Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.

I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

Jealous of them? You don’t have to be. You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’s 10 of my favorites.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

book cover - how to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime. Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

book cover - focal point

Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.

Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.

3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

book cover - purple cow

Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

4. Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

book cover - magic of thinking big

If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

book cover - man's search for meaning

It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work. Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.

6. 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

book cover - 4 hour work week

Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

book cover - think and grow rich

I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.

To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.

If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.

8. One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

book cover - one minute manager

If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.

9. Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

book cover - lean startup

Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.

10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

book cover - monk and the riddle

The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work. This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.

Featured photo credit: Celeste RC via flickr.com

Love this article?