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Study Guide

By Lotus Abrams for America's Backbone Weekly

Whether it is a retail store, a chiropractic practice or a construction company, when you are a small business owner, it can be hard to step back from your day-to-day operational responsibilities to take a look at the larger picture or find inspiration to innovate. Fortunately, there are plenty of big thinkers out there who have written books that can help small business owners find new ways to run their companies and manage their employees. Here are five can't-miss business books of 2014:

1. Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners

by Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer and Scott Schaefer

This entertaining and informative book chronicles the lessons three economists, colleagues from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, learned by visiting small businesses on a series of road trips around the country. Rather than focusing on case studies of large companies like Kraft or Intel, the book highlights the successful business strategies of smaller companies, from a shoe store in Maine to a tech startup in Florida to a law firm in Iowa.

2. TalkLike TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds

by Carmine Gallo

Inspired by the overwhelming success of TED (technology, entertainmentand design) Talks – online presentations on a variety of topics, from scienceto business – public speaking coach Carmine Gallo reveals strategies fordramatically improving presentations and public speaking skills in this idea-richbook. Gallo presents insights gleaned from interviews with the most popular TEDpresenters, in addition to top researchers in the areas of psychology,communication and neuroscience.

3. The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization

by Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan's aim with this forward-thinking book is to prepare employees, managers and organizations for changes in the world of work. Taking a big-picture approach, the book identifies key trends driving change and outlines strategies businesses can use to stay competitive in a new era of employment and management.

4. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph

by Ryan Holiday

Putting a new perspective on overcoming adversity, this inspirational book by media strategist Ryan Holiday recounts how notable figures (from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Steve Jobs) faced and conquered obstacles to accomplish great things. Ryan shares their common formula for success, which he asserts derives from philosophical guidelines first established by a Roman emperor.

5. Zero toOne: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

In this book focusing the future of entrepreneurship, Peter Thiel, who founded PayPal, and co-author Blake Masters, assert that while much of the recent decades' innovation has been in the area of technology, progress can be achieved in any area of business. The key to success, the writers claim, is to escape competition by creating something totally new.

If you are feeling like your business is in a rut, or just looking for some new ideas, check out one of these business books that will give you a fresh perspective, help you find inspiration and provide you with practical strategies you can use every day.

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Lotus Abrams, StudioOne editor, is a New York City-based writer and editor with more than 10 yearsof experience working with content about small businesses and technology forsuch publications as American Salon, Macworld and Potentials.
Related Keywords:Management,Pro AV,Management,Presentors,Business,Law,Business Issues,Presentation,Business,

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