25 Self-Help Books for Business Owners To Read

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Bailey Maybray
Bailey Maybray


Self-help books can be a convenient way for entrepreneurs to improve their mental health, productivity, focus, and overall well-being.

Self-help books: a woman runs up stairs

However, with 15k+ self-help books published every year, not every read should take up your time. The Hustle has compiled 25 of the best self-help books for entrepreneurs; one features philosophical advice from a Roman emperor, while another teaches you how to master mathematics.

What are self-help books?

Self-help books aid readers in overcoming hurdles in their lives, building healthy habits, and figuring out personal issues. Self-help books cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Productivity
  • Habit building
  • Mental health (e.g., anxiety and depression)
  • Hobbies
  • Skills
  • Finances

These books provide readers with tools to help them manage their problems and feel more control of their lives.

1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Created by an expert on forming great habits, this book provides readers with strategies they can use to build better habits and stop bad ones. Using biology and psychology, Clear teaches readers how tiny day-to-day behaviors can make a huge difference in their personal and professional lives.

Best for: Readers struggling to achieve larger goals, such as launching their first business

Goodreads User Rating: 4.4 (610k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

2. Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price

Social psychologist and author Dr. Devon Price used to measure his self-worth in his productivity. But after getting diagnosed with heart problems and anemia from overworking, Price took a step back and realized the consequences of constantly hustling.

In his book, Price reveals what he calls the “laziness lie” and offers readers advice on how to overcome pressure to constantly do more.

Best for: Professionals struggling with burnout and poor mental health related to work

Rating: 3.98 (6.1k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

3. Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill

Many call Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich the “granddaddy of all motivational literature.” Originally published in 1937, Hill looked into the stories of successful people, such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and other millionaires to figure out his “Law of Success” philosophy.

Now updated to reflect contemporary success, Hill’s book helps readers figure out what makes someone successful and how to replicate it.

Best for: Readers inspired by success stories and looking to learn from them

Rating: 4.18 (300k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

4. Clever Girl Finance: Ditch debt, Save Money and Build Real Wealth by Bola Sokunbi

Investor, finance instructor, and author Bola Sokunbi rose to popularity with her personal money management site, Clever Girl Finance. Since then, she incorporated all of her knowledge on paying off debt, saving, and earning money into this book. Taking a casual approach to money management, readers learn budgeting, building side hustles, raising credit scores, and more.

Best for: Women looking for an accessible guide on personal finance

Rating: 3.82 (1k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

5. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, Kerry Patterson, Emily Gregory, and Ron McMillan

With more than 2m copies solid, Crucial Conversations helps readers improve their conversation skills, especially in high-stakes situations. As the authors note, the more important a conversation, the worse you perform.

Whenever you engage with differing opinions, high stakes, or strong emotions, this book will set you up with tools to succeed in important conversations.

Best for: Workers who struggle with high-stakes conversations, such as negotiations, investor pitching, and more

Rating: 4.06 (65k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

6. Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money by Ken Honda

In Happy Money, author Ken Honda wants to change how you view money. His book aims to help readers view money with respect and positivity instead of associating it with stress.

Readers will finish Happy Money reevaluating whether they need to earn more money to feel content and learning to appreciate the experiences money brings rather than money itself.

Best for: Professionals who want to build a positive, healthy relationship with money

Rating: 4.01 (2.7k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

7. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

As the name suggests, this book teaches readers seven principles they can apply to their personal and professional lives. Covey uses anecdotes from his family, friends, and business to create a step-by-step guide on staying resilient to change and taking advantage of opportunities.

Best for: Readers looking for a formulaic approach to lifestyle changes

Rating: 4.15 (692.8k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

8. Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get From Where You Are to Where You Want To Be by Tunde Oyeneyin

A popular Peloton instructor, Tunde Oyeneyin’s positivity and encouragement endeared her to thousands — and she’s sharing her personal journey with readers of Speak.

In the book, Oyeneyin takes readers through each part of the SPEAK acronym: Surrender, Power, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge, using it as a foundation to help readers feel better about their body image and using love and loss to cultivate a happy life.

Best for: Readers interested in a more memoir-style self-help book

Rating: 4.34 (6.9k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

9. The Likeability Trap: How To Break Free and Succeed as You Are by Alicia Menendez

Menendez believes women have an impossible task: “Be nice, but not too nice. Be successful, but not too successful.”

In her book, Menendez challenges this notion using research, personal experience, and interviews — empowering women to break free from needing other people’s approval.

Best for: Women looking for ways to better express themselves, whether at work or in their personal lives

Rating: 3.58 (1k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

10. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup details the step-by-step process to mitigating startup failure and optimizing success. To avoid failure, Ries suggests entrepreneurs validate their ideas, make constant adjustments, and embrace human creativity.

Best for: Entrepreneurs looking for ways to launch a business

Rating: 4.11 (305.8k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

11. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss

Voss used to work as an international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In Never Split the Difference, Voss shares nine principles he learned through his career you can use in any negotiating scenario — from purchasing a car to asking for a higher salary.

Best for: Professionals who deal with negotiations regularly

Rating: 4.37 (130k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

12. Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Jones nearly quit her writing career because of fear, a never-ending enemy she helps readers tackle in her book.

She takes readers on a journey so they can conquer fear. Readers will finish the book understanding their relationship with fear and how to leverage that to take greater risks and bigger swings.

Best for: Readers who struggle with fear related to social or work situations

Rating: 4.12 (4.6k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

13. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Published originally in 1936 and updated several times since then, this classic features practical ways to up your likability, persuade people to your way of thinking, and influence others around you.

Best for: Professionals who interact with many stakeholders

Rating: 4.22 (887k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

14. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom From the Trenches by Dave Ramsey

Ramsey distills 20 years of business experience into a step-by-step guide for aspiring entrepreneurs. His book teaches readers how to empower your team to take ownership of their work, how to unify your employees, how to manage money, and more.

Best for: Business owners or leaders who manage a team

Rating: 4.19 (13k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

15. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Today’s workers face an onslaught of distractions from their email, social media, and more. Newport walks readers through four rules for refining your focus to improve your productivity at work. His advice will challenge you in different ways, encouraging you to quit social media or embrace boredom.

Best for: Professionals feeling overloaded or overwhelmed at work 

Rating: 4.19 (134.8k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

16. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown

Brown wants to help readers embrace pleasure by doing good. Through her series of essays and insights from notable feminists, Brown helps readers to figure out what gives them pleasure and how to do more of it.

Best for: Readers looking for non-business-related self-help books

Rating: 4.28 (6.6k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

17. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Many professionals have grown used to overworking as a way to produce better results. But Pang dismantles this notion in Rest, a book that uses research and historical examples to demonstrate how “deliberate rest” can increase your productivity.

Readers learn how to incorporate better forms of rest, which Pang regards as the “true key to productivity.”

Best for: Professionals struggling with overwork

Rating: 3.81 (4.3k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

18. Your Income Tax 2023: For Preparing Your 2022 Tax Return by J.K. Lasser Institute

While many business owners outsource doing their taxes or hire an account, it’s helpful for business owners to understand basic tax concepts. Your Income Tax 2023 walks readers through recent tax court decisions, how to file your taxes correctly and tax planning strategies.

Best for: Business owners looking to understand taxes

Rating: 5.00 (1 review)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

19. Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Holiday views egos as the world’s most common enemy, claiming it can stunt growth and cause stumbles. His book covers several historical figures who overcame their egos to succeed, such as George Marshall and Eleanor Roosevelt. The book aims to help readers remove their ego to accomplish their goals.

Best for: Business leaders concerned about power tripping

Rating: 4.14 (62.3k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

20. A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley

This book teaches readers the tools and techniques that work best for dealing with numbers. Rather than looking at problems as having a singular solution, Dr. Oakley encourages readers to think creatively to heighten their learning.

Best for: Professionals who often work with numbers, but struggle with calculations

Rating: 4.20 (18.7k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

21. Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik

The book aims to help readers increase their productivity and achievements by changing their mindset, motivation, and methods. Having worked with successful actors and CEOs for over 25 years, Kwik uses his experience to come up with practical tools to improve your learning, memory, and focus.

Best for: Readers looking to improve how they learn new subjects

Rating: 4.10 (14.7k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

22. Year of Yes: How To Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Best known for creating hit shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Rhimes was an introvert before her sister challenged her to say yes more.

Instead of shying away from the public and panicking before interviews, Rhimes committed to saying yes for one year. Rhimes documents this time in her book — empowering readers to get out of their comfort zones and say yes.

Best for: Introverts who want to challenge themselves

Rating: 4.06 (84.7k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

23. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

By far the oldest book on this list, Meditations features the writing of former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who ruled from AD 161 until AD 180. He authored a series of 12 writings on Stoic philosophy which come together to form Meditations, in which he ponders death, justice, and the world.

Aurelius covers a wide array of subjects, from learning to stop chasing fame and money to embracing insecurities and shortcomings.

Best for: Professionals who enjoy a more philosophical approach to life

Rating: 4.26 (202k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

24. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Ranked as one of the most influential books ever published in America, Man’s Search for Meaning details how Frankl protected his spirituality through his time in four different Nazi death camps. 

In this gripping memoir, Frankl builds upon a theory known as logotherapy — the belief that meaningfulness should drive life rather than pleasure.

Best for: Readers looking for greater purpose in life

Rating: 4.03 (3.9k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

25. The School of Life: An Emotional Education by The School of Life and Alain de Botton

Emotional intelligence has emerged as a buzzword in professional spheres. In The School of Life,  Botton aims to help readers in defining and improving their emotional intelligence. The book focuses on how readers interact with themselves, others, their work, culture, and more.

Best for: Professionals who want to understand emotional intelligence and how to apply it

Rating: 4.29 (5.4k+ reviews)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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