5 Business Books

I have read dozens of business books (yes even for enjoyment) but there are a few that I go back to, refer to, and recommend to clients.


The Personal MBA – by Josh Kaufman

Josh worked in a large pharmaceutical company in sales, and while there concluded that he learned more about business from doing than from going to business school.  He became ‘aware’ and an observer of everything happening around him in business.  The book has those universal learnings in one place so you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars, and hours of time, getting a MBA.  You can get out there, implement the ideas, make more money and have more fun.


The E-Myth Revisited – Michael  E. Gerber

Michael’s bestselling book dispels business myths and commonplace assumptions.  He takes you by the hand through the whole business life-cycle and shows what makes business succeed at each stage.  This book follows the (and my) mantra that to have a successful business you need to work on the business more and in the business less. 


Eyes Wide Open – Robyn Weatherley

This book I bought for the whole Board, their C-level officers and their Board advisors of a national industry association and told them it was mandatory reading before an upcoming strategy day and Board meeting.  Eyes Wide Open is written as a friendly, honest conversation providing first-time directors with invaluable – though not often shared – inside tips and insights about board membership and company directorship.  Saying that I think a lot of seasoned directors should also get a copy and read it on their next flight to a Board meeting (one director I know read it on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne).


18 Minutes – Peter Bregman

Peter writes a column in the Harvard Business Review and this book is based on his column.  Do you get overwhelmed by the 100 and one things you need to do – all at the same time?  18 Minutes shows you how to navigate the clutter and focus on your true priorities – not only in business but in life too.


Small Business CEO – Jenny Stilwell

This book also follows my mantra that to have a successful business you need to work on the business more and in the business less.  Jenny is more eloquent than I am and discusses four different stages of the entrepreneurship journey and then discusses strategies to use, and the strategic priorities, at each stage of the journey.  The first chapter is my favorite – making the shift to CEO (from business owner)

This was a blog we posted in 2012.  Did Australia suffer from Dutch Disease?

Dutch Disease


Byronvale Advisors: Posted on 10 September 2012


Is Australia going to suffer from ‘Dutch Disease’?


Evidence is starting to mount that the adverse effects of what is colloquially named Dutch Disease is going to take hold in Australia.


Dutch Disease is the adverse effect on an economy due to the appreciation of the currency due to a booming resources sector and the negative effect on other export sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.


It is so named after the economic impact in the Netherlands in the late 1950s after the discovery of gas and oil in the North Sea.


A prolonged resource boom can in turn obliterate the non-boom sectors and when the resource boom ends the whole economy could be in trouble.


So, what is the antidote for Dutch Disease? Essentially there are three options: –


Option 1 – a government could subsidise particular industries or firms in the manufacturing or agricultural sectors e.g. the car industry subsidies. This protects this sector during the resource boom and means it is still around after the boom.


Option 2 – create a fiscal surplus with lower interest rates. This is difficult politically as it involves a government cutting spending and/or raising taxes. This fiscal contraction would lower inflation and allow the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates, which in turn would depreciate the exchange rate.


Option 3 – do nothing! – let the market dictate and the strong survive.