On a boat for a week. What to read?

I’ll be spending the next week on a yacht with friends in Turkey. I’d like book recommendations.

I’ve been running my one-person business Poker Copilot for six years. I’m looking for helpful business/sales/whatever books for someone who has been through the basics of business but still has a lot to learn. Suggestions?

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Some ideas on my blog here:

Check the comments as well.

+100 “Influence”. This is a book that can turn anyone’s views inside out.

A lot of them aren’t in that category, as I’ve gotten pickier about business books over the years, but I keep a running list of reviews here:


Andy’s list is really good, although I disagree about the relevance of E-Myth. The problem with the book is not that the ideas are bad, just that they could be summed up in a few pages. Another one in the same vein is Built to Sell, although it’s also full of fluff. http://www.amazon.com/Built-Sell-Creating-Business-Without-ebook/dp/B004IYISQW?tag=dedasys-20

I also found the delivery incredibly patronizing and tedious. But that is just my opinion.

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I just read this. It’s divided into two sections: a presentation of the basic ideas as a novella, then a non-fiction discussion of the ideas in greater depth. I don’t think the fictionalized part is fluff, as it conveys the emotions and struggles that go along with making big changes in your business. It’s like showing someone strugging to eat right and work out and get into shape over time, versus just some text saying “eat right and work out, and you will lose weight and become more fit.”

I can understand how it could rub some people the wrong way, but it worked well enough for me.

I liked it, but it’s basically a repeat of this one, told with a better story:

If you want something kind of practical to take away from those, you could do worse than perusing @patio11 's Standard Operating Procedures document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hgiQgc_PNMAKqrylHCzkiIIhmTEgS4X8lJcq-ApKI20/pub

For marketing and sales, I enjoyed The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NX75HM/

The book really spoke to me as a bootstrapper.

My favourite business books have been:

  1. The 4 hour work week. Love or hate Ferris this is full of quality advice
  2. Getting Real by 37 signals for a software company. This is a timeless book that any programmer wanting to start a business should read
  3. Secrets of Power Negotiating - you’ll be doing a fair bit of this if you run your own show
  4. The Chimp paradox: if your bootstrapping you’ll be the weakest link. Understand how your brain works with this book from the physiologist behind British cycling success (8 golds, 1 silver out of 10 medals at the 2012 olympics)
  5. One of Seth Godins book or blog (to get in the thinking of how to market your product in the current world)

Not exactly a reading recommendation, but still: download all the podcasts to your phone and listen. Bootstrapped.fm, Startups for the rest of us, Bootstrapped with kids, Chasing product etc.

There will be times when you simply won’t be able to read (for instance when it’s your turn to steer the boat)

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I just read The 22 Laws Of Marketing and got a lot out of it. I usually put my notes from my reading at http://dotnetsurfers.com/books/ but I don’t have anything business related there yet.