Someone recently asked me what my 10 must read self-help books were.
These past 18 months I’ve been reading like never before. I read mainly on self-improvement, psychology, business and biographies. If I were to recommend 10 books to someone starting their journey, this is the go to list. Most of these are mindset based, purely because I believe having the right mindset comes before any action taking.
You could have read every theory-based business book under the sun but without the right mindset it’s useless. Here’s my two cents on why most business endeavors fail in the first few years, or at least take a few years to get off the ground: it’s all about the personal journey of the founder. It’s not that a particular business model takes a long time before generating revenue, it’s that the individual building the company is learning every day and getting better every day.
And it takes a long time. For me, I spent my first six months having the mindset that working a few hours a week creating passive income was going to make me rich. I spent as little money and time as I could, and got mediocre results because of it. But reading books on mindset changed the way I see the world, and in turn, my work ethic has vastly improved and so have my results. Here’s the books that changed everything:
1. The Greatest Salesman in the world – Og Mandino:
I wrote a blog post on this if you want to read more, but this book is effectively a collection of ten scrolls, each one containing a mantra to creating a successful life. You read each scroll 3x a day for 30 days, so it’ll take 10 months. I suggest reading it as you go through the other books. It’ll help develop the reading habit and seriously change the way you think and act.
2. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill:
An absolute classic. Napoleon Hill was commissioned by billionaire Andrew Carnegie to research and interview some of the world’s successful people to find the secret to success. If you’re into the law of attraction this is the first book you should read for sure. This one helped me find my driving force.
3. As a man Thinketh – James Allen:
This is a very short read, but it’s incredibly powerful. According to James Allen, the author, ‘It shows how, in his own thought-world, each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his life, and transform his circumstances.’ This book taught me that my thoughts determine my success, and I’m much more in control of myself because of it.
4. Mindset – Carol Dweck:
5. Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins:
I read this after an online mentor told me it was the single book that changed his life. Tony Robbins is the most successful life coach in the world and and if you read this book you’ll see why. It is all about ‘how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny.’
6. Who Moved my Cheese – Spencer Johnson:
You can read this in a few hours, but the mantra of this short-read is life changing. It’s about dealing with change in the right way. Everyone and every business experiences change, but only those who know how to deal with it can actually benefit from it. You can pick it up for pennies – it’s a must have for your collection. I wrote an article on this one, too.
7. The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson:
I honestly felt enlightened when I read this book. It was a huge revelation for me and changed my perspective on success. It’s about how your every day decisions compound over time to create ultimate success or failure. Read this book and start making slight edge decisions daily to improve your life – you’ll start to think about the result of every action you take; it’ll get your priorities in check for sure.
8. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey:
This one is the first actionable book you should read once you’ve read the more philosophical ones mentioned above. It covers the whole mindset and action taking of people who are successful in literally all areas of life, from family to relationships to business. This book brings so many ideas together that I’ve read in other books. It’s a self-help classic.
9. The ONE Thing – Gary Keller:
Probably the best productivity book on the market. It’s all about getting rid of distractions and doing the highest leverage tasks in the shortest amount of time to make huge progress towards your goals every day. It changed the way I plan and act out my days. I certainly don’t have many distractions anymore, either.
10. The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone:
This will motivate the hell out of you. It focuses on the rule of 10X – how to put in the required amount of effort in all areas of life to not just maintain, but to DOMINATE and achieve amazing results. I listened to the audiobook, and I’m going to listen to it again soon. Every time I was in the car or walking I’d listen to this to pump myself up to take massive action.
If you were going to buy all these books today, I’d recommend reading them in the order I’ve listed, it will take you on a journey from internal to external. What I mean by this is that you will start to develop the right mindset so once you start taking action with the last three books, you won’t have to go through the emotional rollercoaster that is developing a successful mindset. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey that can be filled with fear, self-doubt and self-hatred. Once you realize just what power you have inside you, you’ll be ready to take on anything.