Books

Iceberg

Successful people are like icebergs. People only see what’s above the water, the luxury, the fame, the winning and the joy; they fail to realize that 90% of the iceberg is below water. They don’t see what it takes to actually become successful: how hard successful people train, how long they work, and the sacrifices they make.

Kaizen – To make better or continuously improve.

Kaizen theory states that small incremental changes over a long time lead to huge results. For example: Catch somebody a fish, and they will eat for a day. Teach somebody to fish, and he or she eats for a lifetime. Applied knowledge is power.

Here are my favorite books (continuously under construction):

1. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

This is a great read for anybody. Whether or not you consider yourself an entrepreneur, you will find a lot of useful information about how the world works through Peter Thiel‘s genius.

2. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

This book helped me figure out what to do with my life.

Don’t we all want happiness? Tony Hsieh the founder of Zappos talks about his failures and successes starting with his childhood through his current days at Zappos. This book lays out the foundation of happiness and the importance of company culture. The four frameworks of happiness are Connectedness (the number of relationships u have and their depth), Perceived Progress, Perceived Control and Vision/Meaning (being part of something bigger than yourself). This book is taught in the Stanford MBA program, by the way.

3. With Winning in Mind: The Mental Management System.

If you are looking to enhance your mental game for performance this is the book for you! Not a lot of people know about this book, but it has helped me with soccer, tennis, poker and of course business. Lanny gives you a system to utilize. He breaks down performance as a function of three mental processes, the Conscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind, and the Self Image. “Losers have goals, winners have systems.”

4. 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute.

The tips in this book are simple, effective and backed by research. This book covers happiness, persuasion, motivation, creativity, attraction, stress, relationships, decision making, parenting and personality (the chapters in the book).

Here are some interesting examples:
– a simple five day writing exercise that can lift your mood for several weeks
– how to create the perfect plan to achieve almost any goal
– how spending money on experiences is a far more effective way to make yourself happy than spending it on things
– how punching a pillow to relieve anger actually increases your anger, while sitting quietly and thinking about how you benefited from the experience has the opposite effect
– exercises to stimulate the unconscious mind that lead to better decision making
– conversational techniques that can build instant rapport on a first date

5. How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.

A lot of people cite How to Win Friends and Influence People as a must read and I’d agree, but this book gives you practical tips and is much more comprehensive and more applicable to today’s world.

6. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Great book on how to run a business more efficiently. My biggest takeaway was batching.

7. The Fountainhead

Mark Cuban recommended this book to me. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.'” My copy of The Fountain head is about 700 pages, but it’s brilliantly written by Ayn Rand.

Through the novel, Howard Roark, the novel’s embodiment of the perfect man, shows us his combination of talent and courage. He struggles to resist society’s sway but ultimately he remains true to himself and his principles.

8. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

The authors of this book dispel several myths about it actually takes to build a great company through years of research. Even if you are not part of running a business, this is a must read because you’ll be able to determine if your company is on it’s path to greatness or not. The twelve myths debunked in this book are:

1. It takes a great idea to start a company.
2. Visionary companies require great and charismatic visionary leaders.
3. The most successful companies exist first and foremost to maximize profits.
4. Visionary companies share a common subset of “correct” core values.
5. The only constant is change.
6. Blue-chip companies play it safe.
7. Visionary companies are great places to work, for everyone.
8. Highly successful companies make some of their best moves by brilliant and complex strategic planning.
9. Companies should hire outside CEOs to stimulate fundamental change.
10. The most successful companies focus primarily on beating the competition.
11. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
12. Companies become visionary primarily through “vision statements”.

9. Think and Grow Rich

This book is timeless. I can’t give you my opinion on it since I read it about 12 years ago, when I was 15. Just make sure you read the version that you resonate with most; it’s been edited and re-written multiple times over.

10. The Speed of Trust

Trust is the foundation of business. This book defines trust, the benefits of trust and how to build trust.

B. The Origin of Species.

B is for bonus. C is for Charles Darwin.

Check out these other books and feel free to let me know what books should be on this list.

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