I just came across this sentence and it struck me. How true – in our case, for sure!
A little history
When I was a child, I started to read before going to school. I was fascinated by the beautiful shape of letters and that they actually stood for and meant something. Bit by bit, I worked out words and sentences and started to read super short children’s stories. The very first proper book I read must have been The wizard of Oz. Such a lovely story, something resonated deeply in me when I read about Dorothy’s and Toto’s adventures.
And then, school made me forget what reading for enjoyment was. I did read most of the set books but did I enjoy them? No, they were a real pain in the a** for me.
I hated to do what I had to do merely because it was required by the teacher and the school system. Having said that, I was obedient enough to actually do it, because of fear of failure which I carried with me throughout my education.
This resentment continued way into my years at university and even a few years afterwards. Altogether, it took 15 odd years until I took a book in my hand because I was interested in it and I wanted to read it.
I still wonder as a teacher, how I would teach young children the joy of reading, but I haven’t come up with an answer just yet. I do take my hats off to teachers like Robin Williams’ character in the fantastic movie Dead poets society, I know there are a lot out there and they do a fantastic job.
My other half has a very different story ith books. To cut it short, he kind of falls asleep reading. Rather fast :)
Audio books – a life saver
Luckily, we discovered audio books. Hallelujah! They do exist, and they come in different shapes and forms, but most importantly you can carry them with you on your phone and they are absolutely fantastic! We can read on the go, while walking or travelling to work. Multitasking at its best.
The very first audio book that had the biggest impact on our life must have been Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich dad, poor dad. I’m talking plural because we could listen to / read books together, Mr Ferenczi would not fall asleep – in fact, he enjoys it massively -, and the best bit of it all: We can discuss what we read and have fantastic conversations.
So, here is a list of must reads for business and personal development that made difference to our lives:
Robert Kiyosaki: Rich dad, poor dad
Teaches you about financial literacy and financial freedom that’s never taught in schools and universities. Powerful, profound and life-changing. Recommended to anyone who wants to start a business and/or investing but is willing to look at things from a different angle.
Gary Chapman: The 5 love languages
That’s a nice one recommended by a university teacher of mine. Chapman identifies 5 key ‘languages’ (ways) to express love, and discovers that every single one of us has a primary language that we use to express our feelings to the other – without questioning if that’s a language our partner really understands …
The book teaches us all about the importance of understanding each other’s needs.
Brian Tracy: Eat that frog!
Time management, increasing your productivity, prioritising, organising your life, and how starting the day with the most challenging and difficult task can improve your productivity and work-life balance.
I’m not following every single advice in the book, and I don’t always start with ‘eating the frog’, but this book started to make me think seriously about my productivity.
Loren Cordain: The Paleo Diet & The Paleo Answer
These books helped me take responsibility for my health and wellbeing and regain full health after a chronic ‘incurable’ condition.
The author is one of the top global researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. His idea, in a nutshell is this: Healthy, delicious, and simple, the Paleo Diet is the diet we were designed to eat. By eating lean meats and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, you can lose weight and prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome and many other illnesses.
I’m not a paleo fanatic or preacher, me and my family follow the diet or rather lifestyle about 80-90% of the time, but I do feel great, energetic, the chronic digestive illness that I struggled with for years disappeared and I’ve never felt better.
I love this 1-hour presentation by Cordain about food and evolution; Super interesting. Check it out if you struggle with health issues, chronic illnesses and don’t want to accept the ‘chronic’ or ‘incurable’ verdict.
Michael E. Gerber: The E-Myth
For anyone who wants to start a business. Absolutely must read! Why? Read Gerber’s definition what the E-Myth is:
“E-Myth 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.”
And the next 2 books changed the way I do business:
Daniel Priestly: Oversubscribed
Now this is slightly more technical and definitely for people who are in business and want to be highly in demand. Daniel Priestley certainly understands how to get buyers’ attention and the book shows you how to build a business and a brand that people flock to. I’ve listened to this book at least 8 times now and there’s always something new that I discover and can implement into my marketing strategy.
Joe Pulizzi: Epic content marketing
The old ways of marketing do not work. We have to attract customers and prospects by creating information and content they actually want to engage with. Pulizzi gives you concrete ideas and tools how to do just that.
My transparency statement: I did sign up for an affiliate program with Amazon, so if you want to buy these books and do it through the links above, I will get a small percentage of the sales proceeds that will support my blogging and creating more and more useful content. I have and will have no intention whatsoever to make you buy something you don’t want or need, and I promise that if I ever decide to endorse products and services, it is only because I really truly tried, tested and believe in them.
I guess it’s time to finish this post with this thought-provoking tweetable:
“I am a part of everything that I have read .”
And now, it’s your turn. I would love to know what books made a direct impact on your personal life and/or on your business. Please share your brief story in the comments below if you think it could help others.
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