Here’s a list of books that have inspired, motivated, and directed me on my journey so far.
Show your Work – Austin Kleon
How to Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon
This is the first in a series of books by Austin, and is a manifesto on creativity in the modern world. Not just for artists, this is for anyone creative – entrepreneurs like myself included. It’s a book full of ‘ah-ha’ moments and priceless gems to take home. Discussing how to be creative, how to be most effective while creating, and how to get your work out into the world organically, and using the internet. As a binder, this writing emphasises the fact that no ideas are original – everything has been created based on previous work. It’s a great confidence booster for the aspiring creative. Give your self creative permission, and start by reading this book!
Get Anyone to do Anything – David Lieberman
I’ll be the first to admit that the title (and subtitle) of this book make it sound like manipulative rubbish, but just like How to Win Friends and Influence People, it is full of gems fundamental to human interaction and communication. In fact, the two pieces are very similar in their offerings, though Lieberman’s work is much more concise. Topics such as ‘getting anyone to like you’, ‘not being fooled or tricked’, and ‘taking control of situations’ are just some of the main points discussed. As you may have guessed, I find human psychology and social interaction fascinating, so this is a real winner for me. A pleasant, informative, 170-odd page read which is well worth it for those wanting to brush up on people skills.
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
This masterpiece by Carnegie is, I feel, a must for anyone that wants to better their people skills. It is much more than the title suggests – full of gold nugget tips and tricks that you can use to get the best out of any people-related situation. Types of language people respond to best, how to handle conflict, getting people to see your point of view naturally, becoming a favourable and respected member of your workplace. All this and more, without any bribing, blackmail, or manipulation. It’s all about being sincere, authentic, and genuinely caring about the persons that you come in contact with.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
A fascinating look at how humans are programmed to react under different social settings. This was a real eye opener for me. Honestly, it was a bit long, full of examples of each of the 7 main categories of influence. The content between the lines however, is extremely valuable. Mentioned by marketing guru’s such as Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, this book is a great resource into common well-used sales techniques that are all derived on human instinct. If you’re interested in psychology, this one will definitely be up your alley.
One of my favourite reads. Recommended by Tim Ferriss in his Four Hour Work Week blog, I was engrossed as I read on the psychology, trials, and tribulations of a long term traveller. Having experienced long term travel (and as I aim to do it again in the future), I could relate to it a lot. If you’re considering travel, this is a MUST read. It will give you everything a guide book won’t. No glossy sales pitches in this book!
Become A Key Person Of Influence – Daniel Priestley
Looking at your career and wanting something more? Do you have a desire (as I do) to be your own boss and create a product you can call your own? This book is brilliant. I need to go back and re-read it. It’s all about recognising that what you have is totally unique. What is it? YOU! There is only one you, and what you know is likely more than a percentage of other people out there. You just need to extract it into a saleable format. A priceless read for budding entrepreneurs and business go-getters.
The Four Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss
This entrepreneurial masterpiece is responsible for the writing you are reading here. Tim Ferriss is an avid experimenter, always testing the boundaries of what is ‘common’ knowledge. I really love this guy. I’m a firm believer that there is much more to life than what we are led to believe, and Ferriss goes out of his way to prove it! This book isn’t actually about a four hour working week (although it is possible), it is about optimising the way you conduct your ‘working’ activity, so you can free up time to do what you really enjoy, whatever that may be. Working remotely, reducing your hours, negotiating higher pay, discovering your true value, realising the end when it’s staring at you in the face. This book is a MUST read for those who want to achieve more with their time. That means all of us! After all, isn’t time the most valuable commodity?
The Four Hour Body – Timothy Ferriss
Following on from the success of the Four Hour Workweek, Ferriss takes on the concept of experimentation and optimisation and applies it to the human body. It turns out this book is a diary of his adventures in personal experiments. The most efficient swimming technique, the 30min of exercise a week that will build you the most muscle, lose fat using kettlebell swings, eating your way to fat loss with the slow carb diet, and much, much more. If you are looking to optimise and gain efficiency in your life by opening your eyes to new and sometime controversial ways (like me!), this is a must read. You’re guaranteed to come out having either learnt something or at least questioning what you currently know about health and fitness. It certainly opened my eyes!