3 business books that changed my life: Jonathan Barouch, CEO and founder of Roamz.com

Launching your own business demands quite a commitment.

As I have discovered over the course of my entrepreneurial career, you need to be prepared to give everything you have to grow your startup. It isn’t a 9 to 5 proposition, and anyone who believes that quickly falls by the wayside.

One man who started his own business (in fact a series of businesses) with his eyes wide open, sleeves rolled up, and ready to give his all to make it a success, is Jonathan Barouch, who I recently featured in my Enterprise blog.

He is the founder and CEO of Roamz.com, a location-based app that is dedicated to making it easier for everyone to plan their nights and days out by checking what’s being talked about on a host of social media sites. It already has 150,000 users and is well on its way to becoming a real alternative to flicking through the papers for ideas on how to fill your leisure time.

So you might be forgiven for thinking that someone with that much on his plate might see business books as a luxury he can’t afford in a busy schedule.

But you’d be wrong. Jonathan credits the books he has read for inspiring him to run his entrepreneurial ventures in the best possible way, and so I asked him, as part of our “3 Business Books That Changed My Life” series”, which books had really made an impact.

The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard (with William Oncken Jr and Hal Burrows)
[This book is] all about the management of people.

When I was in my previous startup, I had the problem of whenever something was a little difficult, a lot of my managers would pass it to me to do. So invariably what happened was that they would pass more and more work on to me because it became easier and easier. They didn’t mean to, but obviously when someone keeps on accepting and not helping the person complete the task themselves, or think through the problem, all that happens is the work keeps piling up until you burn out.

So I read this book and it gave me some strategies on help [your management team] learn to solve their own problems. You learn different management techniques on how to help yourself and help the other person.

It’s quite short and you can read it in one or two days.



How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 
The tips [in this book] are the sorts of things that people do every day without even thinking but when you’re conscious of greeting a person by their name or even remembering their name … it makes a big difference. I see it myself when someone remembers my name and says “Hi Jonathan, nice to see you” and puts your name upfront and shakes your hand. You feel a lot warmer about the person, and you feel that person really does care about you.

I found it really insightful about human behaviour and psychology.

Those behaviours do have an impact. When you’re a leader and people in your company takes cues on their mood on a given day from you, being able to put on your best face is really important. I think the tips apply just as equally to your personal life as your business relationships.


How to Win Friends and Influence People


Pop Internationalism by Paul Krugman
This book is a collection of essays that Paul Krugman wrote in which he challenges some common misconceptions in economic thinking.

For instance it challenges the idea that the Asian economies are going to kill Australia. It looks at the idea of competitiveness and how each economy may be competitive in one aspect but not another. It challenges you to think twice about things you read in the press, and gives you a better idea about our region.

You get a regional view of [Australia’s] strengths and the strengths of other economies. You also get insight into the wage differential between here and China – if I am running a business in Australia and there’s a similar one in China, how does that affect my ability to run my business in Australia? It was particularly relevant in my previous business which was a physical goods business and I was asking those sorts of questions all the time.



If you’d like to learn how to write your own business book, our course How To Write a Business Book is the perfect place to start.

About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.
  • Colleen Filippa

    I love Jane Austin and business books – go figure!!

    • valeriekhoo

      I hear you Colleen!