Influential books

Recently I wrote a post about how sometimes the difference between first and second place, the difference between success and failure is so small is is barely noticeable but it is indeed there. The post was inspired by the book “212 – The Extra Degree” by Sam Parker. This got me to thinking about the other influential books I have read. While making my list of books I came to realize I have read quite a few books that inspired me positively. Always wanting to share and to help make the world a little better I narrowed the list down to ten books and offer it to you. Leave a comment and let me know which books you have read.

For each title I have included a description of the books, my own brief comments about how or why these are influential books to me followed by a link so you can now buy these books on Amazon.

So in no particular order here is my list of Influential Books.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich napoleon hill books

A must for anyone wanting to improve their lives and their positive thinking. There have been more millionaires and indeed, billionaires, who have made their fortunes as a result of reading this success classic than any other book every printed. Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is the authors most famous work. This is the COMPLETE Reference Book. A true masterpiece with the fundamentals of the Success philosophy.

Napoleon Hill was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time. Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions. How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach for the average person, were the focal points of Hill’s books.

Think and Grow Rich is a motivational personal development and self-help book written by Napoleon Hill and inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. While the title implies that this book deals only with how to get rich, the author explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want. For instance, Jim Murray (sportswriter) wrote that Think and Grow Rich was credited for Ken Norton’s boxing upset of Muhammad Ali in 1973. The Reverend Charles Stanley writes “I began to apply the principles of (Think and Grow Rich) to my endeavors as a pastor, and I discovered they worked!” The book was first published during the Great Depression. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies. It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books – a perennial best-seller after 70 years (BusinessWeek Magazine’s Best-Seller List ranked Think and Grow Rich as the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was first published). Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell’s A Lifetime “Must Read” Books List. The text of Think and Grow Rich is founded on Hill’s earlier work The Law of Success, the result of more than twenty years of research based on Hill’s close association with a large number of individuals who achieved great wealth during their lifetimes. At Andrew Carnegie’s bidding, Hill studied the characteristics of these achievers and developed 16 “laws” of success intended to be applied by anybody to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses these laws further and provides the reader with 13 principles in the form of a philosophy of personal achievement. It is noted in the book, that an individual with desire, faith, and persistence can reach great heights by eliminating all negative energy and thoughts and focusing at the greater goals in hand.

*** – I first read this book in the late 90’s in a more bullish economy yet the words are as important then as they were in the 1920s and as they are now as or economy in America begins to build itself back up. Even if you feel you do not have a bunch of cash lying around to invest, this is one of those books will show you that even a little bit is better than nothing. The book will also help you with creating a more positive outlook on your life as a whole.

>> Click here to buy Think and Grow Rich on Amazon


How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle: The Complete Seminar [Kindle Edition] by Paul Kyriazi

james bond lifestyle seminar books paul kyriazi

Changing lives since 1998, this is the original course taught at The Learning Annex & SpyFest, now expanded & updated for 2012. With 354 pages of information to upgrade all areas of your life.

Chapters include: Re-invent Yourself, Bond Symbols for Change, Your Base of Operations, Your Appearance, The Bond Personality, Bond and His Cash, Your Bond Car, Bond Girls, Resort Hotels, Bond on the Job, Casino Gambling, Your Mission, Upgrading Your Image, The Greatest Adventure, The Ultimate Secret of Women, & much more.

About the author:
Paul Kyriazi is the writer/director of six feature films. Directed 22 movie stars in his films and full-cast audio-novels. Studied in person with three notable success teachers; Anthony Norvell, Paul Mastrodakos, & Marc Reymont. Created the How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle course in 1998, teaching it at The Learning Annex & SpyFest.

*** – If I was going to order this list I would put this book at the top of the list without a doubt. I have read this book at least once a year since 1998 and have listened to the 8 hour audio CD at least once a year as well. This book has really changed my life and helped me find my dream Bond Girl.

>> Click here to buy How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle: The Complete Seminar on Amazon


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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss

4-HOUR WORKWEEK tim ferriss

“More than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
•How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
•How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
•How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
•How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
•How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”

The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
•More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
•Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
•How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
•The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either”

*** – This was one of the books that really got me to thinking about creating a location independent lifestyle. I won’t get into what exactly that means here though maybe I will in a future article. In the mean time buy the book or read this article by Sean Ogle. Basically this book taught me there is a different way of having a full filling and successful life other than going to college or working your way up that corporate ladder. In this book Tim Ferriss introduces you to how to go about it. other

>> Click here to buy The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) on Amazon


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The Minimalists: Essential Essays by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

minimalism essential essays

“Joshua and Ryan both jettisoned most of their material possessions at age 30 to pursue more meaningful lives. Essential Essays highlights essays from the first nine months of their journey into minimalism.

Essential Essays is an edited collection of 29 of The Minimalists’ favorite essays about living a more meaningful life with less stuff. This collection also contains a special forward by Joshua and Ryan, as well as two bonus essays you can’t find anywhere else: “Dealing with Overwhelm” and “Focus On What’s Important.”

The book is organized into seven interconnected themes: Living in the Moment, Emotional Health, Growth, Contribution, Taking Action, Passion and Mission, and Change and Experimentation. The order of this collection is deliberate; it is meant to be read from beginning to end. Doing so will result in a better overall experience–a different experience from reading these essays all over the web–connecting various concepts that might otherwise seem unconnected.”

*** – This is one of those books I wish I could have read many years ago before I blew so much money on worthless and useless stuff. Please understand this book is NOT about giving up all your worldly possessions or living with just 50 items, though it certainly could be if you wanted it to be. It is more about teaching us to rid our lives of distractions. As I have begun to embrace the minimalist lifestyle, I have experienced just how enlightening getting rid of extra stuff and clutter is. This book will teach you how. In fact make sure to read all of their books.

>> Click here to buy The Minimalists: Essential Essays on Amazon


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Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way Paperback by Richard Branson

Losing My Virginity Richard Branson books

“Oh, screw it, let’s do it.”

That’s the philosophy that has allowed Richard Branson, in slightly more than twenty-five years, to spawn so many successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), to retail (Virgin Megastores), and nearly a hundred others, ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a track record second to none.

Losing My Virginity is the unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time. When Richard Branson started his first business, he and his friends decided that “since we’re complete virgins at business, let’s call it just that: Virgin.” Since then, Branson has written his own “rules” for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy.

Many of Richard Branson’s companies–airlines, retailing, and cola are good examples–were started in the face of entrenched competition. The experts said, “Don’t do it.” But Branson found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been ripped off or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent.
And in this stressed-out, overworked age, Richard Branson gives us a new model: a dynamic, hardworking, successful entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest. Family, friends, fun, and adventure are equally important as business in Branson’s life. Losing My Virginity is a portrait of a productive, sane, balanced life, filled with rich and colorful stories:

Crash-landing his hot-air balloon in the Algerian desert, yet remaining determined to have another go at being the first to circle the globe

Signing the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins

Fighting back when British Airways took on Virgin Atlantic and successfully suing this pillar of the British business establishment

Swimming two miles to safety during a violent storm off the coast of Mexico

Selling Virgin Records to save Virgin Atlantic

Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad before the start of the Gulf War . . .

And much more. Losing My Virginity is the ultimate tale of personal and business survival from a man who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.

*** – I was not born with that Hustle Gene people like Richard Branson or Gary Vaynerchuk were. At 17 Richard Branson was running companies. I was goofing off and playing Mario Brothers on Nintendo. I certainly was not hitting my school books. Yet as I am much closer to 47 than 17 I still find this book inspiring. Richard Branson reminds us to take chances and go for it.

>> Click here to buy Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way on Amazon


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The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss

4-HOUR CHEF tim ferriss

“If you crossed Jason Bourne with Julia Child, you’d end up with Tim Ferriss.” – Marco Canora, Chef-Partner of Hearth & Terroir

“Wildly inventive.. [a] rangy, obsessive immersion in food and its many wonders. [T]he tools needed to learn to cook well can be deployed in every manner of endeavor, from skinning a deer to memorizing a deck of cards. The author distills them into minimal, learnable units and examines how to order the units so as to keep readers engaged in their endeavors. Ferriss is a beguiling guide to this process, at once charmingly smart aleck-y and deadly serious, and he aims to make readers knowledgeable and freethinking.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Tim Ferriss distills kitchen wisdom like a rotary evaporator on power surge. The results are potent, lucid, and delicious.” – Nick Kokonas, Co-Owner, Alinea, Next, The Aviary


The 4-Hour Chef isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure guide to the world of rapid learning.
#1 New York Times bestselling author (and lifelong non-cook) Tim Ferriss takes you from Manhattan to Okinawa, and from Silicon Valley to Calcutta, unearthing the secrets of the world’s fastest learners and greatest chefs. Ferriss uses cooking to explain “meta-learning,” a step-by-step process that can be used to master anything, whether searing steak or shooting 3-pointers in basketball. That is the real “recipe” of The 4-Hour Chef.

You’ll train inside the kitchen for everything outside the kitchen. Featuring tips and tricks from chess prodigies, world-renowned chefs, pro athletes, master sommeliers, super models, and everyone in between, this “cookbook for people who don’t buy cookbooks” is a guide to mastering cooking and life.

The 4-Hour Chef is a five-stop journey through the art and science of learning:

1. META-LEARNING. Before you learn to cook, you must learn to learn. META charts the path to doubling your learning potential.

2. THE DOMESTIC. DOM is where you learn the building blocks of cooking. These are the ABCs (techniques) that can take you from Dr, Seuss to Shakespeare.

3. THE WILD. Becoming a master student requires self-sufficiency in all things. WILD teaches you to hunt, forage, and survive.

4. THE SCIENTIST. SCI is the mad scientist and modernist painter wrapped into one. This is where you rediscover whimsy and wonder.

5. THE PROFESSIONAL. Swaraj, a term usually associated with Mahatma Gandhi, can be translated as “self-rule.” In PRO, we’ll look at how the best in the world become the best in the world, and how you can chart your own path far beyond this book.

*** – Do not let the title fool you. The third in his trilogy of books this is not a cookbook although I learned a huge lesson from the scrambled eggs section. Yes, Tim teaches us how to cook scrambled eggs in this book. Think you already know scrambled eggs? That’s fine. So did I. Yet Tim offers a table with 44 different flavor combinations from around the world. I had no idea to even think that adding just two ingredients would allow me to prepare scrambled eggs like they eat in Vietnam. That alone opens a whole new world.

>> Click here to buy The 4-Hour Chef on Amazon


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You’re Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead [Kindle Edition] by Larry Winget

broke larry winget

More than 40 percent of families today are feeling financial pressure: spending more than they earn, and worrying about retiring and being dependent on the government, family, or charity. Larry Winget knows. He grew up poor, then made and lost a fortune when a business in which he?d invested went bankrupt. But he worked his way back from rock bottom to become a multimillionaire.

In You’re Broke Because You Want to Be, Winget expands on the ideas that have made his popular television show Big Spender a hit and offers straightforward talk about coming to grips with your finances, such as:

· Feel bad. Have remorse. You need to feel deep emotion to take action. So start crying and take responsibility.
· Figure out who you owe and how much you owe. It?ll be a scary number to face, but you need to know where you are and what you have.
· People are stupid, lazy, or they don’t give a damn. You already know you need to do something; Larry will help you finally do something.
· Are you more interested in looking cool and being cute or providing a financially secure future for your family? How you spend your money will tell you that. With a boot-camp regimen that is steeped in personal accountability, Winget cuts through the double-talk contained in most finance books and presents a simple, guided program that is sure to motivate anyone out of their money problems.

*** – Larry Winget is known as The Pitbull of Personal Development for a reason. He does not pull punches. Larry has written a ton of books and this is my favorite. If you are wondering why you are always broke there is a good reason and Larry will help you see why. Even if you are doing well financially Larry will show you there is always room for improvement. I picked this book up when I was in a bad place financially and Larry was a huge inspiration to pick myself up by my boot straps and get moving.

>> Click here to buy You’re Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead on Amazon


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Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement [Kindle Edition] by Anthony Robbins

unlimited power anthony robbins

Anthony Robbins calls it the new science of personal achievement. You’ll call it the best thing that ever happened to you.
If you have ever dreamed of a better life, Unlimited Power will show you how to achieve the extraordinary quality of life you desire and deserve, and how to master your personal and professional life. Anthony Robbins has proven to millions through his books, tapes, and seminars that by harnessing the power of the mind you can do, have, achieve, and create anything you want for your life. He has shown heads of state, royalty, Olympic and professional athletes, movie stars, and children how to achieve. With Unlimited Power, he passionately and eloquently reveals the science of personal achievement and teaches you:
* How to find out what you really want
* The Seven Lies of Success
* How to reprogram your mind in minutes to eliminate fears and phobias
* The secret of creating instant rapport with anyone you meet
* How to duplicate the success of others
* The Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness
Unlimited Power is a revolutionary fitness book for the mind. It will show you, step by step, how to perform at your peak while gaining emotional and financial freedom, attaining leadership and self-confidence, and winning the cooperation of others. It will give you the knowledge and the courage to remake yourself and your world. Unlimited Power is a guidebook to superior performance in an age of success.

*** – I mean do I really need to say anything about this or any of his books? Just go buy it and read it today!

>> Click here to buy Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement on Amazon


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212 the extra degree [Kindle Edition] by Sam Parker

212 degrees sam parker

212° the extra degree captures the essence of excellence in an unforgettable way… At 211° water is hot. At 212°, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. The one extra degree makes the difference. In the original 212° the extra degree softcover, the simple 212° concept is illustrated through a clear introduction and then supported by a series of thoughts, examples, and facts that will help you absorb the 212° mindset. Its purpose is to inspire the extra level of effort that produces exponential results. Let 212° become a part of everyone’s vocabulary. This book will encourage anyone who reads it to give that extra degree of effort…the extra degree that will produce extraordinary results.

*** – This book is amazing. The description above pretty much covers it though Sam Parker gives numerous inspiring examples of events through history where just that little extra effort made all the difference. Too many people today are happy to do the least they need to to make their boss or their spouse happy. You are better than that and this book will help inspire you to be even better.

>> Click here to buy 212 the extra degree on Amazon


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Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

steal like an artist kleon

“You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.”

*** – In a recent post I pondered whether there were any original ideas left. This book shows us that nothing is original so you should embrace whatever influences you. The book is an easy read with some super inspiring concepts and really fun pictures and graphics. I am looking forward to more books by Austin Kleon.

>> Click here to buy Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative on Amazon


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7 Replies to “Influential books”

  1. I like this list. I have the audiobook(CD) and the Kindle edition of How To Live The James Bond Lifestyle. And I have used Think And Grow Rich.
    I do recommend both books. As for James Bond Lifestyle I prefer 8-CD set.

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