We’re busy people, I get it. Finding time to read is already a challenge in our lives, not to mention finding books that are worth reading in the first place. That being said, I think we can all agree, we’d love to have more time to devote to reading!
Ever since Covid-19 hit and everyone’s normal routines were uprooted, we’ve (almost) all been blessed with more free time to pursue other interests — namely, reading!
Given that I attribute a good chunk of my mindset and life trajectory to the books I’ve read, I want to share my top reads below with all of you – in hopes that they too can change the course of your life and lead to a better, happier you!
In a semi-particular, but not definitive order, I’ve listed my favorites below. This list is not definitive and will only continue to grow. I’ve also listed how I consumed each book, a few of which I highly recommend the Audiobook (not all narrations are created equal), and others which I’ve only read the eyeball version, so I cannot attest to the recording.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
By: Robert Kiyosaki
This book is a MUST read. I think even more-so now, than when it was published in 1997. Our society grooms us to think a certain way. This book redefines what many of us consider to be truths. The author, Robert Kiyosaki, grew up middle class and has since become quite wealthy. He tells the story of his childhood, growing up under the household of his father, a University Professor, which he dubs his “poor dad”. His usage of the word poor does not mean income, per say, but rather a poor mindset. Robert, as a child, asks his father ‘How do I get rich?” His dad – a wise feller – tells Robert he should ask his buddy’s dad, who is a business owner. Robert teaches the lessons he learned [from friend’s dad], contrasting the differences of how the rich and poor think about finances, work, and life in general. This book is less of a practical how-to book and more of a mindset book of how to frame your life’s decisions to reach your goals, whatever they may be. It’s also an easy and quick read. Boo-yah!
(I read this on Kindle)
How to Win Friends and Influence People
By: Dale Carnegie
I have read only a few books that truly change the way I interact with the world. This is one of those. No, this book isn’t a how-to for the socially awkward. This book will, however, teach you a GREAT deal about human emotion, the basis of relationships, and the seldom-thought-about nuances of conversation that can detract or add to your relationships. Ignore the title. This book doesn’t teach you how to manipulate/influence people. It teaches you how to be a genuinely kind, supportive, respective person, that will in turn find stronger relationships with those around you. Like other self-development books, this read will highlight common-sense tactics for success. UNLIKE other self-help books, Dale Carnegie focuses on how other successful leaders, business owners, presidents and the like EMPLOY these common-sense skills to achieve great success. A staple for your reading collection.
(I listened to this on Audible, read by Andrew MacMillan. The audiobook is top-notch, and the mini-theme song between chapters will make you smile.)
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
By: James Clear
Atomic Habits. If you want to do great and be great, this book is on my MUST read top 3. A short summary through quotes:
“All big things come from small beginnings,” James Clear
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems [habits],” James Clear
I thought some people were just gifted and had an endless level of grit to push and push and accomplish incredible things…and I’m not dismissing grit here either, but much of the greatest success stemmed not from a single night of busting out a project or task. It came from a continual commitment to little tasks.
This book is a collection of what we have learned about human tendencies in the past bajillion years and how to leverage our innate instincts, cravings, and desires to work in our favor. A how-to for setting up systems that will ensure your success in any aspect of your life!
(I listened to this one on Kindle, read by the author himself. An easy listen, and exceptionally easy to make a habit of daily listening to completion. It just feels wrong not to given the context of this book.)
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
By: Michael E. Gerber
If you are a dentist and you ever want to be a practice owner, read this next sentence carefully. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. Did you read the sentence? Good. Now, please; do yourself a favor and read this book. Seriously. This book tells the all-to-often-heard story of a small business owner that finds themself overworked, exhausted, and not having the time in the day to enjoy the work that originally inspired them to set-off on their business journey in the first place. “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business — you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!” – Michael E Gerber.
(I listened on Audible. This is one of those Audible books that has a good narrator – not because the narrator is the author (I never assume that means it’s good, some authors should stick to pen and paper) but because Michael Gerber is actually a good reader. Consuming this book with your eyeballs would be fine too!)
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
By: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan
Do you ever interact with people in your life? Do all the people in your life always function such that you’re the center of the universe and they also act in line with your expectations? Great! Then you won’t need to read this book. For everyone else, this book does a fantastic job outlining techniques to effectively communicate in critical conversations. You’ll have a few more tools in your toolbelt as a leader, partner, and person in society. This is another one of those books that has changed that way I interact with others in this world and I highly recommend you give it a read!
(I listened to this on Audible, it was decent. I’ve heard from others that it’s a note-taking book and bookmarking book, so a physical copy or kindle version might suit you well!)
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win
By: Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
I serve as Vice President of a nonprofit called The Tooth Bank. Every team member that joins our organization receives a copy of this book when they go through our Genius Camp curriculum. Our organization thrives on the mindset portrayed here and I can safely say all who have read it have seen significant change in their professional and personal lives.
Have you ever noticed that some people are busy happening to life, while others are having life happen to them? This set of life principles, shared by Navy SEALS Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (probably the 2 most bad-ass men I’ve ever met…errr….felt like I met because I had them talking in my ears for several hours of an audiobook) will change your attitude on life. TLDR (but again, as always, read the dang book!) the moment you start taking ownership over your situation, your life, your experiences, all of it — that — that is the moment you start taking control of your life. This book literally CHANGED the course or my life. I no longer feel the need to complain (although I still do here and there, I’m far from perfect), I have confidence that I can build the life I desire, and I accomplish more in any given day than I have before reading this book. Learn to be “default aggressive.” Read this book.
(I listened to the audiobook narrated by the authors and I’ve also read the hard copy. Give the Audible audiobook a sample listen before committing, the authors Jocko and Leif have some intense testosterone in their voices that isn’t for everyone.)
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
By: Jim Collins
This one’s a classic — and for a good reason. Jim Collins and his team conducted a study that dove into what made the best performing companies of the past century out-perform others in their sector. He nails it on the head and shares/teaches several core concepts of business acumen found in these companies. Some topics include:
- Level 5 Leaders: A great reflection as to where you are in your leadership journey and where you can go.
- The Hedgehog Concept: You’ve probably heard this mentioned before, this book is where this originated, and there’s a reason so many people quote this metaphor.
- Get the Right People on the Bus: If you want to grow an organization to success it’s all about finding the right people and putting them in the right seat. This book explains how to navigate this process and know when to fire and when to hire.
- The Flywheel Concept: Keep pushing the flywheel and you’ll gain momentum.
(I listened to the audiobook on Audible narrated by Jim Collins. I’ll be honest, I got a little sick of his voice, but I think it’s his writing style in general. He gets a bit lengthy at times. That being said, the core principles of this book are worth the adherence to/finishing of the book.)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
By: Benjamin Franklin
Good ol’ Benny. Not only did he start a leading printing press in Pennsylvania, implement the idea of a fire department as we know it still today, facilitate the creation of a post office in the United States, help found our country the US of A, advance our understanding of electricity, (and the list goes one), but he also wrote down his life story and his journey to pursue his 13 Virtues. While not a must-read on my top 3 list, it’s certainly a great story about an incredible individual and will be one more ‘GREAT’ speaking his thoughts into your ear, which is only another drop in your bucket for reaching your own version of success. After all, we are an amalgamate of the people we surround ourselves with and the media we consume. Why not have a bit of Benny playing in your favor.
Side bonus, here are his 13 virtues, a wise man indeed:
Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
(I listened to this one on Kindle, read by Grover Gardner, a soulful voice that places me in the era of which this book was written)
I hope this list helps to prime your next reading pursuit! If you found it helpful, use the sharing buttons below to send to others!
I truly hope a few of these books will resonate with you and can change your life as much as they’ve changed mine! 🙂
Stay tuned for a future post about my go-to podcasts for self-development, business and life mindset, and dental success! My goal is to provide value to others — if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook.