Business Insights

Business Insights

6 Books to Supercharge Your Success in 2020

Thousands of new books are published around the world every year. The question is; with so many titles to choose from, which ones should you go for first? 

From life-changing reads to practical business bibles, as the Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “You cannot open a book without learning something.” 

With this in mind, a few of our part-time marketing directors have assembled a comprehensive list of books designed to inspire and supercharge your success in 2020.

So, get your reading glasses out, make yourself a good cuppa and enjoy.

Chris Hadfield, ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’

Chris HadfieldRecommend by Yana Lapitskaya, Part-Time Marketing Director, London

The first book to read in 2020 comes from astronaut turned author, Chris Hadfield. Not only does it have an eye-catching cover, but it’s packed with fascinating anecdotes on his adventures with NASA and how he dealt with the pressures of his job.

What makes this book a must-read is the way that he takes the conventional wisdom he gained from outer space and teaches you how to implement them into the world we live in.

Why Yana picked this book: “I would recommend this book to anyone who is running their own business or wants to succeed in the corporate world, because it’s about human ingenuity, resilience and will power – the qualities you would need and normally won’t learn at school.

It’s about setting and achieving targets for yourself and the team when the goalposts are moving and the only certainty is uncertainty – which is the case not just in outer space, but in business too.”

Buy it at Waterstones

Get it on Audible

Ben Horowitz, ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’

Ben HorowitzRecommend by Roberto Rivero, Part-Time Marketing Director, Southern Counties

You may recognise Ben Horowitz as the cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most experienced entrepreneurs. Based on his popular blog, Ben offers a unique take on running a business. Instead of focusing on how amazing it is to start one, he provides an honest outlook on how difficult it is to run one.

Analysing the problems many leaders encounter every day, he shares valuable insights into how he was able to successfully develop, manage, sell, buy and invest. If you like a straight-talking author, this is one of the best books to read in 2020.   

Why Roberto picked this book: “I'd recommend this book because it talks about many of the challenges of running a business which most other books hardly bother mentioning.

“For example, there is a chapter that talks about The Struggle: the feeling you get at the pit of your stomach when you think the company you've invested so much time and money on isn't going to survive. It’s a relatable and insightful read for any business owner.”

Buy it at Waterstones

Get it on Audible

Richard Shotton, ‘Choice Factory’

Richard ShottonRecommended by Christine Moses, Part-Time Marketing Director, South East

Published in early 2018, The Choice Factory focuses on the importance of understanding what drives our actions before we can influence decisions. Richard uses typical daily events where you’re required to make a decision and shows you how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcuts.

With a clear emphasis on marketing and identifying what makes us tick, this book could be a real game-changer for you in 2020.  

Why Christine picked this book: “This is about human biases and how they might be exploited for effective marketing and sales. Books on neuroscience and neuro-marketing are usually dry, but this book is easy to read and accessible.”

Buy it at Waterstones

Get it on Audible

Thom Poole, ‘Life of Colour’

Thom PooleRecommended by Thom Poole, Part-Time Marketing Director, Home Counties

The next book to read was written by our Home Counties Part-Time Marketing Director, Thom Poole. Published in March 2018, Thom explores the psychology, perceptions, mythology and business of colours through the ages and around the world.

It’s ideal for brand marketers and graphic designers who want to improve the way they adapt their designs and engage their audiences through the power of colour.

Why Thom picked this book: “Besides the fact that I wrote it, it’s gone down really well with branding and product people as it looks at the reasons why some colours resonate better with audiences. Every little advantage helps in the marketplace and this is a quick and easy win.”

Buy it on Amazon

Sophie Devonshire, ‘Superfast: Lead at Speed’

Sophie DevonshireRecommended by Gareth Abel, Part-Time Marketing Director, London

Shortlisted for Best Leadership Book at the Business Book Awards, Sophie Devonshire’s critically-acclaimed Superfast is a brilliant read.

The book provides cutting edge inspiration and an array of ideas about how you can accelerate performance in a unique and thoughtful way, despite the world moving at lightning speed. In particular, you’ll discover practical solutions to leadership questions which some of the most successful global leaders employ.

Why Gareth picked this book: “This is a really well-written guide to succeeding today and in the future. It perfectly balances the personal and professional sides of life, accompanied by excellent insights from high profile leaders.”

Buy it at Waterstones

Get it on Audible

Melonie Dodaro, ‘LinkedIn Unlocked'

melonie DodaroRecommended by Robert Stead, Part-Time Marketing Director, Southern Counties

With over 575 million users around the world and being deemed as 277% more effective at generating leads than other social media channels, LinkedIn is the place to be for any successful small business.

This handy book by Melonie Dodaro shows you exactly how you can convert those leads into clients. Forget the old sales and marketing gimmicks, this is a truly eye-opening book that can help your business flourish in 2020.

Why Robert picked this book: “The stats don’t lie. LinkedIn is the place to be for generating leads and boosting brand awareness. This book cuts through the fluff and tells you how to get to the juicy bit; sales. I wanted business owners to benefit from the social media wisdom Melonie delivers and look to implement it into their own strategies.”

Buy it on Amazon

Get it on Audible 


Whether you plan on reading next to the pool in a tropical paradise far, far away or tucked up in bed on a wet and dreary UK winters day, reading something inspirational and thought-provoking can initiate creativity and innovation in 2020.

So, it pays to keep an open mind and check out these titles from our list of books to read.

In the meantime, if you want a hand supercharging your business’ marketing success in 2020, take our simple (and free)  marketing health check today. After only 10 minutes, we’ll provide you with a detailed report showing you what you’re doing well, what’s not quite so healthy and ways in which you can improve the negatives.


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Written by Pete Jakob

Pete is UK Marketing Director for The Marketing Centre and specialises in marketing systems, data and processes for small and mid-size businesses. He has over 35 years’ experience working in technology and a variety of other sectors.

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