8 Key Lessons from the 8 Best Business & Career Books of All Time

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We will be delving into the best business and career books of all time. Books like Rich Dad & Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki, “The E-Myth,” by Michael Gerber, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” by Al Ries and Jack Trout, “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” by Ben Horowitz, “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne and “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill are books every successful business and career persons have read.

These are some of the books many regards as the best career and business books of all time. These books have all stood the test of time — they’ve made the New York Times best-sellers list and have been recommended over and over again by critics and the world’s most successful business leaders. Some of them may even be sitting on your parents’ bookshelf.

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While there are often many lessons to be learned from great books, there is usually a key takeaway lesson. To save you the trouble of reading them yourself, in this post we share with you the most fascinating lessons from each book.

1. “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie

The Key takeaway: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

This book is just as important for today’s digital age as it was when it was first published in 1936. There are innumerable takeaways from Carnegie’s classic best-seller, but the most important one is that you can’t go wrong with smiling, becoming a good listener, and of course, making others feel important.

2. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki

The Key takeaway: Know the difference between an asset and a liability.

There’s a reason the rich get richer: They understand the vital yet often misunderstood difference between assets and liabilities. An asset puts money in your pocket. A liability takes money out of your pocket. In order to get rich, you must buy assets and leverage the income generated from them to fund your lifestyle.

3. “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napolean Hill

The Key takeaway: You can achieve anything you conceive and believe.

Thoughts are things — and they are incredibly powerful. Focus on what you want to achieve and strengthen your resolve by having what Hill calls a “definiteness of purpose.” It’s also essential that you persist in the face of obstacles that are bound to impede your growth along the way.

4. “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

The Key takeaway: Avoid trying to beat competitors. Instead, focus on making them irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company.

Most markets are red oceans. They’re full of blood because all the sharks feed on the same small pool of fish. Over time, submarkets developed as a reaction to those red markets. In order to differentiate yourself from competitors, you must create a blue ocean for yourself, an opportunity people can’t wait to dive into.

5. “The E-Myth,” by Michael Gerber

The Key takeaway: Work on your business rather than in your business.

“I understand the technical work of a business; therefore, I understand a business that does that technical work.” This is a costly assumption new entrepreneurs make. Understand that everybody who goes into business has three identities: An entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician. You need all three to build a company that can thrive without you.

6. “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” by Al Ries and Jack Trout

The Key takeaway: Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.

You always want to be the “first.” And in today’s competitive online landscape, a “me-too” copycat has little chance of getting into the prospect’s mind once another company has gotten there first. Not every first is going to be successful, though. If you don’t get into the prospect’s mind first, create a new category you can be first in, instead. The game is a winner-take-all.

7. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” by Ben Horowitz

The Key takeaway: “Embrace your weirdness, your background, your instinct. If the keys are not there, they do not exist.”

“The hard thing about hard things,” is that “there is no formula for dealing with them” — and he’s absolutely right. While many business books tend to prescribe solutions to challenges that aren’t really challenging at all, few, if any, tell it like it really is, which is that there is no one-size solution.

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8. “Shoe Dog,” by Phil Knight

The Key takeaway: Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do, and let them surprise you with their results.

On Bill Gates’ list of must-reads and penned by Phil Knight, the notoriously shy Nike co-founder, “Shoe Dog” offers a rare and revealing glimpse into a man who borrowed $50 from his father to launch a company that, today, is globally recognized and generates $50 billion dollars annually.

You can get the lessons from these books to stick if you read them. So pick one of the books you find the key message interesting and get reading. Which of these books did you enjoy reading? Which of them are you going to read next? These are questions that need to be answered if you want success because if you apply the lessons from these books to your life, success is inevitable. Every leader reads the best books in order for them to be successful.


  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

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