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In Pictures: Essential reading list for entrepreneurs

Looking for some book recommendations for the holidays? The Report on Small Business team of contributors share the books and resources that inspire them as entrepreneurs

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THE LEAN STARTUP by Eric Ries. “It’s a great book for marketers, entrepreneurs and managers that are tasked with creating something new in a highly competitive marketplace. I have applied some of ots to my own business and have recommended my clients read it as well because it offers helpful guidance on innovating faster, with greater ease and while taking on less risk.” -Ryan Caligiuri “I recommend this book for founders of startups and for people in established companies who are interested in innovating their product or service offerings. The book does a terrific job in describing a systematic way to test assumptions about your market and your value proposition before you make a big commitment to a course of action.” -Becky Reuber

Mr. Caligiuri is the founder of Ryan Caligiuri International and Ms. Reuber is a professor of strategic management in the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto.

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INSIDE ADVANTAGE by Bob Bloom. "Great insight into how companies should spend the time to determine their core customers, and what interests, inspires and motivates them."

Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, a communications and marketing strategic consultancy that works with startups and fast-growing companies to create compelling and effective messaging to drive their sales and marketing activities

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THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK by Timothy Ferriss. “The book is engaging and full of ideas that can be implemented to streamline our lives. I liked the whole concept of work-life balance and the concept of "Relative Income" in thinking how to productively use your time and energy. The book shares some good ideas on how to eliminate distractions and focus on what is important.”

Nauman Farooqi is a professor and head of the department of commerce in the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies of Mount Allison University

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“A book? For me it's online. PSFK, Mashable, Wired and Fast Company. They all combine creative inspiration with some incredible business learnings. They're relevant, timely and always pushing the boundaries of my thinking.”

Mia Pearson is the co-founder of North Strategic

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YOU ARE NOT SO SMART by David McRaney. “Marketing is ultimately about understanding human behaviour, and this is a very digestible view into the human brain as it relates to decision making.”

Mark Healy is a managing partner at Torque Consulting Group

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“In an age where book publishers are going bankrupt, and most of one's information is accessible online via newsletters and blogs, SETH GODIN’S E-NEWSLETTER is always a quick read and often has a message which is too good to forget. If your business could take you to a risky and dangerous part of the world, GLOBAL TORCHLIGHT has a monthly risk briefing about security risks in places tourists don't go, but where your business sometimes has to go to succeed.”

Tony Wilson is a franchising, licensing and intellectual property lawyer at Boughton Law Corp. in Vancouver

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STEVE JOBS: A BIOGRAPHY by Walter Isaacson. “This is a must read because it is not about iTunes, technology or Apple. It is about perseverance and the personality of an entrepreneur. It is not about the theory of being in business, it is about being in business and creating solutions, products and services to fill a need. Great insight can be gleaned from the detailed account of both the successes and failures of Steve Jobs. It is the drive of the entrepreneur that is inspiring. The relentless pursuit of excellence creates the backbone of the book and that intensity of focus should be a guiding force for an aspiring entrepreneur.”

Jeff Kroeker is a lecturer in the accounting division at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia

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RAINMAKING CONVERSATIONS by Mike Schulz and John Doerr. “While the book focuses on how to get customers you can use the book's content to get what you want simply by influencing, persuading and developing powerful conversation skills.”

Craig Elias, founder of Shift Selling Inc. and an entrepreneurship instructor at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary

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THE GOAL by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, David Whitford and Jeff Cox. "It's not a new book, but I found myself reading it again this year, my fourth time, I think. It's a fictional story that teaches the basics about the theory of constraints in business. This book uses a small town manufacturing plant as its example, but what it teaches can apply to all small businesses. The fictional part makes it an easy read without being preachy or technical - even if its a bit hokey in parts. The bottom line is that it teaches great lessons about being LEAN and removing waste and bottlenecks in your business.  Something I am passionate about, but I still appreciate a refresher every now and then."

Chris Griffiths is the Toronto-based director of fine tune consulting, a boutique management consulting practice

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