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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 October 16, 2018

                            How to Quit Your Job That You Hate and Start Doing What You Love

                            How to Quit Your Job That You Hate and Start Doing What You Love

                            Everyone of us has a plan in our head that was taken over by family responsibilities, social pressure or sheep mentality. This made us a slave to instant gratification and started killing our plan and dreams.

                            There is a way to revive your plans and dreams and live a happier life. No amount of salary can exceed your desire to do something that you are really passionate about.

                            If you hate your job and have thought about leaving your job, here’s how to quit your job and start doing what you love:

                            1. Identify if you really want to quit to follow your passion

                            There could be many possible reasons to figure out why you are discouraged to go to work and start thinking about how to quitting your job. Figure out the reasons or signs that make you feel that you should really quit your job.

                            If these reasons are not related to your office environment or your ultimate goal is to pay your bills from your job, you should consider getting a new job in the same field. It’s better to be an experienced receptionist than to live a dream that is not yours.

                            2. Start with the side hustle and keep it going

                            Work after you get back home and build up your product or service enough to gain confidence to quit your job.

                            Build the website, write down the business plan, design your product, make marketing collaterals or do whatever it takes for you to start working full time on your new venture before quitting your current job.

                            You could also consider part-time working opportunities if your current job sucks a lot of your energy. This way you could save your energy and dedicate more time to your side hustle.

                            Ensure that you don’t quit until your new venture really demands your full time dedication. You might lose interest in your new venture if you fall short of survival money.

                            3. Save enough to pay your bills

                            If you need to pursue your passion, you need your monthly bills to be taken care of, without any worries. You must cut down on unnecessary expenses and squeeze in those extra bucks on your savings while you are at your current job. You should forget those weekend parties and social outings unless they’re meant for networking.

                            It makes no sense to quit your job without having any savings. Your new venture will not start paying you immediately. Starting a recurring deposit account is a good idea to start off with. Put aside a considerable amount every month as soon as you get your paycheque and forget about that money until you quit your job.

                            4. Write down your goals

                            It is important to have visual proof and a daily reminder of why you quit your job and started a new hustle.

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                            Write down your goals and read them at least once a week. If you are a forgetful person, create cell phone or desktop wallpapers of your goals and set them until you achieve them. Visual proof keeps you on track.

                            These goals are the bigger picture of what you wish to achieve in your pursuit to doing what you love.

                            For example, if you are wish to design the best dresses in the whole state, write it down. If you wish to fly to Mars, write it down. If you really wish to give up your career for something, it better be worth remembering everyday. Show it to yourself daily.

                            5. Make a plan

                            Write down a plan of action for the next 12 months. It’s like writing down an elaborate execution plan in your calendar. This could be a daily, weekly or monthly to-do list of your tasks to achieve your goals.

                            Learn how to make a plan if that’s not your area of expertise. Ensure that you know what you’re going to do next and not run like a headless chicken after two months of working for yourself.

                            Review the plan time and again to track your progress. This will give you a clear picture of your performance and your shortcomings.

                            Also, have a backup plan. Even great planners and strategists fail before achieving success. Ensure that you have a second plan if your first one does not work out as you predicted.

                            6. Get professional advice

                            Talk to experienced people in the field you want to venture out. Go to networking events and connect with people in your industry. Most people will help you out with good advice and good contacts.

                            Get professional courses in part time colleges. It could be great to network and the teachers can be of great help to understand more about the industry. They will help you analyse your plan and connect you to influential people.

                            7. Prepare yourself to put a resignation

                            Prepare yourself mentally to quit your job after you’ve realized the potential and prepared yourself to take a deep dive into your new profession.

                            Leave on a friendly note. Don’t make enemies with your bosses. These connections could help you further in your profession.

                            Don’t burn the bridges. It’s better to have a face-to-face conversation with your boss or reporting manager than sending a surprise mail.

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                            Tell them sincerely about your new venture and why it is important for you. Serve the notice period completely and work till the last day. Complete all your tasks as you would on a regular day. This will maintain your respect and keep your relationships intact.

                            8. Be prepared to get your hands dirty

                            As an entrepreneur, you have to do everything that’s needed to keep your work going.

                            You have to perform all the tasks needed to keep your new venture going. You have to be a janitor, an administrator, an accountant, a designer or a salesperson all at once.

                            There would be a point of time where you will have to perform tasks that aren’t your favourite. Be ready to perform such tasks without cringing.

                            9. Have no baggage

                            Don’t have a debt! Clear all your loans, debts and pending commitments before starting off. You want to fully concentrate on your new activity and not be bent down by loading your shoulders with any burden.

                            You would want to enjoy your freedom to work incessantly. No distractions whatsoever are allowed to come close to you when you are fully involved in the rhythm of development. Shun away materialism!

                            10. Don’t be in two minds

                            It’s good to analyze the best and the worst possibilities in your head, but it’s not at all good to doubt yourself.

                            Move ahead with confidence. It’s your life, your plan and your rules. Nothing and nobody can stop you from doing what you wish to do.

                            The more you start getting noticed, the more people will point fingers at you. Don’t let them affect you and create doubts in your head. As William Shakespeare said,

                            “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

                            11. Learn to handle failure

                            You are going to be a loser and it’s a good thing! If you fail and lose, you will learn to not repeat your mistakes and make yourself stronger with every punch you throw out.

                            It takes time till you start losing. The key is to not be demotivated by failure. The more the failure, the more closer you are to success.

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                            12. Try your hands at investing in stock market or cryptocurrency

                            It’s a good way to keep your side income rolling in. While you are busy building your dream project, you could invest your money in the stock market or cryptocurrency and let it grow while you sleep.

                            As Warren Buffet famously quoted,

                            “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

                            Find a good stock broker who has enough experience to not lose your money. Stop immediately if you are losing a lot of money. Don’t burn away your money.

                            13. Keep a healthy routine

                            It’s easy to forget about your health when you are working on something that you’re really passionate about. Set reminders about your health routine.

                            Exercise! Most successful people start their day early and take time out to exercise at least thrice a week. It helps you give more energy and time to your work.

                            Always remember that you started your new venture to be happier. Bad health will not let you enjoy your success.

                            Join yoga classes or learn meditation from youtube. Avoid sitting too long at one place for more than 15 minutes at a stretch, take breaks. take a walk, especially up-down the staircase as much as you can to skip age related joint pains and muscle atrophies.[1]

                            14. Enjoy your days off

                            Taking a break helps your creativity and clears your mind from clutter. You need your days off to come back afresh and take on your tasks. You can’t be working 24/7.

                            Remember that being able to take your days off is one of the beneficial quirks of an entrepreneurial journey. You can have a routine designed by yourself, for yourself.

                            Take your days off when you are too stressed and can’t think straight. Self-discipline might sound simple but practice takes ages. Schedule down time for yourself.

                            15. Take these steps to quit your job without burning bridges

                            Resume.io has this infographic about the steps you should take after you’ve decided to quit your job:[2]

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                              16. Remember why you quit your job

                              Lastly, remember why you quit your job and started doing what you love. There would be bad days that will make you regret your decision, but don’t let them dominate the reason why you took the plunge.

                              Your soul wasn’t happy with what you were doing. Your new venture is what you always wanted to do.

                              Never forget that.

                              If nothing works out, you could still go back to any job you want, but at least, you’d be spared from regrets and constantly arriving “What if?” question in your head.

                              So, start now and live without any regrets.

                              Execution matters more than thought. Turn your dream into a reality starting today. Start small and grow big.

                              Besides, it’s never too late to do what you want to do. Here’s the proof:

                              How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                              Reference

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