2016 Business & Personal Development Books to Read in 2016
In 2015 I read a lot of business and personal development books. Some were good, and some were not so good, but as an entrepreneur, I think it’s so important to keep your mind challenged and informed and reading books is probably the easiest way to expose yourself to new concepts and methods of thinking. One of the reasons I was able to read so much last year was due to Audible.com which I finally subscribed to after years of dragging my feet and it was one of the best decisions I made for my business in my opinion. If you’re curious about Audible, check out this offer where you can get not one, but two free books with a trial subscription! So, out of all those books, which did I enjoy the most? Well, here are the 16 business and personal development books that I read and recommend you read in 2016!
1. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
If there is one book from this list that I would suggest you read this year, it’s Essentialism! So much of my approach to working smarter, not harder is diluted into the contents of this book and I truly believe that everyone – not just business owners – need to hear the message of this book.
2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
A lot of what sets successful people apart is attitude and perseverance. This book is a tried and true narration of what it takes to be truly successful in life and the obstacles that we all must face as we rise to the top. This book is honestly packed with gems of advice and actionable items, so I would suggest getting a printed copy, highlighters and a lot of page flags as you devour this one, or if you read the audiobook as I did, make sure to keep a notebook handy!
3. You Got This by Alexis Giostra
I absolutely couldn’t create a list of books for you to read and not include my eBook on strategic goal setting. This is definitely not just a read it once and think about the message type of book, it’s a true workbook with worksheets and actionable items to help you plan your goals and ensure execution by prioritizing them as well as the key routines that will make it easier for you to establish a pattern of success. Hundreds of members of my community have already purchased this book since its release in November, and the positive reviews are rolling in daily so if you struggle with goal setting and making big things happen for your life, this is the book for you!
4. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This short but direct book outlines the mental blocks that keep creatives from doing their best work and how to overcome them. If you are someone who struggles with producing creative work and truly wishes to make a full time career from it, you need to read this book.
5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
In my opinion, this is the only financial book one need ever read. I was first exposed to this book when I was very young and finally reread it this year. To my astonishment, I had spent the years in between actively executing the principles of this book. It’s so funny the way solid financial principles are just timeless and once they are engrained in your mind and put into practice, your whole life can change and set you free from financial burdens. If you struggle with finance and feel like the topic is overwhelming to you, this book will break down money and wealth for you in a series of parables that anyone can relate to and understand.
6. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
This is one of two habit formation books I read this year, and between the two, I connected more with this one. I think many of us take for granted the roles that routines play in our lives, but this book really explained in great detail what routines are, how they control us and how, with targeted and sustained effort, we can change them. It’s not easy to break a bad habit and establish a new routine, but if you have something – anything really – that you want to accomplish in your life, great or small, you need to understand how to control your habits and routines and build ones that will actually create success for you!
7. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
And this is the second habit formation book I read this year and definitely still enjoyed or else it wouldn’t have been included on this list! In this book, Gretchen Rubin outlines her own experiments in habit and routine formation. She definitely acknowledges the established work of Duhigg and expounds upon it with some helpful personality based observations that are truly the crown jewel of this book, however, this work was a little less science and a little more personal anecdotes. Definitely worth the read, but I’d suggest Duhiggs book first.
8. Louder than Words by Todd Henry
Now this is one of those books that no matter who you are, if you want to make any sort of impact at all, either personally or professionally, you need to read it! Again, another short read but one all about tapping into your authentic voice to connect with others and share your personal story to motivate and inspire.
9. The White Space Solution by Anne Samoilov
After I read through this awesome eBook by my dear friend Anne Samoilov, I immediately called her to find out why in the world she wasn’t promoting this book to the high heavens because people seriously need to hear about and practice white space in their daily lives. We are all too busy, or so we say. Anne’s book really shows you how important it is to have time and space in your life to create and explore in order to do your best work, be your best self and fully engage in the lives of those who matter most. If you feel constantly busy and overwhelmed, you need to read this one!
10. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This is the quintessential book for interacting with other people. It’s like a psychology lesson distilled into relatable action. Again, I truly believe this is a development book that everyone needs to read, but especially anyone who interacts with customers, clients, vendors or really any people who you need to rely on to help make your goals and dreams a reality.
11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This is one of two quintessential productivity classics that I think everyone needs to read. Covey’s book is a long running go to for business professionals, but it certainly applies just as equally to stay at home moms or creatives.
12. Getting Things Done by David Allen
The second productivity classic, again beloved by the corporate sphere but seriously applicable to anyone and everyone! Getting Things Done is an annual reread for me and it seems that every time I dive back in I pick up a new lesson or tweak to my productivity systems that I hadn’t tried before.
13. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Another classic for artist’s and creative types that really dives deep into the creative process and how to support creativity in our lives. If your job or passions are even remotely artistic or fall into the creative space. You should read this!
14. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Out of all the books on this list, this is the only true business book I’ve included, so if you don’t own, or ever hope to own your own business, this doesn’t apply to you, however, if you do you need to read this. You know those statistics people throw around about how many businesses fail in their first year and then how many more fail within a few more years and how many are still standing after a decade? This book explains all about that. It’s actually very interesting to see that lack of customers isn’t actually the thing that kills a business, it’s so much more about plans and systems than you really could ever have imagined.
15. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Yep, I added a woo-woo book to this list, but one that really made a big impact on me. I’ll agree that there are some things about this book that are perhaps a little too much for me, but the underlying message of this book is really powerful and honestly moved me to tears so many times. I think it’s good for us to read personal development, even perhaps spiritual development books (which is really what this book is), that really move us because some times I feel numb to the world and books like this make me feel reconnected to the human race. Definitely not the book for everyone, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t one of my favorites.
16. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
If you are a male or female working in corporate America and you haven’t read this book yet, please stop whatever you are doing and order it asap. I realize that this book was meant to inspire women, but anyone who works in a business environment should read this. I know this can be a polarizing book, but the results of real research was put into this book and it’s truly heartbreaking to be confronted with the fact that women are held back at work. They hold themselves back, their partners hold them back and worst of all, their own teams and companies hold them back. Obviously this book doesn’t apply to 100% of situations, but its enough that we all need to be aware of workplace biases and work to break our own preconceived notions.
So now you have 16 new books to add to your to read list or Audible queue! I am still in the process of researching the books I want to read for the year. I’m not necessarily someone who makes a full list and then checks books off one by one, but I do want to get started with some new-to-me reads asap. I already know I am putting another Todd Henry book, Die Empty, on my reading list and I have a few fiction novels that I started in 2015 that I want to tie up Q1, but I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for me based on these recommendations or even something totally different that you absolutely love and recommend. Let me know in the comments what you think I need to read this year! Oh, and one final thing I want to say about reading and personal development– I think reading is great, I obviously do or else I wouldn’t share book recommendations with you. However, I want to make sure you don’t spend all your time reading and leave no time for acting on what you’ve learned. Some people have a tendency to go into research and personal development mode before they feel like they can begin to implement and act, but unfortunately, that can often lead to a holding pattern where one is reading, reading, reading and never actually getting started on their business or new and improved life. I guess what I am trying to say is don’t use books as an excuse not to begin living your life. I want you to act on what you learn in these books, not use them as a barrier to keep you from living your dreams!