JJ Ramberg, host of MSNBC’s Your Business

Take a peek into the reading list of a successful woman entrepreneur:

JJ Ramberg is the host of MSNBC’s Your Business, the co-founder of Goodshop and and host of the podcast Been There. Built That.

Since I host a program which covers entrepreneurship, as you can imagine, a lot of business books cross my desk. They pile up until I get a chance to go through them, and while I generally get at least something out of every book, there are a group that end up as permanent fixtures in my office because I’ve either learned so much or been so inspired by them. Here is a list of five business books that I recommend:

1. Influence by Robert Cialdini

I recently did a podcast with Andy Dunn from Bonobos and found out that this is his favorite book too. Cialdini walks us through the psychology of persuasion. As a quick teaser — did you know that simply using the word “because” changes the way people respond to your request? It’s a really interesting read and I promise you’ll learn a lot.

2. It Takes a Tribe: Building the Tough Mudder Movement by Will Dean

Will tells the story of how he created Tough Mudder (with no outside funding) and built a passionate group of both customers and employees. I love this book because Will is incredibly honest about what went well and what was hard.

3. Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Segal

Read this when you are feeling like things at work are not going as planned and you’ll be reminded that it’s not easy for anyone! Segal interviews successful people from a variety of industries including Warren Buffet, Jillian Michaels, Craig Newmark and Frank Gehry to find out what it took for them to get to where they are. The interviews are both inspiring and insightful.

4. Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing your Humanity by Kim Scott

I interviewed Kim about this book a couple of months ago and have recommended this book to many people since. Scott explains how, in order to be a great manager, you have to both “care personally” and “challenge directly,” and gives ideas on how to get there. Once you read this book, I promise it will make you rethink the way you interact with your team.

5. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

I love this book because it really gets you thinking about what makes your company so different than every other company in your space. It’s a great book to read at any point in your company’s life as you really need to understand your “why” to know what makes you (or can make you) great.

And just one more thing. As the mother of three children, I think it’s incredibly important for us to be teaching our kids the tenants of business and entrepreneurship from a young age. So, for any of you with kids, please check out this final book (which I wrote with my sister): The Startup Club: The Big Idea.This is a fun, fiction book for grammar school-aged kids about a group of kids who start a company called CJ Chainz. Through it, your kids will learn the difference between revenue and profit, what it takes to have a partnership and hopefully be inspired to start their own little business!

[Editor’s Note: Visit Alice for more business-minded books]


This post was originally published on Alice.