These are in no particular order – I highly recommend all of them. Notice that every single author on this list has a twitter ID? I follow all these people and the only one who isn’t real active on Twitter is Julie MacIntosh, which I’m bummed about – but you can enjoy her considerable talent by buying the book.
It could be that some of these books were published prior to 2010 – I’m listing them as the best books I’ve read in 2010.
The New Small by Phil Simon @philsimon
I had the pleasure of speaking with Phil recently – we were like converts who had recently ‘got’ religion. Phil has wonderfully described a new mindset for business owners and how they’ve leveraged emerging technology to propel their businesses. We’re witnessing what I believe to be the most promising time for small business owners – never has the playing field been so leveled in terms of reaching your markets. Read this as soon as you can.
Dethroning the King, the Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, An American Icon by Julie MacIntosh @juliemacintosh
Not since Charlie Wilson’s War have I read nonfiction as engrossing as MacIntosh’s Dethroning the King. It’s Henry II (The Lion in Winter) with a good measure of Freakonomics tossed in. A personal note – Beloved Son worked at A-B flight ops while he was in college at SLU. After graduating, he took a year off before Law School and worked at the A-B General Counsel’s office. So that made the book doubly fascinating from me. Also, as a marketing professional, it was mesmerizing to read about the truly amazing pioneer work August Busch III brought about (the whole notion of sports marketing, just to name one). Enjoy!
The Little Big Things by Tom Peters @tom_peters
Speaking of Charlie Wilson’s War, Tom Peters mentions it in The Little Big Things. This is a collection of “163 ways to pursue excellence” and I keep it nearby so that when there’s a break in the action, I can read a new section. Pragmatic, common sense, and practices you can begin immediately. If you only incorporate a couple – you will see great results. But don’t stop there, always be improving! I recommend starting with the special section in between item 83 and 84.
Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms by Michelle Golden @michellegolden
It’s one thing to be a marketing person or a communicator and read about social media and gauge its potential. It’s another thing to be the managing partner of a professional services firm. In this excellent book by Michelle Golden, she masterfully explains the various platforms and how they can be employed. Since she makes her living working with CPA firms and Law firms, the message is delivered in the context of these types of firms. She doesn’t hype but she doesn’t pull any punches either. While reading this I was reminded of a conversation that I had with two principals of an accounting practice. We were discussing social media. One of the principals said to the other – “you remember when we were first starting in public accounting and there was always one guy who refused to learn how to use Excel. We don’t want to be that guy.” Yep.
The Referral Engine by John Jantsch @ducttape
I don’t promote The Referral Engine because I am an authorized Duct Tape Marketing Consultant. I am an authorized Duct Tape Marketing Consultant because I believe in the principles and strategy of The Referral Engine and Duct Tape Marketing (the book). My copy of The Referral Engine is a multi-color splash of highlighted sentences ruffled with post-it note place markers – I refer to it that often. Next to the dictionary and thesaurus – this is the book I handle most. Most of the business owners I work with, point to referrals as the number one source of new business. None of them have spent any time planning how they could increase the number of referrals they receive. If you only focused on one area of your business development in 2011, giving and receiving referrals should be that focus.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott @dmscott
If you are a marketing practitioner, you simply have to read The New Rules. Too often, people assume that the new technologies can cover the sins of anemic content, vague message, and free a company from marketing investment of time and money. A formula for failure to be sure. What Scott brilliantly demonstrates is that if you are doing the basics right, you have the opportunity to eliminate the gatekeeper and go directly to the end user audience. Scott’s writing is easy to digest and points to straight forward action items for marketers and business owners. The book is rich with real life examples of what business owners have done and the results they enjoyed.
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee
This is the book recommendation that I get the most feedback on. One, I appreciate, and I believe other readers appreciate that Vaynerchuk doesn’t pad his points. It’s a thin volume and a quick read. But its brevity only serves to underscore the validity and importance of the points he makes. Second, it’s written with an entrepreneur’s spirit and as a result is inspiring. Vaynerchuk shares his big dreams, his roll up the sleeves and get to work mentality, and his experience. Whether you peddle wine, technology, gift cards, books or tax services, you will get a great blueprint for taking your business to the next level and a metaphorical kick in the butt.