When I was a kid, I had this board filled with pinned articles of people that would play a large role in my life. They inspired and influenced me daily in my goal to achieve success. These individuals ranged from entrepreneurs, philanthropists, geniuses, and even educators. All of these individuals had two things in common…grit, which I covered in a previous blog post, and a deep affirmation for knowledge.
Anyone who knows me, personally or professionally, has realized that I don’t like to end my day unless I have learned something new. To me, knowledge is powerful and the new pretty. The more you exercise your brain, the more confident you become. Why? Because you are constantly and actively pursuing your goals, you are not letting the menial details distract you from achieving success.
Today I wanted to share with you 5 books that I have on my bedside that I cannot live without. I have read these books multiple times that I now have a copy of it on my paperwhite kindle. Each one was purchased as a recommendation from friends, colleagues, and investors. And if you don’t have the time to shop at your local bookstore, don’t worry they are available on Amazon:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This was the first book I added to my collection and I have read it three times cover-to-cover. I highly recommend getting this book for anyone who wants to develop personal growth, balance of personal and professional effectiveness. The reason I read this book multiple times was because I basically skimmed it the first time, read it slowly the second time and studied it the third. I won’t give away what this book is about because it is the best investment you can ever give yourself by developing a paradigm shift on how you perceive and interpret the world around you.
Tony Hsieh joined Zappos in 1999 and took a company that made $1.6 million in revenue to $1 billion by 2009. This book is a personal biography on how he did it all from fundraising, cold emailing (remember those days), all while delivering happiness to every single customer that ordered shoes from their platform. Tony is one of the few individuals who opens up and shares the core values that made Zappos a success. This book is raw and captures his passion and hard work for success, there is no room for laziness and depending on charisma or talent, its all about trying and pivoting from failures until you achieve success.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
So you just got your first corporate job and you had your chat with your boss about what your five year plan is. We all dream of success and climbing the corporate ladder but how do you go about doing it? Most say it takes working long hours, serious dedication, and patience to get that promotion. This book helps figure out the nuances between those that climb the ladder fast and those that fall short.
The Mythical Man Month
When I was preparing for my interview with Microsoft (I was in my last year at university), this was the number one book all my friends recommended to me. It would ultimately become my bible in how to handle difficult situations in the software industry. This book helped me manage my time effectively, become more productive and be less wasteful of my time and energy. It also helped me identify that none of the problems I encountered were unique, and that they occurred whether you were building a software solution in 2008 or 2017.
Another amazing book that I cannot recommend enough to anyone who wants to start their own business or create their own team/division. When I was living Seattle, everyone I came across was either working for a startup, or looking into getting funding to create their own startup. There used to be a fog of mystery on what it takes to create a successful startup, and Ries’s book is basically source code on what are practical and proven methods for what makes a startup successful. He even shares insightful information on what makes other startups and businesses successful like Toyota’s Product Development System which I have seen applied to countless businesses in increasing productivity, performance while decreasing wait time.