Episode: 125: Top 10 Books for Business & Personal Development ~ Part 1

Today, Jan O'Brien and Matt Emerson share the top ten books that have had the greatest impact on our business and personal growth over the years.   The first five on the list, which we will cover today, are what we most often recommend to our coaching clients and during training workshops.  If you are not into reading, then download the audio versions and listen while you drive, workout, or walk.






You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people. – Zig Ziglar

1.Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

This book is truly THE classic self-help, inspirational, and success book of all time.  If you are going to read only one book on this subject – make it Think And Grow Rich.  Napoleon Hill’s classic started it all and has influenced just about every author and book written on the subject since then.

Think and Grow Rich was one of the first books I read that greatly impacted me personally and professionally.  It started me on my continuing journey of personal development.  I have read it numerous times.  One of my favorite quotes of all time is from this book:  “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  Here are a couple more favorites:

“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”

  1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

In The E-Myth or Entrepreneurial Myth, author Michael Gerber’s core premise is that most new businesses are not started by entrepreneurs who set out to build a strong business but by technicians who enjoy the hands-on work themselves. Because of that natural bias, most business owners focus on working “IN” their business when really they should be working “ON” their business.

As a solopreneur, the key is to find that delicate balance of working “ON” your business while you are working “IN” the day-to-day operational tasks.

Instead of looking at your business as a one-off operation, consider your business to be a prototype for a large number of franchises (expansion teams) that could be added at a later date. By adopting that mindset, you, as the business owner, will not only participate in the business as a technician but will also act as a manager (putting systems in place and controls) and as an entrepreneur (having a vision of how the business can create sustainable added-value for all key stakeholders).

A business that is built and managed by someone who combines the approach of the technician, the manager and the entrepreneur will have a far greater chance of future success than one guided by someone thinking like a technician alone.  One of the many benefits of hiring a talented administrative assistant or office/team manager is getting that needed support to actually work “ON” your business.  It is critical to implement those effective and duplicatable real estate and business systems for your company.

  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

The basic premise of the book is to get everything out of your head, off your mind and into a trusted system you know you will use.  Older time/resource management systems are inefficient in today’s fast-paced, multi-tasking world.  Our minds are powerful instruments – constantly reminding us of things to do, unfinished projects, seemingly endless “open loops” of information.   Our stress levels are increased when we don’t have a method of emptying these thoughts and collecting them in a system that we individually trust and know we will use.  The book goes into detail on how to do exactly that.

Two key questions to ask for all projects and to do.

  1. What is the successful outcome?  What has to happen so this can be checked off as completed? If it takes more than one step it’s a project.
  2. What is the next action?  If this was the only thing you had to get done, what is the very next physical thing you would have to do?

  1. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

This is another of my all-time favorite books and one I have re-read many times.  Don Miguel  Ruiz’s practical advice on living by these four basic principles can truly be life-changing.

  1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD. Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.  Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.  Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.  With just this one agreement you can completely change your life.
  4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.  Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

  1. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

You can’t go wrong reading any Brian Tracy book.  I include this short classic on my list because I find myself coming back to the core principle time and time again.

Tracy says that your “frog” should be the most difficult item on your to-do list, the one you’re most likely to procrastinate; because, if you eat that first, then it’ll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day. But if you don’t…and you let him sit there on the plate and stare at you while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won’t even know it.  And for all of us in sales.. that frog is generally “prospecting” – attracting new business.

Join us next week as we cover 6 - 10 along with other topics of the week!


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.