I’m grateful that so many people have said I’m inspiring. I’m grateful people think I’m helpful and I’ve given something that’s been life changing. To be fair, I can only give what I have to give away. I’ve been inspired and I’ve been helped, loved, and supported by a ton of people.
This post is about the books I’ve read specifically. What books have inspired me? What books are the key background of what you see right now? What books inspire me to operate in my life each day? I’m going to go through here with you over the last four years some of the most powerful books that I’ve read.
In The Plex
This book looks at how Google thinks and works. Google is one of the most influential companies on the planet. They’re the #1 website online. This book encouraged me to think about more that was possible for me. I read this when I was in graduate school looking to be a professor. When I read this I thought there’s no reason I can’t start a company that is useful for the entire world. There’s nothing these two guys in their dorm room from Stanford did to collaborate and make Google. They don’t have anything that I don’t have. I’m not out here to create Google. I’m out here to do whatever I’m supposed to do which is teach courses online. This book encouraged me to form my expectations on myself.
One of the most stifling things most of us do is set expectations on ourselves. I went to school for this so I have to do this. This book encouraged me that it doesn’t matter what I went to school for, I have unlimited potential to contribute to this world. The first prerequisite to that is that I see that.
It doesn’t matter how much anyone else believes in me or how much anyone else is in my favor. If I limit my own potential, I will go no farther than that. I can bring peace to every mind in the universe. That’s the kind of power everyone is working with. This book was the foundation of me believing that I could start a successful business today.
How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win
I love this story because it’s done by the creator of Dilbert comics, Scott Adams. The point of this is that you can screw things up and fail your way into success. Scott Adams tells the story of his life where he is doing what he’s doing and trying and things keep working out. One of the surprising things is he gives some advice about dieting that I found really helpful because it was from laymen’s terms. It was his own experience from his own life that I could then relate to my own life.
I thought failure was shameful prior to reading this book and I’m sharing all these books with you. I’m sharing them with you because they helped me. One or more of these might be helpful for you also.
You see some of these in me and I’m showing you where I essentially built this into myself. I’m now comfortable with failure compared to how I was before. In fact, I do videos knowing that the video might be a complete flop.
I’m willing to make a complete flop over and over again if sometimes I make one that’s great. I have several viral videos that have gotten millions of views. I often have no idea that it was going to be “the one” that 10M people would watch. I had no idea that one was going to be it. I just keep trying over and over again and then one seems to work out of nowhere.
The Four-Hour Work Week
This had some bad consequences in my life initially because I was not set up to work with more free time. This book motivated me to start thinking smarter instead of working harder. When you combine this with Rich Dad Poor Dad, it’s incredibly powerful. Up until this, I worked for myself the same way I worked a job. I thought time is money and if I work more, I get more money.
Time Ferriss explains you don’t get more by working more. You get more by doing things that are useful for people. You set up systems if you want to make money and live a certain life, you set up systems for doing that. I look at a whole bunch of things you can do to set up a four hour work week instead of a 40-hour-work week.
I started eliminating a bunch of the wasteful work I was doing that wasn’t doing anything. Up until this point, I was in the Chamber of Commerce and I was doing a bunch of useless activities. I cut all those out.
At the time, that made more room for my addictions. That was a great thing because with more time with my addictions I was forced to deal with them. When I had a little drinking bender on Saturday or Sunday I could deal with that. When I started doing a four-hour-work-week, I had 40 hours a week for drinking benders while my wife was at work. That didn’t work out too well so I had to do something about it.
The Personal MBA
People pay a hundred to a few hundred thousand dollars to get a Master’s in Business Administration. I got the basics and some of the more advanced things straight out of this book. It’s only 13 hours long and it taught a bunch of the basics of doing business.
As you can see I value being well-rounded. When you learn a little bit about a bunch of little things it all goes back to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Most people aim to specialize and all these other books I mentioned. When you get well-rounded you have more value than people that specialize because you’re functional in many different aspects of life.
This book gave me a way to learn the basics of business administration without taking a ridiculous amount of time and money. I needed to know basic things like negotiating and accounting when starting my business. Thankfully I got most of them right out of this book in a simple format.
Good Boss, Bad Boss
This was one of the books I read early on. If you think that you’re a great boss, everyone else does, too. The fact is when people rate how much they like their boss and how good their boss is vs. bosses saying how good they are, almost everyone thinks they’re a great boss or a good boss, but hardly anyone seems to work for a great boss. The thing is most of the worst bosses think they’re awesome. If you want to lead other people and work with other people, get to know yourself a little bit more.
This book helped me to see what people really want. If you want to launch your brand, people want those honest things you’re struggling with. This book talks about how the author had been struggling with various health things in his life and how much he got by sharing them online.
This was helpful with seeing the start of the business can be easy by getting a minimum viable product out. If you get the bare minimum or whatever you can do to prove your idea. Don’t make this perfect thing. If you want to make videos online, do the bare minimum you can to make the video and see what happens
How To Win Friends and Influence People
I’ve been trying to read this since I was a kid. I finally read this a few years ago. It’s helped me to understand and successfully communicate with other people.
Learning more has definitely made me a better business system in my life.
Start with Why
This is a great book, but not just for business, but to understand why you do everything. It helped me understand why companies like Apple have been so successful. The Why you’re doing things is the core of everything going on.
Great by Choice
You make a choice to be great instead of just blundering into it.
Several books by Malcolm Gladwell have been helpful for me. I saw the difference between outliers and average positions. This shows how artificial things like your birth date can give you a big boost in playing Hockey or sports. My cousin is doing well in Hockey and he’s born right around the beginning of January. He got a huge boost in having a hockey career. Seeing that gave me a huge boost in where do I have those artificial advantages that I can use.
Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
This book shows you to trust your first instinct and realize that those things you pick up immediately at a subconscious level. If you’re an art expert you can tell a fake as soon as you see it. You can have an amazing ability to perceive right now in the power of now and to do things in a short amount of time.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
David and Goliath gives a different way of looking at our favorite stories. Instead of seeing David as a hero defeating a big giant, this book shows David as shepherd with a sling shot against a big guy who might have been mentally handicapped. Of course David wins. David used a weapon against a guy who thinks it’s a contest. This explains why an individual can do things that companies with billions of dollars are not able to do. There are huge advantages to being exactly who you are.
The is an inspirational book for looking at why things catch on in both our business and our personal lives.
This is helpful for business marketing and figuring out what value you have. This book helped me figure out where I can get attention by doing things that are useful for you. That’s why I can get some attention and if I answer your questions then I can get a lot of good feedback from that. 80/20 sales and marketing is helpful for any kind of sales and marketing you want to do. It helps you see that often 20% of your sales and marketing is driving 80% of the results. For me, I noticed that was my remarketing ads on Adwords. The little bit of my budget and the little bit of my effort here drives a huge amount of my sales.
This applies across the list of life, too. I find a lot of the little spiritual elements Perry Marshall mentioned in the background. You’ll notice I do the same kind of teaching in some of the things that he emphasizes.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
This was helpful for me to understand that I have two separate thought systems. One my initial quick-snap judgment and instant thought production is often not one that I can control The secondary place I can respond by looking at and judging the second system I have in my life is more of an active system and that’s a system I worked to cultivate a lot today that looks at what I’m doing in my own life.
I’m grateful for all these books. All these books combines have given me the tools to do all these things that people ask me how I do everything I do. These books I’ve read have been an essential part of that. All of the education and self-taught business and online work that I do were self taught. Plus all the hand on learning that I did across the board and all of the other places. Thank you very much for reading this, I hope this is helpful for you.