The self-help book genre is filled with bestsellers that cover everything from learning how to lead to developing good habits, written by everyone from CEOs and politicians to psychologists and doctors who’ve spent years studying a subject.
Reading is important if you want to be successful in business. It will shows you new ideas and ways of thinking, and grant you access to all kinds of knowledge.
Most successful people you know read voraciously and extol the importance of reading.
- Bill Gates reads one book per week, which amounts to roughly 50 books per year.
- When Elon Musk was asked how he learned to build rockers, he answered, “I read books.”
- Mark Cuban reads for more than three hours every day.
The more you read, the more you’ll learn. And the more you learn, the higher the heights you can reach.
That said, I’ve outlined four of the best books about becoming successful in life. They teach important things from influencing people to working more efficiently.
Let’s dive in!
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This groundbreaking bestselling book teaches you how to effectively communicate with people who don’t agree with you on certain matters. It also shows you the best and most efficient ways to handle conflict, especially when you occupy a leadership position.
This book offers simple and actionable advice that can help you amp your popularity points and expand your current network. Among the gems it offers, this book details six ways to make people like you, 12 ways to win people over and make them agree with your thinking, and nine ways to change people without making them hate you.
How to Win Friends and Influence People has helped countless people reach the pinnacle of success. If you want to learn how to build and nurture strong relationships, this book is for you.
To get a better idea of what this book is about, read the summary.
Memorable quote: “Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.”
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Originally published in 2007–and updated in 2009, this book teaches you how to build your own business while working less today, rather than working too hard now and relaxing in the future. Rather than glorifying the ‘Work Today, Retire Tomorrow’ ideology, this book shows you how to achieve all the goals you want to achieve in your golden years right now while you’re still young.
It’s filled with timeless tips for becoming successful without sacrificing important things in the process. It covers the process of delegating tasks, getting rid of workday clutter and living well right now on less.
While solopreneurs can learn a ton of lessons from this book, The 4-Hour Work Week isn’t just for people who want to start an online business. New workers and experienced executives can also learn things like outsourcing, automating processes and the 80/20 rule that Ferriss also touched upon in this classic business book.
To understand more about what this book teaches, read the summary.
Memorable quote: “But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini
In this narrative book, Cialdini uses research and experimental evidence to explain the psychology of why people say ‘yes’ and how to apply these techniques.
He divides his techniques of gaining compliance into six categories, all of which are based on psychological principles that direct human behavior. You’ll learn these six universal principles, how to use them to successfully persuade people, and how to defend yourself against them.
In short, this book’s all about gaining power over other people by understanding how to influence them to do what you want them to do.
If you work in business, sales, or any position that requires you to get people to agree with your goal and follow your lead, Influence: Science and Practice is the book for you.
If you want to know more about this book, read the summary.
Memorable quote: “Abraham’s willingness to plunge a dagger through the heart of his young son because God, without any explanation, ordered it. We learn in this story that the correctness of an action was not judged by such considerations as apparent senselessness, harmfulness, injustice, or usual moral standards, but by the mere command of a higher authority.”
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
Originally published in 1959 (but still very relevant today), this book teaches people how to achieve everything they’ve ever wanted, from getting a great job to financial security, maintaining strong relationships, having power and influence, and living a rewarding life.
In this book, Schwartz offers actionable advice that can inspire and motivate you to create a better life and career for yourself. Schwartz explains that, to be successful and satisfied in life, you don’t need to have great talent. All you need to do is learn and practice new ways of thinking and new behaviors that will propel you towards success.
If you struggle with small thinking or procrastination, this is the book for you.
Memorable quote: “No one is born with confidence. People who radiate confidence have conquered fear and worry. They’ve done so through action as action does cure fear. Hesitation only increases fear so take action promptly and be decisive. To conquer your fear do the following: Isolate your fear and determine exactly what you are afraid of. Identify the action that can overcome the fear.”
Wrapping it up
Becoming successful is not a day’s job. It takes time, hard work and dedication to become a successful person. However, these four can put you on the right path to becoming a successful person.
However, these books are not the only great books on becoming successful. In our post, Four Must Read Books on How to Become a Millionaire, we highlight four books that can help you on your journey to building wealth and financial freedom.