Let’s spend some time talking about books. Books and reading; reading and learning (editor’s note: nerds); learning and growing; growing and… succeeding.
Because that is your goal, isn’t it? To succeed? Otherwise you wouldn’t be wasting your time reading this blog, let alone browsing the website of an advertising agency. Even a blog as good as this one.
Frankly, it is our goal as well.
From historical figures like Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to contemporary giants such as Bill Gates, Mark Cuban and Warren Buffet we can draw a pretty clear connecting thread. All of them read with a voracious appetite. But they did so on a mission. A mission for personal growth, which for them had the convenient side effect of wild, unbelievable, historic success.
So, let’s do some reading! Today, we are going to talk about four of our favorite books which will be sure to give you a big boost in your quest for personal development and success.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
What better place to start our literary quest for success than with a book that explores where successful people come from? In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell, an award-winning author who has spent over two decades writing for the New Yorker, engages in a study to discover what separates high-achieving individuals in various fields from, well, everyone else.
Moving from software engineers and Canadian junior hockey champions to some of the most powerful lawyers in New York, Gladwell explores the specific economical, sociological, and cultural circumstances which contributed to their exceptional success.
In Outliers, Gladwell approaches an interesting and rather startling hypothesis: individual merit plays only a small roll in success. According to Gladwell, luck, circumstances, timing, culture, and even a person’s birthdate are all part of the complex and nondeterministic roadmap that leads towards success.
Outliers also happens to be the book from which the well-known 10,000-hours theory originates.
Whether you agree with Gladwell premise or not, Outliers is a fascinating read. It may even help you identify some of the unique factors which could contribute to your success.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie￼
Yup, we went there. Just like everyone else who has ever put a list like this together.
Dale Carnegie’s 1936 work, How To Win Friends And Influence People, has sold over 15 million copies for very good reason. Carnegie believed that only 15 percent of financial success could be attributed to professional knowledge. Instead, he ascribed financial success primarily to, “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”
In How To Win Friends And Influence People, Carnegie goes about teaching you how to accomplish just that. Carnegie details the six ways to make people like you, the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment, and the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking.
Thousands of individuals have applied the timeless advice found in How To Win Friends And Influence People to their own professional and personal lives to great effect. Even Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying, “it changed my life.”
Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill
20, 30 years ago when people talked about “the power of positive thinking” it was almost universally interpreted as hippy-dippy nonsense. You know what really contributed to success? Work ethic. Stoicism. Suit wearingness. Good hair. Attending a prestigious 4-year university. Climbing the ladder. Functional alcoholism. You know, all that 1960s stuff.
These days, we know a little better. Studies have shown that positive thinking can have a genuine, powerful, and most importantly, tangible impact on your life. Heck, positive thinking can actually produce measurable physiological effects on your body. Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude was written long before any of this biological information was widely understood, but the techniques used in it are effective and timeless. The book clearly outlines 17 Principle of Success while constantly calling for self-examination. It then covers easy to execute strategies for putting these principles into effect in your own life. Definitely worth checking out!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Now, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy (THGTG) may not exactly be what you thought you needed to read before you visited this list, but… well, just trust us on this one. Anyone who is dialed into seriousness 100 percent of the time is eventually going to drive themselves insane. Levity is important, fun is important, and humor is really, really important. THGTG has all of that and much more. It’s almost impossible to go more than 20-30 minutes reading THGTG without quite literally laughing out loud.
In addition to being endlessly fun and funny, The Guide also holds powerful moments of poignancy and meaning. Adams had a playful way with words and the ability to defy expectations and surprise you in the space of a single sentence. That is something we could all learn from. No matter where you are in life, or how successful you currently are, you can always improve your writing skills.
While reading the Guide, you will also learn to mix a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, tame the Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Trall, discover the incredible capability of the Infinite Improbability Drive, and face the true soul-scarring horrors of Vogon poetry. All very important information.
That should give you plenty of reading material to get started. If you would like more book recommendations or if you just want to chat with us about marketing, entrepreneurship or how we can help you grow your business, we would be delighted to hear from you.