My Recommended Reading List
So I was hanging out on Slack again and someone asked me what books I have read are reading/listening to and once again I went on a downloading rampage so here is the list of them in no particular order.
I will be coming back and cleaning this up into categories and adding why I like each one however atm I am following the principles of Fuck It, Just ship it and so should you 🙂
Fuck It, Ship It (how ironic)
What Price Honour: Merkiaari Wars (Volume 2)
Machine World: Undying Mercenaries (Book 4)
by B. V. Larson
Tech World: Undying Mercenaries (Book 3)
by B. V. Larson
Dust World: Undying Mercenaries (Book 2)
by B. V. Larson
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, 10th Anniversary Edition: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
by John Maxwell
Transformational Leadership: How Leaders Change Teams, Companies, and Organizations
The Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, Work, and Beyond
by Charles Lamb
Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era
by Tony Wagner
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School
Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur
Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times
The Synchronicity War (Part 4)
by Dietmar Wehr
The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life
by Bernard Roth
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur
A Small Colonial War (Ark Royal Book 6)
Grit: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up
Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters
by Jon Acuff
No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life
Daddy, Stop Talking!: And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be Getting
by Adam Carolla
Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership
The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
by Ramit Sethi
We Learn Nothing: Essays
by Tim Kreider
The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy: Key Takeaways, Analysis, & Review
by Eureka Books
93 Extraordinary Referral Systems: Jay Abraham’s Money-Making Strategy Clusters
by Jay Abraham
The Sticking Point Solution: 9 Ways to Move Your Business from Stagnation to Stunning Growth
by Jay Abraham
The Go-Giver Leader: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business
by Bob Burg
How to Think Bigger: Aim Higher, Get More Motivated, and Accomplish Big Things
The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy
by Lewis Howes
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
by Ryan Holiday
by Ryan Holiday
The Code of Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms
Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
by Tony Robbins
Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want
How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
by Leil Lowndes
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
by Hal Elrod
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques
Beyond Referrals: How to Use the Perpetual Revenue System to Convert Referrals into High-Value Clients
by Bill Cates
Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft
LinkedIn Riches: How To Use LinkedIn For Business, Sales and Marketing!
by John Nemo
Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms
Exponential Organizations: New Organizations Are Ten Tmes Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (and What to Do About It)
by Salim Ismail
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by Greg Mckeown
The book is a recommendation from my mate Cory Boatright (if you don’t know Cory, check him out here, he is kinda a cool bloke).
The key takeaway I had from this book was really essential in my life, my work, and my goals. What really is going to get the results and lifestyle that I want then based on that what is just a distraction that is slowing me down. It goes hand in hand with methodologies and tactics from the one thing, 80/20 marketing and sales, Getting things done and Kaizan.
A great quote from Greg McKewon “The Essentialist thinks I choose too, the non-essentialist thinks I have too”.
Become the essentialist and choose what you do.
Stop letting others dictate your life.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
by Scott Adams
The 12-Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months
by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
I found this book actually very interesting as I had just read GTD (Get Things Done) by David Allen before this and it had been about 2 to 3 months and I started listening to the 12 week year and finding that the rigid structure of GTD just was not doing it for me when it came to productivity. (Side note I wonder why they don’t teach how to find your learning style and productivity at schools, seems logical).
The 12-week year essentially breaks a 12-month year into 4 mini years and only plan in-depth for the next 3 months while also having an overarching goal for the year (go to keep the execs at companies happy).
Being the kind of get things done and get them done now, there are no F&$#CDW excuses kinda person that I am well you can just imagine how much I enjoyed this book and the fundamentals that you learn about planning and organisation. Being the perfectionist that I am it was hard to break out of the mould of having everything planned for a year however using the 12-week methodology. Hand on heart I can say that life and business have never been more peaceful, relaxed and enjoyable. So thank-you Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington for making business fun again!
Indispensable: How To Become The Company That Your Customers Can’t Live Without
by Joe Calloway
This book by Joe Calloway was an interesting read for me in the respects of that I did not really read the book for the purpose it was built, which is how to become a company that your customers can’t live without. This book more made it to my list when I was still having a career in digital marketing about how can I make myself indispensable for that company. How can I step so far outside the box that they given me that they have no choice to give me pay raises, better working conditions, more holidays leave, Did you get the picture?
I always found it interesting how people try to stick to what’s on their job sheet and never really think how can I apply what I am doing here to another department to help them? Or are reluctant and give the response “that’s not my job”. After reading indispensable, the key takeaway I came away with was when coming into a work treat it like a consultant asking this simple question. “What are the top 3 things I can do to get this X result in any part of the business?” From there I would go through my checklist of things to do (link to post about my checklist when first walking into a business)
7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Being a best seller in different lists, I sometimes wonder about books like this in which 10 or 20 people say the book is amazing and then the rest flock like sheep saying, yes it is amazing.
Stephen Covey actually delivers on what are the 7 habits that we should invest in improving, on a daily basis. I doubt any of us can tick the box in each category of the 7 habits (Be proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, Synergize and Sharpen the Saw)
However just ticking some of them have proven to help me build my business and stop saying “Yes” to everything and sacrificing my personal lifestyle for the happiness of others.
80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More
One of my favorite books from Perry Marshall. While the book has some fluff it does hit some how to apply the 80/20 rule to sales and marketing (funny that is the title of the book).
Mr. Marshall really drives home how do I find and know the 20% of my marketing and sales that is going to get me 80% of the results. This books is not for the faint of heart where much of the advice stands in the face of traditional marketing/sales methodologies and way these departments actually work.
The strategies and tactics in this book do work as I have used them personally.The biggest hesitation with implementing ideas and strategies from this book is putting your money where you mouth is. Are you ok to take the risk of cutting 25% of your staff to make your business more profitable and stop working with clients that are just breaking even for the business. If your not willing to do strategies like the above then this book is not for you.
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
by Daniel Pink
A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers
by Dan Siroker
Be the Best at What Matters Most: The Only Strategy You will Ever Need
by Joe Calloway
I find this book ties in really well with the methodologies of The One Thing, Essentialism, and Kaizen. In which they all really hone in on what will bring you the results, or what is it you need to do to get the results you want and how can you do that without doing what you don’t like.
Be the best at what matters most really drove home about being more a specialist and focusing on what I enjoyed most, rather than being a one-stop shop because that is what everyone wanted. It was amazing to watch worries that used to be at the forefront of my mind just simply wash away because really it no longer “most important”. There really can be a lot said for doing less and achieving more by honing the axe rather than the brute force of chopping down the trees.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
– Always a great one when it comes to thinking about business exit strategy.
Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
I first started reading this book when I was looking to try and create freedom in my business through processes. John Warrillow takes you through the story of a digital agency that went from stressing out over if they would have enough money to pay their staff, to selling a systematised focused agency for a multi-million dollar sell-out.
I found reading this book along side One thing, Essentialism and Kazan helped me to create some of the most well-designed processes that lead to me creating freedom in my online agency Blueprint Solutions (UTM Link). While I don’t have everything systemised, I am slowly getting there and much is thanks to this book.
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business
Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It.
by Mitch Joel
At the end of every month, I like to clean my slate and I found this book very helpful for creating a checklist that I load into my TO Do Ist app for my month cleansing. I find this cleansing very rejuvenating and helps me to increase my energy flow for the month coming up. If you think you are too busy or just have too much clutter in your life have a read of this book and start your digital cleanse.
Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know
by Mark Jeffrey
I spent forever trying to find books on data-driven marketing that focuses heavily on creating marketing campaigns that are ROI positive and how you actually track that. Mark Jeffery’s book was a nice introduction into this topic and gave a few templates and examples of how this can be done with 15 specific metrics. I have found that I am constantly coming back to this book especially when building case studies for launching data-driven marketing initiatives.
While I don’t recommend this for experts in the field of data-driven marketing, I highly recommend the book for those who are interested in the subject and wanting to get a solid ground framework around data-driven marketing.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley
If you know anything about me I find any excuse not to write a blog post. I am not sure why, I just really have a dispassion for writing content, however, ask me to write a proposal, system or process, answer a question and I can rattle it off in a couple of minutes.
Ann Handley inadvertently without even knowing it helped me to get over my “fear” of writing. I personally think my writing and copywriting skills are poor at best. However, Ann Handley in her book, Everybody Writes, drives home the point of using a process to write and keep the momentum and like with any other skill you try to work on it requires on-going practice.
So if you are like me and think your content sucks and want to get better at it then have a read of this book and use Ann Handley’s writing process to get over your fear and get writing.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
I started using the Getting Things Done (GTD) framework at the start of the year and it worked fantastically. However I soon came up with issues on how rigid the system was, similar to productvitst (Owner of blog name). So I changed my process using what David Allen taught in GTD as the base and then customised parts of it to suit me and my process.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce Patton
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising
by Ryan Holiday
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
by Nir Eyal
How to Build Websites that Sell: The Scientific Approach to Websites
by Peep Laja
Full disclaimer, I was one of Peeps first Conversion XL CRO training students and I cannot recommend the course highly enough. This book is like the manual that goes with that course. I find myself constantly dog tagging, bookmarking and highlight examples for CRO projects that my agency works on a daily basis.
It’s basically my bible for CRO and all other books are then add-ons to the framework and methodology (link to peeps methodology) used by Peep Laja.
Basically peep has taken his $2,000 courses (at the time I purchased it) and distilled it down into an easy to understand manual with How to Build Websites that Sell for like under $20. If that’s not a stealing then I don’t know what it is.
How To Win Friends and Influence People: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success
Surprisingly, I always find myself coming back to the ideas and concepts that were introduced to me through this book by Dale Carnegie. Finding topics that a person is interested in, giving replies with open hooks so people can latch on and start a conversation. These are some of the little hints that pop up in the back of my mind when talking to business people but also family and friends as well. We all have that one family member that we find it hard to strike a conversation up with.
It’s interesting when I’ve found that I have gained more insights from the book as I mature and understand the psychology of why we do what we do as humans. Dale Carnegie was truly well before his time when he wrote this book and I believe it should be a staple in anyone’s reading and will forever remain timeless.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Where should you start with the psychology of course it’s influenced by Robert Cialdini. Every marketer that I know, who’s interested with Psychology has this book on their shelves, audible or Kindle.
If we could only peel back the layers and dive right into the wondering mind of Peter Drucker. I think Jeffery A. Krames did a fantastic job of capturing the type of many Mr. Drucker was and how he held himself as well as how he ran businesses.
What has been amusing to me of late has been all these books around Essentialism, working on what matters, focus on one thing, continually improving with Kaizen and Peter Drucker was already doing it which his 1 minute manager. While some of the strategists suggested and used by Mr Drucker I doubt would fly in today’s society e.g. the shitty feedback hamburger good feedback, bad feedback, good feedback.
I do believe that Drucker has an amazing mind and true understanding on how business and humans work. He was like a clock-maker who knows exactly how every clock ticked and knew how to put every cog in its place (quite industrial). I am forever coming back to this book in audible every 3-4 months and just listening again and gleaning new insights and information and I think you should be too.
Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire
by Paul Smith
Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier
by Ari Meisel
I discovered this book by Ari Meisel from an Amazon recommendation (damn amazon does that well). I read the book and at the back of my mind I was calling Bulls#$%, you can’t really do less and more living. The book Essentialism changed my mind on this.
So I opened the book, and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the strategies and techniques that Ari Meisel presented, and how he backed it up. While it is a short book I liked the less fluff approach and get to the meat of the subject style the book was produced.
Master The Essentials of Conversion Optimization: Experts’ Approach to Optimization
by Peep Laja
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm
Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career
Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation
by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom
No B.S. Price Strategy: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoner Guide to Profits, Power, and Prosperity
by Dan Kennedy
Outliers: The Story of Success
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
by Oren Klaff
Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com
by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth
The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
by Chet Holmes
Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
by Shane Snow
by Neil Rackham
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek
by Brian Tracy
The Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence
by DC Gonzalez
The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
by Atul Gawande
The E-Myth Enterprise: How to Turn a Great Idea into a Thriving Business
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
by Bob Burg and John David Mann
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime
by MJ DeMarco
The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
by Niel Fiore
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
by Gary Keller
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life
by Leo Babauta
The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
by John Jantsch
The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain
The Spirit of Kaizen: Creating Lasting Excellence One Small Step at a Time
The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand!
by Dan Kennedy
The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales
by Dan Kennedy
by Napoleon Hill and Arthur Pell
Topgrading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance
by Bradford D. Smart
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
by Gino Wickman
Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity
Website Optimization: An Hour a Day
by Rich Page
Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less
by Chris Goward