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5 Books to Read in Your First Year of Business

It’s crazy to think my business is rapidly approaching its one-year anniversary! It’s been a rollercoaster for sure, lots of highs (like taking on my first client!) and some lows (failed workshop and event launches) but one thing I truly feel has kept me motivated and moving in the right direction is my commitment to personal and professional development.

As an entrepreneur, every day is different and very busy, but I make sure that I carve out 10-15 mins to read or listen to a podcast. There’s something about the smell and weight of the books that resonate with me, and I find I learn more from physical books than from other mediums. As a result, I learned from 14.5 books this year! While I gained valuable insight and implemented at least one thing from each book some were more impactful than others. So let me cut to the chase and share the 5 most important books for an entrepreneur to read in their first year of business, and I even put them in order of importance for you!

P.S. These are great reads even if you’re not in your first year of business I just thought it was a catchy title 😜.

P.S.S. Not all these books will resonate with you depending on your background and business goals so pick the ones you feel you’ll get the most impact from and let me know what you think after you read them! If you haven’t launched your business yet and are looking for clarity around your business idea, start with book 5, and then read books 1-4. If your business is operational already then read them in the order I’ve laid out.

1. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

This is a must-read for every business owner! After 4 years of business schooling, I can say with confidence this book set me up for more success with my business than my very expensive education. While I’m not much of a numbers person this book was easy to follow and implement for my business and I’m happy to report my business did, in fact, turn a profit in its first year! Someone pop some bubbly for me, I can’t, I’m pregnant 🤰.

In a nutshell, the book talks about paying yourself first and how to implement a system to ensure you’re not over-investing in your business and cutting off your business’s growth opportunities by not having funds when you need them. It may be a shocking eye-opener when you do the work and figure out exactly how much you’re spending vs. how much you are making so be prepared! But I promise in the end this really is a great system to follow if you want to be earning a paycheck from your business right from the beginning.

2. The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins

Mindset matters! As an entrepreneur, you are your business and if you’re in a funk I guarantee you that it’s impacting your business’ health as well. While I thought this book was a great read to teach you how to be your own cheerleader, I particularly like the High 5 Daily Journal (sold separately but I highly, highly recommend it!) that was designed to go with the book. I use it every morning and it helps me clear my head to stay focused while also setting appropriate intentions for my day based on my goals. As a side note, I do give myself a high 5 in the mirror every day- some days more than once if it’s been a rough day, and I don’t find it cheesy at all!

3. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

This book teaches you the importance of taking incredibly small steps each day and how doing these small steps consistently will lead to a massive payoff in the long term. The Compound Effect or The Slight Edge (different books but very similar content) is a shorter read that will open your eyes to the importance of avoiding the phrase “I’ll just do it tomorrow” in business because, from personal experience, I know that tomorrow tends not to come. Doing these small tasks builds mightier habits for your business because consistency equals momentum and confidence in what you’re doing which will ultimately generate results for you.

4. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Once you’ve read The Compound Effect and accepted that even the tiniest tasks can make a HUGE difference for your business Atomic Habits will help you develop strategies and provides implementation tools to make your newfound habits stick until they become automatic. This is a longer read, a little more on the science side of things which I found very intriguing, but still easy to digest and full of important information to set you and your business up for success!

The title may be a bit of a mouthful, but Amanda is an expert at helping businesses launch and she shares it all in her book. Whether you’re launching your business for the first time, launching a new product or service or even a free offer/lead magnet, she knows her stuff! The first few chapters are a great tool to help you gain clarity if you haven’t started your business yet, the rest I would consider to be more advanced strategies you’d want to implement after you’ve been in business for a little while and worked some of the initial kinks out which is why I’ve put it at the end of the list.

For me, some of this information was repetitive but if you’re new to business or had a few unsuccessful launches (low sales and lack of interest) this book is a gold mine! My key takeaways were about the launch process, what it entails and how long it takes- “the longer the runway the better the take-off”, is something I struggle with. Also, the sales page-building guide was a huge WOW moment for me. As I said, lots of goodies no matter what stage your business is in. This is one book you’ll have to purchase on Amazon and keep on hand to refer to as you launch different things in your business, and yes, technically everything is a launch so this book may take up permanent residence on your desk. You might as well make room for it now!

Honestly, I had a hard time choosing only 5 books because I did learn so much this year and I truly believe mindset is key for entrepreneurs, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few books that narrowly missed the cut

And that’s a wrap! I hope you’ve added at least one new book to your reading list for next year! Read a great book this year or have one on your list for next year that you think I’d like? Send me a DM! I’m always looking for book recommendations, and I always love chatting about books!


Hi, I'm Brittany

Your st. Thomas based marketing Mentor 

I'm a mom, mystery buff, bookworm, and DIY home decor enthusiast. I love nothing more than finding sustainable strategies to help your business grow into what you've dreamed of. Whether you're ready to invest or just want to chat, send me a DM on IG. I'd love to connect!

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Hi, I'm Brittany

I'm a mom, mystery buff, bookworm, and DIY home decor enthusiast. I love nothing more than finding sustainable strategies to help your business grow into what you've dreamed of. Whether you're ready to invest or just want to chat, send me a DM on IG. I'd love to connect!

Your Marketing Mentor Based In St. Thomas, Ontario


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