Top Business Reads of 2016

6 Jan 2017
Alan Martin

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Those of you who know me, know that I am a self confessed book geek!

I love learning new things and trying to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be, and one of the ways I like to do that is by reading or listening to audio books whenever I get the opportunity.

Over the years I can attribute a great many of my successes, including getting my first management job, to knowledge that I acquired from reading books.

I prefer reading paperbacks but I also have a Kindle, and an Audible subscription, so that I can listen to audiobooks in the car to maximise my time.

Here is my top reading (and listening) list from 2016! I’ve read (or listened to) many more than these, but I only wanted to share the titles that have had the biggest impact on my thinking over the last 12 months.

Please note that, although this is my 2016 reading list, these are books that I read throughout the year, not necessarily books that were published that year, if you see what I mean!

You should also be aware that the links below are Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you were to purchase any of these titles, I would receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Ready to dive in….?

Top Business Reads of 2016

  1. DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson
  2. Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
  3. The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer
  4. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  5. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
  6. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
  7. Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley
  8. The Content Code by Mark Schaefer
  9. Business for Punks by James Watt

* Grab one of these books free in audio format when you sign up to a 30 day free trial of Audible (Amazon Prime Members get a special 3 months trail which includes 3 free audio books)!


Probably my favourite book of the year was DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson. If you want to learn how to set up an effective online sales funnel, then this book should be essential reading.

Everything is explained in an easy-to-follow way, from generating initial awareness to encouraging email subscribers and then how to nurture them into becoming paying customers.

There are even handy templates that you can easily adapt for your own business situation. If you have done other reading on this topic, most of this will not be new to you and it is not ‘rocket science’, but having a complete system spelled out for you in such an easy-to-digest format, will be invaluable to a lot of people I am sure.

Note: This is not related directly to the book, but to do email marketing effectively you’ll also need a robust email marketing system to help you set up your email funnels. If you are not already using an email marketing system, at Chat Marketing we use one called ConvertKit (affiliate link), which I would highly recommend for this purpose!


If you are a coach or consultant or any other service professional for that matter, and want more clients (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then ‘Book Yourself Solid‘ by Michael Post is well worth a read.

The book explains how to position yourself so that you only work with your ideal clients, how to find them using 7 core promotional strategies and then how to convert them into paying customers. Great book!


If you want to learn the in’s and out’s of an effective Twitter marketing strategy, ‘The Tao of Twitter‘ by Mark Schaefer explains in great detail, how to find your tribe, provide meaningful content and authentic helpfulness, in order to get the most out of using Twitter for your business.

The Twitter newbie will have the most to learn from this book but even the more advanced user is likely to learn about some new tools or techniques that they can use to get even more from what they are currently doing.


Whist I would like to say that I’ve cracked the ‘Miracle Morning‘ (which involves getting up an hour earlier than usual every day), I would have to admit that I haven’t quite got there yet, and I am not sure I want to either. But what I did take away from this book, is the importance of having an effective morning routine to set you up for the day.

Hal even says in the book that he would encourage readers to take the “Miracle Morning” concept and apply it to their own situation, so that’s exactly what I am trying to do. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll get there!

It’s a great book, even if you don’t follow the “Miracle Morning” formula to the letter.

Hal is also a really inspirational guy, who’s currently recovering from a form of cancer which saw him admitted to hospital last year with a collapsed lung, kidney failure and fluid on his heart. We wish you a speedy recovery Hal! You can find out more about his journey here.


Eat That Frog‘ is probably the best productivity book that I’ve ever read. Eating the Frog refers to the practice of doing the task that you have been putting off or are least looking forward to first. I’ve now got a Post-It note stuck to the bottom of my monitor with that phrase written on it, to remind me to do just that.

There is a lot more to the book than that – obviously – but there is not much more I can say about it other than, if you struggle with time management or procrastination, this should be on your reading list.


Grant Cardone is as a stereotypical salesman. I don’t agree with everything in this book but a lot of what he talks about in ‘The 10X Rule‘ in relation to goal setting makes a lot of sense.

If you are not where you want to be in your business, this book could give you some much needed inspiration to help you achieve your goals in the coming year.


Oversubscribed‘ is a really interesting book that works on the premise that we need to create genuine scarcity in our businesses, so that we can become oversubscribed and command higher prices for our services. The book lays out a blueprint to help make this happen.

Similar to “Book Yourself Solid’, this book will be of most benefit to service professionals like coaches and consultants or anyone else that plans events as part of their business.

It’s debatable whether you need to read both, but if you are on a limited budget or don’t often get the time to read, I would stick with the Michael Port book.


I first bought ‘The Content Code‘ back in 2015, but for some unknown reason I only read the first couple of chapters at the time, but having met Mark Schaefer at a conference last year I committed to reading the book properly this time, and I am so glad I re-discovered this book.

The central theme of the book is that creating great content on your blog or elsewhere, is not a guarantee of success any more due to the sheer overwhelming amount of content that’s out there. Mark calls this “Content Shock“. In addition to creating great content, significant attention needs to be paid to “Igniting” the content, which is basically encouraging people to share it.


Although ‘Business for Punks‘ is listed as number 9 in my reading list, this was one of the most thought-provoking books that I read last year and a real gem.

BrewDog is an incredibly successful, although unorthodox, brewing company based in Scotland, and this book describes their business philosophy, which as you may suspect from the title of this book, flies in the face of conventional business wisdom. I loved this book and would highly recommend this to anyone who owns their own business.


Well, that’s my top 9 reads from 2016. I hope that some of these strike a cord with you and you manage to check them out. If you do read any of them (or have read them already), I’d love to know what you thought of them, so feel free to leave a comment below or tell me about your top reads.

I’m excited about some of the new books that have already come out in 2017, including Marcus Sheridan’s first book ‘They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Content Marketing Strategy‘ and Mark Schaefer’s new book ‘Known‘, which came out in February (got the audio version and it’s awesome).

Remember, if you want to grab any of these books for free, Audible are currently giving away a free audio book of your choice, when you sign up to a 30 day trial.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Other Resources You Might Like

Recommended Reading List

Recommended Podcasts List

How to Keep Up-To-Date With Social Media


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