5 Books That Will Change Your Life (and Business)

5 books that will change your life

What is your big idea?

Found it……..or still looking? That one idea can be the catalyst to a life imagined.

Just one glimmer of inspiration can transform. It just needs that spark.

And that can start with one book…..

What you read, focus on and who you hang out with can make or break you. One piece of advice that I often share with my children.

“If you want to fly like an eagle don’t hang out with the turkeys”

Books are revealing.

They display your unfolding story. Ever gone to someone’s home and stood in front of their library or bookshelf? It is an insight into decades of education and time spent.

And my current crop of books read fit into that tale.

Working on my entrepreneurship, uncovering technology trends, chasing digital marketing insights, the art of book writing and growing my communication skills are all on the agenda.

In essence it is all about “winning at business and life in a digital world”.

But a word of warning.

Ideas can be provoking and inspiration is exciting but if you don’t act on them nothing happens. Here are 5 books that will change your life. But….only if you start implementing on the ideas revealed.

#1. Deep Work

Full title: “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World”

This book by Cal Newport was an inspiring look at productivity.  But if you get past the top level message it is not just about productivity but designing your life.

In it he discusses two types of work. Shallow work (or busyness) and deep work….where the magic happens. The habit of making the time for doing work that matters is something I discovered over seven years ago. I discovered on reading the book that it was something I had been doing but by a different name. The reality is that it was a habit I formed. I wrote about this in this post, “This One Habit Transformed My Life

This book discusses and distils the practice of building a legacy and making a difference.

Worth a read if you are into creating something of consequence or succeeding in a world that is sometimes seen through the lens and distractions of a shallow and social web.

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Image source: Amazon

#2. Beyond The E-Myth

Full title: “Beyond The E-Myth:  The Evolution of an Enterprise: From a Company of One to a Company of 1,000

Michael Gerber is a household name to many baby boomer business owners. His original book “The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It” that was published in 1986 was a best seller that tapped into the vital and often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.

This book is maybe his last (and shortest) as he is now in his eighties. But this one goes beyond his initial message of building a business that can scale and be sold.

That is…..”your business is your story”.

So read it for two revelations. One is the soul of the business and the other is the science needed for growing your business from the garage to a world beating organisation.

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Image source: Amazon

#3. Platform Revolution

Full title: “Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy–and How to Make Them Work for You

Business models built on the industrial revolution still work but they are crumbling at the edges.

Sangeet Choudary, Marshall Van Alstyne and Geoffrey Parker collaborated on this book that is the best distillation of the modern digital business world I have read. They reveal why businesses can scale so fast on the global web. They look into the secrets behind the Uber’s, AirBnB’s and the other Unicorns that have burst through the billion dollar valuation ceiling. 

The framework is is built upon this one premise “the goal of the new business platforms is to enable interactions between consumers and producers”.

This is achieved at a conceptual level with three stacks.

  • Network, marketplace and community layer
  • Technology infrastructure
  • Data and how that can be applied to the evolution of the business model.

It is a great read that will help you get more clarity on the future of business.

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Image source: Amazon

#4. Published

Full title: “Published:  The Proven Path from Blank Page to Published Author

Chandler Bolt of Self-publishingschool.com is a bundle of driven energy. Some may call him a force of nature. His story is one of discovery and a personal tragedy that lit a fire.

This book reveals his path to finding out how to make money from writing, his process and some marketing tactics that you may not have heard of.

A quote from Robert Kiyosaki that Chandler shares inside its covers. “Successful books are all about marketing” is the kernel of the message. And that is something I can vouch for.

So the key lesson from the author is that book success is a lot more about promotion than being a great writer. That is maybe the truth that most wordsmiths don’t want to hear. But the book does reveal what that marketing looks like. A must read for all writers that want to be noticed, create influence and make money.

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Image source: Amazon

#5. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

Full title: “Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

The rise of Twitter and Facebook was a revelation to me that inspired this blog and revealed some truths. “Marketing has been democratised and you can build a global brand for free“. The other truth. “You don’t have to wait to be chosen to be published and create influence

Marketing is now an intersection of art and science enabled by a mobile and social web that put the power in the hands of businesses big and small.

It is no longer essential to hire an advertising agency, run a TV commercial or beg a publisher for permission for brand and business building. You can growth hack awareness, leads and sales without paying big bucks. How do I know? It cost me $10 (a domain name) to reach 20 million people with this little publishing and marketing machine.

Ryan Holiday who was the genius behind the rise of American Apparel dives into these truths in this book that is a must read for all marketers and entrepreneurs.

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Image source: Amazon

But there is more

Books are an addiction of mine that I haven’t been able to escape since the age of seven after mastering the sentence “The cat sat on the mat”.

Also I have shared some other books worth reading in the past that have been transformational and they can be found here: “7 Inspiring Books You Must Read” and “10 Books That Inspired Me

Have a great year and be awesome.

Comments

  • Looks like a great list Jeff – just started Deep Work a few days ago. Great read so far!

  • Hi Jeff,

    I love what Deep Work is all about. Brilliant. Because as one goes deeper and deeper, the topical stuff dissolves into the deep, meaningful work we love to do, the passion, the fun stuff that forms the foundation for empires of any size and scale.

    I find myself letting go Survival Mode to only do things with love. Each and every day. Much more fun, fulfilling and of course I’m rendering more valued service mindfully by doing things in this fashion.

    Thanks much for sharing.

    Ryan

  • Great article! I just added “Published.” to my Kindle.