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It wasn’t until after I got out of college that I ever opened a business-related book of my accord. I always preferred fiction, and reluctantly cracked open anything else when it was required. Reading, for me, has always been for entertainment. Business and self-improvement doesn’t sound very entertaining!
I recently realized, though, that if I wanted to improve my life, I needed to change some habits. As the sayings go, “Don’t knock it ’till you try it,” and “The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting a different result.” If I wanted to improve myself, my financial situation, and my own well-being, I should try some new things. One of those things was changing how I viewed business books. It’s actually been really useful in how I interact with others and work toward a fulfilled life. Here are some of my favorites so far:
Everything I’ve read by Kiyosaki has been great, really. He does a great job of taking big business concepts and simplifying them for any audience. Rich Dad, Poor Dad compares the mindsets of the wealthy class to those of the poor and middle classes. He breaks down assets and liabilities, and the importance of having multiple income streams in an ever-changing economy. I wish I had read this as a teenager. I would be much more financially sound today if I did.
If this list was in order by favorites, Total Money Makeover would be #1. But that’s just not how my writing worked out. This book has literally changed how I look at my money and how to get out of debt. Ramsey fills this book with steps to getting out of debt and building wealth. The end of the book has a bunch of worksheets for budgeting, the debt snowball, and setting goals. My favorite part of Total Money Makeover is the suggested accounts that you should set up for your different savings goals. My experience has always been tips on saving and building wealth, I really appreciated learning which types of accounts are better for specific goals.
Ah, the classic guide that was written in the 1930s but still applies today. Carnegie studied, documented, and put into clear words the ideas that people always knew but didn’t know they knew. Too much? Basically HtWFaIP drives home the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you want something from someone, turn your attention from yourself and on to them. When you treat others well, good fortune will reward you in turn. Why is reading this book necessary for a simple idea we all know? It’s important to remind yourself just how useful the concepts are and integrate it into your daily habits. And if you’re like me, it’s fun to give to rude people as a subtle message to BE NICE TO ME.
Bonus: This has been modernized in a version called How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age. Read Both!
Similarly to How to Win Friends and Influence People, Think and Grow Rich was written in the 1930s and seems almost common knowledge today if it wasn’t already. Hill expands on the power of envisioning and laying out your goals. If you just change the mindset of “I wish…” to “I
will…”, everything becomes a stepping stone toward reaching whatever it is you are working toward. Again, why read a whole book for a common idea? It’s helpful to say, write, and read things aloud for them to be ingrained in your mindset, just like the concept in the book. It might confirm something in your head and inspire you to get working!
This one is more fiction than motivational, but so good. The Go-Giver follows a man trying to make a sales quota and quickly learns that being successful is much more than meeting a number. This book is so important to read, regardless of profession. No matter what your goal is, none of it matters unless you connect with and create value for those around you. Definitely recommended for rethinking all of your interactions with others.
Bonus: The sequel to this is just as good! It’s called Go Givers Sell More. Check it Out!
What Are Your Favorite Business Books?
There are obviously more besides these five, which books have inspired you? Comment below with your favorite business, financial, and improvement books.