When I first got involved with my first business, I was as green as could be. If I look back, my rawness is very evident in my early work. Bu what I lacked in experience though, I made up in a willingness to learn. And one of the best ways I chose to learn was via reading.
If I could point to 1 habit that changed my life, it would be reading. And specifically reading non-fiction. Reading business books is like being able to listen in to the thoughts of the most successful people in history. What an opportunity!
Reading helps you:
- Create new ideas
- Shape average ideas into great ones
- Gain perspective on projects
- Focus on what’s important
- and more
Listen closely to interviews with successful entrepreneurs, business men and women, politicians, etc. 99.9% of them have a thirst for learning and consistently refer to books as being a major influence in their careers and life.
Simply put, consistently successful people read.
Here are 5 personal books recommendations for all young entrepreneurs. These are 5 very different pieces of work that, if you complete all 5, will improve your personal and business results. I guarantee it.
1. Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
One of my favorite authors. This is a great place to start your education quality copy writing techniques. He focuses on and implements direct response marketing techniques better than anyone I know. If you are like me, you will have a dogged eared, highlighted copy that is constantly on your desk being referenced. This book and his “Ultimate Marketing Plan” book are a great introduction to Planet Dan.
2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Classic book. The original mindset book that should not be ignored. His principles are just as valuable today as they were 75+ years ago. His work set the stage for thousands of books after him. I encourage you to approach this with an open mind and willingness to Please don’t let the age traditional writing of this book scare you away. You would regret not reading it.
3. Influence by Robert Cialdini
Every marketer should read this. Multiple times. Cialdini creates a simple framework for influencing the human mind. Great stories paired with fascinating data produces a valuable insight into how we operate daily. This was the first book that I ever wrote my own personal “book report” on. When I read it , I quickly realized it so many actionable ideas that I had to consolidate the info for myself. And FYI, I still refer to my “report,” just to remind myself of the big principles discussed.
4. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (Zappos CEO)
If you want a quick fun read with a few valuable gems, this book is for you. I wanted to include a “personal journey” book in this list, because of the simplicity of their message. It follow the traditional format: Here is where I came from, here is what worked, here is what didn’t, here are my big lessons etc. etc.
Hsieh’s writing is casual, honest, and occasionally insightful. When he begins to discuss Zappos and the different culture he is intentionally creating, his passion pours out on the page. And his work on happiness, discussed in the later chapters will change how you approach work (as promised by the title).
5. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
This is a book full of good tips on being more productive, thoughtful, and (obviously) successful. It gets slightly repetitive, but the overall message is solid. It’s a great book to read in 10 minutes intervals. You can read a quick chapter, then spend your free thought time digesting the info.
I am convinced every person who reads this will have 1 chapter that significantly resonates with them. And that is worth the time and effort.
So get reading! If you have read any/all of these books, let me know. What do you think of these 5?
Let’s get to work,
– Grant Pettegrew
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