Did you ever as a child disobey your parents? Did you love something so much that despite threats and discipline you still went ahead.
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Was the passion for something so strong that you just did it?
Don’t ignore that signal.
If you have, you are maybe doing something everyday that you hate.
It is called a job.
It is your soul talking. A hint and an inkling of your possible destiny and life work if you listen to that still small voice.
When I discovered reading and the journeys it took me on, I consumed books day and night. Despite the lights out rule that applied at 8.30 every night and the threat of parental disapproval, I continued to read under the covers with my bedside lamp at my elbow.
I travelled the world enjoying tropical beaches, jungles and daring adventures while wearing pyjamas.My imagination was my free pass to the world without ever leaving the house.
Reading, learning and consuming information and ideas is now a big part of my destiny and purpose. Some books change you more than others. My rule of thumb is that if I get one good idea, it is one book worth reading.
Here are 10 books that have inspired, educated and entertained me. They are woven into my imagination muscles.
#1. The 4 Hour Work Week
I read this book by Tim Ferriss about 5 years ago when the future promise of the web was starting to become very real as social media took hold. Twitter was just starting and Facebook was getting traction. The book promises to take you from the drudgery of the day job to the dream of doing what you love doing and monetize it on the web.
This book inspired me to start my blog.
Find out more: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
#2. The Element
This book by Ken Robinson I have read more than once. As I have been a teacher in a previous life, it resonated with me. It provides an inspiring insight into how when finding your passion and combining it with your innate abilities and talents can take a life from drudgery to a masterpiece. He calls this intersection “The Element”. Included are examples from famous people that have have found the element such as Paul McCartney, Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington.
Want to learn some of the secrets to take your life to another level? Then read it.
Find out more: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
#3. Made to Stick
This book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is about ideas. If a book inspires you to write a blog post about it, then you know it has touched you. They outline the 6 principles of “Sticky Ideas” that I now consider when writing or communicating. What are those six principles?
Simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness,credibility, emotions and stories.
If you want to improve your communication skills and make your ideas memorable, then this book should not be ignored.
Find out more: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
#4. On Writing
Stephen King is known more for fiction books than non-fiction. This book is part memoir (for the first 100 pages) and then he reveals in the last 200 pages the basic toolkit for becoming a good or even a great writer.
His passion for writing is obvious and compelling. His life journey is revealing. Three key messages impressed me…the importance of simplicity, starting and persistence. That is just the start of what you will find between its covers.
This book is not just about writing, it is about life.
Find out more: On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft
This book is written by Jason Fried and David Hansson who are the founders of 37 Signals which is a very successful software development company (ever heard of the software “Basecamp”). What you find is a lot of ideas to rework your business that they have discovered from personal experience. If you are living in the 21st century and want to know how business is being reinvented that works in a knowledge economy then it is worth reading.
Short punchy chapters packed full of cool ideas and inspiration.
Find out more: Rework
#6. Start with Why
Simon Sinek impressed me when I heard him speak. His core message is what makes leaders great and how that leads to companies that succeed and excel. He uses examples (stories) starting with the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs.
Get the “Why” right and then the fun starts. It is also about the art of influence.
Find out more: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
#7. The New Rules of Marketing and PR
I must confess I read it more than twice and hence it has a lot of coffee stains. What I loved about this book was its revelations on how to communicate and market in a digital world. I was tired of the old ways of marketing and selling and David Meerman Scott opened up my eyes to a new paradigm. It is about being authentic and talking plainly. It is also social media 101.
This book preceded the launching of my blog but it is woven into its tapestry.
It should be sitting in your Kindle book list or parked on your shelf after it has been consumed and underlined.
Find out more: The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
#8. The Millionaire Messenger
Brendon Burchard is like a “mini me” Tony Robbins. Don’t let that fool you. In this book he reveals how to monetise your knowledge ten different ways and have fun while doing so while adding value to people’s lives.
He provides a glimpse into what he has learned about presenting, writing a book, creating promotional partners (affiliates), promoting seminars, educating online and much more.
If you are a expert or thought leader and you don’t know how to package your ideas and knowledge and sell it, then read this book.
Find out more: The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice
#9. The War of Art
If you want to learn more about the art, the challenges and the processes of the creative sphere then this book is packed full of insights. If you are an artist writer, musician, business person or you are breathing and have a pulse….doesn’t everything involve being creative?…then read this book.
It is about overcoming roadblocks and resistance in life. It is about “doing the work” that is congruent with your purpose and destiny.
Find out more: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
#10. Permission Marketing
Seth Godin is so visible in the marketing world that he is like a global beacon. I read this book while also reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR. This book flips the model of push marketing to attraction marketing. This book was also instrumental in starting my blogging journey. It is about people giving permission for you to sell to them. I thought that was a cool concept.
Want to see what is important about marketing in a web centric world. Then read this book.
Find out more: Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
So What About You?
What books have inspired you. What books have made a difference to your life. Have they helped you launch a business, blog or even write a book?
Look forward to hearing about those books that made a difference in your life.
Want to learn more about how to create compelling content?
My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.