Readers are leaders. The more you learn, the more you earn. I agree with those statements somewhat. But which books you read and what you do with the information is what really counts. Let’s be honest: most business books are boring, rambling, and do little more than reword the other bestsellers on that subject. Sprinkle in a few new stories and quote some unique studies and call it a day, right? So don’t just read anything; be selective.
You’re better off reading the best business books over and over than you are constantly plowing through new ones that are just meh. That said, here are my top picks for 2023. Number one: Atomic Habits by James Clear. After hearing about this book for years, I finally got around to reading it, and wow, that was a mistake. Not the reading it part but the waiting. Favorite takeaway? “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”
Business book recommendation number two? Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. So I’ve always been a curmudgeon about meditation, even though every high-achiever swears by it, right? Well, this book finally sold me on it by explaining some of the science behind it. The author talks about how something as little as meditating twelve minutes a day for two months can have insane benefits to rewiring your brain. Pathways responsible for positive things like empathy and patience start lighting up, while negative pathways that cause judgement and anxiety, for example, go down. “Fine, I’ll meditate.”
Must-read business book number three for this year? Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke, MD. It’s just so appropriate for 2023. We’ve got more convenience, more distractions, more temptations, and shorter attention spans than ever before. This book’ll help you stop being such a pleasure-seeking slob and do the hard things you know you need to be doing instead. It really makes you think twice about giving in to food, alcohol, drugs, porn, checking your phone, refreshing Coinbase, et cetera, and how doing so only makes you more miserable in the long run.
Fourth, The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Here’s the biggest idea from this book: you have like sixty thousand thoughts a day, and a lot of them are negative. So think of it as this inner roommate following you around, saying, “Hey, you’re not good enough. That’ll never work. They’re laughing at you.” If that roommate existed in real life, you’d kick ’em out or move out, wouldn’t you? So why let this inner roommate get away with it? This book gives you a game plan for those bad thoughts; it’ll help you get on your own team, have your own back, for 2023 and beyond.
Fifth, I’m gonna throw ya a curveball. It’s not a book, it’s a journal. Stop consuming, consuming, consuming, and start producing. Manually write down your own thoughts, feelings, goals, ideas, to-dos, fears, frustrations, challenges, anything, everything. There are no rules. Except write. And don’t do it digitally, like on your phone. Pen or pencil plus paper. Even if it’s just five minutes a day. Here’s what it’s done for me. Swear to God, I feel happier. More clear-headed, more creative. Less stressed. More focused, more confident, more inspired. So I mean, it’s worth a shot, right?
There you have it. Those five business books (well, four plus journaling) have had the greatest impact on my mood and money. You can’t go wrong reading each of them multiple times. Now here’s some honorable mentions. Good to Great by Jim Collins. Title says it all. Essentialism by Greg McKeown. How doing less (but better) is the key to getting more. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. It’s basically a blueprint for building an audience of potential buyers online, all while admitting you’re still learning, still figuring it out. And then Deep Work by Cal Newport. Another great one for focus.
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