Here’s What We’re Reading: A Curated List of Books for the Advisor or Business Owner in Your Life

Once the air turns chilly, and the snow starts falling, you can find us curled up on the couch with our noses buried in a good book. We curated a selection of our favorite books for the business owner or professional advisor in your life. Whether you are looking to build value in your personal and professional life, strengthen your leadership skills, or prepare for your business exit, we have the perfect book for you.

Building Value in Your Personal and Professional Life

One of the main tenets in Exit Planning Institute’s Value Acceleration Methodology framework is the importance of building value in both your professional as well as personal life. The following books highlight professional success stories, personal pathways for a fulfilling life, and how to build value in every facet of your life.   

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by: Gino Wickman 

Gino Wickman, the creator of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), shares how to strengthen six components of your business in simple yet powerful ways. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Tips to increase productivity in the workplace
  • Improve business operations
  • Gain an understanding of how to incorporate EOS in your business

Thinking Fast and Slow by: Daniel Kahneman

In Nobel Prize winner and world-famous psychologist, Daniel Kahneman’s book, you will learn the two systems of thinking and how both can impact your success in business and your personal life. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the differences between Fast and Slow thinking
  • Learning when to trust your intuition
  • Create a foundation for your future by comprehending your current way of thinking

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by: James Clear

James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, shares practical strategies to teach you how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to overcome a lack of motivation in your life
  • Steps to formulate positive habits
  • Reshape the way you think about progress and success

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

Kiley Peters, CEPA and EPI Faculty member, recommends Michael E. Gerber’s book for all business owners. She shares, “Michael talks about specific examples for owners to delegate and find ways to build value within their companies in ways that they are uniquely positioned to do.” 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Dispels myths about starting your own business
  • Highlights how common assumptions and expectations can get in the way of running a business
  • Shares the difference between working on your business and in your business

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t  by: Jim Collins

Jim Collins shares what factors cause good companies to be great, and how to incorporate his findings in your own business. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Detailed research into elite companies that transitioned from good to great
  • Analysis on leadership styles that benefit businesses
  • How discipline impacts your organization

Strengthen Your Leadership Skills

As a business owner or professional advisor, learning how to effectively lead your teams is paramount to your success. Transformational leaders know how to shape impactful teams and leaders who make decisions and solve problems more effectively. The decision to invest wisely will take you on a journey beyond skills and processes. You must explore leadership at a deeper level. It begins with the values and beliefs within your people and yourself. 

The Reality of Change by: Fred Johnson & Paul Metler

Dr. Fred Johnson and Dr. Paul Metler share a unique approach to change leadership: anticipate and overcome the inner and outer obstacles to steer yourself and your organization through the positive change process.

Key Takeaways: 

  • How to gain confidence in your leadership style
  • Tactics to understand the leadership styles of your team
  • Delves into the emotional and interpersonal challenges of change

Dare to Lead by: Brené Brown 

Brené Brown incorporates research, stories, and examples to cultivate braver leaders and improve the value of your business.   

Key Takeaways: 

  • Four teachable and measurable skill sets to improve your leadership
  • How to define a leader in your business
  • Insights on gaining the courage to be vulnerable

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by: Simon Sinek

The basis of one of the most popular TED Talks of all time, Simon Sinek’s book inspires business owners to discover the “Why?” of their organization. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it 
  • How to inspire your team and customers with your story
  • Skills needed to have repeatable success in your business and life

Preparing You For a Business Exit

Exit Planning Institute teaches advisors and owners that exit planning is simply a good business strategy. The following books highlight different facets of exit planning, the emotional side of selling your business, and how to prepare yourself and your company for a high-value transition. 

The Sellers Journey: How (Smart) Sellers Navigate the Obstacles to Exiting Their Business by: Denise Logan

Thomas Deans, an intergenerational expert, shared one of his favorite books for business owners is The Sellers Journey. This book presents the philosophy that will help owners sell their companies with integrity, humanity, and understanding. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Highlights how seller’s remorse impacts the sale process
  • Understanding how emotion plays a role in business exits
  • How to resolve issues with owner readiness before a sale

Your Baby’s Ugly: Maximize the Value of Your Business or You’ll Have Nothing to Sell by: Justin Goodbread

Your Baby’s Ugly by Justin Goodbread offers tips to business owners on how to build a business that is transferable, has more longevity, and has a bigger appraisal price when you are ready to sell. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Eight areas of business that drive value
  • Be a leader instead of a manager to improve company culture
  • A 10-step process to create repeatable sales

Poised for Exit by: Julie Keyes

Poised for Exit educates owners on planning for their eventual exit regardless of their age, gender, industry, or company size. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Tools and checklists for foundational exit planning
  • Preparation for a large financial transaction 
  • Learn how to exit on your own terms

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by: John Warrillow

Kiley Peters recommends Built to Sell for all business owners and advisors. She shares, “This book tells a story about how a business owner niches down to build value in their business and it’s a pretty fun read.”

Key Takeaways: 

  • Steps owners need to take to create a valuable company
  • How to decentralize the owner from the business prior to a sale
  • How business owners can gain time back in their personal life

11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business by: John Dini

11 Things shares the step-by-step process for business owners to take when selling their companies. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Tools needed to prepare, market, and sell your business
  • Learn from conversations with entrepreneurs
  • Highly actionable steps for owners looking to sell

Walking to Destiny: 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value & Unlock Wealth by: Christopher Snider

This book is not only your essential resource to understand what makes your business attractive and ready for transition; it is a business owner’s handbook to know how to rapidly grow value and ultimately unlock the personal wealth trapped in your business

Key Takeaways: 

  • Insights on business attractiveness and readiness scoring
  • How to build value in your company’s intangible capitals
  • A detailed breakdown of internal and external exit options