100 books like Built to Sell

By John Warrillow,

Here are 100 books that Built to Sell fans have personally recommended if you like Built to Sell. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't

Tom Salonek Author Of The 100: Building Blocks for Business Leadership

From my list on practical, hands-on business leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the Founder and CEO of Intertech, an IT firm I started over 30 years ago. I've written three books and more than 100 articles on business, leadership, and technology. Intertech has won over 50 awards for growth, workplace best practices, and employee engagement including being named one of the Best 30 Employers in Tech by Fortune Magazine and one of the Top 10 Consulting firms in America by Consulting Magazine.  

Tom's book list on practical, hands-on business leadership

Tom Salonek Why did Tom love this book?

I learned from Verne firsthand at two separate multi-year courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that were held for high-growth entrepreneurs.

In Scaling Up, he lays out what needs to be done at different stages/sizes of an organization to move to the next level. Like the other books I've recommended, he provides candid advice and practical ways to implement the ideas outlined in the book.

By Verne Harnish,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Scaling Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the International Book Awards for General Business


Winner of the Readers' Favorite International Book Award for Non-Fiction Business



It’s been over a decade since Verne Harnish’s best-selling book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits was first released. Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) is the first major revision of this business classic which details practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. This book is written so everyone — from frontline employees to senior executives — can get aligned in contributing to the growth of a firm. Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get…


Book cover of Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

Stephen Shedletzky Author Of Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step Up

From my list on transforming your leadershit into leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

The first day of my career began with 1,000 people being laid off citing “post-merger efficiencies.” I was the young whippersnapper walking in as many more were walking out, boxes in hand. I saw, firsthand, the impact of uncertainty, lack of clear and transparent communications, and leadership, not just on performance, but also on the health and well-being of the colleagues around me. In that first job I became fascinated and obsessed with how work can be something we enjoy and find meaning in. Since then, I’ve devoted my career to making work more inspiring, engaging, and fulfilling. This became my passion and cause because I felt the very opposite.

Stephen's book list on transforming your leadershit into leadership

Stephen Shedletzky Why did Stephen love this book?

As a budding professional I was told not to be so kind to others, so I wasn’t taken advantage of.

Changing who I was and wanted to be didn’t seem like the right recipe for my success. Grant’s debut book has likely had the most impact on how I show up in my career and in life – that being a giver can be the key to our success and fulfillment. A must read for anyone who wants to do well while doing good.

By Adam Grant,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Give and Take as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking look at why our interactions with others hold the key to success, from the bestselling author of Think Again and Originals

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today's dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. In Give and Take, Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton's highest-rated professor, examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. Praised by social scientists, business theorists, and corporate…


Book cover of Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey

Dave Kerpen Author Of The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want

From my list on entrepreneurs who want to go further faster.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love building businesses. I’ve built several businesses, ranging from a one person consultancy to a venture-backed tech company to an 8-figure marketing agency to a managed HR marketplace to a virtual memorial services company. The only thing I love more than building businesses is building and helping create new entrepreneurs. These books have helped me tremendously in my journey and I hope they help you as well!

Dave's book list on entrepreneurs who want to go further faster

Dave Kerpen Why did Dave love this book?

Gratitude is a fundamental part of my life as an entrepreneur and leader. Of the many books I love on gratitude, this is my favorite. It’s funny and poignant and successfully makes the case that gratitude is a game-changer when it comes to building the business and life of one’s dreams. I am grateful I found this book and this fantastic author!

By A.J. Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thanks a Thousand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bestselling author A.J. Jacobs has undergone a life-changing and entertaining journey. The idea is deceptively simple: he takes one of our greatest pleasures- our morning cup of coffee - and tries to thank every single person involved in making it, from the barista to the coffee farmer and all those in between. This turns out to be a stunningly large number, including artists, chemists, presidents, mechanics, biologists, miners, smugglers and goatherds. Hundreds of people. Thousands. Maybe more.

Through this seemingly straightforward quest, Jacobs reveals inspiring truths. The book is a reminder of the amazing interconnectedness of our world. It shows…


Book cover of The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose

Dave Kerpen Author Of The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want

From my list on entrepreneurs who want to go further faster.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love building businesses. I’ve built several businesses, ranging from a one person consultancy to a venture-backed tech company to an 8-figure marketing agency to a managed HR marketplace to a virtual memorial services company. The only thing I love more than building businesses is building and helping create new entrepreneurs. These books have helped me tremendously in my journey and I hope they help you as well!

Dave's book list on entrepreneurs who want to go further faster

Dave Kerpen Why did Dave love this book?

Oprah is my hero. I can think of no more impressive entrepreneur, from what she started with to what she built and the impact she has had on the world. For many people, understanding one’s purpose and direction is the first step towards becoming a successful entrepreneur and a happy and fulfilled human being. This book will help you begin to do the hard work to get there.

By Oprah Winfrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Path Made Clear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, 'Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honour your calling in the best way possible.'

That journey starts right here.

In her book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book's ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road…


Book cover of Trajectory: Startup – Ideation to Product/Market Fit

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

I love Dave Parker’s book, Trajectory: Startup – Ideation to Product/Market Fit, because it provides a clear, but detailed roadmap to guide entrepreneurs through and over all of the necessary steps and obstacles to entrepreneurial success. The nature and degree of the best practices and practical insights laid out in Trajectory: Startup is somewhat similar, but even more granular, to that found in my own book but for the business side of things instead of the legal, governance, or regulatory side.

There is a lot of intellectual and procedural handholding in these pages, including checklists, to-do lists, and template forms for gathering and analyzing research and data, that first-time entrepreneurs will find indispensable and that even experienced entrepreneurs will find illuminating and useful. In the book’s Introduction, Parker summarizes what he hopes to help aspiring entrepreneurs do: create value with your product or service; decide on primary and secondary…

By Dave Parker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Listed #1 in "The 13 Best Business Books of 2021" by HubSpot

Have a startup idea? Want to launch it fast?

People often spend years on working on startup ideas that fail-and they could have known long before, had they asked the hard questions earlier. Five-time tech founder Dave Parker has been there, and in Trajectory: Startup he offers a path to get you from ideation to launch and revenue in just six months.

With a track record of starting companies from scratch, raising both angel and venture capital, and participating in eight exits as founder, operator, and board member,…


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

Stu Heinecke Author Of How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed: A Complete Strategy for Unstoppable Growth

From my list on to ignite a creative entrepreneurial spirit.

Why am I passionate about this?

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. 

Stu's book list on to ignite a creative entrepreneurial spirit

Stu Heinecke Why did Stu 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?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

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 Launch: How to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

There are numerous books and websites on how to launch an online business. However, with any business, you need to learn how to get your very first customer, even without a ton of money to spend on customer acquisition. I haven't found that information in other places.

Other guides lack practical information for finding customers on a budget. However, Jeff Walker’s book is truly a how-to guide in that regard.

By Jeff Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The only guide you'll ever need to achieve online marketing success. With new chapters offering fresh information, you'll find all the insider tips in one place.

The revised and updated edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller Launch will build your business - fast. Whether you've already got an online business or you're itching to start one, this is a recipe for getting more traction and a fast start.

Think about it: What if you could launch like Apple or the big Hollywood studios? What if your prospects eagerly counted down the days until they could buy your product?…


Book cover of Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing: No-Nonsense Rules from the Ultimate Contrarian and Small Business Guru

Hermann Simon Author Of True Profit!: No Company Ever Went Broke Turning a Profit

From my list on how to manage profit and survive.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hermann Simon is a world-renowned expert on price and profit management. He is the founder and honorary chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners, the global leader in price and topline consulting with 1700 employees and 41 offices worldwide. He is the only German in the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame of the most influential management thinkers. In China a business school is named in his honor. Profit is at the core of Hermann’s writing and consulting activities.

Hermann's book list on how to manage profit and survive

Hermann Simon Why did Hermann love this book?

This book is very basic and aimed mostly at small business owners or readers who are interested in the fundamental mechanics of profit. It’s a hard-hitting book and controversial, e.g. with recommendations such as, “Never pay your vendors on time. Wear your control-freak badge with pride.” It shows that many little things influence profit and should be observed. Useful for start-ups and readers with basic economic knowledge. The obsession with profit as the only priority is, however, somewhat exaggerated. 

By George Cloutier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now more than ever, business owners need a reality check. As we see the economy flattening and businesses struggling to stay afloat, "Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing" is a wakeup call for the 23 million small businesses across America who need to get their business fundamentals in order. George Cloutier reveals 13 no-nonsense, tough-love maxims that small businesspeople may not want to hear at first, but will thank him for in the end. Among his controversial (yet proven!) ideas are: forget teamwork, micromanage like crazy; pay raises are over; fear is the best motivator; and, if your business…


Book cover of The Numbers Business: How to grow a successful cloud accountancy practice

Heather Smith Author Of Xero For Dummies

From my list on small business owners.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Heather Smith and I love writing. I love Accounting and AccounTech. I gratefully sit at the Ikigai inflection point, where my profession, passion, vocation, and mission intersect, and I can use my explanation skills to empower others in the accounting industry. Ikigai is a Japanese concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. Believing Accountants don't save lives, Accountants save livelihoods; I use my superpower of explanation to educate the accounting profession about accounting technology and modern accounting practices. I do this through many channels including my latest book Xero for Dummies, 5th edition. 

Heather's book list on small business owners

Heather Smith Why did Heather love this book?

Della has a way of simply explaining what’s practically needed to run a modern practice. Like Della, I’ve built a modern practice and she has laid the steps to start and thrive in a clean and easy-to-follow manner. Hudson's writing style is engaging and accessible, making it easy to understand and apply the concepts presented. With personal anecdotes and asides littering the narrative, the book reads like a quiet meeting between friends over a nice cup of tea. Overall, The Numbers Business is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to build a successful cloud accounting practice.

By Della Hudson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Numbers Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the manual every qualified accountancy professional needs to read before setting up their own practice. Having applied her corporate experience to building a modern cloud accountancy practice, Della Hudson presents her road map to help you to do the same. Here, she shares her hard-earned knowledge so that other accountancy professionals can grow their own successful, scaleable and even sellable businesses. This book is a road map that will help a qualified professional to: start a successful business from scratch with no personal or business contacts; move from the kitchen table to an office space; recruit and train…


Book cover of Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love

Tama J. Kieves Author Of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love

From my list on to help you stay true to yourself and your calling.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am moved by the deepest potential in all of us. Having graduated from Harvard Law School and working as an unfilled attorney, I finally left everything to follow my true desire to write. So, I know how vital it is to have support for our inspiration instead of our fears. That’s why I’ve written 5 books to champion visionary minds, creative souls, freedom junkies, and more. And as a TEDx speaker and USA Today featured visionary career coach, I am always reading for my own growth and for my students. I recommend these books because they helped me to trust in greater possibilities. I hope they support your dreams. 

Tama's book list on to help you stay true to yourself and your calling

Tama J. Kieves Why did Tama love this book?

I recommend this book because it’s a crayon box of creative and practical ideas and insights. This is a great read for someone who wants to be entrepreneurial, l but isn’t yet in the I-have-to-dominate-the-market-and-own-Silicon-Valley- stage. I guess I’d call it approachable entrepreneurship. The author gives you ideas for how to be “joyfully jobless” including multiple profit centers and marketing on a shoestring. I love authors who can give you creative hope, no-nonsense ideas, and specific creative ideas like “find all the ways to put raspberry and chocolate together.”    

By Barbara Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making a Living Without a Job as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For all of the millions of Americans who are out of work, soon to be out of work, or wishing to be freed from unrewarding work—here is the must-have book that will show you how you can make a living by working when, where, and how you want.

Newly revised and updated, Barbara J. Winter’s guide to successful self-employment is now more relevant than ever before. Drawing on the techniques and ideas of her popular seminars as well as her own thirty years of business expertise and that of other successful entrepreneurs, Winter offers the practical, proven way to launch…


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