5 Influential Business Books That Shaped My Professional Journey

I love to read. I have always enjoyed reading as a child and that has carried over into adulthood. While I have always loved reading for pleasure/fun such as comics, fantasy and Sci-fi, I also enjoy reading about how I can grow as a person. Throughout college and even seminary, I was a voracious reader of books. That has carried and helped me grow greatly in my personal and business life. And so, I wanted to step aside from my usual posts and share a few influential business books that have helped me grow.

While these are business books, they have also helped me grow personally. By helping me see some of my flaws, and weaknesses, they have helped shape my mindset and see areas I need to grow in. I really attribute my continued growth in business as well as personally to these books.

This week I am going to look at 5 books that have helped me professionally. Next week I will look at 5 more books that have helped me personally.

Image of Building a Storybrand Book Cover

Building a Storybrand

Building a Storybrand is probably one of, if not the single biggest influential business book I have read thus far. It really opened my eyes on how to run a business and how to think of running a business and seeing through the lens of a story. Donald Miller has really shaped my understanding of how to market not just output but outcomes. Storybrand is a great book and really helped me understand more about how to build a business through the power of story.

Image of The 1-Page Marketing Plan Book Cover

The 1-page Marketing Plan

The 1-Page Marketing Plan was probably the first book I read on marketing and it was/is great and still helps me. Allan succinctly boils down a lot of marketing jargon and ideas into literally 1 page. Along with Storybrand, this has influenced me more than anything else. And when combined with story makes a great tool in one’s belt.

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Your Best Year Ever

Michael Hyatt has written quite a few books and I have read a few of them. But Your Best Year Ever really stood out to me as it helped me step outside myself and really think how I could make this year and the next better. The principles he distills are great, actionable steps that help you go from I can’t do it, to Yes, I can. And this year Michael is releasing an updated Anniversary edition.

Image of Marketing Made Simple Book Cover

Marketing Made Simple

These next 2 books (with podcasts that go by the same name) were also written by Donald Miller. Marketing Made Simple takes Storybrand and expands on it by honing in on basically 3 things: What you do, how it helps, and how to tell people about it. This is a great book and excellent introduction to Storybrand if you haven’t read it yet or a great follow-up to building a Storybrand.

Image of Business Made Simple Book Cover

Business Made Simple

The next book in Donald Miller’s ‘Made Simple’ line is Business Made Simple. He even went and wrote a follow up on this called ‘How to Grow your Small Business’ which is also excellent. Don’s mission is to help people become better at business without having to get an expensive degree. This is a must read for organizing and thinking through how to run a business of ANY size.


So there is 5 of the most influential business books I have read over the years that I really enjoyed. While I have read quite a few more these are the ones that have made the biggest impact on me. I have been influenced greatly by these books, and I would recommend them to anyone both on a personal and business level. I hope you enjoyed this first list! Come back next week as I share 5 more books that have helped shape me personally in my business journey.