The 3 Business Books You Need for 2021

When my husband asked Alexa the other night to recommend a book he might enjoy, she told him to read Girl, Stop Apologizing. That gave us all a good laugh—especially my 12-year old son.

I know my husband won’t take Alexa’s recommendation (and I’m not jumping on it now either), but I suppose she had noticed that I order mostly business and personal growth books. Some that have topped my list of faves? Atomic Habits, The 12 Week Year, Free to Focus, The Slight Edge, Profit First...

...and, of course, the 3 best business books you need to read for 2021—if you haven’t yet.

I know you’re holding your breath, so I’ll cut to the chase. The 3 books you need to order right this minute and start reading as soon as they arrive are 3 books by Donald Miller. They will take you on a journey of a-ha moments that will shift your mindset and help you create breakthroughs in your business you never imagined possible.

Don Miller didn’t necessarily write these 3 books as a series, but in my mind, that’s what they are. The first book will blow your mind with a new way to clarify your marketing message. The second is a playbook of how to use that marketing message in a simple sales funnel. The third is an ultimate guide to growing and scaling the business of your dreams.

Without further ado, let’s get to the reviews.

Book #1: Building a StoryBrand

I was sweating it out on the elliptical machine at the gym (pre-pandemic) and listening to a podcast. It was October of 2018. The guest was Donald Miller—talking about how to clarify your message so customers will listen and his book, Building a StoryBrand.

I was captivated. One of the biggest paradigm shifts that just blew me away was the idea that YOU are not the hero of your company’s story. Your customer is the hero, and you are merely there to guide them to their success.

Something clicked for me at that moment at the gym. I knew this was the right way to do messaging and marketing. It was sincere and honest and ethical.

I clicked over to order Building a StoryBrand and read it the day it arrived. I realized that the concept of the customer being the hero was not the only thing that made StoryBrand unique. There was also the absolutely critical need to be solving your customer’s problems.

Because people have problems, right?

Not only do we need to get out there and solve problems, but we need to talk about the problems that we solve all. the. time.

It’s what hooks people in and lets them know we can help.

Before I had even finished reading Building a StoryBrand, I had opted into Don’s freebie online and all but purchased my plane ticket for Nashville to become a Certified StoryBrand Guide.

The rest is history.

Until I read the next book, that is…

Book #2: Marketing Made Simple

Once you’ve clarified your marketing message with the StoryBrand framework, you need to put it out in the world. You need to use it in a way that will actually make your business more money. That’s where Marketing Made Simple comes in. Because building a business isn’t only about having a compelling message.

It’s about creating relationships.

So, when somebody new discovers your business, you need to have a system in place that takes them from curiosity (just getting to know you) all the way to commitment (buying your stuff). Marketing Made Simple is a step-by-step playbook that teaches exactly how to do that.

It’s called a sales funnel.

There are a lot of ways to do sales funnels, but the one that Donald Miller teaches is, well, simple. It does not involve a lot of upsells and one-time offers and cart-abandonment sequences etc. None of that complexity. Just 5 steps that are easy to implement and actually work.

So, once you’ve read (and taken action on) Marketing Made Simple, you will probably be experiencing a lot of great things in your business—like more leads, higher quality prospects, and easier sales.

And it’s time to take it to the next level…

Book #3: Business Made Simple

Business Made Simple was released in January of 2021, but Don sent out advanced reader’s copies to all Certified StoryBrand Guides, so I soaked in the content from this book over Christmas of 2020.


I’m telling you. Business Made Simple is the most comprehensive book you will ever read on how to grow a successful and sustainable business. It covers everything from character (because who you are matters) to leadership, productivity, and negotiation.

Plus, this book comes with 60 days of quick daily videos to go deeper and seriously transform the way you think about and run your business. I went through all 60 videos in a week and was ready to go back to the first and do it all over again.

It’s that binge-worthy.

You want to know what's even better than books?

You can read all 3 of these books, and I certainly hope you do. But you know what’s even better? You can learn all of these concepts directly from Donald Miller and his incredible team through Business Made Simple University (BMSU).

For only $275 per year, BMSU includes all of these courses:

  • StoryBrand Messaging Framework
  • Mission Statement Made Simple
  • Proposals Made Simple
  • Marketing Made Simple
  • Enneagram Made Simple
  • Communication Made Simple
  • Negotiation Made Simple
  • Hero on a Mission

Plus, more courses are being added as we speak.

If you want to check out the BMSU subscription, my referral link is here.

Helpful Links*

Sign up for BMSU.

Learn about the next StoryBrand Live Event.

*Yes, these are affiliate links. And yes, I am a StoryBrand Certified Guide. StoryBrand is AMAZING!!!! Go get the goods.

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