Recently we outlined some of our favourite business books that had come out in the past five years. Being that all things shiny and new are much more prevalent and in our faces in this day and age, there’s no wonder that most of us end up only looking at what’s right in front of us — if it’s not on our screens, it doesn’t exist, right? But as with anything in this life, there were many, many predecessors to those who are delivering their knowledge in written form today.
For those of you who are north of their 20s, you may be familiar with some of the more classic books that came out when you were children, and some even before you were but a twinkle in your great grandfather’s eye. There are way too many legendary business tomes to cover in one short list, however we did what we had to do and narrowed our favourites down to just five, with one bonus book (we couldn’t help ourselves). These scripts all had a huge impact on the way we think and approach our business, our brand and our lives, and we hope they can do the same for you, too.
Stephen R. Covey — The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change
Mr. Covey’s book was actually the one we read most recently, and although we were late to the party, the information contained within is more valid than ever. Stephen’s research helped him uncover seven universal habits that successful individuals all throughout history had used and aligned with, even if they never were necessarily aware of it. The seven habits are split into three main imperatives: Independence, Interdependence and Continual Improvement, and they detail a very logical approach to every aspect of your life. Applying the principles may require a paradigm change for most people, and therein lies the challenge. With 25 million copies sold worldwide, and being the first audiobook to sell 1 million copies, this is one book that is most certainly worthy of your time.
Robert Kiyosaki — Rich Dad, Poor Dad
“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” was one of the earliest business books we ever consumed, and Mr. Kiyosaki’s fantastic narrative of his friend’s wealthy father guiding him towards prosperity while his own biological father was the antithesis of what to do to win in life is extremely compelling, and with some very applicable takeaways. Covering topics like financial literacy, financial independence, wealth building, real estate investment and business ownership, Robert gives us the foundation to get from your 9 to 5 to a mindstate of building wealth slowly, carefully and with intent. A great one to get the kids started on.
Dale Carnegie — How To Win Friends & Influence People
“How To Win Friends” is a triple OG business book, first published in 1936. It’s one of the best selling books of all time with over 30 million copies sold, and while its teachings have been updated a few times of the years, the wisdom within hasn’t faltered a bit. Covering subject matter including handling people, making people like you, winning people over, changing people without resentment and even rules for making your home life happier, you’ll most certainly see results in all aspects of your life by implementing the handy and relevant pillars that Mr. Carnegie details.
Robert Cialdini — Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion
We detailed Robert’s most recent book, “Pre-Suasion”, in our first list but it’s his original book that set the tone for decades to come in the field of organizational psychology. Cialdini detailed six key areas of Influence — reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity — that when combined, your chances of winning and influencing any given situation are certainly increased. We’ve applied some of these elements in our personal and business lives with success, and we strongly believe in the moral and equitable use of these tactics to create better situations for everyone who applies them.
Napoleon Hill — Think And Grow Rich
The third oldest book in the list (“Think And Grow Rich” was first published in 1937), this is potentially the most highly recommended book we’ve ever come across — with over 100 million copies sold worldwide, that’s no surprise. The principles dip into things like the Law of Attraction, visualization, desire, faith, imagination and persistence, and have been used to achieve, well, everything, by a voluminous number of extraordinarily successful individuals for many years. If you’re going to purchase any book on this list, this is the one to start with.
George S. Clason — The Richest Man In Babylon
We kept the oldest for last — “The Richest Man In Babylon” was first bound and published in 1926, and it’s essentially financial advice in the form of parables from Ancient Babylon. While some of the principles might seem like common sense, it never hurts to have these elements pushed into your head again and again, as they are all things that those who are attempting to build lasting wealth should be doing. It’s a super short, pocket-sized book and likely one you’ll want to read over and over regularly.