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12 Best Consulting Books

What are the best consulting books?

As a consultant, you must continually learn and apply new skills.

Developing a consistent reading habit is a must.

Take it from Charlie Munger, billionaire and Warren Buffet’s right-hand man:

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.”

We asked the consultants in our Clarity Coaching Program about their favorite consulting books, and we’ve listed those below.

Let’s dive into the best consulting books.

NOTE: Some of these books are not “consulting” books, but are applicable to consultants and their business. The books are listed in no particular order.

80 20 sales and marketing best consulting book cover

1. 80/20 Sales & Marketing by Perry Marshall

80/20 Sales & Marketing teaches you how to apply the 80/20 principle to solve your business problems. Whether you’re having traffic issues, sales issues, or revenue issues, this book will teach you how to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Very few consultants find sales and marketing easy — and this book will help you make sense of these critical aspects of your business.

Topics covered:

“80/20 Sales and Marketing is a great one to help think strategically about your time, marketing and delegation to grow.”

—Michael Zipursky, CEO & Co-Founder @ Consulting Success®

 

2. Company of One by Paul Jarvis

Company of One is a book about questioning growth. It’s about creating a lifestyle business where you work for yourself, make your own hours, and work with the clients and projects you desire. It’s a must-read for the independent consultant who wants to build a sustainable, fun, and rewarding business.

Topics covered:

“Company of One, by Paul Jarvis is a book that was really influential for me when I was starting out. It’s about running a lean business, keeping things as simple as possible, and focussing on delivering value.”

—Jack Milroy, Digital Strategy Consultant & Clarity Coaching Client

 

The 25-Year Framework: Your 21st-century entrepreneurial mindset for continually slowing down time while speeding up your progress over a 25-year period by [Dan Sullivan]

3. The 25-Year Framework by Dan Sullivan

Worried about how fast time seems to be going by? The 25 Year Framework will show you have to think long-term in your business — and break free of the day-to-day worries. An important read for consultants who are committed to building their business for years.

Topics covered:

“As a consultant or entrepreneur, everything always feels urgent or like you’re in a rush. When I read the 25-year framework, it really just slowed things down for me. That doesn’t mean not working hard, but what it does mean is to look at everything with a long-term mindset. As you’re building your business, instead of feeling that you need to finish things quickly, look at your consulting business as a long-term endeavor. What can you build over the next 25 that is spectacular?”

—Sam Zipursky, Co-Founder @ Consulting Success®

 

Principles: Life and Work

4. Principles by Ray Dalio

A New York Times # 1 Bestseller, Principles is Ray Dalio’s magnum opus. In the book, Dalio summaries his key principles in business, sharing practical tips that work for any business, anywhere, and anytime. This book will help consultants get clear on their own principles so that they can make better decisions and find greater success in their business.

Topics covered:

“My favorite book on consulting is “Principles” by Ray Dalio. The book is broken into 3 parts, and part 2 is the best! It gives people actionable advice on the tools and techniques to be successful — predominately challenging how we all think and make decisions. Love it!”

Jason Fearnow, Negotiation and Large Project Consultant & Clarity Coach

 

First Things First

5. First Things First by Stephen Covey

As a consultant, learning to manage your time is invaluable. In First Things First, Stephen R. Covey shares timeless wisdom for how to manage your schedule, helping you get more done in less time. Applying the lessons in this book will do more than make you more efficient — it will bring harmony and peace to your personal life as well.

Topics covered:

“I have always valued the Stephen Covey books. In particular for consulting I like “First Things First”. He offers specific techniques on how to ensure you spend more time on what is important and less time on “urgent” tasks, how to live a life of integrity, and to achieve your goals.”

—Christina Beavis, Business Consultant & Clarity Coaching Client

 

The Business of Expertise: How Entrepreneurial Experts Convert Insight to Impact + Wealth by [David C. Baker]

6. The Business of Expertise by David C. Baker

What is the role of the “entrepreneurial expert”? In The Business of Expertise, consultant David C. Baker demonstrates how consulting business owners — entrepreneurial experts — position themselves in the marketplace for success. If you’re struggling to get clear on who your ideal client is and why, then this book gives you a method for how to position your consulting business.

Topics covered:

“The Business of Expertise is a fantastic book on positioning, which is a foundational piece of a consultant’s business — yet one of the hardest to get right. The book makes a strong case for why positioning is so important for consultants and how to do it correctly.”

—Tsavo Neal, Lead Content Strategist @ Consulting Success®

 

Straight-Line Leadership: Tools for Living with Velocity and Power in Turbulent Times by [Dusan Djukich]

7. Straight Line Leadership by Dusan Djukich

Leadership isn’t just about leading your clients — it’s about leading yourself and your consulting business, too. In Straight-Line Leadership, Dusan Djukich provides you with the tools to become a better problem-solver. A timely read for consultants who are dealing with a changing marketplace — and who must adapt.

Topics covered:

“It’s not about leadership of a team, rather it’s about leadership of self and mindset.”

—Michael Zipursky, CEO & Co-Founder @ Consulting Success®

 

Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional's Guide to Growing a Practice, Fifth Edition by [Alan Weiss]

8. Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss

A book found on many consultant’s bookshelves, Million Dollar Consulting provides a foundation for building a high-six or seven-figure consulting practice. From developing your brand to licensing your intellectual property, this book is chock-full of practical and relevant advice. A great book for newer consultants or those who are interested in exploring more about the field.

Topics covered:

Recommended by Charles Dents, Automation Consultant & Clarity Coaching Client

 

The Elite Consulting Mind: 16 Proven Mindsets to Attract More Clients, Increase Your Income, and Achieve Meaningful Success by [Michael Zipursky]

9. The Elite Consulting Mind by Michael Zipursky

You’re focused on your offer, your sales, and your marketing…but what about your mindset? In this book, I share with you the mindsets and principles used by elite consultants that will help you overcome challenges, remove obstacles, and grow your consulting business. By improving your mental habits and thought patterns, you will improve your consulting business.

Topics covered:

“I had been procrastinating whether to work for another company or start something new. After reading his book, I was hooked and joined this group. Still struggling a bit but feel good about the future. Michael’s book was what I needed at the time.”

-Nicholas Tesi, 3D Scanning Consultant & Clarity Coaching Client

 

Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour by Blair Enns

10. Pricing Creativity by Blair Enns

Who doesn’t want to raise their consulting fees? In Pricing Creativity, Blair Enns provides a conceptual and practical guide to value-based pricing. After reading this book, you’ll know how to implement a value-based pricing strategy for your consulting offers.

Topics covered:

“Prior to reading Pricing Creativity, I understood value-based pricing in theory, but no idea how to apply it in the read. But after reading Pricing Creativity, I know how to propose and sell consulting services based on value. A fantastic read on not only pricing, but consulting sales in general.”

 

The Way of the SEAL: Think like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed: Updated and Expanded Edition

11. The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine

At some point, you’ll face hardship and uncertainty in your consulting business. In The Way Of The Seal, ex-Navy Commander Mark Divine shares how to develop mental toughness and emotional resilience. It’s a practical guide that will help you develop the skills you need to endure hard times and to stay consistent in your consulting business.

Topics covered:

“In The Way of the Seal, Mark Divine teaches 8 fundamental mindset and principles that will transform you into the best consultant and leader you can be.”

 

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You

12. Built to Sell by John Warrillow

Many consultants build a business that is heavily reliant on them — and essentially, have built themselves a job instead of a business. In Built to Sell, John Warrilow provides you with a guide on how to build a business that can run without you…one you can sell. Even if you don’t plan on selling your consulting business, you should build one that you could — and this book will show you how.

Topics covered:

“Built to Sell is a great one for thinking about productization and ways to add value to your business in case you want to sell down the road.”

Imperfect Action

The right book at the right time can change your business forever.

Take 1 book from this list, and add it to your reading list.

As you read the book, take note of the specific actions that the author recommends.

To get the most out of your reading, apply what you learn.

When you commit to taking action based on what you learn from experts, you’ll take your consulting business to new heights.

Consultant, what’s your favorite consulting book?

Leave a comment below and let us know what it is, and why it’s your favorite.

More Best Consulting Books From Consulting Success® 

In addition to international best-selling The Elite Consulting Mind, Michael has also written…

Act Now book cover

Act Now: How Successful Consultants Thrive During Chaos And Uncertaintiy

In times of chaos and uncertainty, some freeze up or falter, but others rise up and prosper. When you’re struggling with doubt and fear, when your self-esteem and confidence are waning, this book provides a proven path for not only managing the chaos but thriving.

The Consulting Success book. The proven guide to start, run and grow a successful consulting business.

Consulting Success: The Proven Guide To Start, Run, and Grow A Successful Consulting Business

How can you take your skills and expertise and package and present it to become a successful consultant? There are proven time-tested principles, strategies, tactics and best-practices the most successful consultants use to start, run and grow their consulting business. Consulting Success teaches you what they are.

Take These Lessons And Build A Predictable & Profitable Consulting Business

If you’re interested in becoming a consultant and…

  • Nail your marketing messaging so that every word you put out helps attract high-value clients…
  • Dial-in your fees strategy so that you can earn far more than your corporate career (without working more hours)…
  • Create a marketing engine that brings in new consulting clients predictably, like clockwork…

We have two ways to help you:

  • Schedule your FREE growth session and apply for our Clarity Coaching Program by clicking here
  • Check out our Momentum course for early-stage consultants who want to grow to 6-figures by clicking here

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5 thoughts on “12 Best Consulting Books

  1. kelvin says:

    I love reading books, I do that a lot. Most of the time I always take up one interesting book to read, and trust me reading books would really give you what nothing else would. I am really fund of reading motivational books and they have really contributed a lot to my life. Books covers a lot of details, and the best part is that there is always a book for everyone. This content is containing information that you would find far more interesting than you think.

  2. Fran Wescott says:

    Great starting point for critically important reading list. Looking forward to the possibility of a Part 2 which reflects a little gender/ethnic diversity. Thanks for highlighting these works.

    • You’re very welcome Fran and appreciate your comment and suggestion for a part 2.

  3. Troy says:

    Gerald Weinberg, Secrets of Consulting. For technical consultants in particular, his other books are quite useful.

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