When you look at some of the most successful people on earth, you realize that most of them are voracious readers. They know the benefits of learning, and they make time to access the information and perspectives that books provide -- no matter how busy they are.
If you take a deeper look, you'll notice that they don't just read business books. They read books that add to all aspects of their lives. Together, the blend of many genres provides perspective that a singular focus cannot.
To that effect, I've compiled a list of the business and nonbusiness books that can add value to your life. A few will help you take your business and professional pursuits to the next level, while others will help you elevate yourself as a person.
1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
We are all works in progress, and the best performers on earth accept this fact while others deny it in a continued state of mediocrity. Our mindset is one of the biggest factors that determine if we are successful or stuck in a life of mediocrity.
Dweck highlights the two main mindsets: fixed and growth, and explains how both mindsets are formed and either enable or restrict success and personal fulfillment. Dweck also explains how you can shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
Personally, my life has changed as I increasingly live with a growth mindset. I experience a feeling of freedom that results from accepting the messy sides of myself, and my mistakes, and learning from them in order to grow and create the life or results I want.
2. How to Be the Startup Hero by Tim Draper
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, this book will give you the inspiration and tools necessary to take the first step in starting your own venture. If you're already deep in the startup game, this book will provide you with the valuable perspective of a seasoned venture capitalist and entrepreneur.
How to be the Startup Hero takes you into the mind of one of the world's most established venture capitalists, Draper, founder of VC Draper Fisher Jurvetson and an early investor in several billion-dollar success stories, including Hotmail, Skype, Baidu, and Bitcoin.
Equal parts biographical, instructional, playful, insightful, empowering, and optimistic, Draper distills 30 years of industry wisdom into an engaging read.
3. Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh
I've written countless times on the importance of forming meaningful relationships over "connections." Most of us have grown tired of the same old events and situations where people talk at us, instead of with us. We're tired of disconnection and fake relationships.
Enter Superconnector, a powerful book by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh, co-founders of Young Entrepreneur Council and the Community Company. This book shatters old-school views on networking and provides readers with a fresh new perspective on how they should go about building and maintaining communities of meaningful business relationships.
The book includes applicable anecdotes based on more than 10 years of experience the authors share in building global professional communities and also includes insights from dozens of the top connectors in business.
4. The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown
Vulnerability is a scary word for most people, and the idea of being vulnerable is even scarier. This book is for the brave souls ready to wake up and experience life on a new level.
Vulnerability, and the authenticity it allows you to feel and express, is a key factor in experiencing a happier and more fulfilling life.
Brown, famous for a TED speech with more than 30 million views and as a repeat national best-selling author, breaks down the factor shame plays in holding us from fully achieving what we want and fully accepting who we are.
Personally, for each step I take into living more vulnerably, I experience greater freedom, joy, and success in my personal and professional life. Give it a try.
5. Eat to Thrive: The Anti-Diet Cookbook by Katie Sampayo
I'm still surprised when I see so many entrepreneurs overlook the roles that a healthy diet and lifestyle play in helping them perform at their best. Too often we default to whatever is fast and convenient, overlooking the idea that we are what we eat.
In Eat to Thrive, Sampayo solves that problem by teaching you how to cook fresh foods that naturally fuel your mind and body without spending hours cooking in the kitchen. You'll have a full understanding of how to cook and eat in a way that energizes and empowers you.
The book also has quick recipes that are perfect for the busy entrepreneur, leader, or creator.
6. The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul by Danielle LaPorte
Dreaming and intention are integral parts of the entrepreneurial experience. Dreaming is what allows us to imagine a future we want to create. Intention is what allows us to apply focus and energy to a dream, attracting the things we need for it to be realized. Yet for all these dreams and intentions, what we really want is a feeling.
The Desire Map guides you through the process of tapping into your passions and dreams while challenging you to explore the blockages that keep you from realizing those dreams. It also helps you identify the feelings you want to experience by "achieving something" and helps you understand that you can feel those very same feelings right now. This book is about tapping into passion, setting real intentions, and realizing a whole new level of experiences.
7. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
How well do you know the voice inside your head that is constantly chattering? This is the voice that doubts you, tells you lies, and maybe perpetuates societal or familial norms that hold you back. This voice, also called the "counter-mind," makes the entrepreneurial experience that much harder, and it can even derail your success.
The Untethered Soul is all about that voice and how to handle it so it becomes a source of empowerment. Singer shares ways to use awareness to observe this voice and provides insights on how to remove the control this voice has over you.
You can't stop the counter-mind voice in your head (believe me, I've tried), but you can create a relationship with it that shifts the message from self-sabotage to empowerment.
Many of the most successful people make reading a priority. If you read often, then this list will add more options to your book list. If you don't read often, consider starting with the books that resonate with you the most. Then start building a habit, even if it's just one or two books a quarter. You'll quickly see the benefits show up across all areas of your life.