First, here is my required reading list
for all small business and professional advancement clients.
The first thing I’m going to recommend will function as an
explanation for the rest of this eclectic list.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in an Eclectic World (David Epstein)
This book is about the issues with cognitive entrenchment. When we “know” things we forget to look past our existing (and possibly mediocre) solutions. Also, the broader our knowledge base (both in our area of expertise and as many other areas as possible), the more creative solutions will be available to us. Our minds form ‘webs’ of information when we are exposed to broad swaths of topics, and these webs support a more nuanced and far-reaching experimental thought process.
The remainder: some may resonate, some may not, but I recommend that you consume any that strike your fancy. This is a portion of what I base my coaching on.
Neurofitness: A Brain Surgeon’s Secrets to Boost Performance and Unleash Creativity (Dr. Rahul Jiandal)
Debunks a lot of common nonsense about how our brains function, with a ton of good info about how we learn. Killer interesting.
Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice (Russell Brunson)
Self-explanatory. Kind of hype-y, but contains some good, actionable info.
Circe (Madeline Miller)
A good book for women who struggle with feeling selfish when reaching for wholeness. Speaks specifically to mothers in a lot of instances, but good insights for anyone.
The 3-Day Effect (Florence Williams)
Explores the effects of nature on anxiety and creativity. Audible original and not very dense.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, Jim Huling)
Good info for those in organizations, but most of the tools can be taken à la carte and applied to anyone’s life – students, individual professionals, small business owners, etc.
Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People (Vanessa Van Edwards)
Methods that take advantage of human behavioral patterns to enable you to communicate more clearly, make friends and network in more effective ways, and be less awkward in social situations 🙂
Never Lose a Customer Again (Joey Coleman)
Strategies to create loyal customers. This gets creative – I definitely recommend it to all of my small business clients, as well as anyone who interacts with customers or manages those who do. Remember – every position is customer service, because all paid work has an end customer.
This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See (Seth Godin)
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us (Seth Godin)
Seth Godin is the most intensely kind marketing expert I’ve encountered. The first book is a good conceptual look at marketing, the second is about understanding people and how we function as social creatures, including a good look at the psychology behind what makes us follow, emulate, and identify with brands.
Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used (Peter Block)
Great resource for anyone building an ‘expert’ platform.
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead Forever (Michael Bungay Stanier)
Used correctly, this book will teach you to ask better questions. When reading it, take little breaks occasionally to develop theories about why his ‘key questions’ are effective and how you can apply them to common situations in your own life. A key piece of developing a self-coaching mentality is learning how and when to ask yourself good questions.
The Wealth Mindset: Understanding the Mental Path to Wealth (Neville Goddard)
If you have blocks when it comes to receiving money, billing for services, or feeling well compensated, this book is for you. Draws on biblical teachings, so keep an open mind (I’m not religious and Neville flat-out states that the Bible is allegory anyway, so don’t get all offended if you’re either a hardcore atheist or super religious – don’t miss the point).
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth (T. Harv Eker)
On resetting your ‘financial thermostat’ and opening your eyes to opportunity.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Mr. Experimentation, plain and simple. He is all over the place and has incredible guests on, and his focus is on figuring out what tools/tactics you can bring home.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job
Cathy Heller interviews and encourages those of us who are no longer willing to build someone else’s dream and instead want to focus on our own.
The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
Steli Efti and Hiten Shaw talk about business, entrepreneurship, and life.
Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
Fantastic podcast from a woman who builds online courses. Her older work has a lot of info on social media, and she also brings guests on to talk about things like GDPR (privacy laws that affect anyone who has website traffic or clients in EU)
Tom Bilyeu covers a huge variety of topics, all with exceptional insight and action steps.
The Savvy Painter Podcast
Antrese Wood invites artists of all stripes to discuss studio practices, philosophies, techniques, and getting through mindset issues when practicing as a professional artist.
The Art of Manliness
Not just for men! All kinds of tools and philosophies for people interested in becoming (or raising) adults.
On Being with Krista Tippet
Fantastic interviewer digs into what it means to be human in this changing world.
Author of Extreme Ownership, retired Navy SEAL.
The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
Intensely realistic, educated, vociferous psychologist. Side note: if you’ve been exposed to his work in a way that paints him as an inflammatory conservative, I’d urge you to take another look. That said, fame seems to be going to his head at the moment. Still, I appreciate his lecture series on biblical stories (he dissected the first 5 books of the Bible from a psychological perspective, and it was quite interesting).
Great insights into attachment theory and other bits of psychology.
The Peter Attia Drive
Dr. Peter Attia taking deep dives into cancer, cholesterol, and other common diseases. This guy is Tim Ferriss’ friend, so self-experimentation abounds.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick exploring health, longevity, diet, and more.