Success doesn’t just happen. The most successful people in the world become that way by continually learning and improving themselves. If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, how can you grow?
“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” – Arnold H. Glasow
One of the best and easiest ways to quickly empower yourself for greatness is to read and learn from some of the greatest thinkers and motivators of our time. Need a recommendation on where to start? Check out these top 10 books to Be more, straight from the bookshelf of LIMU Founder, President & CEO Gary J. Raser! Stuff those stocking with success!
“Men of action are favored by the Goddess of Good Luck.”
This book is a classic when it comes to financial literature. Lessons about personal finance are interwoven into a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon, where characters learn simple lessons of fiscal wisdom that translate perfectly to today. Since each story is set up to read like an authentic tale from the ancient days (even though the book was written in the 1920s), the language and writing style take a little getting used to, but it’s well worth it! This book has changed many lives and pocketbooks—plus, it’s Gary’s all-time fave!
“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”
One of the best-selling self-help books ever published, How to Win Friends & Influence People has sold well over 15 million copies world-wide. The title of the book is pretty self-explanatory, and you’d be surprised how much the practical wisdom put forth by Carnegie can change your interactions and relationships with others for the better. Business is all about connecting with people, and this book teaches you how to effectively cultivate relationships with everyone you come in contact with.
“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
Written in 1937, this book is old-school cool—but so many of the ideas are still valuable today. The philosophies of success author Napoleon Hill have changed countless lives. Through over 25 years of research, interviewing greats like Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford (to name a few), Hill compiled 13 steps to achievement that apply not only to monetary gains, but anything you value and want to attain in life. Gary’s got this in his top 3 must-reads and you should too.
“You cannot enjoy outstanding success in life without power, and you can never enjoy power without sufficient personality to influence other people to cooperate with you in a spirit of harmony.”
A precursor to Think and Grow Rich, this book is a little more academically-geared and includes many musings on the psychology of success—with topics like Self-Confidence, Self-Control, Tolerance, Concentration, Cooperation, Imagination, Action, and more. Overcome fears and establish winning habits by following the foundations and behaviors outlined by Hill, and craft the right mindset to achieve success in your life.
“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
Short yet profound, this classic is a must read. James Allen teaches that thought is a tool we can use to shape our lives, to shape our very existence. What we think, we are. Allen emphasizes that your life is absolutely under your control—it has nothing to do with fate, external factors or dumb luck. In order to achieve, you must visualize your own success. Learn the fundamentals of translating your thoughts to action with this quick read.
“Most people who fail in their dreams fail not from lack of ability but from lack of commitment.”
Zig Ziglar worked as a salesman and is perhaps one of the greatest motivational speakers of our time. His book, See You at the Top, is loved by anyone who views empowerment and self-improvement as top priorities. The book literally gives you step-by-step instructions on how to change the way you think about yourself and your surroundings. It’s so effective, you just won’t be the same after reading it.
“Spring shows us that life is truly a constant beginning, a constant opportunity, a constant springtime.”
Life is equated with the rhythm of the seasons in this work by Jim Rohn and Ronald Reynolds. Much like the seasons, life has its changes: Life ebbs and flows for the better … and for the worse. What’s important to remember is that every season has its value—even the dead of winter. Even the hard, cold, barren periods of life serve a purpose in the overall picture. This timeless classic and entrepreneurial favorite is a quick but powerful read.
“You do not need to be a victim of worry. Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit.”
The principles of this book are life-changing. Norman Vincent Peale illustrates how—through 17 different areas of focus—we can live a life free of worry and defeat and full of joy and satisfaction. Peale intertwines Christian spiritual beliefs with modern psychology to provide readers with effective thought techniques and action principles that empower and bring peace.
“Never feel shame for trying and failing, for he who has never failed is he who has never tried.”
Make no mistake, this is not a manual on how to become the greatest salesperson the world has ever seen—but the teachings of this book are just as valuable. This work illustrates the keys to prosperous and triumphant living through a parable about a young, poor camel boy named Hafid, who is tasked with reading and putting into practice the wisdom of 10 ancient scrolls. The reader accepts the task along with him and is forever changed by the knowledge that lies within. This is another staple read that Gary frequently references.
“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”
The most important thing you can do as a leader or entrepreneur is to figure out why your company/product exists and why this reason should matter to customers. Finding your why is a process of discovery, not invention. Noted author Simon Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people (aka customers) rather than manipulate them. No matter what you do, we’re all in the business of telling our story and this book will undoubtedly help you tap into that personal passion and mission. If you use inspiration rather than manipulation to get the sale—your business and your reputation will reap the benefits.