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17 Books To Read If You Want To Become A Billionaire

17 Books To Read If You Want To Become A Billionaire

Success is magnetic. As a species, we’re constantly studying how it happens, why it happens, who has achieved it for themselves, and how we can obtain it.

One thing is for sure: money is an echo of value. Those who bring great products, services, businesses, and ideas into the world are rewarded (at least somewhere along the way) with financial gain. Some of these people even become billionaires. Now, it’s not to say money is everything (it’s not), but having financial freedom certainly makes life more flexible and filled with opportunity.

For all the hubbub surrounding success, most of the attention is often swallowed up with the aesthetics of materialism. Getting a nice house, car, plenty of money to go around, and buying anything you want are still considered goals by thousands in developed countries.

In spite of this, in order to break through the typical barriers that withhold people from achieving success, there’s a ton of hard work involved. Experience, skill, grit, and emotional intelligence all contribute to success; one can be sure of this. But what’s the piece most people overlook or underestimate? Having certain knowledge others neglect.

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Here, I’ve compiled a list of 17 books to read if you want to become a billionaire. Take these one at a time and enjoy!

1. How The Scots Invented The Modern World

Billionaires point to this book because, in many ways, essential understandings of economics, free markets, and product innovation can be gleaned from it. Written by Arthur Herman, it’s a vital book for anyone seeking to understand the core of how modern economics functions.

2. Guns, Germs, And Steel: The Fates Of Human Societies

Authored by Jared Diamond, this particular book is similar to Scots, but different in the sense that it covers more details regarding societies. Guns, Germs, and Steel breaks down why certain civilizations lasted longer than others and how this was accomplished. It’s a collection of keen insights into how and why some people outsmart their environments (whether they be war-ravaged or not).

3. Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion

An absolute classic on the power of how to get things done your way, Robert Cialdini takes persuasion to a new level here. Breaking down the six pillars of how to get people to like you and legitimately want to help you, Influence is a must-have guidebook on how to uphold the best in people while achieving your own goals.

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4. Titan: The Life Of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

At about 800 pages long, this book is certainly not a speed-read. However, there’s no book more ideal for learning about one of history’s richest men. If you want a detailed discourse on the rising of Rockefeller, look no further than Titan. At the very least, it will reinforce some helpful success principles, and perhaps help you avoid a few mistakes of your own.

5. The Warren Buffett Portfolio: Mastering The Power Of The Focus Investment Strategy

Recommended by billionaire Charlie Munger, there’s perhaps no better book on Warren Buffett’s own investment strategy. While you can’t expect to read this book and then have perfect investing knowledge overnight, it’s indisputably an advantage over other forms of traditional education. Why not learn from arguably the most successful investor of all time?

6. Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

By Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton, this book has long been regarded as a superior business text in thousands of college classrooms and company boardrooms. Similar to How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Getting To Yes takes aim at extremely powerful negotiation techniques. Much of the book’s content includes how to talk about an issue rather than belittling a person, aiming for mutual benefit, and remaining politely persistent.

7. The Wealth And Poverty Of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich And Some So Poor

In short, this book is about why some economic pursuits succeed while others have not and will not. If you want to understand why people go after what they go after in regards to business, this is a vital read.

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8. Things Hidden Since The Foundation Of The World

In René Girard’s paradigm-shattering work, he deconstructs many of the traditionally held beliefs and systems many of us have worked through or on for centuries. Girard’s argument is that even though many individuals strive to be distinct in the world, this particular drive can have counterintuitive and occasionally undesired effects.

9. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, And The Hidden Power Of Character

In a wonderfully refreshing read, How Children Succeed takes the reader on a journey through varying cultural and economic backgrounds. Author Paul Tough accurately points out how one’s intellect is not always tied to academic achievement, as well as similar comparisons. A fascinating and insightful read for those interested in helping and developing upcoming generations.

10. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way Of True Inspiration

Written by creative powerhouse Ed Catmull (co-founder of Pixar), this recent book breaks down how teams of artists and creative engineers can work fluidly and get their best work done. It’s an essential guidebook for anyone who’s interested in filmmaking, music, visual art, or other artistic/creative endeavors.

11. Inside The Tornado: Strategies For Developing, Leveraging, And Surviving Hypergrowth Markets

A book adored by Steve Jobs, Inside The Tornado is an unusually helpful read on how the success of tech companies can be applied to up-and-coming startups. Author Geoffrey Moore also goes to the length of providing techniques on how to remain prosperous in spite of rapidly changing markets and consumer demands.

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12. The Intelligent Investor

One of the most highly acclaimed investing books of all time, this work by Benjamin Graham can’t be missed for those serious about profiting from investments. Read by Warren Buffett at age 19, the investing maven himself has consistently referred to it as one of his best self-education choices.

13. Good To Great

This classic business book was written in 2001 by Jim Collins, the famed company and entrepreneurship growth expert. His work examines the leadership traits necessary to take any company from just average to true greatness, reaping larger financial profit, massive employee fulfillment, and deeper cultural impacts in the process.

14. The Power Of Now

In Eckhart Tolle’s insanely popular work, the spiritual writer enables entrepreneurs even further by describing how to prevent yourself from defeating yourself. The crux of the book deals with learning how to make the absolute most of any situation you find yourself in.

15. Outliers: The Story Of Success

In what many regard as Malcolm Gladwell’s most successful work, the illustrious thinker examines the how, what, and why of various successful achievements across multiple fields. This book is an oft-returned-to discourse on the precise mechanics of how success is accomplished.

16. How To Win Friends And Influence People

There’s perhaps no more famous book on evergreen sales techniques and general principles for getting your way in life. Dale Carnegie’s time-tested, monolithic work of non-slimy persuasion hacks is filled with anecdotes and practical tips on how to master any conversation and achieve leverage within business aims.

17. Think And Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill first wrote this classic in 1937, and ever since, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs have pointed to it as the most important read on personal success principles. Hill’s book breaks down the psychological barriers everyone faces on the road to success, and how changing your thought patterns can directly affect your life’s trajectory.

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Brad Johnson

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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