Website Income

7 Most Influential Business Books Of All Time – At Least For Me

You rarely realize you are in the middle of a personnel transformation when it is happening…that is what this post is about. Here I share the 7 AudioBooks that have had the biggest impact on my business and its direction.

The inspiration for this post came from a comment on my last post from Alistair Cochrane who proposed the idea that he could track the big changes in his business looking at his audible history.

Alistair Cochrane

Alistar, thanks for the idea and hope you don’t mind I have blatantly stolen it.

In this post I will attempt to do a similar thing and highlight what I consider was the key Audiobooks that have shaped my mindset in relation to my online business…

Of course I have a LONG way to go to have a business that embodies the learning’s from all these great books…


  1. Rich Dad Poor Dad

A classic book whose wealth generation strategies are questionable (highly leveraged real estate among others) but the

I was listening to this book while I drove from the University I attended in Canada down to my girlfriend (now wife) in Indiana.

The timing was right and it really opened my eyes to the idea of owning assets that can generate cash on their own. Before I considered the typical path to financial stability was a high paying job.

This transformation was instant and has been permanent.

Mental Shift #1 – Own assets not liabilities



  1. EMyth Revisited (my #1 favorite!)

Like Rich Dad Poor Dad this book came to me at the right time and it was shortly after listening to Rich Dad Poor Dad.

The combination of the two has really set in stone the basis of my business.

Being a guy who likes systems and and after recently reading Rich Dad Poor Dad I was certain my path in any business endeavor would involve building systems that generated income producing assets.

At this stage I had not built a website, had a couple small time business starts and failures but with the idea crystallized that I would systematize whatever I did next I was searching for ideas.

Mental Shift #2 – Build systems to run businesses



  1. 4hr WorkWeek

I am hesitant to put this one on the list because I think it really oversimplifies what building an online business takes. However it combined with working for a robotics start up company in need of a website definitely put me down the path of building, getting traffic to and making money from websites.

Mental Shift #3 – Websites and online businesses can be location independent, low overhead ways of building a business



  1. Good to Great and Built to Last

Good to Great and Built to Last I have combined into #4 since I listened to them back to back and they helped

Their shift was more subtle then the others. The combination of the two books layered a lot of the framework for what it means to build a great business.

Mental Shift #4 – Set big goals, understand the reason for a business to exist and treat the business as something bigger than yourself.



  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Having an aversion to any title that sounded personal self-helpish I reluctantly listened to this high recommended and very popular book.

Luckily I think most of the messages in this book were already instilled into me but it wrapped everything up into a nice framework.

The key takeaway for me though was that avoiding good self-improvement books was just plain dumb!

Mental Shift #5 – Set a solid framework for a lot of common sense interaction behaviors but more importantly it showed that self-improvement books were not complete fluff and shouldn’t be avoided (like I had been)



  1. Blue Ocean Strategy

Most of the books on this list are extremely popular and there would be limited surprises so far. However, Blue Ocean Strategy gets “ok” reviews and is not as popular as the others on this list. For me Blue Ocean Strategy provided a way to think about markets that continues to influence how I monetize businesses.

My “look like a blog and monetize like a business” strategy with my student loan site and other similar sites was taken from Blue Ocean Strategy

Mental Shift #6 – Look at the intersections of existing successful businesses for opportunities

6-Blue Ocean


  1. The Lean Start Up

The time gap between the transformative books above is relatively short (a few month tops). However after #6 I don’t have any books that make my significant mental shift list for a few years. I listened to some great ones (Seth Godins books, anything Warren Buffet related, Who Moved my Cheese, Getting Things Done plus many more).

The Lean Start Up definitely got rid of the no transformative book drought!

Mental Shift #7 – List and test assumptions with any new business before going all in on it. Start small and get to market quickly with the minimum viable product and then iterate on it as quickly and often as possible using real customer feedback.

7-The Lean Start Up



What Books Have Influenced You the Most?

About the Author Jon

I am a 36 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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