Okay, before you go off and say “but I haven’t time for reading with all this work to be done!” pedal back and pump the brakes.

Reading motivational business books can do wonders for your long-term productivity because it’ll build inspiration. So no, it’s not a waste of time.

Hearing the tales of how entrepreneurs overcame obstacles, many of which you’re likely to share, can plant you right in the seat to go for the “ride”. Reading through each work will not only reveal insights about how you could overcome obstacles but simply hearing the story will bring a smile to your face.

The following are five books we recommend if you’re feeling a slump:


Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37Signals, has created a piece of work that will “make you uncomfortable” according to Seth Godin (mentioned later in the post) – it’s spot on.

Rework challenges your idea of starting and operating a business in the modern, connected world. It rejects many “old school” assumptions about what it takes to start a business and flips it on its head. The work cuts through the noise and tells how to bypass business hurdles and assumptions in areas such as planning, hard work, time management, and more.

The book is very easy to read; you should be able to knock it down in an afternoon.

Overall, if you want a pick-me-up that will have you rethinking how to do business than Rework should be the perfect match for you.

Like a Virgin

Like a Virgin, by none other than Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, collects the eccentric billionaire’s advice on all things business. Branson has built one of the largest media and aviation empires but he remains grounded and always open to share his view on success.

The book is broken down into bit-sized chunks of distilled knowledge and is best read when you need a reference – downing the entirety of the work may overload you with too many good ideas.

Areas covered in the book include raising capital for a business, communication, customer service, innovation, happiness, and more. The book will surely deliver a shot in the arm for your business.

Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh of Zappos, catalogs the dramatic rise of the Zappos brand and explains how its success comes from exceptional customer service and company culture.

Reading through the work you can get a sense as if Tony is building a cult in a few areas but it works because employees are happy, customers are happy, and profits are way up. This book may not have many practical items to implement but it’ll definitely get your creative juices flowing on how to make changes to your business.

Delivering Happiness will kindle your fire and passion for your work; this new-found love will drive you forward into new and greater opportunities.

Purple Cow

Purple Cow, by Seth Godin, may stretch the concept of being unique into difficult to understand areas but citing companies such as HBO, JetBlue, and Starbucks allows you to understand what it’s like to be fundamentally different in your approach to business.

The take-away of the book will have you reinventing almost every aspect of your work from something simple as the packaging to the customer service. The most important idea is that your business (and what it offers) should stray from the herd and become … a purple cow.

Your book

Here we get a little sappy.

  • What if you had a book?
  • What would it detail?
  • What are the troubles and triumphs?

Entrepreneurs often seek insights and guidance from external sources but most of what you need comes from within. The projects you’ve accomplished, people you know, competitors bested, and lifestyle you’ve chosen is worthy of a book – and you should reflect on what you’ve done, and how you’ve got here, as a source of inspiration.

You don’t have to sit down and actually write it out … simply reflect.