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18 Marketing Books Every Entrepreneur and Business Owner Must Read in 2019

When asked how he learned how to build rockets, Elon Musk said, "I read books."

Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. A number that is more achievable than you might think.

Warren Buffett said in 2014 that ​when he started his investing career, ​he was reading 600 to 1,000 pages a day. Even now ​he estimates​ that he spends 80% of his day reading.

​Why? Self-education. That, ​along with a desire to become more successful.

​2019 Book Recommendations ​

quotes about books

​Now that the new year is here, I wanted to share with you the best marketing books that you ​should read to have an amazing 2019.

It's always great to find amazing marketing books to read, but they don't have to be brand new to be helpful. ​

Some of the best business books are in fact, iconic classics that are still just as relevant today as when they were first published.

HOW TO START

YOUR OWN BUSINESS

WITHOUT PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE

​​​There are ​four important pillars when it comes to building ​a sustainable business that actually provides value to the world. I've broken up my list ​of books for entrepreneurs into those categories:

  1. ​Marketing & eCommerce
  2. Entrepreneurship
  3. Finance
  4. Mindset & Motivation

Below, I'll share with you what I like about them, how they've helped my businesses, and why I think you should read them to help grow your business as well.

So, let's get into it!

​Best Marketing Books for eCommerce

Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat by Michael Masterson

ready aim fire business book

My favorite marketing book overall is not directly related to drop shipping but is a rich source of concepts to apply to any type of business. If you've been following me for awhile you've probably heard me mention this book by Michael Masterson.​

What I love about ​Ready, Fire, Aim​​​​ is ​to breaks down a business into multiple stages such as zero to $1 million, $1 million to $10 million, and so on. At these different stages it explains what you should be doing in your business. 

​The author, Michael Masterson has been a part of a ton of different companies that have scaled like crazy ​(think hundreds of millions of dollars). Trust me, he knows his stuff.

This is one I've went back and read dozens of times, at least a few times each year. ​So really, whatever level you're at, I highly recommend reading this marketing book.

​Buy on Amazon

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence- The Psychology of Persuasion

I have to give all the credit to this marketing book by Dr. Robert Cialdini. It was first published in 1993, but I first read it a decade ago and ​finished it with dozens of game-changing takeaways.​

It's not just a book of ideas and concepts about how to persuade people to do different things, it's a book of proven strategies ​with the real case studies to back them up. They're all real world results of different ways to persuade people to take different actions.

Our best evidence of what people truly feel and believe comes less from their words than from their deeds."

- Dr. Robert Cialdini​

If you're running an eCommerce store, you're going to love this one. You'll gain plenty of new marketing techniques to try on your website, in your ads and emails, and just all around in the workings of a business.

Really, this is a must-read whatever business you're in.

Buy on Amazon

DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson

dotcom secrets

DotCom Secrets by ClickFunnels founder, Russell ​Brunson was an instant classic in the marketing world when it was published in 2015.

​What makes this marketing book ​a must-read is it will help you understand the different types of sales funnels you should be using in your business.

​A lot of what's written in ​his book really applies ​more so to information businesses and coaching businesses​. Even with that being said, there's still a bunch of concepts that you can get benefit ​from and implement them to your drop shipping store​ or ​eCommerce business.

Russell Brunson, we know when it comes to direct response type marketing,​ is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world right now​. And his book shares (almost) all he knows​. ​To think... you can get all that knowledge wrapped up in ​a little book ​for under $20!

Buy From ClickFunnels

The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost Your Sales by Dan Kennedy

the ultimate sales letter book

Now, the next book in the marketing section that I highly recommend you read if you haven't already​ is The Ultimate Sales Letter, by Dan Kennedy. Dan Kennedy is probably one of the most well-known and respected copywriters out there. ​And there's a lot to learn from him because copy is everything if you're running any type of business.​

​The only asset that can be kept safe from every threat and made to appreciate in value year after year is the relationship you have with your customers.

- Dan Kennedy

When people are visiting your website, seeing your ads, and reading your emails, it's important to understand how they perceive your wording. The copy on your website and product pages will determine if site visitors will buy from your or not.

​In his book, Dan Kennedy talks about long form sales copy and ​provides plenty of strategies to put into action for any content you are putting out.​

This is a great marketing book, and not just for beginners. It's a through introduction to copywriting with plenty of takeaways to make the ​small cost more than worth it.​

Buy on Amazon

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller 

ecommerce marketing books

Another book that I don't see people really talk about, but I enjoyed, and I think it could definitely help your business​ in the marketing section is ​Building a Story Brand, by Donald Miller. In short, this marketing book will help you really ​understand your business from a customer's perspective.​

​You'll learn in this book how to understand what your customers are looking for, and why they buy from certain businesses over others. Donald Miller lays out how you can convey what your business and its brand is all about. 

That way, you can make sure that when someone does find you, you relay the right type of message to build a connection with ​your​ company, and not the ​competition.​​​

Buy on Amazon

Best Entrepreneur Books

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow

built to sell

​What I love about John Warrillow's book, ​Built to Sell​, is the detail he goes into when talking about different types of automation and processes. This book will really help you put together better standard operating procedures (SOPs) so your business can run without you.

​At Drop Ship Lifestyle, that's a big thing we focus on, and this book is super dialed into real world experience on how to make that happen. ​I​t's an incredible introduction to how to really leverage systems and procedures so that your business not only runs smoother, but is more sellable.

Buy on Amazon

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

the 4 hour workweek

​If you're a location independent entrepreneur​ or a digital nomad you know this one already. ​The ​4 Hour Workweek ​is the​​​ entrepreneurship book that actually got me started with eCommerce back in 2007.

​This book definitely changed the entire trajectory of my life.

​What it did for me was open my eyes to kind of a 'geo-arbitrage' and being able to live location independently​. ​After reading a chapter on Google Ads and eCommerce I set out to build my first eCommerce store, New York Cookie Shop.

Lifestyle design is not interested in creating an excess of idle time, which is poisonous, but the positive use of free time. Defined simply as doing what you want as opposed to what you feel obligated to do.

- ​Tim Ferriss

My plan back then was to open different franchises like Gold's Gyms, Pita Pits, sandwich shops, etc..​ Then I read this book and it brought me online, got me into eCommerce, and pretty much changed everything for me.

I wouldn't say it holds up over time from the business strategy side though. It talks about building Yahoo stores... Plus​, some techniques that aren't the same anymore, eCommerce has definitely evolved​, but with that being said it's definitely worth a read.

Even if it's just to open your mind to what's possible in terms of living anywhere in the world, and running your business from literally a coffee shop in Vietnam. Stuff I've been doing for the past decade now thanks to Tim Ferris. Thanks to the ​4 Hour Workweek​​​​.

Buy on Amazon

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

best entrepreneur books

Now , the next entrepreneurship book I'm going to recommend​ is a fun one. 

​Most of the time when I'm reading books, I'm reading ones that share real insight and give me real takeaways​. However, I saw ​​Disrupted​​​​: Misadventures in the Start-Up Bubble ​by Dan ​Lyons the other day and felt it would be a funny one. I'm glad I decided to buy it and bring it home with me.

​This book is written by one of the guys that writes for the HBO show, ​Silicon Valley,​ and is about his real life experience working at different tech startups in Silicon Valley. Not only is it a good inside look into what that culture is actually like and how it is to run that type of business.

You'll get a lot of takeaways and unique insight, but it's also hysterical. I've never laughed reading a book until I read this. It's more of casual, fun read, but definitely check it out!​

Buy on Amazon

​​LIVE ​Presentation: ​​Learn the Secret Weapon ​That all 7 Figure Drop Shippers Know

HOW TO START

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WITHOUT PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

purple cow book

I first read ​Purple Cow ​by Seth Godin around the time it came out, back around 2003. If you don't already know, Seth Godin is a bright guy and incredibly sharp marketer. And in this book, he shares all the different marketing strategies that huge companies use.

It's cheaper to keep an old customer than it is to get a new one.

- Seth Godin​

A lot of us small business owners don't really think about the big picture because time is just always flying by. This book is a short read but it will open your mind to thinking bigger. Seth will show you what the other big companies are already doing and how to follow their lead. This marketing book is a remarkable must read.​​​

Buy on Amazon

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

best business books


This is another underrated entrepreneur book that I just love. Geno Wickman's book, ​Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business​, is not talked about nearly enough​ as it should be. This read really changed a lot in my businesses.​​​ Even if you're a small operation, I highly recommend this game changing book!

Some books share theories, not this one. ​Traction​ is full of actionable takeaways. Reading this will show you how to structure your business and team for success.​​​ Another cool feature with this marketing book are the worksheets, scorecards, and organization charts to help you set things up, the right way. 

Buy on Amazon

Best Books About Finances

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley and Dr. William D. Danko

the millionaire next door book

The next one is another best selling book, The Millionaire Next Door. What's funny is I read this book ​way back in the day​. Then I went to college in upstate New York ​at SUNY Albany​. ​One day I was in my marketing class, and the professor turns out ​to be this guy, Dr. William Danko. 

So he's one of the authors, and I had read his book before I ever took the class. I thought that was interesting, but what's really good about this book is he shares how to become ​a 'secret millionaire'.

​Many people who live in expensive homes and drive luxury cars do not actually have much wealth.

- ​Dr. Thomas J. Stanley

I don't know if you want to say a hidden millionaire, but ​more how to be smart with your money. Real examples of people that are doing this, and how you can become a millionaire without being what people think of as a millionaire.

When a lot of people hear that they think Lambos, they think mansions. They think boats, but no. Most millionaires don't live that lifestyle, and this is a great book to kind of open your eyes to that. ​

Buy on Amazon

Unshakable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins 

tony robbins books

Another book that I really enjoyed is called Unshakeable ​ from Tony Robbins​This is a great book that deals with where to put your money and how to invest it​.

This is the condensed version of ​the massive​ thousand page book he put out earlier this year. This is a really good book. ​It helps you to better understand some concepts, and how not to get screwed on a bunch of different fees when you're investing cash in traditional markets. Well worth the read.

Buy on Amazon

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! By Robert T. Kiyosaki

rich dad poor dad

​I read ​Rich Dad, Poor Dad​ first ​​​when I was in high school, and it really opened my eyes in what you should do in putting cash in different places. How to think like a business owner, how to think through problems, and what the real goals are ​fo investing your money. 

Full disclosure, I don't like what this guy Robert Kiyosaki's doing now in terms of seminars, and I think just leveraging his name to, in my opinion, sell stuff that's not worth it.

​The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.

- ​Robert Kiyosaki

But this book is where it all started and still definitely worth it​. Even if you've read it, I'd recommend buying a copy, giving it to your kids. 

​I know I'm going to give it to my son when he's old enough to read because it's short, but it shares a lot of really good lessons in terms of, again, how to make money, and what to do with the money once you have it.

Buy on Amazon

Best Books for Motivation and Productivity

Now, the last section of this ​blog post is more for books that will help you when it comes to mindset, motivation, and personal growth. Here are the best marketing books that I've read in that category​.

Do The Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield​

productivity books

​If you've been following Drop Ship Lifestyle for any amount of time, you've probably heard me recommend this one already because I love it. It's called Do The Work​, by Steven ​Pressfield, and it's​ about the shortest book (98 pages or so) on my list of marketing books. 

The book is basically how people struggle with getting things done. How people procrastinate, and how to overcome that.

Now Steven Pressfield has another book on this topic. It's called The ​War Of ​Art​ and that one is ​some massive, thick book that I couldn't get through. This one though, short, to the point. 

Helps you get work done if you read it and implement what it teaches. So highly, highly, highly recommend it. ​

Buy on Amazon

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

ryan holiday book

Ego Is The Enemy ​comes from an amazing writer, Ryan Holiday. I could probably recommend a whole bunch of his books​. However, this one is the top must read. It's​ just a great book talking about ego, and how to try to get rid of it in your decision making processes. 

​Today, books are cheaper than ever. Courses are free. Access to teachers is no longer a barrier– technology has done away with that. There is no excuse for not getting your education, and because the information we have before us is so vast, there is no excuse for ever ending that process either.

- ​Ryan Holiday

It will help you become a much better business owner. It will help you make more calculated decisions that are not based on ego. So definitely check it out​ along with other books he has written.

​Buy on Amazon

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

motivational books

​I love this one, Principles by Ray Dalio. ​This book is a big one, but honestly, it wasn't hard for me to get through at all. Basically it shares all different actionable tasks​, such as "recognize that conflicts are essential for great relationships."

So, it goes through all different principles that ​the author uses in his own life. ​He gives you the main principle and then breaks down examples of how he's encountered this, ​plus real world application. Now, these are principles from someone that is probably one of the most successful business owners out there, and it shares his lifelong takeaways. 

​Like I mentioned, with all of these books, if you can learn from someone that has a lifetime of knowledge and success under their belt, and they're willing to share with you their top takeaways or their top principles for 10 to 20 dollars, why wouldn't you take that?

Buy on Amazon

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

extreme ownership

Now, another book that I read in this past year that I loved is Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The guy Jocko, I ​first heard him on a podcast. He's a great, great guy, Navy Seal, and someone that has a lot of experience with ​leadership​. 

If you are currently managing a team, maybe you even have on virtual assistant in the Philippines or anywhere, it doesn't matter. Read this book. It will help you become a better leader​. 

Even if you don't have a team yet, read it anyway​. As you grow, as you bring people on your team, this will help you be a better leader to them, which will help your business grow.

Buy on Amazon

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

how to win friends and influence people

This one is an oldie but a goodie. ​How To Win Friends And Influence People​ from Dale Carnegie is going to help you make better decisions in your marketing. Though, a better name for the book would have been ​Persuasion.​​​​​​​​

​Reading this marketing book will help you​ ​better understand how to have people do what you want, which is buy from you​, or have suppliers approve you, or negotiate better terms with different companies you work with.

Buy on Amazon

​You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

- ​Dale Carnegie

Conclusion

So with that being said there's definitely a lot of bad books out there floating around. These books though I think are going to make sense for anyone to read that owns an eCommerce store that's involved with drop shipping. ​Or anyone that wants to build any type of business.

They'll help you out with your marketing, definitely. They'll help you out with your finances. They'll help you become a better leader. They'll just help you become a more well rounded business person.

I'd recommend you'd get them all, and maybe you read whatever, one or two a month, and space it out. Whatever you need at that time in your life.

I have hundreds and hundreds of books, and ​these are the 18 that I picked that I think are the best books for entrepreneurs. That's ​my curated list.

​You don't have to read every book out there, but these will definitely give you a really, really great year if you read them and implement what you learned.

​If you know any business owners or entrepreneurs that you think would benefit from this, please share this ​list with them so they can get these recommendations as well.

​And as always, any questions, let me know in the comments below!

Here Are your next Steps...

STEP 1:

​Join me for my dropshipping masterclass. ​You'll discover how our members are earning $300 or ​MORE per sale with the Drop ​Ship Lifestyle system:

STEP ​2:

​​Do you listen to podcasts? If you do, you know they can be funny, entertaining, inspirational, and even highly-educational. it’s the entrepreneur and eCommerce podcasts that we tune into the most here at Drop Ship Lifestyle.

Be sure to register for our next free web class. Then, click here to see our list of the top eCommerce and marketing podcasts dropshippers should tune in to.

best ecommerce podcasts
Anton Kraly
 

Anton is a the Founder & CEO of Drop Ship Lifestyle - an online coaching program for eCommerce entrepreneurs. He began selling online in 2007 and has built and sold multiple seven-figure businesses while leveraging the power of drop shipping.

  • Julian says:

    Thanks for this! Looking forward to growing from all of these books. I read Building A Story Brand last year and it was definitely a game-changer!

  • Ian Bond says:

    Great list. There are so many here and so many more.

    Appreciate the comments and motivation! Thanks.

    • Anton Kraly says:

      Thanks! And I should add in a section on investments. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

  • Anton Kraly says:

    Hey Everyone,

    As many of you already know I created Drop Ship Lifestyle after selling a network of eCommerce stores and then trying to find a community of other store owners to network with… What I found was a bunch of scammers who promised newbies they would get rich quick by following their push-button systems!

    This lead me to create a new community along with an online training program that shares how to build a REAL online business.

    I’d love to hear what you think… it’s a 2.5-hour training designed to help you drop ship profitably… all for free.

    Be sure to click here to check it out and send me your feedback!

    If you go through the “How To Start & Grow A Hyper-Profitable Online Store” webinar and still have questions just contact me and I will help you out.

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