If any of you reading this are like me, an obsessive bookworm, then you will know that one of your most valuable possessions is your book collection! Today, I plan on giving you 10 books on life and business!

Like me, you have probably set up an entire routine around your books and reading time. In fact, the first thing I do when I hop out of bed at 5 am is grab a cup of coffee and curl up to read a chapter or two of my current book. I do the same thing in the afternoon.

This little habit of mine allows me to read 3 books a week. Some weeks there are more, some less. But reading such a dense collection of ideas that are related to each other in content gives me an excellent perspective for connecting ideas and forming my own.

Now, everybody has different tastes. I personally love self-development, business, finance, and personal success books. They light a fire under me and inspire me to do more with my day. If that isn’t you, you might not enjoy this list!

But, if you are in the mood to change your life during this quarantine, these are ten of the most effective books I have read (to date) to inspire you, teach you, and alter your perspective.

Keep in mind, they are in no particular order! Anyone of these books should be an amazing and inspiring read. Also, although I read diligently, some books I may not have read yet. Don’t consider this list to be an all-inclusive list of the best books ever, only of the ones I have currently been lucky to lay my eyes upon!

10: You Are a Badass (Series) – Jen Sincero

You are a badass books by Jen Sincero.

The only two books in this series of inspiring (and humorous) self-development dictations that I own are the original You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money. Jen Sincero has a way of making self-development fun, intuitive, and brilliantly sarcastic (which I can enjoy).

Jen Sincero is unique in the way she lived her vision and her teachings personally, calling upon her own personal power to change her situation in a matter of a few years. She went from living in the converted garage of somebody else’s home to becoming a successful author, coach, and world traveler.

In fact, it was these books that inspired me to start my own coaching business. I have been able to do with the various tips and tricks she provides within her fun and humorous examples.

If you want a light-hearted but useful book that teaches you the ins and out of adapting your mindset. This is for you.

Pick it up HERE

9: The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

100 startup by Chris Guillebeau

This book is entirely business territory, if you are not business-oriented, this one may not be for you. That being said, many people I know are using this down-time that is a result of COVID-19 to start their own businesses to make money from home.

This book is inspiring, not only because it provides useful and ageless advice to running a business (such as value first, and thinking with the customer in mind) but also because it provides a litany of examples of people who have done exactly that.

This manuscript is for those who wish to gain affirmation that professional success is possible despite the initial startup costs. Sure, scaling costs are expensive when you are first starting off as a business owner, but, this book provides evidence that people are making livable (and often quite comfortable) incomes despite the tight initial investment.

This book is for people who want to learn more about starting a business the right way. If there was one thing that has been confirmed within my mind after reading this book, it is that I am entirely primed for success and that I can make no financial excuses as to why I could be unsuccessful.

Pick it up HERE

8: Start With Why – Simon Sinek

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Ok, let’s ask: Who is a business owner who hasn’t read this book? Anyone? Most people have.

This book is the magnum opus of Simon Sinek. It is a no-nonsense, informative, business manuscript that attempts to resolve the heart of most modern organizational issues.

At the heart of the book is the catchy and timeless phrase he uses that has been the spawn of famous TedX talks and more, “Start With Why.”

Why start with “why?” Well, ultimately, Simon Sinek states that understanding the true nature of business – which is the heart of value the business provides, and why the business provides this value – is the best thing an organizational leader can do to successfully navigate issues, make decisions, and grow the business successfully over time.

The true benefit of Start With Why is in its natural ambiguity and diversity as a question. Why do we do anything? What is the purpose of your actions, business, or even thoughts (if you want to get really philosophical on this)?

This book, in terms of business, is an excellent memoir to organizational success, and of the nature of executives to keep the bigger picture in mind when making difficult decisions (which occurs often).

Pick it up HERE

7: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ckMark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

Yeah, this book is crude, but that is the beauty of it. It has been psychologically studied that the more something is off-putting, or “human” by nature, the more attractive and trustworthy we are of it.

This book is one that is not for the faint of heart. It presents serious and difficult questions to ask yourself that are designed to catch your attention, make you think, and probably laugh at the same time.

There is inherent humor in this book, of course, but there is also an underlying sense of incoming truth that you are forced to accept. This book is for people who need to hear and accept the truth despite what it is, because that is the only way we can begin to make better of our situations.

And there we find the crux of the purpose of this book. Mark Manson only wishes for people to work on acceptance and not avoidance. He mentions that there are days when things will not be perfect, every day, in fact.

But he wants us to realize that happiness comes from accepting things the way they are and fixing what we have the power to as opposed to avoiding the troubling things and allowing them to poison our minds and, therefore, our happiness.

Pick it up HERE

6: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The Seven Habits, as it is often called, is a collection of ideas and resources for you to use to get more done in less time. It is a business classic and has been so revered by the business world as to become the go-to book for many coaching, consulting, and personal behavior ideologies.

Ultimately the book is a collection of methods that increase your productivity and ability to get important things done. Most people feel as though they don’t have enough time in the day to finish everything that matters, but this book points out that you certainly have as much time as anybody else, it is in the way others manage their time that gives them different results.

The Seven Habits has been rightly stated to, not only leave an impression in the minds of readers, but to imprint itself upon the culture of the business world. In that statement, I find no reason to contend. I read the book when I was in college, and I can still recall its major 7 points of personal efficiency and effectiveness.

This book is unique as it can be read by individuals looking to increase their own personal productivity or business-minded individuals who have to manage the workload and productivity of others as well.

Pick it up HERE

5: Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki’s timeless book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, is a personal finance and theoretical money-handling powerhouse. I only say “theoretical” because it does less to provide specific actions to becoming financially free, and more to describe the state of financial freedom and what it entails.

The basis of the book is in building assets. Not just any assets, but true assets. true assets are those things that PUT money into your pocket every month. Sorry to say that, in the eyes of Robert Kiyosaki, your house, which costs a mortgage, is not a true asset until the month you sell it for a profit.

Ultimately, those who build upon their true assets by making passive income beyond the point of their liabilities are financially free. That is, they make more money doing nothing than it costs them to survive. Those people are now free of what Robert calls the “rat race” of working for money continuously.

This book opened my eyes to the nature of assets ad the perspective that assets aren’t what they appear to be. Most traditional teachings in business state that land and property is an asset. But, apparently, those things cost money each month and, to Robert, they can’t be reliable “assets.”

This book is for anyone who wants to learn more about what it takes to break free from the grind of an everyday job. It does this by offering perspective on the ways to think about money, how to plan and manage assets and liabilities, and the difference between good and bad debt.

Pick it up HERE

4: The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham

The intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Doted on by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, This book is the landmark of investing wisdom. It has taught me more about the way to think about investing and, more usefully, exactly how NOT to think about investing in terms of market conditions.

Warren Buffett quotes this book as being the “best book on investing of all time,” and i’d believe it coming from him.

Ultimately, the intelligent investor is an informative and serious book about how to consider various market conditions before investing. The crux of the book is to NOT FOLLOW THE MARKET. People who tend to follow hype in a marketplace lose, merely because the nature of the market is to avoid risk, which inherently causes people to sell when stocks dip and buy after stocks have grown.

The money is always made when you BUY a stock, not when you sell. This is why it is important to buy when stocks are low, as opposed to when they are high. Think of stocks like buying essential items. When you see toilet paper on sale, do you buy less because it is a risk that your toilet paper is not worth as much? No!

Pick it up HERE

3: Awaken The Giant Within – Tony Robbins

Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

Awaken The Giant Within is likely the most resounding book in Tony Robbins’ arsenal. It is jam-packed with advice and evidence on how to diagnose your current situation and live life with purpose.

Despite being a somewhat controversial authority in the field of personal success and lifestyle (due to some of his on-stage courage exercises), Tony Robbins has a unique and comprehensive view of life in a way that blends practical science and deep psychology.

.In this book, Tony Robbins gives examples of those who have faced their fears, succeeded despite all odds, and used the methods he presents to change their lives for good. Whether you agree with Robbins or not, you have to admit that he has built quite the self-improvement empire after his former employer and speaker Jim Rohn.

Robbins has been viewed as one of the few life-coaches that actually “walk their talk” so to speak. And this book is a testament to just how thought-provoking and all-encompassing his method really is.

This book somehow manages to blend neuro-associative conditioning and philosophy to create a message that can hit you on many levels (logos, ethos, pathos). And the result is a convincing and hyper-focused book on how to awaken your inner potential.

Pick it up HERE

2: The Coaching HabitMichael Bungay Stanier

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

The most common issue I see among people whose job it is to diagnose and make decisions (coaches, managers, executives, leaders of all kinds, etc.) is that they rarely ask the best questions.

Let me explain. Most of what we think, feel, and do is a result of the questions we form and the conscious thoughts we have. Everything you think is a result of a question you first asked your brain. In fact, answering questions is all the brain really does.

That being said, whenever there is a difficult issue to be faced, most of the time, the problem is that somebody is not asking the proper questions. When you coach somebody, it is absolutely necessary to ask questions in a way that is thought-provoking, clear and concise.

The Coaching Habit is an example of a book that provides the perfect methodology for asking questions to determine the best answers among people who may feel stuck.

Ultimately, This book provides a list of 7 important questions that can be used by anyone who wants to focus on clarifying and defining the most effective way forward in their own lives or in others.

The book describes the questions you ask as habits, likely formed by a stagnant mindset, and it provides the basic building blocks for how to change them from limiting beliefs to useful tools.

Pick it up HERE

1: The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit is an amazingly informative, example-rich, and convincing book as to the nature of the human mind and how to influence it (for good obviously). Charles Duhigg presents some important perspectives regarding our way to build habits that can be used for both personal development, or more commonly in the book, business development.

What I gathered most from this book is that habits only really stick when you can begin to anticipate the sensation of “reward” at the point when there is a trigger to action. Any habit we have is a result of 3 stages. Trigger -> Routine -> Reward.

With enough consistency in action, we can begin to feel the effects of the reward at the trigger stage of the cycle. Thus, a habit has been formed and is now very influential over us.

Charles Duhigg presents his findings through a litany of examples related to many topics, business being one of them (and, therefore, I’m interested). Ultimately, his insights have led me to a greater understanding of the influences behind my actions, and how to change them. As well as how to instill commitment within others – a necessary part of business and leadership.

Pick it up HERE


Hopefully, you enjoyed this list! Many of you who are reading this will be familiar with at least a few of the books on this list, I’m sure. Ultimately, keep in mind there are hundreds of thousands of business books I have not yet read, so this is in no way a comprehensive list.

That being said, these are the books I have read to date that made the most lasting and best impression upon my personal and professional life. I’m sure you can benefit from taking a look at these books as well!

Thank you for reading!

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-Austin Denison


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