A Wealth of Inspiration
There are many great minds that have put their efforts into writing and talking about the art of business. Throughout my life have have spent countless hours reading, listening and talking about business and self-development. It would be impossible for anyone to distill all that knowledge into some kind of list or formula. The knowledge I have gained comes through a passion to learn. As in everything in life there must be a balance. The balance which I’ve strived to maintain is between learning from others and from learning by doing.
Here is a list of some of the best books I have read. Do yourself a favour and make it your business to spend some of your precious time to read and learn. There is so much to be gained.
Or yet again if you can’t commit to reading then surround yourself by people who have and are more than happy to pass on their knowledge.
Top 10 Reads for 2018
1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz.
This is one of my favorite titles I’ve ever seen for a business book. Author Ben Horowitz is a co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. For many years he wrote on a personal blog, giving down to earth business advice and sharing his experiences on building and running startups. For this business book, he’s adapted most of his original posts and compiled them into an incredible narrative about how to navigate the inevitable difficulties when starting and growing a business (especially on the side of your day job).
Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights that he’s gained along the way. He tells things straight, covering topics like starting a business with friends, firing those friends when things aren’t working out, poaching competitors and cultivating a CEO mentality. Perhaps what I love most about The Hard Thing About Hard Things is that he amplifies the stories with lyrics from his favorite rap songs.
2. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss.
I’ve gotten through almost all of this nearly 650 page long beast that dives into everything Tim Ferriss, the multi-New York Times Bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, has learned—tactics, routines and habits—from interviewing more than 200 of the world’s most recognizable figures in business, sports, academia, the military and just about every other imaginable industry on The Tim Ferriss Show, which now has 100 million+ downloads.
Tools of Titans is an A-list pick for best business book of 2018.
Here’s why: It so naturally captures the best business advice, productivity tips, life lessons and so much more from all the guests of Tim’s podcast ranging from Tony Robbins, to Derek Sivers, Daymond John and many more. Reading this business book is one of the most affordable investments you can make in your future as an entrepreneur.
3. Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher.
This business book, my favorite from prolific writer and ridiculously hilarious entrepreneur James Altucher takes a refreshingly honest look at the difficult world we’re living in, where there are no guaranteed jobs, no certainty of a comfortable retirement and no probability that a college degree will lead to the lifestyle you want. He believes that the only person you can fully believe in is yourself. One side effect of this “Brave New World,” is that it’s easier than ever to turn your own strengths, skills and interests into a business where you can employ yourself.
Altucher focuses on helping you improve your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing while finding your way towards uncovering potential business opportunities you’ll be uniquely qualified to pursue. In this business book, he asks why you would put your trust in others who don’t care about your future as much as you do—and gives you the tools to take control of your own life.
4. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg.
This business book is particularly unique in the productivity space because it offers up a new definition of what it means to be productive. This book teaches you how to shift your focus to managing how you think rather than spending time managing what you think. It’s core principle is that you can transform your life by making certain choices—and bestselling author Charles Duhigg gives you the tools to rewiring your decision-making process.
In Smarter Faster Better, Duhigg lays out a compelling case for how the traditional goal-setting model of focusing primarily on our big ambitions and ignoring all of the smaller decisions & easy goals along the way is inherently flawed if you want to create big change in your life or business. He argues that the people and companies who innovate quickest and get the most done have finessed the art of shifting importance to achieving the small goals—that eventually ladder up to bigger ones.
5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.
The title alone sold me on this business book, but it’s been recommended to me by several friends. This New York Times Bestseller is built around the core argument, backed by academic research, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn “lemons into lemonade,” but on learning to stomach the lemons better. It’s about setting realistic expectations for ourselves. Embracing our fears, faults and uncertainties to begin finding the courage, honesty, responsibility we seek.
One of the things I like most about this book is how the author, Mark Manson‘s personal writing style truly reflects the title of the book. What reads as 2 parts deep life advice and 1 part comedy, keeps you engaged and anxiously anticipating what comes next—especially when listening on Audible.
6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.
I remember when The Power of Habit especially grabbed the attention of readers in the U.S. as it was released in 2014. It topped most of the bestseller lists and spent more than 60 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. In this business book, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the edge of scientific discoveries, explains why habits exist and how they can be proactively changed to create positive results in our lives.
In this business book, Duhigg emphasizes how important habits are to our success. Habits are the essential keys to achieving meaningful goals. It’s our good habits that give us the structure and discipline to exercise regularly, be more productive and continue making progress towards our larger life goals. Without good habits, it’s all too easy to give up when the going gets rough. This business book will give you the foundation for creating success-driving habits.
7. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters.
This business book takes a close look at the power of innovation. PayPal founder and first Facebook investor, Peter Thiel shows how we can still go about creating new things. Which I completely agree with—we haven’t invented everything yet. In Thiel’s opinion, we are actually living in an age of technological stagnation because everybody is blinded by shiny objects and new gadgets. There’s more to innovation and progress than what computers and Silicon Valley have to offer—and many of the best business ideas are still out there waiting to be built.
The key to progress, according to Thiel, is learning to think for yourself. When you do something new, you are moving from 0 to 1 (hence, the title). His thesis in the book is that the next generation of successful entrepreneurs will make completely new things—not just updates of our existing products. In this business book, Zero to One, he lays out how to train yourself to be an innovator.
8. Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher.
In Reinvent Yourself, bestselling author and entrepreneur James Altucher (in typical fashion) takes an insanely deep dive into his several successes, numerous devastating failures and how he’s constantly reinvented himself in the face of painful life changes over the years. If you’re in a personal or professional rut, feel like your business needs a change of direction, or that you just need to try something new, this business book will be incredibly helpful by learning Altucher’s personal process for perfecting the art of reinvention.
What I love most about Altucher’s writing style is that he’s not afraid to go down the rabbit hole when he encounters a question he feels his readers will have—this business book is no exception. In it, he describes specific strategies, chases down the answers to your fears & objections, shares personal stories, explains case studies in transformation from other entrepreneurs he’s interviewed and gives you the tools you need to master the skill of reinvention.
9. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath.
Each of Chip and Dan Heath’s business books highlight their immense strengths and research prowess deep into psychology. In Decisive, they share from their broad understanding of how people go about doing business and living their personal lives—with the goal of helping us to make better decisions.
We know from research in psychology that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities. Unfortunately, knowing this doesn’t make much difference to most people. What we need to know is how to change these biases and irrationalities so that we’re able to make more informed decisions that better benefit us in the long run. This business book gives readers a four-step process to counteract these biases and it shows us how to make stronger decisions.
10. The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneursby Kevin D. Johnson.
The premise of this business book is that if you hope to reach the highest level of performance as an entrepreneur, you need to change your mindset to think with the Entrepreneur Mind. The best way to do that is to learn from successful entrepreneurs who’ve already gone through the process of developing a battle-hardened mindset for business.
Bestselling author of this business book, Kevin Johnson is the president of a multimillion-dollar marketing agency that’s worked with brands like Cadillac, Bank of America and Coca-Cola. In this business book, Johnson shares 100 of what he considers to be the key lessons entrepreneurs need to learn about strategy, education, people, finance, marketing and sales, leadership and motivation in order to train yourself for success.
All Time Classics
All Time Classics