One of my goals for 2019 was to read more books. Thankfully, with the help of Audible and the Kindle app I was able to do just that. In fact, my original goal was 12 books (1 book a month) but by the end of 2019 I’m happy to report that I’ve read close to 40!
This is been such a huge awakening and I’m sure it’s also part of the reason why 2019 has been my most successful year to date as an entrepreneur.
As you head into 2020 and if you’re looking for some motivational or inspirational books to get the gears in your head turning, here are my personal book recommendations from stuff I read in 2019.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please be sure to use the link below the books. It really helps support the website and I’d really appreciate it!
#1 – Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – David Goggins
What else can I say about this guy aside from that he is a beast. This book navigates you through his journey from being a fat ass to transforming into one of the toughest men alive. He completed multiple SEAL trainings, hundred mile courses, and more!
My biggest takeaway is that success is more of a game that you play in your mind as opposed to something physical.
#2 – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
Jocko was a lieutenant responsible for multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 2000s. He was responsible for strategically planning and executing several of the efforts we had overseas to fight terrorism.
This book is all about his mental thought process as well as taking accountability for failure. My biggest takeaway from this is owning your f’ckups as a leader. There is no point to pass blame to anyone else. It’s your job to accept it, learn from it and move on.
#3 – Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike – Phil Knight
This memoir from Phil Knight was extremely fascinating to me. It outlined the journey from selling crappy shoes out of a basement to now having one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
My big takeaway from this is understanding how to properly build a team around you. Phil did not have the financial backing to bring in top talent from the sports industry. Instead he took a different approach where he looked for hungry future attorneys to run the business. YES, ATTORNEYS! This goes to show that it makes more sense to hire very strongly educated and ambitious individuals that are highly motivated and are willing to learn as opposed to depending on the most popular or most influential kid on the block to run your company.
#4 – Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! – Richard P. Feynman
All I can say is, this book was amazing! After reading this book I truly can understand the brilliance of Richard Feynman.
My biggest takeaway from this was his approach to learning and what made him brilliant. It’s called a Feynman Technique. You don’t truly learn something unless you’re able to take in the information and explain it in your own words.
#5 – The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Rich – Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D., William D. Danko Ph.D.
This book is fascinating because it really opened my eyes to the illegitimacy of social media and social status.
This book helped me understand the dichotomy of building wealth along with the ability to spot the BS in people that claim to have money but really don’t.
#6 – Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One – Jenny Blake
It’s really easy to fall in love with a business, a career or your job. But the unfortunate truth is, if that business or job isn’t evolving then there is no progression and you’ll end up unhappy.
This book articulates that idea and also helps you understand when to pivot.
#7 – Principles: Life and Work – Ray Dalio
I love this book because Ray Dalio is a genius. There are several takeaways from this book but here are the two that really resonated with me.
One is to never stop evolving and to continue to invest in technology. The more complex of a system that you build, the harder it is to replicate and the more valuable it will become.
Number two is to embrace the haters. Any form of criticism, once you get past the emotional hurt of it, is really designed to help you improve. Ray’s view of looking at failures as huge opportunities really helped him slingshot Bridgewater Associates to it to the level it is today. Taking a failure and learning from it equates to creating a principle or rule to live by.
#8 – The Road Less Stupid – Keith J. Cunningham
First I want to say thank you to TK. I saw you post about this book earlier this year and I decided to pick it up and give it a read. It’s proven to be extremely valuable.
Aside from Keith’s methodology about operating a business, my biggest takeaway is measuring every action to make sure that all the decisions made are the correct ones. This actually inspired me to start building out a data science team and create dashboards to measure every part of my business.
#9 – The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
Motivation and inspiration is futile. That is the premise of this book. Small tasks completed on a regular basis overtime is really the magic potion to reaching goals.
My big takeaway is understanding how to build a habit. Once you understand the science behind it, it’s easier to implement. From that you’ll find yourself completing a lot more tasks on a regular basis and find it easier to reach any of your goals a lot faster.
#10 – Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller
This book is all about understanding the concepts of branding and how most online marketers have a huge disconnect with that philosophy.
Whether it be for a large company or your personal brand my big takeaway is to keep the narrative simple. It’s also to provide as much content with value as possible.
BONUS – The ONE Thing – Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
*Here’s a bonus book and thank you to Nikki Miller for the copy!
This book is all about focusing on one thing. That means removing all distractions and making the priority for each day your one goal.
Just like in The Power of Habit, this book articulates the idea that small incremental progress compounds over time and before you know it you will be in a far better position to ascertain your goals than you could have imagined.
I hope you guys found a value in this book list. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to drop a comment below. Cheers to a successful 2020!