Top Nine Best Books
My shelves are filled with books that I want to read, I’ve read once (and will never read again), and those I’ve read over and over and over.
A perfect day for me would be spending hours at Barnes & Noble perusing the bookshelves, picking out a few intriguing titles, and then devouring them at the on-site coffee shop. (Along with a monster cookie and vanilla latte!)
My personal (and professional) development journey started when I picked up a book. But life didn’t change because I picked up that book, the magic started to happen when I actually used what I learned to improve myself.
Is every book a great read? Nope. In fact, I’ve given myself permission to not finish a book if I’m not getting anything out of it.
But the great books are heavily abused… marked up, whole paragraphs underlined, margins written in, pages dog-eared, and life-changing passages flagged with a sticky note.
Oh... and when I can't find any more pencils, I go scrounging in my books and find plenty!
What does your bookshelf look like? Sparse and empty or filled with endless possibilities of growth? Below I've listed my favorite books as well as what I'm reading right now.
9 books that changed my life...
The EMyth by Michael Gerber
E stands for Entrepreneur and this book dispels the myth of the entrepreneur but you don’t need to be in business for yourself to read and apply the concepts in this classic. Michael uses a story to teach us about the importance of the three types of ‘people’ in a business, how to think of your business as a franchise, and what strategies need to be in place to move through the business life cycle. It’s a book I recommend to all my coaching clients regardless if they work in corporate or are small business owners. It completely changed my mortgage business and I use the concepts almost daily.
The Extraordinary Coach by John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett
The minute picked up this book I realized I had been coaching all wrong. As a result, I changed the process I use with my coaching clients and teach team leaders how to coach the ‘right way’. If you lead people and are responsible for growing them and increasing results through them, you need to read this book. Period.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
I was hooked on Brené before I even got to the first chapter in this book… the preface was even amazing! Brené put words to what I was unable to wrap my head around as it related to understanding my self-worth. If you want to understand how vulnerability and courage work together (for your own benefit), you’ll want to get this on Amazon’s two-day delivery. Because of Brené’s teaching, I’ve drastically changed how I live, lead, and parent.
The Gifts of Imperfection also by Brené Brown
I keep going back to this book as a way to incrementally grow into the woman I am becoming. Where this isn’t the deep seeded, life-altering book (like Brené’s other books), it’s a summary of 12 guideposts we must all live by to realize more authentic lives. I’m starting to take each guidepost, studying it, and applying my findings to my own life to living more wholeheartedly.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This book really kicked my butt. If you’re a creative who runs head first into a brick wall whenever you need to write, draw, or otherwise create something worthy, this book will give you a whole new perspective on the muse. Be prepared for some hard truths.
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
I started reading this book on an airplane on the way to a small, intimate conference in Rome, GA. I firmly believe it was divine intervention. If there is a dream you want to pursue but haven’t the courage or faith to do it, Mark will inspire you to trust your dream to the One who can make it come true. This book was written by a pastor so be prepared for some higher truths.
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Personal Growth by John Maxwell
If you don’t know where to start on your personal growth journey, this is a great place to start. John Maxwell has written about a billion books and the further you get into his content, the more it starts to sound the same. I feel like this book is the best of the best. It’s easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to implement the content into your own life.
Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham
Don’t tell me how Marcus Buckingham knows so much about women but this book is an awesome one to read with your friends. There’s a Strong Life Test where you determine your primary and secondary life roles that help you identify your strong moments so you can spend more time living in your strengths. It’s a great conversation starter with your girlfriends.
High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
This book is a juggernaut. Brendon is an amazing role model for people who want to perform at their highest potential and I often wonder if he’s man or machine. If I applied even a fraction of what he preaches in this book, I’d be living in high gear. This book is deep and wide and will take you months to get through if you really wrap your head around the concepts.
Other books I recommend...
Rising Strong by Brené Brown
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley
When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley
10-10-10 by Suzy Welch
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Traction by Gino Wickman
The Four Disciplines of Execution by McChesney, Covey, and Huling
Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck
What I’m currently reading...
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Step into Your Moxie by Lex Vernon
You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
My challenge to you... what book will you pick up next? Where do you want to grow in the next month? Find a book that will kick your potential in high gear in that area, grab a pencil, and start reading 10 to 20 pages a day.
Next week, I'll be sharing my method for reading and retaining all this goodness. It's not enough to learn it... we must also live it and lead it.