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  • Writer's pictureGwendolyn Houston Jack

Small Biz Bites: Books That Changed My Life

Updated: Apr 9, 2023


You are what you read. Isn't that the quote? No, well, it should be. Whether you're a small business owner, a person trying to find your way, or just a bookworm looking for new reads, here's my list of some life-changing literature.



Urban Tech Connect


I had another opportunity to speak to a collection of business owners at the Urban Tech Connect event hosted by Plug In South LA. The topic was has a business can deepen customer relationships through customer relationship management software. During the Q&A portion of this event, I was asked to share what business books I recommend other business owners to read. I quickly rattled off my favorites, but I figured sharing the detailed list would be great.


Books That Changed My Life

I have three groups for these books, so deciding which speaks to your heart will be easier. No person is just one thing. We're a culmination of experiences. That's why my list covers the various areas of life. The three areas are:




Books on Defining Self


"Design Your Self" by Karim Rashid. One of my favorite books. I revisit this book once a year, typically at the beginning of the year. I love how Karim discusses designing yourself and designing the life you wish to live.


"Black Sheep Values" by Brant Menswar. Who are you, and what do you stand for? What values are yours, and how are you living with deliberate intentions? Oh, boy, this book will change your life!



Business Books


"Profit First" by Mike Michalowicz. If you want a financially sustainable business, introduce the Profit First system into your financial habits. It's one of the easiest ways to change your business life and truly start seeing profit immediately.


"This is Marketing" by Seth Godin. The marketing book for those who aren't marketers. That's about everyone, right? This will help you readjust how you see the world around you.


"Growth IQ" by Tiffani Bova. If reading business books is a struggle for you, worry no more. Tiffani Bova has written a page-turner that speaks to common sense strategies.



Books About Purpose


"Start With Why" by Simon Sinek. I'm sure many of you have heard or seen Simon speak. He's quite inspiring and breaks down leadership to the bare bones. Running a business to make money isn't why one's in business. We need to understand and explain why we're in business.


"Being the Change" by Ann McGee-Cooper, Gary Looper, and Duane Trammel. I had the pleasure of meeting Ann McGee-Cooper years ago during a business function. Hearing so much about servant leadership, I was honored to dig deeper into the topic. Servant leadership is a thing, as is conscious capitalism. Check this book out!


"It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For" by Roy M. Spence, Jr. with Haley Rushing. Wow! I believe you get the customers you deserve. I'm not big on competing on price. I believe in competing with service and values. This book dives deeper into this mindset.


a stack of business books sitting on top of a closed laptop.
A few of my favorite business books.


Branding Books


"The Celebrity CEO" by Ramon Ray. This is a quick read with plenty of smart actionables. You cannot go wrong by adding this book to your business library. This is a great resource for building a strong personal brand.


"The 10Ks of Personal Branding" by Kaplan Mobray. This book has plenty of exercises for you to actively work on creating a better you. There's a little bit of reading and working on those 10 Ks of personal branding.


"I Am My Brand' by Kubi Springer. This personal branding book also includes activities on defining your brand. I found this one to be on the more traditional side.


"The Content Fuel Framework" by Melanie Deziel. AI writing is fine, but we are full of ideas for content creation. Melanie's book helps you identify what those ideas are. There is a workbook you can also purchase, and I suggest buying both.



About Gwendolyn Houston-Jack

Small business owner Gwendolyn Houston-Jack is wearing a rust orange v-neck blouse with matching half grey and half orange cat eye glasses.
Small business owner Gwendolyn Houston-Jack

Many black and brown women-owned small business owners struggle with creating a solid marketing plan for their businesses. HouJack Digital Marketing Solutions offers quality digital marketing services to black and brown small women-owned business owners without breaking the bank. We believe in "exhausting the free" and strategically using investment dollars.

Most small business owners also need help navigating entrepreneurship. Our career coaching service delivers timely career growth advice and builds a solid digital presence for the future. With a focus on purpose, passion, and competencies, we're about personal growth, not just job applications.

When I'm not assisting other small business owners, I'm hosting photo sessions overflowing with joy. We understand some families are frustrated with the task of booking a photo session. At G Photography by G, we take the lead on your photo ideas to create a memorable portrait session that allows you to enjoy the moment and the memories.


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