📚 Recommended Reads
This is an ever-evolving list of my recommended books and guides. It scratches the surface of what I’d recommend.
If you see 🎯 next to the title, it's a personal favorite of mine - a book I regularly reference. If you don't have it, click the title and order it now.
- 🎯🎯 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The - Stephen R. Covey
"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
- 🎯 10X Rule, The – Grant Cardone
“One of the greatest turning points in my life occurred when I stopped casually waiting for success and instead started to approach it as a duty, obligation, and responsibility.”
- 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, The – John C. Maxwell
“Every time you speak to people, give them something to feel, something to remember, and something to do.”
- 🎯 4-Hour Workweek, The – Tim Ferriss
“Being busy is a form of laziness. Doing less is the path of the productive.”
- Agile Selling – Jill Konrath
“All the top sellers I know possess a unique balance of positivity and negativity. They’re always optimistic about the ultimate outcomes, but they sometimes seem paranoid about everything that could possibly go wrong. That’s why they succeed.”
- 🎯 Amp It Up! – Frank Slootman
"There will be resistance. Change is hard. Some will vote with their feet. If you want to be popular as a leader, this may not be for you. The role of a leader is to change the status quo, step up the pace, and increase the intensity. Leaders are the energy bunnies and pacemakers of the organization. Some people drain energy from organizations; not leaders, they engulf organizations with energy."
- 🎯 Anything You Want – Derek Sivers
"When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say no.
When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”
- Art of Learning, The – Josh Waitzkin
“One of the most critical strengths of a superior competitor in any discipline—whether we are speaking about sports, business negotiations, or even presidential debates—is the ability to dictate the tone of the battle.”
- 🎯 Atomic Habits – James Clear
"Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy."
- Big Picture, The – Steve Wexler
"How can you provide the greatest degree of understanding with the least amount of effort?"
- Blueprints – Jacco Van Der Kooij
"All of us are B2C customers, and today we use that as the point of reference for a great sales experience. Fast-moving markets force B2B customers to look for the same experience, only to find that most B2B providers have a very poor sales experience. There's a big gap between the buyers' expectations and what they actually experience."
- 🎯 Business Made Simple - Donald Miller
"This is the secret to success: If you want to succeed in work, love, friendship, and life, give the people around you a great return on whatever it is they invest in you."
- Can Do!: The Story of the Seabees – William Bradford Huie
"In short, the Navy made it possible for the cream of the construction industry to join the Navy en masse. The Navy did more than make an alliance with the construction industry; it simply absorbed a large portion of the industry with amazingly successful results."
- Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins
“You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft, that you will die without ever realizing your true potential.”
- 🎯 Checklist Manifesto, The – Atul Gawande
“And the reason [for checklists] is increasingly evident: the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”
- Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand, The – Neil Patel
"In today’s job market and entrepreneurial landscape, there is no room for being another face in the crowd. You have to separate yourself from the competition. You have to be more appealing to your target audience and you can achieve it by creating a recognizable personal brand."
- Deep Work – Cal Newport
“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction. Put another way, the type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work.”
- Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
“My advice is to stop trying to "network" in the traditional business sense, and instead just try to build up the number and depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is its own reward. The more diverse your set of friendships are, the more likely you'll derive both personal and business benefits from your friendship later down the road."
- Difficult Conversations – Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton
"Delivering a difficult message is like throwing a hand grenade. Coated with sugar, thrown hard or soft, a hand grenade is still going to do damage. Choosing not to deliver a difficult message is like hanging on to a hand grenade once you've pulled the pin."
- 🎯 Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy
"Simply put, some people are doing better than others because they do
things differently and they do the right things right. Especially,
successful, happy, prosperous people use their time far, far better
than the average person."
- 🎯 Execution – Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy
"Only the leader can make execution happen, through deep personal involvement in the substance and details of execution. The leader must be in charge of getting things done by running the three core processes: picking other leaders, setting the strategic direction, and conducting operations."
- Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
“When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable—if there are no consequences—that poor performance becomes the new standard.”
- Fanatical Prospecting – Jeb Blount
“The implication of the 30-Day Rule is simple. Miss a day of prospecting and it will tend to bite you sometime in the next 90 days. Miss a week and you will feel it in your commission check. Miss the entire month and you will tank your pipeline, fall into a slump, and wake up 90 days later desperate, feeling like a loser, with no clue how you ended up there.”
- First 90 Days, The – Michael Watkins
“Joining a new company is akin to an organ transplant—and you’re the new organ. If you’re not thoughtful in adapting to the new situation, you could end up being attacked by the organizational immune system and rejected."
- Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The – Patrick Lencioni
“Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision. They leave meetings confident that no one on the team is quietly harboring doubts about whether to support the actions agreed on.”
- Founding Sales – Peter Kazanjy
"Sometimes you just have to grind. Sales, like recruiting, is all about activity and leverage. Generally speaking, activity in equals value out."
- Four Disciplines of Execution – Chris McChesney
“The highest level of performance always comes from people who are emotionally engaged and the highest level of engagement comes from knowing the score—that is, if people know whether they are winning or losing. It’s that simple.”
- GAP Selling – Jim Keenan
"The more you value yourself, your knowledge of the space in which
you sell, and your understanding of your buyers’ problems, the more your customers will value you. A great salesperson isn’t a gofer or a servant. A great salesperson is a skilled consultant and valuable asset. And you need to behave like one."
- Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – Jay Abraham
"The easiest possible way to increase your client base is laughably obvious, but hardly anyone does it. You can instantly increase your number of clients by regaining your inactive clients."
- Good to Great – Jim Collins
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
- Great by Choice – Jim Collins
"If you want to achieve consistent performance, you need both parts of a 20 Mile March: a lower bound and an upper bound, a hurdle that you jump over and a ceiling that you will not rise above, the ambition to achieve and the self-control to hold back."
- Hacking Sales – Max Altschuler
"Having a sales process for your business is extremely important. Without it, your business will be disorganized and disjointed. If you're not tracking and measuring with a standardized approach, then how will you get better?"
- Hard Thing About Hard Things, The – Ben Horowitz
“Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness.”
- High Output Management – Andy Grove
"Saying 'I feel motivated' means nothing. What matters is if you perform better or worse because your environment changed."
- High-Potential Leader, The – Ram Charan, Geri Willigan
“Investing a half hour a day in reading, seven days a week, 365 days a year, is a habit that will bring more value to you and your leadership strength than any other investment of your time. It doesn’t have to be books, and if it is, don’t brag about how many you’ve read. Just search for the new ideas, new insights, and new pieces of information.”
- How to Win at College – Cal Newport
“Getting involved with research early is like drinking an elixir of success. It's one of the most commonly overlooked and effective secrets for winning at college. Don't let this opportunity pass you by.”
- 🎯 How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
"There is one all-important law of human conduct. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important."
- How Will You Measure Your Life? – Clayton M. Christensen
"Don't worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people."
- Hyper-Performance – Errol Korn, George Pratt
"Are you a hyper-performer? Do you work nine hours or more at least one day a week? Do you work one or more weekend days a month? Do you really like what you do, the joy of achieving and the thrill of accomplishment in your work? Those are the characteristics of the movers and shakers of the world."
- Ichibun - Kosuke Sendo
"From the moment you begin to take full responsibility for your actions, your mind becomes freed from external influences.Taking responsibility allows you to turn different ideas, thoughts, and methods into reality."
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit Sethi
"If you want to be a passenger in life, fine - go with the flow. I've found it's a lot more fun to be the captain of my own ship, even if I go off course sometimes."
- Illuminate – Nancy Duarte, Patti Sanchez
“When you use the spoken word in speeches, stories, and ceremonies, reinforcing it with meaningful symbols, empathetic communication makes each moment feel significant and builds energy that makes your venture feel attainable.”
- Influence – Robert Cialdini
“The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”
- Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk
"Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform's native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match."
- Jack: Straight from the Gut – Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
“There are no finite answers to many questions. What really counted was your thought process.”
- Jacked Up – Bill Lane
“Jack got quiet for nearly a full minute, as if I were no longer in the room and stared down at the table with the semi-scowl that meant some kind of processing was going on. Then Jack said, loudly and decisively, 'No, no, no! We're not doing this any more. No more reports. We're sick of reports. The only pitches that are worth anything are when you tell people what they ought to do. Otherwise it's just a waste.' And so it began…”
- Jolt! - Larry Long, Jr.
"When no one is watching, you're taking swing after swing, and you've got to dig deep to find the discipline to do it right. You've got to be able to visualize."
- Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude – Jeffrey Gitomer
"Your daily exposure to positive or negative information is a choice. Choose to expose yourself to only positive info. Since the news is negative, turn that off! (You'll find you really don't need it.)"
- 🎯 Little Red Book of Selling – Jeffrey Gitomer
"This is not a book to be read, this is a book to be studied. This is a book to be implemented. This is a book to be talked about. If you read it ten times, it will be great sales, great attitude, great creativity, great relationships, great bank account, great life."
- Living with a SEAL – Jesse Itzler
"The temperature is what you think it is, bro, not what your computer thinks it is. If you think it’s fourteen degrees, then it’s fourteen degrees. Personally, I’m looking at it like it’s in the mid-fifties." - David Goggins
- 🎯 Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell
“I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.”
- Made to Stick – Dan Heath, Chip Heath
"It’s hard to make ideas stick in a noisy, unpredictable, chaotic environment. If we’re to succeed, the first step is this: Be simple. Not simple in terms of “dumbing down” or “sound bites.” You don’t have to speak in monosyllables to be simple. What we mean by “simple” is finding the core of the idea. “Finding the core” means stripping an idea down to its most critical essence. To get to the core, we’ve got to weed out superfluous and tangential elements. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is weeding out ideas that may be really important but just aren’t the most important idea."
- Mastering Fear – Brandon Webb
“If something scares me, it means there's magic on the other side. Because here is the bottom line on fear: If you don't know what matters, fear will take over, pin you, and hold you down. If you're crystal clear on what matters, fear will propel you forward."
- 🎯 Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The – Gary Keller
"I am a strong advocate for placing personal growth ahead of any Big Why you have. It is simply that powerful. High achievers know this. They know that when they decide to be their best and place that at the forefront of all other whys, it will pull the rest in its wake."
- Mindset – Carol Dweck
“In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome . They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.”
- MONEY Master the Game – Tony Robbins
“With such a diversified portfolio, it is very hard almost impossible to lose money. The reality is, if we are being honest with ourselves, we all make emotional decisions about our investments. We are all emotional creatures, and even the best traders in the world are always fighting the inner fear. This All Seasons portfolio protects you not only from any potential environment but also from yourself!!!”
- Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss
"#1 The late-night FM DJ voice: Basically, you want to keep your voice calm and slow. You shouldn’t use this voice at all times, but you can use it selectively when you want to create an aura of authority and trust.
#2 The playful/positive voice: This should be your default voice. It’s the voice of an easygoing, good-natured person. This voice will help encourage the other individual to start opening up.
#3 The direct/assertive voice: This is the voice you should use most sparingly. This type of voice frequently creates pushback, so you should only use it if there is no alternative."
- New Sales. Simplified. – Max Weinberg
"Salespeople who are not effective at closing deals get stuck in a cycle of hope. They stop looking for new opportunities, and they wait for the few deals that they have to close, but those deals never do because these salespeople don’t know how to close them."
- 🎯 New Solution Selling, The – Keith M. Eades
"Reserve sacred time for prospecting. This is one of the most important disciplines in which salespeople can engage. I use the term sacred to stress the point that nothing is or should be more important than this activity."
- On Writing – Stephen King
“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it 'got boring,' the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”
- 🎯 On Writing Well – William Zinsser
"Narrative is the oldest and most compelling method of holding someone's attention; everybody wants to be told a story. Always look for ways to convey your information in narrative form."
- One Thing, The – Gary Keller
“...As fast as we were growing, we were still not acknowledged by the top people in our industry. I challenged our group to brainstorm 100 ways to turn this situation around. It took us all day to come up with the list. The next morning, we narrowed the list down to ten ideas, and from there we chose just one big idea. The one that we decided on was that I would write a book on how to become an elite performer in our industry. It worked. Eight years later that one book had not only become a national bestseller, but also had morphed into a series of books with total sales of over a million copies. In an industry of about a million people, one thing changed our image forever.”
- Paid to Think – David Goldsmith
“Decision makers find that asking what-would-it-take questions gives them more, better, and different Macro Tactics from which to choose. As a result, they put themselves and their organizations in stronger positions to achieve their Desired Outcome and they avoid costly and preventable mistakes.”
- Pete Frame’s Complete Rock Family Trees – Pete Frame
"Charterhouse, a public school near Godalming, Surrey, was the backbone of Genesis, which evolved from the wreckage of two attempted school groups - The Anon and The Garden Wall. Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel arrived at the school in September 1963, Mike Rutherford in September 1964, and Anthony Phillips in April 1965."
- Poor Charlie’s Almanack – Charlie Munger
“To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of
- Power of Positive Thinking, The – Norman Vincent Peale
“Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture... Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.”
- Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross, Marylou Tyler
“Customers don't care at all whether you close the deal or not. They care about improving their business. It’s easy to forget this in the heat of a sales cycle.”
- Prepared - Mike Glover
"Once you start feeling anxious or uncomfortable, don't run from it – sit with the feeling. This feeling is what you will use to grow stronger."
- Principles: Life and Work – Ray Dalio
“Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? Take a moment to think about it because it is the sort of choice that, in one form or another, we all have to make.”
- Pyramid Principle, The – Barbara Minto
“The best text slides convey their message as starkly and simply as possible. They do not waste words (or slides) on transitional or introductory points, which can and should be stated orally. This means of course that the slides by themselves will not be intelligible as a handout to someone who has not attended the presentation.”
- Quiet – Susan Cain
“I worry that there are people who are put in positions of authority because they're good talkers, but they don't have good ideas. It's so easy to confuse schmoozing ability with talent. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with, and those traits are rewarded. Well, why is that? They're valuable traits, but we put too much of a premium on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking.”
- Resonate – Nancy Duarte
“Pick the one type of person in the room with the most influence, and write your presentation as if just to that subgroup. The presentation can’t be so specialized that it will alienate everyone else—you’ll need some content that appeals to the greater group. But tailor most of your specifics to the subgroup you’ve targeted.”
- Sales Acceleration Formula, The – Mark Roberge
“Defining the sales methodology enables the sales training formula to be scalable and predictable. The three elements of the sales methodology are the buyer journey, the sales process, and the qualifying matrix.”
- 🎯 Sales Development Playbook, The – Trish Bertuzzi
"Think about just how rare it is to find someone who combines vision,
business acumen, and the ability to inspire others. But that is exactly what
a sales development leader needs to possess."
- Sales Manager Survival Guide – Dave Brock
"The most effective coaching takes the form of helping your people think, not solving their problems for them."
- Score Takes Care of Itself, The – Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison
“Bill Walsh was not afraid of talent. He hired assistant coaches who were extremely good, and he did it with the expectation that they would move on—up to head coaching positions. And in fact, about fifteen of them did. He didn’t feel that you sold your soul to the company store. While you were a 49er, you were expected to give it your all, but Bill was very enlightened in the way he supported the lives and careers of employees beyond just what they could do for his team.”
- Secrets of Closing the Sale – Zig Ziglar
“If you do not believe in your product or service enough to offer it to your own family and friends, then you should question the value of what you are selling.”
- 🎯 Sell Without Selling Out - Andy Paul
"I think Hollywood’s continuing fascination with zombies comes from the fact that there are so many of them among us. They look the same, they sound the same, but they’ve been unplugged. The thing that made us want to look at them, listen to them: it’s gone. They’re still here, but they’re just waiting to be embalmed.”
- Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
"Fear of failure, I thought, will never be our downfall as a company. Not that any of us thought we wouldn’t fail; in fact we had every expectation that we would. But when we did fail, we had faith that we’d do it fast, learn from it, and be better for it."
- Show Your Work – Austin Kleon
“Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple.”
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport
“If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).”
- Solution Selling – Mike Bosworth
"I like to ask people how they compare Solution Selling to these other selling programs. The most frequent comments I get on other methodologies and programs is 'they taught me to understand, what I needed to do to be effective, they taught me to document what I should do to be effective, but they didn't show me how to do it.'"
- SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham
“If you can’t solve a problem for your customer, then there’s no basis for a sale. But if you uncover problems you can solve, then you’re potentially providing the buyer with something useful.”
- Tao of Jeet Kun Do – Bruce Lee
“There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way.”
- Tao of Wu, The – The RZA
"On the way up, you do all the things driven by ego. But when you get to your destination, you have to let go of the ego. It's a balancing act you can achieve only if you let go a little bit, act more generously with your time and creativity."
- TAPE Sucks – Frank Slootman
"Lead by example: quickly and publicly acknowledge your mistakes, and move on. Act matter of fact-ly. I've had to clean up my own messes for everybody to see. Talk about it publicly, what you were thinking at the time, what was learned from it; this signals to the organization that it is okay to make mistakes and openly own them.”
- Team of Teams – Stanley McChrystal
“Although we intuitively know the world has changed, most leaders reflect a model and leader development process that are sorely out of date. We often demand unrealistic levels of knowledge in leaders and force them into ineffective attempts to micromanage.”
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
"If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance."
- 🎯 Thinkertoys – Michael Michalko
"What if I had to use a set number of words in sales presentations? For instance, no more or less than forty-five words."
- 🎯 Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss
- Ultimate Guide to Meeting People at Events, The – Selena Soo
"I'll kick things off by explaining how to find events in the first place, and how to choose the right ones. Then, I'll reveal 24 ways for you to prepare for an event, make the most of your time there, and develop your connections afterward so you can build your business."
- 🎯 Ultimate Sales Machine, The – Chet Holmes
"One of the most strategic things you can do is to find market data that makes your product or service more important. I don't care if you sell shaving cream or overnight delivery services - there is market data that will make your product more vital."
- Ultralearning – Scott Young
“One rule I’ve found helpful for this is to restrict myself to one question per section of a text, thus forcing myself to acknowledge and rephrase the main point rather than zoom in on a detail that will be largely irrelevant later.”
- Unbeatable Mind – Mark Divine
“Even though mastery seems like a goal or destination—and to a certain extent, it is—true masters know that a warrior will never stop learning, never stop pushing boundaries, and never stop growing. So masters focus on mastering the details of the journey every day, rather than the end-state.”
- Under the Hood – Stan Slap
"An employee culture’s profound search for safety and meaning is a reminder that we all inhabit the same world; we all have these same concerns. … Treating your employee culture with empathy, concern, and respect is not a performance tactic or a job responsibility. It is a mirror that reflects you own true humanity.”
- Valve Handbook for New Employees
"A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do."
- War of Art, The – Steven Pressfield
“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it."
- What the CEO Wants You to Know – Ram Charan
"Leaders who consistently deliver results recognize what people do best - their skills, attitudes, and aptitudes -, link the business needs to people’s natural talents, and take the time and effort to place individuals where their strengths can have the most impact."
- 🎯🎯 Wooden on Leadership – John Wooden, Steve Jamison
"Activity - to produce real results - must be organized and executed meticulously. Otherwise, it's no different from children running around the playground at recess."
- 🎯🎯Working Backwards - Colin Bryar, Bill Carr
"Amazon relies far more on the written word to develop and communicate ideas than most companies, and this difference makes for a huge competitive advantage."
- Writing That Works – Ken Raphaelson, Joel Roman
"Cut out all irrelevancies. You’re writing for someone who will either approve your plan, send it back for more work, or reject it. Anything that confuses that decision or throws the reader off track makes approval less likely."
- You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero
“There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah.”
- 🎯🎯 Your Music and People – Derek Sivers
"There are some cool people around the world that would like your music. They may only be 1% of the population. But 1% of the world is 75 million people! Loudly reject 99%. It signals who you are. When someone in your target 1% hears you proudly excluding the rest, they’ll be drawn to you."
- Zero to One – Peter Thiel
“It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there.”