Recommended Books for Business Owners

Allen, David. Getting Things Done. New York: Penguin Books, 2001. As described by Allen, “Teaching you how to be maximally efficient and relaxed, whenever you need or want to be, was my main purpose in writing this book.” This book provides tools to teach you to organize your thoughts, thereby clearing your mind and enhancing productivity.

Bjorseth, Lillian D. Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships that Last. Lisle: DuoForce Enterprises, Inc., 1996. Bjorseth describes the four networking styles and offers up an interesting chapter on how gender differences impact networking.

Brenner, Joel. America the Vulnerable. New York: The Penguin Press, 2011. Although this book isn’t geared specifically toward business owners, I found it helpful in emphasizing the importance of keeping digital data secure and offering suggestions for how to do so. Brenner, a D.C. lawyer, stresses how businesses choose convenience over safe practices at their peril, providing numerous examples.

Canfield, Jack. The Success Principles. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. Already a classic book for business coaches, Canfield sets forth 64 principles for a successful life. This book provides helpful insights to set goals and accomplish results.

Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Free Press, 2004. A classic, in which Covey explores the 7 habits: (1) Be proactive; (2) Begin with the end in mind; (3) Put first things first: (4) Think win/win; (5) Seek first to understand, then to be understood; (6) Synergize; and (7) Sharpen the saw.

Epstein, Phyllis Horn. Women-at-Law: Lessons Learned along the Pathways to Success. Chicago: American Bar Association, Law Practice Management Section, 2004. From glass ceilings to motherhood and dating, this book covers all of the basics. What’s it really like to be a women attorney? And, how far have we progressed? Ms. Horn gives us perspective, providing insightful personal stories of many women attorneys.

Fox, Allen. The Winner’s Mind A Competitor’s Guide to Sports and Business Success. Vista: Racquet Tech Publishing, 2005. Allen Fox was a world class tennis player, tennis coach for Pepperdine, and earned a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA. Fox’s book outlines the common mental and emotional characteristics of athletic and business champions, including persistence, focus, a willingness to work extraordinarily hard, and the ability to make one’s emotions work in their favor.

Gerber, Michael E. The EMyth Revisited. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. A well known business book. Gerber discusses the stages of business development, and how to work on your business – not just in it.

Gerber, Michael E. The E-Myth Attorney. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010. A follow up book to Gerber’s classic E-Myth series, this book helps attorneys in developing a superior business model, thereby enabling them to enhance client service and satisfaction.

Gilbert, Brad. I’ve Got Your Back. New York: Penguin Group, 2004. Although a quirky addition to a professional reading list, I strongly believe that many lessons from sports also apply to business! Brad Gilbert, a former top ATP tennis player and coach to Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi, provides tips for making sure you love what you do, and always search for ways to do it better.

Graham, Katharine. Personal History. New York: First Vintage Books, 1998. Katharine Graham was truly a pioneer women business owner, showing tremendous skill and leadership in her governance of the Washington Post. This book is an inspirational read for any business owner!

Guinn, Ann. Minding Your Own Business. Chicago: ABA Publishing, 2010. I’m proud to call Ann Guinn my friend. Her informative book teaches lawyers a skill most of us did not learn in law school: how to run a law practice.

Hanson, Rick and Mendius, Richard. Buddha’s Brain. Oakland: New Harbor Publications, 2010. This book was studied by a WSBA group focused on bringing mindfulness to the practice of law. Hanson and Mendius offer a fascinating intersection of neuroscience and philosophy.

Henley, Dede. The Secret of Sovereignty. Seattle: Ragnelle Press, 2007. This book offers some good tips for women business owners, including how to avoid the following common traps: (1) Being one of the boys; (2) Martyrdom; (3) Having no voice and no choice; (4) Waiting for rescue; (5) Peace at any price; (6) Hurry, hurry, hurry!; and (7) Self-protection.

Horn III, Carl. LawyerLife. Chicago: American Bar Association, 2003. Horn discusses trends that have developed in practicing law, and offers “Twelve Steps Toward Fulfillment in the Practice of Law.”

Howell, Lorraine. Give your Elevator Speech a Lift! Bothell: Book Publishers Network, 2006. Lorraine, a Seattle author who is also my personal friend and client, shows us how to effectively explain to a potential client exactly what we do in 30 seconds or less.

Kanarek, Lisa. Organizing Your Home Office for Success.Dallas: Blakely Press, 1998. Consider purchasing this book if you are thinking about moving your law practice to your home, or need some help organizing your existing home office.

King, Billie Jean. Pressure is a Privilege. New York: LifeTime Media, Inc., 2008. One of my personal favorites. This book should be read and re-read! Billie Jean’s simple but profound insights about how to bring your all to everything you do, and the importance of visualization in achieving your goals, are not to be missed.

Lynch, Jerry. The Way of the Champion. Jerry Lynch describes the process, or “way of being” that true champions apply to their lives on a daily basis – both in sports and in other aspects of life. This book teaches you that, by focusing in and honing your daily approach to your craft, you will perform more consistently and at a higher level.

Lynch, Jerry and Al Huang Chungliang. Thinking Body, Dancing Mind. More great information from Jerry Lynch about how TaoSports methods can help you succeed in sports, business and life.

Maxwell, John C. Today Matters. New York: Center Street, 2004. John Maxwell recommends 12 daily practices that can help you manage your business, relationships and life.

Montoya, Peter. The Brand Called You. McGraw-Hill, 2009. Montoya defines personal branding and walks entrepreneurs through the steps of brand development. Contains insightful stories of how entrepreneurs achieved success by focusing on authenticity in their brands.

Nyden, Jeanette. Negotiation Rules! Cape Coral: Sales Gravy Press, 2009. Nyden, a fellow member of the Washington State Bar Association, describes negotiation strategies that might end up helping you finalize that frustrating TEDRA agreement.

Parker, Sam and Anderson, Mac. 212° The Extra Degree. A short read that describes how much can be achieved simply by putting forth one more degree of effort.

Rath, Tom. StrengthsFinder 2.0. New York: Gallup Press, 2007. By purchasing this book, you can access the StrengthsFinder 2.0 on-line assessment. When you take the test, you’ll receive a personalized report about your strengths. The book then describes the particular qualities in more detail, along with ideas for how to utilize your strengths.

Rath, Tom and Conchie, Barry. Strengths Based Leadership. New York: Gallup Press, 2008. This book builds on StrengthsFinder 2.0, by providing you with a personalized assessment about how you can utilize your strengths to improve your leadership skills.

Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements. Enhance your life by applying these four principles: (1) Be Impeccable with Your Word; (2) Don’t Take Anything Personally; (3) Don’t Make Assumptions; and (4) Always Do Your Best.”

Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In. Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. New York: Random House, Inc., 2013. I highly recommend Ms. Sandberg’s book for anyone, male or female. Her honest, humorous, and insightful book gives a clear assessment of the present condition of U.S. female professionals and provides useful suggestions for the next steps in enabling women to achieve their full potential.

Scott, Susan. Fierce Conversations. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2002. Do you have a troublesome client? Scott, a Seattle area author, describes the seven principles of having effective conversations: (1) Master the courage to interrogate reality; (2) Come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real; (3) Be here, prepared to be no where else; (4) Tackle your toughest challenge today; (5) Obey your instincts; (6) Take responsibility for your emotional wake; and (7) Let silence do the heavy lifting.

Sisgold, Steve. What’s Your Body Telling You? In law school, lawyers are taught to think in a very logical, non-emotional way. But, in practice, connecting with your emotions and instincts can enhance your abilities as an attorney. In this book, Mr. Sisgold provides tools and exercises to help you pay close attention to your body’s signals as part of your decision making process.

Zeer, Darrin. Office Yoga. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000. Stressful day? Zeer provides simple stretches and breathing exercises, to be performed in your office, that will help you calm down, center in, and do your best legal work.