How to choose business books to make the most of learning

It’s it’s important to know how to choose business books because there is a load of ‘not very useful’ stuff that’ll be a waste of your time.

This short video will give you some pointers.


I’d like to share with you some thoughts on what kind of material you read and consume that’s designed to help you and your business.

Now, what do I mean about reading material?

Well, at the moment, particularly in the United States, the self-help or personal development genre is absolutely huge and there’s no sign of it shrinking anytime soon.

But one of the things that I’ve learned over the years from reading a lot of self-help books or personal-development or business books is that whilst there’s a lot of good stuff out there, there’s also an awful lot of crap. And in my experience, just because something’s got loads of reviews on something like Amazon positive reviews and five stars doesn’t make it a great book, doesn’t make it a great download.

5 stars doesn't mean it's a great read. How to choose business books
5 stars doesn’t mean it’s a great read.

I’ve read plenty of business books in my time. Quite a few personal development books and not all of them are helpful.

Really, they’re not. And sadly not all of them live up to the hype in all of the reviews, simply because a lot of reviews will have been written by friends or family with a view to getting the book bumped up or getting it selling well or getting it well reviewed and getting it up in the Amazon search rankings.

So how can you go about finding good personal development stuff and business development book specifically that’s going to help you genuinely going to help you?

Here it is: “How to choose business books”:

Well, the first thing you can do is just ask around. Who do you know who is also self employed?

Who do you know that does plenty of reading, plenty of research and does plenty of this stuff. Who may be able to recommend some stuff to you.

Now, I strongly suggest that you ask more than one person because they will likely have a particular viewpoint which may not necessarily gel with how you do things.

What they might find really good you might find totally, completely a total waste of your time.

Do a little bit of research. You don’t need to ask dozens of people, just a handful will be fine.

If there’s something that’s particularly popular, you’ll hear it more than once.

So the next question is to ask is: which one of those do you think would be the best one for me to, under my circumstances?

And I usually say: how has that book or that recording or that webinar, et cetera helped you?

Now, I’m always wary about people who say “I found it very inspirational”, because what I want to see are results.

Being inspired is great. But if being inspired doesn’t lead you to changing anything or improving anything, then inspiration has been perspiration and almost a waste of time. Although we should be inspired when we’re self-employed, we ultimately haven’t got time to waste. So we need to get to results as fast as possible.

Yes, we want to be inspired. But ultimately, I’ve not got time to waste on things which just get you all RA RA, but don’t actually lead you anywhere.

Now, again, the responses are going to vary from person to person, because people read books in different ways, interpret the information in different ways and apply that information in different ways.

A business library is a good idea but make sure you know how to choose business books wisely. 
Auckland Marketing Club
Work on getting a business library

And finally, if they know you and they’re your friend, ask if they think genuinely that what’s in the book that they recommend would apply to you and your business and your circumstances.

Now, the reason I’m labouring on this is simply because, when you’re self employed, time is precious. And you need to know how to choose business books to make sure you’re maximising the time spent reading.

Time is the one thing you’ll never get back. And my goodness knows how many books I’ve read, which have been a thorough and absolute waste of time, despite the fact that they were well reviewed on Amazon.

There’s one I read recently that was more about the guy’s life story than it was about teaching me how to improve my business.

It promised a lot on the cover of the book, and quite frankly, it didn’t deliver because 98% of the book was his life story and the rest of it was stuff that I could actually use. Quite frankly, I think that’s the wrong way around. Give me stuff I can use and help me to improve my life.

There’s a lot of rubbish, a lot of dross out there in the self improvement, self-help, business development, business growth world. So don’t believe the hype.

When you’re self-employed you’re it, the buck stops with you. If you waste your time on stuff which isn’t going to help you, you might as well just throw your time and money down the drain.

So I would urge you before you spend time looking into personal development, or business development, do your research. Find out what’s worked, find out what’s recommended by other people you know, find out what results they’ve got as a result of what they’ve learned and how it’s helped them.

So please do your research. Don’t waste your time on things that don’t help. And if you enjoy reading then learn how to choose business books wisely.

Want more on business growth? Check out:

How an accountability group can help you and your business (post and video)

Why taking time out to build your business is a good idea (YouTube video)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top