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Great Books You Should Read

These are some of my favourite books that had a big influence on me and that I highly recommend

The links below are affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and buy a book I receive a small commission that costs you nothing. I’ve read all these books myself and am recommending them because they’re excellent, not because of the commission. Please do not feel any pressure to purchase any of these books unless you feel they will be helpful.

Business and Entrepreneurship

These books are great when you’re getting started with your side business or haven’t quite started yet.  They’re very motivating and will get you quite excited about the possibilities out there while providing some great strategies.

The 4 Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek

By: Tim Ferris

This was the first book in this area that I read.  It completely changed how I thought about a lot of things and it was definitely because of this book that I now work for myself.

Some people think that this book is about outsourcing everything and magically being successful without any work but that’s not true at all.  The core idea of this book is how to optimize things to get the biggest output for the time you input to your business or life. You’re definitely going to have to put in the work but this book will provide strategies to do the work more efficiently.

Choose Yourself

Choose Yourself

By: James Altucher

People usually wait around for other people to choose them for that job, for that promotion, whatever.  In this book James Altucher argues that today there’s no need to wait around for someone else to choose you.  Instead with all the tools and information out there now you can choose yourself and get started doing whatever it is that you want to do.

The $100 Startup

The $100 Startup

By: Chris Guillebeau

You don’t need a big fancy business plan, a lot of money or a giant loan to get your own business started.  In this book Chris Guillebeau shows how you should get started now with at most a $100 investment and then slowly work on your business over time.  Lots of people including myself followed this strategy and the book provides a ton of examples and strategies for this approach to your business.

Money and Finance

Most people, myself included have a bunch of limiting beliefs and thoughts when it comes to money.  You’re never going to be financially successful if you believe things like “money is evil” or you feel guilty for charging people for your work.  These books will help you to develop a much better attitude towards money which is a requirement if you want to be rich and successful one day.

Thou Shall Prosper

Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money

By: Rabbi Daniel Lapin

This is the first money related book I ever read and it changed a lot of things I believed about money.  The author is a Jewish rabbi and he provides a ton of wisdom about money from the Jewish faith, philosophy and culture outlining things with 10 commandments of money that never change.  Don’t let the fact that this book is based in Judaism turn you off as this book is quite accessible to anyone.

The Education of Millionaires

The Education of Millionaires

By: Michael Ellsberg

This is a great book because while it does provide a lot of information about money and mindset most of the book is spent detailing the various skills and things you’re going to need to learn to become a millionaire.  Chapters will focus on different things like networking or branding yourself and explain what you can do to improve in these areas.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

By: T. Harv Eker

If you want to be a millionaire you’re going to have to think like a millionaire.  This book explains how to do that by identifying common limiting beliefs people have about money.  It explains why these beliefs aren’t true and how to change them not only into beliefs that will help you make money but help others as well.

The Millionaire Fastlane

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

By: MJ DeMarco

This is another excellent book help get you in the right mindset for financial success. The author breaks down different money making strategies into the fast lane and the slow lane which most people are stuck in.

There is a lot of great information to help you develop your own unique fast lane strategy. The author also calls out a lot of financial gurus who preach slow lane strategies to wealth while their own financial success is attributed to fast lane strategies.

MONEY Master the Game

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

By: Tony Robbins

This book is absolutely essential if you want to start investing.  Before reading this I knew pretty much nothing about investing and this book goes super in depth into the different kind of investments available.

It explains which ones are worth investing in and which to avoid.  It explains how you need to approach investing and explains a ton of mistakes people tend to make and how to avoid them.  It also explains several kinds of excellent investments and tricks that most people have no idea about.

Work, Productivity and Mastery

These books will help you improve your productivity, get your work done and achieve mastery in your selected field.

The War of Art

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

By: Steven Pressfield

This book is all about overcoming the resistance to getting things done.  If you’re doing any sort of creative work, starting a business or trying to get into better shape you’re going to encounter some form of resistance.  This book explains how to defeat resistance so you can accomplish anything you want.

Mastery

Mastery

By: Robert Greene

If you’re looking to develop mastery in any field then you need to read this book.  This book helps you to determine your life’s purpose and then outlines the process you need to follow to achieve mastery.  The book explains how to apprentice yourself, find a mentor, develop social intelligence, improve creativity and much more all while providing different examples from history for each stage of the process.

Deep Work

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

By: Cal Newport

Deep Work is all about improving your ability to focus without distraction on complicated tasks to produce better results in less time. This book is full of different strategies and techniques to minimize distractions and shallow work so you can put the maximum amount of energy and focus towards the deep work that matters. No matter what kind of schedule you have or situation you’re in you’ll find that there’s a deep work strategy for you.

Mindset and Philosophy

These books are absolutely fantastic for helping you develop a positive mindset, learn things and interact with the world.  There’s a lot of wisdom and advice here that you can apply to pretty much all areas of your life.

The 48 Laws of Power

By: Robert Greene

This book details 48 laws to acquire power.  Each chapter explains one law with examples from history of people who followed the law and gained power and examples of people who didn’t follow the law and ended up ridiculed, ostracized or even killed.

You might have ethical concerns about applying some of these laws in your own life but this book is essential reading because you’ll start to understand the strategies people use to wield power over you.

The 50th Law

The 50th Law

By: Robert Greene and 50 Cent

The 50th Law is an excellent guide by Robert Greene and 50 Cent to success in life and work based on the principle of “fear nothing”.  The book pulls stories and examples from 50 Cent and others’ lives of people overcoming adversity by practicing this principle.

This book is an excellent companion to The 48 Laws of Power and I highly recommend you read this book after reading The 48 Laws of Power to see some excellent applications of these laws.

How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

By: Scott Adams

Scott Adams is the creator of the very popular comic Dilbert.  In this book he talks about his life, his failures, what he’s learned and how you can apply it to your own life.  Some very interesting ideas I took from the book are to use systems instead of goals and that you don’t have to be super amazing at one thing but instead can be ok at a certain combination of skills to succeed.

Meditations

Meditations

By: Marcus Aurelius

Meditations is a journal written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.  It’s an excellent collection of lessons and wisdom based in the philosophy of Stoicism.  Despite being written in the Second Century you’ll find that it can be applied to your own life to help you deal with difficult people and situations, improve your mindset and life in general.  This is definitely one of the best philosophy books I’ve ever read.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

By: Ryan Holiday

Based in the philosophy of Stoicism the Obstacle is the Way provides strategies for overcoming obstacles and turn them into opportunities for improvement.  The book provides lots of examples of famous people who applied Stoicism to overcome obstacles in their own lives despite how much intelligence or talent they had.  If you’re feeling frustrated with your progress then this book can definitely help.

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

By: Baltasar Gracian

Baltasar Gracian was a 17th century Jesuit philosopher and in this book he provides a lot of excellent wisdom and proverbs that you can apply to your life today.  One thing that makes Baltasar Gracian’s work stand out is that he found virtues such as courage, kindness and generosity very important and this is reflected throughout the wisdom in this book.  You won’t find advice on how to screw over your enemies but instead will learn how to deal with difficult people and become a better person yourself.

Essentialism

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

By: Greg McKeown

Essentialism is all about focusing on the most important things and spending less time on everything else.  You’d think this would be common sense but it’s much harder than you think, especially if you’re busy all the time.  This book is a system for doing less but doing those things better and saying no to everything else.  By focusing on only what is essential you can take control of your life and choices and focus exactly where you want to put your time and energy instead of having others choose for you.

Antifragile

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The antifragile unlike fragility, or even resilience, benefits and becomes stronger from things like stress, disorder and volatility. In this book the author explains the idea of antifragility and why it’s not only beneficial but necessarily in a huge variety of different cases. This book is highly technical though with a lot of mathematical and scientific examples so be aware of that before you start reading. If you’re ok with that you’ll find a lot of great information that you can apply to many different areas in your life.

Outwitting the Devil

Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success

By: Napoleon Hill

Outwitting the Devil was one of the most interesting books I think I’ve ever read. In this book the author interviews the devil about how he traps people causing them to lock in bad habits and drift through life without accomplishing anything. From the devil he learns how to avoid this and exactly what one must do to become successful. To make things even more interesting the book was written in 1938 but was deemed to controversial and wasn’t published until 2011.

Marketing and Sales

Marketing is absolutely essential for your business so you’re going to need at least a basic knowledge of marketing.  I’m a pretty big marketing nerd.  I studied it at university and I’ve read a lot of books on the subject and these are some of my favourites.

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

By: Al Ries and Jack Trout

This book pretty much condenses my entire university eduction in marketing into a quick and easy to read 143 page book. It’s a fantastic book to read if you have no experience with marketing and even if you do it’s still very useful to read it every now and again to keep this information fresh in your mind. Even if your work doesn’t directly involve marketing anyone doing anything related to business will benefit from reading this book.

No B.S. Direct Marketing

No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses

By: Dan S. Kennedy

This might be my favourite marketing book and it changed a lot of what I thought about marketing.  In this book Dan S. Kennedy makes a strong case for direct marketing and why you should use only direct marketing even if you don’t have a direct marketing business.

He outlines 10 rules for direct marketing and explains how each one works, provides examples and provides steps to apply them to your own business.  This is an excellent book if you plan on doing marketing and don’t want to waste your money on campaigns that don’t work.

No B.S. Trust Based Marketing

No B.S. Trust Based Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Trust in an Understandibly Un-trusting World

By: Matt Zagula and Dan S. Kennedy

Another excellent marketing book that describes how to create trust in your marketing in a world where people are finding it harder and harder to trust.

The book covers how to create and demonstrate trustworthiness and authority plus what to do once you have it to gain clients and referrals.  There are lots of excellent strategies here from how to avoid sounding like a salesperson to how to attract more affluent clients.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

By: Gary Vaynerchuk

In general I’m not a huge fan of social media however I will admit that it has potential for certain businesses and industries.  If you want to pursue a social media strategy then you definitely want to read this book.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook describes how to tell your company or brand’s story through social media by providing lots of useful bits of content people love (jabs) and then occasionally throwing in your sales messages (the right hook).  You’ll learn lots of social media strategies as well as how you should format your messages for the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more.

Travel

Travelling the world is something a lot of people would love to do but a lot of people find it intimidating or think it’s too expensive.  World travel is actually easier than you might think and these books provide strategies and information to encourage you to get out there.

Vagabonding

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

By: Rolf Potts

Most people approach world travel as a series of short week or two vacations.  Vagabonding provides a different more long-term perspective of travelling the world in trips that last for months or years.

The book covers strategies about how to afford trips like this, how to adjust to life on the road, how to work or volunteer in other countries, how to overcome various obstacles you might face on your trip and much more.

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