9 business reads that helped the Dragons become business badasses

The Dragons have spent years building their businesses, and along the way have drawn inspiration from some of their favourite books. Here are their recommended reads and the  entrepreneurial advice they gleaned from each book:

The Finance Phenom recommends

When it comes to books, Michael Wekerle likes factual — not fiction. “What happened yesterday is relevant today,” said Wekerle. So it’s no surprise that his favourite business read is The Great Crash by John Kenneth Galbraith. The book is about the stock market crash of 1929 aka Black Thursday. “I think you learn a lot from history,” said Wekerle. “Try to apply [it] to yourself in modern day.”

The Tech Titan recommends

Michele Romanow rereads Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini every couple of years. The social psychologist wrote about the basic principles of selling that are used in every business negotiation. “It’s a really powerful book that anyone can read at any level,” said Romanow. “I still read [it] every couple of years to remind myself of the principles in that book.”

The Beer Baroness recommends

Manjit Minhas went to school for engineering, so she said she didn’t take any business or marketing courses in university. And when it came to starting her business she didn’t know where to start. There were two books that have stuck with her since the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey: Up the Organization by Robert Townsend and Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson.

Up the Organization is about organizational skills. “I was so young when I was starting,” said Minhas. “I was competing against massive organizations and I really needed a plan and support to go up against these behemoths. And that’s really what [it] did for me.”

The second book, Guerilla Marketing, helped Minhas stretch the dollar that she had in order to be creative and to think outside the box. “You get over the idea of competing with behemoths and how you should deal with them,” said Minhas. “That book has really stuck with me a decade and a half later.”

The Fashion Mogul recommends

Want to learn how to strengthen your organization through your employees? Joe Mimran recommends Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment by William C. Byham. “It’s this whole notion of how to zap people in your organization so that they become more powerful,” said Mimran. He also recommends reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Get Your Ship Together by Michael Abrashoff.

The Venture Capitalist recommends

Arlene Dickinson says her favourite books change depending on where she is in life. “The ones that I loved a decade ago are not the ones I like today,” said Dickinson. “I’m constantly reading.”

Currently, her favourite business advice doesn’t come from a book — it comes from magazine publishers. “The Economist and Harvard Business Review are my bibles. [The Economist] relates to what’s going on in the world from an economic perspective and Harvard Business Review from a leadership, management and learning perspective,” said Dickinson.

The Franchise King recommends

You might be like Jim Treliving and not have a specific favourite business book! “I look at all the books that I’ve read, and a lot about the people behind them,” said Treliving. “Why I read it was to get some insight into what they were all about, and you learn from it.”