The Five Best Books that have Influenced my Business

I like to read. That is a huge understatement. Most of what I read is fiction and news; online content and paper. I own a Kindle and it is used every single day. I don’t often like nonfiction works; I’m not a consumer of self-help books or books that teach. When I happen to follow up on a recommendation for one of these, read it and go so far as to incorporate what I’ve learned into my business or personal life, it’s pretty much a WHOA NELLY! moment.

Here are the ONLY five books that have had a significant impact on how I do business, have influenced me to HAVE my own business and that guide me in one way or another on a daily basis.

  1. The Power of Slow. ¬†That’s right. Slow. In world where everything moves at incredible speed, we, as human beings bound by the limits of time, are more efficient, more present and more effective when we pause, reflect and plan.
  2. The Gift of a Year. A couple of years ago a very good friend gifted me with this book. I’m not being overly dramatic when I say that it changed my life and led to the decision to start Jaggers Communications.
  3. Naked Conversations. My friend Shel Israel, one of the authors of this book, says its getting a little “long in the tooth,” but it is still an excellent resource for social media, the evolution of business and the way customer service and the demand for transparency have changed news, industry and nonprofits.
  4. The New Rules of Marketing and PR. If you’re not in PR or marketing but have even a peripheral relationship with the people who have this role, you owe to yourself to read this book. For anyone in PR and marketing, it’s required reading, as far as I’m concerned.
  5. Good to Great. Another oldie but goody — and one that’s held up over time. What I learned from the businesses profiled in this book have been lessons I keep in mind, on behalf of the clients we serve and the business I run.
I know there are thousands of others out there — leave your very best recommendation, if you have one. I’m ready for a newer book to add to the professional inspiration library.¬†



  • KenMueller says:

    While it’s not a book, don’t forget that the 8 by 10 glossy you have of me on the wall by your desk is a serious inspiration.

  • ChristineLouiseHohlbaum says:

    I am humbled beyond measure. Namaste, Marijean. Thank you! XXOO ~Christine

  • RachelBrozenske says:

    Crucial Conversations would have to top my list of business-changing books. Although it wouldn’t much add to the ‘newness’ of the books on your shelf, it’s on the Allison Partners all-time list. Whether I’m gearing up for a hard conversation with a client, or helping others think about how to make their communication better accomplish their goals, it’s a go-to anytime there’s a tough conversation ahead.