Top 20 books for business and personal development
If you want to climb the society scale, you must read daily, so that’s why I want to share my top 20 books for business and personal growth.
Whether it’s blogs, magazines or books, reading is one of the highest priorities of people who want to become successful.
This became my habit. I read at least 5 blog posts every day and 50 pages of some book.
However, it wasn’t always like that. In school I hated books. What can I say? I grew up in a tough neighborhood.
It all changed about a year ago.
I visited a friend of mine (we’re like brothers) and he said that he read this awesome book that totally changed his views about money.
I’ve read this book in one take. It literally grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, until I completed it. This book has very special place in my life, and it is “eye opener” for me.
From that moment I swore to myself that I will be successful, no matter what!
The feeling that I had, when I read this book, is difficult to explain with words. After reading the introduction, my eyes started to blink. When I finished the entire book, they were shining like sun.
That’s the moment when I understood the power of books and education.
This book changed my life, so I must put it in first place
Notice: Links that I post are from site bookdepository.com. They don’t sell e-books, but they have good prices on physical books and shipping is free for everything. I prefer paper books rather than e-books, but if you want, you can find any of these books in electronic format.
1. Rich dad poor dad - Robert Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki is telling his life story, in a book that made him famous. He explained how he had two different influential figures in his life, his real father (the poor one) and his business father (the rich one). His poor father was a good man, well-schooled, with good salary, but he was always struggling with finances. Rich father was the father of his friend from school. He didn’t have much of a school, but he was running a very successful business that grew constantly. You can’t really get any actionable advice from this book, but it can give you immense motivation to become successful in life. I consider this book to be a good foundation for one’s personal and financial development.
2. Cashflow Quadrant - Robert Kiyosaki
It is an extension of “Rich dad poor dad”, and it further explains some elements of this book. Cashflow quadrant consists of four different types of income generation. Every person has its role in the system and you can be in one or more groups. If you work for someone else you are “employee”, if you work for yourself you are “self-employed”, if you have a business that functions completely independently of your presence you are “business owner” and finally, if you have money invested in real estate, bonds, stocks, or any other type of investment that it is generating income for you, you may consider yourself as an “investor”. This book gave me the good understanding of how people in each of these categories think and what are their differences.
3. The 4-hour workweek - Timothy Ferriss
A lot of bad words have been said about this book, but those are the people who are close-minded and happy with their 9-5 life, with steady paycheck and living the life of false security. If you want to learn how to outsource parts of your job for 5$ an hour, how to achieve more in less time, how to live more fulfilled life and much more, this is the book for you. Business scaling is very limited if you do all the work, so read this book to learn how to get some weight off your shoulders.
4. Think and grow rich - Napoleon Hill
This book is the father of business and wealth building motivation. It was written in 1937, during one of the worst periods in the history of economy – the great depression. Focus of this book is to prove that everything is achievable if you set your mind to it. Napoleon conducted a huge, 20-year research on wealthy people of his time. He interviewed hundreds of extremely successful people and collected information about their similarities. To me, this book is a holy grail of motivational literature. Now that I think about it, I must read it one more time.
5. Be a sales superstar - Brian Tracy
One of the most important ingredients for success in business is ability to sell. Whether you are directly involved in sales business or not, skillset of a successful salesman will be of big benefit to you. This book will show you 21 areas where you can improve your skills and some exercises how to do it. You don’t need any knowledge about selling, because “Be a sales superstar” is very simple to follow and understand.
6. Millionaire - Janet Gleeson
Unlike other books on this list that are about motivation and modern psychology, this one is a documentary about John Law, called the inventor of modern economy. He founded the first stock exchange market and private bank in France in 1716, and he was also responsible for rise and collapse of French economy. This book gave me better understanding about money and the struggle that goes with acquiring large sums. John Law is very important figure of economic history and you should read this book to get better understanding of how economy works.
7. Jab, jab, jab, right hook - Gary Vaynerchuk
You’ve probably heard about Gary Vee, that loud-mouth, eccentric bastard. I love him. He is a great inspiration to me. This is his third book, and you can see that his writing has improved much. Book covers various social media platforms and tells you how to get the most of each one. It has lots of picture and real-life examples. You must understand social media if you want to survive in online business, so get this book and improve your game.
8. Start with why - Simon Sinek
All great companies share similarities in their operations. Simon is showing us some great examples of proper leadership. He does talk about Apple a lot, but they are the biggest company in the world and there is a lot that we can learn from them. What makes these companies so successful is that they all understand “why” they are doing, what they’re doing. This book can’t be placed among the best, but it offers some great value, and that is the most important feature of any book.
9. The 10X rule - Grant Cardone
While Grant is not a great writer, he is very successful businessman worth hundreds of millions. “The 10x rule” can be summarized into 2 main components – set massive goals and take massive action. If you dedicate 10x more time to achieve your goals, your personal growth is going to be exponential. This book doesn’t bring anything revolutionary, but it is a great way to learn more about successful people. I’d suggest that you get the audio version, because the author himself is narrating.
10. Lean startup - Eric Ries
Orientation of this book is primarily on products, but his advices can be applied to much more. This book pushes you to start. Whether you’re ready or not, just start and learn from your mistakes. If you feel procrastinated and you fail to start anything, this book might be great for you. Many big companies have survived because they were following similar principles. Get your product out there, listen to your customers and improve it all the time.
11. How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie
Networking is important aspect of successful life. The more friends you have, the more valuable you are. This book will help you to make new friends and to find new like-minded people. Although I would disagree with some principles, like not being yourself and pretending to be someone else to become more likeable, there are some good tactics in this book that you can use to be more influential person. Living for 80+ years and still being very popular, reading this book is a no brainer.
12. The richest man in Babylon, George S. Clason
When I started reading this book, I had to pause it to learn a new language – old English. It is not as bad as it sounds, but it took me some time to understand this old grammar. For native English speakers this book won’t present a problem, but for those of you who don’t know English on highest level I suggest that you save this book for later. This book tells you several stories that took place in ancient Babylon (3000 years ago) and explains financial principles that are timeless. If you want to learn how to manage your finances better, I suggest that you read this book.
13. Leaders eat last - Simon Sinek
Natural sequel of “Start With Why” didn’t blow me away as the first book, but it certainly added immense value to it. The point of this book is that leaders are not born, but rather they are developed by their experience and knowledge. World would be a far better place if we had good leaders, who cared about people. If you plan to start a business, or you have one already, this book will teach you how to treat your employees so that they become more productive and make more money for you.
14. The 7 habits of highly effective people - Stephen R. Covey
Many times I heard about habits of successful people, but I never really thought about it. My life was meaningless until I’ve read the first book on this list. After being healed from ignorance, I realized that I have to make some changes in my life to be more effective. I came across this book online, read reviews and decided to give it a shot. One of the best things I ever did in my life. This book will bring many improvements in your life, so make sure to read it.
15. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
Ancient philosophy is not really my thing. I’ve read some ancient Greek philosophy in high school, but only because it was mandatory. Marcus was famous Roman general and emperor that lived through a lot. His wisdom teaches us to make the most of everything that life throws at us, because if you miss your opportunity, another one might not come. Reading this ancient book made me realize that we, the people, are essentially all the same. Despite our differences, we are all made up of flesh and bones and you should embrace your life, no matter how hard it is.
16. The $100 startup - Chris Guillebeau
People always complain that they have no money to start a business and that they don’t know what to do. This book will show you examples of people who started their business for less than 100$ and created a full time income. It will also show you that you can turn any passion of yours into viable business. There are no detailed, step-by-step, explanations of how people in his book achieved their success, but you can find a lot of motivation to get you started, even if you don’t have money.
17. Getting things done - David Allen
What I really liked about Allen's work is that it's very straight forward and focused on implementation. This book discusses the GTD (Getting Things Done) system from start to finish, and what is more important it teaches you how to apply it. We have all been stuck at one point in our life. Constantly postponing your obligations won’t get you anywhere, so read this book to get some “backwind” to push you to finish what you have to.
18. Beating the street - Peter Lynch
Now we are entering the world of investing, the best place to be. You will get to a point in life when you should invest money, in order to make more money. “Beating the Street” will teach you how to invest money in companies, how to analyze companies and find good investments and how to make the decision to start investing. Investing is a serious business and you have to read this book at least two times to get the full benefit from it. I’ve read it only once, but I have to make money in order to invest, so I will read it one more time in the following years.
19. One up on the Wall Street - Peter Lynch
Many people think that it's impossible for an average individual to compete on Wall Street against huge and infinitely resourced companies. Peter dismisses this premise and helps you understand that anyone can be a good investor. While he invested most of his money into big companies, he also purchased shares of smaller companies. This book covers it all. It's the most practical book on investing and the smartest.
20. The intelligent investor - Benjamin Graham
The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham's philosophy of "value investing", which teaches people to develop investing plan and focus on long-term strategy, made “The intelligent investor” a stock market bible. This is the book that raised all those filthy rich investors like Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch and others. I will encourage you to read this book first, when you decide to get into investing.
That was the list of my top 20 books for entrepreneurs and business-minded people that I recommend. I am 100% positive that you will become unstoppable if you read all of these books. Your business and personal life will flourish and you will experience constant joy as you go through life.
Have you read any of these books, or is there some other book that you can recommend to me?
Please share your thoughts in comments. I would love to hear from you.
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