From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to own my own business. As a kid, I looked up to different family friends who owned various businesses: a grocery store, an insurance agency, a camera shop and even a restaurant. The idea of owning a business fascinated and compelled me. I didn’t know what business I might own, but I was certain that someday I’d be a business owner.

After college, I had two sales jobs before managing a printing franchise for an absentee owner. My intention was to purchase the business, but after 11 years, it didn’t work out. I have no regrets. It was a wonderful experience, in so many ways.

Owning a business may be one of the most rewarding life experiences you’ll ever have. But where to get started? How to learn? Here is my top ten list of “business” books which have influenced and inspired me.

1. Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers.  This is not exactly a business book. It’s more of a practical guide to self empowerment. When I’d reached a crossroads – was I ready to quit my job and start a business? – I really struggled. A good friend recommended this book, and I’m so glad he did. It profoundly changed the trajectory of my life.

Here are the other 9 books…

2. E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

3. The Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell

4. The Seventeen Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John Maxwell

5. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn

6. Getting Things Done by David Allen

7. The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

8. Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler

9. Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute

10. Traction by Gino Wickman

There’s a story behind each of these books, and how they’ve impacted me personally and professionally. I read half of them on my own. The other half were read along with my leadership team, and to some degree, every team member was involved in the learnings. In some cases, I had to drag people through the process, but it was worth it. I’ll tell you more in a future post.

Scott Miller has been in the restoration industry since 2005 and focuses on helping owners grow revenue, improve profitability, manage cash-flow and develop a culture of accountability with their teams. He is a certified coach with Best Year Yet and The Center for Executive Coaching.

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