The science of success is complicated, and it’s no secret that successful people dedicate a significant amount of their time to learning and reading. In order to give you a helping hand, we have shortlisted 28 success books to read.
We believe that it is worth everyone reading these books to help increase your chances of achieving success:
28 Books to Read For Success
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Regarded as one of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time when it comes to learning about how to be successful, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you many useful techniques including: six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. With more than 15 million copies sold, if you are keen on achieving your maximum potential then we can safely say that this book is essential reading
2. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss’ bestselling book will talk you through how to master time and mobility to create yourself a luxury lifestyle under your own rules, working from anywhere. Want to learn how to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours, how to train your boss to value performance over presence or how to create a meaningful life after removing work and the office? Then read this book.
3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
In the original book published in 1937, Napoleon Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles of what makes a winner. The updated version anecdotes of how contemporary millionaires and billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash, Dave Thomas, and Sir John Templeton achieved their wealth.
4. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
A fantastic read that teaches you how to do things less wastefully whilst still aiming big. If you have ever heard the terms MVP (minimum viable product) or pivoting in a business context then it’s likely come from this book. The Lean Start-Up challenges the traditional ways of doing business by favouring experimentation over elaborate planning and customer feedback over intuition.
5. Good to Great by Jim Collins
Another staple book in the personal collections of many successful people, Good to Great, examines how some companies transition from good to great companies and why many fail to make the transition successfully. A thoroughly interesting read that is bound to add value to your knowledge bank.
6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The title of this book does a pretty good job of setting you up for what it’s about. Having sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, in his book Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls "true north" principles. His 7 habits will open you up to the concepts of moving from dependence to independence, interdependence and continuous improvement.
7. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz
Praised by Forbes as one of the greatest self-help books, The Magic of Thinking Big explores how to get the most out of your job, your marriage, family life and community. Schwarz suggests that learning, understanding and visualizing the ways to get yourself to great success are more important than being an intellectual or having an innate talent.
8. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
If you let the little things in life drive you crazy then this book is a must read for you. Richard Carlson thoughtfully shares techniques to help you calm down and better manage your fast-paced and stress filled life. Key learnings from this book will include how to see your problems as teachers, doing things one step at a time and learning to trust your intuitions.
9. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracey
Confused by the title? Eat That Frog provides you with 21 ways to help avoid procrastination and achieve more. The title comes from the famous Mark Twain saying “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” The idea is to accomplish your worst or most difficult tasks first thing as it might have the greatest positive impact on your life.
10. What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam
This book takes you through Laura Vanderkam’s studies of successful people and their thought-provoking routine’s and prioritizations. If you feel that you may be able to get more out of your days or take a greater advantage of mornings, then this book is for you. You should also check out our blog on a morning routine for success.
11. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Another international bestseller on our list and written by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Daniel Kahneman. In his book Kahneman summarizes decades of research including his work on cognitive biases, prospect theory and happiness. The central theme of the book focuses on two modes of thought: 1. fast, instinctive and emotional 2. Slower, logical and more deliberate.
12. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Described as the ‘story of success’, Outliers examines a number of success stories including how Bill Gates achieved extreme wealth, and how the Beatles became one of the most successful music acts in history. Throughout his examination on what factors contribute the most to success, Gladwell raises some unexpected suggestions and tackles what he alludes to as misconceptions of success. If you want to know why the majority of Canadian Ice Hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, why 10,000 hours is a key to expertise or why smarts, ambition and hard work may not be enough for success then you need to pick up this book.
13. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and having sold over 32 million copies, Rich Dad Poor Dad is a highly successful book that advocates the importance of financial literacy, financial intelligence and financial independence. It encourages the building of wealth through starting businesses, investing in assets and real-estate and increasing your financial IQ. You are sure to pick up some lessons that will serve you well in the pursuit of success by reading this book.
14. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is a famous motivational speaker and author that most people who take an interest in personal development will be aware of. He has written a number of bestselling books and throughout ‘Awaken the Giant Within’, Robbins shares his strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your finances and your life. If you want help discovering your purpose and taking control of your life then this is a highly recommended read.
15. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
If you are interested in investing in the stock market, then you need to add this book to your reading list. Benjamin Graham is often refereed to as the ‘Father of Value Investing’ and his principles have inspired the success of many famous investors still in operation today. Don’t let the whims of ‘Mr. Market’ effect your intelligent investing decisions, familiarize yourself with Graham’s principles instead.
16. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Regarded as a classic of financial advice, The Richest Man in Babylon shares its advice through a collection of parables set 4,000 years ago in ancient Bablyon. Read to discover the “Seven Cures” (how to generate wealth), the “Five Laws of Gold” (how to protect and invest wealth) and the importance of “paying yourself first”, “living within your means” and “investing in what you know”.
17. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
The full title of this book is ‘You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.’ Pretty self-explanatory in it’s objective. Jen Sincero is best-selling author and renowned success coach and throughout this book shares inspiring stories, advice and exercises packaged together with a refreshing wit and the occasional profanity to keep you engaged. Read to help identify and change beliefs or behaviours that may prevent you getting what you want.
18. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Sinek is a well-known, British born, American author and motivational speaker. His work on motivation is highly regarded internationally and in ‘Start with Why’ Sinek explores how great leaders inspire everyone to take action. Is manipulation or inspiration a more effective from of influencing human behaviour? What is it that inspires people to take action? Read the book to find out.
19. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Another great business orientated publication, in this book Godin explores a world in which he sees creative advertising as less effective because of clutter and advertising avoidance. With this presumption in mind, Godin argues that to gain attention you need a remarkable product and to market it in a remarkable way. The book contains concepts, examples and a great ten-point check list to help you out.
20. Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
A great self-empowerment read with an honest, tough-love approach. This straight forward handbook might be just what you need to lose the demons holding you back and become a truly unfu*ked version of yourself. Give this book a read and let Bishop alleviate your excuses, reduce your self-negativity and lead you through a series of helpful assertions.
21. Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
A fantastic read for those of you interested in psychology. Cialdini is a Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and throughout this book he investigates the key wys that people canbe influenced by ‘Compliance Professionals.’ Reading this will help you understand why people tend to make generalizations and how they can be exploited to influence others by those that know how.
22. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
In this bestseller, Duhigg explores the ‘habit loop’ and examines the science behind habit creation and reformation. Whether you have an interest in correcting or profiting from cravings, addictions and general bad habits, this book will guide you through the principles of successful habit change and keystone habits.
23. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
A truly famous Chinese military text, the Art of War can teach you principles that will help you far beyond planning for warfare (which is something we hope you will never need). Although the work dates to 5th Century BC, the Art of War remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare and has influenced global military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and lifestyle.
24. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
This particular bestseller can be a little more polarizing versus some of the others on our list, but it’s known to be popular amongst celebrities and prison inmates. It’s influence has been noted by people including 50 Cent (who actually collaborated with Greene to release ‘The 50th Law’), Busta Rhymes, Jay Z, Kanye West and Drake. There are many critics of this book that suggest the laws contradict each other or are not fully relevant to the modern world, but nevertheless this is an interesting read and if you can take away a few principles that are valid and will help you then its worth the time investment.
25. Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
Another New York Times #1 bestseller, Zero to One presents new ways for you to think about innovation. By reading this book you can expect to learn to ask questions that will lead you to find value in unexpected places and be introduced to the idea that the real innovators of the future won’t be improving the familiar but creating the unique.
26. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Written by Clayton M. Christensen, a businessman and Harvard professor, this book explores the concept of how disruptive technologies can cause outstanding companies to lose market share or fail due to unexpected competitors taking over the market. For reassurance of the book’s credentials know that it led to Christensen receiving the Global Business Book Award and the book was also named by The Economist as one of the six most important books about business ever written.
27. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
The only memoir to make it on this list, Shoe Dog chronicles the amazing journey of Phil Knight and Nike, from its early struggles to the global, dominating behemoth it is today. Knight is known for being media shy but in his book gives a refreshingly honest account of the struggles of growing a business. Bill gates praised this book as one of his favourite books of 2016 and also praised Knight for opening up in ways that few CEO’s are willing to do.
28. Tribes by Seth Godin
The second fantastic book by Seth Godin on our list, Tribes explores the human psyche and it’s need for belonging, connection and leadership. Godin argues that a tribe is any collection of people that are connected to one another, a leader and an idea. The book will open you up to the concept that you don’t need to be ordained or a CEO to be a leader, but people who genuinely desire a beneficial change will collect followers.
We hope these books help with tips and inspiration for your future success. For more tips and information on achieving success, read our post on what is success according to you.
Happy reading and comment below if any of these books have helped you along the way, or if you think we have missed off any killer books that everyone should read in order to increase chances of success.