I have three elder brothers, all very different in nature and all three of them have taught me so many things at different aspects of my life.

While I was journaling last night, I was reflecting on this and expressing my gratitude. A single-parent household is not ideal, no matter how you slice it… but having three brothers 8 years, 11 years and 18 years your senior is not a bad deal at all!

From my mid-teens, through to my early twenties, one of my big brothers (who is now a very successful actor and businessman (shameless proud little sister plug)) gifted me 90% of the books on this list.

Every Christmas or birthday, I got a new book (yay….). I never got through them all in one go nor did I read them from cover to cover. However, I read them enough and often enough to grasp the ideologies and concepts in them, and these would continue to grow with me and shape me.

I was good at “making money” and always have been. Yet I always struggled with the what now, what next. The amount of money I made in my teens was a lot for who I was and where I was coming from, and, without the right mindset, that money would be spent rather than invested.

Coming from the same background and household, my brother knew that my entrepreneurial efforts might be in vain without the very many internal battles that needed to occur. I needed to adopt a growth mindset.

Over the past few years, I have had to repurchase some of these books. They are all available as audiobooks – and I definitely recommend the audio version to listen to whilst driving or working out. But I also like to have the physical book to just pick up and open at will.

They are in no particular order, but the first book on my list is one I often open and start reading randomly as some religious folks I know do a bible!

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This book was first released in 1937 and has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. It's considered a must-read success book by many thought leaders and was listed as the #1 personal development book of all time by Amazon.com

This is one of those books that can change your life and business if you follow its principles. While it may not be the newest book on the market, it's a classic that all entrepreneurs should read as the philosophy is timeless.

You can pick up a second-hand revised edition for a couple of quid on Amazon.

Key takeaways from this book are:

  • Thoroughness
  • Definiteness of purpose
  • Coordination of knowledge and effort.
  • Mastermind principle: This is where two or more minds come together to help each other solve problems. It's the equivalent of having brainstorming sessions with people who are smarter than you, so that you can benefit from their unique perspectives.
  • Self-control
  • Presence of mind.
  • Desire + planning = success.
  • If you want something, go after it with all your heart and mind without wavering until you get it.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

My brother had actually bought me The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens first and then upgraded me some birthdays later, haha!

This book is all about changing your mindset and perception. It's written in a way that is easy to understand (the teen version even more so). It has all the powerful lessons to help you take control of your life and be accountable for your actions.

Key takeaways from this book are (literally the 7 habits) :

  • Be proactive – spend your life creating the results you want to see in the world, not just reacting to what happens. Too many people are reactive and never achieve what they're truly capable of because they don't take actions to control their life.
  • Begin with the end in mind – visualize where you want to be, so that every step you take is towards your future vision. If you can see it, then you have a better chance at getting there.
  • Put first things first – prioritize what is important and not get distracted by other people's priorities and opinions about you and your life. Spend time each day on your most important tasks. This is a great way to stay productive and stop procrastinating
  • Think Win/Win – strive for relationships where both parties feel they've reached a beneficial agreement. This will help you have more rewarding relationships with people you are in business with, as well as your family and friends.
  • Be clear about what you want – develop a vision or mental picture of what you want out of life. Having a specific goal will keep you motivated.
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood – This is such a powerful lesson. It's about having empathy and understanding the other person's perspective before you try to solve their “problem”.
  • Synergize – work with others that have different strengths than you do so that together, you can accomplish more than what one person could ever do alone.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


4. 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

A word of advice, read this one and then read Mastery… but don't bother with the 50 Cent version…

This is another classic that all entrepreneurs should read. The reason being is because, at some point along the path of entrepreneurship, you are going to have to deal with different power structures whether they are individuals or businesses. You need to know how to recognize power plays, how to handle them, and ultimately overcome them.

Key takeaways from this book are:

  • Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • Always say less than necessary, it gives you time to think and it makes people wonder about what you really meant.
  • Never outshine the master, keep your masters ego fed.
  • Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies instead.
  • If you are lucky enough to have an enemy, then use them, don't destroy them. And always remember they are doing the same to you!
  • Master the art of timing and never miss your opportunity.
  • There is no such thing as loyalty, justice or fairness. These are just terms used to manipulate the masses.
  • Know when to stop and listen, and know when to leave.
  • Master your emotions, that is where the power lies (emotional intelligence).

5. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book is one of those “I can't believe I didn't realize this before” kind of books. As the title suggests, it's about the difference between what rich and poor people think and do.

The author gives us a glimpse into his financial education that began with his father (the poor dad) and continued later in life when he met another father figure who became his mentor (the rich dad).


6. The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

This book was the key to me tackling one of my biggest obstacles in business (which I speak about here). When my brother got me this book, I had no concept of outsourcing or the value of time. The whole idea was so foreign to me because I was so used to being busy and just doing things.

Had I grasped this concept in its entirety, I probably would have shifted my eBay wholesale business to drop-shipping, early in the game when it was still a low-key hustle.

In any case, The 4-Hour Work Week is all about letting go of the “entrepreneur” identity and turning into a business owner. It's about outsourcing everything that doesn't require you to be there 100%, and then automating as much of the rest as possible.

Key takeaways from this book are:

  • Creating an automated system will free up your time and allow you more freedom.
  • The more you try to do yourself, the less time you have and the fewer results you will get.
  • Every entrepreneur makes the mistake of trying to do too much themselves and it can cripple their business.
  • Even if you don't agree with all of Tim's methods (like outsourcing personal affairs), this book will at the very least kick you out of your comfort zone and have you thinking differently about your day-to-day operations.
  • If you REALLY want to be a business owner, then you need to harness the power of outsourcing. This is a must read!

Tim Ferris is an absolute G, so do not stop with this book. I highly recommend his podcast: The Tim Ferris Show, where he delves into inspiration, habits, work ethic, and all-around business and entrepreneurship.


7. The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

AKA that massive book I got on my 21st birthday (yay…)

My Recommended Book List For A Growth Mindset
If you are an older brother or sister, please do this for your younger sibling! Likewise, if you are a parent of a teen or young adult, this is a must.

I do not have any “key takeaways”, this is a book I have to pick up and revise a specific chapter. It is almost like a business bible. And new situations and occurrences prompt revising and making notes.


8. The Art of War by Sun Tzu


9. Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki



11. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

This one is written as a collection of parables that are meant to be lessons about personal finance. The writing is simple but the concept is powerful. It is a book you can read or listen to in one sitting, multiple times over.

Key takeaways from this book are:

  • Lack of planning and saving will leave you in poverty.
  • Spend less than you earn and avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Don't make your money work for the government, make it work for you.
  • Invest in yourself and your education first, before you invest in business or property.
  • Even if you can't save a lot, you should be investing something every month and do not stop.
  • Make sure to give back to society.

12. The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

On more than a few occasions Oprah mentioned this book as a life-changing book for her. And, I mean, come on… when THEE Oprah says a book has changed her life, you have to check it out!

The Seat of the Soul is a profound book about consciousness and how to be in your power.

Key takeaways from this book are:

  • The more you focus on the light, the more dark will leave your life.
  • Everyone has free-will and its up to them whether or not they live in judgement or love.
  • Realize that at any time you can make a choice between the two (everything has a negative and a positive)
  • The more you judge, the less satisfied with your life you will be.
  • Be aware of when you are in judgement mode and work to shift from that space into love space.

13. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is a very short book but the concept is so powerful. In fact, I read this book in an afternoon and have since bought three copies of it because I've been able to easily give them away as gifts!

The key takeaways from this book are:

  • When something is your true desire, it will keep showing up in your life until you either accomplish it or die.
  • Don't look for the outcome of your journey to be materialistic. If you love what you do, money will follow.
  • Just because people around you don't understand what you want, doesn't mean you're aiming too high.
  • Be patient in attaining your goals – if it's truly meant to be, it will come when the time is right.

14. Mastery

This book made a huge impact on me as I was reading it. I had been following Robert Greene for years at this point – he is such a profound teacher and he has a way of taking the most complex and abstract concepts and making them easy to understand.

Mastery is a book about the pursuit of excellence and understanding what it takes to become a master.

Key takeaways from this book are:

  • When you find your true calling, it will feel like second nature.
  • Mastery is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes continual motivation, dedication and discipline to reach any level of success in life (or business).
  • There are only three things required for one to be good at something: Practice, patience with yourself, and time.

15. Show Your Work


16. The Science Of Getting Rich

How To Use This List

None of the books on this list are a one-time read. They are valuable investments with information that needs to be absorbed, studied, and then put into action on a continuous basis.

My suggestion is to first listen to the audiobook version. Do this twice (over two days). Then read through the paperback, with a pencil or post-it notes, highlight key concepts that stand out to you in the book.

After that, sit down and WRITE THEM DOWN. If you already journal, this is easy.

This is so important in helping you shift your paradigm because it forces you to understand the concept on a deeper level.

Remember: your paradigm is formed by the repetition of information. Likewise, your paradigm is changed by the repetition of new information.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle (Or Will Durant… who cares? The quote is solid.)

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