Four books that aspiring entrepreneurs should read…

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by Tom Watson on November 2, 2014

I’m a firm believer that it’s easier to learn from someone who has mastered what you are looking to do verses “jumping in head first”.

Taking the time to learn from someone helps to shorten the learning curve. And when you shorten the learning curve you save time and money.

This is why I’ve always been a big fan of reading. Sometimes I may shop online for a book on making sales, sometimes it may be marketing and other times I focus on self-development. I tend to stick to the classics when choosing what to spend my time reading, as I desire proven strategies.

The four books business owners need to read

Each of the books I’m about to recommend to you in this post fits the classic model I just mentioned. Reading and implementing what they teach has benefited me greatly over the years, and if you decide to read them I believe they will do the same for you. More knowledge equals more sales as far as I’m concerned.

Though I tend to read something from cover to cover, even if you only chip away in your spare time you’ll surely gain valuable insight into how to improve some facet of your life. Each of the books I recommend below brings a different perspective to your development as a business owner.


The first book shares The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a true classic, it’s sold millions of copies and it can transform your life. The second book is just an important in my opinion. It’s about How to Win Friends & Influence People (exactly what you need to do in business).

The third book is Think and Grow Rich. It shares tips from some of the greatest business minds ever to walk the planet. It was written some time ago, but that doesn’t diminish it’s value one bit.

The fourth book is The Magic of Thinking Big. It’s my personal favorite because it gives you easy to follow, concrete tips for personal achievement. I keep a cheat sheet of the contents on my desk to keep me focused.

For those of you that have read any of the books I’m recommending above, feel free to share your thoughts with everyone in the comments below. We all learn by sharing what we know with each other, so don’t be shy!

Like this post? Then subscribe to my RSS feed. Looking for a step by step blueprint showing you how to start your own cleaning business? Check out my Cleaning Business Training Courses. Looking for more cleaning contracts and revenue? Check out my Cleaning Flyers Value Pack. Want to learn how to make money Stripping & Waxing VCT Floors? Check out my VCT Training Course. Need a great website? Take a look at my Cleaning Business Website Packages.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Raymon Samuel November 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm

I have read them, but that was in College, back in the 80″s, it’s time for a refresher, thanks. I will read them again.

2 Tom Watson November 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Hi Raymon! Thanks for commenting.

3 Davanna Carter November 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

Hi Tom,

I just registered my cleaning company and I am soooooo glad I found your site. I read through most of your posts yesterday. In fact, I fell asleep at my laptop reading them. This has been extremely helpful to me. My cleaning company is just going be simple janitorial stuff. I have a friend who works as a manager at a check cashing place and she’s trying to get me a cleaning contract. They have around ten locations in my area. If I got the contract, all I’d have to do is sweep and mop all ten in a day every few days. And each check cashing place wants me to clean the customer area that is the size of your average Subway or Starbucks customer area. It’s real simple.

But I have a question: do I need a surety bond or liability insurance for that? I know I’ll need those for something bigger, but do I need that stuff for an assignment so small. I was hoping this post would show me 4 books for aspiring entrepreneurs in the cleaning business, not just generic “You can be successful” books that are a dime a dozen. By the way, have you posted any books regarding advice on starting a cleaning business?

4 Jim November 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I recently dusted off an old copy of How to win friends and influence people a few weeks ago. Great book. It sure helps in a business like this that is complaint driven.

5 Tom Watson November 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Hi Davanna! You will need insurance (General Liability) at the very least. The bond you probably won’t need unless it’s a requirement. As far as success books, the generic is what you need (that is the guts of all success, not just a cleaning business). Suggestions… nothing specific, other than the podcasts and stuff you find here.

6 Tom Watson November 10, 2014 at 12:08 am

I agree. THANKS Jim!

7 Raymon Samuel November 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Hey Tom, I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do, and for making this easier for me. At one time, I did not think that this would be the field for me, however, working with you and your advice, made this a lot more workable.

8 Tom Watson November 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Hi Raymon! I appreciate that. If you need me, just email or call, I’ll help you out.

9 Shannon Nix November 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Tom thanks so much for everything. My husband and I have 5 accounts now and may have one more by the end of the week.

10 Tom Watson November 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Hi Shannon! That’s GREAT. Keep on going!

11 Andrew Byama November 29, 2014 at 4:29 am


As always, you are a bright spot in all our days…especially for us cleaning business owners.

My wife & I decided to quit our full-time jobs and run our cleaning business which had 1 low profit account. 1 year later we have 6 annual contracts, handful of one-offs and have expanded into the sanitary bins space. All this with your blog, advise and podcasts by our side. I am going to read all 4 books as suggested and recommended.

We always look forward and thank you.


12 Tom Watson November 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Hi Andrew! Thanks for the kind words and happy to hear you are adding accounts. The more you get, the more easily they will come to you because you’ll get a feel for how to close sales effectively.

And those books are just great for business owners. At the end of the day people are buying YOU as a person (not so much what you sell), and those books make you better at that part of it.

13 Shannon Nix November 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Hello Andrew I am new to the business side of things and would love to talk to you further. My husband and I would love to quit the full-time gig and pursue this full-time. What are sanitary bins? I hate to ask in fear of sounding stupid LOL. Thanks!

14 Shannon Nix November 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

A little Google goes a long way LOL! How can I get into the biz of supplying sanitary bins,etc.?

15 Andrew Byama November 30, 2014 at 11:45 am

Tom – thank you for your kind words. Allow me to respond below to Shannon, with your permission.

Shannon – going into cleaning full-time is one of the best decisions ever. To go is as spousepreneurs is the clincher. I wish you the very best in your decisions and cleaning business. Sanitary bins is a feminine hygiene disposal service we offer by leasing the disposal bins and charging for the routine disposal, cleaning and maintenance. Perhaps they have a different word for it in your side of the world. Very good margins and compliments our cleaning service especially for offices and commercial businesses e.g. malls.

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