Drilling down and focusing on specific a specific subject matter is a necessity, especially when it comes to different areas and strategies in your business.  The one way I have found success in this is by reading literature that covers the topics that I'm truly interested in.

Yes, I understand that the internet has all the information that I need for free...

But, as always, I want to be intentional and actionable with any information that I obtain.  Not only that, but I absolutely love reading and seeing a perspective in written form.

That being said, I wanted to create something that I haven't really found on the internet anywhere else.

So here it is, my suggested reading list for any small business or startup entrepreneur focusing on marketing, branding, and overall success!  I've even added my own summary of the book with a few nuggets from various resources for your viewing pleasure.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Marketing is a unique strategy that most business can't survive without.  We are taught in our business courses about the 5-P's of marketing, but this book opens the reader's eyes up to the ultimate P: The Purple Cow.

Godin explains his method somewhat like this:

Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. - Amazon Summary

This book takes a deep-dive into specific examples of business who are doing incredible things, reaching outside the box of their niche to create something remarkable that attracts a unique market and creates success.  It will open your eyes to the fact that marketing isn't commercials, magazine ads, and billboards any longer... and in order to survive in this dog-eat-dog world, the entrepreneur is required to be vulnerable and think creatively about every aspect of their business.

It's a must-read in my opinion!  Click here to check it out for yourself.

Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Everyone has an interest or hobby that they would love to do day-in & day-out.  What people don't realize is how to turn these interests into a viable business.

Gary lays his experiences out on the table, giving examples of how he took his passion for selling and business to a whole new level.  He outlines multiple ways you can take your passion to the business world by using the internet and connecting with people.

Not only is this an inspirational book, but it is a realistic approach to incorporating the things you love to do into business.  Some books and articles fluff the notion that creating and sustaining a business is easy... this one does not, and provides insight into how you can successfully change your life in a positive way.

Check it out by clicking here.

The Urban Monk by Pedram Shojai

Being an entrepreneur can be a stressful & time-consuming aspect of life.  Trying to find the time for yourself to center & calm your mind is a feat in itself.

Pedram uses his experience in the wellness field to bring you techniques that will rejuvenate the body and mind without praying for vacation to come sooner.  You shouldn't be required to wait for vacation to come in order to open your heart and mind to a better well-being.

This isn't your normal book that gives you tips and tricks you should think about trying... This is a field guide to operate your everyday life.  It's highly encouraged that you take this book with you wherever you go, get it dirty, and mark it up.  Trust me... You will definitely want to!

Don't wait for your next vacation... get the book here.

$100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Let's face it... Starting a business is hard.  In the past, it was also expensive.  However, Chris tells multiple stories in this book relating to the modern era of business.

You don't have to be rich or have investors to start your own business.  In $100 Startup, you can see specific examples of how people just like you are starting businesses either intentionally or by mistake.  Not only that, but they're doing something they truly love, and marketing themselves in unique ways.

Taking your passion, hobby, or interest to the business scene is a requirement if you want long-lasting happiness in your career choice.  This is an essential read for anyone looking to harness the power of entrepreneurship.

Check it out by clicking here.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

In the new world of business, the car salesman approach just won't cut it.

Business is like a boxing match.  You must consistently jab by providing epic content and value to your audience, earning their trust and the right to throw a right hook (ask for them to purchase something).

But this isn't your normal guide... Gary also shows you exactly what good jabs look like, and how to use them in mainstream social media.

With clear examples of what to-do, this book provides essential techniques that every small business owner should be using.  Check it out here.

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

When a timeless classic is still a top-seller, you know it's still very relevant in the industry.  Dale Carnegie proves that communication and relationships are key to everything you do in life.

In this book, Carnegie provides very specific and intentional tactics to communicate effectively in both your business and personal life.  By targeting simple things like asking someone questions and listening to complex topics such as conflict, Carnegie will guide you through how to build effective relationships.

If you do not read any other book on this list... read this one.  It will truly change your life.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris

The 4HWW could be considered the "holy grail" of business in the modern-era.

Business should not consume your every second.  It shouldn't be as stressful as we make it.  Tim gives you the blueprint you need to take control of your life, possibly create a business, and do things on your terms.

Want to work half the time with twice the productivity?  Do you want to travel the world and manage your operation on the go?  What about taking mini-retirements rather than waiting until your life passes by?

Simply put, Tim opens the door for you in regards to how business SHOULD be done... rather than how others want you to do business.

Take a closer look by clicking here.

#AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary has made it on my list for the 3rd time now... and there's a reason.  He puts out priceless content that is applicable to both personal and business branding.  #AskGaryVee is no different.

Taking his popular Youtube/Podcast shoooooooooowwwwwwwww to a whole new level, GaryVee attacks some of the most interesting & relevant questions he has seen.  Entrepreneurs from across the world rely on Gary's answers, simply because he is real and doesn't give a crap about your feelings.

With the mantra of hustle, value and patience, Gary will show you how to push your social media presence forward.  He will show you how to be a better leader in your niche.  Heck, he will even tell you how to purchase your next bottle of wine.

If you are looking for a down-to-earth realistic answer to your business issues... look no further.  Click here to check it out.

Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn

Starting a business is like building a paper airplane.  When you were a kid... someone tried to teach you how to build the plane.  You rushed.  You failed.  But then you realized that there were resources out there to help you build that airplane to soar far.

Pat uses his copious amounts of experience in the business industry to guide you along your journey.  He considers himself the "Crash-Test Dummy" of online business... and he truly does not want you to make the same mistakes he does.

What is awesome about this book is the amazing tools and resources that Pat provides to help you along the way.  He is very detailed and intentional with each step.

In my opinion, you can even apply this to the current business you run to check and maintain the success you've already created.

This is a must-read for anyone with the solopreneur mindset.  Check it out!

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

We plan our vacations, marketing strategies, and businesses out.  Honestly, we spend more than enough time on these things to get them right.  So why don't we spend as much time on our Life Plan?

In an inspirational guide, Hyatt and Harkavy seek to give you everything you need to create a solid life plan.  We tend to plan for others, but never ourselves.  Living Forward explains why this is so important, and how you can use this plan each and every day to gain the maximum satisfaction out of life.

If you are feeling like you're stuck in your career, your marriage is slowly falling apart, or you have drifted down the wrong road personally, I highly suggest picking this book up.

This book is meant to be a guide, and can also be read and executed in 24-hours.  Take control of your life, and live with the purpose and fulfillment you've been looking for.

Check it out by clicking here.