If you want to lead, you better read.

I didn’t always take that so seriously, but it’s true, you won’t meet successful people who aren’t readers.

Books can be your mentors — when you can’t meet or learn from someone directly in-person in real life, you can learn from them through books! Books can even be a window into the wisdom of the past, and you can learn from the greatest teachers who’ve ever lived — even if they’re not around anymore (you can even get inside the mind of one of history’s greatest emperors below!)

There are no secrets. They’re all just buried away in books.

Here are my “Most-Important Books” — or MIBs. These are the top 10 books I’ve read that have impacted me and influenced my life in a significant way for one reason or another, and that I recommend to anyone following a similar path. From what I’ve studied so far, if you read only 10 books after college, read these:

  1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  4. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
  5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
  6. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Travel by Rolf Potts
  7. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin
  8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  9. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  10. The Fourth Economy: Inventing Western Civilization by Ron Davison

If you’re just getting started, I believe reading these few wisdom-packed tomes from 1-10 in this order would be the most intuitive mindset change from beginner to advanced, and have the greatest impact on you.

Runners Up

  1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
  2. Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter
  3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen
  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen Covey
  5. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman
  6. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (learn from the master stoic and one of Rome’s five Good Emperors)
  7. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
  8. The Brand You 50: Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an ‘Employee’ into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! by Tom Peters (or one of his other books on personal branding)
  9. The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Deida (for the gentlemen in the audience, at least)
  10. Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss

My Reading List for the rest of 2016:

  1. The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss
  2. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
  3. Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs: What You Really Need to Know About the Numbers by Karen Berman & Joe Knight
  4. Mastery by Robert Green
  5. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
  6. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco
  7. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes
  8. Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan
  9. MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins
  10. The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5 by Taylor Pearson

More recommended reads from the DNA Faculty & community: