I accepted the Goodreads reading challenge in 2017. I discovered a reading hack in 2016 that allowed me to read more books than I ever had before. I really wanted to put this hack to the test, so I challenged myself to read 150 books.
Well, with 2017 behind me, I am happy to announce that I not only met my challenge, but exceeded it with a total of 167 books.
Out of all those books, there were some not worth mentioning, but a lot of them were helpful and a few really stood out. I have chosen 20 that I consider to be must-reads. These books are going to stay in my library and I will refer to them in the future. Some will undoubtedly provide inspiration for upcoming blog posts.
So, without further adieu, here are my top 20 must-read picks from my 2017 reading challenge.
Like you, I’ve heard people talk about the dangers of stress and stress-related illnesses. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone (let alone a physician) say that stress is good for you. If you think there is a chance you will encounter stress in your life, I recommend you pick this book up.
I believe that entrepreneurs are superheroes. Their superpower? The ability to force ideas into reality regardless of their current resources. This book highlights that fact by telling the stories of entrepreneurs in third world countries who often start with nothing. The book opens with the story of Patrick, who started with only the earth beneath his feet—so he started a business making bricks out of clay. If you have even the slightest entrepreneurial inclination, this book will inspire you.
What are your goals? Can you accomplish all of them by yourself? Chances are at some point you will need someone or some group of people to comply with your wishes in order for it to happen. People will need to buy your products, or join your cause. This book teaches you the science and practice of how to get people to comply. This power can be used for good or evil. So if you’re a good person, go ahead and get this book. If you’re evil, just move along…nothing to see here.
Getting and staying organized has always been a challenge for me. This book breaks it down into a simple habit that you can do just 10 minutes a day. I’m really looking forward to implementing this strategy to tidy up my home in 2018.
If you’ve got big goals, you’ve got to make big decisions. You can’t do it all. Knowing what to say “no” to is just as important as knowing what to say “yes” to. This book shows you how to decide what the “one thing” is you really should be focused on to get really big results.
If you’re interested in starting a side business but don’t know where to start, this is a good book for you. Nick Loper lists hundreds of marketplaces that already exist where all you have to do is add your “buy button” to market your assets, time, or expertise. With 300+ platforms featured, you’re guaranteed to find at least one place to hang your “buy button”.
If you’ve ever heard anyone make a reference to “flow” or a “flow state”, then they were referencing the work in this book. It’s that state where you get so engrossed in what you’re doing that time disappears. Experiencing flow is not just enjoyable—it actually shapes who we are. It’s important to understand how to experience it and how to use it to your benefit.
Before I read this book, I wondered if I should include my phone number in emails to my list subscribers. Then I saw Kevin Kruse put his number on the cover of his book! I learned that when it comes to building a personal brand, you can’t exclude the personal part. It’s really an old-fashioned book about building relationships in a digital world. Oh, by the way, I now include my phone number in my emails.
I thought this book would be more about storytelling than it turned out to be. It was actually about building systems and processes to make it easier for one person to run a content creation business. I’ll be going back to this one often and there are tons of extras in the form of templates to get you started.
I liked this book because it delivered it’s points in the form of a story. It’s a really engaging read and memorable. I hope to see more from this series.
This book flies in the face of everything you’ve been taught about healthy eating. But with so much obesity and degenerative diseases, maybe it’s time we question what we think we know.
The most empowering lesson I learned from this book is: no one can make me get into debt. It’s 100% a choice that I make. It is both liberating and sobering. I cannot be forced into debt, but I am 100% responsible for making the debt I have. I like how this book addresses the psychological and emotional side of debt as well as the tactics and strategies for getting out of it.
The description I read that got me to buy this book said it was “revolutionary”. I wondered how it could be revolutionary. After all, isn’t profit the goal of every business? As I read, I realized that while profit may be a stated goal, it often gets lost among other things like “revenue” and “growth” that sound really good but they aren’t the same thing as profit. And profit is how you can tell if your business is healthy or not. Great book to read to keep your business on the track to health (or get it back on track).
Positive Psychology came along at a time when there was an over-emphasis on the study and treatment of mental and emotional disorder. This book comes along at a time where perhaps we’ve gone too far in the opposite direction. What we may think of as “negative” emotions, are just emotions—neither negative nor positive. Each emotion has something to reveal and it’s better we learn how to listen to them.
You’ve probably heard that you don’t learn from success—you learn from failure. While it may be true, it feels like something people tell you just to make you feel better about your screw-ups. This book goes beyond the “warm fuzzies” and dives into how you get the most out of the wealth of those experiences you may not otherwise want to talk about.
I have to admit, I am a fan of the Heath brothers. As soon as I heard they had a new book coming out, I reserved my pre-release copy and as soon as it came out, I devoured it. As usual, I was not disappointed. Want to have an impact? Then it would help you to know how to create the kinds of experiences that people remember for a lifetime.
When it comes to working with people in a group, the whole is not always equal to the sum of its parts. In other words, a group of really smart individuals can produce some stupid results if they don’t know how to work together. This book teaches you how to take control of the group dynamics that make the difference between a high-performing group and a flop.
This book is kind of like a driver’s manual for your brain. It approaches peak performance from an angle I’ve never seen before. I came away with a better understanding of how I work best, and better insight into the styles of the people around me. Do you think some people are just “born” top-performers? You might change your mind after reading Peak.
The number one rule when giving any presentation is: don’t be boring. I was relieved to find this book guides you through the steps to “punch up” any presentation with a little humor—and you don’t have to be a stand-up comedian to do it.
Did you know Michelangelo was rich? I mean, like really rich? Kinda blows the whole “starving artist” myth out of the water. And guess what? You don’t have to be a painter, sculptor, or musician to be an artist. You just have to use your creativity to bring ideas into reality. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about—you harness the power of creation to force ideas into reality. That’s art. Read this book and learn the principles behind turning your art into profit.
So that’s it for my top 20 picks from my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge. Each of these books inspired me in some way and I intend to refer back to all of them as I move forward in my business.
What’s next for me in 2018? Well, I don’t plan to read quite so many books this year. I’m going to focus more on producing content of my own. In 2017, I sporadically produced content for my blog and that will change in 2018. I intend to post at least four times per month and the books I listed above will provide inspiration for some of that content.
Finally, there’s one more book I’d like to add to the list. During my year of reading 167 books, I also published a book of my own. How could I possibly get all that done in one year? Well, if you read my book you will find out. In it, I show you how to tap into your inner source of motivation so you can accomplish whatever you want.
So grab a copy for yourself and then go to http://UnlockYourBeast.com and find out how to get free bonuses (like how to use my reading hack to power through your reading list) plus my money back guarantee.