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20 Inspirational Business Books For Today’s Professionals

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We created our list of 20 essential business books to educate and inspire busy professionals. Kick off your fall reading with these inspirational business books.

20 Essential Business Books to Kick Start Your Fall Reading

The weather isn’t the only thing in transition as we move out of summer and into autumn: many business professionals’ reading lists are changing as well. Whether you’re dropping escape-worthy novels for educational, informational, or inspirational business books, we’ve put together a list of 20 fundamental reads that are sure to invigorate any businessperson. Sharpen your leadership, entrepreneurial, investment, marketing, finance, and other business-related skills with these essential business books.

#1 Business Adventures by John Brooks

A classic beloved by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates alike, Business Adventures outlines 12 iconic companies and how they were marked by honor or scandal.

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#2 Titan by Ron Chernow

This book chronicles the life of business tycoon John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

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#3 The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Learn how to protect yourself from a variety of investing errors and develop long-term investing strategies in this important book.

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#4 The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike

This essential business book explores the lives and wisdom of eight unusual yet highly successful CEOs.

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#5 Wild Ride by Adam Lashinsky

Discover the secrets behind the rise of Uber and its dissention.

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#6 Principles by Ray Dalio

In this book, you’ll learn how to face conflict and use it to your benefit. Discover new tools to make more effective decisions, approach challenges with confidence, and forge a stronger team.

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#7 E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

A must-read for new entrepreneurs, E Myth Revisited dissolves the unhelpful myths that are related to small business startups. Whether you specialize in wheelchair tires and are starting up an eCommerce store for home medical equipment, or if you’re preparing to open a brand-new local bistro, you’ll find this book to be incredibly helpful in your business ventures.

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#8 How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This esteemed book provides tried-and-true advice to individuals who are seeking to climb the ladder in the business world as well as their personal lives.

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#9 Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart

Den of Thieves explores the greatest insider-trading ring in economic history and the players who almost walked away with it all.

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#10 The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Written in the 6th century BC, The Art of War is used today by business and management professionals.

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#11 Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Learn how emotional intelligence determines success not only in your professional life, but also in your personal relationships and physical health. 

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#12 Think and Grow Rich: for Men and Women who Resent Poverty by Napoleon Hill

This book outlines the lifestyles and perspectives of highly successful individuals. Think and Grow Rich is an excellent read for those who would like encouragement on their journey toward their own goals. 

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#13 The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Discover invaluable advice on tough business ventures, from effectively running a startup to solving arduous problems. What makes this book even more interesting? The author uses rap lyrics to make points and teach complicated lessons.

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#14 Earning It by Joann Lublin

Written by one of the Wall Street Journal’s first female reporters, this book contains interviews of 50 groundbreaking women who all climbed their way to the top. 

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#15 First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

After studying over 80,000 managers, the authors detail what they believe sets the best leaders apart from the rest.

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#16 Grit by Angela Duckworth

This astonishing book teaches readers that success doesn’t necessarily stem from talent or luck, but rather from drive and persistence.

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#17 Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

Written by an FBI Hostage Negotiator, this book will teach you how to negotiate—especially if your life depends on it.

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#18 Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Creativity Inc. details Pixar’s rise in the animation industry.

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#19 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Renowned as one of the most rousing books ever written, this inspirational business book is known to spur people into personal change.

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#20 Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

What does it mean to “lean in” when times get tough? This book teaches readers how to courageously face adversity, build resilience, and find joy in the midst of chaos.

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