One of the best ways to learn and reach success is through reading especially inspiring books by people that have a career or life style that we would like to have.
As a follow up to the “Read one of these books without paying” tip, where I include examples of books and authors that made an impression on me, I leave you with a list of 9 inspiring books that may change your way of working and your way of facing life and your day-to-day.
1 – Networking by Filipe Carrera
This is a book the author describes as a guide to “professional survival”. It’s full of simple tips to help you use your contacts list successfully.
Once again, “it’s not what you know that matters, but knowing someone who knows!”
2 – Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
How often have you been in a city for a few days for meetings or looking for new opportunities, or even enjoying a few day’s holiday, and you’ve eaten all on your own every meal time?
According to the writer, “the dynamic of a contacts list is like a hopeful trying to make it as a Hollywood star: invisibility is worse than failure.”
The same is true when in breaks during a conference. Keith Ferrazzi says, “The breaks are not the time to take a break. The breaks are when the real action starts at a conference”.
3 – Eliminate the Chaos at Work – 25 Techniques to Increase Productivity by Laura Leist
Almost everyone seems to complain that they are very busy and very short of time.
Be careful not to fall into the traps mentioned by the author of: “Everyone is busy; not everyone is productive”.
How to create rules to manage emails automatically?
How to create model emails?
How to deal with distractions from instant messaging and alerts that keeping popping up on your electronic devices?
How to block your tasks?
How to manage the paperwork you left on your desk over 6 months ago?
How to use “To”, “Cc” and “Bcc” effectively in emails?
Learn to be more organised in your work and you will see that you can actually do more, with less effort. You’ll start finding time to read, to think, to go to the gym or even to see your boyfriend or girlfriend…! I used to be extremely disorganised with my work, so trust me, I know exactly what I’m talking about!
4 – Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Hard work, urgency to get things done and endless meetings… it’s all wrong!
If you are not open to radically changing how you think and work, then you’d be better off not reading this book because it’s just going to annoy you – a lot!
“Ignore the real world”, “Take a nap” and “Your estimates are useless!” are just a few of the chapter headings in the book, which I think is brilliant.
5 – The monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This is the true story of a tough and famous lawyer, who was a complete workaholic and ended up having a heart attack. After recovering from his near-death experience, the lawyer decides to change his life for good.
An inspiring book for those open to a little self-discovery!
6 – What got you here won’t get you there by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter
Have you ever felt you have simply stagnated? However hard you try, you just can’t get out of a rut and it’s not your fault?
You should read this book to see that you have fallen into the trap of “21 habits that won’t let you move on”.
Stop “passing the buck”.
Stop “refusing to say sorry”.
Stop “being stuck in the past”.
Stop “having favourites”.
Stop “making excuses”.
Stop “taking credit for what isn’t yours”.
7 – Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
This is the book for people who love creating new things; things that haven’t yet been created but which will change everything as we know it.
The legendary Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and the initial investor in a number of well-known companies (including Facebook, LinkedIn and Airbnb), explained on a short course at Stanford University how he had been repeatedly successful in life. One of the students secretly shared his notes on the internet. However, after millions of visualisations in just a few days, he had to ask Peter for permission to continue publishing them.
And so the book was born – it’s a sort of improved version of the notes taken by the student (Blake Masters)!
8 – 4-Hour workweek by Timothy Ferriss
I first read this book in 2009, when I began my own environmental consultancy firm. I thought it was brilliant, but at the time I was a little confused by some of the topics because I didn’t have a good enough grasp of the need to rewrite the rules of work to save time and be able to develop new ideas, rest and do what I felt like doing!
I read it again in 2015 and realised how much I had grown up over the years. I work less now than I did in 2009 and the results are much better! We have to get away from the idea of hard work, which is so ingrained into our psyche from childhood, and start working in a way that is more intelligent and better organised.
Contrary to what people say, this book does not encourage laziness, but is an inspiring book that forces us to question everything we have been taught.
I also highly recommend regular visits to Tim Ferriss’ blog for the latest updates: The 4-hour workweek
9 – Essentialism – The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg McKeown
I wish I had read this sooner!
“Do you feel like you are constantly busy, but get very little done?”
“Do you do what other people want to keep them happy or just to avoid problems?”
As life goes on and we keep saying “Yes” to everybody, we take on more and more responsibilities, there are more people we have to keep happy and more people around us placing demands on our time and seeking our attention… until at some point we realise we are up to our necks in chaos and feel like there’s no way out.
“Essentialism” is a movement that teaches us to identify what is not truly important, and to do less, but much better!