Guy Rigby's Summer 2017 Reading List

The summer break is the best chance many of us will have to switch off the screens and spend some quality time outside.

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Guy Rigby
Published: 23 Aug 2017 Updated: 13 Jun 2022

Everybody loves a good book, but really, in this modern world, who has the time to read? The summer break is the best chance many of us will have to switch off the screens and spend some quality time outside. For those looking to exercise their grey matter while spending time in the sun, I’ve put together a list of recommended reading. Enjoy!

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1. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Co-written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, this insightful and deeply personal approach on overcoming hardship and finding resilience may seem an unusual entry for a scale-up reading list, but the book is about how to develop compassion and create stronger and more resilient communities, including workplaces. Every scale-up faces adversity so it’s good to have perspective, and learn how that same adversity can make us stronger.

2. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss

Want to know what makes leaders tick? Tim Ferriss thinks he has the answers. As the host of business podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, Ferriss has interviewed figures from all walks of life, including celebrities, actors, athletes and business leaders. His book contains ‘the distilled tools, tactics’ and original real-life thinking that has made these people excel at what they do.

3. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Say what you like about Peter Thiel: the man has been there and done it, several times. In this recent classic of the genre, Thiel explains how to build a great idea into a successful business. It’s the manual for risk-takers, written by a recognised risk-taker. Highly recommended.

4. How to Sell Your Business For the Price You Want by Mark Blayney

Regardless of where your business is at, at the back of the mind of every entrepreneur is when to sell. You’re looking for the best possible deal; this practical book will help you get it. With real, practical advice on every level, from decision-making on why and when to complete the deal to how to face the legal, strategic and financial issues you may face, this book is a must-have for any entrepreneur.

5. Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Brian Burroughs

For non-fiction as good as any novel, I have to recommend the classic Barbarians at the Gate – the classic account of the fall of a giant through an attempted leveraged buyout. At a time of financial uncertainty, this book is a fascinating cautionary tale about the perils of big business. Gripping stuff.

6. The Great British Entrepreneur’s Handbook 2016 by Simon Burton

The Great British Entrepeneur’s handbook shares the secrets of experienced entrepreneurs on everything from how to tell your business's story compellingly to the secrets of growing a business to the next level. It’s an intelligent and insightful guide for budding entrepreneurs on the rollercoaster journey of building a successful business.

7. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Perhaps a surprising choice for a list of recommendations for entrepreneurs, this novel, described by some as the first in English, is the engrossing account of a man who literally loses everything and ends up far from home and alone. His survival story against a series of incredible odds is as inspiring as the personal journey he undergoes: recognising that real strength comes from within. And it’s a great read.

8. Scale Up Millionaire by Gordon McAlpine

Of all the great business challenges, creating profitable, sustainable demand is the single biggest barrier to entrepreneurial success. In this great book, Gordon’s expertise and engaging style combine to explain what works and, importantly, what doesn’t. A must read for any growing business owner.

9. Influence: How to Raise your Profile, Manage your Reputation and Get Noticed by Warren Cass

This book is a triumph. A thoroughly relevant, engaging and well-written must read for anyone who wants to win friends and influence people.

10. From Vision to Exit: the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building and Selling a Business by Guy Rigby

How could I resist?! Seriously, I think my book is still relevant for anybody looking to build their business over the coming year. Give it a go – you won’t regret it…

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.


This article was previously published on Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.