Allocating time and money in the pursuit of looking superior often has a predictable outcome: inferior economic achievement. What are three words that profile the affluent? FRUGAL FRUGAL FRUGAL.”

Think And Grow Rich: Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner Edition by Napoleon Hill:

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”

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

“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

The 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch by Dan Norris:

“Anti-hustle is what wantrepreneurs do. They do everything other than what needs to be done. They keep coding. They design new features. They optimize their site. They think up new, world-changing ideas. They hang out at startup events discussing their idea. They go to startup weekend and launch a new idea. They do everything other than what they need to do—which, more often than not, is getting more customers.”

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg:

“The Golden Rule of Habit Change says that the most effective way to shift a habit is to diagnose and retain the old cue and reward and try to change only the routine. You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield:

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

“To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”

These are my biggest takeaways. For some of you, these quotes might resonate, for others well I guess you might actually have to read the book to find a few of your own. In most cases, though, you won’t be disappointed!

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