If you think the day you left school/college/university was the day your studies ended, then you are gravely mistaken.
Our world is changing faster than ever, and the only way to keep up and keep reinventing yourself is to keep learning. More knowledge and more skills never killed anybody (note that this is simply a figure of speech and not statistically proven).
For the past 5 years, I have read something everyday – be it a blog post, an article, or parts of a book, but never mainstream news (more on this another time).
Okay, maybe there were a few times when I was out all day and didn’t get the chance to read, but you get the idea.
Maybe I am naturally curious, but I always felt that I need to learn something everyday just for intellectual stimulation, but also to keep up with the world.
Certainly, the best way to learn is by doing. But in many cases it is not always possible to experiment with something new right away, and the next best way is by reading and developing critical thinking.
Below are what I am going to call a “starter pack” of non-fiction and highly applicable books relating to business and life that I recommend. Much of learning to think in a different way and seeing a new reality is about mindset change, and these books are classics that do a good job of igniting the lightbulb.
I often see people hesitate over spending $15 on a good book, yet they won’t even flinch when they drop $50 on four drinks at the crappy local pub. One is an investment in yourself, while the other one is basically throwing money away under social pressure – makes no sense whatsoever.
So, do yourself a favour and start reading a book now that will help improve yourself and your life.
The Millionaire Fastlane by M.J. DeMarco
This is an exciting and easy-to-read book by MJ DeMarco about his journey from poor Chicagoan to multimillionaire, by capitalizing on the opportunities of the internet era’s early days. Of course, you cannot follow his recipe step by step, but a lot of the lessons have not changed today.
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
This is a good book on marketing, networking, and kindling business relationships. Good reading for anyone who works in highly social environments or in marketing and BD roles.
Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
This is a classic read by salespeople all over America. Sure, Zig was going door to door selling kitchenware whereas you are probably selling some service or software online, but that’s fine because human psychology hasn’t changed all that much over the past 50 years.
Psychology & Persuasion
Influence: The Psychology of Persuation by Robert B. Cialdini
This is an easy-to-read book that talks about psychology behind persuasion and convincing people to do what you want, just like the title says. If you are not well versed with the art of psychology then you should read it.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
This is again an ageless classic, but for the topic of investing. This book is a bit of a tome – a bit long and a bit dry at times, but if you want to learn about the history, psychology, and examples of investing, then you should start here. While reading, Google finance terminology that you are not familiar with.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
This is like the bible of the digital nomad crowd – living anywhere, working with your laptop from a beach in Thailand, etc. While Tim Ferriss made everything sound extremely easy and casual, realize that having a location independent business takes a bit more than working 4 hours every week, especially at the start. However, if you’ve been working a regular 9-5 job since graduation and have never veered off “the path,” then reading this book will change your reality.
Health & Stress
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky
This is a fairly scientific reading on stress and the effects it has on the human body. Forget everything you read in the media or Buzzfeed, smoking, alcohol, etc. are not the biggest killers – stress is. Stress basically causes your body chemicals to go bananas and inflame everything, killing your body from within. I had already reached the conclusion that I must avoid stress to be healthy and age well, and reading this book and seeing the scientific explanations just reinforced by hypothesis. It’s a big heavy for people who didn’t study science, but worth the read.
So here you go folks, 7 classics from the Hope Freiheit business and life “starter kit.” Have fun reading and get ready for your new reality! Or, if you find books to be boring, then just keep reading this website instead. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Also, feel free to recommend good books you like in the comments below. I am always open to new things to read and learn.