4 Books Every Concrete Contractor Should Read

4 Books for Concrete Contractors

I read a lot of books. Some are outstanding; others seem to miss the mark. Here are four books that I believe every concrete contractor should read to improve their business and life.

The next time someone in your family wonders what to get you for a gift, show them this list.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

I purchased this book as research material for my upcoming presentation at World of Concrete. I’ve used checklists in business for a long time and am a big advocate for them. However, this book showed me just how powerful they can be.

Written from the author’s perspective in the medical field, there are many valuable lessons that can be applied to concrete construction. You’ll instantly see how using checklists can dramatically improve your estimating, invoicing, jobsite cleanliness, layout work, and other areas within your business. You’ll learn how a simple checklist can solve big problems and reduce headaches within your business.

Shameless plug: To really learn how to create effective checklists and systems within your construction company, sign up for my awesome presentation at World of Concrete 2015.

Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Thomas C. Corley

Only about five percent of the U.S. population attains true financial success. What traits do they possess that make them so successful? This brief (meaning you can get through it in an afternoon) book reveals 10 Rich Habits that successful people do – and what unsuccessful people don’t do. It details the few powerful changes a person can make to their day that can have a profound impact on their lives.

One of my favorites of the 10 Rich Habits is part of Habit number 7: Develop a ‘Do It Now’ mindset. Since I have begun practicing that, I am becoming less of a bottleneck in certain aspects of my company. Many concrete contractors tell me that this is also a problem in their businesses. Just that one idea has helped me immensely.

The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes

This is a very good business book by the late Chet Holmes. In addition to the “Sales” information, this book details excellent strategies and techniques for other aspects of running a business. Here are a few that helped me:

  • Time management for busy owners and managers
  • How to train your people
  • Holding necessary, effective meetings
  • Finding & hiring superstars
  • How to determine – and then market to – your ideal clients (which I talk about here and here)

I ran out of yellow highlighter marking up this book when I read it. In addition to solid tactics, you’ll see how persistent implementation is the real key to a successful contracting business.

Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a YES! Attitude for a Lifetime of SUCCESS by Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer is one of my sales mentors. I owe much of my sales mindset to him and his teachings. In this entertaining, thought-provoking book, Gitomer provides that kick-in-the-butt lesson you need to hear in order to get your attitude in gear.

As contractors, we face obstacles and negativity every day. This book shows how negative thoughts and feelings affect you, and what you can do to change your attitude. When you do that, every aspect of your personal and business life will improve.

Each of these books, when read and implemented, can have a positive impact on your life and business. Buy them and read them. You can thank me later.

What books have you read that really affected your business or life? Post your comments below. I’d like to hear from you.


  1. Thanks for the information. I want to make sure that the contractor I hire has read these books. I especially like the one about having a good attitude. That seems like something everyone should read!

    • Thanks for your comment, Mia. That's a great idea to see if your contractor has read the books. I agree that the "Yes! Attitude" book should be on everyone's reading list.

  2. I'm hoping they are ordered by which you think are the best, because I'm going to start with the top and move down

    • Hello Alec,
      Each book covers a different part of a contractor's business. The first book on the list involves systems, which should be created for construction. The second book shows ways to think about and create wealth. The third tackles sales & marketing. And, the fourth book helps in maintaining a healthy mindset - something that can be challenging for a contractor. One book may be more important to read first, depending on where you are having the most trouble in your business. Enjoy the books!

  3. nice reads, read the first book, on to the next, thank you

    • Hello Fuad,
      Thanks for the comment. That's great that you've knocked out the first book. There were probably a few ideas you came up with to add checklists to help your concrete company run more smoothly. Have fun with the second book!

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