Below are a few lists of books that I have recently read that impacted my thinking that I wish I had read when I started out my career, books that I have found myself coming back to, time and time again, and some books and writers that just stand out to me as I write this.
Also below you will find a list of blogs and podcasts that have each, in their own way, helped me in my career, or my life in general.
This list will be updated regularly and feel free to sign-up for my email list to stay up to date with recent blog posts and articles, more book recommendations, videos and people that interest me.
BOOKS I WISH I HAD READ WHEN I STARTED MY CAREER:
MINDSET: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck – I used to do things because I had to do them. I did not approach class or tasks as opportunities to learn something new and develop both professionally and personally. I regret this. Often times it is how we approach things that ultimately determines our success, and from this book I am slowly learning how to move from a “fixed” mindset to a “growth” mindset whereas I try and approach each situation as a chance to grow and develop new skills. I wish I had read this book when I was 17, but sure am glad I came across it as a new father.
THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY and EGO IS THE ENEMY by Ryan Holiday – I did not have a burning passion when I was young, at least one that I could parlay into a career. By facing my fears and focusing on improving my weaknesses I gained confidence and over time this played a siificant role in shaping my career and life. I would recommend reading these books as one, as (in a sense) “Ego” picks up where “Obstacle” leaves off. One is how to overcome obstacles to achieve success, the other is on how to keep it.
OUTLIERS: The story of success by Malcolm Gladwell – I cannot recommend all of Malcolm´s books enough, however, “Outliers” really stood out to me for the simple reason that it goes into great detail about the hidden factors that come into play when building a successful career.
THE DIP by Seth Godin – “The Dip” was the first book I read by Godin, and I am partial to it as I keep coming back to it as my career and thought process grows or stagnates. In this short book, he discusses how to identify when you are experiencing a “dip”, and strategies to decide if it is worth pushing through, or calling it quits. I cannot recommend enough grabbing any of his 20+ books and giving them a shot. Linchpin and The Purple Cow also stand out as I type this.
GIVE & TAKE by Adam Grant – I am not a “taker”. I fall somewhere between a “giver” and a “connector”. I used to see this as a weakness, but it tuns out there is room for all of us. One would think that “takers” would excel in sales and “givers” would struggle. To an extent this is true, as “givers” do fall on the bottom rung according to Grant´s research, however, they also take the top spots. As a guy who stutters in the sales world, this book really hit home as it showed me that we all have skills that are in demand, and if developed, success is possible.
INFLUENCE: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini – As my career in sales / communication advances, time and time again, I am reminded that we are not dealing with deadlines and making a sale, but with people. Understanding what drives people and identifying what motivates them, is, and will always be, a skill in high-demand. If “Mindset” is the book I wish I had read before starting college, “Influence” would have been the book I wish I had read before I started in my career in sales.
GOOD TO GREAT by Jim Collins – Loads of takeaways, but if you are just starting out in your career, the consistent theme of what makes a great leader cannot be overlooked. His research shows that a great leader is not always (and very rarely) the charming extrovert,
but those that wear the same jeans everyday (so to speak) and put them on one leg at a time. Great leaders put in the work and recognise their own mortality, and in turn build something bigger than themselves.
A WHOLE NEW MIND, DRIVE, TO SELL IS HUMAN by Daniel Pink – Mr. Pinks predictions in “A Whole New Mind” about what the future holds and what skills will be in demand were dead on. A great book to learn how you fit in the world and to help you identify what skills you should develop. Great for “creatives” as it shows that traits, like empathy and communication, are not going anywhere. “Drive” and “To Sell is Human” both taught me loads about motivating ourselves and how to motivate others. Invaluable.
SO GOOD THEY CAN´T IGNORE YOU & DEEP WORK by Cal Newport – It was not until the dots connected of the skills that I had obtained with each new job did my career began to make sense and slowly I began to find my “purpose”. Cal´s books, both serve as a great reminder to put your head down and get to work (just make sure it is uninterrupted) and good things will come.
The underlying theme in all of the authors above is that:
“People overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime” – Napoleon Hill (or at least the first time I came across it)
Not one flashy salesmen in the bunch. Just some good people who put their heads down and put in the work every single day. Most likely this is why I am drawn to them over people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone or some of the other “naturals”. All of the authors strike me as “the person next-door”, but seem to all share the same secret: their job is not “work”, but it became a “calling” and their dedication shows in their work.
BOOKS I COME BACK TO MORE THAN OTHERS:
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Man´s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters
ADDITIONAL BOOKS THAT REALLY HIT ME HARD:
The Road To Character by David Brooks (Chapter on George C. Marshall = incredible)
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
The Mindful Athlete by George Mumford
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (potentially dangerous but love the stories)
LASTLY, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING BY THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE:
Zig Ziglar – too many books to choose just one – favorite of all time
Brian Tracy – sales and motivation
Tony Robbins – all things motivation (and more recently, financial freedom)
Dan Ariely – will make you think
Peter Drucker – Papa Management
Joseph Campbell – Papa Story
Cal Newport – career and learning advice
Conor Neill – all things communication, persuasion and leadership
Derek Sivers – would love to meet this guy in person
Maria Popova – “BrainPickings” – beautiful mind
Penelope Trunk – Career and Life Coach
Ryan Holiday – Stoicism, Marketing, PR, Writing, Life, Love, Goats etc etc etc
Seth Godin – Sees the world as it is and also the future for what it will be
Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner – “Freakonomics” – super interesting dou
Tim Ferriss – “The Four Hour Workweek” – I prefer the podcast but still great posts
Vanessa Van Edwards – “The Science of People” – all things people skills
Brett and Kate McKay – “The Art of Manliness” – so much more than the name implies
Scott Young – much like Cal Newport – do not get confused when they say “hack” they mean getting to work
Impact Theory / iTunes (formerly Inside Quest / iTunes) with Tom Bilyeu – favorite
The Tim Ferriss Show / iTunes – too obvious to be my favorite, but secretly is…
The Art of Charm / iTunes with Jordan Harbinger – get over the title
The School of Greatness / iTunes with Lewis Howes – not a natural but turning into one.
Love Life / iTunes with Matthew Hussey – designed for women, but I am sensitive
I Love Marketing / iTunes with Joe Polish and Dean Jackson – two guys in the trenches
Free Lunch / iTunes with Michael “Mango” Manganillo – real people in Marketing and PR
The Success Academy / iTunes with Victor Martin – very authentic (In Spanish)
The James Altucher Show / iTunes – good for dessert
The Way I Heard It / iTunes with Mike Rowe – super short and surprising stories