In 2016 year, I challenged myself to read 50 books.
There are 52 weeks in a year. I figured if I read one book a week and allowed myself 2 weeks off for holidays and vacation, I should be able to achieve this goal. I’m happy to report that I finished 58 books! That’s just a little more than one book a week.
I wasn’t consistent with my reading. Some months I read 8 books, in another I read only 2. For most, I read about 4 books a month.
Here are the 58 books I read and a couple key takeaways from each. They are in alphabetical order by author.
1. 20 Critical Steps to Business Success by Aaron Scott Young
Don’t reinvent the wheel. See what other people in your field are doing. Learn from their mistakes and successes.
Go on an artist’s date. Once a week, do something just for the fun of it. Let your brain relax.
2. How to Catch a Shark by Anthony Amos & Kevin Harrington
Your shark (investor) needs to be a good fit for your business.
It’s more than the money – it’s about personality, risk tolerance, and involvement.
Get a target niche – you need to know WHO exactly you are speaking to
Get an image that demands attention and use words that will attract your audience
4. The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Money is an echo of value. It is the thunder to value’s lightning.
Focus on impact, the money will follow.
5. Life’s Gold Ticket by Brendon Burchard
Life can be whatever you want it to be. Don’t let OTHER people’s rules limit you.
If you’re dissatisfied with your life, look deeper. It might be that you are dissatisfied with WHO YOU HAVE BECOME.
6. The Birth of a Brand by Brian Smith
Cultivate the persistence to persevere against all odds.
The relationships you build will earn you loyalty in business, even when competition comes.
7. Speak to Win by Brian Tracy
All great speeches need to integrate logic, character and emotions.
Your physical presence and body language has a far greater impact than the words you say.
Always consider your audience – who are you speaking to?
8. Keys to Success for Kids by Caleb Maddix
Get rid of excuses. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t be successful
Set up a routine and be willing to be different from your peers.
9. The Freedom Business Blueprint by Christopher Duncan
Don’t quit your day job just yet! First, create an online business and work on it in your free time.
Once your business has enough revenue, work part time and then eventually quit. Be smart!
10. The Freedom Business Explosion by Christopher Duncan
Go from start to seven figures by knowing your metrics! Traffic flow, conversion rates, etc…
Become recognized as an expert authority.
11. What Would Angels Do by Crystal Doty
We are physical beings, but there is a spiritual realm all around us. Be aware of it.
God is looking out for you.
12. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Want people to like you? Become genuinely interested in them!
Want to get people onto your platform/course of action? Show them how it will benefit them or move them forward as well. Then they will gladly, of their own volition, champion you.
13. Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestly and Kevin Harrington
In the future, your most valuable asset will be the number f people who know you, like you, and trust you.
You will be defined by your unique take on things, your story and your ability to innovate.
14. Be A Beast by Dave Austin, Roger Anthony & Cathy Lynn
Mind mastery is life mastery. Learn to master your mind and all else will fall in place.
Integrity is the rock upon which all other things build.
15. Entrée Leadership by Dave Ramsey
Hire a team member, not an employee.
Manage your time and your finances.
16. It’s a Guy Thing: An Owner’s Manual by David Deida
The masculine energy is about freedom, the feminine energy is about relationships.
True growth does not involve changing your personality. It involves learning to love, no matter what your personality is.
Learn how and why men act a certain way, then you'll know how to better interact with them.
Great read for women who want to understand their male significant others better.
17. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
Own your fear and lean just beyond it. In every aspect of your life.
Masculine energy is about purpose, mission and the freedom to achieve it. Recognize this and use this to guide your interactions in all types of relationships.
We all have a balance of feminine and masculine energy. Use this to properly and more effectively motivate people and build teams.
Great read for men and women on the feminine/masculine relationship interplay.
18. Get Your Act Together by Dorian Santiago
This is your life, your movie, your play!
Don’t be the understudy in your life!
Personal growth from an actor's perspective!
19. Into the Magic Shop by Dr. James Doty
The reward for taming the mind is clarity of thought.
Have faith in the outcome, but don’t be attached to it.
20. The Trajectory Code by Dr. Jeff Magee
Always do progress checks! It’s so easy to get off course by just 1 degree. The sooner you catch the drift, they easier and quicker it is to adjust course.
What is your player capability index? Analyze your training, attitude, performance, culture, expectations and relationships
21. How to Create Million Dollar Ideas by Earl Nightingale
Creativity is a skill you can cultivate. Start practicing this skill.
One way to train yourself to be creative is to brainstorm 10 possible solutions (crazy as they might seem) to a problem you have. It will train your brain to start seeing other possibilities.
22. The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
There is great power in thinking for yourself.
The opposite of courage is conformity.
Instead of competing, create!
23. Your Relationship With God by Dr. Gary Smalley
No matter how “big” you get, if you don’t remain humble, you will never have full satisfaction
The quality of your relationship with God will impact every other relationship in your life.
24. #AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk
To be successful on social media, respect the rules of each platform.
Be a leader – put your people first and accept responsibility.
25. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
Patience and wisdom are required to build and keep wealth.
26. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
Massive action is necessary for success. It gets you that momentum.
Personal development and growth is critical. Become a better person!
27. Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone
EVERYTHING in life is a sell!
Get good at selling!
28. The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack
Personal finance can be easy!
Keep things simple – save 10-20% of your income, pay off your credit cards & live within your means.
29. Guerrilla Publicity by Jill Lublin
Want publicity? Get creative! Be willing to help a report out (HARO.com)
Do a self inventory of your talents. Realize that you are an expert at something! What are you an expert at?
Let people know you are a person! Let them get to know and like you!
30. Good to Great by Jim Collins
It comes as no surprise, great companies have GREAT LEADERS.
Great leaders are HUMBLE, strong-willed, face reality head-on, build strong teams, and invest in the future leaders of their company.
31. The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
Leadership is more than just position. To truly be a leader, you need to get people’s PERMISSION to be their leader.
Leaders produce & develop their people.
32. It’s Your Move by Josh Altman
ACT! Even when you don’t feel like it.
Go the extra mile to satisfy your clients. It will pay off in the long run.
33. The Marketing Blueprint by Jules Marcoux
For marketing to be truly effective, it needs to emphasize HUMAN INTERACTION, not selling.
Word of mouth is best kind of marketing to not be tied to your budget.
To succeed, you need to believe in yourself - that you deserve to succeed!
34. Become A Game Changer by Mark Brigden
There is an entire online world waiting for you to make your mark! The rules of the game have changed.
Nice marketing, vision planning, you can get there!
35. Serve to Be Great by Matt Tenney
Servant Leadership - lessons learned in prison, monastery, and corporate america.
Servant leadership requires ongoing professional and personal growth. NEVER STOP INVESTING IN YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH!
Learn to Lead, Listen Always, and Live to inspire!
36. Journeys to Success by MULTIPLE authors (including Chella Diaz)
Napolean Hill’s works are useless to you if you don’t APPLY THEM.
Take care of yourself financially, and live to make an impact.
37. 20/20 Hindsight by Parviz Firouzgar
Choose partners who are strong where you are weak
Get a mentor!
Goal setting in two ways: Baby steps & Big goals that you release to God.
To be a great company tomorrow, you have to start acting like one today.
38. 20/20 Hindsight: Additional Lessons by Parviz Firouzgar
Everyone is a salesperson!
Become a turnaround artists - control WHO the people around you are, control the FINANCES, and control YOUR emotions.
39. How to Write A Book by Parviz Firouzgar
Get organized, but don’t get hung up on it. Create an outline, free-write, etc… Do what feels beset for you.
Find an inspiring place to write. Inspiration is more likely to strike if you are in an inspiring zone.
40. Motivation by Parviz Firouzgar
Motivation is like food and water – you need to consume it every day!
There are two sources of motivation – internal and external. Consume external motivation, and learn how to truly fuel your internal motivation.
41. The Secrets of Wealth by Parviz Firouzgar
Live within your means! If you want to live like others can’t in the future, live like others choose not to in the present.
Save money and do not dip into those savings. Invest! There is magical power in compound interest!
42. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Life gives you want you ask for. What are your thoughts, emotions, and actions asking for?
Every search begins with beginner’s luck, and ends with the searcher being tested. Are you willing to persevere?
The fear of suffering is worse than the fear itself.
We all have a treasure, but most people don’t search for it.
43. Mastering the Art of Quitting by Peg Streep and Alan Bernstein
Giving up and active disengagement from a goal that no longer serves are two different things.
Successful people know how to give up and how to persevere. They know WHEN to give up!
If you don’t release/actively disengage, your brain will always hold on to that other goal. This will stop you from achieving any new goals.
44. The Entrepreneur's Blueprint to Massive Success by Peter Voogd
Get a goal, create a plan, create momentum!
The power of habits and routine!
45. Reveal, Heal & Shine: 5 Steps to Emotional Freedom by Raine Turner
We need to allow ourselves to heal from emotional trauma and scars.
The only way to heal is to acknowledge the trauma/pain and face it head on.
46. Flip - How to Find, Fix & Sell Houses for Profit by Rick Villani and Clay Davis
What to look for in a possible investment house
Investing should be a financial decision, not emotional!
47. Rich Mind, Rich Life by Rik Schnabel
If you want to be rich, you need to start with your mind first
Don’t spend time worrying about what a worst-case scenario would look like. Instead, focus on what you want the scenario to be.
Your thoughts plant the seeds for your reality.
48. Rising to Power by Ron Carruci
If you rise to management too soon (i.e. if you are not prepared for it), you will experience altitude sickness.
Start investing in your leadership skills now!
Use your power to further the organizations goals, not your personal agenda
49. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Perception, Action & Will – the 3 stoic disciplines
The world can knock you down and break your heart. But, if you harness your willpower, no knockdown blow can deter you.
Your will puts you firmly in charge of your life and accomplishments.
50. God’s Debris by Scott Adams
Be willing to question your assumptions on EVERYTHING.
Be willing to hear other people’s thoughts, even if they are radically different than yours.
51. Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders by Scott Shane
Realize that while your environment and personal actions play a large role in your ability to be an entrepreneur or leader, genes are also a factor.
Our genes influence our risk tolerance level and other leadership traits. Be aware of what your natural tendencies are – know which are your strengths and which you need to augment.
52. The Power of Naivete by Shawn Thomas
Be naïve – take risks and chances! Dare to dream!
Believing you are the exception to the rule gives you the courage to try.
53. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Start with the end in mind. Know what you are working towards!
You are what you repeatedly do; develop productive habits!
Put first things first! Set your priorities
54. The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Ecker
Your income can only grow to the extent that you do
If your motivation comes from a negative source (fear, anger, need to prove yourself), money/success will not bring you happiness.
Admire and study other rich and successful people; don’t resent them.
55. The Confident Leader by Tameka Anderson
Stop worrying so much about what other people will say.
Stop basing your self worth on how much you do for other people!
Take care of yourself! If your cup is not full, you won’t have anything to give to others.
56. Third Circle Theory by The Secret Entourage
The people we admire the most have left a lasting impact on the world. Their life wasn’t about them – it was about a higher purpose/calling.
Do you want to leave a lasting impact? Move into this “Third Circle” of vision and purpose.
57. The Science of Becoming Rich by Wallace Wattles
A man’s way of doing things is a direct result of his way of THINKING.
Above all else, remember – thoughts influence our reality, remain in the spirit of GRATITUDE, apply ACTION, and GIVE VALUE.
58. Getting To Yes With Yourself by William Ury
How can you expect others to agree with you if you haven’t agreed with yourself first?
Before any negotiations, first determine 1. What it is you want and 2. What would be the best alternative.
While in negotiations, remember to reframe the picture (always frame it positively in your mind), stay in the zone, respect even if you are rejected, and give for mutual gain.
So there you have it. An entire year’s worth of reading, a lifetime of lessons. For the most part, the key takeaways are the ones that I still remembered off the top of my head. Yes, I have a pretty good memory. I also figured if I still remember a lesson from a book, then it means it was useful to me. Especially after having read so many.
So much of what I have read has helped me become a better person, coach and leader. I’ve learned to analyze myself at a deeper level, challenge myself, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and pass on these lessons to my clients.