21 Life Changing Books for Business & Life


I’ve been reading on average 3 books a week for the last 13 years. That adds up to over 2000 books. A good book for me is one that you can’t forget, one that gives you a new perspective.

Here are 21 books that have changed my perspective and have had a great impact on my life:

1. E-myth revisited

This book will change the way you view small businesses. It’s an easy read with a message you will be thinking about the rest of your business life.

2. Tribes

I’ve read all Seth Godin’s books and the one that sticks the most to me is this one.  It will make you see the world in clusters or tribes and will inspire you to lead your own.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

I first read this book when I was a personal trainer at 17 years old. Being a social person there’s no book that will impact you more in your daily interactions. The ideas in this book are timeless and simple. I couldn’t count how many business referrals this book has given me.

4. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

What’s the worse thing that will happen? Is a question I’ve taken from this book. This book influences you to stop worrying about things that are out of your control. It served me well later in business when I felt a lot of weight on my shoulders.

5. Levingston Seagull

I read this book last year and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s a very easy read told through the eyes of a seagull. If you want to fly high, you can’t do what everyone else is doing. People don’t want you to change and will try to keep you the same. In a weird way this book will inspire you to fly to new heights.

6. The Red Queen

This book is a scientific look at sex and evolution. It breaks down monogamy and the conflict most couples face. It’s a powerful message that will change your perception on sex and relationships – warning.

7. Mating in captivity

This was the most recent life changing book I’ve read and it’s by Esther Perel. It brought to light a relationship paradox I had never thought of – our need for autonomy and commitment. A life changing book for anyone in a relationship.

8. The way to love

This book will challenge your views. I kept reading it saying “that’s not me” then “oh ya, that’s me”. I’ve given it to people who have downright stopped reading it because they disagreed and found it even to be offensive. But what we find offensive can also lead us to understand ourselves better. Worth a read.

9. Five Love Languages

This is a popular relationship book that made me realize that the way you like to receive love may not be the same way you give love. Clearing this confusion can make for less conflict and more love in your relationship.

10. The Creative Habit

This book was surprising how good it was because I stumble upon it at a library. I couldn’t put it down in the same way The Artist Way had affected me. It’s about a choreographer and her creative habits and routines. It helped me realize the importance of keeping notes amongst other things and how it impacts your art.

11. Tao Te Ching

I never thought this would change me. It’s a series of haiku’s that you need to decipher like “the tree that doesn’t bend, breaks with the wind.” I’ve read it abut 5 times and every time I learn something new.

12. What Technology Wants

Kevin Kelly is as close to a genius as it gets. This book will change the way you see technology. This book along with The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins will open your eyes to how technology evolves. Combined with his newer book The Inevitable you will start to see where we are heading.

13. Chimpanzee Politics

This book changed me in that I can’t help but look at society though the eyes of chimpanzees anymore.Weird huh? Humans are apes and the hierarchy for power is the same. Some people gain power through force and others gain it through coalitions. If you’re into social behaviour you will love this book. And if you love this one you will also Sapiens.

14. When the Body Says No

This is a health book about emotions by psychologist Gabor Mate. There’s two ideas in here that the medical community fails to see. The first one being that the mind and the body are connected. That your negative emotions impact your health.  That the reason you have acid reflux is because you’re stressed. The second idea is that our environment impacts our mind. This book will give you a new perspective on health.

15. Tuesdays with Morrie

This is a book about someone slowly dying of ALS and is a journey to understanding what really matters in life. It’s a classic that’s pretty sad but as I’ve written before here the less you fear death, the more you live. Though most people seem to prefer Man’s Search for Meaning which is also a good book but for some reason for me this one had a greater impact. The words “you are not a wave, you’re just part of the ocean.” will always be with me.

16. The Fourth Turning

This was a book recommended by Tony Robins on the Tim Ferriss’s podcast when he was asked his favourite book of all time. It’s a pretty dry read but the idea is powerful for anyone in marketing. It’s about the reoccurrence of culture. Combine this one with Ryan Holiday’s new book Perennial Seller and you won’t be able to sleep.

17. Slicing Pie

This is a book I discovered after 3 failed business partnerships. I met with a technology CFO who opened my eyes to exchanging time for shares. With a little research I came upon this book on a simple way to structure a fair partnership.

18. The War of Art

This book along with Flinch were recommendations from Seth Godin. They make you realize how our default setting is to freeze when we are scared and to get over it you need to act.

19. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

This book showed me the importance of having a meeting structure in place. Along with Making Ideas Happen and Getting Things Done this book convinced me to get organized in my work and how that leads to impact.

20. Steal Like an Artist

I was at the art gallery when I noticed this book in the gift shop. I read a few pages and I was hooked. This book along with his other book Show your work is priceless for any artist looking to leave a mark in this world.

21. Tyranny of Words

This is an odd one but was a recommended by futurist and inventor Jacque Fresco. Before reading this book I had never really thought about the words we use everyday. It will make you choose your words more wisely.

I feel like this list could go on forever. I love books!

But there you have it.

Feel free to email me what you think.

Also published on Medium.

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