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15 New, Must-Read Business Books for Achieving Success

15 New, Must-Read Business Books for Achieving Success

Growing up as a kid, I never exposed myself to books unless I absolutely had to. Sometimes I’d “have to” read a book and write up a report. Other times, I’d “have to” read a book to prepare for an exam of some sort. To sum it up: unless I had some required reading to do for school, you’d never see me reading.

Fast forward into my late teens. I started becoming interested in the notion of “Why.”

Why do some people succeed in life and business, while others get left behind? After talking to or studying some of the most successful people I could think of at the time, I learned something special that nearly all of them had in common—they read books. Lots of books.

And that’s when I asked myself the following question:

“If successful people keep saying they became successful by reading books about what they were passionate about—and then taking action on what they learned—then why couldn’t I do the same?”

Today, I read about a book or two per week. In fact, reading is part of what I do for a living. I imagine that if I were to have a conversation with the 14-year-old version of myself, I’d have a pretty tough time convincing him of how much of a dorky book worm I’ve turned into.

In this article, I’d like to share with you 15 new, must-read business books for achieving success in your professional career. This list is filled with gems. Ready? Let’s go.

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1. Zero To One by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

zero-to-one-cover

    This book is a collection of lectures delivered by billionaire investor and founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, during his teaching years at Stanford. Along with co-author (and former student) Blake Masters, Thiel has put together a hard-hitting set of standards for entrepreneurs, startups, and thought-leaders to carefully consider when building the “next big thing” of the future. Quite frankly, certain sections of the book are so ridiculously well put together that one just sits there and thinks after reading them. Chapter after chapter, Thiel gives example after example of how to successfully build the future.

    2. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

    Leaders-Eat-Last-Cover

      If you honestly believe in the possibility of a brighter future for the way we work and how our organizations are led, then this is not recommend reading—this is required reading. Leaders Eat Last lays out idea after idea that provokes us to think about whether we need to overhaul our approach to leadership completely. In this book, Sinek explains why leaders must replace “Command & Control” models of management with more sustainable approaches, that are grounded in empathy and designed to boost engagement and a sense of “family” that we’ve all wished we could experience in the workplace. Pick this book up to gain an understanding of what it truly means to be part of a team, and how to cultivate an environment that fosters it if it’s something you currently lack at work.

      3. 

      If you’ve ever wondered what makes the most innovative people in the business and tech world tick, then this book is for you.

      4.

      If you’re interested in learning the mechanics of what goes into designing habit-forming products, then this book is for you. In this book, author Nir Eyal breaks down the ingredients of a habit-forming product, and uses supporting examples to clarify his points, so that you can really learn how to implement the triggers that popular apps like Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, and Google have used in order to get us “hooked” on their products. If you’re at all interested in learning what it takes to create products that help others create positive habits in life and business, this episode is for you.

      5. Mindset by Carol Dweck
      mindset
         

        After decades of research on achievement and success, Carol Dweck shows us how the power of our mindset can contribute to our success in life and business. It’s more than just skills and abilities—it’s about how we approach things in life: are you cultivating a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset?” Reach your goals and raise your quality of life with this book on psychological mastery—and how to put it to use.

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        6. Crazy Is a Compliment by Linda Rottenberg
        crazy-compliment

          If you’ve been called crazy for your business ideas, or if people don’t seem to understand what you understand—then this book is a way for you to cope and collect the inspiration and insight you need to forge ahead and do what you love—successfully.

          7. The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
          the-happiness-of-pursuit-chris-guillabaeue

            What good does all your business know-how do you if you’re not in the moment, enjoying the journey?This book is about the patterns of happiness author Chris Guillebeau has recognized in successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and change-makers around the world. What he noticed was simple: they were happiest throughout each of their individual journeys—not necessarily when they finally achieved a specific goal they were after. Essential reading for anyone who wants to extract as much fulfillment out of life as possible.

            8. Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want by Alexander Osterwalder
            value-proposition

              This is a hard-hitting book that equips people and teams with the tools to drive meaningful, productive, collaboration towards creating and building the future.

              9. How to Speak Money by John Lanchester
              how-to-speak-money-cover

                If confusing algorithms and number-crunching financial talk confuses you, then How to Speak Money is for you. In this book, you’ll learn how the world of finance really works: from little loop-holes in the Terms & Conditions of your checking account, to the actual definitions (and implications) of terms and acronyms, like “amortization,” GDP, and the real definition of “inflation.” He also dives into how the IMF and World Bank operate, as well as how hedge funds work. This is essential for anyone who feels the need to get a handle on how the financial industry really works—in plain English.

                10. The 7 Day Startup by Dan Norris & Rob Walling
                7-day-startup

                  What if you could learn from someone who built a business in 7 days, from scratch, and grew it up to $400,000 in annual recurring revenue within just a few years?

                  If you just asked “where do I signup?” then this book is for you. In this book, author Dan Norris discusses unconventional methods and strategies you can apply towards your business (or business idea), such as:

                  – Why validation isn’t the answer
                  – How to evaluate your startup idea
                  – How to build a website in 1 day for under $100
                  – 10 proven marketing methods you can apply quickly
                  – and much, much more.

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                  This is the essential guide for founders, freelancers, boots trappers, and entrepreneurs to stand up and start something that matters.

                  11. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland

                  the-art-of_doing_twice-in-less-sutherland

                    This is a book about designing efficient systems that you can leverage at work and at home to maximize your output, results, and rewards. Pick this up if you want to achieve the unachievable. 

                    12. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts

                    adam-smith

                      More than another book about the father of capitalism, this book exposes a side of Adam Smith that most economists never knew he had—in this book, author Russ Roberts dives into the virtuous side of Smith, influenced by one of Smith’s writings that barely got read, titled The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Roberts pulls nuggets of practical wisdom from this text about human nature, and organizes it all into a master piece for personal and professional wellbeing that provides an answer to the age old question of “how to live a good life” that rings just as applicable today, as it did when Smith originally penned it three-hundred years ago.

                      13. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell

                      good-leaders-ask-great-questions-john-maxwell

                        Get ready to have all your pressing leadership questions answered, because in this book, Maxwell tackles questions every leader wants to know, such as:

                        – How can I discover my unique purpose as a leader?
                        – What is the most effective daily habit that any leader should develop?
                        – How do you motivate an unmotivated person?
                        – How would you work with a difficult leader who has no vision?

                        14. Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work by Liz Wiseman

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                        rookie-smarts

                          If you think what you know now may eventually become useless and obsolete in the uncertain—and increasingly changing future—then Rookie Smarts is for you. Pickup on the skills that will help you “pay the bills” (plus some) in the rapidly changing economy that we’re heading into over the coming years. 

                          15. Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder by Jim Clifton & Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal

                          entrepreneurial-strengths-finder

                            From the same folks who brought you the famous StrengthsFinder books, Gallup delivers again. This time however, they’re aiming for the success and prosperity of the entrepreneur.  Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder delves into the psychology of the entrepreneur. Everything from personality to sustainability—the authors of this book leave no stone un-turned when it comes to addressing even the most minute of details that can have an impact on the growth of a successful business.

                            Decisions, Decisions…

                            Okay, now you’ve got a list of the 15 newest, must-read books for achieving success as a modern professional in a modern world that’s moving faster than ever. Now what?

                            Which book do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all? So many options. So little time.

                            Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life and career. But if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started:

                            • Subscribe to a book summary site, like FlashNotes Book Summaries to get the key-takeaways from the books on this list.
                            • If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just ONE book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once… and as we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book. And then commit to reading it from start to finish.
                            • If you’re in a rush, try Audio books, or Audible Book Summaries.
                            • Finally, if you’re in a super rush, checkout some YouTube video book summaries, like this one.

                            More by this author

                            Dean Bokhari

                            Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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                            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                            How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

                            How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

                            Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

                            If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

                            Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

                            In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

                            1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

                            We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

                            SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

                            Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

                            Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

                            Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

                            How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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                            2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

                            It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

                            To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

                            Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

                            You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

                            3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

                            Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

                            Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

                            Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

                            Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

                            4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

                            If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

                            The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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                            You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

                            If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

                            5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

                            This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

                            When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

                            When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

                            Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

                            If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

                            6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

                            You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

                            You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

                            Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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                            We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

                            7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

                            There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

                            When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

                            This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

                            8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

                            Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

                            Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

                            Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

                            In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

                            How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

                            9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

                            Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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                            When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

                            It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

                            10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

                            Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

                            Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

                            Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

                            Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

                            It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

                            More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

                            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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