My Favourite Books, Part 2 | Business and Marketing Books

Whether you’re a bookworm like me, or you just need some weekend reading inspiration, my list of the best books I’ve read over the past year or so should give you plenty of food for thought.

If you missed the first part of this three-part series, go check that out first. It contains all my favourite personal development books.

Once you’re up to speed, today’s post, in which I’m going to list my favourite business and marketing books, will be even more beneficial.

Best of all is that most of the books mentioned below are available in audiobook format. So, if you prefer to use Audible (like me), you’re in luck.

It’s all about building relationships

Return on Relationship

I’m still finding that lots of business owners think that marketing means advertising and that social media is just another challenge to broadcast their message to the masses.

Ted Rubin, in his book Return on Relationship: Relationships Are the New Currency: Honor Them, Invest in Them, and Start Measuring Your ROR, explains simply and easily all the benefits of building relationships and focusing on customer engagement:

“ROR: Return on Relationship™, #RonR… simply put the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through connection, trust, loyalty, recommendations and sharing.”

The Thank You Economy

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk is an oldie but goodie. It’s still relevant in 2018 (and beyond) even though it was originally published in 2011. There are lots of clever and inspiring quotes in this book, but here’s a couple that I particularly liked:

“Too many people are scared to share their visions and thoughts in public or even in board-rooms. Having a strong vision is important for your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to say what you think. Ever. That said, don’t forget to listen, either.”

“When given the choice, people will always spend their time around people they like.”

There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human

When it comes to social media and business in 2018, there’s no longer a clear dividing line between B2B and B2C. We are all just human beings and even if your company sells to another company, it’s still you as a person interacting with another person.

That’s why I love this book that talks about doing business and marketing based on Human to Human. If you want to learn more about creating valuable relationships, check out There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #h2h written by Bryan Kramer.

This book is quite short but packed with amazing facts, tips and inspiring quotes!

“Communication shouldn’t be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that we’re all multi-dimensional humans, every one of which has spent time in both dark and delightful parts of life.

“That’s human to human.”

Hug Your Haters

You can easily guess what Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer is all about from its title. I thought that the best way to introduce this book would be to use its promo copy:

Eighty percent of companies say they deliver outstanding customer service, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. This book will help you close that gap by reconfiguring your customer service to deliver knockout experiences.

And here are a couple quotes that stood out:

“In today’s world, meaningful differences between businesses are rarely rooted in price or product, but instead in customer experience.”

“Key Points: Satisfaction among people who complain about business hasn’t improved at all since the 1970s. Haters are not your problem. . . . Ignoring them is. Not responding is a response. A response that says “I don’t care about you.” Answering complaints increase customer advocacy. Not answering complaints decreases customer advocacy.”

Building the best business

#AskGaryVee – the book

One of the first audiobooks I ever read/listened to was #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk. Even though I read this when I was first starting out on my own, I keep coming back to it as it always provides me with new insights.

This was also the first time I’d ever heard of @GaryVee and I’ve become a huge fan since then. I read most of his books (a few more made it into this list) and I’m following him on social media for a daily dose of energy and wisdom.

“Stop focusing on dumb shit. Don’t be afraid to break things. Don’t be romantic. Don’t take the time to breathe. Don’t aim for perfect. And whatever you do, keep moving. Reread this a few times…”

“Put out quality content every day and engage around it.”

The E-Myth

Have you ever thought of the difference between ‘being a freelancer vs. business owner’? Have you been looking at your business and asking yourself – do I own a business or do I own a job? There’s nothing wrong with owning a job, as long as that’s what you’re looking for.

Lots of people struggle with running their business, as they never wanted to have a business in the first place. All they wanted is to do what they love on their own terms!

The E-Myth (where E stands for Entrepreneur) is a cult book and I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to set up a business (or already has a business, but is struggling).

There are two amazing quotes that I wrote down while reading 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 difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.”

Rise of the Youpreneur

I’m absolutely in love with this book – Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business by Chris Ducker. Since reading it for the first time, I’ve come back to it several times again and it’s one of my top ‘most frequently recommended’ books.

If you’re looking to build a successful business (maybe even more than one) based on your personal brand, you must read this book and follow Chris on social media!

Chris is a huge advocate of being yourself, even if that means that it will offend some people! It’s good! You will never please everyone, nor should you try. You should try to attract people who will love you for you, the way you are.

One of his key messages and quotes is:

“Market like a magnet. Attract the best, repel the rest.”

The 4-Hour Work Week

I’ve had a long and bumpy journey towards this book. When I started reading it for the first time, I had to stop halfway through as it felt ‘too American’ – too full on, too over the top.

It was only later, after I’d watched a few of Tim’s videos and interviews, that I decided to give The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss another try.

Listening to Tim talking about his story and sharing a bit more about his experiences, I felt that he (and his book) deserved a second chance.

The 4-Hour Work Week is the bible of freelancers/entrepreneurs, it’s the revolutionary book that explains that to build a successful business and make lots of money you don’t need to work hard – you just need to work smart!

“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

Let’s talk about money!

Money: Know More, Make More, Give More

This book from a local author (by local I mean local to Cambridge, where I live) is a really inspiring and thought-provoking piece of content. I can highly recommend the audio version of Money: Know More, Make More, Give More: Learn how to make more money and transform your life by Rob Moore, because his energy makes the book even more engaging.

Want to get truly financially independent, be able to use your money in the way you’d like, and be completely confident in your ability to take care of yourself and your family? This book offers amazing and actionable advice.

“It’s not what you’re doing now that earns your wage, it’s what you’re not doing.”

Rich Dad Poor Dad

This is a book that should be obligatory school reading, a book that everyone should read at least twice! Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki is a brilliant book about the mindset around money. It also discussed the concept of hard vs. smart work.

“In school we learn that mistakes are bad, and we are punished for making them. Yet, if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling down. If we never fell down, we would never walk.”

“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”

How to market yourself (and/or your business)

Content Mavericks

Together with Chris Ducker’s Rise of the Youpreneur (mentioned below), Content Mavericks from Andrew and Pete is part of the most powerful book combo for freelancers/entrepreneurs in 2018 (and going forward).

Content Mavericks: How to Grow Your Business with Insanely Shareable Content from Andrew and Pete must be my most frequently recommended book of 2018 – and for good reason.

“At the moment, Content Marketing offers the biggest opportunity for growth, but the world is overcrowded and overwhelmed with content (mostly crappy, salesy content). If you don’t do things a little differently, then you don’t stand a chance. If you want to build an audience, create fans, and start making money from your content, then you need to be a Content Maverick.”

This book will show you how…

The Content Mavericks process takes you through 7 logical steps to create a content marketing strategy that not only helps you create insanely shareable content but also GENERATES SALES! Are you ready?


In today’s world, there is a permanent advantage to becoming known in your field. Those who are known get the customers, the better jobs, and the invitations to exclusive opportunities.

But can anybody become known?

KNOWN: The handbook for building and unleashing your personal brand in the digital age from Mark W. Schaefer is a great resource for anyone who wants to become known (no matter what field you’re in). This book is the perfect guide to personal business success.

“Nobody is born a thought leader. It’s something you need to earn in the mind of your audience, slowly over time. You should approach the process of becoming known with humility and respect to those who came before you.”


I’m sure you’ve already heard of this book and I highly recommend giving it a read. If you haven’t already The title is fairly self-explanatory – it’ll show you different ways to get more clients and become oversubscribed.

Oversubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up to Do Business with You by Daniel Priestley is a remarkable book!

“Being oversubscribed is the way for you to do your best work and spend more time with your current clients rather than chasing new ones. It gives you more downtime to innovate your products rather than running around selling them – and it allows you to build your brand rather than blending in with the crowd.”

“If two people want your time and only one can get it, your price rises until one of them gives in. Your job isn’t to please everyone. Your job is to find those people who can’t live without you.”

Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention

In today’s busy and loud world, we need to be able not only to capture someone else’s attention, but also work on our own attention span. Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention by Ben Parr talks not only about how to capture other people’s attention, but also how to get more organised, limit your own multitasking and deal with procrastination.

“You might think a chronic multitasker would be more adept at switching between tasks, but you would be wrong. A recent study […] found that “heavy media multitaskers”—those who consumed a large amount of media content—were not only more susceptible to irrelevant stimuli, but they were also significantly slower when it came to switching between tasks.”

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Want to ‘get viral’? In Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger looks into the research of virality and explains why certain things catch on.

This book captures lots of interesting ideas and points about word of mouth, virality and sharing. It explains the differences in shareability of different types of content. For me, the most memorable quotes were these two simple ones:

“Marketing is about spreading the love.”

“Virality isn’t born, it’s made.”



That’s it, these are my favourite business and marketing books. Have you read any of them? I’d love to know your thoughts.

In the final part of this series, I’ll look at my favourite fiction and non-work related books. Stay tuned!

Which books would you add to my list! Please share your inspiration with me in comments below or tweet me at @lenkakopp.