Most of the Ruzuku team works virtually.

While the distance can make it hard for us to get to know each other, it also gives us opportunities to do some fun things that other workplace teams might not.

One example? The icebreaker questions at the beginning of our weekly team meetings.

Yes, they do sometimes lead to mornings where we share pun-filled knock-knock jokes and laugh until we cry. But our icebreakers can also result in some really fascinating discoveries about our coworkers.

A couple of weeks ago, the question was, “Which book is sitting closest to you?” The answers ran the gamut from The World According to Mister Rogers to a backyard bird guide.

To take the icebreaker a step further, we asked the team to tell us about their favorite business or business-related book.

We think you’ll be intrigued by the answers, and hopefully discover new books to add to your summer reading list!

Abe – Dedicated Lifelong Learner


My pick is Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.

There are so many books that claim to make you more productive, but this is the only one with practical suggestions that I’ve actually been able to follow.

He takes all the different types of information we need to manage in our lives and work and organizes them all into one simple, coherent system. And at the same time, it’s oddly spiritual — he’s like the Zen master of productivity.

Bill – Dynamic Customer Champion


My favorite is Punk Marketing: Get Off Your Ass and Join the Revolution by Richard Laermer & Mark Simmons.

The book takes an irreverent (and funny) look at the divide between the people who sell stuff and the people who buy it.

Their key takeaway is that if your marketing is mediocre and cookie cutter you might as well be doing nothing at all.

Chris – Charismatic Code Monkey


My choice is Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Rather than presenting the traditional business advice to write a business plan, study the competition, etc. (yawn), they lay out a better plan for moving your business forward.

It’s a fun, easy read, filled with unconventional insight from two people who have changed the world. Fun side note: the authors also invented the web platform that Ruzuku and much of the web is built on!

Christine – Web App Magician


While I don’t read many business-related books, Self-Promotion for the Creative Person: Get the Word Out About Who You Are and What You Do by Lee Silber really helped me learn more about marketing early on in my career.

With chapters ranging from “Walk Tall and Carry a Big Shtick (Make Yourself More Memorable)” to “Show and Sell (Selling Without Selling Out)”, it’s full of helpful marketing tips.

Chapter five is one of the most interesting parts of the book for me. The author asks, “If you’re not doing something different, why should anyone buy from you? … You have to find a way to stand out and gain your identity.”

Felicity – Customer Success Wizard


I don’t read a lot of business books. I would, however, recommend Simon Sinek’s How great leaders inspire action TED talk.

In that video, Simon explains the Golden Circle, his term for how the highest performing leaders and organizations think, act, and communicate. Simon challenges you to figure out why you do what you do — to find your purpose and to know why you get out of bed in the morning.

Simon also wrote a book about the same topic, Start With Why, but I prefer the TED talk.

Jessica – Unwavering Word Wrangler


When it comes to picking favorite books, this question almost feels unfair. Kind of like asking me to pick a favorite child (if I had kids, that is). 😉

So rather than choosing one favorite, I’ll share the book that started it all: The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau.

Chris was the first person to show me that life didn’t have to consist of forty years of a soul-sucking 9-5, it’s more than okay to live life on my own terms, and I wasn’t alone in my quest for a remarkable life. If you want to create an exceptional business along the way, I would also recommend his book, The $100 Startup.

Lisa – Amiable Affiliate Manager


My favorite business-related book, hands down, is The Niching Nest by Tad Hargrave.

I adore everything Tad does. How can you not adore someone who teaches marketing to hippies? His book truly transformed the way I think about my business — and a lot of my life, to be honest!

Niching is really, really hard and pretty much every expert will tell you to go about it backward. Tad truly understands the challenge of balancing what you want to give with what your audience wants to buy, and he helps you discover your niche from both of those perspectives.

It’s also the only business book that’s ever made me cry because it was so inspiring (but I’m sure that’s because I haven’t read Tad’s other books — yet).

Books that change lives

So there you have it — some team favorites for you to check out, whether you pick up a couple of these titles to read at the beach or you’d rather wait until the kids are back in school and you have more time to focus on your business.

This is by no means a definitive list, and not everyone on the team was around to answer this week. That means there are some gaps we need to fill, and that’s where you come in.

We want to hear from you: what’s your favorite business-related book? Have you read anything that changed your life or your views on business or course creation? Let us know in the comments, so we can bulk up our reading lists, too!