These are a list of books that I recommend often, but always have to follow with “I know what it sounds like, but…”
1. The 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss
What it sounds like: yet another “lifestyle blogger” teaching you how to be lazy and still profit.
What’s actually in the book: The original lifestyle blogger shows you how to focus on optimization and automation first, and the principal business lesson of decoupling your time from your money. The title is famously born from split testing to come up with the most clickbaity title possible.
2.I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
What it sounds like: A huckster is about to explain how all the other get rich quick schemes out there are bullshit, but he’s about to teach you how to get rich for real… and quick!
What’s in the book: A practical guide on personal finance for twentysomethings. It speaks to a seminal moment: when you are fresh out of college, getting their first salaries and taste of real money. They’re thinking about marriage, mortgages, or multiplying fruitfully one day down the road. How should you set yourself up for success financially?
This book doesn’t teach you to be rich, but it sure shows you how not to be poor.
3.The Millionaire Fastlane — MJ DeMarco
What it sounds like: See above.
What’s it the book: I will Teach You to be Rich would have more fitting here. While it runs you over with Lamborghini metaphors, the message is simple: no one ever got rich working for themselves and stocking away money in a 401k. (called “The millionaire slow lane” in DeMarco’s parlance). Instead, this book shows the way to wealth is the acquiring cash generating assets. A must-read book for any entrepreneur.
4.Winning Through Intimidation by Robert Ringer
What it sounds like: The asshole’s guide to negotiating.
What’s in the book: The decent human’s guide to negotiating with assholes. This one wins for the most misleading title; it is the exact opposite of the contents. Robert, who characterizes himself as a meek turtle throughout the book, discusses how he made sure people didn’t take advantage of him in business deals through rigorous preparation.
5.Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo
What it sounds like: Unlock the secrets of the formulaic 18-minute pseudointellectual spiel so you can go out and “change the world.”
What’s in the book: Ok, it is precisely that. Still, it’s one of the better books on public speaking that I’ve read. If you have better suggestions, I’m all ears.
6.The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
What it sounds like: More Secret-flavored spirituality. Who needs hard work and discipline when you can succeed with feelings?
What’s in the book: A corny but insightful book from the 1950s about how self-image affects our performance is almost everything. Behind the antiquated prose is a ton of specific, tactical advice to help you improve your mindset. No mysticism here. As an example, imagine two freelancers who start the year with two different goals: the first aims to make $50,000 in revenue that year. The second aims to make $150,000. What would they do differently? Which one would you rather be?