The best books to ignite an audaciously creative entrepreneurial spirit

Who am I?

Throughout my oddly circuitous career, my mission has always been to help clients grow their businesses. Along the way, I’ve come up with some pretty useful insights and innovations. I mixed cartoons (I’m also one of the WSJ cartoonists) with direct marketing and created a new genre that broke many response records. Then I wrote How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, which helped readers drastically improve their sales results (and was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time). And now, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed adapts nature’s ultimate growth model for business use, to produce explosive, sustainable growth. 

I wrote...

How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed: A Complete Strategy for Unstoppable Growth

By Stu Heinecke,

Book cover of How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed: A Complete Strategy for Unstoppable Growth

What is my book about?

Everybody knows what it means to grow like a weed. Curiously, no one has ever examined weeds as a source of business growth strategy. To write this book, I interviewed botanists, billionaires, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, four-star generals, CIA operatives, countless business and financial experts, weed scientists, and more, to discover the secrets weeds use to grow, expand, dominate and defend their turf. The result is a stunningly effective model anyone can understand and immediately apply to their business, to create explosive growth. You know, just like a weed.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Winning Through Intimidation: How to Be the Victor, Not the Victim, in Business and in Life

Why did I love this book?

Robert J. Ringer is a genius at creating big impressions that impress prospects and win deals. In his book, he takes the reader through his early failures as a commercial real estate agent, when buyers routinely broke agreements and used their leverage to raid his commissions. His solution was to “intimidate” by overwhelmingly impressing buyers from the moment they met. As a result, buyers took a completely different impression of his importance—and never again asked to reduce his commissions. The psychological effect snowballed, leading to explosive growth of his business. A fascinating—and useful—study of how to harness human nature to prosper.

By Robert Ringer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winning Through Intimidation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller! Why is Robert Ringer's classic Winning through Intimidation still one of the most talked about personal-development books of all time? Because it teaches you how to defend yourself against the intimidators of the world.

Believe it or not, the results a person obtains are inversely proportionate to the degree to which he is intimidated; it's not what you say or do that counts, but what your posture is when you say or do it! Those who choose to be ostriches and believe they can wish away these realities invite an enormous amount of unnecessary pain…

I Paint What I See

By Gahan Wilson,

Book cover of I Paint What I See

Why did I love this book?

Early in my career, I found myself mentored by several of the world’s top cartoonists from Playboy and The New Yorker, including the amazing Gahan Wilson. His cartoons were works of wonder, with intricate cross-hatching, quirky details, and trademark macabre stylings. By sheer luck, I’d stumbled into a backstage pass with one of the greatest cartooning talents ever, so observing his process was a privilege. Humor is about revealing the truth with a twist, which is why I treasure this particular book by Gahan. It’s a collection of his work, but also a statement of entire purpose for all of cartooning—to capture truth.

By Gahan Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Paint What I See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Presents over one hundred examples of the celebrated cartoonist's wit and humor

Book cover of The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

Why did I love this book?

Disruption is a celebrated essence in entrepreneurial circles. The disruptive technologies behind, say, Uber, that transformed society’s acceptance of ride-sharing, or Airbnb and short-term home rentals, changed the way we live, and created entirely new categories and great fortunes. In The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen exposes the full nature of disruptive technologies; where they come from, why they upend industry leaders, and what companies can do to recognize and harness significant new innovations. It is the owner’s manual for creating disruptive, entrepreneurial success.

By Clayton M. Christensen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Innovator's Dilemma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors A Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller. Named by Fast Company as one of the most influential leadership books in its Leadership Hall of Fame. An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen's work continues to underpin today's most innovative leaders and organizations. The bestselling classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen. His work is cited by the world's best-known thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwell. In this classic bestseller--one of the most influential business books…

Book cover of Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

Why did I love this book?

Jay Conrad Levinson is one of my heroes. His first book, Guerrella Marketing, released when he was in his 50s, and went on to sell more copies than any other marketing book in history. A legendary creative genius from the ad world, he was teaching a class on impromptu, clever marketing tactics when his students (which included Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison) begged Jay to write the book that became the bestseller. Jay’s amazing book shows what’s possible when you apply lots of creativity and audacity to any marketing challenge. If you’ve read my earlier book, you’ll see plenty of Jay’s influence, starting with his foreword.

By Jay Conrad Levinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guerrilla Marketing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The book that started the guerilla marketing revolution, expanded and completely updated for the twenty-first century.

Jay Levinson's Guerrilla Marketing revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid and effective ideas, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it. In this completely updated and expanded fourth edition, Levinson offers a new arsenal of weaponry for small-business success including strategies for marketing on the internet (explaining when and precisely how to use it); tips for using new…

Book cover of Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional's Guide to Growing a Practice

Why did I love this book?

I enjoyed Alan Weiss’ book, Million Dollar Consulting, for its refreshingly hard-nosed look at dealing with clients. A business can’t exist without them, but contrary to conventional wisdom, the customer isn’t always right. They’re often difficult, stubborn, and think they know more about a given subject than the expert staring them in the face. Weiss’ book is a practical course on landing and working effectively with clients, especially getting paid what you’re worth. If your business model includes working with high-end clients, this book is a treasure map for growth.

By Alan Weiss,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Million Dollar Consulting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Build a thriving consultancy with the updated edition of this classic bestseller

Having inspired generations of consultants and entrepreneurs around the world, the "Rock Star of Consulting" Alan Weiss returns with a revised and completely updated edition of his authoritative guide to consulting success.

Weiss provides his time-tested model on creating a flourishing consulting business, while incorporating and focusing on the many dynamic changes in solo and boutique consulting, coaching, and entrepreneurship. In addition to guidance on raising capital, attracting clients, and creating a marketing plan, he also gives brand new step-by-step advice on:

* Harnessing today's global opportunities

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