The Psychology of Money
This book is really, really good and also I feel timely. It talks about how one of the most important components of money growth is not betting the farm and simply staying in the game. It talks about how what got you money in risk taking and stuff is not at all what is going to keep you having money.
The Paradox of Choice
I like the paradox of choice because I realize I’m pretty crappy at making decisions. I put too many things on the table and basically just procrastinate. The most meaningful takeaways for me around that were the idea of picking the two best options to choose from and the importance of being a satisficer versus a maximizer.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
One of my all time favorite books was about Teddy Roosevelt and his adventures. In many ways, this book reminds me of the adventures of Teddy. A great book on leadership and what you are capable of when push comes to shove (also makes me want to get out of my comfort zone).
Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life
Reading this book about mimetic desire is an interesting take on why we want the things we want. It’s mostly due to models and seeing other people want them. A lot of the time we are okay with having models like Teddy Roosevelt or Obama or something but just as much of an influence is the people in our daily lives who we don’t really want to admit that we model but do so silently.
The Happiest Man on Earth
A book that will help you gain perspective and encourage you to see the world in a brighter light.
How Will You Measure Your Life?
One takeaway for me from this book was how author talks about a common mistake people make in regard to relationships. Most people make the mistake of focusing too late on relationships that should be the most meaningful for them. Instead, people often put relationships with their kids or spouse on autopilot. They think they can wait until the kids go to school or grow up, but data shows in the first 2.5 years of a kids life is some of the greatest opportunity to help them get ahead cognitively.
Are You Fully Charged?
I love this quote from the author of this book. “Meaning does not happen to you — you create it. One of the most important elements of building a great career and life is attaching what you do each day to a broader mission. Until you understand how your efforts contribute to the world, you are simply going through the motions each day.”
Can’t Hurt Me
A well known book by this point. David talks about creating an action plan for whatever you’re doing and then just not making excuses. It’s a bit crass, but I think we’re lacking accountability in our culture (or maybe just me personally). It’s rare to have friends who will hold you accountable and tell you the truth. This book isn’t a perfect replacement for that, but it helps.
Chasing the Bright Side
I feel like there was a hundred things I wanted to highlight. It was a dose of optimism I didn’t know how badly I needed. Jess said something in her last chapter that really hit me. She talked about how if you find your purpose you don’t need to be constantly reminding yourself to persevere or feel confident or whatever. You also don’t have to pull yourself out of bed in the morning.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
I just really appreciate his mindset and the way he approaches energy as currency in your life. I’m realizing that I have a major tendency to put off the things that make me happy for the sake of work and moving things forward. I put off exercise, eating well, and other things that make me feel alive — for a little extra work. That’s not a good long term (or short term) life strategy.
I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons
This book is funny and inspiring. One thing he touched on really hit me. He talked about how it’s impossible to know our future holds. The best we can do is focus on the things that are within our control today.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Alyssa loves Ramit’s podcast and we’ve both been longterm blog readers of his. What stuck out to me the most when reading this book was his actionable steps to getting started investing. A lot of us put off a very important activity (investing) out of fear of doing something wrong or feeling it’s hard. He shares how you can get started investing in just a few hours, whether it’s setting up a Roth IRA, index fund, etc.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
A book I consistently reread or open up in the mornings. This book always makes me think about more. How finite our time is here on this Earth. How death is simply part of nature. How I shouldn’t waste my time or be pulled away by things that are selfish. Also, how I shouldn’t let the future ruin the present — things that may or may not happen.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
I really like his take on a few things. One thing I think about in particular is just his take on leverage. How if you want to create wealth and magnify an effort, you need leverage. It can come in the form of capital or people, but we also can do it cheaply with writing code or media (blogs, podcast, books, etc).
Mark Manson, the author of Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, authored this book about Will Smith’s life. Two concepts in the book really stuck out to me. First, the idea of purpose versus desire. Second, the power of having a clear direction to follow with clear goals. Highly recommend for a solid biographical story mixed with life lessons.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
My favorite concept from this book is that problems never go away, they just change. Life is about trying to find and work on the problems we enjoy solving. This is a self help book of sorts, but for people who also would never want to read a self help book.
Ego is the Enemy
This book encouraged me to think about my own internal goals/metrics for success. For instance, how can I detach myself from external metrics and truly be driving by my own definition of success?
The Obstacle is the Way
Another great read by Ryan Holiday. I first read this while we were trying to finish edit our documentary. I felt like it helped me flip my mindset when it came to our roadblocks and obstacles.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
There will always be plenty of opportunities in business and life. This booked helped me think about what I want to go BIG in (versus trying to do it all).
Man’s Search for Meaning
This book helped me realize how little my problems are. I’m alive. I have my health and a beautiful family. It also made me realize that man can have purpose and meaning, even in the most dire of circumstances.
The Happiness of Pursuit
I read this during our Hourly America quest to visit all 50 states and it was really timely. Chris talks about the power of going on quests to help us challenge ourselves and push our comfort zone.
The $100 Startup
An awesome book about nomadic entrepreneurs living unconventional lives (via their own business).
The Simple Path to Wealth
Premise of this book was how most people would be better served by investing in index funds versus trying to picks stocks. Sounds pretty boring but found some of the data really interesting.
Billion Dollar Loser
Reads almost like a fiction book. This is the story of the rise and fall of WeWork. I also watched the Apple series, but found the book even better. While the story was interesting, also a lot of takeaways for entrepreneurs thinking about growing a company (of what to do or not to do).
The Ride of a Lifetime
Bob Iger’s Ride of a Lifetime is about his 15 year journey as the Disney CEO. A lot of cool backstories of Disney projects entertained with leadership and business lessons.
The Magnolia Story
A really inspiring read. So much of what Chip and Joanna have done is inspiring to me. The way they work together, the way they support their community, the way they’ve grown a meaningful career while still making time for their family. One of my favorite takeaways from the book was how they quit asking the question of “Am I surviving” and start asking “Am I thriving”?
Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff
This book was a great reminder to follow your instinct when it comes to making decisions, work hard, and not over think things.
What I liked most about Matthew’s story was when he decided to call his dad and switch up his entire career. Instead of going into law school he would enroll in film school. A great story and inspiring.
The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership
I reference back to this book almost daily. Some of the strategies described have helped me change the way I communicate with people in business and in my personal lives. An amazing read for anyone leading an organization or working to improve their communication skills.
I’ve heard the quote a million times about the average of the people you spend time around, but James took it a step further in this book. One takeaway was the power of your community and who you surround yourself with. He cited that if you have one obese friend you’re 57% more likely to be obese as well. We’re more likely to be meshed into the habits of our tribe than to go it alone.
Good to Great
A timeless book around what makes great leaders and companies. Have come back and read this multiple times over the years.
The crazy true story of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos saga. If you haven’t heard of Theranos or Elizabeth, the TLDR version is that she committed massive fraud for over a decade (to the tune of billions). She convinced everyone she could draw blood samples from a drop of blood. If you enjoy a mixture of business and a book that reads like fiction, this is for you.
Probably the best memoir I’ve ever read. Couldn’t put it down. Amazing insight into the story who was homeschooled (in pretty dramatic fashion) and made her way to Harvard and Cambridge. About education but also about life and so much more.
If you feel like the world is crashing down and burning and want to feel better, read this book. Factfulness walks you down a path of how we as a species, while still having a long way to go, have massively improved ourselves over previous generations (citing things such as decrease in world hunger, more literate people, less living in poverty, etc).
Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Favorite takeaway from this book: happiness doesn’t typically follow success but the other way around.
Born to Run
I read this while training for my first half marathon. A fascinating journalistic read into an ancient tribe of super athletes. What stuck with me was a consistent thread around the most important piece for many athletes was for running to seem like play.
River of Doubt
Teddy Roosevelt was perhaps the manliest man I’ve ever read about. In this book he decides his life is too cushy. Naturally, decides to go take a raft down the Amazon River. Almost dies. Read this book to expand your comfort zone.
Bringing up Bebe
The only book I (fully) read before our first daughter was born. A unique approach to parenting that contradicts much of typical American parenting (though now that it’s being read widely in the US that may change). This book made me feel better and more equipped before our daughter was born.
A more pessimistic (or realistic) approach to mindfulness. If you don’t relate to much of what you’ve heard or read about when it comes to meditation or mindfulness or are open to ways of being happier, I’d recommend this book.
Don’t read much fiction, but loved this one. A story about a massive social network, conspiracy and an unraveling adventure.
Slowing Down to the Speed of Life
My friend Garrett recommended this book to me and I’ve read it at least 3 times. If you struggle to stay present in the moment or with overthinking, can’t recommend this book enough.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
I listened to this book on repeat throughout my senior year of college. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. What I enjoyed most about it was the extremely applicable ways to deal with stress. For instance, I keep a stress journal that has helped me tremendously. Written decades ago, but the tools are still useful as ever.
This book took me like three years to finish. I’m still not sure if I liked it or not. It’s a story that will challenge your viewpoint on capitalism, entrepreneurship and a lot of other things. Who is John Galt?
If At Birth You Don’t Succeed
Not sure I’ve ever laughed out loud as much while reading a book. Zach Anner is a comedian with cerebral palsy who opts to make this most of his life and those around him. This book is a testament to not being held back from living our best life, no matter the obstacle.
Losing My Virginity
One of the first business books I ever read that inspired me to be an entrepreneur. This books shares the beginning days of Richard Branson and the founding of Virgin into a multi billion dollar company. Inspiring and informative on how to build a business while having fun.
The Innovator’s Dilemma
Interesting data and dive into how new companies can out perform and innovate better than established businesses.
Have read a lot of Seth Godin’s books and appreciate his perspective. In The Dip he talks about how you create scarcity through a dip and the value you can offer the market is actually by persevering through that dip.
Start With Why
Amazing book and Ted talk that talks about the power of knowing WHY you do what you do. Simon Sinek dives into various companies, like Apple, who have a strong why and are able to shift between markets because of their strong why. Great book for entrepreneurs and leaders.
I’ve had different feelings around Tony Robbins over the years, but come back to him because I appreciate some of his strategies around mindset, health and clarity. If you feel in a rut or need a spark, this might help.
Born a Crime
About a guy named Trevor (host of the daily show) who is literally born a crime in South Africa. His mom was black, dad was white and under law you couldn’t have sex with each other. This wasn’t like, recently, but in the 80’s which is crazy. This book made me realize how fortunate I am to just have been born in the US and under the circumstances I came from.
A book not just about working hard, but about how skills and passion develops over time.
TLDR; to not burn out in business you need to pay and take care of yourself. There you go.
More Business Reads
- All Marketers Tell Stories by Seth Godin
- Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Keep Going by Austin Kleon
- 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
- Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman
- Company of One by Paul Jarvis
- The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
- Principles by Ray Dalio
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Theil
- ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson