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Last Updated on August 29, 2018

10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

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

    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.

    Get the book here!

    2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

      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.

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      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.

      Get the book here!

      3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

        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.

        Get the book here!

        4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

          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.

          Get the book here!

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          5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

            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.

            Get the book here!

            6. 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

              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.

              Get the book here!

              7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

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                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.

                Get the book here!

                8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

                  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.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

                    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.

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                    Get the book here!

                    10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

                      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.

                      Get the book here!

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

                      The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

                      If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

                      Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

                      Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

                      What is the Pomodoro Technique?

                      The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

                      The process is simple:

                      For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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                      You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

                      Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

                      After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

                      Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

                      How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

                      Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

                      “You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

                      If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

                      Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

                      The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

                      You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

                      Successful people who love it

                      Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

                      Before he started using the technique, he said,

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                      “Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

                      Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

                      “It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

                      Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

                      Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

                      “Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

                      Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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                      “Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

                      Conclusion

                      One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

                      The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

                      If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

                      Reference

                      [1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
                      [2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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