She Owns It’s Top Ten Business Books of 2011

by Melissa Stewart

I LOVE books so a post like this is my cup of tea (or coffee)! In 2011 there were A LOT of excellent books— making it very tough to narrow our list down to ten. The following books are listed in alphabetical order because they are all equally amazing!

So, without further ado, the 2011 She Owns It best business books of 2011!

The Barefoot Executive

by Carrie Wilkerson

For the person who longs to run their business from home, author and highly successful entrepreneur Carrie Wilkerson says it is possible (she doesn’t just say it though, she shows you how). In The Barefoot Executive Carrie helps readers of all types understand the necessary ingredients in starting and running a lucrative home-based business. You’ll learn how to reclaim your time, determine your income, and change your lifestyle-all while keeping personal priorities intact.

Successful at running her own seven-figure business from home and being an active speaker on the subject, Carrie demonstrates business models with tables and charts in an easy-to-understand format. Chapters include such subjects as finding a target markets, developing marketing strategies, and brand development. Especially important are the common pitfalls listed to avoid in starting a business from home.

The Barefoot Executive will have you energized by the possibilities and embracing the extraordinary life that is well within your reach.


The Big Enough Company

by Amy Abrams and Adelaide Lancaster

All entrepreneurs start their companies because they think it will give them freedom-freedom to work on their own terms, be their own bosses, and create a company that meets their needs. But so often the opposite happens, and they end up encumbered by businesses that bear little to no resemblance to those they had envisioned. They wind up working for their companies, but their companies don’t work for them.

Despite the freedom that striking out on your own promises, most of the accepted wisdom on how to build a small business advocates a one- size-fits-all approach. So-called experts-and sometimes just well-meaning friends-urge business owners to grow fast, be more profitable, and imitate other successful start-ups. And while these tips may work for some, they fail to consider the astounding variety of values and motivations that individuals have for starting a business. Too often, owners sacrifice their personal satisfaction in order to conform to unnecessary (and often unworkable) standards.

Drawing on the true stories of nearly 100 entrepreneurs, as well as their own experiences, Abrams and Lancaster guide readers through the best principles that really matter when you work for yourself.


Brand Against the Machine

by John Morgan

The machine blasts messages at the world and it does not care who you are or what you have to say or whether its message is relevant to you at all. The machine is a moron. You, however, are not. Which is why your brand needs to rage against the traditional forces of advertising. You must engage your audience and win their business by giving more and selling less. Yours must be a Brand Against the Machine.

Brand Against the Machine offers proven and actionable steps for companies and entrepreneurs to increase their visibility and credibility, and create an indispensable brand that consumers can relate to, creating lifelong customers. Discover the aspirational currency that makes your brand one that people want to be or want to be friends with. Learn how to be real with your audience and make strategic associations to establish credibility. Brand Against the Machine will help you stand out, get noticed, and be remembered.

The machine is a rusted piece of junk in the marketplace. Ditch traditional corporate branding and marketing, and exchange it for something memorable. Your customers will thank you for it.



by Guy Kawasaki

Enchantment, as defined by bestselling business guru Guy Kawasaki, is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal. Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.

This book explains all the tactics you need to prepare and launch an enchantment campaign; to get the most from both push and pull technologies; and to enchant your customers, your employees, and even your boss. It shows how enchantment can turn difficult decisions your way, at times when intangibles mean more than hard facts. It will help you overcome other people’s entrenched habits and defy the not-always-wise “wisdom of the crowd.”



by Dave Ramsey

Your company is only as strong as your leaders. These are the men and women doing battle daily beneath the banner that is your brand. Are they courageous or indecisive? Are they serving a motivated team or managing employees? Are they valued?

Your team will never grow beyond you, so here’s another question to consider.  Are you growing? Whether you’re sitting at the CEO’s desk, the middle manager’s cubicle, or a card table in your living-room-based startup, EntreLeadership provides the practical, step-by-step guidance to grow your business where you want it to go.


The Entrepreneur Equation

by Carol Roth

The Entrepreneur Equation helps you do the math before you set down the entrepreneurial path so that you can answer more than just “Could I be an entrepreneur?” but rather “Should I be an entrepreneur?”

By understanding what it takes to build a valuable business as well as how to assess the risks and rewards of business ownership based on your personal circumstances, you can learn how to stack the odds of success in your favor and ultimately decide if business ownership is the best possible path for you, now or ever.

The Entrepreneur Equation is essential reading for the aspiring entrepreneur. Before you invest your life savings, invest in this book!


The New Relationship Marketing

by Mari Smith

One of the top social media thought leaders shares her secrets to expanding your business through relationships. People have always done business with people they know, like, and trust. That’s the essence of “relationship marketing.” Today, the popularity of online social networking has caused a paradigm shift in relationship marketing. This book helps businesspeople and marketers master this crucial new skill set. Relationship marketing specialist Mari Smith outlines a step-by-step plan for building a sizable, loyal network comprised of quality relationships that garner leads, publicity, sales, and more.

If you’re a businessman or businesswoman feeling the pressure to shift your approach to using social media marketing, to better understand the new soft skills required for success on the social web, and to improve your own leadership and relationship skills through emotional and social intelligence, this book is for you.

Even if you currently have zero presence online, this book will help you see measurable results in a short time.


Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

by Ryan Blair

“Long before I became a millionaire entrepreneur, I was a punk with a juvenile criminal record, street gang experience, and a lot of emotional scarring…My teenage years were hardly the typical starting point for a normal, productive life, let alone a successful business career. Turns out, that didn’t matter.”

This book is an inspirational guide for people who are willing to put in the hard work, time, and dedication needed to see their vision through to the end. Blair shares lessons from his mentors and advice from his own life- changing experiences, and provides readers with a road map for entrepreneurial success.


Start Something That Matters

by Blake Mycoskie

Love your work, work for what you love, and change the world—all at the same time.

In Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS, one of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world, and combines it with lessons learned from such other innovative organizations as method, charity: water, FEED Projects, and TerraCycle. Blake presents the six simple keys for creating or transforming your own life and business, from discovering your core story to being resourceful without resources; from overcoming fear and doubt to incorporating giving into every aspect of your life. No matter what kind of change you’re considering, Start Something That Matters gives you the stories, ideas, and practical tips that can help you get started.

You’re ready to start something that matters.


The Thank You Economy

by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy is about something big, something greater than any single revolutionary platform. It isn’t some abstract concept or wacky business strategy—it’s real, and every one of us is doing business in it every day, whether we choose to recognize it or not. It’s the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline. The Internet, where The Thank You Economy was born, has given consumers back their voice, and the tremendous power of their opinions via social media means that companies and brands have to compete on a whole different level than they used to.

Here Gary Vaynerchuk reveals how companies big and small can scale that kind of personal, one-on-one attention to their entire customer base, no matter how large, using the same social media platforms that carry consumer word of mouth. The Thank You Economy offers compelling, data-driven evidence that we have entered into an entirely new business era, one in which the companies that see the biggest returns won’t be the ones that can throw the most money at an advertising campaign, but will be those that can prove they care about their customers more than anyone else. The businesses and brands that harness the word-of-mouth power from social media, those that can shift their culture to be more customer-aware and fan-friendly, will pull away from the pack and profit in today’s markets.


Melissa Stewart is a serial entrepreneur who has had a “home office” since age 5. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, addicted to coffee and eternally optimistic. Her latest project is a site committed to empowering women entrepreneurs by offering resources, support and inspiration. @melissaonline

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9 Replies to “She Owns It’s Top Ten Business Books of 2011”

  1. She Owns It’s Top Business Books of 2012 (A Reading List for Women Entrepreneurs) | She Owns It

    […] Guess what boys and girls? It’s time to share our favorite business books of 2012! I love books. I love putting this post together. I love sharing my favorites with you! AND don’t forget to check out our list from last year -> She Owns It’s Top Ten Business Books of 2011 […]

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    […] TV contributor on business, current events and professional lifestyle/fashion.  She landed on our top books of 2011 and Girl Crush lists – meaning – she rocks! She has helped her clients raise more than […]

  3. Loftus Plastic Surgery

    This is a great list for people who are using social media for business and want to get better at it. Great recommendations.

    I would like to add a couple of social media phenomenons that make your time online effective:
    1) A response can be a new client, a new relationship- Think of the power a response has in your social media world. We are all trying to promote but when someone responds we are impressed, we remember, we feel a need to return a favor.
    2) The “Crowd Building” Method – treat your first and every social media relationship as meaningful and important, make a friend a day and in twenty days you have 20 Real and True friends who are promoters of your business. Continue relationship building one at a time and reach one hundred; now all of your posts are attended and have people responding, sharing and conversing. This started with that first initial crowd but now it looks like you have a great working discussion going, which you do, and which will land thousands as people come and see an active discussion and participation. This started with that initial 20.

    Best to all Women Business Owners!

  4. Girl Crush! 25 Sites for Women Entrepreneurs to Love in 2012! | She … | The Entrepreneur Site

    […] In Good Company is a community for women entrepreneurs in NYC and a site filled with fabulous content for your business. Co-founders Amy Abrams and Adelaide Lancaster also co-authored The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You which made our She Owns It’s Top Ten Business Books of 2011. […]

  5. Girl Crush! 25 Sites for Women Entrepreneurs to Love in 2012! | She Owns It | She Owns It

    […] In Good Company is a community for women entrepreneurs in NYC and a site filled with fabulous content for your business. Co-founders Amy Abrams and Adelaide Lancaster also co-authored The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You which made our She Owns It’s Top Ten Business Books of 2011. […]

  6. Joel Libava

    I just finished John;s Branding book.


    Carol’s. Read that.

    Wow Wow.

    Thanks for posting info about these great books.

    (And for that RT)

    The Franchise King®

    1. admin[ Post Author ]

      They are all amazing & SO MANY amazing books came out this year so narrowing down to ten was SO hard!!

  7. Carol Roth

    Thanks so much for including the Entrepreneur Equation in this fantastic list. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since it launched. I appreciate the support and that the message resonated!

    1. admin[ Post Author ]

      Loved the book & all that you do!

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