To me, a good book is something that hits such chords inside of you. It makes you throw the book across the room. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I’M THINKING? During my two-year entry-level position, I was forced with a difficult decision—play it safe and enjoy my direct deposit paychecks or take a risk and do something unexpected. All these books helped me to take the leap, as well as continue to motivate me along the way.
Now while the title probably helped sell books, the most profound message of the book isn’t that you can work four hours a week and be successful. That is not the point. The point is to get the reader to understand unique possibilities that exist with the tools and resources we have at our disposal. Too often, we are chained to our desks and our boardrooms, when in reality, there is no real logical explanation why we need to be stuck in one place. What if you could work remotely? What if you could set up an automated system that allows you to generate passive income and see the places you always wanted? What if we didn’t need to work 50 years to save up enough money to travel? Not only does Tim cite great examples, but he gets you excited about the possibilities of thinking outside the cube and professional norms.
Chris Guillebeau isn’t a millionaire, but he does what he loves. He challenges social norms, and he leads a tribe of like-minded people who are set on living an unconventional life. The greatest aspect of this book is that Chris really talks and relates to people like you and me. He isn’t sitting in a CEO boardroom and giving you five steps on how to be successful. He is giving you real problems that real people have: such as facing fear, challenging yourself and finding happiness. His story is relatable and his logic is clear, even if the ideas he presents don’t appeal to the status quo. If you read this book, you’ll rethink what is possible.
The message of this book is simple. In any worthwhile endeavor, there will always be a dip. A dip is the moment when the novelty of your project wears off and you realize it is going to take persistence, action and commitment to make it to the end. It is the reason there are so few best selling novels and successful startups. Most people turn back in the dip because the short term pain is just too difficult. Seth Godin challenges us to find something you want to be the best at and stick with it through the long hard road to success. If you don’t have the passion or drive to be the best at something and to get through the dip, there is no point even starting. Therefore, if you are sitting in a cube or starting a new project, you need to ask yourself, do I want to be the best at this? Do I have the passion to get through the dip? If the answer is no, you need to put your energy and resources to something else.
I’m going to be honest, when I first heard Grant Cardone, I was a little off put. His language is abrasive. His style is aggressive. His overly energetic voice is sometimes so over the top, it forces you to laugh out loud. But Grant is just what some people need, a swift kick to the ass. The 10x rule is all about taking action. If you aren’t doing enough to be successful, reading this book will not be a cheerful experience, which can honestly be a good thing. Grant isn’t known to sugarcoat things. He will tell you if you are getting average results, you are taking average actions. His energy and his story will motivate you to do more and remind you what it really takes to be successful. It will also strongly encourage you to commit with every ounce of yourself to the project, which may be in some cases, leaving your 9-5.
This is by far one of the best business books I ever read. So often when we think of a successful company we think of a huge organization with massive departments and a huge marketing budget and stacks of HR files. This often makes our endeavors, projects and ideas seem out of reach. But the guys of Rework reject everything you know about business. They make you rethink the idea that you need huge budgets and a huge staff. They want you to take action without the venture backing and three hundred person staff. There are so many times we feel incompetent, I don’t’ know anything about this, or I don’t have enough resources for that. You’re wrong. You have more then enough. Don’t wait. Start now.
This isn’t your typical self help book, told through a fictitious story of a businessman searching for start up glory. The most helpful aspect of the book is that the narrator/author is a real life virtual CEO and most of the inner dialogue reflects his experienced career in Silicone Valley and his venture capitalist interactions. One of the great lessons of the book is that the “quick pay day” idea of Silicon Valley isn’t what drives ideas; it’s the people and passion behind them. And it is the mission and purpose of an entrepreneur that will ultimately make or break a business. Before you leave your 9-5, it’s important to forget the giant payday and ask yourself, is this something that adds value and is important to you.
I will save the best book for last. This workbook was single handedly the most important book in my own journey to leave my 9-5. First of all, this is an action step, goal oriented workbook. It is a place to not only brainstorm and prioritize what’s important to you, but also to lay down concrete goals that extend over a 3-month period. This book will be your map on your journey to success. The objective of the book is to get you to set four concrete goals and write daily action steps you took to get one step closer to your goal. What this workbook does is give you the confidence you need to take a risk and pursue your dream.
The best motivation or self-help books are the ones that shed light on your current problems or push you to take action. These books have all had a place in my journey, and all of them have motivated me to not only think outside the box, but also take action toward my goals when self doubt and fear tried to keep me tied down. Hopefully, they will help you.