Before I had kids I would read around 50 books a year!
I have since toned-it down to around 25 a year now.
Below is a very short list of my favorite books I highly recommend to just about everybody.
I thought it would be easier to just make 1 list of my favorite books, than to email out recommendations individually. Read the descriptions to see if you would be interested in each book for your own individual situation.
Built To Sell
This is actually my all-time favorite business book. If you are a small business owner or want to be – this book is an absolute must read!
Why this book is so great, is that it’s not just a bunch of theory and principles.
The book is actually just a story.
The story is about a small business owner who wants to sell his business, only to find out his business is not salable at all. Most small businesses are like this as the business typically evolves around the owner AND the business doesn’t have a repeatable business process to get the work, do the work, then replicate the process.
If you only read one business book, your entire life, read this.
The Automatic Customer
The author is the same as my favorite Built To Sell book. In this book, he dives deep into the process of building a repeatable revenue stream into your business.
To me that’s common sense. However, what’s not common is all the examples he gave that really represented out-of-the box thinking. He gave one example of a roofing company. The roofing company made great money, but had no recurring revenue. They started adding $100 to each job, for roof maintenance for the year. If you do 100 jobs a year, after 3 years, you will be making $30,000 a year in recurring revenue with minimal work.
I know this assumes zero churn, but you get the idea.
The book is filled with tons of businesses in different sectors that have changed their business model to be not only more saleable but more valuable as well.
The most surprising thing I read in this book was the actual revenue and cash-flow of certain businesses.
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
One of my friends let me borrow this book for the summer and I was extremely surprised. My friend had read this book three times and after finishing it I now know why!
The book reads like fiction, but unfortunately is all true.
Basically, consultants (like the author) talk third-world countries into improving their infrastructure telling them they will get a massive return on investment from more industry, tourism and population growth. The ROIs are completely made-up and never work.
The country is then left with a ton-of-debt that it has no way to pay-off. Meanwhile the consultants and infrastructure companies make millions.
It’s a very interesting book for anybody interested in global business.
I honestly had no interest in reading this book, but a lot of my fellow writers kept recommending this book so I picked-it up for an easy beach read.
The best part about this book is that it’s completely filled with case studies of how companies have used persuasion marketing to turn consumers into rapid buyers of their products and services.
It’s a great book to own if you do any kind of writing and/or are in sales.
The Obstacle Is The Way
This book was written by my new favorite author Ryan Holiday. This is one of those books you need to flat-out buy and have on your desk and nightstand. Whenever I look back on big breakthrough’s I have had in my career – it’s not because I took the easy way. It’s because I did something nobody else was willing to do – and it paid-off over the long-term. Usually these pay-offs aren’t direct, but indirect.
I absolutely love Ryan’s writing style with short-chapters with every chapter being based on an actual historical event.
I highly recommend this book.
How To Fail At Almost Anything And Still Win Big
The author is Scott Adams – creator of Dilbert.
He actually has a great voice and I listened to the audio version – which I highly recommend.
The guy has had an extremely interesting career including being a commercial banker, CEO and cartoonist!
Four Hour Work Week
I like how Tim Ferriss doesn’t accept normal constraints. I have a business degree and after working 100+ hour weeks at a hedge-fund had to radically change my career. He gives some great advice on how to not accept normal constraints and start living the life you want.
It’s easy to read this book and downplay his advice as only applicable if you are single without a family. However, I highly recommend his updated copy which includes a multitude of case-studies from people who have done similar businesses with families.
So Good They Can’t Ignore You
I was really intrigued by this author since he became a PhD at a well known university in his 20s. A long the way he has written several best-selling books and made some great investments.
I loved the book because it completely breaks-down why “following your passion” is absurd.
If you want a feel-good motivational book – this isn’t for you. If you want a book that will help you take your career to the next level with some hard work – this book is for you.
This is the only fiction book on the list. I actually don’t think it’s fiction – the author just had to classify it fiction since he has broken out of jail 3 times! This book was highly recommended by Tim Ferriss so I bought it to try and relax – so it’s not my typical business book.
With almost 3K positive reviews on Amazon it was an easy sell.
Fair warning: this book is 944 pages long! I had 2 20+ hour flights and 10-days on the beach and still didn’t read it all! If you are looking for a great big fiction book, I highly recommend this.
I’m obviously biased because I’m a Christian.
The bible is an amazing book that has truly changed my life.
This summer I started reading a proverb a day, and I plan on doing this for the rest of my life after seeing all the progress it has helped me with.
Did I miss your favorite book of all-time? Email me and let me know!!!