The best way to know yourself is by writing out your thoughts, and the best way to know someone else is to read what they have written. Average CEOs read 56 books a year. Warren Buffet reads 2 hours a day and Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day. They are not multi-millionaires running some small businesses. They are multi-BILLIONAIRES running MEGA BUSINESSES. Yet, they take the time out to train and educate themselves on new information every day.
You might say to yourself that 'oh books are not for me', 'I will just watch an educational youtube video and get going'. Well, YouTube videos are good and you should watch great contents online but if watching videos were truly an alternative to reading books, I am pretty sure Mark Cuban wouldn't 'waste' 3 hours everyday on reading books. These legends and their habit of reading books & learning new things everyday inspired me to make reading books part of my daily schedule.
So how do I pick a book?
I live in a real world, I own 3 real businesses with real employees, clients, contractors and vendors. I face real life problems in really scaling my business while maintaining my real commitments to my faith, family and fitness. So fictional books will never be in my book shelves. I need real books with real solutions to my real problems.
Also, I don't like jumping around from one genre to another. I typically choose 1 mentor for myself and I try to immerse myself in studying and absorbing all of their materials that are out there. So basically I pick the author, not the book.
Having said that, here are my Top 5 Picks from the Books I read in 2017/18:
1. The 10X Rule
This is a book written by Grant Cardone, my #1 mentor in business. Grant simplifies the formula of achieving high levels of success: 10X your Goals, 10X the actions and effort that you think it will take to achieve your new goal and see the magic unfold in your life. I have read it over a dozen times already. This book will teach you how to take massive actions at all times, how to make sure to not slow down when you have hit your targets and much more! The book is written exactly the way Grant speaks, making it easy for any beginner readers to absorb a lot of information without burning out. It is like you are watching a movie and not reading a book. Till this day I go back to this book and read certain passages over and over again.
2. Think and Grow Rich
An Old School Legend! First published in 1936, Napoleon Hill brings his 30+ years of experience working closely with Andrew Carneige, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham and many other greats of his time. The book studies the Mindset of these individuals and other successful people from different eras. The coolest part about this book are the real stories that Napoleon quotes from the lives of great people of his time and the time before, including Prophet Mohammed. He does that to solidify his theories of how one should operate their thought process in order to achieve the highest levels of success. The supporting stories really make this book a must read!
3. The ONE Thing
Written by Gary Keller, Founder of Keller Williams, this is by far the best book I have read on time management. It highlights one simple concept of time blocking with step by step guide on how to implement this strategy. Book extensively quotes a lot of modern day research which amplifies your belief in what this book is teaching. It is a super practical book that you can start acting on right after you read only the first few pages. Don't get yourself lost and confused with all the time management content that is out there in the market. Read, study and absorb the contents of this book and your time management will be on a different level!
4. Sell or Be Sold
Another book by Grant Cardone. It disheartens me to see the amount of people looking down upon sales people without realizing that most of the luxuries we enjoy today are because of great salespeople like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and many more. Yes, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were GREAT SALESPERSONS! Otherwise their products would still be in their little garages and not on our desks and hands. Grant Cardone explains in this book that every thing you need to achieve in life is a sale you have to make and what you get out of that achievement is your commission. Then he goes on to teach different techniques of efficient modern day selling, persuading and convincing. Mark Cuban famously said, "You need to be a great salesman first before you become a great entrepreneur".
5. The 7 Levels of Communications
This book by Michael Maher, is specifically designed for sales people from Real Estate, Insurance and Mortgage Industry. In today's day and age of Facebook and Google ads (which are absolute musts to run a successful sales business!) , this book brings a fresh insight in how to build a business solely on leads generated through referrals from your past clients, sphere of influence, neighbors, relatives, friends and any other contacts you might have!Sometimes we get so robotic by relying heavily on social and digital leads that we forget the value of building and nurturing relationships until one day our neighbor sells their house with another Real Estate Agent. Like 'The One Thing', this book has practical step by step guide on how to create database, how to grade people in your database and how to nurture them and follow up accordingly. A unique approach to sales and a must read for serious business people.
BONUS BOOK: The E-Myth Revisited
Talking about serious business people..if you are an entrepreneur, a business owner or a thriving sales person - this book is a NECESSITY for you to study so you can figure out how to structure your business, setup the organizational chart, writes roles and responsibilities and create systems for a business. I made the mistake of NOT reading this book until I was already too deep in my business and it was already getting chaotic with growing pains. I wish I read this book BEFORE my businesses started to grow exponentially. It is easier to prevent mess than cleaning up mess. This book will definitely help you prevent any mess and minimize growing pains when you are scaling your business!
Note to College Grads:
"I am not afraid of the man with 1,000 kicks, I am afraid of the man who has practiced 1 kick 1,000 times" - Bruce Lee
What these books cover, are not covered in colleges. Please don't stop reading and learning once you are done with college. College teaches you HOW to learn, it doesn't teach you everything that you NEED to learn. Keep learning, keep practicing and keep sharpening your skills. That's the only way to keep yourself relevant in this highly competitive market place.